Field Tested: Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight

I used to not consider myself––a knife guy. This isn’t to say I don’t appreciate a good blade, but knives never factored into my daily carry. That has started to change as of late. The more knives I review the more I enjoy having them around and this is particularly true of Spyderco’s Native 5 Lightweight.  I think it has in one fell swoop made me a genuine knife guy.

The Native 5 Lightweight is relatively new for Spyderco, but its DNA goes back to 1997. As one of the original and most popular knives in the Spyderco lineup, the Native has undergone a number of changes through the years. The blade has been made of different steels, and the handle even offered in pink to support breast cancer awareness. The latest iteration is quite impressive considering how refined it is, and offered at such an affordable price.

The full-flat-ground CPM S35VN blade has a distal taper, index finger choil, and mild swedge. As a relatively new knife enthusiast, I understand what all those terms mean, but how they translate to daily use is what I care about.




With its 2.95-inch blade, and 4-inch closed length, the Native 5 Lightweight is an ideal size for every day carry, at least for me. The narrow width and light weight at just 2.5 ounces makes it virtually vanish when clipped into an inner pocket. The fiberglass reinforced handle has Spyderco’s bi-directional scales which give the knife a level of texture that remains secure even when used with wet, cold hands.

The signature hole in the blade allows for effortless opening and the large lock along the spine is easy to actuate. When putting the knife to work with cutting tasks that require a significant amount of leverage, the handle feels solid in hand giving me confidence in my cut.

There’s a lot to like about this knife and given its continual evolution over the last two decades it should come as no surprise why it has been so popular. MSRP: $140



The four-way clip can be mounted on either end of the knife on either side. The large hourglass shape of the clip provides added security without added weight and bulk.



The placement of the index finger and thumb on the Native offer maximum control. Little details matter most. Made in Golden Colorado. Right here on planet Earth.




The powdered steel used in the Native 5 Lightweight has a beautiful finish. The blade itself has an elegant aesthetic that almost defies its utility. The defined bevel just aft of the index finger position not only offers a more comfortable grip, it elevates the refinement of the knife’s appearance.


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Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.