Spyderco Military vs Spyderco Paramilitary 2 vs Manix 2
Are you on the market for a good pocket knife for everyday carry from Spyderco? If yes, your choice will most likely rotate around these three Spyderco knives: Spyderco Military, Spyderco Paramilitary, and Spyderco Manix 2.
All these folders are some of the most famous Spyderco knives and excellent choices for tactical or EDC carry. However, they have some variations in features, materials, and design which influence their quality and performance.
You can’t easily figure out which of the three models to pick if you don’t know anything about them.
Below, we’ll discuss all the knives and layout their key features to make it easy for you to decide which one fits your daily carry specifications.
Spyderco Military vs Para 2 vs Manix: Key Specs
As usual, we kick off our comparison guide by parading the key specifications of the top three Spyderco knives.
full flat grind
Ball bearing lock
Left Right Tip-up
Spyderco Military vs Para 2 vs Manix: Head-to-head comparison
In this detailed comparison of Spyderco Millie, Para 2, and Manix 2, we’ll concentrate on the key factors that you’ll consider when making a purchase. This will make it easy for you to easily decide how the folders compare in the key areas.
Blade shape and design
Blade shape/design is one of the key factors to consider when deciding on which of the three knives to get.
This is where all the three knives seem to strike a similarity—they all come with the same full flat ground blade shape with a fine tip at the end. Having a pocket knife with this type of blade is a win because it can get through pretty much any media effortlessly.
The Millie, in particular, features a leaf blade shape and full flat grind which allows for smooth cutting tasks like slicing e.g. cardboard boxes, food prep, etc., It forms a more durable tip that works well for self-defense or stabbing tasks.
Spyderco paramilitary 2
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 has a slightly longer blade length (3.42") and cutting edge (3.02") than the Manix. The blade is also slighter thicker than that of Manix.
Manix 2 comes with a relatively thick leaf-shaped 3.375″ blade. As you’ll agree with me, this is a long enough blade for everyday carry and for use as a personal defense tool.
Spyderco Military and Para 2
Regarding the blade material, Millie and its younger brother Para share the same S30V stainless steel blade. As you might already know, this is a premium blade steel with a great reputation for taking a nice edge and holding it excellently well. It is fairly easy to sharpen (the sharpenability lies somewhere in the middle; not too easy and not too hard).
Manix follows its own path with a CTS-BD1 stainless steel blade variation. This is budget-friendly steel with excellent corrosion resistance and is extremely easy to sharpen (great for beginners), and takes an extremely sharp edge quickly.
Unfortunately, the Manix steel loses its sharpness quickly and you’ll be sharpening it more often. You can’t even compare to S30V premium steel. But this isn’t a big deal since you can always strop back the cts-bd1 blade to crazy sharpness in less than 5 minutes.
All the three folders come wicked sharp out of the box. This is something you should get used to whenever you’re buying a knife my Spyderco.
One common thing across all three knives is the textured G-10 handle which offers you a highly slip-resistant and secure grip. This is the kind of grip you want when you’re working in wet conditions.
Here’s something worth noting about the military and Manix 2 models:
The Military model features a blurple (blue purple) G10 handle which looks quite pleasing in the eyes. The handle texturing feels good in your hands without being too aggressive. However, its new hardware plus larger standoffs make it an open back handle.
It also has no backspace present in the old models. The handle isn’t too thick so it will fit comfortably in your pocket without feeling too big. During use, the large handle will offer plenty of leverage to make cutting easy for you.
Manix 2’s G10 handle is a step up from the Manix 2L FRN handle. The blue handle is translucent and makes the knife a beauty to behold while catching the light beautifully. We should also mention Spyderco Manix 2 has no skeletonized liners to help enhance the toughness and durability. But the side effect is that it makes this knife a bit heavier.
All the knives come with a gigantic lanyard hole that lets you slip in a standard Paracord for an alternative carry option or to ensure you don’t lose your knife.
Spyderco Military textured handle grips your hands amazingly well and feels quite grippy. Moreover, the handle is oversized (it’s the largest of the three blades) which is a good thing because it offers you different places for comfortable gripping.
The long handle also works great for gloved hands. If you have big hands, a Spyderco Military knife would be a great choice for you…but even a small-handed user will still feel comfortable holding this knife.
The Military also features a great jimping at the top and bottom ends in addition to a finger ramp and jimped finger choil to offer you more control over your knife for delicate tasks like slicing.
Despite feeling solid in your hands, this knife feels incredibly light, making it a great tool for carrying every day without feeling like a burden to you.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
Being a newer Spyderco than its predecessor Millie, para comes with a larger finger choil and bigger opening hole which put its ergonomics way above the Millie’s. It presents you with a more aggressive jimping a steeper thumb ramp to give you more control over the knife when using it for stabbing or in a self-defense situation.
Spyderco Manix 2
Manix 2 has a wider handle than para 2’s slimmer handle design. This makes the Manix 2 feel more solid and comfortable in your hands especially when using it for long hours. It also comes with a forward finger choil that you can easily chock up to when you want to get some fine cutting done.
A finger guard right next to this choil plus the thumb jimping will offer you a spot to choke back on when using the knife for hard cutting tasks.
Additional jimping on manix 2 liners and handle helps increase traction for maximum slip-free gripping. This knife will never let you down when working in wet conditions.
Spyderco Military, Paramilitary 2, and Manix 2 are all easy and quick to deploy one-handed, thanks to Spydie hole—Spyderco’s trademark thumbhole.
Alternatively, you can simply disengage the lock to open up any of the knives (this is safer as it gets the fingers out of the way). Whichever way you use to open the knife is up to you.
The Military’s thumbhole measures 0.54" and is easy to use for one-handed deployment.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
Para 2 has a thumbhole measuring 0.57", which is bigger than the Military’s 0.54" and Manix 2’s 0.55". The oversized Para 2 Spydie hole is advantageous in that it’s easier to use than the other two knives. You can even use it with your gloves on, without encountering any problems.
The opening on PM2 is even more impressive and feels like an assisted opening knife. It comes fitted with a new bushing pivot system which offers you nothing short of a premium deployment experience in a silk-smooth motion.
The thumbhole on this one is Manix 2’s 0.55". Most folks agree that deployment for Manix 2 feels stiff out of the box. However, this isn’t something to worry about as it will get smoother with time. Flicking the blade open is easy and the clicking effect of the lock as it engages is satisfying to you.
This is one particular where all the knives take defend curves, each of them featuring a different locking mechanism.
This large EDC knife comes armed with the classic liner lock. While this isn’t the strongest of the pocket knife locks, it feels quite solid and is easy to use. It simply gets the job done for Millie.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
PM2, on the other hand, features a compression lock mechanism. This is somewhat an advanced liner lock mechanism. It’s more expensive to manufacture and offers you a solid performance. It’s super solid, easy to use, and feels more natural in your hands.
Spyderco Manix 2’s caged ball bearing lock is also great, easy to use, and offers a solid lockup. It’s also fun to flip one-handed when disengaging and your fingers are out of the blade path for your own safety.
However, it might feel to you that you need some force to engage or disengage it due to a stronger spring used. But once you get used to it, it will become one of your favorite lockup systems.
Spyderco Military comes drilled for tip-down carry and goes to the right side only. This is a major drawback if you’re a leftie or want something fully ambidextrous.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 features a fully ambidextrous 4-way tip that lets you carry it tip-up or down and on either your right or left side. It seems to correct the drawback of the Military model and allows you to carry your knife in whatever position feels the most comfortable for you.
Spyderco Manix 2 only offers you a tip-up carry position on either the right or left side. This puts it above the military and makes it comfortable to carry for right-handed and left-handed use. A lot of knife users also prefer tip-up carry, so this is a plus for Manix 2.
Even better, Manix 2’s clip is a deep pocket type and allows for a more discrete carry compared to PM2 and Military. You can also easily detach this clip for easy cleaning in case it gets grimy.
Fit and finish
Fit and finish on Millie is great and there are no quality issues. The blade features a nice satin finish and its jimping feels good and is clearly outlined. Its s30v blade sits dead center and crazy sharp comes out of the box! The edge angle for the knife comes with clean grind lines. Most people also agree that maintenance is easy for the military model since it’s much easier to take apart for cleaning and performing other maintenance work.
The same thing can be said for para 2. It comes tightly manufactured and you’ll barely notice any manufacturing issues on it. The blade is flawlessly centered and operates smoothly. The lock is tight and shows no side-to-side play. The s30v blade comes hair-shaving sharp, out of the box something you’d bet for in all Spydercos.
Spyderco Manix 2 is no exception here. Its fit and finish are excellent and all its moving parts work they’re intended to and in a smooth manner. It comes tightly packaged and features no annoying wiggle in any direction. The satin blade finish is great and the sharpness this blade comes out of the box with is truly satisfying.
You’re definitely curious to know how the three top-rated Spydercos compare when their blades are put to cutting tests. You’d want to know which one wins and which one lags behind in this category.
Let’s find out…
Spyderco Military has a pretty long and thick blade, hence its ability to hold up well to various abuse. This is no surprise given that the knife was designed for use as a military cutting tool.
If you like, you can use your Millie for filleting, camping knife, or even use it in your MAN’s kitchen. For dicing and food prep, the knife will work fine.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is a utilitarian beast with a somewhat beefy blade and can handle pretty much any fieldwork without any problems.
You can use your para to chop and baton wood when you want to make a fire. You can also use it for carving.
Its s30v blade holds its edge perfectly well and you can use it for months without resharpening (just some stropping here and there is all you need).
However, you might want to be careful with the knife’s tip because it’s fragile and delicate. You don’t want to break it by using it for harder applications.
Spyderco Manix 2 will do just fine for day-to-day tasks. You can cut most media with it including cardboard and wood.
But it has a different story when it comes to tackling tough jobs. Its cts-bd1 steel blade is prone to losing its sharpness fast and will do it even faster for tough cutting jobs.
However, if you can get the Manix 2 s30v variant, then you can be pretty sure it will hold up to tough cutting tasks, just like its brothers above. The blade has an overall beefier feel which makes it ready for hard cutting tasks like chopping, batoning, and related fieldwork.
NOTE: The three knives are intended for daily cutting tasks and tactical use. Stretching them beyond this isn’t always a good idea. Well, they may hold up to outdoor use, but why not get a knife intended for outdoor use? If you use any of these Spydercos for exactly what it’s intended for, then it will become your best buddy for life.
Manix 2 is the least priced of all the knives, with a price tag sitting slightly over 100 bucks. If you want to save some bucks without sacrificing the quality of your EDC knife, get a Manix.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
Para 2 might feature a higher price tag than Manix 2 but it’s also worth every penny. Here’s why: it features supreme quality notably in its premium s30v steel blade, premium locking mechanism, and top-quality G10 handle. Not to forget, its performance for both day-to-day cutting tasks and tactical work is also off-charts.
If you’re still complaining about the high price, remember this knife sells like crazy and at times it might even be hard to come across a Para 2 on the market. Talk of high demand from users who know what value this knife carries at its price point!
The price range for Millie and Para 2 pocket knives isn’t far off for an EDC/tactical knife that features excellent quality and performs exemplary well for various cutting tasks.
You can choose to keep buying cheaply made knives costing below 100 bucks but they’ll keep sending you back to the stores for more. Or you can invest in one of these quality knives from Spyderco and be assured it will last a lifetime. The choice is in your hands.
What variants are available for these Spyderco knives?
Spyderco has also produced a ton of different versions of Manix 2, para 2, and millie featuring different types of handle scales, blade shapes, blade steels, and more.
Spyderco Military has seen a host of variants and splint runs for its handle material and blade steel since it was first introduced in the market.
The knife appeared in ATS-34 when it first hit the market back in the 90s. Later on, Spyderco switches to CPM S30V in the 200s and later to S110V. The current models you’ll find on the market today usually come in either s30v (like this knife we’ve featured in this post) and S110V.
As for the handle material, you can get the Millie in G10, FRN carbon fiber, or titanium handle.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
Paramilitary 2 standard comes in s30v steel blade and G-10 handle. The good news is that this standard has up to 4 variants to let you choose a knife that meets your unique needs. These variants include a black handle with black coated blade and clip, a black handle with stainless steel edge, a digital camo handle with black coated clip and blade, and a digital camo handle with satin finish blade and clip.
Besides, these standard variants, you can also find limited editions for PM2 featuring M390 blade steel and a blue handle.
Manix 2 standard knife comes in S30V blade steel and G10 handle materials.
They tried 154CM steel on Manix 2 but it wasn’t popular among knife users, so they quickly reverted to s30v.
Other steel options available for this knife to date include s90v, s110v, CTS-XHP, CTS-BD30P, and CTS-BD1 steel variations. You can also find the blades in black DLC coat options.
As for the handle, Manix 2 comes in FRCP (fiberglass reinforced co-polymer) and G-10 handle materials. You can get the handles in multiple color options.
Besides the standard size, you can also get Spyderco Manix 2 in a bigger size variant, the Manix 2XL, which features a bigger blade just under 4 inches long.
Key similarities and differences:
Before we close our list, let’s have a quick summary of the key similarities and differences displayed by Spyderco Military, Paramilitary 2, and Manix 2 EDC pocket knives.
We have come to the end of our Spyderco Military vs Spyderco paramilitary 2 vs Manix 2 discussion. As you have seen from this in-depth discussion, all three knives are winners in the EDC field and it’s really hard to choose one over the other.
The three top-rated folders display slight differences but they all perform excellently in everyday carry applications. Their variants feature different blade steels, scales, etc., giving you even more options to pick from for each knife.
With this great information about how the three famous Spyderco pocket knives compare, we now have confidence that you will wisely decide which one to get for your everyday carry needs.