Meaning “American bison” in the Lakota Sioux language, “Tatanka” is also the name of the revered Native American holy man and tribal leader best known as Sitting Bull. It is therefore a fitting moniker for a tool that represents a groundbreaking achievement in the evolution of Spyderco knives. Our first “super-sized” folder, the Tatanka measures just over 11.5 inches long and is significantly larger than any other folding knife in Spyderco’s history. And what makes this possible is its high-strength PowerLock™ blade lock.
The PowerLock is a deceptively simple yet incredibly strong lock mechanism. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary back lock; however, a closer look reveals a secondary cam component that is the secret to the lock’s strength. When the blade is opened, the tang contacts a sturdy stop pin in the handle to stop its rotation. At the same time, the spring-powered lever in the back of the handle rotates the cam around its pivot. This in turn causes a finger at the bottom of the cam to wedge against a concave surface on the top of the tang. This wedging action creates an incredibly secure lock-up, yet allows the lock to be released smoothly and easily.
The leverage of the PowerLock’s cam also creates the perfect degree of tension during the blade’s opening arc and keeps the blade secure in the closed position.
The Tatanka’s blade measures just over five inches in length and features a saber grind that combines a full-thickness spine with a partial flat grind for a superior balance of strength and high-performance edge geometry. The primary blade bevels are complemented by a handsome swedge (unsharpened bevel) on the back of the blade that reduces weight, increases point utility, and enhances the aesthetics of this dramatic design. A section of jimping (textured grooves) on the blade’s thumb ramp and an opposing index-finger choil (finger groove) provide an amazingly solid purchase during use and allow you to “choke up” on the knife for increased control.
Despite its impressive size, the Tatanka carries easily by virtue of its four-position pocket clip. Together with Spyderco’s Trademark Round Hole™ in the blade and the PowerLock, this feature ensures that both carry and operation of this amazing folding knife are completely ambidextrous.
Although the Tatanka’s Trademark Round Hole allows ambidextrous one-handed opening of the knife, because of the blade’s size and mass and the location of its lock release, it is not intended for one-handed closing. Please close your Tatanka with two hands taking care to keep your fingers well away from the sharp edge.
The Native has been a mainstay of the Spyderco product line since its original release in 1997. It quickly set the standard as an affordable, ergonomic, lightweight folder and was instrumental in introducing Spyderco’s patented reversible tip-up pocket clip.
Although a stainless steel version was briefly produced in Japan, the Native Lightweight quickly distinguished itself as a flagship of Spyderco’s American-made product line, offering outstanding quality and made-in-USA craftsmanship at extremely affordable prices. Consistent with Spyderco’s commitment to Constant Quality Improvement (C.Q.I.), the Native design has consistently evolved, yielding the C78 Native III in 2003 and the Native IV in 2005. The popularity of the Native IV Lightweight also inspired a number of variations, including a black-bladed version for tactical applications, a pink-handled version that helped support Spyderco’s charitable contributions to breast cancer research, and a tan-handled version produced exclusively for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES).
In 2012, the evolution of the Native took another quantum leap to yield the Native 5. The product of extensive engineering refinements, it features full skeletonized stainless steel liners, a solid stainless steel back spacer, and textured G-10 scales. This extremely stout construction provides a firm foundation for the knife’s refined back lock mechanism, which offers increased strength, an exceptionally smooth action, an improved self-close function, and even greater resistance to wear and tear than previous generations.
The Native 5’s spear point blade is also a departure from earlier versions of the knife. Made from premium CPM S35VN stainless steel, its full-flat grind, distal taper, index-finger choil, and understated swedge collectively offer a distinctive appearance and outstanding edge geometry and point utility.
Proudly manufactured in our factory in Golden, Colorado, the Native 5 also features a four-position hourglass clip that enables the user to configure the knife for tip-up or tip-down carry on both the left and right sides of the body and makes the Native 5’s operation completely ambidextrous.
The G-10-handled Native 5 set a new standard of excellence in back lock knives. It also inspired an immediate demand for a lightweight version that combined all the design refinements of the Native 5 platform with the weight-saving advantages of an injection-molded handle. In response to that demand, Spyderco is proud to introduce the new Native 5 Lightweight. This highly evolved design faithfully incorporates all the advantages of the Native 5—a full-flat-ground CPM S35VN blade, improved back lock mechanism, and textured index-finger choil and thumb ramp—with a linerless fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) handle featuring Bi-Directional Texturing™ for an ultra-secure grip. Weighing a scant 2.5 ounces, the Native 5 Lightweight also features a robust new hourglass clip design with a larger mounting base for increased strength and durability. Four sets of threaded inserts molded directly into the FRN handle allow the clip to be positioned for left or right-side tip-up or tip-down carry. A generously sized lanyard hole also provides a handy attachment point for lanyards, fobs, and safety lines.
A highly advanced evolution of a time-honored design, the Native 5 Lightweight is an incredibly capable, pocket-sized cutting tool and a shining example of Spyderco’s commitment to making even our best products even better.
PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST
Enter the 2014 Spyderco Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest on Spyderco’s Facebook Page. We want you to help us celebrate Halloween by taking a photo of your Spyderco-theme-carved pumpkin and submitting it for a chance to win a Spyderco prize! Three winners will be selected once the contest ends on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 4:00pm MST. Winners will be notified and announced Monday, November 3, 2014.
First place: C11POR Delica Flat Ground Ltwt Orange & Spyderco Swag
Second place: K04PBK Spyderco 6" Utility Kitchen Knife & Spyderco Swag
Third place: Spyderco Swag
To view full rules, eligibility guidelines, and to enter the contest, visit:
Spread the Word About Spyderco's Halloween Contest!