Review: Spyderco Para-Military2

I bought my 1st Spyderco early this year. It was a Persistence. As the forums had promised, it hadn’t stopped there. The Tenacious (now sold) soon followed, followed by an Ambitious. All made in China; all with pretty good fit and finish to boot, if a little bulky. I was curious about the higher end stuff, and bought a Urban Slipit in G10 Foliage green followed by a FFG Delica with Grey FRN handles. On the advice of Tony, I purchased a Dragonfly 2 in ZDP-189 – great knife. I was still a little curious, a serrated Dragonfly 2 Salt and serrated Ladybug Hawkbill Salt joined the collection.

The Dragonfly 2 ZDP-189 has become my favourite knife. Small and light, fits my hand minus the pinky, cuts great for the stuff I want it to do. Not too intimidating.

More curiosity. All that I’ve had so far was made in Seki City, Japan. I still had nothing from “Golden, Colorado, USA, Earth”. If the stuff the company made in an outsourced factory half-way around the world was already so good, was I to expect even better in a USA-made product? I jumped on a regular production Para-Military2 in CPM-S30V and black G-10 handles.

It is a great knife. Overbuilt for sure, from the 3.5mm thick blade, beefy standoffs, the innovative compression lock, to the ergonomics. It has outstanding build quality. I also understand that the bushing system was engineered to let the blade freely swing no matter how hard the pivot is tightened, with no blade play when locked open. This allows the blade swing from fully open to fully closed by gravity once the lock is disengaged. Very cool. The only one niggle I have with it is the clip. I would have liked something that rides lower.

For all the Para-Military2’s perfection I wanted to love it; and yet I don’t. I still love my Dragonfly2, either in ZDP-189 or H1. For 60% more blade (that I don’t typically need), it weighs 3 times more. The DF2 has a better clip, IMO. The PM2 has better looks, nicer handles, a cooler lock. For it’s size, and for the fact that it’s so overbuilt, it comes across as being a little inelegant, compared to the svelte compactness of the DF2.

Yes I know, you can’t compare the two. They are like apples and oranges, and made for different needs. I guess what I’m trying to say is that while the PM2 would be great for a camping trip, or a BBQ, the length and weight precludes me from carrying this regularly. For me, the DF2 does pretty much what I need, and with aplomb. I guess this one goes into the drawer to come out for special occasions…. or the zombie apocalypse.

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