Spyderco Para 3 Compression Lock Knife Black (3" Satin) C223GP Paramilitary 3

For Reference Only: Size Comparison with PM2 For Reference Only: Size Comparison with PM2
Spyderco Para 3 Compression Lock Knife Black (3" Satin) C223GP Paramilitary 3
MSRP: $199.95
Our Price: $129.97
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Item #BHQ-50648


  • Overall Length:7.27"
  • Blade Length:3.00"
  • Blade Thickness:0.15"
  • Blade Material:CPM-S30V
  • Blade Style:Clip Point
  • Blade Grind:Flat
  • Finish:Satin
  • Edge Type:Plain
  • Handle Length:4.27"
  • Handle Thickness:0.45"
  • Handle Material:G-10
  • Color:Black
  • Frame/Liner:Stainless Steel
  • Weight:3.00 oz.
  • User:Right Hand
  • Pocket Clip:Tip-Down, Tip-Up
  • Knife Type:Manual
  • Opener:Thumb Hole
  • Lock Type:Compression Lock
  • Brand:Spyderco
  • Model:Para 3, Paramilitary 3, Para3, PM3
  • Model Number:C223GP
  • Country of Origin:USA
  • Best Use:Everyday Carry
  • Product Type:Knife


The Para 3 is a more compact version of Spyderco's immensely popular Paramilitary 2. It features the same high-strength Compression Lock, textured G-10 scales, and a scaled-down, full-flat ground CPM-S30V blade. This is another solid design from Spyderco that's sure to please those who love the PM2, but prefer shorter blades or live in areas with blade-length restrictions.

  • CPM-S30V blade offers exceptional cutting power and edge retention.
  • Ergonomic textured G-10 handle offers heightened comfort and grip strength.
  • Four-position pocket clip and a lanyard hole provides numerous carry options.

Customer Reviews

Write a review for this item
My favorite spyderco
Chris V.
Small, lightweight, durable, carries well, wears well, great value. Definitely my favorite spyderco.
Great edc knife
jay l.
It's a perfect EDC knife. More hand friendly and pocket friendly than the para 2. Great buy.
Josh V.
I love the Para 3! Compression lock with S30V blade steel makes a great knife every time. The all black makes a great look too. Not to mention the perfect EDC size blade. Great for the money. 100% worth it!!!
Great little edc!
Aaron J.
Iíve had the para 3 for about 2 months now, and Iíve enjoyed it so much. It came buttery smooth, and test somehow it has broken in even smoother! The knife is light, test has a solid feel to it. The only down fall to the knife that I can find is the pocket clip. The standard spydie-clip actually reveals about 1/8Ē in. of the blade while it is in your pocket. This issue can be resolved by getting an MXG gear clip, a Lynch clip, or any other deep carry aftermarket clip. Overall, this knife is a great addition to any collection, and a great lightweight edc.
Outstanding value, functional masterpiece.
Eric G.
Been carrying one of these for about a year now with no complaints.
Blade shape and ergos have worked well for everything from sharpening pencils to dispatching oppossums. The g-10 is in the goldilocks zone on grip. The knife comes up out of the pocket without a fight and stays fast in the hand, even when wet.

The compression lock system is the best in the business. Easy one handed operation with no digits in the the blade path. No little springs or parts to inevitabley fail. No blade play and it's fun to use.

S30v blade came hair popping sharp and has remained that way with minimal maintenance. Grinds are perfect.

I have replaced the pocket clip with a deep carry option from MXG (love it). The factory clip carries well in the tip down orientation but does kinda suck for tip up carry.

The action is outstandingly smooth.The combination of the bronze/phosphor washers and high end fitment often make me wonder if bearings aren't just overkill in a folder.

Last but not least, Made in the USA baby. If I lost mine tomorrow, I would order another that night.
Works for me.
Brent M.
I've had my Para3 for four months now and find it is still one of my favorite EDC's. The size works very well for me. Many say it is not that much smaller than the Paramilitary 2, but for me there is a big difference in how it fits and feels in my pocket compared to my PM2. The PM2 dominates my jeans pocket while the Para3 leave plenty of room for other stuff and access in and out of my pocket is easy. As a result, the Para3 is with me most days while the PM2 gets used only when I'm heading out to do some heavy duty work on the weekends.

I find the ergonomics to be really good for a 3" blade knife. Multiple ways to grip it and all are very secure. The G10 handles feel very nice, due in large part to the nice rounding Syperco has done on the edges. The PM2 lacks this rounding and does not feel nearly as refined as the Para3 as a result.

The whole knife feels really sturdy and substantial, from the handles, to the compression lock, to the steel liners and thick spine on the blade. It inspires confidence in hard use.

Blade material is fine. S30V is a little brittle or "chippy," but I knew that going in, so it is as expected.

A couple of downsides. Due to the unusual design of the lanyard hole, the knife rides way too high in the pocket with the stock pocket clip. I immediately bought a deep carry clip and solved that problem, but that does add to the cost of the knife and has to be factored in.

Another drawback it the very thin tip of this blade. It looks fragile. While we all know we shouldn't pry or do anything with our knives but cut, most of us do anyway, me included. You have to really watch the tip on this one and do little, if anything other than slice and cut.

One last thing, the action on mine was too tight for my liking, so I did heat it with a blow dryer to loosen the locktite so I could adjust the pivot bolt and set it to where I like it. A minor thing, but necessary.

All in all, I really like the Para3. Fit and finish is top notch, it fits my pocket well, which more days than not is where you'll find it.
Para 3... RETURNED
Dean F.
Man, I read a lot of reviews on this knife, but not one review mentioned the issue I had with mine... the compression lock would continually bite my finger. If I wrist flicked the blade open, the lock would either slap the flesh of my index finger real hard as the blade locked into position, or it would actually pinch it and give me a blood blister. YOUCH! It happened whenever I did a light wrist flick (no harder than a thumb or finger deployment- Yes, I know a hard wrist flick is bad for a folder), and with minor grip changes. I couldn't deal with this, so I returned it and ordered a Manix 2 M4 even tho the blade length will end me up in jail in RI. Does Blade HQ offer any attorney services?
This knife is hard to put down
Kurt J.
I really love this knife. I was super impressed by how flickable this knife is. The action is silky smooth and the lock up is rock solid. Perfect blade centering and no blade play in any direction. My only complaint is the pocket clip. Way too much knife sticking out of the pocket. Got a titanium deep carry clip from MXG and it's now perfect.
Great EDC
James H.
This knife came razor sharp out of the box and everything about it is great, only complaint is the pocket clip is in a bad position and shows a lot of the knife in pocket.
Perfect EDC knife
ron c.
Until I received this knife I used to carry benchmade autos I still love the benchmade black class but now that has changed since I've felt this in my hands. The para 3 is a straight up knife that's meant to be used. It's sturdy, premium blade steel, no blade play, blade is centered perfectly in handle along with very smooth action. Lock up is tight and compression lock works great. Ergonomically amazing and I have medium sized hands. The blade is what really made me purchase this knife. Machining is outstanding. For the money I will highly recommend. Best knife for the money IMO. G10, cpm USA made steel from Crucible Industries. Stainless steel lining. Built strong.
Almost perfect
Chad F.
This compliments my PM2 very nicely. Whenever the Pm2 is a little too big this one is perfect, has all the features and just a little smaller. My Para 3 lock was really sticky when flipping the blade open but I disassembled, smoothed out where the blade and locking lever meet with some 800-1000 grit and now it's perfect like my Pm2 came. The clip position is bad, more of this knife sticks out than even the PM2 does but easily fixed that with an aftermarket deep carry clip, all in all I really like it If I had no choice but to keep only the Para 3 vs my PM2 Id have to go with the Para 3 more all around however I don't have to so I'm keeping both in the edc rotation!
Brad L.
This knife is from one of my favorite brands. I found the detent is a bit softer than I prefer, but still acceptable. Too small for me though, large size hand just eats it up, and it dissappears in my paws.
Now THIS is What I Was After
Glen E.
In search of a high quality and (reasonably) affordable EDC, I found this model on Blade HQ. And I'm SO glad I did.

This knife is everything I had hoped to find, and the Blade HQ buying experience can't be beat. Ordered this past Wednesday, delivered cross country and arrived just yesterday. Packaging was superb, and you cannot beat the price.

My new favorite
Braden E.
Absolutely love this knife. Mine came very sharp out of the box, took hair off the arm with no effort. Silky smooth opening with the flick of the wrist. Absolutely zero play in the blade when opened. Perfect carry size in my opinion, not too big and not too small. I love this thing! Some may call me crazy, but this knife may just barely beat out my Benchmade 940 as my new favorite knife. Barely.
The perfect EDC knife for me
Michael M.
I needed an EDC that fit my needs. I had an injury to my dominate hand and wrist, and do to a surgeon with very rough hands, my grip and hand strength is now very limited. I have a decent folder collection including a Lionsteel TRE CF and Sabenza 25, but for one reason or another, they are difficult for me to use now. I went to a big box sporting goods store that carries most of the big knife names like Kershaw, Benchmade and Spyderco and tried a bunch of their folders to see if I could find a model that felt comfortable, opened and closed easily and I could also easily grip. Most of the knives were too difficult for me to either open or close, but then one of the gentleman helping me pulled out his personal folder for me to try. It was a magical moment. The knife opened with ease and closed with ease. The handle felt perfect in my hand and was easy to grip. He told me it was the new Para 3 by Spyderco but they were all sold out. I was sorry to hear that, but considering my problem, he informed me I could get one online. I did some online and Youtube research and found BladeHQ was a trusted Spyderco dealer, so I ordered. They shipped it really fast and the knife arrived in perfect shape. The blade was centered, the action was smooth, and the blade was perfect. Some complain about the clip saying the knife sticks too far out of the pocket. I don't like to use the clips because every time I sit the knives usually push more and more out of the pocket and I think I'm going to loose them. I did try it and this clip does hold very tight and was even difficult for me to remove from my pocket, so I don't think falling out of the pocket will be a problem at all for those that do use the clip. They may want to buy an aftermarket deep pocket clip for a more concealed carry if that's their issue.

My only nit pick would be the factory blade sharpness. I see some say "razor sharp" and some say "not so sharp" without giving many other details. Before my injury, I used to straight razor shave so razor sharp has a different meaning for me then some. The blade could not shave your facial hair (razor sharp for me), or arm hair (the sharpness I bring my knives up to on average), or push cut phone book paper (what many consider a good sharpness). The blade could cut thicker printer paper pretty easily with a small hiccup by the base. Not a big deal for someone with sharpening skills.

All in all, this is my own personal grail knife. Everyone is different, but it is perfect for me.
Red Loc-Tite Why?
craig c.
Recently received the Para 3 and this is going to be a great EDC. Out of the box the knife feels great in hand, love the forward finger choil. The G-10 handle scale are medium grippy and have some nice chamfering to the edges. S30V steel is wonderful. Out of the box sharpness was nice, not great, but very acceptable. The four position pocket clip is a nice feature, especially since tip-up carry leaves quite a bit of the knife out of the pocket. I noticed that the original action of the knife was a little stiff. I attempted to loosen the pivot slightly. Spyderco has secured the pivot and screws with red loc-tite. Beware of stripping the hardware because of the grip of the loc-tite. I replaced the original clip with a titanium deep carry version and pocket carry is now perfect.
Great knife, bad clip carry
Justin W.
This is a wonderful knife. It is perfectly sized and blade shape is great. I do think it is better (more pocketable) than the pm2. My one complaint is the overly shiny pocket clip that leaves a large portion of the knife sticking out of the pocket. I absolutely hate the clip configuration on this knife. I bought an aftermarket deep carry clip that is black. The knife is now perfect. Too bad Spyderco doesn't offer deep carry options for the Para 3.
A cut above
Steven F.
Boy, did Spyderco hit the sweet spot on this one!
The finish and ergonomics are the best I have ever seen from Spyderco. They have seriously upped their game. Fit and finish are better than my other folders from the same folks. The other ones I own are very good---but this is something elevated to a new standard.

In terms of materials and size, the closest Spyderco folder I have to this one is the Native 5, with the same size blade (3"), the same handle material (G10), and very similar steel (S35VN).
This Para 3 is immediately more friendly to the hand, and weighs considerably less. This is one of a very few knives I own that I will pocket carry in jeans and in a suit or dress pants. It's amazingly light for a knife with G10 sides and steel liners. The liners are thin, but the knife has plenty of rigidity.

Basically, this is a Paramilitary 2, downsized and with ergonomic tweaks (e.g., The G10 is rounded off, not left with very square edges, as on the Paramilitary 2). Yes, I know that Spyderco insists that this is a new model into itself, and not really the 'Paramilitary 3'. Yadda, Yadda. Frankly, it's a downsized Paramilitary 2, with much better ergonomics. And I mean MUCH better ergonomics. I wear XL or XXL gloves, and this is still comfortable in my hand.

Very smooth action, solid lock-up with the compression lock, and easy to close.
The blade arrived arm-hair-shaving sharp, and bring made of Crucible's terrific S30V, will hold that edge quite well. This is one of very few folders that I didn't need to bring up the sharpness level as soon as I received it. Nice. And the flat grind makes it a great slicer. With only moderate pressure, it will push-cut through a corncob.

This is one of the best EDC folders I've ever touched. A perfect balance between size and function. It's big and solid enough for tactical use in a pinch, and it's also small enough to fit, completely concealed, into the watch pocket in my jeans.

GREAT folder. Buy one.

Geoffrey W.
For the price you will not find a better knife, no other knife company is giving you AMERICAN made, S30V, g10 and the quality you will get here for $120 shipped!!! I'm long time pm2 owner and love it and have beat the crap out of it and it's eaten everything and spit it out... it is my go to carry... But just like the others when I first got my pm2 it was bigger than I expected and really wanted but I grew to love it... The Para3 is everything i wanted the pm2 to be.... And the exact same tough construction as my pm2 just a smaller package.... That being said you certainly still need both... Tell the wife I said it's cool. Diff tools, diff jobs, you own more than one golf club don't ya??
Proving Spyderco is the best...again!
Paul O.
Iíve been a PM2 user for many years and it is my favorite folding knife. I own over 20 Spyderco knives and they are the best! Just got the Para 3 and the knife feels great. The ergonomics are very similar to the PM2, despite the reduced size. The texturing of the G10 and rounding of the scales have been improved compared to the PM2 and it is quite comfortable. The one criticism (like many) is the placement of the pocket clip. I personally donít ever use lanyards on any of my folding knives and in my opinion the lanyard hole on this knife really screws up the carry; there is a ton of knife that sticks out of the pocket. Overall, this knife is fantastic! The fit and finish are everything youíd expect from a US produced Spydie!
Sweet American Spidey!
Eric J.
Lightweight manual folders are my preference, and this folder is special. The compression lock on the spine and smooth action makes one handed opening and closing easy without needing the large SpideyHole.
I would prefer a black clip that would allow deep pocket carry (impossible with large lanyard hole) - but this is a solid, well made, 5-star American Beauty. Enjoy!
Perfect sized EDC
James F.
As a long time Manix 2 owner I've been holding out on the para2 because I wanted something smaller- the para3 hits the sweet spot for me in terms of size and the compression lock is super strong. I agree with other reviewers about the lanyard hole being a little too big but it's not worth taking a star off honestly it's a small gripe
Peter G.
The G10 is contoured a bit on the sides so it is more comfortable than the PM2. The only knock is the clip being so far down because of the lanyard hole. Perfect size for my needs.
Sized Better
Anthony S.
Snagged one of these when you first got them, however brief. Blade to handle ratio is better proportioned than the para 2. Digging this iteration and looking forward to some sprint runs maybe with m390 or something. Thanks bladehq for always having something I want...
The Perfect Knife Mini
Tyler M.
This is everything I love about my PM2s in a much more EDC friendly package. Honesty one of my biggest complaints about the PM2 is the hard edges on the G10 scales and the way they rounded the Para 3s scales is perfect. I don't think the PM2 is large by any stretch of the imagination but this perfect 3 inch blade is perfection. My only complaint is the clip placement because of how much handle sticks out of your pocket. Get the Lynch deep carry clip and that problems taken care of though. If you like the PM2 the Para 3 is a home run and you HAVE to get it.