(Sorry for the novel)
I have lurked the Spyderco Forums for the last 3 months now. I have finally decided to register just to comment on my new Spyderco that I added to my collection last week. I bought a Native in S30V about 2 weeks ago to replace my SOG Flash I. I bought the Native online because it was such a good deal with the S30V for the price I paid. A few weeks later I went out to the mailbox on my way to work and I see a cardboard box. I opened the box and was immediately disappointed. It felt large and clunky to me, I'm fond of the delicate feel of my Flash. It was also rather ugly, the Flash has this great FFG blade shape and the assisted opening that makes it fun to play with. I also quickly noticed the spear point design as awkward. The belly was good, though. I then noticed the pinned pivot, now my $25 Flash I has adjustable screws, yet this knife costing nearly 3 times that does not? What the heck?
I almost threw the Native off to the side to be a dust collector. It was nearly destined to be the first knife I've ever bought that I didn't carry. But then I opened it and pressed the locking bar in and it felt really clean and smooth. I decided to test its fit and finish. No movement up, down, left or right, it was solid as a rock. I still didn't like the knife though, it might have been nicely built, but it wasn't for me. I knew Spyderco sold their knives disgustingly sharp out of the box and my Flash 1 was in desperate need of sharpening, so I grudgingly put the Flash into my glove box, slide the Native into my pocket and set off for work. I work in the military, I do a lot of work with cables, small to large gauge wires. I use my knife to strip the sheathing, I use it to cut wires as small as 24 AWG solid core up to 6 AWG braided core. It gets put through a lot of use every day. I have to sharpen my Flash 2-3 times a week to keep it usable.
On my first day I had to cut a 25 pair telephone cable. Overall the cable was about 1" thick, I didn't have my wire cutters on me so I grabbed my Native. I put the cable across a 2x4 and started to cut. Now I wouldn't have dared cut this with my Flash I, but I didn't even like the Native, I could care less about abusing it. But the Native cut through the cable in less than 5 seconds, it made a clean cut through everything, Rubber sheath, 50 copper wires, everything was cut flush. I was amazed, I was curious how much damage the cable did to the blade, knowing that S30V was strong, but this kind of abuse would destroy my AUS8 Flash 1. Amazingly the blade was still shaving sharp. I had to test this thing out on something else, I grabbed a 6 pair cable with shielding each strand was a solid core of 18 AWG copper. I started to cut, it went through like butter, no hesitation other than the aluminum shielding which took some sawing to get through. I pulled it off, tested the blade again, still shaving sharp. Amazing!
I haven't put my Flash I in my pocket in 2 weeks now. My Native requires sharpening every weekend or so, stays sharp atleast twice as long, and gets much much sharper than my Flash I ever could. Thank god I decided to carry this knife that first day or I would have thrown it into a drawer and left it. It is by far the best knife I have ever owned. The Spyderco Native truly is an ugly duckling, and I love it.