Para 3 Impressions

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vivi
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Para 3 Impressions

Postby vivi » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:25 pm

Today I received an S110V Para 3 to sharpen. I figured it'd be fun to take some time to see how the ergonomics work for me and share some photos.

Right now I don't have enough time to do anything but post a few in hand pictures. So, here's how a Para 3 looks in my hands:


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For reference, here is my Police 4 Lightweight in the same grips, which is my preferred folding knife size - viewtopic.php?p=1459455#p1459455

Unlike the Para 2 I can't quite squeeze my full grip in behind the choil unless my pinky hangs off the rear end of the handle, which is what I expected having handled a LW version a few months ago at SMKW.

Overall it kind of reminds me of a really beefed up Caly 3. The ergonomics have a lot of similarities to that design, but its definitely more of a tank. Smaller than I prefer, but I understand the appeal.

Using the index choil its more ergonomic than I remember. The part of the handle behind the index choil is sized well for locking my middle, ring and pinky fingers in, while using the same grip on the Para 2 there was a bit of a gapbetween my pinky and the rear handle hook. So for people that prefer the index choil grip, it feels more secure for draw cuts in that sense.

I'll be doing follow up posts detailing the edge I put on the knife.

Me and the owner talked about doing one of my coarse edges on the knife. I think I'll establish a fresh bevel on my 200 grit plate, refine the bevel on the 400 grit plate, then strop with my 7 micron diamond paste. I'll try to get it cleanly shaving at that finish. I think it'll be a very long lasting edge with what I've read about the steel. The carbides should cut for a while with an aggressive finish.
Last edited by vivi on Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

vivi
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby vivi » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:26 pm

This space reserved for the sharpening break down.
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Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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TkoK83Spy
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:24 pm

HA! I saw this and was thinking...what the heck is vivi doing with a Para 3 now!?

I'm glad you created this post, because I'm likely going to be acquiring a S110V Manix from a friend of mine. I posted about it a few months back, that he intended to buy the translucent LW model, but was shipped the G10 S110V by accident instead.

Turns out it's just a little too wide in the pocket for him and the color isn't his favorite so he's willing to sell it for $100 (which is what he bought it for, though was expecting the other model) He only carried it for about 2 weeks total. Feel like it's a no brainer to buy it off him considering it's a $170 knife. I also don't have any S110V.

Will likely be my first RIT dye project, or else I'm thinking of throwing those scales on my Cruwear Manix and seeing what I can do on the secondary market. I've got enough Cruwear to let that one go, plus Cruwear doesn't exactly blow my mind like it seems to for some around here.

Perfect timing vivi! I'll be watching closely.
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby The Meat man » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:32 pm

Interesting.
CPM S110V is one steel that I have found, like many, to be more difficult to bring to that super fine, hair splitting sharpness which we so often pursue.
Even so, since selling my CPM S110V Military, I have been feeling a niggling to get some more of that steel back in my life. It's such a cool steel, especially on paper. This thread might, or might not, tip me in that direction again.
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JonLeBlanc
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby JonLeBlanc » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:02 pm

I concur with the grip being far better using the choil, my hand fits perfectly there.
My collection so far: 52100 Military (2); 52100 PM2 (2); 52100 Para3; Stretch2 V-Toku; KnifeWorks M4 PM2; BentoBox M390 PM2; BentoBox S90V Military; Police4 K390; S110V PM2; SS Delica AUS-6; Wayne Goddard Sprint VG-10
Wish list: Hundred Pacer; Sliverax; Mantra; 52100 PM2 SE; Kapara

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Bloke
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby Bloke » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:51 pm

Hey Vivi, I'll certainly be interested to see how it sharpens up for you but the Para3 holds no interest for me whatsoever.

Looking at it in your hand, it looks like a knife that's had half an inch snapped off the tip and reground to re point it. :eek:
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby vivi » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:17 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:32 pm
Interesting.
CPM S110V is one steel that I have found, like many, to be more difficult to bring to that super fine, hair splitting sharpness which we so often pursue.
Even so, since selling my CPM S110V Military, I have been feeling a niggling to get some more of that steel back in my life. It's such a cool steel, especially on paper. This thread might, or might not, tip me in that direction again.
I doubt I'll try to bring it to a high polish unless I decide to mess around with that type of edge prior to reprofiling it. The edge it came with is shaving sharp and not bad at all, which was a little surprising because the owner said they weren't happy with it. Maybe I'll try my hand at a 20 degree microbevel and polish it up to the UF rods then strop so I can experiment with a high polish finish before I reset the bevel with coarse diamond stones. Depends on how much time I have over the weekend.
Bloke wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:51 pm
Hey Vivi, I'll certainly be interested to see how it sharpens up for you but the Para3 holds no interest for me whatsoever.

Looking at it in your hand, it looks like a knife that's had half an inch snapped off the tip and reground to re point it. :eek:
Not surprising considering the Military fits me like a glove, and Para 2's are what I consider a small knife.

Still, I'm thankful to have a chance to play around with what's considered one of the more challenging steels to sharpen. It should be a learning experience.
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby prndltech » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:07 pm

Much like s30v and s90v, I prefer a coarser finish on s110v. I’m going to have my s110v native reground to 10 thousandths BTE. Sharpen to approximately 15° per side on the atoma 400 grit and then microbevel it. (The only thing changing from the current set up is the regrind) We’ll see what happens.
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby skeeg11 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:27 pm

I'm a bit surprised that you haven't played around with S110V. Before LC200N came along I would have guessed it would have found a place given your lifestyle even tho it's not really tough steel. Very corrosion resistant and seems to like the coarse grits you use.

I paid my money for the carbides to do the work and they do just fine. Black or blue DMT seems to get the job done just fine and dandy. I really like it when mushrooming in the wet and trimming a lot of dirt and sand. Seems to be the right tool when I don't want to abuse a polished hair whittling edged blade. Different strokes I guess.

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Cambertree
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby Cambertree » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:43 am

I’ll be interested to hear how you go, VIvi.

Diamond abrasives seem to make all steels much of a muchness, really.

I’ve also found it challenging to get a really fine edge on it. Coarser diamond stropping pastes in the 60-7 μm range seem to help get there, once the edge is cleanly apexed on the stones.

I got a S110V UKPK just to play with the steel.

I thinned it out to 10dps and applied a 20dps microbevel with the brown SM rods.

It cuts really well, especially on cardboard, but it always seemed reluctant to get to that hair splitting edge level.

Since using the Venev bonded diamond benchstones to microbevel with, the edge keenness seems much improved over using ceramics.

I like using the knife, but I haven’t really been interested to try other knives in S110V.

Funnily enough, I seem to get better sharpness and biting aggression from S90V. I’m not really sure why.

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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby carrot » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:04 am

I think the Para 3 is a really interesting knife as it is essentially the blade of the old Paramilitary in a shorter handle, which was much beloved despite many quirks.

Even though it is not a problem to dock a new PM2 to get the original blade length, one thing that I noticed with the large handle/short blade design and Spyderco's now iconic clip point style was its impeccable tip control.

Anyway, I entirely agree with your assessment, the Para 3 really comes alive when you use the choil.

I'm thinking that S110V doesn't get a fine, keen edge the same way we expect from more "refined" steels like VG-10 and K390. I normally thumb the blade to get a feel for sharpness and S110V has never grabbed my fingerprints the way most other steels do.

Vivi, I know that you strongly prefer a large blade for typical tasks but I'm wondering if you've ever had issues with tip control as compared to smaller knives. I EDC'd a Police4 in your honor for a few weeks and found it surprisingly easy (and quite fun) to wield, but in the end I find knives in the P3LW, D4 size to be wielded most naturally, I think, because as one poster said in a different thread, the blade is roughly finger-length. Stepping up one size to the Endela/Stretch, I can easily wield knives with fine tip control by putting my index finger down the spine and my middle finger on the ricasso/choil, or by pinch-gripping the blade with my index and thumb, but the tip extends just too far with the E4/P4.

vivi
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby vivi » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:49 pm

carrot wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:04 am
Vivi, I know that you strongly prefer a large blade for typical tasks but I'm wondering if you've ever had issues with tip control as compared to smaller knives. I EDC'd a Police4 in your honor for a few weeks and found it surprisingly easy (and quite fun) to wield, but in the end I find knives in the P3LW, D4 size to be wielded most naturally, I think, because as one poster said in a different thread, the blade is roughly finger-length. Stepping up one size to the Endela/Stretch, I can easily wield knives with fine tip control by putting my index finger down the spine and my middle finger on the ricasso/choil, or by pinch-gripping the blade with my index and thumb, but the tip extends just too far with the E4/P4.
I've heard from a lot of people the idea that one only needs a knife with a blade the length of their index finger. So what may work for someone with large hands might not feel best for someone with smaller hands, and vice versa.

For example, if you look at Julias in-hand photos (JuPaul), knives like the Delica and Para 3 appear to be an exceptional fit for her hand size. Likewise, my Manix XL and Police feel like a great fit for mine.

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Looks roomy and comfortable in her hand.

Here's the same knife in my hand:

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Much different fit.

To give you an idea of how different designs match up with my hand size, here is a Para 3, Pacific Salt 2, Manix XL, Police 4 and Szabo Folder lined up with my index finger. I took my photos lining up the beginning of the cutting edge with the mid point of my index fingers base knuckle:


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As you can see, the blade that comes closest to matching my index finger is the Police. I don't have one on hand right now but the Military was always a perfect match in this respect.

While I would get more tip control with a Para 2 or 3 compared to my Police folders, using the following grip I find I get enough tip control for my uses with the larger knives:

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That gets my finger right up behind the point. I find I have more tip control on a Police with that grip than I do on a Para 2/3 using the standard index choil grip with my thumb on the ramp.

One last set of photos for perspective. My palms are wider than a lot of popular models, like the Para 3, Chap and Delica 4. In fact they're wider than the Manix XL's grip. While I don't use the following grip often, it works better on more open ended handles like my Police and Pacific 2's:

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So for my grip, a roomy handle with a more neutral shape feels the best. Knives like the Police, Endura 4 and Military come to mind. While I prefer the size of the Police, the Endura 4 / Pacifics hit the sweet spot of comfortable ergonomics and compact size allowing for ease of carry.
Current carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

vivi
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby vivi » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:39 pm

Got the Para reprofiled. Here's my post from the sharpening journal.

I think I'm going to have to buy an S110V knife to mess around with.

I finished resetting the bevel on the S110V Para 3 on my 200 grit stone.

Once I could see and feel the old edge was gone and a bevel was being raised on either side, I switched to alternating strokes.

I stopped once I couldn't detect a burr on either side. Stropped with 7 micron diamond paste twice per side.

The result? A steel with having the reputation of being one of the more difficult to sharpen got sharper than any other knife I've sharpened on these 200 grit plates.

Shaving: https://streamable.com/34r1ja

Slicing a piece of cardboard: https://streamable.com/wjjdvp

Here's where I accidentally hit my sharpening stool.

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I think I'm going to use this same finish when I send the knife back to the owner. I'll touch it up again with the same process but try to keep a steadier hand and see if I can get it a little sharper.

I'm really impressed with the speed with which I was able to reset the bevel, and the ease of getting it shaving sharp off a 200 grit stone. I've touched up S110V for people before but this was my first reprofiling and my first attempt at a low grit edge.
Current carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby Doc Dan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:57 pm

Thanks Vivi, this has solidified in my mind what I had been thinking. The Para 3 is a no go for me.
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Re: Para 3 Impressions

Postby benben » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:12 am

I have one Para 3, slick black G-10 Cru-wear model. It's a great knife, I just never carry it for some reason? I'd much rather carry my old original Para 1. I'd never consider myself any kind of sharpening guru like Vivi, but I do okay. I will say the 2 or 3 times I've touched up this Cru-wear, it's easy to get wicked sharp!!


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