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Spyderco Caly 3: Pocket Knife Review

Updated on September 11, 2010

If you are looking for a high quality folding pocket knife, the Spyderco knives are where to look first. The Spyderco Caly 3 is an excellent every day carry(edc) knife. It is small, elegant, and you will hardly notice it in your pocket. It will be very rare to find a bad review on the Caly 3. For what it is, it is close to perfection. The Spyderco Caly 3 comes in 2 different forms. A carbon fiber handle with zdp blade steel and a G10 handle with VG-10 blade steel. I opted to get the G10 version as it is more practical and the steel is easier to sharpen albeit slightly inferior. This knife is small! it is very compact. The reason I choose to carry this knife had much to do with my state law. In Rhode Island, it is illegal to carry a knife with blade length longer than 3 inches. You have to play the cards you are dealt. Besides the size, I noticed that it was extremely comfortable in hand. The ergonomics are incredible. I am 5'10" and have medium hands. It fits perfectly. The Knife does not look like a traditional knife but do not let the looks fool you. It is incredibly comfortable to hold. It is a bit heavier than my Spyderco Delica Wave, but in a good way. The Caly 3 feels high quality and durable.

Deployment And Clip

Out of the box, the deployment was not very fast. It had a sandy sound while opening and it would sometimes get stuck midway. After a few hundred openings, it's perfect. Not too loose that it will open in my pocket and not too tight. I can flick it easily and it will lock up with an authoritative click. The lockup is rock solid. No blade play whatsoever. If I can describe the lockup in 1 word, it would be "confident." One of the reasons I choose a Caly 3 was it's lock back design. My being left handed, I always pass a liner lock design as they are always tailored towards right handers. Any knife that is not ambidextrous is passed. Luckily, this wonderful knife is available to both southpaws and orthodox. The pocket clip is great. It is a hard wire "paper clip" design but it works. It allows the knife to ride deep into the pocket and it is very strong. You can slip you knife in a out of pocket easily. All Spyderco's should adopt this clip. It is a great design. Much better than the clip on my Native.

Spyderco Caly 3 Blade

The blade is very thin and the grind starts at the top of the spine. This is referred to as being full flat grind. It is very thin making for an excellent slicer. The cutting performance is excellent and the steel holds an edge for a very long time. I have had to resharpen my blade 2 times and it was very easy with the Spyderco Sharpmaker. I have also learned to sharpen my knives freehand which I am fairly decent at. I can put on a decent honing edge. The blade is sharp and attractive with it's leaf design. I really like this design.

Function And Form

A few weeks ago, I saw a youtube video where someone modified their knife with a zip tie and created an Emerson Wave with it. A "waved" knife is a knife that can be deployed as you pull it out of your pocket with a certain technique. I modified my Caly 3 with a black zip tie and now it works just like my old Delica Wave. It looks good too. Some people like to have knives that look good and that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. I like to use my knife and I use it often. It's more important how a knife functions than how it looks. Either way, I think the Caly 3 is beautiful. I would even go as far as calling it a gentleman's folder. Even after 3 months of hard use, I still think it's beautiful. Usually the lust of a new knife dies in about a week but this knife has lasting appeal. It looks awesome and timeless. I truly feel that this knife will serve me for years to come. That's another thing. Knives should serve you, not the other way around. It's important to take care of your tools but your tools should function for you first.

Final Thoughts

I love this knife. I own a Spyderco Native, Spyderco Delica 4 Wave, Benchmade Griptilian and hand's down, this is my favorite knife. If my state allows a longer blade to carry, I would get the Police 3 G10 in a heartbeat. Spyderco knives are like drugs. Once you try them, you have to have more. I can't get over it's looks. The contrast of metal on the spine and G10 is beautiful. The workmanship screams quality. I purchased my Caly 3 for about $100 shipping included. I suggest shopping around for the best price. Some places, you can get them for around $70. Either way, you won't feel buyer's remorse after getting this knife. It's a gem. I carry the Caly 3 on my person and I would feel naked without it.

What do you think about this knife?

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    • Sasha Jacobsen profile image

      Sasha J 2 years ago from Ithaca NY

      Great review. My boyfriend loves his Spyderco 3 and always brings it on camping trips. Any recommendations for a knife sharpener, or knife sharpener kit? I've been looking at DMT's serrated knife sharpener here: . Would love to know if anyone has experience with this product?

      - Sasha

    • profile image

      george 6 years ago

      Please take a pair of side cutters and trim that burr off the tie wrap. Be a real shame to cut yourself pulling your knife out of your pocket because of a piece of sharp nylon.

    • profile image

      Dan 6 years ago

      Great review. I own the Carbon Fiber version and love it. Spyderco is probably my favorite brand of production knife.

    • bladeguy profile image

      bladeguy 7 years ago

      I like the Spyderco Native as well, mainly for its ergonomic design and incredibly durable blade. First time seeing the Caly 3. Thanks!

    • classicknifeguy profile image

      classicknifeguy 7 years ago from Georgia

      I have always wanted to own a Spyderco knife just haven't got around to it yet. I just Might start with this one. Great Hub.

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 8 years ago from New England

      Thanks Drwibble! I recently acquired a Spyderco Tasman Salt. I will be doing a review on it soon. My caly 3 is still fantastic. I've retired it as my "gentleman's folder." It's too nice! It's funny that you mentioned rust. The Tasman Salt has H1 steel which is advertised as rust proof. Watch out for the sweet review.

    • Drwibble profile image

      Drwibble 8 years ago from UK

      Nice knife, I personally use an opinel knife with its wood handle and high carbon steel blade. The blade takes a sharp edge but the blade can tarnish and rust if you don't keep it very clean.

    • Set's All Set profile image

      Set's All Set 8 years ago from New England

      Update: after a few month of carrying and using the knife hard, I still love it! the G10 is a bit slippery. Not as grippy as I'd hope but it's still a gem! Man, what a great knife. My only complaint is my state. I am not allowed to carry a knife over 3 inches in blade length. Damn, Rhode Island suck balls. Oh well, I take what I can get. Cop this knife. It's awesome.

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 8 years ago

      I have had several Spyderco knives over the years and they have always done well for me.