Spyderco was founded by Sal
Glesser. The first product Spyderco produced was the Portable Hand in 1976.
This "spider-shaped device", was a series of angles, ball joints and
alligator clips that helped jewelers and hobbyists to work with small parts. It
was this product that helped lead to the company’s name. Sal and his wife Gail, started their journey by converting an
old bread delivery truck into a motor-home.
They used this to travel from show to show to help kick start their new business.
As they became more successful, they settled in Golden in November 1978.
Spyderco began producing knife sharpeners in 1978 and produced their first
folding knife, the C01 Worker, in 1981. This knife was the first to feature a
round hole in the blade designed for fast, one-handed and ambidextrous opening,
which is now the company's trademark. From there, the Spyderco name has become known
all throughout the world as one of the best knife making companies in the
The Para-Military 2 has come a long
way to get to where it is at today. Its origins come from the original Military
folder from Spyderco. The Para-Military 2 bears a similar resemblance to its predecessor
but has gone through many changes to be what it is now. Below you can see the
different changes that the knife has gone through. From the Military to the Para-Military, and now the
As you see, the Para-Military 2 is
the median between these two other knives. Over the years, the knives began to
Here are more of the Para-Military
2’s specs. You saw how it compared with its predecessors, but below shows what
the rest of the knife is made up of. In retrospect, it is an impressive knife.
The Para-Military 2 has for a blade steel the popular and durable S30V
stainless steel. Officially named CPM-S30V, S30V is considered to be one of the
best steel types available. This steel was created as a joint collaboration effort
between Dick Barber of Crucible Industries and knifemaker Chris Reeve. CPM-S30V
is made up of 1.45% Carbon, 14.00% Chromium, 4.00% Vanadium and 2.00%
Typically, high alloy steels are
more prone to separate with similar
material during the metal making process. No matter the precaution and extra
steps taken to prevent this segregating, the particles are bound to isolate to
some degree. CPM steels undergo a different process than most steels. Tiny
particles of the different materials are consolidated, mixed together, and
undergo a heat/pressure treatment to form a uniform distribution of these fine
carbides. Because there is no alloy segregation in the powder particles
themselves, there is no alloy segregation in the finished steel. The uniform
distribution of fine carbides also prevents grain growth, so that the resultant
microstructure is fine grained.
This American made steel has a
great capacity to retain an edge and is able to withstand high pressures due to
its high ductility. Combining all of these attributes with its corrosion
resistance, CPM S30V steel is known as a Super Steel and typically found in
higher-end tactical knives as well in custom knives. Some distinct advantages
of S30V include: improved wear
resistance, improved toughness, consistent tool performance, and being able to
be sharpened easily.
The clip point, the blade featured
on the Para-Military 2, is one of the more popular blade shapes used today.
What defines a clip point is the back edge of the knife runs straight from the
handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. Then the angle bends and
continues to the point of the knife. This "cut-out" area can be
straight or curved, and is referred to as the "clip.” Some advantages of
the clip point are its sharp controllable point, it is good for piercing, and
there is plenty of cutting edge for slicing. One disadvantage of the clip point
is that the point is narrow and weaker than other blade styles. In the end, though it is a great blade to have,
especially if you will be doing a lot of slicing.
A Spyderco original, the thumb hole
offers easy access and control while opening the knife. It accommodates well to
those with smaller hands as well as those who may be wearing gloves. The
position of the hole in the blade and the circular shape, allow for an easy and
continuous opening motion. The thumb rests against the hole at a comfortable
distance from the palm permitting easy rotation from the pivot point. The hole
does not snag on other things, versus the thumb stud which is more prone to do
While there are other opening
mechanisms out in the market (spring assist, fixed, automatic, etc.) there is a
reason why a folder knife is a viable tool. One reason a folder knife is
beneficial to own is because of how quiet it opens. This can be favorable
during situations such as an office meeting, while hunting, or being on duty. Another point
to note is that in some places, having a spring assisted or automatic knife can
get you into legal trouble where a folder knife will not. This isn’t true is all
cases, but something to point out. One more thing to point out is that the more
parts that move in the knife, can mean a greater potential to wear out and
break down over time. Also, when compared to fixed blades, a folder can be more
discrete when carrying it every day. It doesn’t draw as much attention to it
compared to the attitude people have about the serious nature of fixed blades.
It simply is much easier to carry around in the city. Plus a folder tends to be
more compact than a fixed blade.
Pressure Lock vs. Frame Lock
The newest addition to the
Para-Military 2 is the locking mechanism. The locking mechanism is called a
pressure lock. Though similar, it is different than a frame or liner lock in a
number of ways. It does use part of the liner, but it is located in the back of
the handle, rather than the front. The liner gets trapped in-between the blade
and the stop pin. The pressure that is built up there makes it virtually
impossible to close on your hand.
The handle material featured on the
Para-Military 2 is G-10 or G10. G-10 is similar to Micarta and Carbon Fiber and is often used in handles because of
its moisture imperviousness. G-10 is a fiberglass based laminate made by layers
of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in an epoxy resin, are compressed, and then
baked. The result is a material that is hard, lightweight, and strong. The
surface of the G-10 is a checkering texture that is added for additional grip support. A unique property of the material is that the grip improves when
wet. This material is difficult to break. It is also an ideal handle material
because it does not shrink or swell in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Many
knife companies prefer to use G-10 because of these properties, but also prefer
to use it because it is easy to shape into different designs and has a
possibility for an unlimited number of colors.
The handle also features a pocket
clip that can be placed on the left or right side of the handle. It can also be
positioned in a tip-up carry position, or in a tip-down position. Other than
the G-10 handle, and the pocket clip positions, there aren’t too many other
special things about the handle. It feels great to hold because of the
carefully designed ergonomic handles.
This is perhaps my favorite part
when reviewing knives. There can only be so much talk without showing the walk.
Spyderco has done very well in creating and designing the Para-Military 2. But
to show its awesomeness, there were a series of “tests” that were conducted to
observe the overall performance of the knife. Those tests include paper cutting, cardboard cutting, rope
cutting, and plastic cutting. Wood cutting isn’t a reasonable test for a folder
knife, so it isn’t included here. Not that the knife wouldn’t be capable to cut it, it’s just I will save the wood
cutting for an axe.
Paper- Flawlessly, the
Para-Military 2 cut through multiple layers of paper with ease. There is no
need to get a paper shredder to destroy documents when you have this knife. It
cuts the paper like butter. Envelopes also stand no chance up against the
Cardboard- Oh how easy it was to
cut through cardboard. A big reason why this was so simple is because of the
larger “belly” that the blade has to it. The larger surface area, the curvature
of the blade, and the ridiculously sharp edge make it simple to cut through the
Rope- Normally, a serrated blade is
used when cutting a rope. The teeth are able to rip through the material for an
easy cut. However, the Para-Military 2 is able to cut the rope easily because
of its sharp edge, and its edge retention. The paracord that I tested the blade
on was cut in a blink of an eye.
Plastic- Yep, it
cuts plastic well. Maybe a little too good. It nearly took my finger off. Those
pesky packaging containers will be nothing when compared to Para-Military 2.
When looking to get a new knife,
there are a few items to look at to confirm it will be a good everyday carry.
Those items include the following: its carry depth, its weight, its thickness
and width, and its appearance.
The Para-Military 2 is comfortable
to carry in your hand and in your pocket. When closed, the knife is close to 5
inches long. A typically comfortable carry knife is anywhere between three and
a half to 5 inches long when closed. The Para-Military 2 easily fits within
that range. Some questions I ask myself before getting a knife are “Will the
knife fit in my pant pocket?” and “Will it fall out of my pocket?” The knife is
deep enough that it shouldn’t fall out of your pocket.
One of the more important aspects
to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. It is the worst
feeling to have to carry heavy objects in your pocket, no matter what it is. A
good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces.
The Para-Military 2 fits right into the beginning of this range. It weighs 3.75
ounces. It is quite small for its size. When holding it, it feels lighter than
what you think.
Thickness and Width
When carrying a knife around all
the time in your pocket, there is a limited amount of space available in your
pocket. A good everyday carry knife should be comfortable to carry and easy to
handle. The Para-Military 2 is well over an inch and a half wide at its thickest point. This knife is pretty
thick in term of its width. Its thickness,
however, is very thin. We’re talking somewhere
around a quarter of an inch thick. In theory, the Para-Military 2 shouldn’t
take up too much pocket real-estate.
I wouldn’t worry too much about how
it looks. Sure it’s got to look tough, but what really matters is if it will do
the job. But really, though, it looks
impressive. The thumb hole on the blade makes this knife have a better
appearance and can be a great conversation piece.
For me, I am not too big on folder
knives. But I am deeply impressed with the Para-Military 2. It is a
well-designed knife that has a lot to offer. The potential that the knife has to offer is immense. This knife
may be the one to convert me over to a folder knife. You should pick one up