The Spyderco Para 3 C223GPDGY is the successor to the Spyderco Paramilitary 2. Well, not completely. Mostly the same shape, same lock and the same type, only smaller. The Para 3 is one cm shorter. It is an adjustment many Spyderco enthusiasts asked for despite the widely acclaimed Paramilitary 2. The adjustment to a slightly more compact model increased the wearing comfort. Other than that the Para 3 includes all virtuoso characteristics of the Paramilitary 2.
As befits Spyderco the finish is sublime. It opens easily and the famous Compression Lock, designed by Spyderco founder Sal Glesser, is very solid and easy to control. The blade is made from a unique type of steel: MicroMelt Maxamet. A wear and tear type of steel, made by Carpenter in the United States. Originally this type of steel was used for the coils on which various types of steel were transported through the factory. Spyderco is the first knife manufacturer who was able to apply a heat treatment to this type of steel to make sure it is suited for use in pocket knives. The result is great! When it comes to sharpness retention there are few types of steel that can compete with Maxamet. Maxamet basically always wins.
So are there disadvantages to Maxamet? No. To be frank, Maxamet is a very special type of steel with its own quirks. Maxamet is not stainless and will quickly form a nice patina. Be careful around fruit acids: Maxamet is prone to rust. Maxamet is also not really tough. Sideways forces and Maxamet are also not friends. Finally, according to some Maxamet is quite difficult to sharpen. We noticed that diamond-coated sharpening stones are the solution: those will make sure you end up with razor-sharp results.