I had the good fortune of stumbling across this NIB Native while doing some research recently. I thought, “It can’t be a Native III. It’s probably just an old stock photo.” After doing a little digging, however, I discovered it was legitimately a Native III. I held off for a few weeks on buying it (thanks in part to the temporary paralysis I received from the Amsterdam thread ). However, it was the last Native III left in stock and the asking price was just under $70—with free shipping to boot. Too hard to resist. After opening it up on Friday night, I was very pleased to find the lock to be rock-solid. No play whatsoever. The grind lines in the VG-10 blade are very symmetrical and even. In all honesty, I really couldn’t find a thing wrong with it. (I think I actually like the feel of the Native III better than my Native5. Call me crazy, but it’s just a bit more comfortable in my hand). All in all, I’m very pleased with this purchase. I only wish I could’ve picked up one more to keep as a “pre-need replacement!”
Here are a few things I like about the Native III over the current Native (C41BK):
• Rounded choil. I really like how the III has a perfectly rounded choil vs. the C41BK’s round/flat-like choil. True, it really doesn’t make or break the situation for either knife, but I think the fully rounded choil is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
• Wire clip. I’m a huge fan of wire clips on most of my small to medium-sized Spydies. Having a wire clip was a real bonus for me.
• Top swedge. Again, just being picky here, but I really prefer the swedge of the III over the C41BK’s swedge. The C41BK’s swedge just doesn’t look “finished” to me. I like how the III’s swedge continues along the spine in a nice, continuous grind.
• Bi-Directional FRN. Just a personal preference, but I really like the Bi-Directional FRN over the “spider web” type pattern on the C41BK.
• Steel. I don’t consider myself to be a steel snob by any means. Good old VG-10 holds an edge well and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance or upkeep. (S30V is great stuff too, don’t get me wrong. I just like the high-polish attributes of VG-10 vs. the “grainy” texture of S30V).
Here are a few pics for comparison:
And here are a few pics of my own (sorry for the lack of quality ):
Notice the designer's mark on the rear-most tip of the handle.