The venerable Native model has been a mainstay of the Spyderco product line since it was first released in 1997. During more than 20 years of service and five generations of evolution, it has been steadily refined into its current form—the Native 5. Combining all the time-tested qualities of the original design with enhanced ergonomics, incredibly precise lock tolerances, and four-position carry, it is arguably about as perfect as a lock back folding knife can be. So what could possibly make it better? For watersports enthusiasts, those who live in humid climates, or anyone else obsessively concerned with the threat of corrosion, the answer to that question is the new Native 5 Salt.
In simple terms, the Native 5 Salt takes the incredibly popular Native 5 Lightweight platform and renders it entirely with ultra-corrosion-resistant materials. Simple terms, however, don’t do this knife justice.
Starting at the business end, the blade of the Native 5 Salt is precision machined from LC200N—a nitrogen-enriched tool steel that offers extreme corrosion resistance. LC200N is produced by a combination of the PESR (Pressurized Electric Slag Remelting) process and “smart forging” technology to yield a remarkable increase in the steel’s purity and a very fine and homogenous microstructure. It is also a true martensitic steel that can be hardened and tempered through conventional heat treating processes, allowing its hardness level to be precisely controlled to meet the demands of specific uses.
LC200N is widely respected as the material of choice for applications that involve high static and dynamic loads in corrosive environments. It is most famously known as NASA’s preferred material for the ball bearings used in their aerospace equipment, but is also used extensively in the food, chemical, recycling, pharmaceutical, and plastics industries. In knife blades, its extraordinary properties provide an exceptional blend of toughness, edge holding, and corrosion resistance.
To take full advantage of these qualities, the Native 5 Salt’s blade is full-flat-ground for thin, low-friction edge geometry. It is available in a choice of PlainEdge™ or fully-serrated SpyderEdge™ configurations and includes a fully-accessible Trademark Round Hole™ for ambidextrous one-handed opening. An index-finger choil at the heel of the blade allows a “choked up” grip for enhanced control and, like the thumb purchase on the spine, features jimping (textured grooves) for a secure grip.
The knife’s high-visibility yellow handle is injection molded from tough fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) and includes Spyderco’s signature Bi-Directional Texture™ pattern to ensure a secure, non-slip grip—even with wet hands. Four sets of threaded inserts molded directly into the handle scales allow the knife’s hourglass pocket clip to be configured for tip-up or tip-down carry on either side of the body. The clip—like the screws and other handle hardware—is made from a highly corrosion-resistant alloy that is further protected by a black rust-resistant coating. In the tip-up position, it also straddles the handle’s generously sized lanyard hole.
A proud addition to Spyderco’s ultra-corrosion-resistant Salt Series of knives, the Native 5 Salt is sure to find favor with current fans of this model and watersports enthusiasts in search of the perfect cutting tool.
The link between the Native 5 Salt’s blade and handle is its highly evolved back lock mechanism. Precision-machined to exacting tolerances, it balances strength and ease of operation to ensure extreme reliability and a long service life.