Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade Knife Review

It’s been two decades since Microtech began working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each and every knife that leaves their facility. They recognize that the knife world is a world with ever-changing technology, so they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making. But, they also recognize how important it is to keep a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. Even while their company is growing and growing fast, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas.

Microtech was founded in 1994 in Vero Beach, Florida. They operated there until 2005 when they relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania. Then, just four short years later, they moved opened another factory in Fletcher, North Carolina to expand production capabilities. This knife company is famous for its automatic knives specifically. To create such phenomenal automatic knives, the company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances—to within one thousandth of an inch! Famous custom knife maker, Greg Lightfoot has said that it is these tight tolerances that gives their knives the same quality as a custom handmade knife. And although they are most famous for producing their tactical automatic knives, they do produce a variety of other blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and even balisong knives.

Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has also collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on Microtech exclusive designs.

A fun fact about Microtech knives is that once on the TV series “24” one of their HALO knives was featured. This knife has become a prominent lien through Microtech’s history and also earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives Magazine.

Today we are going to be discussing the brand new Microtech Borka SBK fixed blade. The production prototypes for this knife was released at the 2016 Blade Show. This knife is a result of a collaboration with Sebastijan Berenji from Borka Blades. These are custom knives that Sebastijan Berenji is behind. These knives are made with premium steel and designed for a variety of reasons ranging from tactical use to everyday carry. His knives have a way of hitting it big with knife connoisseurs, so you know that this collaboration has resulted in an exceptional blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of M390 stainless steel. This is an ultra-premium steel and is regarded as a super steel. This steel has been manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and uses third generation powder metal technology. This steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades, so it gives you all of the characteristics that you could want out of your blade. This steel provides you with excellent corrosion resistance and has very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and its outstanding edge retention. Bohler-Uddeholm calls this steel Micro-clean. This steel will be relatively difficult to sharpen, but with an experienced sharpener, you shouldn’t encounter any issues. M390 steel hardens to a HRC 60-62. This knife has been designed to get the job done—whatever that job may be for you. And thanks to this super steel, the knife is going to be able to accomplish just that.

The blade has been finished with an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is one of my favorite finishes because of how convenient it is and because of the look. It gives you the same well-worn, rugged look that you could get from a classic stonewash finish, but it does give off a little bit of a more threatening vibe. An apocalyptic stonewash finish is created by the same process that a classic stonewash finish is, except for the very first step. With an apocalyptic finish, also known as an acid stonewash, or black stonewash, the blade undergoes an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it goes through the stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. Then the steel is tumbled in an abrasive material, which is usually pebbles. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. This finish is very low maintenance because it works to preserve the original look of the blade throughout time. This finish hides scratches and smudges that naturally occur over time, so you won’t have to polish the Borka SBK blade as often.

This blade is a unique blade shape that you don’t see as often as others: an upswept, trailing point. This blade shape got its name because the point actually trails higher than the generalized axis of the spine of the knife blade. The back edge of the knife curves upward. Because of this shape, you will have a large curved cutting area, or belly, so this style of blade is optimized for slicing or skinning. This blade shape also gives you one of the sharpest points for fine, delicate, and small work, such as skinning game. However, you are also going to come across several disadvantages to the trialing point blade, with the main one being that it has such a weak point. Because this knife style was designed for fine work, it will unfortunately end or break easily when used on tougher materials. This knife will also prove to be slightly trickier to place in its sheath because you will have to carefully guide the tip in.

This knife is a combo edge, which means that the upper two thirds of the blade is a plain edge, with the lower portion being a serrated blade. The plain edge is going to excel at all of the push cuts such as skinning, slicing, and fin work. The serrated edge is there so that you can saw through the tougher materials that you come in contact with. The plain edged portion is going to give you clean cuts while the serrated will give you jagged cuts. Some haters of the combo edge complain that because you have split the blade, you actually can’t use either of the edge styles effectively. But, because this knife has a longer blade, I can assure you that you really are going to get the best of both worlds with this blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle scales are made out of G-10. G-10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material does have similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it is slightly inferior, and because of that, you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them

Microtech Borka SBK
Microtech Borka SBK

in resin, then compresses the layers and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material form this process is extremely tough, very hard, still lightweight, and super strong. G-10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta, although it is more brittle. To add texture to the handle, Microtech has made a very small checkered pattern, which gives you a very solid, yet still comfortable grip. Fixed blades definitely benefit from the qualities of G-10 because it is durable, lightweight, and non-porous. This means that no matter how messy the environment you put this blade it, it is going to be easy to clean because the handle is not going to absorb any of the fluids it comes in contact with. While this this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN, so it does still have a cost to it. Some pros of this material is that it is tough, light, and durable. However, this material is brittle and it does lack elegance.

Although the handle is pretty straight, but it is still very comfortable because of the handle scales. There is jimping on both sides of the handle near the blade and around the curved butt, to give you the most secure grip while you are using it. There is a very large finger guard to keep your fingers from being sliced by this monster and there is a large lanyard hole carved into the butt of the handle. This lanyard hole is large enough for leather twine, a thick lanyard, or basically anything else that you want to tie through this hole.

 

The Mechanism:

The Microtech Borka SBK is a fixed blade. This has a wide variety of benefits, but one of the biggest is that there are no legal issues surrounding a fixed blade. Fixed blades are legal in all areas that a knife is legal in. Some of the other pros surrounding fixed blades is that they are super strong. No matter how great your folder blade is, it is not going to be as strong as a fixed blade. This is because there are no moving parts inside of the knife to break and there are no small pieces that could break. Also, the blade is longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside the handle, so the blade is going to be able to do many things that a folder knife could not such as twisting, hammering, and prying. The next major benefit is that it is extremely easy to clean. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and then oil the blade at times. With a folding knife, to really get it clean, you have to dismantle your knife before you can really clean it. And, this is a big benefit, because you are going to be doing a lot messier work with a fixed blade versus a folding blade.

 

The Sheath:

This tough knife comes with a carbon fiber and Kydex sheath. Carbon fiber is a material made out of thin strands of carbon being tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is a crazy strong and still lightweight material, but it is expensive. While it is strong, it is not indestructible and is brittle. Kydex is a thermoplastic that is used to make holsters and other items. The greatest advantage to Kydex is how durable it is. This material can even be submerged in salt water and maintain its integrity. However, Kydex will dull your blade after repeated drawing and retracting.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 5.1 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches. The handle measures in at 4.625 inches long, with this Microtech and Borka Blades knife overall length being 9.65 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.3 ounces and the sheath weighs in at 3.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The team at Microtech knives teamed up with Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades to bring you the SBK fixed blade knife. Once made solely as a custom knife, the SBK production model features a full tang design and the jimping on the thumb ramp, base of the knife and also near the finger guard translates to multiple effective gripping options. This particular model, the 200-11AP, features black G-10 handle scales as well as a partially serrated trailing point upswept style blade in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Finally, each SBK includes a Kydex sheath finished with carbon fiber integrated with a Tek-Lok carry system which provides multiple carry options. This is a very durable knife that is going to easily assist you throughout your life. Come pick up your Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade knife with an apocalyptic stonewash combo blade today at BladeOps.

 

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Spyderco Spin FrameLock Knife Review

Spyderco is based in Golden, Colorado. This knife company produces knives and knife sharpeners. Sal Glesser is the man behind this company, with the very first product being the Portable Hand in 1976. This was a spider-shaped device, with a series of angles, ball joints, and alligator clips that helped people such as jewelers work with small parts. Sal and his wife converted an old bread delivery truck into a motor-home and traveled to different knife shows. As their success grew, they moved from the bread truck to a truck and trailer. They settled in Colorado in 1978. This was the year that they began producing knife sharpeners and three years later, they produced their first folding knife. This was the first knife to feature a round hole in the blade designed for fast, one-handed and ambidextrous open, which is now Spyderco’s trademark. Spyderco also claims that this was the first knife to feature a pocket clip on the right side of the handle.

They are actually the company that pioneered many features that are now the standard in folding knives, including the pocket lip, serrations, and the opening hole. A large part of Spyderco production is outsourced to foreign contractors in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Italy, and China. Spyderco knives have a reputation for their simplicity, reliability, good ergonomics, and their functional aesthetics. Their knives are popular with many markets—from private citizens to fire and rescue and even to law enforcement officers.

Spyderco has collaborate with 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors for designs and have innovated over 20 different blade materials.

Spyderco Spin Knife
Spyderco Spin Knife

Spyderco is a high quality brand that is going to tackle your needs effortlessly. Spyderco knives are also a good budget choice, because they usually won’t break the bank. That being said, you also don’t have to worry about these knives lacking quality—they are still made with high quality, durable materials. Not only will they be able to assist you with your needs, Spyderco knives are going to look good while doing it.

Spyderco is known for producing limited edition models, which they refer to as sprint runs. These limited runs are usually versions of discontinued models with different blade and handle materials, although some are completely new models. Today, we are going to be going over the Spyderco Spin FrameLock knife with a handle made out of Nishijin Glass Fiber, which does happen to be included in one of their sprint runs.

 

The Designer:

The main man behind this knife is Eric Glesser. He is known to be the second most important designer at Spyderco and is Sal Glesser’s (head designer) son. He has been working under the instruction of Sal throughout the years and has created many of Spyderco’s most well-known knives such as the Tenacious, Manix 2, and Dodo. Knife designing must run in his blood because he has a fantastic understanding of knife designs and ergonomics. Eric has become a bigger presence in the Spyderco company and we expect to see his phenomenal designs for a while longer.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Spin is made out of VG-10 stainless steel. This steel is a cutlery grade stainless steel that is produced in Japan. The G in the name stands for “Gold” because this steel has reached a gold standard. This steel was originally aimed at Japanese chefs, but it quickly found its way into sports cutlery and for good reason: this steel holds an edge fairly well and has exceptional ability to withstand rust. VG-10 steel is a high carbon steel, which gives it its durability that it is known and loved for. This steel is very hard and you can achieve a very sharp edge on this knife; unfortunately, it has been prone to chipping.

This knife has been finished with a satin finish. This is the most popular finish on knives in the market today, because it offers you such a traditional look. This finish makes it so that the blade color doesn’t steal the show—it blends in, but in a good way. This finish is very medium in terms of luster—the mirror polish finish is definitely more reflective than this finish and it is not as matte as a stonewashed finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This means that the sandpaper used to sand the steel will continually get finer and finer. The resulting metal shows of the bevels and the fine line in the steel exceptionally. The satin finish is a classic and will never go out of style. This was also the perfect option for the Spyderco Spin because the handle is supposed to steal the show.

This knife features a Wharncliffe style of blade. This blade shape is very similar to the sheepsfoot blade, but should not be confused with each other because they do have very different purposes. The classic Wharncliffe blade basically looks like a drop point blade that has been flipped over, meaning that the straight edge is the sharp edge. However, this Spyderco blade does not sport the traditional Wharncliffe blade, instead, the blade is much more triangular with both edges (the sharpened and unsharpened) being straight. But, when the unsharpened edge gets near the tip, it does curve, so as not to create a pointy tip. This creates a false-point, meaning that you the point itself isn’t’ sharp. This feature of the blade style is one of its perks, but it also is one of the drawbacks to this shape. For starters, this false point means that you are much safer when using this knife: there is no way that you are going to accidently stab yourself or someone else. However, this false point also means that if you are in desperate need of piercing or stabbing something, you are not going to accomplish that. Really, you have to look at what you hope to do with this knife before deciding if the Wharncliffe blade style is going to be a hindrance or a perk. The history of the Wharncliffe blade style does get muddled, with a few different stories claiming to be accurate. But regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe blade shape proves to be a very useful blade. This is also a great everyday blade if you work in an office setting, because the Wharncliffe blade excels at slicing open boxes, envelopes, and other basic everyday uses. On the flip side, this knife is not going to be very good for preparing food because of its lack of belly.

This Spyderco sports a plain edge. This enables the Spin to take on a wider variety of tasks and it will provide you with much cleaner cuts than a serrated blade would. Additionally, the plain blade makes sharpening this blade a breeze, and you can get it sharper than you could if it was serrated. Since this knife is going to be more of a general-utility blade, the plain edge was the perfect option for it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the spin knife is made out of Blue Nishijin Glass Fiber on one of the handle scales and a traditional stainless steel handle scale on the other side.

Inspired by a centuries-old traditional Japanese weaving style called Nishijin, the highly polished glass fiber scale reveals a complex internal pattern that is strikingly beautiful. The stainless steel handle provides the knife with excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, but it is not lightweight. Because it is only one of the handle scales, this should not weigh the knife down too much, instead, it just adds the durability and heftiness that you desire out of your knife. The stainless steel handle scale has a few perks form being strong and durable to just how corrosion resistant it is. However, this scale is going to be more slippery than the Glass Fiber handle scale. The stainless steel handle scale has also been finished with a satin finish, to perfectly match with the sleek blade.

On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole carved out. This is definitely a smaller knife, and you can actually attach this to a lanyard and wear it around your neck if you desire. If that is not something that you would want to do, you can easily attach a traditional lanyard and carry it how you normally would.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The Spin comes with a three-screwed stainless clothing clip that positons the knife tip down in a pocket and also offers a way to money-clip your cash or attach to a necktie. This stainless steel clip is highly polished and the screws keeping it attached to the handle match with the rest of the hardware on this knife. This pocket clip is longer, so it will stay snug in your pocket, perfectly concealed.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife features Spyderco’s trademark thumb hole to assist you in opening it. This mechanism has been around since the 1980s and although you might find the thumb hole on knives made by different brands, Spyderco is the one that perfected it and then made it wildly popular. Opening a folder that has been equipped with a thumb hole is exactly like using a thumb stud. Because of the very design, it is always going to be ambidextrous. And, many knife enthusiasts actually prefer the hole to the stud because it does not protrude from the blade. To use the hole, you get traction with your thumb through the whole and then manually flip the blade open. It is simple, it’s easy, and there is no way that the hole can malfunction. There is no better opening mechanism.

This knife features Chris Reeve’s Integral Lock Mechanism or the RIL that will lock the blade securely open. This locking mechanism was created by the custom knife maker Chris reeve and is a design modification of the Liner Lock. He altered it so that the knife sues the handle scale as the lock’s liner. With the back portion of the handle doubling as both handle and lock, the need for internal liners is eliminated and the knife can be manufactured incredibly slim, yet still very strong. This is another reason why the stainless steel handle scale is such a benefit—it houses the RIL mechanism that will securely lock the blade open. The stainless steel gives it the sturdiness to work correctly at all times, working to never fail you.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this bite size knife is 1.812 inches long with a thickness of .093 inches. The overall length of the knife when it is opened is a micro 4.125 inches, sporting a closed length of 2.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at a measly 1.3 ounces—the perfect size and weight to constantly have on you, preparing you for whatever might come your way.

 

Conclusion:

The Spyderco Spin, designed by Eric Glesser, now comes with the special Blue Nishijin glass fiber handle. This handle is ancient Japanese inspired and provides you with a unique look that you are not going to find anywhere else. The opposite handle scale is stainless steel, to give you the extra weight you need to really get behind your cutting. This knife boasts a Wharncliffe style, VG-10 stainless steel blade that is perfect for serious detail cuts. This steel is low maintenance, resisting rust effortlessly to make your life a little easier. The locking mechanism was designed by Chris Reeve and uses the handle scale as the lock’s liner. The Spin comes with a pocket clip that can be doubled as a money clip. This clip is designed for right-side tip-down carry to ensure both convenience and ease of access. This limited-edition Sprint run puts a new “Spin” on a classic Spyderco design and is sure to be in high demand. Pick up this limited edition Blue Nishijin glass fiber version of the Spin today at BladeOps.

 

 

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Microtech Cypher OTF Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company that is famous, but especially famous for their automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida and 1994 in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment. They operated in Florida until 2005, when they relocated to Bradford Pennsylvania. Then, in 2009 they opened another manufacturing building in North Carolina, to speed up production.

Although they are most famous for their tactical automatic knives, they do produce many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives. The most popular designs among collectors are their Out the Front and Double Action automatic knives. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives, were responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. Before this knife, these knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military, such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs. Greg Lightfoot, along with other custom knife makers, has remarked that it is the tolerances that Microtech sticks with that makes the factory knives so close to the custom design.

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves our facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, Microtech strives to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still maintaining a humanize element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They always appreciate their customers, for not only the loyalty and support, but also for motivating Microtech to better themselves so that they can continue to rise above your expectations.

Today, we will be going over the Microtech Cypher blade, which is Out the Front automatic knife. This knife is a collaboration between Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe. This knife features Microtech’s trademark exceptional detailing and their perfect craftsmanship. This knife is unique, featuring a build that is not only durable, but also stylish.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Cypher has been made out of M390 stainless steel. This is a super steel, so it is definitely an ultra-premium steel. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm, which is a merger of Austrian Bohler and Swedish Uddeholm. This steel uses third generation powder metal technology and this steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades. Because of this, the manufacturer developed the steel with excellent corrosion resistance and with a very high hardness as well as excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote the sharpness and outstanding edge retention. In this steel, most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which does leave more “free chromium” to help fight corrosion.  M390 steel hardens to a 60-62 HRC. This stainless steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, but it won’t require a master sharpener to get a fine edge on it.

The blade on the Cypher has been finished with a stonewashing. With this finish style, the blade is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. This finish is rugged, manly, and looks well-worn. When the blade is rolled in pebbles, it creates a very textured look which helps to hide scratches and smudges better than other finish styles. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. The stonewash finish works to preserve the look of the blade overtime and even hides fingerprints on the blade, which means that you will have to polish it less than other finish styles. This is one of the lowest maintenance blade finishes that you can come across.

This OTF blade is a drop point style blade. The drop point is a blade shape that is used on so many knives, especially in today’s market. This blade shape is going to be found most on hunting knives. The blade on this knife slopes on the spine of the blade form the handle of the knife to the tip of the blade. This allows the spine of the blade to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way, the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating any pitch momentum when you are stabbing. The curve on the top of the drop point blade is always convex, which is what distinguishes it from the clip point blade. The drop point and the clip point blades are often confused with each other, but there are a variety of differences. For starters, the drop point blade has a lowered point, but the tip is broad. This broad tip is what provides you with the strength that you get with a drop point blade, however, because it is so broad, it does take away from your stabbing capabilities almost completely. A clip point blade also has a lowered tip, but on this blade shape, the tip is very fine and sharp. This gives you full capabilities of stabbing, but unfortunately, it does take away the strength of the tip. The clip point is weak and very prone to snapping. They are both very popular knife blade shapes and are both very versatile. The drop point blade shape is the stronger blade shape though, which makes it the perfect option or the Microtech Cypher. The Cypher does not have as big of a belly as most drop points, but it is still very capable of slicing, because it does still have a slight belly, instead of a straight edge.

This blade is a plain edge, which gives it the ability to take on a wider variety of tasks than a serrated edged blade. The plain edge does provide you with much cleaner cuts than you would get with a serrated blade. The grind on this knife is a hollow grind. This is a common grind where a convex hollow is removed from both sides of the edge. It produces a very sharp edge but being so thin the edge is more prone to rolling or damage than other grinds. It is unsuited for heavy chopping or cutting hard materials.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum that has been

Microtech Cypher
Microtech Cypher

anodized black. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making and is also very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is actually the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. This alloy of aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”.  Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.
Hard anodized aluminum is an anodizing technique that creates an oxidation layer on the aluminum that is up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. Anodizing aluminum involves placing the aluminum in a bath of acid and passing electrical charges through the material. This builds up a layer of aluminum oxide on the outside of the aluminum. This anodization process makes the aluminum more durable, corrosion resistant, and wear resistant. This anodization process helps to make the aluminum act a little more like titanium.

The handle is mostly rectangular, but there are some curves to make this a more comfortable handle to hold. There are a series of ridges carved down the length of the knife. There is a shallow finger groove at the top to give you a secure place to rest your finger. The butt of the handle is triangular, which means there is a slight point that you could use as a hammer if the situation arises.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This knife does have standard tri-winged hardware. All of the hardware is silver, with the cli being a matte grey. The pocket clip has the same grooves carved into the length as the handle does.

 

The Mechanism:

This Microtech knife is an automatic out-the-front knife, or OTF. This is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is very different than the majority of knives that have the blade fold out of the side of the handle. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. But then, OTF knives can be even further divided into either a manual knife or an automatic knife. The Cypher is an automatic knife, which means the blade travels within an internal channel in the same manner as a manual slider knife. But, the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar sized gravity OTF knife. Then, automatic OTF knives can be even further subdivided into either a single action or a double action. This knife is a double action automatic OTF knife. This means that the blade will deploy and retract with a multifunction handle slide. If it were a single action automatic OTF, the knife would deploy automatically, but it must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 5.625 inches long. The overall length of the Cypher is 9.625 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Cypher finally found its way from the custom factory of MCK to the production side to add to the army of double action out-the-front models that Microtech has been manufacturing for over 20 years. Like the Sigil, this automatic is a collaboration with Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe and features a “stepped” milling pattern that is both futuristic and functional. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. This model, the 241-10, features a black anodized aluminum handle, standard tri-winged hardware, a drop point style blade in a stonewash finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The M390 steel is very resistant to corrosion as well as being very tough, which means that this knife is going to be able to take on those tougher tasks. However, this is a collector’s knife, so you probably won’t be using it for a wide variety of tasks. The aluminum handle is durable and also very corrosion resistant. The anodization process makes this knife even more durable, and the color cannot be scratched off, because it becomes part of the metal. The materials and manufacturing processes used make this collector knife a sleek, unique, and tough knife. Pick up your Microtech 241-10 Cypher S/E OTF Automatic knife with the stonewashed blade today at BladeOps. You won’t regret it.

 

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CRKT Carnufex 5480 Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. Some of the designers that they have collaborated with are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steven Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending which include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, Lock Back safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

However, they didn’t always collaborate with the best designers and have their own patents. CRKT took almost three years before it truly took off. It was at the 1997 Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple). This was a small folder, which was designed by Ed Halligan. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of product was sold out. Since then, they have continuously progressed, developing a fantastic reputation, and maintaining that reputation.

CRKT has recently released a brand new knife called the Carnufex. This is a simple folding knife that can perform much more than simple tasks.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This steel comes from a series of Chinese steels. There are a variety of formulas in this series of steel—the best is the 9Cr steel. 8Cr steel is the next best one in the series and is commonly compared to AUS 8 steel, however 8Cr steel is the inferior steel between the two. This steel is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust well. However, since it is a softer steel, you do have to keep on top of your maintenance. Make sure that you clean and oil this blade often. Since this is a softer steel, it is an easy steel to sharpen. In fact, most beginners will be able to pull this sharpening job off. You can also get an extremely fine edge on this blade and the sharp edge will last for long periods of time. The biggest advantage thatiop0- this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. With it, you get a good balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. But, you still do get what you pay for, so while this is an average steel that will be able to take on the majority of tasks, it will not excel at anything.

The finish on the Carnufex blade is a satin finish. The satin finish is created by sanding a steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material; the abrasive material is most commonly sandpaper. One of the main purposes of a satin finish is to showcase the lines in the steel. This is a classic finish that is also one of the most popular finishes on blades today. In terms of the look, the satin finish is a medium finish. The mirror finish is more reflective than a satin finish and a coated finish is going to be more matte. This look provides you with a very traditional look to your blade.

The blade on the Carnufex has been carved into a modified spear point blade shape. The spear point blade shape is very similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. But, they do differ because the spear point is stronger and it contains a small belly that can be used for some slicing. The spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the most commonly found knife styles that sports a spear point blade shape is on throwing knives. One of the other differences between a needle point blade and a spear point blade is that the needle point blade has a very sharp but weak point whereas a spear point blade has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. Another one of the benefits to the spear point blade shape is that it has a lowered point that is easily controllable. This means that it is very useful for detail work and for fine tip work. One of the reasons that makes this style of knife versatile is that it has a small belly hat can be used to manage some cutting and slicing applications. However, if you do compare the belly to a knife with a large belly such as a drop point or a clip point knife, the belly is extremely small. This is considered a hybrid blade design that is extremely functional. The spear point design offers you a great balance between piercing capabilities and slicing abilities. It has the sharp point of a dagger or needle point knife and sports the strength that a drop point blade has behind the tip. Plus, it also has that belly that is used for slicing.

The blade sports a plain edge. The plain edge is the more traditional edge between plain edge, combo edge, and serrated edge. The plain edge is easiest to sharpen out of the three options because it doesn’t sport any teeth. The plain edge is the best type of edge for push cuts, slicing, peeling, and skinning.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 2Cr13 Stainless Steel. This is a newer steel that has ground breaking properties. This is a very stainless steel, because the alloy works to reduce how porous the steel is. The stainless steel is particle-reinforced for added strength and resilience. Immersion tests have revealed that this steel has a finer matrix structure resulting in an increased tinsel strength and the electrostag remelting process used in manufacturing it makes it highly versatile. The stainless steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. After the steel has been tumbled, it is smoothed out and polished. This creates a textured, rugged look. It is usually a dark, matte gray. One of the best benefits to a stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the handle for long periods of time.

CRKT 5480 Carnufex
CRKT 5480 Carnufex

The handle on this knife has inlays made out of Glass Reinforced Fiber, or GRF. This is a thermoplastic material. This is extremely strong, it is resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, it’s cheap. With this material, the fibers are all arranged haphazardly throughout, which is why it is such a strong material. In similar materials, such as G 10 or Carbon Fiber, the fibers are all arranged in a single direction, which means when it is stressed in a different way, it tends to become very brittle. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a variety of way in the production process. This leads to high volume manufacturing and low cost. One of the drawbacks to this material is that some people feel as if it has a cheap plastic feel to it.

The inlays on this knife do add enough texture to provide you with a very strong grip in almost any situation. This is a huge bonus because the stainless steel is slippery, like most stainless steels are.

The black GRF is designed to look like a dinosaur fossil, which contrasts nicely against the smooth silver of the stainless steel. To help add more grip, there are two finger grooves. The first one is the classic finger groove shape, with the second one being extremely shallow and elongated. There is also a finger guard to help protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Carnufex is a silver clip to match the handle. It is not skeletonized and has “CRKT” stamped on it. This is not a reversible pocket clip. The clip is kept in place by two, small, silver screws. These screws match the rest of the hardware on the knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that is assisted by a flipper. The flipper is a shark’s fin shaped protrusion that is part of the blade. When the Carnufex is closed, the protrusion comes out of the spine of the blade. To deploy the blade, you pull back on the flipper and it puts enough pressure on the blade to flip it open and then lock it into place.

The Carnufex also sports the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot system. This system was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. The system uses lubed ball bearings that are set into the folding knife pivot. The result is a rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast. CRKT says, “Go ahead, set a flipping land speed record.”

The Carnufex knife also features a frame lock. The frame locking mechanism is very similar to the liner locking mechanism except that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Carnufex has a blade that is 3.975 inches long with a thickness of 0.148 inches. The overall length of the knife is 9.063 inches and sports a closed length of 5.098 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.8 ounces.

 

The Designer:

The Carnufex was designed by Flavio Ikoma. He says while some kids dream of being a ballplayer, Flavio always dreamed of being a knife maker. In his adolescence, he worked on knives of the Japanese sword variety in his father’s shop. He has gone on to learn metallurgy, to work with Ken Onion, and to become a force for innovation. Flavio brought to market the revolutionary IKBS ball bearing pivot system and evolved the classic locking liner with the ILS safety.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT described this knife they said, “Make mincemeat of your daily tasks—dino style. The Carnufex™ everyday carry folder is modeled after a keystone dinosaur predator—and for good reason. The form influences function for this attractive, shapely folder, and tears apart anything that gets in its way. Flavio Ikoma of Presidente Prudente, Brazil designed the Carnufex™ to be an aggressive take on a general utility knife. This everyday carry folder’s unique look is modeled after the prehistoric ancestor of the crocodile, and the streamlined design and textured inlays look distinctly reptilian. The unique, eye-catching designs of the handle serve to set off the no-nonsense stainless steel blade. Flavio Ikoma is the inventor of the IKBS™ Ball Bearing Pivot System and puts it to work with the Carnufex™. After all, a knife named for a reptilian hunter should deploy swiftly and smoothly. The stainless steel stonewash handle features a glass-reinforced nylon textured inlay meant to replicate the prehistoric reptile for which it’s named. The Carnufex™, in Latin, translates to butcher. Put anything in its way, and watch it mow straight through.”

As you can see, this knife is truly a game changer. Flavio has provided us with a unique, sleek look. This is a high quality knife that will be the perfect addition to your collection. Pick yours up at BladeOps today.

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Chris Reeve Cross Hatch Small Sebenza Knife Review

Chris Reeve Knives began operations on January 1, 1984 in a one car garage in Durban, South Africa, when Chris changed his life from full time Tool and Die Maker/part time knife maker to full time knife maker. For a couple years he was the only employee but gradually and steadily, the company has grown to reach its present position as a well-equipped manufacturing company and a note brand in the industry.

The road between 1984 and January 2016 has not always been smooth. For many years, the endeavor was under funded but with determination Chris and Anne put all they had into producing the best knives possible, within the resources available. In March 1989, they moved from their native South Africa and settled in Boise, Idaho. That move in itself was a major undertaking but vital for the future of the company.

Chris has always “pushed the envelope”. Whether on a motorcycle or behind a belt grinder, he dreamed of being a world champion. He did not win a motorcycle world championship but in many respects, the standing of CRK today represents one. His induction into the Cutlery Hall of Fame in June 2015 could be considered his championship trophy. The single though in Chris’ mind has always been to design every model with deliberation, taking into account how the knife works, its intended purpose and the most appropriate materials. On this foundation, CRK now enjoys a worldwide reputation for outstanding design, exceptional execution, and the closest tolerances in the industry—all backed by excellent customer service.

CRK is a vibrant business, has great staff of well-trained employees, and remains a company with a worldwide reputation for raising the standards bar—“pushing the envelope”—for the industry.

Here at BladeOps, we are proud to carry Chris Reeve knives and support his dream and championship. Today, we are going to be going over his Cross Hatch Small Sebenza.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Cross Hatch Small Sebenza has been made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve introduced an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel and named it S35VN. S30V had excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides is what brought extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, it is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. However, it was extremely hard to work with. In S35VN steel, they used a much finer grain structure and adding small quantities of niobium, which is where the N comes form in the name, they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while improving toughness and ability to sharpen. In the real world, however, you will find the two near-indistinguishable. Many would argue this is the ultimate in ‘mainstream’ knife steels and you would struggle to find any steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the money. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, if you love S30V steel, it would be hard to not love S35VN steel. They updated all of the problems that people encountered with S30V steel. S35VN steel is extremely easy to sharpen and work with.

This steel has been finished with a stonewashed finish. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. With this type of finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finish blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type o finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. Stonewashed finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finish. A very positive benefit of a stonewashed blade is that it is a low maintenance finish and preserves the look of the blade overtime.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a style of knife that slopes on the spine of the blade form the handle of the knife to the tip of the blade. This allows the spine of the blade, where the blade is thicker and thus stronger, to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating

Chris Reeve Crosshatch
Chris Reeve Crosshatch

any pitch momentum when stabbing. The curve on the top of a drop point blade is always convex, which is what distinguishes it from a clip point blade. This is one of the most common blade types, the drop point is most popular within the realm of hunting knives and larger pocket knife blades, but his blade style also works well as a tactical or survival knives. The slow curved manner, creates a lowered point which offers more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidently nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reasons that this blade shape is so popular and versatile is because drop point knives features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the only real disadvantages of the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. When you choose a knife with a drop point blade shape, you will be choosing a great all-purpose blade that can be used in many situations, expected or unexpected.

The Small Sebenza has a plain edge. Plain edge blades excel at push cuts, where you push the edge against the thing you’re trying to cut. Good examples of push cuts are when you’re shaving with a razor or whittling a piece of wood. Plain edge blades are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain edge blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, trimming your nails, or peeling an apple. The advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. With a plain edge blade, you directly affect its purpose by changing how you sharpen it. The plain edge is perfect for day to day needs as well as a wider variety of tasks.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of 6A14V Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It’s a little heavier than aluminum but is still considered a lightweight metal and much stronger. Alas, it’s more expensive to machine. Titanium is one of those rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. It is very sturdy, yet still springy. However, Titanium does suffer from being prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel. Titanium can be given a unique and attractive color through the anodization process and on the Cross Hatch Small Sebenza has a tan anodized front handle scale. The back handle scale is also titanium, but it is a dark sandblasted finish. This is when sand gets blasted at the handle scale at high pressure. A blasted finish reduces reflection and glare due to its even matte surface. The blasting creates an increased surface area and micro abrasions make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. This material is still far from indestructible and not all alloys are as strong as stainless steel. The special CGG, Computer Generated Graphic, Cross Hatch graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This texture is going to provide you with a very solid grip whenever you are using this knife.

The handle has a slight finger guard to protect your fingers from getting sliced. It also sports a finger groove carved out for you to rest your finger in and providing you with a comfortable grip. There is a black lanyard attached to the butt of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip matches the back handle scale and is attached by a small screw. The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only n the traditional side of the handle. This is a removable pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

The Small Sebenza features an integral lock. This was created by Chris Reeve and the first knife that it appeared on was the Sebenza. Chris Reeve calls it an Integral Lock, but the common name used in the industry now is simply “Frame Lock”. The Integral Lock is essentially a reworking of the Liner Lock to simplify and strengthen the design by removing the handle scales form the knife and using thicker liners that would serve as the handles, the liner, and the integrated locking bar. This locking mechanism is extremely popular with hard use folders because they are stronger than normal liner locks and give the perception of simplicity and strength. An additional advantage that the Integral Lock has over the liner lock is that when you are gripping the knife, you are also reinforcing the lock since it is integrated into the handle.

The opening mechanism is a single thumb lug. This is an easy and quite common operation that is used to open up a folding knife. The thumb lug sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. It makes for a comfortable way to use one hand to open the knife. One thing to consider is how close this puts your hand to the blade itself. There are many accounts of people actually cutting themselves while opening their blade. It is easy for your thumb to slip and get sliced.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Small Sebenza is 2.94 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 6.875 inches long and it has a closed length of 3.935 inches. The small Sebenza weighs in at 3 ounces. This knife was made in the USA.

 

The Conclusion:

The Small Sebenza 21 features sandblasted handles, a tumbled finish drop point blade, 303 stainless steel hardware, and exterior accents in the Reeve signature anodized blue titanium. Built with handcrafted care at a production level, the Sebenza 21 has earned a worldwide reputation for rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. Designed for lifetimes of use, the Sebenza 21 was carefully developed to improve upon its predecessors. With every iteration, we seek to improve strength and longevity, while still maintaining the sleek profile and simplicity of the iconic Sebenza. The Chris Reeve Sebenza has become synonymous world-wide with quality, rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. First developed in 1987, the Sebenza has gone through only some minor changes over the years and in 2008, the Sebenza 21 was released to celebrate 21 years of this flagship model. This model features an Integral Lock® frame lock design that was built to handle a lifetime of use and abuse and each premium stainless steel blade is deployed with the single thumb lug. The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Cross Hatch” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This smaller model boasts a tan front titanium handle, a dark sandblasted back titanium handle, a drop point style blade in a tumbled stonewash finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.  Find yours here.

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The Bear and Son 115 Silver Vein Balisong Review

The Outdoor Wire put together a perfect history of Bear and Son Cutlery: “This company all began in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility, a sister plant to w. R. Case and Sons in Jacksonville, Alabama, to create Bear MGC Cutlery. A lot has happened since then to establish Bear and Son Cutlery as a rising force in the knife industry.

After a series of twists and turns, including a time when the firm actually as owned by Swiss Army Brands, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as president. His son Matt, who began working in the factory when he was 18, is vice president, as is Ken’s wife Sandy, who has played a key role as vice president of purchasing and premium department.

With their supervisors and management team, they bring a combined knife experience of more than 290 years, including positions with Gerber, Case, Buck, Parker Edwards and Schrade. They head a skilled team of 82 craftsmen.

As Americans become more and more concerned about jobs lost to overseas sources, they resent it when they see the words “Made in China” on a product. And they have less confidence in the quality and reliability—especially if it’s a knife.

Bear and Son Cutlery meets the test because 100% of their high quality knives are made in their state of the art Jacksonville, Alabama plant, where they do all their own tooling, pressing, heat treating, grinding, hafting, finishing and assembly.

‘Our fundamental positon is clear and absolute: we make high quality knives, and we make them all right here in the USA,’ said Ken Griffey. ‘And when we say Made in America, we mean everything—set steels, every component right down to the tiniest screws, and of course every step of manufacturing. We’re a family company and we are dedicated to keeping it exactly that way.’

With a wide range of knives—from big Bowies to popular Butterflies—Bear and Son covers almost every knife need. Bear and Son Cutler is a family business that insists on top quality knives and is dedicated to America.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 1095 Carbon Steel. This is the most popular 10 series standard carbon steel with low corrosion resistance and average edge retention properties. So why would you even want 1095 steel? The appeal here is 1095 is a tough steel that’s resistant to chipping, it’s easy to sharpen, takes a crazy sharp edge, and is inexpensive to produce. This makes it desirable for larger heavy duty fixe blades and survival knives which are going to be subject to more abuse than your typical EDC.

The finish on this knife is a coated black finish. This coating finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will then have to be recoated. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and do require less maintenance.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything, then you’ve come to the right place.  A drop point is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger blades in Swiss army knives. To from this blade shape, the back, or unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. There is really only one disadvantage of the drop point blade and that is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. It is this tip strength that is crucial in survival knives. When you are choosing a knife with a drop point blade, you are choosing a knife that is going to help you in a wide variety of situations, whether it is the expected situations or the unexpected.

The Bear and Son 115 Butterfly knife has a plain edge. The plain edge is one continuous sharp edge and is far more traditional. The plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge I superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge is going to work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those application involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. And, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a razor polished edge. Plain edges are going to serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another one of the key advantages of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly.

 

The Handle:

The knife handles on this Butterfly knife are a speckled black and grey casted zinc. Having zinc knife handles is one of the most unique aspects about this knife. Zinc is not commonly used in knife handles; however, zinc has been here for years. US architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries relied on the chemical substance for making sheet based roofs. Zinc is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to increasing demand for eco-friendly products. Zinc is known as spelter in commerce and is a silvery white metal that is mined from the earth. Long before zinc was used to manufacture alloys such as brass, which is a combination of zinc and cooper, and was used throughout the world for a variety of applications that included weapons buckets, and wall plaques. By the end of the 18th century, Europeans had begun smelting zinc and the process spread to the US by the mid-19th century. Some of zinc’s best qualities is its ability to keep away corrosion. In fact, because of the ability to keep away corrosion, zinc is used for coating iron and steel to inhibit corrosion. Another advantage of since is that it is one of the most durable metals out there. Thirdly, zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, so it makes sense to use it for everything we can. Plus, zinc is considered a “green” material. Zinc is known for being eco-friendly because it requires less energy for production than other metals because of its lower metal point and because zinc is completely recyclable.

Because this is a butterfly knife, there are actually two handles that unfold and attach together to form one larger handle. There are oval cut outs all the way down both of the handles.

 

The Mechanism:

Bear & Son 115 Butterfly
Bear & Son 115 Butterfly

The Bear and Son 115 is a butterfly knife, which is also known as a balisong, a fan knife, and sometimes even a Batangas knife. This type of knife was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. Hollow ground butterfly knives were also used as straight razors before conventail razors were available in the Philippines. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called “flipping”, are performed for art or amusement. Blunt versions of these knives, called “trainers”, are for sale to practice tricks without the risk of injury.

While the meaning of the term balisong is not entirely clear, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog words baling sungay (broken/folding horn) as they were originally made form carved caribou and stag horn.

This specific balisong is called a sandwich constructed balisong. This means that the knife is assembled in layers that are generally pinned or screwed together though may sometimes use a ball bearing system. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rest between the layers.

There are a couple of main parts on a balisong that we will go over. First, the bit handle. This is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade and will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. This is the handle that usually has the latch on it.

The second part is the choil. The second part is the kicker. This is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

The third part is the latch. This is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Magnets are occasionally used instead. It also keeps it from opening up when the user doesn’t want it to.

Fourth, the latch gate. This is a block inside the channel of the handles that stops the latch from impacting the blade.

Fifth, the tang pins. This pin(s) is meant to hold the blade away from the handle when closed to prevent dulling and in some cases, a second pin to keep the handles form excessively banging together while the butterfly knife is being manipulated.

Sixth, the safe handle. This is the handle, which generally is the handle without the latch, that closes on the non sharpened edge of the blade.

 

Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long. The knife has an overall length of 9 inches long with a handle length of 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The 115 series of butterfly knives are one of several new knives released by Bear & Son Cutlery this year. This line of knives has expanded off of the popular 114 and 113 series of knives by offering different handle colors with the same traditional blade finishes and options. Offered in a wide variety of sizes, colors and finishes, these butterfly knives showcase pin construction and the blade smoothly operates on bronze phosphorus washers and precision ball bearing surfaces. This model, 115, features speckled black and grey casted zinc handles, a closing latch with a double tang pin design and a drop point style blade in a black finish. The zinc handles are eco-friendly and one of the most durable materials that you are ever going to work with. The drop point style blade is going to help you work on a large variety of tasks, form the everyday tasks that you expect to the unexpected emergencies that tend to pop up. Pick up your new favorite butterfly knife today at BladeOps.

 

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CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade Knife Review

Born in Oregon in 1994, Columbia River Knife and Tool is an American company known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For more than 20 years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. CRKT operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To do this, they have been collaborating with the best knife designer sin the world. Some of these designers are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steven Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. Out of these collaborations have been born plenty of groundbreaking and innovative inventions. CRKT now owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these patents include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men had been formerly employed by Kershaw knives. And while they did found this company is 1994, it took until 1997 to truly take off. It was at the Shot Show of 97 that they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This was a small folder that Ed Halligan had designed and it was a massive success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of the product had sold out. They sold at 4-5 times the original production numbers, resulting in a tripling of production efforts. They now produce a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

CRKT has a fixed blade called the Strafe. This is the knife that we will be going over today.

 

The Designer:

The man behind the Strafe is Lucas Burnley. He is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When you ask Lucas what drew him to the knife world as a teenager, he’ll tell you it was stories of survival, off path adventures with his father, and a healthy dose of action movies. Over the years, he has experimented with a broad range of styles to artfully combine classical examples with modern materials and techniques, such as with his Obake knife. Luas believes knives are a personal expression of independence, and CRKT couldn’t agree more with him.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Strafe is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This is Chinese steel that comes from the Cr series of steels. Out of all the formulas in the series, 9Cr steel is the highest quality, with 8Cr steel falling shortly behind it. If you were trying to compare a steel with 8Cr steel, the most similar would be AUS 8 steel. However, out of the two, AUS 8 is the higher quality steel. 8Cr steel is considered a stainless steel, but it is not as premium as some stainless steels. This means that while it will work to resist rusting or corroding, you will have to keep up on your maintenance after working with your knife. It is a softer steel, so it will be easy to sharpen. And, as a bonus, it does maintain an edge for long periods of time. The hardness level that this steel has is HRC 56-58.  The biggest advantage that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. Keep in mind that you do get what you pay for though, so while this steel is a tough steel that is going to be able to tackle many tasks, it is steel an average rated steel.

The finish on the Strafe’s blade is a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is usually small stones. After the blade has been tumbled around, it is removed, smoothed out, and polished over. This finish creates a very textured, well-worn look. It gives you a classy style while still looking rugged. The biggest advantage about the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the blade over time. Because this finish looks so textured, it easily hides scratches and smudges that the blade will accumulate over time.

The blade on the Strafe has been carved into a drop point blade shape.

CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade
CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade

This is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today and for good reason: it is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to almost anything. One of the most common places that you are going to find this style of blade is one a hunting knife, but you will also find it on many other types of knives, such as Swiss army knives. To form the shape of the knife, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is what gives you such great control over the knife and it helps to add strength to the tip. And while the tip on a drop point is definitely not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it does have exponential strength. Because of the tip strength and ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are a popular option on tactical and survival knives. The reason that drop point knives are so popular on hunting knives is because of how easily controlled the blade is. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reasons that this blade shape is such a versatile blade shape is because of the large belly area that provides plenty of length for slicing.  There are almost no disadvantages to the drop point blade except for its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape—which is a similar shape. But, you do need to keep in mind that it is that point strength that allows it to stand up to such heavy duty tasks that the clip point blade shape would not be able to withstand. When you choose a knife with a drop point, you are choosing a knife that can be used in almost any situation, whether it is the expected or the unexpected that you are facing.

The edge on the Strafe is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge style that you can get and it is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material which is super strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. And even more, it’s super cheap! This is such a strong material because in GRN the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This is a similar material to G 10, carbon fiber, and Micarta, except that the fibers in those other materials are arranged in a single direction. This is the reason that those other materials are so brittle, when the fibers are stressed in any direction other than the one that they are arranged in, they break down and fall apart. You don’t have to worry about that problem with GRN. With the fibers arranged in all different directions, it won’t break down when it is stressed in any direction. However, many knife lovers did not warm up to this material because they felt like it was cheap and somewhat hollow. Another drawback to this material is that it is not as “grippy” as G 10. This is an inexpensive material to produce because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of way in the production process. All these characteristics lends well to high volume manufacturing and hence the low cost. One of the other major benefits about GRN is that it has almost zero maintenance.

The handle is black and has been textured with extreme grip. This grip will give you a secure hold even in the wetter environments. While there is not a big finger groove, there is a finger guard to protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut. The handle is not as curved as other handles that you can find, but it does have a small curve to fit well in your palm to provide you with a comfortable grip over long periods of time.

 

The Mechanism:

The Strafe is a fixed blade. There is a definite battle going on between whether a folding knife or a fixed blade is the correct way to go. In all honesty, it really does come down to preference and what tasks you are expecting to perform with your knife. And while a fixed blade comes with a wide array of advantages, let’s be candid about the disadvantages for just a second. For starters, they are harder to carry and conceal. Secondly, fixed blades are usually regarded as tools for violent causes instead of a tool to help get jobs done. Third, a well-constructed folding knife is just as tough as a fixed blade would be.

But now, let’s talk about all of the crazy benefits that you are going to gain when you choose to carry a fixed blade. For starters, they are strong and big. You can really find a fixed blade in any size that you are looking for—from a small, handy knife to a monster blade. No matter what size you choose though, the same strength is going to be behind the blade. The second advantage is that they don’t break down easily because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. Third, they are easier to maintain—cleaning is straightforward and simple. All you have to do with a fixed blade is wipe it down, because there is no moving, small, or inward parts on a fixed blade. Fourth, the blades on fixed blades are longer, but still stronger than on a folding knife. Fifth, they can be used for superior tactical use. Fixed blades can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife during tactical situations. Sixth, fixed blades make for a superior survival tool. This tool can perform much more than just cutting, they can dig, split, prepare food, be used in first aid, be used as a hunting weapon, hammering, and even as a prying tool.

While you might not be quite warmed up to the idea of having a fixed blade knife being your go-to, there are so many reasons to choose the Strafe as your favorite knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, just like the handle is. This will provide you with a very strong, durable sheath that will last as long as your knife. The sheath comes in black.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Strafe is 4.612 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.184 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 9.5 inches long and it weighs in at 6.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT was talking about the Strafe they said, “Stealth like a ninja, power like a .50 cal. The Strafe tactical fixed blade is born of both an admiration for sleek Japanese designs and a fascination with US military combat blades. The blade shape is influenced by a classic tanto style and the slight design makes this knife swift in motion and extremely lightweight to carry. The field is full of unsuspected variables; the Strafe is built to address every last one. Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico built the Strafe to be the ultimate modern filed knife with traditional, classic undertones. It’s first and foremost a field utility knife, but it’ll always be there to run sweep. The lean, angular blade shape is rooted in its Japanese tanto heritage and is finished with a sleek stonewash finish. When matched with diamond cross section grip and shadow boxed scales, it looks like a relic fit for a display case, but this is a powerful and capable beast that doesn’t belong in a cage. The tough polypropylene sheath features a j hook accessory so it remains poised and at the ready at all times. In a combat situation, every second counts. The sleek, swift Strafe eats milliseconds for breakfast.” Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

 

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Buck Impact Auto Knife Review

A young Kansas blacksmith apprentice named Hoyt Buck was looking for a better way to temper steel so it would hold an edge longer. His unique approach produced the first Buck Knife in 1902. Hoyt made each knife by hand, using worn-out file blades as raw material. His handiwork was greatly appreciated during World War II. Hoyt’s eldest son Al relocated from the Pacific Northwest to San Diego California after finishing a stint in the navy a decade earlier. Hoyt, and his wife Daisy, moved in with Al and his young family in 1945 and set up shot as H.H. Buck and Son.

Following the death of his father, Al kept the fledgling custom knife business going until incorporating Buck Knives, Inc. in 1961. Al introduced his son, Chuck, to the knife business at an early age and Chuck and his wife, Lori, were both involved when the company was incorporated. In 1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A position we hold proudly today.

Chuck worked his way up through the company serving as President and CEO for many years before handing over the reins to his son, CJ, in 1999. Chuck remained active as Chairman of the Board until his passing in 2015. Lori now serves on the Board of Directors and is actively involved with buck promotional events throughout the US, continuing Chuck’s legacy.

CJ, the 4th generation family member to run Buck Knives and current CEO, President and Chairman, started out with the company on the production line in 1978. He has been quoted saying, “We have been helping people thrive with reliable and trustworthy edged products for over a century. Since our name is on the knife, our quality, focus, and attention to detail is very personal.”

Hoyt and Al Buck’s ingenuity may have put the company on the map. But it is their ongoing commitment to developing innovative new products and improving what they have by third and fourth generation Buck family members that have made Buck the successful knife maker it is today. Frankly, it is what their customers expect forma Buck.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of S30V Stainless Steel. This steel formula is made by US based Crucible. The full name is CPM S30V steel, but it so often referred to as S30V steel. It has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used of the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, harness, and toughness. However, S30V is a little bit tricky to work with or to sharpen, which is one of the only drawbacks that you are going to find in this steel. It used to be a more expensive steel, but since Crucible released CPM S30VN steel, the price has significantly released. S30V is a pretty common steel these days and it is one of my favorites for my knife’s blades.

A satin finish is the most typical knife finish. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish, and it less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It has decent corrosion resistance, but less than polish of mirror finished knives. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polish. The most popular finish on production knife blades, it shows fine buffing lines with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade.

The blade on the Impact has a drop point blade shape. A drop point blade’s spine curves, or drops, slightly down toward its point. Its convex profile gives it strength and makes it easy to stow in a sheath, contributing to its popularity as a utility knife among pointed blade styles. Its handling characteristics resemble those of clipped point styles, but with greater thickness at the tip that produces a sharp, strong point less usable for piercing. It excels at cutting tasks and those that resemble carving techniques. The single edge blade profile has earned wide adoption as a general purpose EDC knife, and in hunting, tactical, and survival knives. You’ll also find this shape on chefs’ knives and the larger blades in Swiss Army pocket knives. The drop point blade profile creates a blade with a strong, robust tip that is easy to direct when cutting or piercing. This is ideal for everyday carry and simple chores, the drop point profile is very popular and sued on a variety of pocket knives and fixed blade knives. This is one of the most common blade types. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited for piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

Buck Impact Auto Knife
Buck Impact Auto Knife

The blade on this knife has a plain edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and are for more traditional. The plain edge is also best at what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. In general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. Generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge becomes more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Impact Auto is made out of aluminum and rubber. Aluminum is aery durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. When it’s properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium, which tends to be found on the more premium knives. To help add grip to the handle, Buck has added a rubber inlay to the palm of the knife. The rubber will give you a secure grip in almost any environment.

The handle has a slow curve across the spine of the handle to fit comfortably in your palm. The butt of the handle is slightly flared out opt give you a better grip. At the top of the handle, there is also a flare, that works as a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip that is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is a cured clip that has a cut out at the top of the clip. The deep carry pocket clip is perfect if you are trying to conceal this knife throughout everyday tasks. The deep carry pocket clip will also keep your knife safer, because it can rest deeper and more securely in your pocket without the worry about it slipping and falling out when you are going about your everyday tasks. However, with a deep carry pocket clip, it will take slightly longer to draw out of your pocket when you do need to use it. In the majority of situations, this time is miniscule and will not make a difference, but if you are planning on using this as a tactical knife, keep that in mind.

 

The Mechanism:

The Buck Impact is an automatic knife. But it does feature a thumb hole. The first company to use the thumb hole was Spyderco, but over the years, other knife makers have jumped on the bandwagon and there is good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole works. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, it is ambidextrous. And many knife lovers favor a hole because, unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade.

This is an automatic knife, which is also known as a switchblade or a pushbutton knife. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a lever on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

Switchblade knives date from the mdi-18th century. The earliest known examples of spring loaded blades were constructed by craftsmen in Europe, who developed an automatic folding spike bayonet for use on flintlock pistol and coach guns. Examples of steel automatic folding knives from Sheffield England have crown markings that date to 1840.

However, in 1954, Democratic Representative James J Delaney of New York authored the first bill submitted to the US Congress banning the manufacture and sale of switchblades, beginning a wave of legal restrictions worldwide and a consequent decline in their popularity.

Because this is an automatic knife, you will need to know your local knife laws before purchasing or carrying this knife because it could very well be illegal where you live.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Impact is 3.125 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7.75 inches long with a handle length of 4.625 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.1 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Buck Impact Auto:

  • The steel has the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention.
  • The steel is stainless, so it does resist rust effortlessly.
  • This steel has good value for the qualities that you get out of it.
  • The satin finish is a very traditional finish.
  • The drop point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade shape.
  • The drop point blade shape is very versatile because of the strong tip.
  • The drop point blade shape has a large belly that is perfect for slicing.
  • The plain edge well suited for the widest variety of tasks.
  • The aluminum handle is durable.
  • The aluminum handle is rust resistant.
  • The rubber inlay on the handle gives you plenty of grip for almost any situation.
  • The pocket clip is deep carry.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.

 

The Cons of the Buck Impact Auto:

  • The S30V steel is harder to sharpen than less quality steels.
  • The drop point blade shape does not have piercing capabilities.

 

Conclusion:

Introducing Buck’s first automatic, the 898 Impact. The Impact engages with the push of a button and includes a safety slide. Once the safety switch is moved to the red, you simply push the button. The button lock style keeps the knife locked open and closed to prevent accidental deployment. The handle features a textured inlay for added grip. Weighing only 4.1 oz., this automatic knife is lightweight and easy to carry. The blade and handle are made out of very durable materials and the blade has a very durable blade shape—all of this means that this knife is going to be able to take a beating. Pick up your Buck Impact Automatic Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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The Chris Reeve Think Twice Code Knife Review

Chris Reeve Knives began operations on January 1, 1984 in a one car garage in Durban, South Africa, when Chris changed his life from full time Tool and Die Maker/part time knife maker to full time knife maker. For a couple years, he was the only employee but gradually and steadily, the company has grown to reach its present position as a well-equipped manufacturing company and noted brand in the industry. The road between 1984 and January 2016 has not always been smooth. For many years, the endeavor was under-funded but with determination Chris and Anne put all they had into producing the best knives possible, within the resources available. In March 1989, they moved from their native South Africa and settled in Boise, Idaho. That move in itself was a major undertaking but vital for the future of the company.

Chris has always pushed the envelope. Whether on a motorcycle or behind a belt grinder, he dreamed of being a world champion. He did not win a motorcycle world championship but in many respects, the standing of CRK today represents one. His induction into the Cutlery hall of Fame in June 2015 could be considered his championship trophy. The single thought in Chris’ mind has always been to design every model with deliberation, taking into account how the knife works, its intended purpose and the most appropriate materials. On this foundation, CRK now enjoys a worldwide reputation for outstanding design, exceptional execution, and the closest tolerances in the industry—all back by excellent customer service.

CRK is a vibrant business, has a great staff of well-trained employees, and remains a company with a worldwide reputation for raising the standards bar—pushing the envelope—for the industry.

2015 saw the withdrawal of Chris from daily operations into semi-retirement; he continues to contribute to design and consulting. Of writing, the staff at Chris Reeve Knives is 40 people strong—a talented and motivated group who ensures their worldwide reputation for quality, functional knives continue. They look confidently to the future where Chris reeve Knives will show that exceptional design and quality craftsmanship are always desired.

Today, we are talking about the Think Twice Code, which is a Large Sebenza. 2012 was the 25th year of the Sebenza.

 

The Blade:

Chris Reeve Think Twice
Chris Reeve Think Twice

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve introduced an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel and named in S35VN. CPM S30V has an excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. However, it was extremely hard to sharpen, so Crucible revamped it and thus is S35VN steel. They used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium (which is where the N comes from in the name) they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while also improving toughness and ability to sharpen. In the real world, many people will find the two near-indistinguishable. But, you are going to struggle to find an y steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the money. The S30V steel was considered one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness, so just imagine how amazing the S35VN steel is going to be for you and your blade.

This blade has a stonewashed finish. This finish is achieved just like the name says—the parts are literally put in a huge vibrating bin with pieces of stone that are literally making thousands and thousands of tiny scratches on the surface of the part. It results in a nice, smooth finish with a somewhat mottled appearance. Some of the advantages of the stonewashed finish is that it is pretty durable and does not show wear very much. In addition, the process tends to make the surface of the blade smoother which helps shed moisture and help to minimize corrosion issues. The stonewash finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade will not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes.

The blade on the Chris Reeve Think Twice Code has been carved into a drop point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can essentially stand up to anything—this is going to be a great knife for you. A drop point blade shape is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. This blade shape is a great blade shape for hunting knives for a variety of reasons, although you are going to find this blade shape on many other types of knives as well. To form the blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. It is because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that makes drop point blades a popular option on tactical and survival knives. The reason that this blade style is so popular on hunting knives is because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable. It is this lowered, controllable point that makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking integral organs and ruing the meat. Drop point knives feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, which is why this is such a great EDC option. The large belly makes slicing a breeze, which also means that the majority of your everyday tasks a breeze. The only real disadvantage of the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. Clip point knives are one of the other most popular blade shapes that you are going to come across. Both make for great EDC knives, because they both have lowered tips and wide bellies. However, a clip point is better designed for piercing, because the point is thinner, finer, and sharper. But, because of this, the tip is going to be more prone to breaking. The drop point blade is not suited for piercing, but it does have strength that you aren’t going to be able to find on a clip point blade shape.

The Think Twice Code large Sebenza 21 features a plain edge because it is more suited for a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge is better suited for push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. This is the more traditional blade edge and it is going to be easier to get a finer edge on it. In general, plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All of those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. Generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have e a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge will become more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones.

 

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6A14V Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It’s a little heavier than aluminum but still consider a lightweight metal and much stronger. However, it is also going to be more expensive to machine. Titanium is one of those rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. It’s very sturdy and yet springy. However, titanium does suffer from being prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel. Titanium can be given a unique and attractive color through the anodization process which is particularly common on custom knives. However, you should beware of the Titanium marketing machine. You’ll often see titanium being given more credit than it deserves through effective marketing. It’s far from indestructible and not all alloys are as strong as stainless steel.

The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Think Twice Code” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. There is a lanyard attached to the butt of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This clip is attached by a single screw on the back of the knife

 

The Mechanism:

This knife features an Integral Lock frame design. Chris Reeve originally designed the Integral Locking mechanism, but the common name for it is a frame lock. The frame lock is a beefed up version of the liner lock. They’re very similar to liner lock mechanisms, except instead of an internal spring bar moving into place, it’s part of the handle itself. Frame lock knives tend to be stronger than liner locks, as the piece of metal that slips into place is more substantial than that in a liner. Because of their similarity to liner locks, closing a frame lock knife is virtually the same—push down on the spring bar so it no longer blocks the butt of the blade, remove your thumb from the path, then fold the knife closed. This type of looking system puts a large portion of metal against the blade, ensuring a strong lockup for piercing, cutting, slicing, another heavy duty tasks. Frame locks are seen in lots of mid to upper range knives, typically rafted from titanium. Not only do they add a unique look to the knife, but they’re also easily operated with one hand.

The opening assist is a single thumb lug. This is arguably the most common one handed opening feature. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward, you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on the Think Twice Code is 3.625 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 8.335 inches long and the handle measure sin at 4.71 inches. The knife weighs in at 4.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Chris Reeve Sebenza has become synonymous world-wide with quality, rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. First developed in 1987, the Sebenza has gone through only some minor changes over the years and in 2008, the Sebenza 21 was released to celebrate 21 years of this flagship model. This model features an Integral Lock® frame lock design that was built to handle a lifetime of use and abuse and each premium stainless steel blade is deployed with the single thumb lug. The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Think Twice Code” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This larger model boasts a titanium handle, a drop point style blade in a tumbled stonewash finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your Think twice Code Large Sebenza 21 folder knife today at BladeOps.

 

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CRKT Directive Flipper Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, was founded in 1994. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over 20 years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this, they collaborate with the best designers in the world. Some of these designers are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. They also own about fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, both of whom used to work for Kershaw Knives. The company did not truly take off until 1997 at that years Shot Show. This was when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This knife was a small folder that Ed Halligan designed and it was a raging success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of product was sold out. CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They recently released a brand new folder called the Directive. There are two different versions of this knife, but both of them are game changers. Let’s begin.

 

The Blade:

The blade on both versions of this knife have been made out of 8Cr14MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from a series of steel. In the series of steel, the highest quality is the 9Cr steel, however 8Cr is close behind. This steel is most often compared to AUS 8 steel, however AUS 8 is the superior steel by a little bit. The biggest feature that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. It is a softer steel which does have some drawbacks, but with this formula, it is an advantage. This steel is easy to sharpen, can get a very fine edge on it, and surprisingly, the edge does hold for long periods of time. This is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust well. While this steel is can stand up to many tasks, it is still considered an average steel. So while it does hold its own, it won’t excel at any of the tasks.

Both versions of the blade sport a black oxide finish. This finish is also sometimes known as a blackening finish and is used to add the sleek black look that you can expect from this blade. This coating is a conversion coating for ferrous materials that is used to add mild corrosion resistance and for an appealing black appearance. However, it is a coating finish which means that it will scratch or peel off over time.

Like I previously mentioned, the knife does come in two different versions. The first version has a drop point style blade. The drop point style is a shape that can stand up to almost any task, is a great all-purpose shape, and is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is used on the market today. One of the most common places that you are going to find this lade shape in use is on hunting knives; however, it is also used on many other knives. To form the shape of this knife, the back edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. This creates a lowered point and the lowered point provides more control over your cuts and slices—this is one of the reasons that it is so popular on hunting knives; the hunter does not have to worry about nicking any of the inner organs or damaging the quality of the meat. The lowered point also adds strength to the tip, which gives this blade shape the ability to hold up to heavy use. Because of that, this is a very popular blade shape on tactical and survival knives. One of the last reasons that this is such a popular blade shape is because it sports a large belly. This belly makes slicing a breeze, making this knife a fantastic option for your everyday carry knife. One of the only disadvantages to this blade shape is that it does have a very broad tip. The broad tip is what gives this blade shape so much strength, but it also reduces your stabbing abilities. If you are looking for a knife that can easily stab, I would recommend checking out the clip point style blade. When you choose the version of the Directive that has the drop point blade shape, you will be preparing yourself for not only all of your expected tasks, but also the unexpected challenges that accompany your adventures.

 

The other version of the Directive sports a tanto blade shape. Something funny about the two options that you have is that the drop point is designed to be able to take on almost any task, while the tanto has been designed to take on one task and one task only. The tanto has been designed for piercing tough materials. This blade shape was designed after the Japanese long and short swords and was popularized by Cold Steel in the early 1980’s. The original style was designed to pierce through armor, so you know that this knife is going to be able to get through some tough things. The tanto is formed with a high point and a flat grind, which leads to an extremely strong point. The thick point of the tanto has a lot of metal near the tip, which makes it able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause many other knives to break or snap off. Something else that is unique about this blade shape is that the front edge of it meets the back edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. Because of this, the tanto blade style does not sport a belly. In this case, you sacrifice the belly for a stronger tip. This lack of belly is the biggest reason that this knife has not been designed for everyday use or as a general utility knife. By choosing the version of the Directive that has a tanto blade shape, you will own a knife that has been designed and tailored to pierce through those tougher materials.

 

Both of the versions of the knife have a plain edge. The plain edge has been designed to take on a wider variety of needs. The plain edge is the more traditional edge that excels at push cuts such as slicing, peeling, or skinning. Another one of the major benefits to the plain edge is that it is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it than if it were a serrated or combo edge.

 

The Handle:

The handles on both of these knives have been made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material that is crazy strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and also practically indestructible. As a total bonus, it’s pretty cheap. What makes this material so strong and durable is that the fibers are all arranged haphazardly, as opposed to in one direction like the similar materials G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta. Those other materials have the fibers arranged in one direction, which means that if the material is stressed in any other direction, it is going to be brittle and prone to breaking or snapping. With GRN’s fibers being arranged so haphazardly, it doesn’t matter which direction the handle is stressed—it is going to stand up to it all. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process, this leads to high volume manufacturing and low cost. Many knife lovers did not love this material at first because they felt like it felt cheap and almost hollow. One of the other drawbacks is that it is not as grippy as G 10 is.

To help add texture, there are four slashes going diagonally across the palm of this knife. Near the butt of the handle, there is a row of deep, thick jimping. Here is also jimping on the bottom of the handle, which allows for plenty of grip security in both the traditional as well as the reverse position. There is a finger groove as well as a finger guard to protect your fingers from sliding and getting cut.

On the butt of the handle, there is also a lanyard hole. This offers you a variety of benefits, from being able to fold your lanyard across the palm to provide you more texture to simply wanting a taste of your own style on this knife. The lanyard lets you easily attach this knife to your belt or pack strap; giving you easy access when you do need it, but keeping it out of the way when you don’t need it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip, as well as the hardware is all black making this a completely black knife. On the middle of the pocket clip CRKT has stamped their logo. The pocket clip is kept in place by two small screws. This is a 4-way positional pocket clip, which means that you can carry it tip up or tip down as well as carrying it on either side of the handle. This is a huge benefit because you can carry it in whichever way feels the most comfortable to you.

 

The Mechanism:

CRKT Directive
CRKT Directive

This is a folding knife that sports a flipper opening as well as a locking liner mechanism. The flipper mechanism is a small triangular portion of the blade that juts out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy the blade, you pull back on this flipper which gives enough resistance to flip the blade open and lock it into place. This is an efficient way to open it quickly, and you don’t have to worry about your fingers getting sliced, because the flipper opening mechanism keeps them safe and out of the way during the whole process.

The liner lock is one of the most common mechanisms that is seen on folding knives. The key component to this mechanism is a side spring bar located on the same side as sharp edge of the blade, “lining” the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When fully opened, the tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, keeping it firmly in place and preventing it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb to push the spring bar down so that it clears contact form the butt of the blade. This lets you use your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb from the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife. One of the advantages to this mechanism is that it allows a knife to have two true handle sides.

 

The Specs:

Drop Point Version:

The blade on this knife is 3.624 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.136 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.438 inches and has a closed length of 4.828 inches. This version of the knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces.

Tanto Version:

The blade on this knife is 3.614 inches long with a thickness of 0.148 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.375 inches long and sports a closed length of 4.829 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.8 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

These knives were designed by Matthew Lerch. The blade will hold a very sharp edge for long periods of time and the handles are durable as well as completely ambidextrous. The locking system will guarantee that the blade doesn’t fold on your hand while in the middle of use and the 4 way positional pocket clip is the cherry on top of it all. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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