GPKnives just sent out an email blast about their new store-exclusive Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight folding knife, with white FRN handle and REX 45 blade steel, model C41PWH5.
They’re calling this a limited production run, and so supplies might only last a short while. Their previous exclusive, which launched in May, is still available.
The Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight is a fantastic everyday folding knife, with 2.95″ blade and lockback blade lock.
What’s special about this particular Native 5 is that it has white FRN handle scales, and its spear point blade is made from CPM Rex 45 steel.
GPKnives says that the white FRN handle offers the perfect platform for RIT dye – a popular fabric and general purpose dye. (According to online commentary, RIT and RIT DyeMore both seem to work with FRN.)
So, if you’re not a fan of the white handle scale, it should make a fine base for DIY color solutions.
Notes About the Rex 45 Blade Steel
The blade steel, Rex 45, a particle metallurgy tool steel that’s described as a super high speed steel with excellent hot hardness, good wear resistance and toughness. GPKnives’ page says Rex 45 is similar to CPM-M4.
Following are more comments about the blade steel, or scroll down a little to get to the Who’s it for? section.
They say Rex 45 is intended to deliver increased strength and edge stability for thinner, high performance edges, and with corrosion resistance comparable to CPM-M4.
A Crucible supplier (Grigg Steel) says that: CPM Rex 45 steel is tougher than all the other super high-speed steels and has a longer cutting tool life than the M series steels.
Knife Steel Nerds says that Rex 45 has a bit less wear resistance than M4 (see the vanadium content) though is capable of a bit more hardness due to the cobalt addition.
Here is what Spyderco says about Rex 45 in a listing for a different sprint-run Native 5 knife release:
Crucible CPM REX 45 is a super-high-speed particle metallurgy tool steel enriched with large volumes of cobalt, tungsten, molybdenum, and vanadium. Its high cobalt content increases the steel’s attainable hardness and enhances the positive properties of the steel’s other alloys. The addition of vanadium promotes the formation of vanadium carbides, which provide high wear resistance, fine grain size and increased toughness.
A true steel connoisseur’s blade material, REX 45 is an ideal steel for this prestigious Native 5 Lightweight Sprint Run produced in our USA factory.
I’m not very familiar with Rex 45 yet, but it seems to be a premium steel with focus on hardness and edge retention. If you need to know more than that, there are plenty of online forum posts where knife enthusiasts take things to hair-splitting levels – and I mean this literally.
Who’s it for?
I’d say that this particular folding knife might be a good fit for users looking to upgrade to a $75-$125 folding knife with 3″ blade, thumbhole opening, and lockback, or users with their eye on the Native 5 and like the idea of the white handle and Rex 45 blade steel.
Priced at $112, this special limited edition of the Native 5 is slightly lower priced than the standard Native 5 Lightweight model, which features black FRN handle scales and CPM S30V blade steel. S30V is a premium steel that offers balanced performance.
This is unusual, as exclusives and limited edition Spyderco knives usually cost more than their regular widely-available models.
I like the Native 5 for its smaller size, light weight, and comfortable pocket carry.
This particular version of the Native 5 has what looks to be limited edition white handle scales that could also serve as a good starting point for DIY dying.
The Rex 45 blade steel looks to offer high hardness, and thus edge retention (sharpness longevity), along with the slight compromise in toughness that often comes with this.
The Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight with FRN handle is a great premium folding knife for under $125. Compared to less expensive knives, this gives you an upgraded blade steel, textured handle, and it’s made in the USA.
|Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight, C41PWH5|
|Blade Material||CPM Rex 45|
|Blade Style||Spear point Satin finish|
GPKnives also has a Spyderco Native 5 Lightweight with white handles and black DLC Rex 45 blade, for $126.