Got an exciting package today, a Rex 45 Native 5 LW! Definitely the best mail day since we started sheltering-in-place order 2.5 weeks ago.
This is my first Native, first Golden-made Lightweight, and first Rex 45 knife. I know I'm not the most experienced user here, but I felt like I wanted to share my initial impressions. What else have I got to do on my lunch break?
First off, the Native is smaller than I expected! While the blade is slightly shorter than my G-10 Para 3, the handle feels significantly shorter (seems like 10mm or so). This makes it feel like a much smaller knife! While I can almost sneak a pinky onto the Para 3 handle without using the choil, this is a no-go on the Native 5 LW. Seems like a very capable knife, and I'm sure it'll do anything I really need my EDC to do, but I always just thought the Native was a bit bigger.
The FRN handle is fantastic. This is my first Golden-made Lightweight, and I'm amazed how well the bi-directional texturing matched Seki models. Compared to the Straight-Spine Stretch, the edges of the scales aren't chamfered/beveled/rounded as much. I don't mind, but would be a nice added touch. If feel like the FRN is a touch stiffer, but this may just be my imagination.
I never noticed how closely the Native 5 handle resembled a smaller Stretch handle. It's almost like every line is mimicked in miniature, though the belly is a bit flatter, the spine between the choil and the rest of the handle is a bit more pronounced, and the back is a bit straighter. This is by all means a great thing, as I feel like the Stretch handle is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.
The Burnt Orange color is lovely; I felt like I might dye this one, but I'm happy to say I won't be doing that anytime soon. I am particularly enamored of the color when paired along with my Straight Spine Stretch; the orange and green complement each other quite well. Great job Spyder Crew.
The clip is pretty great, almost identical to the Delica/Endura clip. I do feel like it's a bit tighter than I'm used to. It came with what looks like a Stonewash finish, which I can only imagine is meant to compliment the potential Patina for the Rex 45. I haven't had my K390 Patina yet, and I wonder how the REX 45 will fare in our calm Mediterranean climate. I almost
want to try acid-washing the blade to match, but I can't get over feeling that's kind of like making a mixed drink with good single-malt Scotch.
The action is quite stiff. I applied a bit of oil, but haven't adjusted the pivot yet. I'm not sure this one will break-in on it's own, so that's likely next on the docket. I do like to flick my knives open with my thumb, so maybe this is just my problem. Anyway, nothing you can't solve with a good Torx driver.
I do want to comment on the (lack of) a Dent. While I appreciate that variety is the spice of life, I'm a bit OCD - I love things to match! While the FRN is spot-on and helps the Native fit right in with Seki models, that lack of a David Boye Dent feels a bit off for me. This doesn't really inhibit my use of the knife of course, and I can definitely live without it. I supposed if I was a bit more skilled I could add one with a Dremel. The Dent has become synonymous for me with Spyderco's LW backpacks from Seki, and it feels just a bit off without one.
When I ordered the knife, I figured if I didn't like it I could later re-sell. I'm pleased to say that this one feels like a keeper, though I'm not sure where this one will sit in my rotation. While it's very similar in size to the Para 3, which is my most-carried knife, the "feeling" that it's smaller makes me wonder about not carrying a larger knife. Similarly, I'm not sure how much more capable the Native is than say a Dragonfly. It's got half an inch more edge, and 3/4" more blade length. I've been feeling the Dragonfly would ben a great summer/shorts/sweat knife, but maybe the Native will suffice. Or maybe I'll get lucky with a Para 3 LW!
Loosened up the pivot, applied some nano-oil, and tightened it back up with some thread locker and it's operating much smoother now. Still a bit tight, but I think it'll break in just right now.
Anyway,I took some pictures alongside the Straight Spine Stretch LW. Here's a preview, album link below.