Spyderco’s New Folder Is A Nice Slice Off The Native Template
By Pat Covert
You can tell a successful brand by the number of models staying in the lineup, plus the different versions morphing out of the originals. The Spyderco Shaman is an upsized rendition of the company’s wildly popular Native model that first appeared in 1997 and is now in its 5th generation with a host of optional handle materials and blade steels along the way. The newly released Shaman carries on the tradition in a larger, thoroughly modern platform.
The Shaman’s 4.67″ G10 handle, with its deep, rounded finger groove and finger-protecting front guard, sports the same sumptuous curves as its earlier sibling. The thicker frame slabs make for ample grip, further enhanced by a textured matte finish. The handle is friendly for right-handers and southpaws alike, thanks to a pocket clip — which can be mounted on all four ends of the handle — affording the user an option of tip-up or tip-down carry. Jimping on the front choil and backside of the blade also factors into the handling characteristics. It facilitates choking up on the blade (front) or taking advantage of a more secure thumb rest (back).
The Shaman’s 3.58″ premium CPM S30V stainless steel blade is the spear-point style found on many Spydie knives. The deep blade design makes for easy opening by way of the company’s signature hole-in-the-blade, even with gloved hands. The blade sports a flat V-grind from edge to spine, which makes for an enduring edge, and the aforementioned finger choil lets you get down to business when force and accuracy are on the menu.
One key Shaman deviation from the Native is the use of Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock as opposed to the Lockback style. The lock is located on the top spine of the handle within easy reach of the thumb and works very similar to a Liner-Lock for disengaging the blade. There is a key difference between the two, however. The locking liner blocks the base of the blade tang while Spyderco’s Compression Lock has a leaf that drops in between the backside of the tang and stop pin, keeping the blade rock solid when fully engaged.
Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock is located on the handle’s upper spine within easy
reach of your thumb for quick blade release.
Spyderco knives are known for their quality so we’ll start with that — but there’s a lot more to love about the Shaman. The nicely sculpted, thicker-than-normal handle offers excellent purchase and the length of the frame can accommodate large hands. The carry options offered by the four-point pocket clip design is a rare feature on folding knives and will be a delight to oft-ignored lefties. At 5.2 oz. — with an open length of 8.25″ — the Shaman is an EDC knife that won’t drag you down. The versatility of the design works well for everyday chores, self-defense and medium-to-light field chores. In essence, the Shaman is for those who like a well-built folder with quality ingredients and the capability for a myriad of functions. MSRP is $279.95.
Ph: (800) 525-7770