This was not a knife I ever planned on picking up. I just wasn't a big fan of the Para 3 from what I had seen and I have my reservations about FRN. However, when this dropped I eventually came around to it and saw the possibilities that the small minimal design could have to offer.
Blade Length: 74 mm (3“)
Edge Length: 66 mm (2.58“)
Closed Length: 109 mm (4.29“)
Overall Length: 183 mm (7.21“)
Weight: 68 g (2.4oz)
Blade Thickness: 3.7 mm (0.14“)
Blade Material: CTS-BD1
Handle Material: FRN
Pivot: Single Bronze Washer
Grind: Full Flat
Blade Design: Clip Point
Locking: Compression Lock
Opening Mechanism: Spydie Hole
Pocket Clip: Yes, Reversible Tip Up
Additional Features: Lanyard Hole
The Para 3 LW obviously lives up to its name at under 2.5 ounces meaning that it somewhat disappears into your pocket. The wire pocket clip is a great touch as it completes the knife. I prefer deep clips like this and the wire clip fits the design. It is a very simple clip that gets the job done without trying to add too much flash. This is also my first compression lock so that was pretty exciting. As for most people, the compression lock is very enjoyable to toy with. It did take a bit of practice to get used to but once I got the finger placement for me down it works great. Similarly, I am a massive fan of the Spydie hole as it is a very simple opening mechanism that allows for plenty of options. This is another area where I have to be careful not to fidget too much. Overall with the FRN they did a pretty good job with chamfering on the edges. The finger choil is very hand and I have been using it consistently as it provides a little bit more control over the blade and also allows me to get my entire hand on the knife.
There are a couple of drawbacks to the design of this knife. As I mentioned earlier Spyderco attempted to make the edges as smooth as possible, however, there is more that they could have done. The outer edges are chamfered will but the inside edges are still rather sharp and can somewhat dig into the meat of your hand. Along those same lines, if you slow roll the blade using your thumb the compression lock will occasionally pinch your hand as it springs into place. Another thing to point out is that there is only a single bronze bushing on the pivot. The other side is just bare contact with the FRN. For some people, this might be an issue. I will say that for me I did notice some friction the first few days of use but as I have opened it more I have seen an improvement in how smooth the opening experience. The last thing I will point out is that the handle is naturally shorter because the knife is designed to be as compact as possible. Luckily there is the finger choil that I mentioned earlier because my hand does not fit comfortably on the handle alone.
The Para 3 LW has become a common knife in my carry. Since picking it up I have been carrying this knife almost non-stop and I will probably keep it in a regular rotation. I really like how light it is, I did not plan on picking up a Para 3 due to the form factor but this Light Weight design just looked appealing. I think that this was a good decision as it is a solid knife and gave me a chance to branch into a different knife design. This knife is a great option for those of you that are looking to pick up a solid new knife that won't break the scale or the bank.