The Spyderco Chaparral ‘3’ with its stepped titanium handle is the most expensive (MSRP) spydie so far, so this one won’t be a big hit with folks looking for a simple hard working knife. Still, it’s a very striking design and I’m very pleased with it. There has been plenty of discussion about this model being overpriced etc… I won’t get into that, but I will predict that in a couple of years a -lot- of collectors will lament not getting one for this price when they could. The Chaparral ‘3’ is bound to become a ‘grail’ knife for many.
The fit and finish are simply superb; I couldn’t detect any flaws on the steps or any other part of the knife. The Chaparral opens smoothly and locks up tight, the edge came very sharp from the box and the clip was easy to switch. Basically, it’s a really nice gent’s folder and a great utility EDC folder. The Chaparral makes for a superb universal opener and a limited food prep knife. Function-wise it’s just as nice as my ‘titanium stealth Chaparral’, that I reviewed in more detail back in 2012.
As is obvious from the photos, the handle pattern features an intricate design of tiny steps. I understand it takes a lot of fairly complicated machining, and the design took quite some time to develop. Spyderco apparently can only make about 10 per day, so the stepped titanium Chaparral is not going to be widely available at dealers. What impresses me is that there are no curved lines in the handle. All the machining is done with straight cuts.
The steps in the Chaparral’s handle remind me of the art by M.C. Escher who, apart from having the best initials ever for rap battles with fellow artists, was a Dutchmen like me. So I carry this little gem with a bit of extra pride. The wow-factor of the design is simply off the charts. The Chaparral stepped titanium is currently the best conversation piece in my collection and it’s the best liked knife by the non-knife people I know. That is, until they hear of the price, or rather my unwillingness to share the actual price when they ask. You’ve been there, right?
As much as I love my spydies, I totally ‘get’ the obsession fellow spyderknuts have with custom knives or mid-techs like the excellent Sebenza by Chris Reeve. Whenever I get that urge, I just clip on the Chaparral ‘3’ and I’m good, knowing that this is a much more ergonomic design with the best opening device for folding knives, the Spyderco opening hole.
Click here to see photos, video and information on the Stepped Titanium Chaparral 2013 prototype.