Spyderco byte December 2016
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ParaTM  3

MSRP: $199.95

     Easily one of the most anticipated products in Spyderco’s history, the Para 3 is the latest generation of our immensely popular Para Military family of folding knives. It traces its history all the way back to the first-generation Para Military™ model, which was introduced in 2004 and even further to that knife’s inspiration: the iconic Military™ Model.
     The original design intent of the Para Military was to provide the same proven reliability and cutting performance of the Military, but in a more compact, easy-to-carry package. The design also showcased Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock™—a high-strength lock mechanism housed in the spine of the handle that offered a number of significant advantages over the Military’s LinerLock.
     In keeping with Spyderco’s deep commitment to Constant Quality Improvement (C.Q.I.), in 2010 the Para Military was redesigned to yield the Para Military 2. This second-generation design incorporated an improved lock detent, refined ergonomics, countersunk handle and pivot screws, and a four-position clip that supports all possible carry configurations. These enhancements quickly established the “Para 2” as one of Spyderco’s most popular and in-demand models and, to many end users, the “perfect” folding knife. While it was significantly smaller than the Military Model that inspired it, for some customers it was still larger than what they could comfortably or legally carry. Based on that feedback, we went back to the drawing board once again to distill all the features, benefits, and performance of the Para Military 2 into a “sub-compact” package built around a three-inch blade. The result is the Para 3.
     Although clearly based on the Para Military 2, the Para 3 was not named the “Para Military 3” because its smaller size qualifies it as a different knife design. Similarly, the “3” in its name actually reflects its three-inch blade length rather than identifying it as a third-generation of the Para Military design. While its pedigree is unmistakable, the Para 3 (and its model and SKU number) has its own distinct “identity” as a Spyderco product.
     With that said, the Para 3 does faithfully retain all the defining features of the best-selling Para Military 2, but in a smaller, even handier package. Its three-inch blade is precision machined from premium CPM® S30V® particle metallurgy stainless steel and features a full-flat grind for superior edge geometry and low-friction cutting performance. Its oversized Trademark Round Hole™ proudly announces the knife’s pedigree and is easily accessible from either side to allow swift, ambidextrous, one-handed opening.
     The lightweight, open-backed handle is built on a framework of stout stainless steel liners nested within textured G-10 scales. This refined construction style maximizes both structural strength and ergonomics while keeping the handle slim and pocket friendly. It’s also the foundation of the knife’s patented Compression Lock™ mechanism, which provides exceptional lock strength, yet allows easy one-handed closing without placing your fingers in the path of the blade’s edge. A streamlined four-position hourglass clip and a generously sized lanyard hole round out the design, offering a choice of left or right-side tip-up or tip-down carry and allowing the easy attachment of lanyards or fobs.
     The Para 3 is a remarkably refined folding knife with a distinguished history. It’s also a shining example of our tireless quest for perfection and our deep commitment to meeting our customers’ needs.

OVERALL: 7.27in 185mm
BLADE: 3in 76mm
EDGE: 2.63in 67mm
WEIGHT: 3.0oz 85g
GRIND: Full-Flat

Understanding Serrations
     Serrations can greatly enhance the cutting power of a knife’s edge, especially when that power is applied to materials like rope, cord, webbing, and other fibrous materials. A serrated edge is also the tool of choice for many kitchen and cooking chores, including slicing bread. But despite the obvious utility of serrations, a surprising number of knife users shy away from them because they believe they are difficult to sharpen. That’s simply not the case—especially when you understand Spyderco’s serrations and our sharpening tools.
     First, let’s explore why serrations cut so aggressively. In simplest terms, a serrated edge offers more edge length than a plain edge. If you took two identical blades—one with a plain edge and one with a serrated edge—and imagined “stretching” the serrated edge until all its teeth, angles, and recesses were perfectly straight, it would be significantly longer than the edge of the plain-edged blade.
     Serrated edges also make contact with the material being cut at many different angles, constantly establishing new cutting angles and pressures. This interrupted cutting dynamic also allows the serrations to contour to the surface shape of the material being cut, further increasing their effectiveness.
     One of Spyderco’s most significant contributions to the cutlery industry was the introduction of serrated cutting edges on folding knives. During Spyderco’s early history, its founders sold knife sharpeners and other brands of kitchen knives as “pitchmen” at fairs and trade shows across the country. That experience taught them a lot about what sharpness and cutting performance are really all about and gave them an exceptional insight into the advantages of serrated edges.

     Subsequently, Spyderco invested significant time, energy, and resources into the research and development of serrated edges. By understanding how serrated edges cut, we learned how to optimize their performance and ultimately developed our own high-performance serration pattern—the SpyderEdge™.

     To really understand serrated edges, it’s important to realize that all cutting edges are in fact serrated edges. Even the finest, most highly polished edge consists of thousands of microscopic teeth generated by the abrasive material used to create it. Cutting with a PlainEdge™ blade is therefore very much like cutting with a microscopic saw.

     A serrated edge takes this same concept and scales it up, providing greater and more purposeful control over the shape, size, and angle of the edge’s teeth. Spyderco’s highly refined SpyderEdge pattern, which consists of an alternating series of one large groove and two smaller ones, is based on years of relentless research, development, and product testing. Each groove is separated by a highly defined, acutely pointed tooth and the terminal cutting edge runs continuously along all the recesses of the grooves. This scientifically perfected pattern offers 24% more total cutting edge than a plain edged blade of the same length. The acute points of each tooth create focused penetration points that initiate the cutting action, while the concave edges in each groove offer an infinite number of cutting angles that automatically contour to the material being cut. The result is a dynamic fusion of highly aggressive cutting mechanics that is extremely effective, especially on hard-to-cut fibrous materials like rope and webbing.

     The serration pattern on our SpyderEdge kitchen knives is even further refined by making the points of the serrations longer. This allows them to contact the surface of a cutting board while raising the rest of the cutting edge above it, preserving the edge and allowing it to cut significantly longer without dulling.

     Right out of the box, our SpyderEdge knives cut with a vengeance and stay sharper longer than traditional PlainEdge blades. But, like all knives, with enough use they will ultimately start to dull. So how do you get them sharp again? The easiest way is with our Tri-Angle Sharpmaker®, a complete sharpening system that uses triangular ceramic rods with rounded edges as the sharpening abrasive. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessary to individually sharpen each serration scallop. Instead, use the Sharpmaker in the conventional manner—by holding the plane of the blade vertical and drawing the edge from heel to tip along each stone. The only difference is that you should use a looser grip and go a little slower to allow the edge of the stone to “flow” down into the recesses of each scallop. Also, since the serrations are only ground on one side of the blade, make three passes on the “bevel” side of the serration and one pass on the “back” side to remove the burr. Continue this process, alternating three strokes on the bevel side to one on the back side, until the desired sharpness is achieved. 
     Serrations can supercharge the cutting power of a blade and are ideal for many cutting chores. Now that you understand them—and know how easy is to sharpen them—there’s no reason NOT to include them in your selection of cutting tools.


     Our 2017 Product Guide is now available! Our comprehensive annual catalog is the most authoritative guide to current Spyderco knives and accessories and includes information on many highly anticipated new products. In keeping with our obsession with knife Edge-U-Cation®, our new catalog also features an extensive glossary of knife terminology, information on folder lock mechanisms, steel elements, and high-tech materials, and the most comprehensive steel chart in the industry. 

     For instant gratification and easy viewing on any computer or mobile device, you can go straight to the digital version here: http://catalog.spyderco.com/productguide/. This version, powered by iPaper, is searchable by keyword and also includes a menu function that allows you to build a custom digital catalog featuring your favorite products.
     You can also request a printed hard copy version of the catalog by visiting https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/ and completing the online request form. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.
     Spyderco’s annual catalog lets us all feel like a kid at Christmas. Take a look and feel the magic!


The Spyderco Crew would like to wish you and all those you hold dear a safe and Happy Holiday Season!!!

We’d also like to remind you…

The Spyderco office will be closed on:
     Monday, January 2nd

The Spyderco Factory Outlet store will be closed on:
     Monday, January 2nd
     Also closed on Sundays


     Earlier this month the Spyderco Crew and their significant others celebrated the season with style at the annual Spyderco Holiday Party. In addition to sharing great food, drinks, and generous prizes, we also hit the dance floor and shook things up Spyderco style. We are extremely grateful to Spyderco for their incredible generosity, to those who organized the party for their hard work, and to all our fellow employees for making this such a great place to work!!!
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Spyderco, Inc.
820 Spyderco Way
Golden, CO 80403

800-525-7770 (T - Toll-Free)
303-279-8383 (T)
303-278-2229 (F)


Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved. All product names, art and text herein are the property of Spyderco, Inc. and may not be reproduced in part or whole without the sole written permission of Spyderco, Inc.

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Spyderco, Inc. · 820 Spyderco Way · Golden, Colorado 80403 · USA