Native 5 LW First Impressions

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kennethsime
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Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby kennethsime » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:57 pm

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!

Edit: 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.

Image

Album Link.
Last edited by kennethsime on Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
Lost to the Ages: C90GRE Stretch 1 ZDP-189 British Racing Green | C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 VG-10 Emerson Open | C81G2 Para Military 2 S30V

Currently Rotating: C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green | C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green
C90FPIV2 Stretch 2 Straight Spine, VG-10 Rit Dye'd Dark Apple Green | C223GP Para 3 S30V Green Canvas Micarta
C41BORE5 Native 5 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange | C223BORE Para 3 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange
C101GY2 Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet Gray | C28GFG Dragonfly VG-10 Foliage Green

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby VooDooChild » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:08 pm

I have large hands and my findings on the native vs para 3 were the complete opposite.
I can fit a 4 finger grip on the native behind the choil. Its cramped but I can do it and its actually not uncomfortable. The only way I can put 4 fingers on the para 3 behind the choil puts my pinky right on the hook at the butt of the handle. This is why I dont buy para 3s. The para 3 handle is technically longer, but line up the behind the choil grip area of the para 3, the area between the two points/hooks, with the behind the choil grip area of the native 5. I think you will find the native 5 has more useable grip area.

What I like about native 5 is that it is just such a good user edc.

My only flickable one is a s110v lightweight. My others all sort of very in thier smoothness, with the native salt in last place. They do break in though.

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby kennethsime » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:27 pm

VooDooChild wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:08 pm
I have large hands and my findings on the native vs para 3 were the complete opposite.
I can fit a 4 finger grip on the native behind the choil. Its cramped but I can fo it and its actually not uncomfortable. The only way I can put 4 fingers on the para 3 behind the choil puts my pinky right on the hook at the butt of the handle. This is why I dont buy para 3s. The para 3 handle is technically longer, but line up the behind the choil grip area of the para 3, the area between the two points/hooks, with the behind the choil grip area of the native 5. I think you will find the native 5 has more useable grip area.

What I like abour native 5 is that it is just such a good user edc.

My only flickable one is a s110v lightweight. My others all sort of very in thier smoothness, with the native salt in last place. They do break in though.
Well, since I do have free time on my hands, I made a comparison album. I usually wear Large or XL gloves, depending on the brand/use.

The handle on the native is overall shorter, but again I think this is only 3/8" or so. I think you're right about the choil-less grip area in length, but the I believe the Para 3 has a more pronounced palm swell, and a deeper "pre-choil," which means my fingers get more purchase. In either case, I feel like the Para 3 has "just enough" handle where I can hold it in either position, whereas the Native 5 really locks me into the choil. This isn't a bad thing at all, as I mostly use the choil anyway.

At any rate, they're both great knives. I'm excited to see how I feel after a few weeks of carrying the Native.
Lost to the Ages: C90GRE Stretch 1 ZDP-189 British Racing Green | C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 VG-10 Emerson Open | C81G2 Para Military 2 S30V

Currently Rotating: C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green | C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green
C90FPIV2 Stretch 2 Straight Spine, VG-10 Rit Dye'd Dark Apple Green | C223GP Para 3 S30V Green Canvas Micarta
C41BORE5 Native 5 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange | C223BORE Para 3 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange
C101GY2 Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet Gray | C28GFG Dragonfly VG-10 Foliage Green

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby VooDooChild » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:32 pm

Yeah. Everyones hands are different as well. We could wear the same size gloves but still have different preferences, etc.

I would like to see a choil-less native thats the same size.

Regardless, I have found for normal pocket knife duty the native 5 is really good.

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby VooDooChild » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:45 pm

One more note on the native 5. This has been stated by other users as well. I at first did not like the grip. It was just one of those things that was underwhelming after hearing many good things. I forced myself to carry one to see if I was missing something. Then one day the grip and the ergos just clicked and I got it so to speak.

I go back and forth and vary in my opinion of a lot of handle designs. The shaman is about the only "perfect" design for me with the military right there with it. The chief is also really good, and manix, and so many others... Im getting side tracked now. With that said for regular old edc stuff I really do like the native 5.

Also seems cool that the rex 45 lightweight sprints got some sort of stonewashed clip. That looks cool.

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby araneae » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:02 pm

I've found the handles blocky and the pocket clip hits my hand in a way that creates a hot spot. I swapped an after market clip and sanded down the edges on my user. It's otherwise one of the best built lockback knives made. I'm hoping the native 6 gets some curves back.
So many knives, so few pockets... :)
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Just got:Rex 45 Para 3 LTWT, Harrier 2 LTWT

The "Spirit" of the design does not come through unless used. -Sal

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby kennethsime » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:09 pm

VooDooChild wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:45 pm
One more note on the native 5. This has been stated by other users as well. I at first did not like the grip. It was just one of those things that was underwhelming after hearing many good things. I forced myself to carry one to see if I was missing something. Then one day the grip and the ergos just clicked and I got it so to speak.

I go back and forth and vary in my opinion of a lot of handle designs. The shaman is about the only "perfect" design for me with the military right there with it. The chief is also really good, and manix, and so many others... Im getting side tracked now. With that said for regular old edc stuff I really do like the native 5.

Also seems cool that the rex 45 lightweight sprints got some sort of stonewashed clip. That looks cool.
I'll say this after playing around with the Native for a couple of hours: while I previously thought the Shaman was a bit too big for me, understanding it as a beefed up, more comfortable Native XL has me very Shaman-curious.
Lost to the Ages: C90GRE Stretch 1 ZDP-189 British Racing Green | C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 VG-10 Emerson Open | C81G2 Para Military 2 S30V

Currently Rotating: C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green | C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green
C90FPIV2 Stretch 2 Straight Spine, VG-10 Rit Dye'd Dark Apple Green | C223GP Para 3 S30V Green Canvas Micarta
C41BORE5 Native 5 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange | C223BORE Para 3 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange
C101GY2 Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet Gray | C28GFG Dragonfly VG-10 Foliage Green

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby Sharp Guy » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:56 pm

Use that Native 5 LW for awhile and it should break in nicely. I have 3 N5LWs and all have a better action than any of the Seki back locks I have (I have several). Push the lock bar and the blade drops down to 90° and I can complete closing using my thumb. I only have one or two Seki back locks I can do that with and none of those are FRN models. Also, the spring for the lock makes it difficult to flick open. I don't bother trying anymore. I just roll the blade open with my thumb.

It could just be an aesthetic thing but the lack of a Boye dent may be due to design limitations. Sal has said that a Boye dent doesn't work with some designs because it doesn't allow the lock bar to be pressed in as far as it sometimes need to be.

Ergos are really depend on individuals hands and preferences. I'm fortunate that I seem to have the ideal hand size for most (actually all) of the models I like. They all seem to work fine for me. Even the blockier Golden made LWs don't bother me. I have a 40th Native and Fluted Titanium Native with the contoured handles. I always thought they'd be way more comfortable for me to hold but it turns out that's not really the case. Yeah they feel a little better but not enough to make me want to carry those instead of the regular versions.

Enjoy that Native!
Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby RustyIron » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:24 pm

Thanks, Ken.
I like mine, as well. I haven't carried it much yet, as it's my weekend or dress knife. So far it's only been used it for menial tasks like opening the mail and slicing garlic.

The most noteworthy feature, and the reason I bought the knife, is the handy size. It's small and light, but still fits my hand nicely. I like that a lot.

I'm not wild about the friction in the pivot, but the simplicity is kind of cool. The back lock was a little stiff, so I bent the spring just a hair. It's better, not perfect, but I don't want to bend the spring more. After a little bit of lube 'n tune, I can flick the blade satisfactorily. Because of the diminutive size, thumb opening is really the best.

Overall, I'm happy with the knife. Most of the time I carry a bigger knife, but when that's not possible, the little Native 5 LW should serve nicely.

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby kennethsime » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:21 pm

RustyIron wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:24 pm
I'm not wild about the friction in the pivot, but the simplicity is kind of cool. The back lock was a little stiff, so I bent the spring just a hair. It's better, not perfect, but I don't want to bend the spring more. After a little bit of lube 'n tune, I can flick the blade satisfactorily. Because of the diminutive size, thumb opening is really the best.
When you say the pivot is simple, do you think these guys don't have washers?

I was able to tune it up a bit the pivot a bit with some nano-oil and tension adjusting, and while it's still not quite flying out, it does mostly drop shut. I'm happy, and I think I'll like this little guy a lot.
Lost to the Ages: C90GRE Stretch 1 ZDP-189 British Racing Green | C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 VG-10 Emerson Open | C81G2 Para Military 2 S30V

Currently Rotating: C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green | C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green
C90FPIV2 Stretch 2 Straight Spine, VG-10 Rit Dye'd Dark Apple Green | C223GP Para 3 S30V Green Canvas Micarta
C41BORE5 Native 5 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange | C223BORE Para 3 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange
C101GY2 Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet Gray | C28GFG Dragonfly VG-10 Foliage Green

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby RustyIron » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:51 pm

kennethsime wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:21 pm

When you say the pivot is simple, do you think these guys don't have washers?
That is correct. There are no washers.

What's fascinating is that this FRCP stuff can work as a bearing surface, it's stiff enough to form the frame of the knife, it cleans up nicely, it doesn't show wear, and it's light.

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby Wartstein » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:33 am

RustyIron wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:51 pm
kennethsime wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:21 pm

When you say the pivot is simple, do you think these guys don't have washers?
That is correct. There are no washers.

What's fascinating is that this FRCP stuff can work as a bearing surface, it's stiff enough to form the frame of the knife, it cleans up nicely, it doesn't show wear, and it's light.

Actually both FRN and FRCP work that way! While the Manix 2 LW is a linerless FRCP construction, the Native 5 LW is actually made from FRN.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby Wartstein » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:57 am

VooDooChild wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:08 pm
I have large hands and my findings on the native vs para 3 were the complete opposite.
I can fit a 4 finger grip on the native behind the choil. Its cramped but I can do it and its actually not uncomfortable. The only way I can put 4 fingers on the para 3 behind the choil puts my pinky right on the hook at the butt of the handle. This is why I dont buy para 3s. The para 3 handle is technically longer, but line up the behind the choil grip area of the para 3, the area between the two points/hooks, with the behind the choil grip area of the native 5. I think you will find the native 5 has more useable grip area.
.......
kennethsime wrote:
VooDooChild wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:08 pm
I
Well, since I do have free time on my hands, I made a comparison album. I usually wear Large or XL gloves, depending on the brand/use.
.....
Thanks for the write up and especially the pictures of Stretch and Native, kennethsime! :) Great pics, and I love the design of both models, they both have that "I-immidiately-want-to-put-them-to-use"-look ;)

As for the handle comparison Native 5 / Para 3: I have to say I feel exactly like VooDooChild (and I have L to XL hands, like you kennethsime). While the Native does everything to maximize the grip area behind the choil on the available, overall handle length, the Para 3 does not, but (just in my view!) sticks to a handle design that was made for the larger PM2, but is not perfectly suited for a smaller knife.
Regardless, I am glad that so many enjoy the Para 3! :)
Though I think the "Champ" in this size class concerning grip area behind the choil is probably the Sage 5 as far as I can see (but I don´t have one, so I can´t be sure)

/ I really liked my Native 5 LW, and the only reason I don´t have it anymore are the Chap FRN ;) and that the approach I personally enjoy the most in the Spyderco hobby is to limit myself to owning just around 10 Spydies at each moment in time, and by that having to really contemplate which features I like the very best and being able to really frequently carry and USE them.
And in practical use I just found that in the Native 5 edge-length category I liked the Chap even a tad more in most aspects.

But, tbh: Looking at your pics makes me want a Native 5 once more... :rolleyes: I almost can hear and feel how its perfectly executed backlock engages... :)
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby Wartstein » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:04 am

kennethsime wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:57 pm
....
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.

Album Link.
Just a remark: Should you decide to add a Boye dent (I´ve never done that myself): I can vaguely remember a post by Sal saying something along the lines that it is rather important WHERE exactly the dent is located in order to work perfectly.
So (as you can see on the Stretch for example anyway) not in the exact middle of the cutout in the handle, but rather more to the front of it.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby Jazz » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:38 am

Also, if you add a dent you have to be sure first that you can still depress the lock bar down far enough to disengage the lock.
- best wishes, Jazz.

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby VooDooChild » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:49 am

I would not add a boye dent. I get the impression from using my natives that it would not work, and you might have a knife that will not unlock.

I love the Golden backlocks by the way. On all of my natives if I push the bar all the way in with the meat of my thumb, the blade falls a third to halfway closed before the tang ever so slightly engages the lockbar stopping this. I really like this. If I push the lockbar in the rest of about a millimeter or so using my thumbnail, eliminating that tiny bit of extra disengagement that the meat of my thumb pad allows for, then the blade free drops all the way to my index finger.

I think any amount of a boye dent on the native 5 or native chief might cause you to not be able to depress the lockbar enough to disengage it.

Furthermore its not necessary. The whole point of the boye dent was to elliminate disengagement or partial disengagement of a backlock when being gripped hard. I take this to mean hammer grip. Because of the design of the native 5 and native chief, for my hands anyway, I cant seem to cause partial disengagement of the lock even in a very tight hammer grip.

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Re: Native 5 LW First Impressions

Postby kennethsime » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:29 am

Thank you all for your comments about the Dent! I hadn't thought about how this might actually compromise the amount of travel I can get out of the lock bar. I should've known there was a good reason for the omission!
Lost to the Ages: C90GRE Stretch 1 ZDP-189 British Racing Green | C28GRE2 Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 British Racing Green
C12BK2W Matriarch 2 VG-10 Emerson Open | C81G2 Para Military 2 S30V

Currently Rotating: C81GPRGR2 Para Military 2 K390 Ranger Green | C223GPRGR Para 3 K390 Ranger Green
C90FPIV2 Stretch 2 Straight Spine, VG-10 Rit Dye'd Dark Apple Green | C223GP Para 3 S30V Green Canvas Micarta
C41BORE5 Native 5 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange | C223BORE Para 3 Lightweight REX 45 Burnt Orange
C101GY2 Manix 2 Lightweight Maxamet Gray | C28GFG Dragonfly VG-10 Foliage Green


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