Spyderco has a long, proud tradition of producing “little big knives”—compact, easy-to-carry folding knives that cut with authority far beyond their size. Some of their earliest designs like the Executive and Co-Pilot pioneered the concept, but the now-classic Dragonfly helped perfect it by introducing the 50/50 index-finger choil—the secret to allowing a small knife to fit comfortably in hands of all sizes.
Over the years, we have added various other models to the “little big knife” family, but few have earned as devoted a following as the Lil’ Native. Inspired by the fifth-generation expression of the iconic Native, the Lil’ Native distills all the features and benefits of that time-tested design into an ultra-compact, incredibly capable cutting tool. It also delivers all those qualities in an elegantly refined form that makes it a perfect candidate for a gentleman’s folder and for carry in a lady’s shallow pocket.
Introduced in 2017, the Lil’ Native was originally available with a choice of two different lock options: a back lock, like its predecessor, and Spyderco’s popular Compression Lock. The back lock version features a linerless handle built with peel-ply-textured G10 scales, a stainless steel backspacer, and a broad-based four-position pocket clip with a lanyard hole.
The Compression Lock expression of the Lil Native relies on stainless steel liners nested into its peel-ply-textured G10 handle scales to form the foundation of the knife’s lock mechanism. This signature Spyderco lock allows the safe, one-handed closing of the knife without placing your fingers in the path of the edge. The Compression Lock version of the Lil’ Native also provides ultra-discreet carry via a deep-pocket wire clip that is reversible for left or right-side tip-up carry.
In 2021, Spyderco added a third version of the Lil’ Native in a non-locking format. Ideal for jurisdictions where the carry of lock-blade knives is not allowed, it features a unique “notched-joint” mechanism that uses spring pressure and a shallow notch to hold the knife’s blade open. When this feature is combined with the one-handed opening capability provided by the blade’s Trademark Round Hole and the versatile carry options of its four-position pocket clip, the result is a SLIPIT. This unique breed of Spyderco knife integrates all the defining characteristics of their revolutionary CLIPIT platform with the legal and socially friendly advantages of a non-locking blade.
The Lil’ Native Wharncliffe
Of the three basic versions of the Lil’ Native, the Compression Lock format is in many ways the most versatile. Because of its open-backed construction and the fact that, when closed, the lock bar does not lie in the plane of the blade, it provides more available space for different blade shapes.
This version of the Lil’ Native takes full advantage of that opportunity by showcasing a classic straight-edged Wharncliffe profile. Crafted from CPM S30V stainless steel, the blade features a full-flat grind for low-friction edge geometry. Its spine curves gracefully downward to meet the edge at an acute point that provides scalpel-like precision for detailed cutting chores. The perfectly straight cutting edge offers outstanding leverage and cuts with full power along its entire length. Together, these features make the Lil’ Native Wharncliffe’s blade incredibly versatile and capable for its size. At the same time, it measures only 2.44 inches (62mm) long—safely under the legal blade-length limit for restrictive jurisdictions like Chicago and Boston.
All other features of the Lil’ Native Wharncliffe are consistent with its leaf-bladed counterpart, including peel-ply-textured G10 scales, a stout Compression Lock mechanism, and a reversible deep-pocket wire clip that allows discreet, left or right-side tip-up carry. Like all Lil’ Natives, it also features a prominent 50/50 forefinger choil that provides a comfortable four-finger grip for even large hands.
Spyderco’s “little big knives” are an incredible fusion of compact size and full-service utility. The Lil’ Native Wharncliffe proudly continues that tradition, while setting new standards of performance and reliability.
Blade Length: 2.44″ (62 mm)
Cutting Edge: 2.02″ (51 mm)
Closed Length: 3.47″ (88 mm)
Overall Length: 5.86″ (149 mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.125″ (3.2 mm)
Blade Material: CPM-S30V Stainless Steel
Blade Style: Wharncliffe
Blade Grind: Full-Flat
Blade Finish: Satin
Blade Edge: Plain
Handle Material: G10
Handle Color: Black
Locking Mechanism: Compression Lock
Pocket Clip: Tip-Up, Right/Left Carry
Model Number: C230GPWC
Model Name: Lil’ Native Wharncliffe
Weight: 2.50 oz. (71 g)
Made in the USA