Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is one of the most well-reviewed mid-sized heavy duty folders (between 3 and 3.5 inches for purposes of this article). There is no disputing it, pretty much everyone, their buddies, and their friends love this blade. But there is some competition on the horizon that could give this super popular blade run for its money.
First, there is the slightly less expensive option, the newly released Cold Steel Mini Recon 1.
Relying on the fantastic Tri Ad lock, Cold Steel shrunk the blade to 3 inch and they add the always popular drop point to the stable of traditional blade shapes--a clip point and a tanto. The steel is still the Cold Steel stand by of AUS 8, which is merely okay, but the lock is pretty awesome.
Second, there is the newly released little brother to the Surefire Charlie, the Surefire Jekyll.
This blade is a hard use framelock with 154CM steel for the blade and an aluminum scale on the non-lock side. I like the fact that this is a flipper and I also really like the 3 inch drop point blade. Lots of belly and the grind does a good job of delivering a lot of mass to the tip. The price, around $195, is not too bad either, for a Surefire product.
Finally, there is the soon to be released TAD Gear Dauntless production knife (I am trying to get some more information, hopefully you will see that soon too). Here is the announcement, in case you haven't already seen it:
For 8 years we’ve worked with some of the best custom knifemakers in the industry to bring our signature Dauntless design to life. Over this time, both customers and staff have often requested a production version of the Dauntless. We heard you loud and clear and are excited to say that day is close at hand. In a few weeks, we will launch the first ever TAD Dauntless designed and produced exclusively by us.
To celebrate this milestone, we’re calling on all D.O.G.'s to submit an image of their Dauntless collection to email@example.com for a chance to be highlighted in a special commemorative book capturing the history of this distinguished blade.
Continue to follow us on Facebook for updates as the launch draws near.
And here is the sketch of the blade itself:
We don't know much, but given the proportions of the custom versions, this looks like it will fall into the 3-3.5 inch blade size. It will almost certainly be the most expensive of these three knives though. Nothing from TAD is cheap.
I'd include the Benchmade Adamas but is bigger than the arbitrary 3.5 inch blade length cut off I set for knives in this category. Also, I find the design utterly and completely boring. It is a fatter version of the full-sized Griptillian. And I think the Griptillian is just a better design, so why go for this heffer (7.7 oz for the 3.82 inch Adamas and 3.82 oz for the 3.45 Griptillian)?