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Spyderco Paramilitary 2 vs Spyderco Para 3

The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 and Para 3 are related. The Para 3 is namely a smaller version of the Paramilitary 2. Other than that they are completely identical. But how much smaller is the Para 3? And which of these two knives should you choose? We will tell you!

Many different versions of both knives were introduced throughout the years. For this versus we compare the standard models: the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 C81GP2 and the Spyderco para 3 C223GP.

The similarities between the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 and the Spyderco Para 3

Both knives are produced in the United States and are made from the same materials. The blade is made from CPM S45VN and the handle from G10: fibreglass with an epoxy base. The design is also similar. Makes sense, the Para 3 is a smaller version of the Paramilitary 2. Both knives are also enhanced with Spyderco's compression lock. This is a type of reversed liner lock located in the spine fo the handle.

The differences between the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 and Spyderco Para 3


The difference can be found in the size and a couple small details. When opened the Paramilitary 2 is 21 cm long with an 8.7 cm long blade. The Para 3 is 18.5 cm long and has a 7.6 cm long blade.

Compared to the blade the Paramilitary 2 has a slightly longer handle than the Para 3. A difference of 2.5 cm compared to a difference in blade length of approx. 1 cm.


Because of the difference in size there is, of course, also a difference in weight. The Paramilitary 2 weighs 110 grams and the Para 3 95 grams. Not a substantial difference, but you do notice it when you hold them next to each other.

Pocket clip:

The pocket clip is also different. Because the handle of the Para 3 is shorter, and the size of the lanyard hole stayed the same, the clip was moved. It is located a little further to the right towards the middle of the handle. Again: a small but noticeable difference. As such the Para 3 is located a little higher in your pocket than the Paramilitary 2.

Which knife will you choose?

The differences in terms of design are small, but the difference in terms of function is substantial. Because of those extra centimetres the Paramilitary 2 is easier to use by those who are blessed with large hands. The knife is also better suited for larger cutting tasks and tactical use for first responders. The Para 3, however, is better for those who prefer a smaller pocket knife. For that reason Spyderco produced the Para 3 in the first place. A blade length of approx. 7.5 cm is considered to be ideal for every day carry: daily use. The knife is namely a little more manageable and easier to carry. Our conclusion? Think about what you want to use the knife for and what you prefer in terms of size.