Spyderco Paramilitary 2

8.7
8.7 score
[Editors rating (8.7)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.7)/10


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Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Review Facts

The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 comes up over and over when knife reviews and reviewers are polled. In the everyday carry world, the knife is a rock star. The design is ‘form follows function.’ It has an ‘X’ factor that is hard to describe that keeps people coming back over and over. The knife captures the minds and hearts of knife enthusiasts from around the world. One of the reviewers has owned the knife for more than five years and describes it as the U.S. made gem.

To meet the gold standard, a knife has to be more than sharp. Over the years, the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 has gathered a staunch following. Spyderco is not a name derived from spiders but rather a cutting performance sportscar. The ‘2’ tells us the knife is a successor of an original Paramilitary.

It came about in 2004 as an answer to complaints above the overwhelming size of a Military pocket that was otherwise highly regarded. The Paramilitary was a mid-sized version. It was two-thirds the size of the Military. Top quality S30V steel was used in a blade that extended. Slightly over three inches. It had a G-10 handle that was a compression lock that was first-rate. It was at the top of the class of mid-size survival knives.

Spyderco continually strives to outperform and better itself. Seldom does the company wait to be outdone by competitors before something new is brought to the table. Spyderco experts love the Paramilitary but felt it could make improvements. The result was the Paramilitary 2.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Among the best ergonomics
  • High-quality steel blade
  • Opens fast and smooth
Cons
  • Size is not for everyone
Primary Use

Primary Use

An effortless and smooth deployment occurs with every flick. It is an excellent knife to use when wearing a glove. A large pair of phosphor bronze washers backup the oversized thumb hole. These smooth washers get better as the user breaks in the knife.

An oversized Spyderco-hole is used to deploy the Paramilitary 2. It is 14mm in diameter. The thumb hole is more prominent than what some are accustomed but is easy to learn to use. Deployment is incredibly consistent, smooth, and fast.

The unusually large trademark Spyderco thumb hole is a joy to use. The lanyard hole will easily take two 550 paracord lengths. Resharpening is a bit of a challenge to the inexperienced but worth it when accomplished. The blade is super useful for chopping, thrusting, stabbing, and slicing.

The effect is accomplished by grinding the blade very flat. Opening and closing are impressive. It operates so easily and smoothly it almost seems like an assisted opening life. The bushing pivot system is high-end and results in a gliding motion desirable for all knives. The Paramilitary 2 is a well-designed, high-quality knife that can handle most tasks set before it while riding comfortably in the pocket. Cleaning with soap and water is easy.

The blade has an extra long point. The relatively big knife means business. More often than not the length is an advantage. The drop point blade of the Para 2 is a Spyderco classic. The knife has a full flat grind. It is made of blade stock that is 3.5mm thick. The knife with its ample amount of belly has an excellent tip and is a great slicer.

An extremely sharp, well-ground edge rounds out the knife. It is an excellent knife for food prep. There are to options for the Paramilitary blade - a diamond-like carbon coating or a satin finish. The knife coatings are as good as they get. The steel used in making the blade is S30V which is very capable. Those who know something about knives do not need to be told about S30V. It is excellent all around steel. CPM-S0V steel is a favorite among high-end knives.

The S30V performs well. It arrives razor sharp. The steel is relatively hard and maintains an edge longer than most ‘cheaper’ knives. Over the years, more premium steels have come on the market. For most people, S30V is more than adequate. It is easy to sharpen and takes and holds a working edge for a long time. The blade is resistant to corrosion and rust. A compression lock is used to lock open the blade.

By applying force from with the edge or the spine, the lock compresses. A sandwich of pin, liner, and tang hold the blade in place. Those with large hands may find the lock pinches the palm. The lock gets tighter as the push on the knife gets harder. The design is incredibly strong and quite ingenious. The knife blade has no play of any kind. Manipulating the knife is fun.
Accessories

Accessories

The blade improvements were small but beneficial. The finger choil and additional jimping improve control. It has no other tools. The liners hide the compression lock. It looks and operates similar to liner locks, but the compression lock hold strengthens with the application of force to the blade.
Durability

Durability

The overall length of the Para 2 is 8.3 inches. It has a 3.4-inch blade. The handle, made of the popular G-10 material, is approximately 4.8 inches. The knife weighs 3.75 ounces. This knife is considered to be a medium-large knife.

It was designed to be a heavy-duty folder or a tactical knife. To reduce weight, the liners have been somewhat milled out. The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 carries well in the pocket. Though it is a medium-large knife, it is relatively lightweight and thin. The knife doesn’t create much bulk and doesn’t weigh down the pocket.

The knife is extremely resistant, durable, reliable, and easy to use. The 50-50 choil is partially responsible for many Spyderco knives receiving consistent ergonomic ratings. The jimped thumb ramp is among the best available. Without being too toothy, the ramp nearly super glues the thumb in place.

Overall ergonomics and handling were improved by slimming the G-10 handle. The pocket clip was upgraded with four-way tip positioning - up and down carry and left and right hand. The clip positions the knife deep into the pocket to increase concealment.

Skeletonized liners were introduced on both sides. They sandwiched the pivot area. The knife has a blade that extends a bit and carries jimping on the finger choil, and spine. The new pivoting system has a bushing that adds an improved deployment action.

It is more fluid than the Paramilitary. Its pivot pin is recessed. The corner does not now stick out when closed, and the blade is a bit thinner. A more massive lanyard hole was part of the design. The subtle differences are aggregate of improved performance. The Paramilitary is a better all around knife.

It has a tremendously firm and stable feel in hand. The overall finish and fit are excellent. There are few, if any, ‘factory mishaps’ of the tightly manufactured Paramilitary 2. When the compression lock is locked up, it is rock solid. It will not fail under regular use. The only technical reason it would fail is the blade tang crushing the tab within the tang slot. That set of circumstances is impossible under the most extreme conditions.
Weight

Weight

The overall length of the Para 2 is 8.3 inches. It has a 3.4-inch blade. The handle, made of the popular G-10 material, is approximately 4.8 inches. The knife weighs 3.75 ounces. This knife is considered to be a medium-large knife.

It was designed to be a heavy-duty folder or a tactical knife. To reduce weight, the liners have been somewhat milled out. The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 carries well in the pocket. Though it is a medium-large knife, it is relatively lightweight and thin. The knife doesn’t create much bulk and doesn’t weigh down the pocket.

The handle is approximately a half inch thick. It has skeletonized steel liners. Skeletonizing the liners reduced the weight of the knife. The 3.75-ounce weight is not particularly heavy for a knife of this size. Size is a consideration. The Paramilitary 2 is described as medium-large in size. If modicum compactness is not an attractive feature, a more substantial knife may suit a user. Some feel it is a bit too large for everyday carry. Grabbing other objects in the pocket may be awkward.
Finish

Finish

It may appear as a liner lock, but it is not. A piece of a liner is wedged between a stop pin ad the tang. It takes only one hand to use the compression lock. The lock can be disengaged, and the blade folded away without putting the fingers in the blade path.

The design of the Paramilitary 2 sets it apart from the competition. It is a step above from the original Paramilitary. The knife screams Spyderco from the instant the user makes the first cut. It is rare to see the ergonomics of this knife work so well. Everything about it feels right. The forefinger and thumb feel natural at the finger choil and ramp. Behind the thumb ramp are the liners and finger choil.

The thumb ramp has nice jimping and rounded corners everywhere. The feel of the jimping is pleasant, not too rough. The knife has a perfectly centered blade. Although the knife has a slightly curved, appearance, the blade’s spine is perfectly flat.

The overall weight of the knife is a very light 3.75 ounces. Spyderco has released a wide range of handle colors and exotic steels over the years for the Paramilitary 2. The handle of the Paramilitary 2 is nested stainless steel liners under black G-10. The liners are flush with the G-10.

All the corners have been rounded. An open construction design consists of a considerable lanyard loop and two pillars. Everything is screwed together. The handle is top notch construction. Para 2 has outstanding ergonomics.

Excellent use was made of a 50-50 choil that provides better control and more options. It is a finger choil used for the handle and the blade stock. A choice of setting the hand back to maximize reach or choking up for detailed cutting tasks is provided. For either option, the blade is extremely comfortable and plenty big.

The pocket clip is Spyderco’s standard hourglass shaped clip. It is large with a bright satin finish. The clip offers a decently deep carry and good retention. If the clip where a blacked deep carry model, the knife would be more discreet in the pocket.

There are four standard varieties available. They include a stainless standard edge blade with a black handle, black finish clip, and blade with a black handle, stainless standard edge blade with a digital camo handle, and a black clip and stainless blade with a digital camo handle.
Safety

Safety

It may appear as a liner lock, but it is not. A piece of a liner is wedged between a stop pin and the tang. It takes only one hand to use the compression lock. The lock can be disengaged, and the blade folded away without putting the fingers in the blade path.

The compression lock can also be disengaged with one hand. Practice may be required but is relatively simple to close the knife one-handed while keeping the fingers away from the edge. The feat is impossible with a frame or lock liner. The larger than usual Spydie hole permits opening with gloves. There is enough scaling on the G-10 handle to resist slipping comfortably. It can be used with the same maneuverability as smaller knives.
Price

Price

The price tag is somewhat of a bargain. With all the varieties available, the knife is frustratingly hard to attain. Often retailers are out of the item. The Paramilitary 2 is among the best knife value available. The fact that they are often sold out is a testimony to the quality.

Not everyone sees the price tag as a bargain. For the typical $120 price tag, one can buy quite a few cheap folding knives. Cheap knives may be sharp initially, but the edge will dull, and the locks may fail. Hopefully, they are attractive because they are not very functional. The Paramilitary 2 can dice up cardboard like a lightsaber cuts through butter.
Key Features

Key Features

* 3.44-inch blade length
* 8.28-inch overall length
* $130 price range
* Compression lock locking mechanism
* CPM-S30V blade material
* G-10 handle material
* Made in the US
* Thumbhole deployment mechanism
* Weighs 3.75 ounces
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is an outstanding knife. Many serious knife collectors own the EDC. It is a sturdy knife that has extremely functional, highly ergonomic, and wonderfully balanced premium steel. The approximate $100 price tag and being made in the US are other positive aspects of the knife. Those wanting a workhorse EDC or folding tactical knife should put the Paramilitary 2 on the list of potential contenders.

People who own one, give the knife great endorsements. Spyderco demonstrates a dedication to innovation and high-quality by designing folding knives that have an acute balance between practicality and high performance. A data set from an evaluation of the Spyderco Paramilitary rated the knife on quality, price, and durability on a scale from one to ten. The ratings were Quality 9.2, Price 7.3, and Durability 8.8.