Unique handle material, super thin grind, and great steel combine to make the Spyderco Chaparral one of the best EDC knives on the market, and all for a reasonable price.
The Spyderco Chaparral (available for four years now) debuted as a mid-sized folder with carbon fiber laminate handles and a very thinly ground blade of CTS-XHP. It has since been made in four other variants—with a fifth on the way.
This is a review of the new Spyderco Chaparral with Raffir Noble handles.
Review: Spyderco Chaparral ($200 Retail, Buy For $120)
The bones of the Chaparral make it an excellent everyday carry knife. It has a 2.75-inch blade and weighs around two ounces. It has a deep-carry wire clip.
The handle ergonomics are perfect, with plenty of space for a full, four-finger grip. Thanks to a gentle hump over the thumb hole and the great half-and-half finger choil, the Chaparral melts into your hand.
The steel, CTS-XHP, is one of my favorites on the market with excellent corrosion resistance and edge retention.
With those features alone, it would be a great knife.
Paper Thin Blade Grind
The Chaparral’s claim to fame is its paper-thin grind. Over the years, I have come to love ultra-thin grinds, and short of a specialty blade or some of the more exotic French production knives, you will find nothing better ground than the Chaparral. It slices with an ease one imagines of a lightsaber.
But for me, these basics only tell part of the story. This Chaparral is blessed with a handle material not used elsewhere in the knife industry: Raffir Noble.
This resin material, used for jewelry, contains copper and brass mesh. It is not only lightweight but is stunningly beautiful. It is virtually impossible to capture the effect of the Raffir Noble in photos or video, but in person, it looks like waves of gold and copper pulsing out of a field of blue gray.
The Chaparral is a fabulous knife. This version is one of the coolest blades out there.
Each knife’s handles are unique, and the colors and shine are amazing. It has a high-end feel, but this knife is relatively inexpensive at around $120 (although it retails for $200).
For that, you get a thin, slicey pocket companion capable of handling virtually every EDC task you face—and it looks good doing it. For me, this is a no doubt BUY.
Those that need a little more heft in your blade (and trust me you probably don’t), this is probably a TRY. Either way, don’t pass up this Chaparral without giving it a look.