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Spyderco Paramilitary 2
- Neither large nor small
- High quality S30V or CPM-S110V steel
- Some of the best ergonomics in the game
- Opens smooth and fast, though it is not an assisted-opening knife
- Too large for some, too small for others
- Costs over $100
- The Spyderco hole in the blade causes the spine to protrude, which can interfere with grabbing something else in the same pocket
Looking for a New EDC Knife?
For $125, you can buy an awful lot of cheap folding knives.
Small or large, they may be sharp at first, but that will not last. The edge will dull, the lock may fail. Those junk knives better be pretty, because they will not function well.
I remember being such a cheapskate that I bought those knives and expected them to be “good enough.” They rarely were.
Many cardboard boxes were demolished (some even with smooth cuts!) before I decided to pass on the cheap and get something that would last.
So where do you turn when you want quality?
If you have more than a passing knowledge of knives, especially ones for everyday carry, then you most likely know about Spyderco. Though their knives lack eight blades or sticky webs, they have still caught the attention of many knife enthusiasts.
And for good reason. Ever since Spyderco put out their first pocket knife, the C01 Worker, they have seen success.
But they have not been happy with just success. So when they created a particularly wonderful knife, the ParaMilitary, they did not stop there. They took great and made it better.
And so here is the ParaMilitary 2. Which will dice up cardboard better than a lightsaber through butter.
History of Spyderco
Spyderco was not named after spiders. The founder, Sal Glesser, noticed that a number of cutting-performance sports cars had “Spyder” in the name and decided to adopt that name for their own cutting tools.
The first product produced by Spyderco actually was spider-like in design, but it was not a knife.
It was called the Portable Hand and used a combination of ball joints and alligator clips to hold tiny objects for jewelers and anybody else who needed to easily work with small things.
That was 1976.
In 1978, Sal and his wife Gail started producing knife sharpeners, finally getting around to the cutting-edge part.
Not content to just sharpen knives, in 1981, thery came out with their first folding knife, which they called the C01 Worker.
The C01 Worker was unique in a couple of respects. It had the now-famous hole in the blade to assist in opening the knife, and also may have been the first pocket knife to come with a clip.
That was not Spyderco’s only knife to feature firsts. They pioneered using powder metallurgy in mass produced knives, and have continued experimenting with many other steels.
Because they produce high quality but expensive knives, in an effort to expand their market, they have also created a line of knives under the Byrd brand.
Byrd knives are Spyderco designed and use quality materials, but are manufactured in China instead of the USA.
Military to ParaMilitary to ParaMilitary 2
The ParaMilitary 2 was not born in a void. It has a venerable grandfather, the Military.
A very fine knife, the Military was produced when someone asked Spyderco’s owner, “If your son were going into the military, what folding knife would you send him with?”
Obviously no existing knife was good enough for Sal’s son, so he designed the Military. Ergonomic and well designed, it is also large and expensive, so people asked for a smaller, similar pocket knife.
That request was fulfilled and resulted in the introduction of the ParaMilitary in 2004. It was just like its larger father, but in a more compact (though still medium-large) size and with a smaller price tag. It became an instant success.
As mentioned before, Spyderco looks at successes not as stopping points but as starting points, and so in 2010 came out with an improved version, the ParaMilitary 2.
Upgrades From the ParaMilitary to ParaMilitary 2
- The ergonomics of the handle has been improved by slimming the end.
- The blade was improved in multiple small yet beneficial ways. It no longer sticks out of the handle at all, it has been elongated and narrowed, and control was improved through the addition of jimping and a finger choil.
- The lanyard hole has been enlarged.
- The pocket clip has been repositioned to hold the knife deeper in the pocket, and can also be moved to other positions.
- Weight has been removed by skeletonizing the liners.
- The opening mechanism has been improved by changing the pivot with new, more fluid bushings.
Who the ParaMilitary 2 Isn’t For
But this knife is not for everyone. It will cost over a hundred dollars, so for those on a budget, this may not be the knife for you.
Size can also be a consideration. The ParaMilitary is medium-large. If you are not attracted by the modicum of compactness, the larger Military may be a better choice.
The ParaMilitary may also be a little bit too large for an EDC knife for some people. It can make it awkward to grab other objects in your pocket.
If a less urban knife is required, such as for bushcrafting, it may be a good idea to look at a fixed blade knife.
Similarly, if you are looking for your knife to come with other tools, the Spyderco ParaMilitary will not satisfy your needs. I suppose it can also function as a can opener if you do not mind dulling the edge…
Features of the Knife
The ParaMilitary 2 is a medium-large folding pocket knife, which makes it good for everyday carry unless you need to hide it in a pair of skinny jeans.
It has a full flat grind S30V or CPM-S110V steel blade with a drop point and the Spyderco trademark hole to allow for easy opening, and a high quality pivot system to make opening the knife even more of a breeze.
The blade is 3.4 inches long, and when unfolded the entire knife is 8.3 inches in length.
It weighs 3.75 ounces whether folded or unfolded, unless you unfold the knife and lay it only partially against the scale. In which case mine weighed 1.5 ounces, but with careful balancing you can probably get that down.
The handles are G-10 over stainless steel liners, which hide a compression lock. Though it looks similar to a liner lock and even operates similarly, the compression lock strengthens its hold as force is applied to the blade, making it stronger than a traditional liner lock.
The ergonomics are great. The curves of the handle make it easy to hold, and its half-inch thickness feels just right.
The finger choil is positioned in a way where your finger is half on the blade or half on the handle, and you can choke in either direction depending on what type of control you need to exert.
The jimping on the back of the blade works well, and combines with the protrusion caused by the finger hole to allow you to really push with your thumb without worrying about slipping.
The pocket clip is positioned nearly to the end of the handles, so the knife does not stick out of your pocket far. You can also move the clip around to either a point-up or point-down orientation, and switch it from right-handed to left-handed, for a total of four different possible positions.
Even the lanyard hole is better than that found on other blades; it is larger than average, and can handle multiple layers of paracord.
Like a lot of modern knives, you can find the ParaMilitary 2 with different blade and handle colors. The blade can come in satin or black, and the handles in camouflage, black, or a variety of other colors.
You can also find the blade with a straight or serrated edge, though straight is much more common.
Sometimes, limited edition runs of the ParaMilitary 2 are produced with different handle colors, but they tend to sell out quick.
- Blade Length: 3.4″
- Overall Length: 8.3″
- Closed Length: 4.8″
- Weight: 3.75 oz
- Blade Material: S30V Stainless Steel or CPM-S110V Steel
- Blade Shape: Drop Point
- Blade Grind: Full Flat
- Handle Material: G-10 with Stainless Steel Liners
- Locking Mechanism: Compression Lock
- Country of Origin: USA
What I Liked About the ParaMilitary 2
With a great design, high quality materials, and very well done ergonomics, if you want to know what I like about this knife please review the “Features” section. The only exception is below.
What I Didn’t Like About the ParaMilitary 2
My main dislike of the Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 is the same issue I have with almost every Spyderco knife.
Their round hole, a Spyderco trademark and admittedly a clever design to make opening the knife easy, annoys me.
It causes the spine of the knife to protrude past the handle in a way I dislike in two ways.
I am not a fan of the aesthetics, and let’s be fair here, at least part of why we choose knives is for their looks. But that is a personal opinion.
The blade shape also causes the knife to have a point protruding into the pocket. This can interfere with smoothly pulling an item out of your pocket.
Do you have a little over a hundred dollars and a need or desire for a good (nay, great) folding knife? Then you should probably buy this knife.
The price of your run-of-the-mill Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 typically hangs around $125. If you can find the knife for under $120, snatch up that deal.
Limited run flavors of the handle may cost you $150 or even more if you are pursing that method of standing out of the crowd.
If you would like to add even more uniqueness to your knife, Flytanium makes titanium scales for the ParaMilitary 2. They add a little bit of weight and cost almost as much as the knife by itself, but they sure make it look good. You can also find colored titanium lanyard hole rings for even more customization!
If you have a slightly larger budget, almost $200 instead of over $100, and have slightly larger pockets to match, the Military is very similar to the ParaMilitary but is a bit more knife.
If your budget is smaller, the Tenacious is another great knife by Spyderco, and can be found for about $50.