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Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:21 pm
by Surfingringo
Man, I really like the new Native Chief but over the years, I have accumulated so many Spydercos that it has gotten harder for me to pull the trigger on new ones. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy plenty of new Spydies but I have definitely gotten more selective. The Chief is a beautiful design but I’m just not sure how much use it would get.

If I imagine the same knife in frn though, it’s a completely different story. The lightweight nature of the frn knives makes them a joy to carry and works MUCH better for the IWB carry I normally employ. Add to that my typically lightweight clothing (shorts) and active lifestyle and FRN just really is what works for me. If Spyderco made an frn Chief, I would be ALL OVER IT and it would likely become one of my top 3 models fighting for pocket (waistband) time.

It might seem odd to some that handle material would make such a big difference to me but it does. The Manix 2 is a good example. I have exactly ZERO interest in the standard Manix 2 but I own the LW version and it is one of my most carried EDC knives. The Manix isn’t even close to one of my favorite designs but the lightweight frn construction works so well for me that I find myself carrying it over g10 knives whose design I actually prefer. So, a LW Native Chief in FRN? Yeah, bring it! Who else is in?

One request...if a frn version is made, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give it the more rounded corners/edges like the Para 3 or the Seki frn knives, rather than the boxier sharper corners of the Manix and Native LW. That makes a big difference in ergonomics and based on what I’ve read on these forums over the last few years I think most of us agree on that no?

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:26 pm
by Tims
I feel the same way Lance. In, 100%

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:34 pm
by JonLeBlanc
I wouldn't be surprised at all if a Chief LW eventually made it's way into the catalog, and indeed the Chief is the first of the Native family that I would consider buying. I think the design is quite snazzy, and I lean towards larger models because I find them more practical for my uses. Additionally, there is (obviously) a TREMENDOUS amount of room for Sprints/Exclusives in that platform, and I reckon it's practically a given that we'll see quite a few in the coming years! If the company makes a 52100/PPCF variant, they can just reach into my pocket and take some cash, whatever...lol

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:39 pm
by Enactive
I go back and forth every time this subject has come up. I can see the appeal of the FRN for certain uses and lower cost.

As an owner and user of a Chief, it is hard to imagine that a LW version wouldn't be blade heavy. The only way around this that i am picturing is to keep the stainless backspacer on the LW model which nullifies some of the benefit of the FRN construction.

I also feel that with linerless G10 you only gain a small amount of benefit by going to FRN scales-- the unit price is cheaper and their may be a small weight savings (depending on other construction details?). Additionally, the balance point will always change if you lose the SS backspacer to save more weight.

FWW, For me, i would prefer to see the Salt version of the Chief (if we get one) to be linerless G10 with the SS backspacer.

I agree about the radiusing of FRN edges-- the FRN Stretch is great in that way. With G10 scales i find it easier to customize and contour than with FRN.

Curious to see how the conversation goes and folks' thoughts on the matter.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:39 pm
by Wartstein
I am more than 100 % with you!!! I've said it several times already in this forum and even in another thread ("Small knife blues") just today that I'd totally like to see a Chief LW in FRN!!

Backlock, Endura size, slicey blade PLUS FRN... perfect.

And I have some hope, since the regular Native also comes in linerless G10 plus FRN...

On the other hand: Probably the Native 5 does sell better than the Chief, cause people don't want to or are not allowed to carry larger knives. So I guess the sales of the current G10 Chief will somewhat determine, if Spyderco will make the costly FRN molds..

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:45 pm
by Wartstein
Enactive wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:39 pm
I go back and forth every time this subject has come up. I can see the appeal of the FRN for certain uses and lower cost.

As an owner and user of a Chief, it is hard to imagine that a LW version wouldn't be blade heavy. The only way around this that i am picturing is to keep the stainless backspacer on the LW model which nullifies some of the benefit of the FRN construction.

I also feel that with linerless G10 you only gain a small amount of benefit by going to FRN scales-- the unit price is cheaper and their may be a small weight savings (depending on other construction details?). Additionally, the balance point will always change if you lose the SS backspacer to save more weight.

....
For me textured FRN has a lot more advantages over G10 than just weight and cost saving (the latter only true if larger numbers of the FRN model are sold). Frankly, imho it's just a better handle material: More durable, grippier, especially with wet or greasy hands, still less of a pocket destroyer, easier to clean..
G10 is not bad at all, but FRN just (even) more a material for knife USERS in my view...

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:03 pm
by Notsurewhy
The chief is already pretty lightweight. It's closer in weight to a frn endura than to a police lightweight.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:05 pm
by Liquid Cobra
I’m personally not interested in an FRN Chief, but I don’t like FRN so I’m not a good person to ask. That said, I agree with Notsurewhy in that it is already pretty darn light. How much weight would be saved with FRN?

The Chief is easily my Spyderco knife of the year. I hope you give the current version a shot, I think you’re missing out.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:08 pm
by AccountDeletedUserRequest
Personally an FRN Native Chief wouldn't appeal to me any more than the current version.

What would make me excited is a salt Chief. Fully rust proof, mere stainless backspacers have no place on a Salt.

I've handled the NC and it is hands down an amazing design. The only reason I haven't bought one is I know I'd get spotting in the blade, lock bar and back spacer in one day this time of year. Like you Lance I spend the summer in board shorts / running shorts and carry my pocket knife IWB. When it's 100+ degrees, very humid, and I'm spending hours each day doing cardio / endurance activities, carrying anything but a Salt is senseless.

That's why the Chief is waiting until fall for me.

At 3.9oz its light enough for me. 4.25-4.5oz is the cut-off for IWB carry in light shorts for me....with 3-3.5oz being preferable. If the FRN version could get down to 3.5oz that'd make me like the knife more, but not as much as a Salt G10 version would.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:33 pm
by Ez556
I’m sure one is gonna come, and feel the same way about FRN (see my tagline) so I’d say WHEN it does it would be on my list. I do agree though that I worry about it being blade heavy. At the same time, is the Pacific Salt blade heavy? I would think the proportions would be similar for a Chief with a linerless FRN handle. My Manix LW is my favorite knife, I can’t get it out of my pocket, but I definitely echo the call for contouring a la Para 3 LW!

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:38 pm
by zhyla
My initial reaction is “ewww, I don’t like the current Native LW” but as you mentioned the corners of the scales are too sharp on that and the Manix 2 LW. If they solved that it would be fine.

I could go either way on FRN vs G10 on this model. It won’t be that much lighter since it’s already

I have wanted a Chief for long enough that my tastes shifted to mostly smaller knives. I’m not sure what use I have for it now. But it does look cool.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:40 pm
by Surfingringo
Interesting Vivi, I kind of figured you would be all in on the LW version.

Regarding weight, FRN does make a notable difference, even on a linerless knife. If you look at the Native, the g10 version is 3 oz and the LW is 2.45 oz. That means the LW is 18.33% lighter than the g10 version. Applying that formula to the Chief you would have a LW Chief that was 3.18 oz. The percentage could change based on handle to blade weight ratio in the two knives but that would probably be a good estimate. Not a crazy difference but certainly meaningful for light carry.

Also, as Warstein said, there are a lot of advantages to frn other than its lighter weight. Two of them being better grip with wet/greasy/bloody hands and much lower price.

EDIT:Sorry guys, I got my weight numbers from BladeHQ. According to Spyderco’s site it would seem that the Native LW is actually 2.5 oz rather than 2.45. That changes our percentages slightly and applying the new formula we would have a 3.25 oz LW Chief. I’m still in. ;) :spyder:

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm
by bearfacedkiller
I think the weight difference between the current linerless Chief and a possible frn Chief would mostly be in the backspacer. A G10 backspacer instead of the stainless one would get the current Chief even lighter.

I like frn but I have really started to love the current linerless Natives and am looking forward to picking a Chief up soon.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:47 pm
by AccountDeletedUserRequest
Surfingringo wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:40 pm
Interesting Vivi, I kind of figured you would be all in on the LW version.

Regarding weight, FRN does make a notable difference, even on a linerless knife. If you look at the Native, the g10 version is 3 oz and the LW is 2.45 oz. That means the LW is 18.33% lighter than the g10 version. Applying that formula to the Chief you would have a LW Chief that was 3.18 oz. The percentage could change based on handle to blade weight ratio in the two knives but that would probably be a good estimate. Not a crazy difference but certainly meaningful for light carry.

Also, as Warstein said, there are a lot of advantages to frn other than its lighter weight. Two of them being better grip with wet/greasy/bloody hands and much lower price.
Well don't get me wrong, I'm 100% for a Chief LW. But my greater priority is seeing a salt variant.

My favorite thing about FRN handles is the built in contouring. Compare a Pacific Salt to a Cara Cara 2. Both are fine knives, but the contouring on the Pacific Salt makes a noticeable ergonomic difference.

If they could do without the backspacer and use a one piece FRN handle like the Pacific Salt, it would be very light indeed. Close to 3oz considering the blade is FFG, which means despite being larger it probably weighs a few grams less than a Pacific Salt blade. The distal taper helps too.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:52 pm
by anycal
I echo the request for rounded corners on the Golden made FRN LW knives. I rounded them myself on a LW Native. Big improvement in comfort, with no sacrifice in grip. Rounded inside and outside edges. The only other LW from Golden I have is the Manix, but I don't use it as much as the G10 model.

So I don't have the base model in the Native Chief. I am ready for an exclusive/sprint though. I can go either way, LW or G10. Whichever comes first, but it would be a tough call.

Not sure how to determine this, but if a linerless FRN is just as durbale as linerless G10 (specifically pivot and stop pin areas), then why wouldn't I want a lighter knife?

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:16 pm
by steelcity16
Yes please. Toxic Green LC200N Chief LW Salt. Not that I wouldn't buy a Cruwear Micarta Chief though. :D

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:30 pm
by zhyla
anycal wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:52 pm
Not sure how to determine this, but if a linerless FRN is just as durbale as linerless G10 (specifically pivot and stop pin areas), then why wouldn't I want a lighter knife?
Go crawl eBay for used Spydies. You’ll find plenty of knives from as far back as first gen Delicas (molded clip!) that have completely trashed blades but completely intact handles. Handles don’t take that much abuse as they’re held in your hand most of the time. And FRN is very resilient.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:01 pm
by wrdwrght
Abandoning costly G10 for FRN is, of course, a calculated risk for Spyderco. Molds per model are $30,000; so said The Deacon the other day.

I don’t know the rate of sales needed to amortize this investment, let alone turn a profit, but, obviously, the Delica, Endura, and Stretch, among others LWs, crossed a necessary threshold years ago and they persist in their popularity.

Has Spyderco ever jumped to FRN soon after dropping a new model in metal scales or the now canonical G10? If so, that model must have been really compelling. Which one, BTW?

I don’t sense the Chief is in high demand outside a smallish circle, its size impractical for some and a jurisdictional concern for others likely reasons.

What about the similarly large Police, you might ask. Now in its fourth iteration, it may show up in FRN for the first time this year or next. But it’s had over three decades to establish a following...

Don’t get me wrong. My Delica, Endura, Stretches, and a bunch of Salts have won me over to FRN, so I’m hardly opposed to a LW Chief, but I think we’ll need some steel-featuring exclusives to win over the reluctant and reach the necessary threshold.

OTOH, Sal may be predisposed to a LW version sooner, given the Chief’s very long gestation...

I must add, however, that while I like FRN, I won’t be seeking FRN versions of my Chief or Police. Their long lines, and those of the Calypso and Military, want visually flat scales so as not to disturb those lines, in my eyes anyway.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:36 pm
by Enactive
Marc, I haven't been following Spyderco for too long so don't know about older examples, but the Endela went straight to FRN with no other version first. Also curious if there are older examples.

Re: Anyone else interested in a LW Native Chief?

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:44 pm
by Pancake
I dont care about handle material. G10, FRN, Unicorn´s horn, it does not matter.
Native Chief NEEDS a different steel! CPM 10 V for the win!! Or S110V, or S90V. Something hard with a lots of carbides :D