Spyderco’s Salt Series of knives was made with one thing in mind: to make corrosion an afterthought. Through the use of exotic steels and handles with plenty of traction, these knives were made to be ideal companions in corrosive and aquatic environments, hence the name Salt. On top of that, the Native 5 is a fantastic American-made EDC that contains all of the best elements we love about Spyderco designs.
Now that Spyderco has welcomed the Native 5 into the Salt family it comes with some new tweaks, making this high-performance knife even better. The biggest change is the use of high-performing LC200N blade steel, famously used by NASA in ball-bearings as a substitute for 52100 in their aerospace equipment. This steel is a nitrogen-enriched tool steel that offers edge retention that can rival many of today’s modern super steels, a big leap over the H1 steel that Spyderco has traditionally used in their Salt knives. LC200N also sports exceptional toughness and extreme corrosion resistance, making it ideal for use in the Salt Series.
Let’s take a look at some of 2018’s greatest knife hits from Knife Center. These are knives that you guys just couldn’t get enough of and we sold more of than any other knives. Here’s the rundown:
So, we’ve sold a lot of Spyderco knives this year, including a lot of the Para 3, but what really surprised us was the SpyderHawk Salt. This is one of our top-selling Spydercos of the year, and it has to be because of how distinctive it is. This folding knife would make a great dive knife because it features a fully serrated hawkbill blade with Spyderco’s H1 steel. That’s right, this knife is a part of Spyderco’s Salt Series, which means it’s virtually impervious to rust, making it great for use in marine environments.
The season for giving is upon us, and that can mean one of two things: you spend your valuable time researching the best outdoor knives or you let your friends over here at KnifeCenter do the job for you. We’ll keep this guide short and sweet – just eight outdoor/survival essentials that would make great gifts for yourself or others. If you have someone in your life that spends more time outdoors than indoors, the right present for them is on this list!
While all of the Hunter Pro models here are certainly great for backcountry EDC, our favorite from the lineup has to be the silver Alox variant with its removable pocket clip and integrated lanyard hole. The scales are ribbed, allowing for a unique grip that will provide plenty of traction in wet environments. These traditional lockback hunting knives have been field tested to ensure quality performance.
Nothing drives a knifemaker like a little competition, which is why great knife brands like Benchmade and Spyderco thrive off of a good-natured rivalry. They are constantly pushing themselves to create the greatest knives by using premium knife materials and the top knife manufacturing processes available, all so they can edge out the rest to take home the crown for the best knife. Two specific knife models have reached the apex of that goal: Spyderco’s Paramilitary 2 and Benchmade’s Griptilian.
While they may not have identical price tags, we chose the Griptilian and the Paramilitary 2 because they’re both American-made knives, the same general size, intended for similar tasks, and equipped with comparable locking mechanisms. Speaking of great knife locks…
The Griptilian comes equipped with an AXIS locking mechanism. The lockbar extends through the frame of the knife and is completely ambidextrous, and it allows easy one-handed operation.
We’ve had a few whirlwind weeks since Spyderco announced their annual list of discontinued knives, and we’ve got only a few models left that will never be produced again. These (now super collectible) knives have been severely discounted, so check out the last of what we have to offer before they’re all gone for good!
This model is one of three Chaparral folders we have left, and this one is particularly eye-catching because of the unique blue handles. After a complex initial machining process, the stepped titanium scales are color anodized to give them a brilliant blue hue, and then they’re machined again to make the alternating layers that create the unique pattern.
CPM-S30V and CPM-S35VN stainless steels were developed by Crucible Industries, an American company that produces specialty steels. They worked with famous knife makers like Chris Reeve to create new steels specifically to be used for knives. First came the well-balanced S30V with its amazing edge retention and high corrosion resistance. Then S35VN came along and upped the ante in regards to toughness and its ability to be polished. Some may argue that S30V has lost its super steel status because it has become so prevalent in the EDC knife world. At KnifeCenter, we still hold high regard for S30V and S35VN steel – their Particle Metallurgy construction adds additional toughness thanks to the very refined grain structure, and the vanadium in their composition helps these knives cut better than those that rely on a higher chromium count. In layman’s terms: these knives cut, and cut very well.
If you’re thinking, “yeah, that’s great and all, but I can’t really afford a knife with such high quality steel”, we agree – these steels come at a price. There are plenty of mid-tech knives out there sporting S35VN steel that can easily cost you four-hundred bucks. We understand the importance of having top-notch steel, though, so we’ve pulled together our top five sub-$100 knives with S30V or S35VN steel. Now you can enjoy a premium EDC knife without losing a big chunk of your paycheck.
Cold Steel’s Code 4 folder utilizes their world-renowned Tri-Ad lock, which was designed by Andrew Demko to be one of the strongest knife locking mechanisms on the planet. Why S35VN over S30V? Cold Steel is a known purveyor of some of the toughest knives out there, and S30V does have a reputation for micro-bevel chipping during tough use. S35VN’s elemental composition improves that aspect of the steel, so it’s a better option if you’re looking to do some more serious cutting work. Also, this knife perfectly shows off S35VN’s ability to be polished compared to S30V – just look at that high satin shine. This knife gives you all the cutting power of high quality steel in a lightweight package that perfectly complements any EDC.
In our opinion, the Vantage is one of the best affordable everyday carry knives on the market. From the molded nylon/CNC-contoured G10 handles to the dual steel liners, this American-made folder’s built to be a knife that you actually use every day – EDC isn’t just a title with this one. Joe Talmadge, a master of blade geometry, claims the S30V steel you’ll find on this knife might be the ultimate in high-end stainless steels thanks to its superior performance and sharpenability compared to other super steels in its class.
The Kizer Sliver’s sleek design is complemented by the high end materials – S35VN steel and uniquely worked aluminum handles. This knife is precision machined and engineered to the finest tolerances. While the S35VN steel is the cherry on top of this cake, it’s the orange handle that sets this knife apart. The overall shape gives off serious trapper knife vibes, and we are into it.
White River Knives doesn’t get the recognition that it should. In our experience, all we’ve seen from this knife company are truly great products. In fact, this is one of our favorite skeletonized neck knives on the production market. White River rounded the finger cut out so perfectly on the Backpacker that ‘comfortable’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. S30V steel is perfect for skinning knives and neck knives because its bailiwick is precision cutting. The Kydex sheath allows you to wear the knife on your belt in two ways, or around your neck if you attach a lanyard.
To round out the list, we’ve got one of Spyderco’s greatest knife designs of all time paired with S30V steel. In some knives, it’s obvious certain materials are the reason for the price – be it premium steel or Micarta scales. With the Native 5, you’re getting an all-around great knife. Compared to the standard Delica or Endura’s VG-10 steel, the S30V is a pretty big upgrade. Many say this is Spyderco’s best pocket knife option on the market, and we have to agree – this knife easily rivals the performance of knives double its value.
There you have it – KnifeCenter’s top 5 sub-$100 knives with S30V or S35VN steel. There are other options out there, but we honestly feel that these knives provide some of the best bang for your buck. Now that these super steels are becoming much more common in the EDC knife market, prices are just going to become more and more accessible to a wider range of people. In our opinion, that’s the best way to run the knife game – because everyone should have steel in their pocket. Why not make it some of the best?
Spyderco’s new limited edition Para 3 sports S35VN blade steel and earth brown G10 handle scales. This premium steel gives you a great combination of edge retention, durability, and corrosion resistance. The scales are lightly textured and offer a secure grip in the hand without adding bulk and the earth brown color is easy on the eyes, which pairs well with the satin finish on the blade and metallic pocket clip. Check out the full review on Spyderco’s latest limited edition run in the video!
We may only be a little more than halfway through 2018, but we’ve been wowed by the number of incredible knives that have made their way onto the scene this year. We’ve picked what we think are the best pocket knives (so far) of 2018. These are definitely must-have additions to any EDC rotation.
A gracious gift, indeed! If you haven’t been brushing up on your Hebrew lately, that’s what Hanan means – and it pretty much describes this folding knife to a T. Designed by custom knife maker Brad Southard, the Hanan is one of the best gentleman’s folding knives to hit the market this year. Unlike most Spyderco knives, the Trademark Round Hole is much smaller than you’ll typically see, which is because this Spydiehole is mostly aesthetic. Instead, you’re going to rely on the flipper tab to deploy the blade. In our opinion, a gentleman’s pocket knife has to have certain qualities to make it worthy of the title – and the Hanan delivers that in spades. The two-tone G10/titanium hybrid handles are smooth and have an elegance that screams ‘class’. Plus, you can’t go wrong with S30V steel.
Why we picked it: Brad Southard is an amazing knife maker and designer, and his collaborations with Spyderco are no exception. This knife combines great design with high-end materials.
The Endura and Delica, two of Spyderco’s most popular folding pocket knives, got a serious glow up with these new FRN Zome Camo handles. Zome is an ancient Japanese art form that focuses on dyeing textiles using dyes from plants, flowers, fruit, and other natural sources. Take a look at KnifeCenter’s review where we dive into what makes these handles so unique!