Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Compression Lock Folding Knife Black LW (3" Black)


  • Black DLC-coated blade made from CTS-BD1N steel.
  • Ambidextrous thumb hole opener.
  • Textured black FRN handle with black hardware.
  • Compression lock mechanism.
  • Reversible pocket clip for tip-up carry.


The Spyderco Para 3 made a name for itself as one of the best EDC pocket knives out there, and the Para 3 Lightweight made it even better! It is a joy to operate, and thanks to the bi-directional texturing of its FRN handle, it is lighter and grippier than ever. Instead of the classic spoon clip, Spyderco employed a wire clip that is gentler on your pocket, carries much deeper, and further reduces the weight. Youll be hard-pressed to find a better ultra-light folding pocket knife anywhere, so slip this guy into your pocket and learn what it means to EDC with ease!

If you like this model, we guarantee you'll enjoy our other Spyderco Para 3 folding knife variations. We offer a range of different handles, blade finishes, and blade steels.

Item #BHQ-102052
MSRP: $200.00
Our Price: $140.00
In Stock!

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  • Overall Length: 7.27"
  • Blade Length: 3.00"
  • Blade Thickness: 0.14"
  • Blade Material: CTS BD1N
  • Blade Style: Clip Point
  • Blade Width: 1.38"
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Finish: Black
  • Edge Type: Plain
  • Handle Length: 4.27"
  • Handle Thickness: 0.46"
  • Handle Material: FRN
  • Handle Width: 1.10"
  • Color: Black
  • Frame/Liner: Steel
  • Weight: 2.50 oz.
  • User: Right Hand, Left Hand
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up
  • Knife Type: Manual
  • Opener: Thumb Hole
  • Lock Type: Compression Lock
  • Brand: Spyderco
  • Model: Para 3, Paramilitary 3, Para3, PM3
  • Model Number: C223PBBK
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Best Use: Everyday Carry
  • Product Type: Knife

Customer Reviews

This is the one
Flavio S. on Jul 18, 2023

If you had to pick just one knife to carry everyday, it should be this one. Amazing ergos, formidable blade, cheap price. Can be used for a lot of different tasks, from opening boxes and letters to gardening and food prepping. Action is crisp and smooth, edge retention is good and it will take an edge fairly easy.

I Love It!
RICHARD M. on Feb 17, 2023

I own many Spyderco knives, but this will always be my favorite. Light weight, disappears in the pocket, not too big or too small. Fun fidget knife. Everyone needs one.

My favorite lightweight EDC
Victor R. on Feb 9, 2022

For the price this is an amazing knife as an urban EDC. It just disappears in your pocket. Frankly, outside of work my utility in an everyday urban environment is limited to looking cool opening Amazon packages and simple non heavy duty things like picking my nails, cutting threads, and fidgeting. Amazing EDC, just amazing.

good knife
Chad T. on Mar 17, 2021

was my first big boy knife purchase. I guess that makes it a blessing and a curse since my collection has grown...

first real knife
Austin F. on Mar 9, 2021

this was my first real knife that I got for christmas. I love it is so lightweight and great edge retention it is far better than the bugout Jamie and kurt and you can fight me on that. But all kidding aside it is probably the best knife under 100 dollars

Carried for 1-year
Matt R. on Jan 12, 2021

I got this knife for my birthday last year. I had been carrying a Spyderco Resilience which I like but it is way too big. I wanted a smaller lightweight knife that I could use in public without terrifying anyone. The Para 3 has been perfect! Stays sharp and I hardly notice it in my pocket. I highly recommend

alex h. on Dec 19, 2020

i will say after numerous months of owning this I have not had a problem and use this every day for work .PS to those who have to wear gloves for work this is great for it

Better than expected
Chris M. on Nov 4, 2020

I kept looking at this knife and couldn't decide on the lw or g-10. Well I ended up buying the lw first and love it. The knife is very light in pocket which is great for me and the wire clip is my new favorite spyderco clip by far. I have a few of the para 2 and 3 but the lw finds its way in my pocket more often than not since buying it. I live in FL so I wear shorts a lot on the weekend and the weight of this knife is perfect in pocket, you forget its there. I was worried about it being too light for harder tasks but this knife is up to it. If your looking for a great EDC lightweight knife this is it. Almost forgot the knife came razor sharp and in perfect condition.

The baby pterodactyl
Matt L. on Sep 24, 2020

Spyderco Para 3 LW. If I had to describe in one word, about what sets this knife apart from others in its price range, I would say "surprised". Pleasantly surprised. Not really sure what I was expecting, but I'm pretty sure, I got more. 1. Compression lock is wonderful. Liner lock that you access from the back. How clever. The knife is incredibly smooth to operate. Even though I am awful at the spydie flick, there are many (easier) ways to open this knife. 2. Handle is light (imagine that) and has a neat directional grippyness to it that reminds me of shark's skin. 3. Pocket clip is also surprising; cheap, flimsy pocket wire, or well designed, minimalist, pocket clip? I choose to believe the latter. A little worried that it will get caught on something and get bent, but so far so good. 4. The blade is short, pointy, scratch-resistant, and very sharp. The Para 3 is a little on the small side for me personally, but I know the good folks at BHQ really love their tiny blades. Despite that, the knife feels good and looks good. However, is it worth the price? Almost. Nearly, but not quite. It is a lot of dough for not a lot of knife, regardless of how much I like it. Would I discourage a friend from buying the Para 3? Absolutely not. Would I tell them to check out the Para 2 or Tenacious first....maybe yeah. Love my Para 3, and it gets loads of pocket time. Great knife, good purchase. 87/100

Spyderco fidgety!
Patrick M. on Sep 1, 2020

This is my first Spyderco purchase. Honestly, I never liked the look. But, after much research, video watching, etc., I decided to purchase. I've had it less than a week, and the "Spydie flick" took me about a day to get it. Now, I can't stop playing with the thing! I am not an everyday, hard use guy. I carry this most days, use it some days, but am absolutely enjoying this knife. Very light, and so fun to flick. So far, so great!

Bugout pesticide?...perhaps
Mitchell B. on Aug 14, 2020

My second knife ever was the G10 blacked out PM3 in 2013, and that is all I carried for 7 years. FF to 2020, and holy crud had things changed! Pros: Great strength & toughness to weight ratio, super light in pocket, Spyderco fidget factor out of the box, typically excellent blade grind and a perfect pocket clip (Spyderco - learn from yourselves and start moving most of your models to the wire). Cons: After a good month of carrying, the BD1N steel definitely lost that popping edge that my S30V PM3 took 2 or 3 months to lose - not a huge deal because it stropped up very quickly on the Sharpmaker fine stones. The jimping on the thumb ramp is great for ergonomics - but it catches and drags pretty severely when I pocket it tip-up right side. Overall a great value and a great evolution to the PM3 for lighter carry, but I would not call it a Bugout killer - my Bugout out slices, has better edge retention, carries easier in the pocket, and matches the fidget factor of this PM3. The PM3 only wins outright on scale toughness and grip in hand. This is still a great knife and a standard for sure!

Buy it
MATT S. on Aug 11, 2020

To me this is a must have knife. It is my all-time favorite EDC. Great to carry, lightweight but hardy. I love the wire clip. The knife feels great in my hand whether open or closed. I think the all blacked out color looks awesome.

Probably the best knife i will ever get!
Ian D. on Jun 22, 2020

This is a great knife for EDC! It works great for every day cary and is also stands up to hard work.

worthy of the price and reputation
jeremy j. on May 22, 2020

I have collected knives and swords for 20 years ranging from hunting to EDC and collecting. Lately I've been looking into lightweight EDC knives for different possible situations and kept coming back to the para 3. Its razor sharp and the blade locks into place tightly with no play in any direction. It has a good grip that doesn't want to snag on gloves or clothing. Its thin and obviously light. I LITERALLY forget I'm carrying it. It's worth it in every way possible.

The best Everyday Carry Knaf
Jesse G. on Jan 31, 2020

I've owned other Spyderco knives. I've always wanted a Para 3. Now that I've purchased one, I understand what all of the hype is about. This knife is perfect. The deep-carry clip. The fact that it's lightweight in the hand. Great blade steel. And it just looks so darn good in all black. Easily the best purchase I've made on a knife.

Amazing EDC
Branden M. on Jan 5, 2020

Absolutely amazing knife. I was expecting it to be a little stiff, only having a washer on one side of the knife, but it falls shut easy! Love the all black design, and it really is weightless. If you are debating, buy it, you won't regret it!

EDC Perfection
Drop S. on Dec 23, 2019

I've always wanted a Para 3 in my knife lineup, but the G-10 version wasn't for me. I bought this knife instead & after a couple weeks of carrying it I really love it. The "QC" on this knife is flawless. Looks great. Disappears in the pocket. Ergo's are incredible. Wire clip for the win. Compression locks rock & the DLC coated blade is quite impressive. This knife outperforms its price tag. My Bugout has been replaced. Thank you Spyderco & BladeHQ.

Good general purpose pocket knife
EDWIN J. on Nov 15, 2021

This knife was razor sharp out of the box. To me It's in that perfect size range where there is a decent amount of blade but nothing alarming if you pull it out while doing everyday tasks. The handle is substantial enough to get a good purchase on it but the handle is also my one and only complaint. The FRN material is extremely light but even with the stippling design, its very slippery and feels like plastic. There isn't enough texture to keep the knife from slipping through my fingers. Once its in my hand it stays there, but when doing things that require just the fingers like removing it from my pocket or using one hand to close the blade, its easy to drop the knife. The lock mechanism positively locks the blade when opened and can release easily with one hand. It doesn't close with the same positive click, but it will stay closed. I was not able to shake of fling the blade open without intentionally using my thumb or middle finger in the hole to push the blade open. Its important to know a tip up carry blade will stay closed and I have confidence this one will.

Missing a body screw but still wonderful
Elisabeth L. on Sep 27, 2020

Great condition other than missing a body screw. Compression lock is super solid. Blade was razor sharp out of the box. Very smooth action and suuuper light.

Great knife so far
Jeffrey E. on Aug 17, 2020

I've only had this about a week, but love it so far. The compression lock is my new favorite lock, and I love a wire pocket clip. It was really tight when I got it, but loosening the pivot a little helped. Came razor sharp. The weight makes this an ideal EDC knaf. If only I could master the spydey flick.

Blade Play and an Odd Choice
August K. on May 20, 2022

I'm have no idea why they did this but it only has one washer in the pivot. I thought I might have dropped it when I was taking it apart to clean it. Nope. It just has a washer and metal plate on one side and then it just rides directly on the FRN on the other side. I have been unable to eliminate the fairly substantial blade play, even when cranking the pivot down making it very tight to operate. I have a Sage 5 Lightweight. It is a way better design. It has recessed steel liners on both sides and washers on both sides. Blade came perfectly centered and absolutely drops shut with zero blade play. I would recommend it over the Para 3 LW anytime. It's a little heavier but still a light knife, and the world of difference in action, and I suspect long term durability, is way worth it.

Blade HQ response:
Thank you for your honest review. Since this was purchased over 90 days ago I would not be able to offer to set up a return on this unfortunately; however, if you are still experiencing issues with this knife you can reach out to Spyderco for warranty assistance. Please let us know if you need anything else. ~BHQ
QC Issues
ryan a. on Jul 21, 2021

Oddly enough, despite owning another Para 3 -- I had a few issues with this one. First, the clip comes loose so quickly and needs near constant retightening. Secondly, I'm not sure if it's the DLC coating but this one isn't nearly as smooth as my non-DLC coated Para 3. If you want a Para 3, I recommend another version.

Meh. Has serious flaws
Danny L. on Mar 23, 2021

I really wanted to love this blade. The idea of it is awesome: light weight, compression lock, decent steel, decent price, etc... The execution is where it falls apart. It only has one washer which I think is it's fatal flaw. Due to this it's impossible to get the blade centered, and for the life of me I can't get the pivot screw loose enough to make the blade drop without having side to side play. I hope Spyderco comes out with a 2.0 that has two washers. Until then I'll continue to EDC my Bugout.

Sage 5 LW is Better
Antonio M. on Oct 31, 2020

For a few more bucks I’d get a Sage 5. The weight difference is insignificant. The problem with the Para 3 are the shortcuts Spyderco made in the design. For example there is only one washer and half a compression lock. I found this knife very difficult to center the blade and still get smooth blade action as a result.

Middle of the road.
Seth G. on Sep 28, 2020

Overall I was not as impressed with this knife and I was hoping to be by all the rave reviews it has across the internet. The action was sticky and did not deploy reliably, even after tuning it to be better than it came stock. The same can be said for the closing action as well. The blade never seemed to make up its mind about if it was going to close of not. I blame this solely on the design of the compression lock. Press it in too far and the blade sticks on close, don't press it enough and the blade stays locked in place. The sweet spot for getting it to work properly was about 1/4 of a mm. Way too finicky for my taste. All that being said, I really did like the blade and the ergos were pretty nice. I can think of worse blades to buy for $112. Ultimately though, I ended up returning mine.

Pocket clip came out in two months!
Girish N. on Jul 16, 2021

I liked it because it was lightweight and solid metal however the pocket clip came out in 2 months despite the glorious claim of Spyderco that their clips lasts as long as the knife does! Approached BladeHQ who in turn passed me Spyderco's contact details! They never responded! ... so I would recommend getting the G10 version of this knife which has a solid clip with screws on it.

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