Spyderco Native 5 blade is paired with a lightweight, open-backed handle construction that features textured G-10 scales, and a sturdy lockback mechanism. It was first introduced in 1997 in the Spyderco pocketknives catalog. Back then it was only priced around $50 and was affordable. That was the first generation Native. Spyderco introduced its improved variants until it came up with Native 5 in 2012, the latest one in the Native series. It also has many good variants.

Spyderco Native 5

Among Spyderco Native 5 variants, there are a number of different Native 5 types, including handle materials, blade material, dimensions, and prices. There is Native 5 Rex 45 Sprint Run, Lightweight Rex 45 Sprint Run, G-10 Black, Fluted Carbon Fiber CPM S90V, Salt, FRN Black, FRN Pink, FRN CPM Spy27, Dark Blue CPM S110V, and FRN Grey Maxamet. Their average price lies between $140 and $250. There are 20 plus variants of the Spyderco Native 5 with free shipping and gift offers at Chicago Knife Works. As they offer lowest prices online.

On the other hand, the exclusive Native 5 range includes FRN Mint Green CPM M4, Polished G-10 Forest Green and Teal CPM S90V, Red CPM 4V Black Blade, Natural G-10 CPM M4 with Black Bade and FRN Mint Green, and FRN Red CPM4V Black Blade.

There are also many previous variants now discontinued by Spyderco. However, the knife we will be reviewing today is Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight G10 Dark Blue CPM S110V model C41DBL5, which came out in December 2015.

Spyderco Native 5 Review

The best thing about this version of the Native 5 is that you can also get it in G-10 scales, which is better than the FRN. We found it in FRN, but we feel that the S110V is more compatible with G-10. However, it is a highly evolved and ergonomically sound functional pocketknife with a superior blade material.

Spyderco Native 5 review

The overall length of the knife is 6.98”, which is ideal for a knife weighing 3.0oz. The handle length is 4”, leaving a blade length of 2.98”. The blade thickness remains standard at 0.125”. It comes with a back lock, full-flat grind, tip up/down ambidextrous pocket clip position, and is made in its home country, USA.

Key Specifications of Spyderco Native 5

First Impression of Spyderco Native 5 C41GPDBL5

The knife came in the Spyderco standard packaging as most of its knives. It had the model number, barcode, specs and origin mentioned, authenticating the knife. Inside the box, there was a manual and warranty card. The knife itself was bubble wrapped for safe shipment. So it was in its original factory production form.

C41GPDBL5, Spyderco Native 5 packaging

When opened, it seemed like a standard pocketknife in size, shape and profile.

This is how it looked like straight out of the package. The scales were in their original color. Although Dark Blue G10 handle scales hardly visible wear and tear after some use.

Spyderco Native 5 first impression

Therefore, getting it in black would probably be a better idea.

The knife was smooth with a seamless opening and closing action, and was devoid of any scratches on its blade. So that’s a good thing.

This is what the backside of the handle looks like with the pocket clip and the screws. The finishing seems fine, with secure screws keeping the knife in perfect alignment.

Spyderco Native 5 liners - handle egonomics

I especially like the enclosed steel liners inside this Native 5 because they are closely aligned with the G10 scales leaving no space in between. This makes the knife easy to hold and offers a comfortable grip without the handle slicing through the hand. Although G10 handle scales are quite smooth, the skeletonized steel liners may give way to rust and dirt deposit between the spaces.

Spyderco Native 5 First Impression

The classic lock back design never disappoints. That’s what I like most about the back lock mechanism. It works perfectly and smoothly without any blade play whatsoever, especially because it is at the back of the knife. You can operate the back lock with one hand, just like you can do with the thumb hole. The Spyder Hole or the Spydie Hole can always be relied on, even if any locking mechanism doesn’t work. And it works just as well on Native 5 as well.

Blade of Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight G10 Dark Blue CPM S110V

The CPM S110V stainless tool steel blade is probably the best thing about this knife. It is a superior quality high-performance blade with exceptional wear and corrosion resistance. It contains 2.8% alloy content along with high contents of chromium, vanadium, and niobium.

The leaf-shaped full-flat ground blade with a curved cutting edge provides it a sturdy utilitarian point. It also comes with a forefinger choil with a thumb ramp jimping that allows holding the knife from the bottom of the blade without cutting yourself for precision cuts. The cutting edge and length of the blade is also ideal for precise EDC tasks. You can use it to cut straight lines through paper or cardboard for example. The blade thickness of 0.125” also makes it perfect for small EDC tasks around the house or the office. It is a standard thickness, also useful for food preparation tasks in the kitchen. As a pocketknife, it is better utilized in outdoor kitchens or when going hunting or camping.

Spyderco Native 5 Blade

However, it can be very challenging to sharpen the S110V blade, even with a diamond stone. It is because of the high carbide content, the metal alloy. It is also not as tough as it may seem, but has a high edge retention.

The CPM S110V is the one component of the knife that is expensive, hence adds to the cost of the knife. But the price is not very unreasonable, and the blade is totally worth it. It also comes highly recommended by knife experts and enthusiasts.

Spyderco Native 5 Review – Ergonomics, Handle & Pocket Clip

Although the FRN is one of the most common in Spyderco Knives but G10 handle scales are comfortable and long lasting material, the dark blue scales are not as superior in quality as compared to FRN, or compatible enough for a superior S110V blade. However, it does compensate on the price of the knife.

You can also get Spyderco Native 5 in FRN with a blue finish for a lower price. That is what we would suggest.

Nonetheless, the G10 scales are good for EDC tasks, and the one on Native 5 is smooth with curved and contoured edges. You can also easily secure it between four fingers. The grip and traction is also good on this knife, with a non-slip component. However, if you grip it too tightly, it may feel flimsy. It is better not to do that especially with sweaty or wet hands. It also feels as lightweight as it is, making it easy to carry and use.

The pocket clip on this Native 5 is bent spring clip, which is generally functional but not deep pocket carry. The full-sized pocket clip may not have been the brightest idea on this knife given its size and lightweight design. It can get in the way while performing heavier EDC tasks. However, it is adjustable for tip-up, down, left and right-handed carry.

The finishing of the pocket clip is also standard silver. It can show visible scratches after some use. However, it is a better idea than using a matte black finish, since that can come off pretty easily. The good news is that you can replace the pocket clip if you want with a smaller one, better suited to this knife.

Spyderco Native 5 pocket clip

Spyderco Native 5 Review – Deployment & Locking Mechanism Review

The back lock is easy to operate with as simple a functionality as with the thumb-hole. Even if you have never used a Spyderco knife before, you can instantly get used to the back lock. It works by flicking it in the opening or closing position from the back of the knife, away from the blade. It disengages the blade, and you can fully close it with one hand.

Spyderco native 5 lockback - Deployment
Spyderco native 5 lockback – Deployment

It is also easier with quick opening and closing between tasks without getting stuck. The blade also locks in position perfectly in the steel liners, maintaining its sharpness.

The spine of the back lock and the knife is well-finished. So I have no complaints with the locking mechanism or the deployment.

My Experience with Spyderco Native 5

I used Spyderco Native 5 knife in the field for over two weeks to see how it actually performs? I carried out regular EDC tasks like cutting ropes, opening cardboard and paper boxes and packages, food preparation and prying.

I can say with confidence that the leaf shape of the blade did not disappoint. It was also able to provide precision cuts as analyzed, and the full-flat ground was able to grind though 3” of holes in thick packing materials. The everyday tasks were as smooth as ever with this Native 5.

It also cut all sorts of fruits and vegetables, and was a pretty good substitute as a paring knife for food preps. Vegetables like thinly sliced garlic and ginger are commonly needed in the when cooking food, but not the easiest to carry out. However, with Native 5, it was a breeze.

The G10 handle scales also did not give way, even when it got wet, mixed up with acidic foods, or used with sweaty hands.


Comparing Spyderco Native 5 with Spyderco Sage 1

Spyderco Sage 1 and Native 5 look a lot similar, yet they are different in many aspects. The blade shapes and grinds are similar on both the knives. Yet, the Native 5 is smaller, and weighs lesser. The Sage 1 comes with Maxamet steel blade, which is superior to S110V, thereby making it pricier. The Sage also has G10 scales, its common factor.

Instead of the back lock, the Sage 1 comes with a Liner Lock. Both have different locking mechanisms, different prices and even makes are different. Spyderco Sage 1 is Made in Taiwan whereas Spyderco Native 5 which is under review is made in USA.

Spyderco sage 1 vs spyderco native 5

Spyderco Sage is bigger, its blade thickness is less than that of Native 5. It is because of the Maxamet, which does not need high thickness for EDC tasks. However, its length is 0.95” more than the Native 5, with a superior cutting edge.

When deciding between the two knives, although both are equally good, it basically comes down to the price and size. I would choose Native 5 over Spyderco Sage 1 mainly because of this reason.

Another draw back of Spyderco Sage 1 is having just one variant. You cannot change its handle material or pocket clip, unlike that of Native 5. Therefore, preference is given to Native 5. Currently there are almost 25 plus models of Spyderco Native 5 with different offers.

Comparing Spyderco Native 5 with Spyderco  Para 3

We have extensively reviewed Spyderco Para 3 previously. So we can easily compare and contrast the two knives. The Para 3 we reviewed was also dark blue with CPM S110V blade. However, it came with G10 handles with compression lock. However, both the knives are made in the US with ambidextrous pocket clip.

However, there is a difference between size, weight and price. The Para 3 weighs 3.4 oz., is 7.24” long and has a thicker beefier blade. It also costs more than $300. However, it is a perfectly good knife for EDC tasks, and highly recommended by frequent Spyderco knife users.

Spyderco native 5 vs Spyderco para 3

When it comes down to it, the Native 5 Vs Para 3 are both equally good knives. However, the final choice depends on the user’s priorities and preferences. If you want a slightly higher end knife with superior performance, than go for Para 3. But if you want a standard EDC knife that performs just as good, then Native 5 could be a better choice.

Pros & Cons of Spyderco Native 5


  • Exceptional edge retention (CPM S110V)

  • Durable handle

  • Excellent cutting performance

  • Corrosion resistant

  • Good value for money


  • Difficult to sharpen (CPM S110V)

  • May not feel substantial enough

  • Expensive

  • Limited availability

Concluding Thoughts: Spyderco Native 5 Review

We found Spyderco Native 5 review to be quite consistent with its first impressions. We found the blade material, shape and edge retention to be exceptional. However, the handle was not as compatible with it, but it worked well in the field. So I wouldn’t complain too much about it. You can also switch it to FRN handle scales. As both Knives variants are US made.

The pocket clip may not be perfect, but it is also replaceable. The deployment and lockup was also smooth and worked perfectly. Our overall experience with Spyderco Native 5 was good, and we would recommend it for your EDC tasks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Spyderco Native 5 is totally worth buying as a good EDC knife.

The Spyderco Native is an EDC pocketknife. The Native 5 comes with CPM S110V stainless tool steel with high performance, exceptional edge retention and is corrosion resistant.

Yes, Spyderco Native 5 is a good EDC knife that does not disappoint, even with consistent usage.

The Spyderco Native 5 is a pocket knife. One of its variants consists of S110V stainless tool steel with dark blue G10 handle scales.