If you’re a close follower of Spyderco, you may have heard about the Navaja. It’s part of Spyderco’s Ethnic series, and inspired by the the traditional Navaja Carraca knives of Spain. The Navaja was rumored to be in design for several years, but details have been scant. The rumor also alleges the reason for the delay were attempts to replicate the unique ratcheting sound made by the lock of the traditional carracas. I’m a big fan of Syperdco, I’ve been carrying a Delica II for more than 10 years. I’m an advocate for their brand. Despite that, I can’t say that I’m crazy about this blade design.
Ed Schemp addressed rumors about the lock sound, and concerns about specific design elements in a December post on the Spyderco forums.
My goal in knife design is to put a very usable blade in the hands of the ELU. I chose the Corsican version as inspiration for the knife. I own a handmade Corsican Navaja made by my Corsican friend Alexander Musso. My interpretation is stylized with Spyderco and my style influences.
The Carraca mechanism is self destructive. The mechanism in the Spyderco Navaja is not part of the lock and on a different axis of impact from the original inspiration for this piece. This knife should bring Spyderco’s reliable high performance to this centuries old ethnic design.
My opinion about the design of the blade aside, it appears to be a smoothly functional knife. Here’s a video of Mike Janich demoing the knife at SHOT Show. Mike says in the video that the Navaja is in the 2011 catalog and will be available soon. Keep an eye out towards the end of the video as Mike casually deploys the blade with his ring finger in a reverse grip.