CRKT Realtree Homefront Hunt Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, was founded in 1994. From day one, they put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build knives and tools that would 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. This is an American knife company that is currently based in Tualatin, Oregon. This company was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. However, the company did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduce. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan was a success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of the product was sold out.

The company produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has collaborated with custom knife makers such as 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.

CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending. These include the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff-Serrated edges. The Outburst is the company’s proprietary mechanism for their assisted-opening knives. The Lock Back Safety mechanism, which is also invented by Ron Lake, is similar in function to the LAWKS mechanism. And Veff-Serrations were developed by Tom Veff, who is a sharpener and knife maker, and are exclusively licensed to CRKT for production.

To make sure that they give their customers Confidence in Hand, they collaborate with the best knife designers in the world, to give you some of the best knife innovations in the world.

Today we will be talking about the Realtree Homefront Hunt Flipper Knife with a satin blade.

CRKT Realtree Homefront Hunt Knife
CRKT Realtree Homefront Hunt Knife

The Blade:

The blade has been made out of 1.4116 Stainless Steel. This is the steel that is used in Swiss Army Knives and it is an excellent steel for beginner sharpeners. It is exceptionally corrosion resistant and very tough. This example is extreme, but some people even clean their knives with this type of steel in the dishwasher—I would not recommend this, but you get the point. This steel does not hold an edge well at all, but it is so easy to sharpen, you can get it back to razor levels in a few minutes. This is a German steel that is most commonly found on popular kitchen knives. This type of steel is typically hardened to 54-56HRC, and the bigger the blade, the softer the steel. This steel is quite stain resistant.

The blade has been finished with a satin blade finish. The satin finish is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polished which are matte and high gloss. This is the most popular finish on production knife blades, it shows fine buffing lines with two direction finishes that better display the bevels of a blade. This finish requires great hand skill to accomplish. This finish is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It does have decent corrosion resistance, but less so than polished or mirror finished knives. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks.

This blade has been carved into a drop point style blade. The drop point is a blade shape that is used on many knives, and is most commonly seen on hunting knives. This, along with the clip point blade shape, is one of the most popular blade shapes used on knives today. Both of these shapes are great all-purpose knives, but the drop point blade shape can stand up to more than a clip point can. To form the 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. 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. These two blade shapes are very similar but vary when it comes to the points. The clip point has a sharper, finer, and thinner tip, so you do have stabbing capabilities; but the point is much weaker and prone to breaking. The drop point has a wider point, which means that you are going to be able to take on the heavier tasks, but you do lose out on your stabbing capabilities. This blade shape is one of its biggest advantages, but it is also one of its biggest disadvantages. The drop point is such a versatile blade shape because of the large belly area that it is perfect for slicing. It is this slicing capabilities that are going to come in handy in your most common tasks. When you are looking for a great EDC knife, you should be looking for a knife that is going to be able to slice well. And, when you are looking for a hunting knife, you definitely need to be searching for a knife that can slice, because dressing game require lots of slices.

Because this is a hunting knife, it has a plain edge. 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 application s like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. This is because those applications involve either push cuts or the need for extreme control. When you are looking for a hunting knife, you definitely need to be searching for a pain edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of GRN, or glass reinforced nylon. This is a high strength, abrasion, and impact resistant thermoplastic polyamide formulation of the family more commonly known as nylon, often with varying degrees of fiberglass added for extra stiffness. This material is also resistant to bending—it is practically indestructible. And, as a total bonus, it’s cheap. This material is so close to being indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This material is very similar to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, but with those materials the fibers are aligned in a single direction. This makes them brittle because when the fibers are stressed in a different direction, the material starts to break apart. With the haphazardly arranged fibers, it doesn’t matter which direction the material is stressed—it won’t break apart.

Many knife enthusiasts did not warm up to this material because they felt like it was cheap and almost hollow feeling. GRN also tends to provide you with a little less grip than G-10 would. This material is inexpensive to purchase because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. All of these characteristics lends well to high volume manufacturing and hence low cost. This material is strong, tough, requires zero maintenance, and it is inexpensive.

The GRN has been printed to blend in with the forest. IT is tan with branches and green splotches printed on the palm. On the spine of the handle, there is a row of thick jimping to give you extra grip. The GRN has a small chevrons carved into the handle so that you have a secure grip no matter what environment you are in. This texture will help you have a secure grip even when you are dressing your game and everything is bloody and messy.

There is also a small finger groove carved into handle to give your fingers a comfortable and secure place to rest while you are using this knife. All of the knives features have been designed so that you will have a secure grip on this knife even during the messiest of times.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is dark grey and skeletonized. The clip is kept in place by one small screw; the clip and the screw matching the rest of the hardware on the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a flipper knife that sports a liner locking mechanism. The flipper mechanism is a relative newcomer on the one hand opening scene—especially in popularity. While studs and holes enlist a thumb to open the knife, a flipper employs an index finger, and the feature is naturally ambidextrous. Some people have reported that deploying a flipper reliably takes a bit of practice, and that is probably true. An essential element of a great flipper is a high quality pivot mechanism.

The liner lock is easily the most popular knife lock found in folding knives. It was invented in the early 80s by knife-maker Michael walker and was quickly adopted by a number of mainstream knife makers. The liner lock functions with one section of the liner angled inward towards the inside of the knife. Form this position, the liner is only able to go back to its old position with manual force, therefore locking it in place. The tail of the liner lock, which is closest to the blade, is cut to engage the bottom of the blade under the pivot. If the user wants to disengage the lock, they must manually move the liner to the side, away from the blade bottom.

The Realtree Homefront knife is also equipped with CRKT’s field strip technology. This was designed by world-class knife maker, Ken Onion. The field strip technology lets you easily disassemble your knife whenever, wherever, and without tools. To do so you follow these steps: 1. with the knife in the closed positon, push the lever up. 2. Rotate the wheel clockwise until the handles separate. 3. The handles and the blade should separate easily. To reassemble you follow these steps: 1. Press and hold the pivot. 2. Rotate wheel counter clockwise until snug. 3. Push the lever down. The Field Strip Technology has won the Blade’s Show Most Innovative Design Award, Men’s Journal Gear of the Year Selection, and KnifeNews Dealer’s Choice Most Innovative New Knife award.

 

The Specs:

The length of the blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 8.125 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

While the Homefront knife is not new to the CRKT line-up this year, alternate variations were introduced after the overnight sensation of one of the most innovative platforms to date. Designed by American knife maker Ken Onion, this flipper features breakthrough “Field Strip” technology that allows the user the capability of complete disassembly without the use of tools–all done in less than a minute. Each liner lock designed model features no-nonsense classic aesthetics but the functionality and utilitarian value is as modern as it gets. From the beginning, CRKT has been driven by a single purpose: to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to today’s market. This model, the K265CXP, features a unique Realtree™ finished GRN (Glass Reinforced Nylon) handle, stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your CRKT Realtree Homefront Hunt Flipper Knife today at BladeOps.

 

Chris Reeve Mnandi Folder 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 noted brand in the industry.

The road between 1984 and now 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 limited resources available. In March of 1989, they moved from their native South Africa and settled in Boise, Idaho. That move in itself was a major undertaking, but they recognized how vital it was for the future of their company.

Chris has always been known to push 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 Chris Reeve Knives today represents a world championship of its own. Hid 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. He takes into account how the knife works, what its intended purpose is, and the most appropriate materials to achieve those purposes. On this foundation, Chris Reeve Knives now enjoys a worldwide reputation for outstanding design, exceptional execution, and the closest tolerances in the industry—all backed by excellent customer service.

Chris Reeve Knives is a vibrant business, has a great staff of well-trained employees, and remains a company with a worldwide reputation for raising the standard bar, or pushing the envelope, for the industry.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S35VN steel, which is usually just called S35VN steel. Before there was S35VN steel, there was S30V steel. Both steels are made by Crucible Industries in collaboration with Chris Reeve. S30V steel has an even distribution of vanadium carbides, which are harder and more effective at cutting than chromium carbides. These vanadium carbides give the steel a very refined grain, further improving the sharpness and toughness. While it does cause some difficulties to get a consistent heat treatment, knife makers continue to use this S30V because its composition makes it easier to grind than other powder steels, although the carbides do wear the grinder belts down considerably. This original steel was considered a premium grade knife steel. But, Crucible wasn’t satisfied with their steel. They knew they could improve it greatly and take out all the little bugs that people encountered while using that steel. So in 2009, Crucible Steel intrigued an update to CPM S30V steel to meet the needs of renowned knife maker Chris Reeve. This steel was the S35VN steel. They added Niobium, which is where the N comes from, and made reductions in the Vanadium. This new steel is tougher than S30V steel. And because of the improved toughness, the micro-bevel chipping has been reduced. In light use, edge-holding and stainless properties between S35VN versus S30V are thought to be roughly the same, and performance will often be affected nearly as much by the applied heat treatment, blade design, and the edge geometry as the differences in metal chemistry. While both of these steels are some of two of the more popular steels for knife blades, they are made with the same carbon and chrome content, and from various tests both steel provide the same edge retention and corrosion resistance. And even though S30V is a fantastic steel, S35VN steel has been upgraded and perfected. This is one of the best steels that you are going to come across.

This steel has been finished with the most popular blade finishes: the satin finish. The satin finish is one of the more classic finishes, falling in luster between a matte and a polished finish. The satin finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material, which is usually a sandpaper. The satin finish is designed to show the bevels of the blade, showcasing the lines of the knife, while also reducing its reflective glare. The finer the abrasive is used and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish blade looks. A nice satin finish can increase the cost of the knife, but is worth it, because it does cut down on wear and corrosion slightly.

Chris Reeve Mnandi Folder Knife
Chris Reeve Mnandi Folder Knife

This knife was created to be a more refined folder that depleted any aggressive or tactical undertones. This is supposed to be an elegant knife, so Chris Reeve paired it with a drop point style blade. The drop point blade is easily one of the most common blade types and is very popular within the hunting community. It is also a popular blade shape for pocket knives, tactical knives, and survival knives. This blade shape is characterized by a convex-shaped, sloping spine, and a lowered point. Drop point blades are especially useful for controlled cuts, which is why they are so popular for hunters—the large belly helps with skinning. Also, drop point blades have very strong tips that resist breaking, which is crucial in survival situations. One of the only drawbacks to this blades shape is that the blade sports a broad tip, which isn’t suited for piercing, especially compared to clip point blades. Drop point blades are very similar to clip point blades, but there are some key differences. Both blade shapes are great for all purpose knives and both sport a big belly that makes slicing a breeze. The biggest difference between the two shapes is that a drop point blade shape has a broad tip that is strong and sturdy—able to take on a plethora of challenges. The clip point blade has a much finer, thinner, sharper tip that is designed for stabbing. On the other hand, the clip point blade shape is weaker and more prone to breaking. Because the Mnandi knife sports a drop point style blade, you are going to be able to take on a wide variety of tasks without needing to worry about if it will be able to stand up to the challenge or not. The point is sturdy, there is a big belly for slicing, and the blade is strong.

The blade on this knife is a plain edge. The plain edged blade is the most traditional out of the three blade options. It is one continuous sharp edge. The plain edge is going to be able to take on the widest variety of tasks, making this a fantastic option for an everyday, all-purpose blade. The plain edge is the easiest edge style to sharpen and you can get a very fine edge on it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6AI4V Titanium and Box Elder Burl. A titanium knife handle is a higher end alternative to Stainless Steel handles. It is tougher than stainless steel, it has a higher corrosion resistance than stainless steel, and it is lighter than stainless steel. This specific alloy of titanium is considered the “workhorse” of the titanium alloys and is the most frequently used. Some of the pros are that it is very strong. Titanium is the perfect option for high end, high performance knives because it is light and still strong. This titanium alloy has a very high tensile strength. Another advantage to this knife handle material is that it has a very low weight because of its low density. This characteristic strength to weight ratio is absolutely vital when considering your knife selection, especially when you are on the hunt for an everyday knife. The third high benefit of this material is that it has high corrosion resistance. In fact, this titanium alloy is very highly corrosion resistant, even in saltwater environments. This corrosion resistance is due to a continuous oxide outer layer when exposed to air. Unfortunately, with all of these great benefits does come a higher price. Titanium alloy is considerably more expensive than aluminum alloys that are generally used on the handles of cheaper knives. Titanium is known to be harder but lighter than steel. And while titanium is a heavy material, it also provides the toughness and durability of a metal handle without so much of the weight.

The inlay of this knife is box elder burl. The Box Elder is a species of maples that is native to North America. The tree got this name because of the whitish wood that closely resembles the wood on a Boxwood tree. The burl of a wood is when the tree gets a large knot. Because of the knot in the wood, it develops an almost swirling pattern that has proven to be quite decorative. This wood is a great option for a knife because it has quite workability.

Because the Mnandi knife has a decorative handle, this knife is going to be a showstopper.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this blade has been designed for tip up carry only but it is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. The pocket clip is very decorative as well. The dark silver clip elegantly tapers down towards the bottom. Chris Reeve’s logo has been stamped into the metal as well as an elongated “V’ being carved down the length of it.

 

The Mechanism:
This knife is a manual folding knife. It features a thumbnail nick as well as an Integral Lock frame lock design. The frame lock is actually pretty similar to the liner lock mechanism. The two different styles of locks don’t vary too much when you are opening and closing your knife. The differences come into play is that when you open a knife with a liner lock, the blade opens a separate liner that engages to lock the blade. On the other hand, the frame lock features a portion of the handle that moves to lock the blade tang. As you open the blade away from you, you will see the left section of the handle move inwards as the blade fully opens. That section of the frame is cut to engage the bottom of the blade under the pivot preventing closure.  Because of the thickness of the locking portion of the frame, the blade is locked securely. Some advantages to this style of mechanism is that you can open your knife one handedly, you are safe from accidental closures, and there is smooth opening and closing as there is no spring action on the blade. Unfortunately, over time with prolonged use, the lock does have the potential to wear down and on occasion, you knife may not lock properly.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 2.75 inches long, with the knife sporting an overall length of 6.375 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.625 inches. This knife weighs in at 1.5 ounces. The Mnandi was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Mnandi was created as a more refined folder that depleted any aggressive or tactical undertones with the word “knife” and replaced it with exotic inlays that are impressively appealing. Meaning “very nice” in the Zulu language, the Mnandi can even be worn as a tie bar due to its lightweight design but can perform tasks with the best of them. Each 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 dual recessed thumbnail grooves. This model boasts a titanium handle complete with dual box elder wood inlays, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and the reversible titanium pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

 

Kershaw Concierge Knife Review

Kershaw Concierge
Kershaw Concierge

Kershaw’s fan base knows that there is nothing like a Kershaw. Kershaw says, “From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing.” So what is the real thing? Real thing is value and lots of value. You know that when you purchase a Kershaw knife, you are going to get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even their inexpensive and budget models are impressive and use high-quality materials. You know that with a Kershaw, each and every portion is going to be solid, crafted, and reliable. Kershaw knows how solid and reliable their knives are, so they back each of their knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with their famous Limited Lifetime warranty.

Kershaw was founded in 1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and sue. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. Kershaw says, “Whether it’s a hardworking pocket knives, a hunting knife, or a special collector’s edition, Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship.” Because of their extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, which ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation. Kershaw pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. Kershaw says, “Our SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. We introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in our Blade Traders. Recently, our Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels into one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling us to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine.” Kershaw promises that they will keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.

Kershaw Knives is a brand of Kai USA Ltd, a member of the Kai Group. For over 100 yeas, Kai has been Japan’s premier blade producer. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions. While many of Kershaw’s quality products are made in their 55,000 sq. ft. facility in Tualatin, Oregon, but they also draw on Kai’s resources to provide the very best for the customer.

Today we will be discussing the Kershaw Concierge.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Kershaw knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that is similar to AUS-8 steel. However, between the two steels, AUS-8 is the superior steel. 8Cr13MoV steel is an inexpensive steel that still demonstrates very worthy characteristics of cutting. This steel, and thus this blade, will easily cut through softer materials. With a good heat treatment, the steel will retain the sharpness for a long time. This steel also has very high corrosion resistance. Because it is a softer steel, this blade will be able to keep sharpening well, while also being easy to sharpen. For the cost of this steel, it is well balanced with regard to strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. But, when it comes to blade steel, you do get what you pay for, so know that this steel is not going to stand up to the newer super steels on the block. The biggest advantage that this steel has is how inexpensive it is.

The blade has been coated with a titanium carbo-nitride coating. Kershaw uses this coating to produce an attractive grey blade coating that increases the blade’s hardness, helps maintain the edge, and increases the overall lifetime of the blade. One of the biggest benefits to having a coated blade is that it does increase the lifetime of the blade. This is because it creates a barrier in between the blade and the environment. This cuts down on corrosion and wear. The biggest disadvantage of having a coated blade is that the coating can and will scratch off after long periods of time or heavy use. Once the coating does scratch off, the blade will have to be recoated if you want it to keep the benefits.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape. The drop point style is known as being one of the toughest and most versatile blade style on the market. This modified drop point blade still has the same toughness levels as well as being extremely versatile. The biggest modification on this blade is that instead of the spine having a slow curve from the handle to the point, it swoops downward before it swoops back upwards. The point is still lowered when in comparison with the beginning of the spine, so you still get the control that the drop point blade offers. And, the blade is still very broad, so you still have the signature strength of the drop point blade. This modified drop point blade also has a large belly, which means that this blade is going to excel at slicing; making it a great option for your everyday carry knife. The biggest disadvantage to this modified drop point blade is the same as the typical drop point blade—because the tip is broad, you will not have piercing capabilities like you would with a clip point blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle on tis knife is made out of G10. This material is often use din handles because of its moisture imperviousness. This material is fiberglass based laminate made by layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in an epoxy resin, then compressed, and then baked The result is a material that is hard, lightweight, and strong. A unique property of the material is that the grip actually improves when wet. This material is difficult to break. It is also an ideal handle material because it does not shrink or swell in extreme hot or cold temperatures. G10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates. The G10 is black and textured with small bumps, to give you a secure grip in most environments.

The spine of the handle is angled, first going straight towards the middle, then angling downwards. The angle that goes downwards is complete with thick jimping to give extra grip on this knife. The belly of the handle has as very shallow and elongated finger groove that makes this a comfortable handle to hold. There is a very small finger guard, but because of the flipper, which acts as an additional finger guard when the knife is opened, your fingers will be kept very safe when you are using this knife.

On the top of the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved out. Even though this is an everyday carry knife, the lanyard will come in handy. Even though there is a pocket clip, the lanyard can help you more smoothly pull your knife out of your pocket. Plus, having a lanyard on this knife can add a bit of your own personal style to the Concierge.

This handle is comfortable and will give you a secure grip to go about your daily tasks.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip. This will guarantee that it is safe and secure in your pocket throughout all of your tasks. The clip is long and skinny, with a little bit of texture right underneath the screws to more securely grip onto your pocket. The clip is kept in place by two silver screws that match all of the hardware on the knife. Unfortunately, the clip is a single positon recessed pocket clip. It can only be attached on the right side of the handle for tip up carry.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that has no mechanical assist. What it does have is a flipper, the KVT ball-bearing opening, and a liner lock.

A flipper is a protrusion on the back of the blade that the user can pull back on, or flip, in order to move the blade easily out of the handle. Some of the benefits to a flipper is that it is easy to operate, even if you only have one hand to use. Plus, it keeps your hands out of the blade’s path while it is being opened.

The KVT ball-bearing opening system makes manual opening as easy as assisted. The KVT relies on a ring of “caged” ball bearings that surround the knife’s pivot. Caged just means the ball bearings are secured within a ring that surrounds the pivot. It keeps the ball bearings in place, while allowing them to rotate freely. When the user pulls back on the built-in flipper, the blade rotates out of the handle as the ball bearings roll in place. KVT makes one-handed opening quick, easy, and smooth as butter. In knives with the KVT ball-bearing system, you will also notice that the knife has additional “detent.” This is a design feature that helps hold the blade safely in the handle when the knife is closed. When opening the knife, you may notice a little ‘stickiness’ just as you pull back on the flipper and before the blade rolls out of the handle on the KVT ball bearings. With just a little extra pressure on the flipper, it will overcome the detent and the knife will open with ease.

The liner lock is the most common of today’s blade locking systems. I knives with locking liners, the handle consists of two metal plates on either side of the blade. Handle scales cover the plates. When the knife is opened, one side of the knife’s liner, often called the lock bar, butts up against the backend of the blade and prevents the blade form closing. The lock bar is manufactured so that it angles toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias for the locked positon. To close the knife, the user applies manual force to move the lock bar to the side so that the blade is unblocked and can be folded back into the handle. The liner lock provides a secure and convenient way to make using this Kershaw folding knife even safer.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. The overall length of this knife measures in at 7.25 inches long. This is a lightweight knife, weighing in at only 4.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When Kershaw is talking about the Concierge, they say, “Like its namesake, known for discreetly and efficiently taking care of tasks for hotel guests, the new Kershaw Concierge will take care of all your pocket knife needs—discreetly and efficiently. Designed by Dmitry Sinkevich, the Concierge has a clean, refined look. The modified drop-point blade of 8Cr13MoV opens with a flipper and Kershaw’s manual KVT ball-bearing system, providing fast an easy one-handed opening. A custom pivot adds interest without detracting from the knife’s clean lines. Yet it’s the handle that really takes this exciting knife out of the ordinary. Built of machined g10, it offers a substantial grip and fills even larger hands comfortably. Yet thanks to the crowned finish on the G10 scales, the Concierge still feels slim enough to be an easy everyday carry. For secure grip, we added a black, glass-filled nylon back spacer with raised jimping. Turn the knife over and you’ll see Dmitry’s unique inset pocket clip. The custom clip rests in a machined-out hollow in the handle—so that its flush with the handle scale. This pocket clip treatment also contributes to the knife’s slimmer feel and easy carry. The blade, liners, and hardware are titanium carbo-nitride coated for a sophisticated look—and is just one more reasons why the Concierge will be at home no matter where your tasks may take you.” Pick up this brand new Kershaw today at BladeOps.

 

Benchmade 551BKSN-AS Griptilian Knife Review

With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation.

In 1979 the Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song® in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song® into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

Les incorporated as Bali-Song®, Inc. in 1980 and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song®: The model 68.

Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name from Bali-song®, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

1987 brought a different tune. Due to its inability to control quality, price and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.

While there was “handmade” and “factory-made,” it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market- even to this day.

To this day Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Mel Pardue. Benchmade says, “The senior team member, Mel has been grinding sparks, making knives and creating a following for 25-plus years. His style has a class and simplicity all its own. The Pardue collaborations offer great utility to the everyday knife user while at the same time presenting an upscale distinction. Less is definitely more with Mel’s designs.”

 

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM stainless steel. This is a high end steel that is made by Crucible Industries. This is a pretty hard steel that is normally viewed as an upgraded version of 440C steel, because of the addition of Molybdenum. The Molybdenum helps the steel achieves superior edge holding, especially when being compared to 440C. However, it also allows the steel to keep its high levels of corrosion resistance even though it has less Chromium in it. The steel is tough enough to stand up to most of your tasks, while also holding its edge well. If you have the correct equipment, the steel is not too hard to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with a coating. The black coating not only looks sleek, but also provides the knife with added wear and corrosion resistance. This is because the coating forms a barrier in between the blade steel and the environment. This protects against any of the elements, including water. The coating on the blade also works to cut down on glares and reflections, which isn’t a huge deal when you are using this knife as your everyday knife, but is a bigger deal when you are using it as our outdoors knife. The drawback that comes with having a coated blade is that when the coating scratches off, it will not provide you with the same benefits that it does when it has the coating on it. This means that the life of the blade will no longer be prolonged and it is prone to rusting and corrosion. Coatings do scratch off after time or with heavy use.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is the most popular blade shape that is on the market to date. The drop point blade is formed by having the spine of the blade extend from the handle to the tip in a slow, curving manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point allows the user to have more control over their cuts and slices, which also means that they will be able to perform fine detail work with this knife. The point on this knife is also broad, which is why the drop point blade shape is so durable. This is going to come in handy with your outdoors knife, because you won’t have to worry about whether or not the knife can actually complete the task. This blade shape is also very versatile, mainly because of the large belly that makes slicing a breeze. This characteristic of the drop point knife is going to come in handy the most when you are using this knife as an everyday carry knife. The drop point blade shape does have one major disadvantage: because the tip of the blade is so broad, you do lose out on a lot of your piercing and stabbing capabilities. This should not be a huge issue with this knife, because it is designed as an everyday carry and outdoors knife. Plus, because of the lack of piercing capabilities, you get a lot more strength to the knife, which most people view as the bigger benefit. Overall, the drop point blade shape is tough and versatile, which is a combination that allows you to take on almost any task.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass-Filled Nylon, which is the same material is Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon or FRN. This is a thermoplastic material that is really strong, really resistant to bending and abrasion, as well as being almost indestructible.

This material is almost indestructible because of the way that it is designed. Although it is similar to the other fiberglass materials such as G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, GFN has all of its nylon fibers arranged haphazardly throughout the material. This means that it can be stretched or stressed in any direction and not break down. This is different than the other materials, where their fibers are arranged in one direction.

This material is also extremely cheap because it can be injection molded into any shape and textured in the production process. This means that the manufacturer can make these handles at a high volume, which always decreases the cost.

The overall benefits to this knife handle material is that it is strong, touch, requires no maintenance, and does not raise the cost of the knife too much. The overall disadvantages are that it does have less grip than G-10.

Benchmade 551BKSN-AS Griptilian
Benchmade 551BKSN-AS Griptilian

The handle is relatively simple. It has more curves than angles, which will provide a comfortable, and still secure grip to this knife. The spine of the knife curves very slowly from the blade to the butt, which is rounded. There is a long row of jimping right when the handle begins and the blade ends, which will give you more control when you are using this knife. Right before the butt of the handle begins there is another row of jimping which will help with control. The belly of the handle has an elongated finger groove, which is also equipped with jimping. The elongated finger groove creates a finger guard, which will help protect your fingers if you do happen to slip. It also provides a comfortable place for you to rest your fingers and have a solid grip on the knife. The belly bulges out very slightly, which will help with comfort. On the belly of this knife, near the butt, there is a short row of jimping. The middle of this handle has an intensely textured portion that will give the user a more secure grip while they are using this knife. This is especially ideal when you are using this knife as an outdoors knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is just a standard pocket clip, which means it won’t fit as deeply into your pocket. This means that the knife will not be as secure in your pocket or as concealed in your pocket. The clip is designed to be attached only tip-up, although it is reversible for either left or right handed carry. Because it is reversible, the knife is almost fully ambidextrous.

The clip is black, which contrasts with the sand colored handle and matches the blade. The clip is kept in place by three black screws, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife has been equipped with a thumb stud to help the user open the knife. The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits in the place of the nail nick that you can find on more traditional knives. The thumb stud is arguably the most common one handed opening system that you can find today. The thumb stud is extremely easy to use, so the user doesn’t have to really get the hang of it, like they would with a flipper. However, in terms of safety, it is not the safest opening mechanism. It puts your fingers pretty directly into the path of the blade when you are opening the knife, which means the user is more likely to slice themselves on accident.

The knife is also equipped with the AXIS locking mechanism. A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.45 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.62 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 8.07 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.2 ounces and was made in the United States of America.

 

What Benchmade has to say about it:

Benchmade Knife Company and AmericanSnipers.org have teamed up to bring you a special edition Griptilian® with custom laser markings of the AmericanSnipers.org logo and iconic AmericanSnipers.org skull. Made in USA.
AmericanSnipers.org is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization comprised of active and retired Law Enforcement and Military snipers who volunteer their time to raise equipment and monetary donations at firearms industry and military event/functions. All funds donated go towards the procurement of requested supplies that will deploy with snipers to help aid them in their missions around the globe.
Benchmade is proud to support this effort by donating a portion of sales from this special edition knife directly to AmericanSnipers.org.

 

Conclusion:

This knife has been designed as a great everyday carry or outdoors knife. You can pick it up today at BladeOps.

 

SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife Review

SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a United States knife and tool manufacturing company famous for their reproduction SOG Knife from the Vietnam era. SOG manufactures a variety of knives other than the original military inspired designs, many designed for everyday carry. The company also produces a line of multi-tools.

The company was founded in 1986 by Spencer and Gloria Frazer and was inspired in its choice of name by the Joint Services Special Operations unit known as the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group or MACV-SOG who developed their own knife during the War in Vietnam.

Changes were made to the original design of the MACV SOG Fighter, like resin-impregnating the leather handle, utilizing thicker stock and new grind lines, Spencer and Gloria launched their product and company with a one-page, black and white ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine for the S1 Bowie, a replica of the SOG Knife used by the SOG groups operating in South-East Asia. They also produced the SCUBA/Demo knife, which is a replica of one of the rarest military knives to date (only 1 of the original 39 knives produced has survived till this day).  Author Greg Walker considers knives such as these and many of the SOG models produced prior to the shift of production from Seki City, Japan to Taiwan to be the best knives SOG had ever made.

A second “maritime” version of the Bowie (S2) was made utilizing a black micarta handle and stainless steel blade known as the Trident. It was decorated with the US Navy SEAL emblem as opposed to the Special Forces Crest found on the Bowie. The original S1 and S2 classic bowies were manufactured for SOG by Ichiro Hattori of Seki Japan until 2006. The other models were manufactured by Kinryu Corp. also of Seki until 2007.

OG Specialty Knives manufactures an array of tools available for military personnel and casual outdoor users. SOG also makes several other military style knives including a tactical switchblade which is only available to military/law enforcement personnel. SOG has developed fixed blade knives for survival and outdoors such as the Tech Bowie as well as folding knives, many of which feature assisted opening technology such as the Aegis, Twitch and Trident. SOG also manufactures multi-tools including the Paratool, PowerLock, and PowerAssist.

Many of SOG’s folding knives and multi-tools are made or assembled in the United States, with the higher priced folders being made by G. Sakai in Seki City. The fixed blade models that were originally made in Seki are now made in Taiwan. Some of SOG’s lesser priced tools, such as the Fusion line are manufactured in Taiwan or China.

SOG says, “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.”

Today, we will be discussing the SOG Ace Fixed Blade.

SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife
SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Magnadot are made out of 7Cr17MoV steel. This steel is a very popular steel for a budget knife. But, unlike many other budget knives, it is a steel that makes a budget knife not feel like a budget knife. The steel in a knife can make it feel like it is a twenty-dollar knife to making it feel like it is a two-hundred-dollar knife. Really, the steel is very important. This steel has been described as a specially modified 440A stainless steel that contains more Vanadium than other steels. The Vanadium means that it is going to have increase overall strength, increased wear resistance, and increased toughness. This means that the edge is going to last longer than you would expect—especially from a budget knife like this. This steel has been hardened to a RC 54-58 level. This is a pretty good level of hardness for a budget knife, but the higher (up to around 63) the better the knife is going to perform. Anything lower than a 55 is going to not actually be that hard.

The blade has been finished with a stonewashed finish. The stonewashed finish is created when the blade has been tumbled in an abrasive material, which is normally small pebbles or rocks. The finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. One of the best benefits of a stonewashed blade is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. The stonewashed finish also hides smudges, which means that maintenance is low. The stonewashed finish gives a very rugged, well-worn look to the knife.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade. The clip point blade is a great all-purpose knife. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The shape is formed by having the spine of the knife run straight form the handle before it stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks as if it has been cut out and is known as the clip, which is where the knife shape got its name from. The clip can be straight or curved, but on the Ace, it is curved. Because of the clip, the point is lowered, which gives the knife more control when you are trying to use it. Plus, because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point is going to excel at stabbing. This is because it is going to have less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. Clip point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, which is one of the reasons that the knife is so versatile. There is one major disadvantage though: because the point on the clip point is relatively narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and can break fairly easily. Of course, by choosing the Ace, with its clip point, you are going to be prepared in almost any situation.

The spine of the knife has been competed with a very large portion of thick jimping. This is covering the portion of the blade before the clip. The jimping will allow you to better manipulate this knife and have better control when using it to slice.

The blade on this has been finished with a plain edge, which is one continuous edge on the knife. The plain edge is going to give you the capabilities of taking on a wider variety of tasks, because it does excel at push cuts and slicing. These two styles of cutting are some of the most common styles of cutting. Really the only thing that a plain edge cannot do is saw through thicker materials. However, if you can get the edge on your knife sharp enough, it will even be able to perform that. Plain edges are going to give you cleaner cuts, which is perfect for precision tasks. Plain edges are also going to be easier to sharpen, because you do not have to worry about the teeth getting in the way when you are sharpening them. Unfortunately, plain edges will need to be sharpened more often than a serrated edge would.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of TPR, which is a Thermoplastic Rubber. A TPR handle will ensure slip resistance, even when the knife or your hands are wet. The thermoplastic rubber handle is lightweight, moisture-resistant, and will feel comfortable in your hand.

The handle is built for having a fantastic grip on it. There are deep scales going across the length of the handle on the bottom half. These add even more texture than the TPR naturally provides. There is a finger groove that gives the user a comfortable grip so that they can use this knife for long periods of time. There is also a finger guard, which will make this a safer knife to use. After the first finger groove, there is an elongated curve towards the butt of the handle, which is squared off. As a complete bonus, there is a lanyard hole which is large enough to fit most styles of lanyard. Because of the texture of TPR and the ergonomics of this handle, you are going to have a very secure handle for messy or wet situations.


The Mechanism:

             The SOG ace is a fixed blade, which means that there is actually no mechanism on the knife. Fixed blades have a couple of major advantages, especially for the sturdier knives that you are going to be using in the outdoors or for major adventures. For starters, fixed blades are much less likely to break. This is because the blade can be thicker and longer, as it does not need to fit inside of the handle. They are also less likely to break because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade that can get worn out over time. This means that there is no spring or hardware that you have to clean constantly or worry about being dry. All you have to do to maintain this knife is wipe down the blade and handle after each use, making sure that the blade is dry before putting it in its sheath. You will need to oil the blade occasionally, but you can definitely go on a long outdoors trip without worrying about needing to get it oiled.

Lastly, the fixed blade is both a superior tactical tool as well as the superior survival otol. This is because it can be brought into play faster than a folding knife would be able to and it is strong enough to take on almost any challenge.

 

The Sheath:

             The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of plastic. Plastic sheaths (other than Kydex) are some of the cheapest ones that you are going to find on the market. However, you do get what you pay for when it comes to this sheath material. This means that you shouldn’t be thrown off when you found out that plastic sheaths are not very quality. Plastic sheaths are going to be an inhospitable home for your knife if you are planning on keeping it in the sheath for an extended period of time. I would recommend purchasing a new sheath as soon as you get this knife so that you won’t ruin your blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.8 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. The overall length on this knife measures in at 8.6 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4 ounces. This knife was made in China.

 

Conclusion:

             When SOG is explaining this knife, they say, “The Ace is SOG’s most accessible and affordable knife. With a black sheath and a grippy textured rubber handle, this is the knife you can grab and know you’ll be prepared. Featuring a 3.8-inch clip point blade for versatility, the Ace is your best friend when it comes to the outdoors. This knife is ideal for tasks like whittling fire-starter strips, batoning wood for kindling, and crafting a shelter. The sheath even comes with the Groove for cord cutting! And, like all SOG knives, it comes with our lifetime warranty, meaning you can always depend on the Ace.” The new SOG Ace is your ideal entry-level budget-friendly tactical fixed blade that can easily cover all your needs without breaking the bank. Featuring both a finger choil, finger groove and positive thumb jimping the Ace is certain to give you a leg-up on whatever the elements throw your way. This model, the ACE-1001, features black TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber) handles, a clip point style blade in a stonewash finish and the black hard nylon sheath supports houses a built-in groove for cutting while still in the sheath and a belt clip carry option. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 417 Fact Knife Review

Benchmade 417 Fact
Benchmade 417 Fact

Benchmade says, “Our knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. We carefully measure every part at every step in the process. We use the best materials and equipment. We make world-class knives for world-class users and this is how.”

The first step in a Benchmade knife’s life is laser cutting. Each of their blades begins as a single sheet of steel. A laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. Of course, the blanks are measured to make sure they meet the tight specifications.

The second step is surface grinding, which is where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. The tolerances that they use are within the width of a human hair because Benchmade believes that their knives have no room for error, which means that the blank’s thickness also has no room for error.

The third step in the process is milling, which is when blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For every knife, the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets their tolerances. One of the holes that is cut in this step is the blade pivot, which his crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is actually .0005 inches, because even the slightest deviation at this point becomes exponential at the blade’s tip.

The fourth step in the process is beveling. This is the step where the blade actually begins to take shape. Before this step, the blade is flat on each side. It is at this step the bevels are ground into the blade and of course, a Blade Beveling Technician measures the blade to verify that it meets the specified tolerances. This is especially important because an imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function.

The fifth step is combined with the sixth: Back-sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets attention and finishing gives the blade a more refined look.

The seventh and eighth step are also combined: Assembly and sharpening. Each and every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components—blade, liner, handle, hardware—and pieces them together. Next, is the sharpening, which takes longer to master than any other of the skills listed here. Each of Benchmade’s blades are sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. This is when the knife becomes a true Benchmade.

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade 417 Fact.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. Crucible says, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry ha been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.” Something that is unique about Crucible is that a lot of their steels are “CPM” steels. The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grind-ability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes. While CPM S30V steel is known for having the ideal balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention, it is also known as being tricky to work with and sharpen. It is tricky because of the high hardness, so while an experienced blade sharpener will be able to get a very fine edge on this blade, a newer sharpener might want to hold off.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine sandpaper. This finish works to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine liens of the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across as well as being the most popular blade finish that you are going to find I the cutlery industry today. The satin finish works to cut down on glares and reflections while also cutting down on corrosion.

The blade on the 417 Fact has been carved into a spear point blade style. The spear point blade style has been designed as a hybrid blade shape, which makes it perfect for using as an everyday carry blade as well as a tactical knife. The spear point is similar to the needle point blade because they have both been designed to pierce. However, the spear point has more than just piercing going for it because it is stronger and does contain a slight belly that is useful when going about your day-to-day tasks. The shape of the blade is made up of a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both of the spear point’s edges fall and rise equally, which means that the center of the point is going to be exactly at the middle of the blade. While the spear point blade is sharp enough for piercing, it is also strong enough that you don’t have to worry about it snapping when you do pierce. Plus, the spear pint does contain a belly that can be used for some cutting. However, when the belly is compared to either a drop point or a clip point blade, it is going to look extremely strong and not be as useful as the other two shapes. Overall, this blade shape has a good balance between its piercing and slicing ability. Plus, it combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade. Because of the spear point blade shape, the Benchmade Fact is going to be very functional.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of black anodized 6061-T6 Billet aluminum.

Billet aluminum just means that the entire handle is made out of one single piece of aluminum. This guarantees that there are no weaker spots where two pieces have been molded together. Because it is billet aluminum, the handle is going to be stronger and more durable.

Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when it is used for knife handles. Aluminum is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel without actually weighing the knife down. This is the best of both worlds because you are going to feel like you have the heft behind the knife to actually take on the things that pop up, but you aren’t going to notice the weight in your pocket when you are just going about your business. The most common type of aluminum used today is the 6061-T6 alloy, which does have the highest tensile strength.

When an aluminum handle is texturized properly, it will provide a pretty secure grip that is also going to be comfortable and easy for long periods of use. Unfortunately, aluminum does have high conductive properties, which means if you were planning on using this in the winter, it will feel like it is biting into your palm. Some of the benefits to having an aluminum handle is that it is going to be strong, light, very durable, and very resistant o corrosion. All of these characteristics keep maintenance to a minimum. However, aluminum can be cold to hold, does tend to be slippery, and is susceptible to scratches and dings.

According to Wikipedia, “Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used the increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. The process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear.” This means that not only does the anodizing give the handle a sleek, black look, it also makes the already durable material even more durable.

The spine of the handle is very straight, while the belly of the handle does have a large finger guard as well as an elongated and shallow finger groove to make your hold a little more comfortable.

The handle has been skeletonized to cut down on weight.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This is a deep carry pocket clip, which is ideal for both an everyday carry knife as well as a tactical knife, exactly what the Fact has been designed as. The deep carry pocket clip will keep your knife securely in your pocket, even if you do move around throughout your day. This comes in handy when you are using the Fact as an everyday carry knife because you don’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your pocket. In fact, you can just forget that it is even in your pocket—until you need to use it. The deep carry pocket clip will also keep your knife more concealed, which comes in handy when you are using this knife as a tactical tool.

The pocket clip on this knife is designed only to attach tip-up, but it is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which helps to make this an ambidextrous knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that employs Benchmade’s AXIS lock. Because this is a manual opening knife, you don’t have to worry about the strict laws that surround an automatic opening knife. It will also be easier to maintain, because there is no spring that can break down and ruin your ability to open the knife smoothly.

The AXIS is a patented Benchmade exclusive that has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Tow omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.

Because of the AXIS mechanism and a reversible pocket clip, the Benchmade Fact proves to be a great option for left or right handed people alike.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.95 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The handle length on the Fact measures in at 4.77 inches long, with a handle thickness of 0.48 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 8.72 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.24 ounces. And of course, like Benchmade knives are, this knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade says, “This minimalist masterpiece won’t get in your way, but will be there when you need it, and that’s a FACT.” The CPM S30V steel makes maintenance a breeze and also gives you an incredibly strong blade. The satin finish and the aluminum handle are what give this knife such a classic look. The spear point blade shape is extremely functional; whether you are using this knife for a tactical or an EDC. Pick up this brand new Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.

Gerber 30-001295 06 Automatic Knife Review

Gerber is Unstoppable, just like the men and women who carry their gear. Decades of innovation and dedication have put us where they are at. Renowned as a master of knives and tools, Gerber’s problem-solving, life-saving products are designed with the unique needs of specific activities in mind. Today, that includes much more than a blade.

Founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, Gerber is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, and tradesmen, Gerber’s heritage runs deep. And we are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

All Gerber products are designed and engineered in Portland, OR where many are produced. They also tap their global supply chain to create a wide range of activity specific fear for wide variety of consumers. And no matter what, every product that bears the Gerber name is backed by their famous lifetime warranty.

Quality, reliability, innovation. For over 70 years that is what their customers have expected from them. And whether their products are used to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.

When Joseph R Gerber described his young knife company, Gerber Legendary Blades, as the, “birth of an enterprise that grew into big business,” it was true, but it was an understatement for sure. What had started out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts that had turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated and collected names in knives.

Over 70 years since its founding and Gerber continues to grow. Still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s enterprise, Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. The sleek, stainless steel sheath knives of the ‘50s and ‘60s have given birth to today’s lightweight, open-frame clip folders. Gerber is, however, no longer just a knife company. Multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, digging implements—these are the newest directions that Gerber explores with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making.

Today we will be going over the Gerber 30-001295 06 automatic knife.

Gerber 30-001295 06 Automatic Knife
Gerber 30-001295 06 Automatic Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V stainless steel. This steel was released by Crucible knife industries. This steel is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments. The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grind ability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.

The steel has been finished with a black coated finish. There are a few benefits to a coating your knife blade, but some of the biggest ones are that it reduces corrosion on the blade because the coating forms a barrier in between the blade and the environment. The black coated finish is also matte, which means that it will cut glares and reflections, meaning that the knife won’t give away your position if you have it in the field with you. Unfortunately, coatings can and will scratch off after continuous or heavy use. This means that to benefit from the coating advantages, the blade will have to be recoated. One of the other disadvantages is that sometimes the coating is applied unevenly, which means that slicing will not be as smooth.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one the most popular blade shape in use today in the knife cutlery industry. This is an all-purpose blade shape, that is also very durable and functional in most tasks that you are going to come across. To form this 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. This lowered point is what gives the user more control while also adding strength to the tip. One of the only disadvantages to the drop point blade shape is that it does not have as sharp of a tip as the clip point blade style. But, because it does have a broader tip, it is much stronger. It is because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that drop pint blades are a good option for taking on tactical and survival missions. And 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 meant. Drop point blades also feature a large belly area that makes slicing a breeze. In most situations, you are going to be required to slice, so the belly is the perfect characteristic when you are searching for a versatile, all-purpose knife. By choosing this Gerber knife that features a drop point style blade, you will be prepared for any situation, whether it is the expected or the unexpected.

The 30-001295 06 knife boasts a plain edge, which is just one long continuous edge. This style of edge has no teeth, which means that it is going to be easier to sharpen and you will also be able to get a finer edge. Plus, the plain edge is going to give you cleaner cuts than a serrated blade would. The plain edge is perfect for taking on any tasks that require a push cut, which is something like shaving, peeling an apple, or skinning game. One of the only disadvantages to the plain edge is that if you need to saw through thicker materials, a serrated blade would benefit you better. However, if you can get the edge sharp enough, you will be able to get through some of these thicker materials.

 

The Handles:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is used in knife making and it is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used for knife handles. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is actually the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The majority of knives use the 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, which just means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This type of aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all the aluminum alloys. This specific type of alloy is often used extensively in aircraft, and is actually referred to as “aircraft aluminum” sometimes. However, this does not mean anything special, it is just a nickname that the handle material has acquired. Aluminum 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 large amounts of CNC machining, such as this knife, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

The ergonomics of the handle have been designed to give you maximum hold while still maintaining a comfortable grip. Across the face of the handle, Gerber has carved diagonal grooves. There is a deep finger groove, followed by a slightly shallow finger groove, followed by an elongated and very shallow finger groove. These grooves will help you keep a very secure, yet comfortable grip on the knife handle. To protect your fingers, there is also a large finger guard, in the case of finger slippage, so that you don’t get sliced. On the spine of the handle, there is a couple of different sections of jimping, which will help you have more control when you are slicing with this knife.

The butt of the handle has a lanyard hole carved into it, which is ideal if you need to keep this knife close to you, but also out of the way. Having a lanyard attached to this knife will also allow you to keep this Gerber knife more deeply in your pocket, which will help conceal it as well as keep it safer, but with the addition of a lanyard, you will be able to remove the knife quicker out of your pocket than you would be able to if you did not have the lanyard on it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The clip on this knife is designed for tip up carry only. However, the handle has been drilled for either left or right hand carry options, which helps to make this knife ambidextrous. The clip is all black to match the handle and blade. It is held in place by three black screws, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, which means that it does have strict set of laws surrounding it. This knife is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas. It is your responsibility as the user to know your local laws. BladeOps is not responsible for knowing your local knife laws.

Automatic knives are also known as switchblade, and are knives that have a blade concealed and stored in the handle. This blade is released when a button on the face of the handle is pressed, because a spring inside is activated and it will automatically flip the blade out before locking it into place. To close the knife, you will hold down the button and manually fold the blade back into the handle, where it will stay stored until you need to release the blade again.

There are a variety of advantages to having an automatic knife. The biggest one is that you can quickly and efficiently release the blade from the handle—even if you only have one hand to work with. This means that the knife can be brought into play more efficiently and quickly than a regular folding knife. However, because there are a lot of inner mechanisms, maintenance on an automatic knife does prove to be more complicated. Plus, this knife might not be legal in your state.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.7 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.9 inches long. When this automatic knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 8.6 inches. This knife is definitely one of the heavier ones to have, weighing in at 7 ounces. This Gerber knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Gerber’s automatic knife series, the 06, offers a superbly ergonomic design coupled with premium materials and a rugged build that Gerber is all but too familiar with. The smooth aluminum handle was purposefully designed to give you maximum traction in any grip position thanks to the integrated finger grooves and precisely placed jimping patterns. The front of the knife houses a slide safety that is in close proximity to the over-sized firing button making this knife just as functional with gloves on. The base of the knife also showcases a pommel with a strike point that can easily function as a glass breaker or self-defense tool. This classic 06 auto features a plain edged drop point blade comprised of premium CPM-S30V stainless steel in a black finish and the pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for left or right hand carry options. Pick up the Gerber 30-001295 06 Automatic knife today at BladeOps.

 

Spyderco Dark Blue Paramilitary 2 Folder Knife Review

Spyderco is a Colorado based cutlery company that produces knives and knife sharpeners. Spyderco pioneered many features that are now common in folding knives, including the pocket clip, serrations, and the opening hole. Spyderco has collaborated with 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors for designs and innovated the usage of 20 different blade materials.

Spyderco was founded by Sal Glesser. The first product Spyderco produced was the Portable Hand in 1976, this “spider-shaped device,” was a series of angles, ball joints, and alligator clips that helped people such as jewelers and hobbyists to work with small parts. Glesser and his wife Gail converted an old bread delivery truck into a motor-home and traveled to shows. As they became more successful, they graduated from the bread truck to a truck and trailer. They settled in Golden Colorado in November 1978. Spyderco began producing knife sharpeners in 1979 and produced their first folding knife, the C01 Worker, in 1981. This knife was the first to feature a round hole in the blade designed for fast, one-handed and ambidextrous opening, which is now the company’s trademark. Additionally, the company claims that this was the first knife to feature a pocket clip on the right side of the handle.

Most knives produced by Spyderco are folding knives of various designs, blade steels, handle materials, and locking mechanisms. However, they have also produced fixed-blade knives for various purposes. Spyderco’s knives are made with plain edge, a partially serrated edge, or a fully serrated “Spyder Edge” configuration. Their most common handle material is FRN and G10, although they make knives with steel handles as well as some limited editions with handles from various other materials.

Something unique to Spyderco is their use of Sprint Runs. Spyderco often produces limited edition models, referred to as sprint runs. These limited runs are generally versions of discontinued models with different blade and hand materials though some are completely new models, such as the Kopa; a dress knife with several variants.

Today we will be going over the Spyderco C81GPDBL2 Dark Blue Paramilitary 2 folding knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S110V stainless steel. This is a high alloy martensitic stainless tool steel produced by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. CPM S110V contains a high volume fraction of both vanadium-rich and niobium-rich primary alloy carbides for exceptionally good wear resistance compared to other commercially available PM tool steels. This also offers better corrosion resistance than 440C or CPM S90V. This CPM process results in a fine and uniform carbide distribution in CPM S110V compared to conventionally produced high alloy tool steels which results in relatively good machining, grinding, and toughness characteristics despite the alloy content.

The blade has been satin finished, which is the most traditional blade finish in the cutlery market today. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The finer the sandpaper (or other abrasive) and the more even the lines, the cleaner the blade is going to look. Like I mentioned, this is the most popular blade finish that is used today because it creates such a classic and traditional look. In terms of luster, the satin finish is right in the middle. A mirror polish finish is going to be much more reflective than the satin finish and a coated finish is going to keep it much more matte than a satin finish. With this blade, you can know that your blade is not going to go out of style. The satin finish also slightly increases the corrosion resistance of the blade, although that characteristic of this blade is not necessarily noteworthy.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade style. This blade shape is one of the two most popular blade shapes that is used today in the cutlery industry. This is because it is a versatile blade shape that is functional in a wide variety of different situations and tasks. The most common place that you are going to see this blade shape is on the Bowie knife style, but plenty of other pocket and fixed blade knives also sport the clip point blade shape, such as this Paramilitary 2. The blade shape is formed by having the back, or unsharpened, edge run straight form the handle before it stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This section of the blade is referred to as the clip, because it looks as if it has been clipped off of the knife. This section is straight on the Paramilitary 2. Because of the clip, the tip is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control when using the knife for slicing or for fine detail work. One of the other reasons that this blade shape is so all-purpose is because of the large belly that it boasts. The belly makes slicing much simpler, which is going to make the majority of your tasks much simpler. One of the only disadvantages to the clip point blade shape is also one of its key advantages: The clip point has a narrow tip, which means that it is going to be more prone to breaking than say a drop point. However, because the tip is sharper and thinner at the spine, the clip point has been perfectly designed to lend itself to piercing and stabbing. This is also what differentiates the clip point from the drop point—the drop point has a much broader point, so while it is going to be more durable, the drop point does not have the same stabbing capabilities.

On the portion of the blade that is nearest to the spine of the handle, there is a row of very shallow jimping that will assist you in having better grip and more control when you are doing fine detail work with this blade.

This Spyderco knife boasts a plain edge, which helps this knife be the perfect everyday carry knife. The plain edge has equipped this blade to take on a wider variety of tasks while also giving you very clean cuts.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of dark blue G-10. G-10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate, which is a kind of composite material. This material is created by stacking multiple layers of glass cloth, soaking it in epoxy resin, and compressing the resulting material under heat until the epoxy cures. This material is manufactured in flat sheets. G-10 is very similar to Micarta and Carbon Fiber laminates, because all of the materials are resin-based laminates. However, in G-10 the base material is glass cloth. G-10 is considered to be the toughest of the glass fiber resin laminates and therefore the most commonly used. G-10 is so widely used because of its high strength, low moisture absorption, and chemical resistance. Because G-10 is created in layers, the manufacturer can create unique colors for knife handles. This Spyderco knife is dark blue G-10. The dark blue color is unique enough that the knife is sure to be a showstopper, but it is also subtle enough that it does not look tacky. This is close to a navy, which is a neutral color, so you won’t have to feel like the handle is the only thing that people can focus on. This material is also easy to texturize, which comes in handy for all-purpose knives, because it means that you can have a good grip on this knife in almost any environment.

Spyderco Dark Blue Paramilitary 2 Folder Knife
Spyderco Dark Blue Paramilitary 2 Folder Knife

The ergonomics of this knife handle have created a very comfortable handle. The center of the handle bottom bellies out to fit your palm well. There is a slight finger groove and a slight finger guard, which helps to keep your fingers safe in case of slippage. The spine of the handle has a slight curve to it.

On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole carved out. This lanyard hole will come in handy for a variety of reasons, even though this is just an everyday carry knife. For instance, if you have a lanyard attached to your knife, you will be able to withdraw it from your pocket quicker than if you were using your pocket clip. Also, because of this, you can keep your knife more deeply concealed in your pocket. Overall, the lanyard will allow you to keep your knife close by at all times, without the hassle that comes from keeping your knife with you at all times. And, as a side advantage, with a lanyard, you are also able to add a little bit of your own style to your knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has also been finished satin to match the blade, it also contrasts nicely with the dark blue handle. This clip is kept in place by three small, silver screws that match the rest of the hardware on this knife. One of the biggest advantages to the Paramilitary 2 pocket clip is that it is a four-way reversible clip. This means that the clip is fully ambidextrous as well, plus you can carry it in the most comfortable position for yourself. On the pocket clip, Spyderco has stamped their logo near the top.

 

The Mechanism:

This Spyderco knife is a folding knife that uses their round hole to assist you in opening your knife as well as their patented Compression Lock mechanism.

The thumb hole is very simple to use and it essentially replaces the nail nick or the thumb stud on a knife. Spyderco likes the round hole because it allows the blade of a folding knife to be swiftly and easily opened with only one hand. This revolutionary feature was granted a U.S. utility patent in 1981 and literally helped define the form of the modern folding knife. Unlike thumb studs, disks, and other one-hand-opening attachments, the hole offers a larger surface area for greater reliability and does not interfere with the cutting action of the blade. Spyderco has said, “An iconic symbol of our brand, the Trademark Round Hole also serves as a user-friendly alternative to a traditional nail ick in our two-hand-opening folders and a proud expression of our brand identify in our fixed blade knives.”

Their compression lock is a lock mechanism that uses a leaf-like spring from a split liner in the handle to wedge laterally between a ramp on the blade tang and the stop pin. This lock was developed and patented by Spyderco, and it provides extreme lock strength and ease of use.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this Spyderco knife measures in at 3.42 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.82 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 8.24 inches long when the knife is opened. The Paramilitary 2 weighs in at 3.9 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Highly regarded as one of the most popular folder knives ever created, the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 slightly diminishes the exceptional performance and reliability of the Spyderco Military model into a more compact and pocket-friendly design. Each model features a premium stainless steel blade that is supported, this time, by Spyderco’s patented Compression Lock™ mechanism–allowing users to safely close the blade with one hand without ever having the operating hand come near the cutting edge. Much like its larger predecessor, the Paramilitary 2 features a slightly flared base of the handle as well as the integrated jimping which provides increased control with any cutting job. This model, the C81GPDBL2, features a dark blue G-10 handle, a satin finished clip point style blade, Spyderco’s trademark round hole opening feature and an ambidextrous 4-way positional pocket clip which allows for a tip up or tip down carry option on either side of the handle. Pick up this fantastic everyday knife today at BladeOps.

 

Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company, famous for its automatic knives, that was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994, and operated there until relocating to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005 and to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. IN 2007 the company began manufacturing an American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms Research.

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 used by the US Military such as the Halo, UDT, Socom, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. The most popular designs among collectors are the Out the Front and the Double Action automatics. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

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.

And, once a Microtech HALO was featured on the television series 24.

Today, we will be discussing the Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed blade knife with the Apocalyptic Stonewash blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. This is a European powder metal steel that is used in the higher end knives. Elmax has an advanced formula and the result is a very good all-around steel, a generation ahead of formulations like 154CM. There has been some controversy on the Internet over the grinding and heat treat of this steel, but in most peoples’ experience, it has been nothing but great. A few years ago Elmax was really pricey, but competition has driven it down to a reasonable price, making it a decent value. This steel is made by European Bohler-Uddeholm and is a high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum allowed powdered steel which gives it extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax acts a lot like a stainless steel, but it is a carbon steel. With this steel, you get superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening, while still maintain a good resistance to rust.

The blade has been coated with an apocalyptic stonewash finish. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion and the type of finish eh blade has before it enters the tumbler. An apocalyptic or acid stonewashed, also a black stonewash finish is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches that can occur with use overtime.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto blade shape. This blade shape does one thing and does that one thing really well. If you are looking for a knife that excels at piercing tough materials, then the tanto blade is what you’re looking for. This blade shape was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong pint that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it lacks a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, it’s extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is required. This blade is definitely tailored to piercing tough materials, and if such a situation arises—you are going to be prepared.

This tough knife features a plain edge. The plain edge is one long continuous edge and 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. And 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. Generally, 1200-grit is considered polished while a 6000+ grit water stone would even further polish the edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this blade is made out of G 10. G 10 is the common term for a grade of fiberglass composite laminate, which is a cloth material with a resin binder, that is used in a number of everyday carry and plenty of gear applications. Though they are made pretty differently, G 10 really is similar to carbon fiber when it comes to the properties. This material is immune to corrosion and rust, it is easily textured, and because of that, it offers phenomenal grip. Also like carbon fiber, G 10 tends to be on the more brittle side and because of this, it does not resist impact well at all. But, this material does not have the same aesthetic pleasure that many other materials do, because it resembles plastic in both its appearance and its feel.

On this Socom Alpha, the handle is relatively simple, with the unique portions being in the small details. The G 10 of this handle is just black, but there is thick, spaced out jimping down the entire spine and bottom portion of the handle. This jimping will give you a very secure grip on your handle at all times. The finger groove is a groove etched into the handle, which gives you a more comfortable portion to place your hand while using this knife on the harder tasks.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into the metal that is sticking out form the handle scales. This is a full tang knife, which means that the blade portion of the metal extends all the way down through the handle. Then, the G 10 handle scales are placed over this piece of metal, which results in a much stronger knife. This Microtech knife has been designed as a tactical knife, and for a tactical knife, you need to be searching for the strongest knife possible. A full tang knife is so strong because there are no weak portions where the handle and the blade are melded together.

Like I earlier mentioned, on the butt portion of the tang, there is a lanyard hole. If you tie a lanyard onto your tactical knife, you will be securing your knife against loss. If you loop the lanyard over your wrist, you never have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hand in crucial times. And, if you keep a lanyard tied to your knife, you can withdraw your knife quicker. Another benefit, although not a major benefit, is that the lanyard can provide greater visibility as well as adding a touch of personal style to your knife. Everyone has their own reason for using a lanyard on their fixed blade, but I promise you that there is no shortage of good reasons to tie a lanyard to this knife.

Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife
Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Kydex and Carbon Fiber. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride material that is often used in sheaths. This is a more modern material, especially when compared to the other common sheath materials. One of the greatest advantages about Kydex is its durability. This material can literally be submerged in salt water and not just survive, but thrive. Kydex is going to hold up very well to many different environments. Unfortunately, Kydex does feature a variety of major disadvantages. For starters, Kydex basically looks like a lump of plastic—it has no personality. And, Kydex sheaths are loud. There is no way to use a Kydex sheath and have it remain quiet. There is going to be noise when you draw your knife and again when you try to put the knife back in the sheath. Some people do like the satisfying click of Kydex, but you should be aware of it. I would say that the biggest disadvantage of this sheath material is that with repeated taking out and putting back a knife into a Kydex sheath will dull your blades edge.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade, which has plenty of benefits when it comes to your tactical knife. For starters, the blade can be longer and thicker than a folding knife because it doesn’t have to fit inside of the handle. Because of this added length and thickness, you get obvious bonus strength. Fixed blades are going to be tougher too, because they are so much thicker, and much less prone to breaking. And because this is the full tang blade, you don’t have to worry about any weak spots in the blade. In fact, even if the handle scales did crack or fall off, you would still have a full knife to work with. Plus, the fixed blade “mechanism” makes maintenance a breeze, because all you have to do is quickly wipe down your blade after each use and oil it every so often.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches long. The handle on this fixed blade is 5 inches long, making the overall length of the knife an even 10 inches long, with the blade and the handle being perfectly proportioned. This Microtech knife weighs in at 7.9 ounces, with the sheath weighing in at 4.4 ounces. This Socom Alpha was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Microtech Socom Alpha full tang fixed blade knife was originally designed after the folder version of the popular Microtech Socom Alpha. This is the first production model of the Socom Alpha fixed blade model as the original was recently exclusively produced as a Microtech Custom. This rugged tactical fixed blade features a longer blade than the folder design as well as a raised rib pattern around the exterior of the handle to assist with positive control and an enhanced grip in any position. This model, the 114-10AP, consists of a contoured black G-10 handle, standard hardware, and a tanto style blade in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Much like the custom version, the Socom Alpha comes with a heavy-duty Kydex sheath sporting a carbon fiber laminate overlay as well as a Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok attachment. Pick up your Microtech 114-10AP Socom Alpha T/E fixed blade knife with the Elmax apocalyptic stonewashed blade today at BladeOps.

 

Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show Strider Knife Review

In 1994, just a year after the first prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment, the release of the UDT marked the official beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent. Since then, Microtech has carved itself a place in history by building a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality that leaves an impression on its customers. Some of their memorable moments include:

  • 1995 brought the release of the HALO, which has become a prominent line throughout Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
  • In 1999, the Ultratech, the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production. Microtech also earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award for the second year in a row.
  • In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012. The Lightfoot Compact Combat was awarded Blade Magazine’s Knife Collaboration of the Year, and Anthony Marfione was also featured in “Le Chasseur a L’arc” for the uniquely designed Tomahawk.
  • In 2004, the MTX2 was awarded American Made Knife of the year by Blade Magazine, while the original, limited run of the Currahee was produced for testing by the United States Special Forces.
  • In 2005, after the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Microtech relocated from Vero Beach, Florida to their current factory in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
  • In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
  • IN 2009, with their recent expansion in the firearms industry, Microtech & MSAR set up a second shop in Fletcher, North Carolina to better meet the increased production demands.
  • In 2011, Microtech’s Select Fire won Most Innovative American Design at blade Show 2011.
  • In 2012, after a successful Blade Show, where the Socom Delta won American Made Knife of the Year, Anthony Marfione entered into a collaboration with Mick Strider to create the DOC. 2012 also marked the launch of the Siphon, Microtech’s first high end pen. Both of these pieces were originally only launched as Marfione Custom’s production.
  • In 2013, MSAR introduces the new line of XM Series magazines.

Today we will be going over the Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show 2017 Antique Green Strider MSG 3.5 Titanium Flipper Knife, with copper inlay and a bronzed satin blade.

Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show Strider
Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show Strider

The Blade:
The blade on this custom knife is made out of M390 stainless steel. This is an ultra-premium stainless steel. It is also considered one of the new super steels on the block. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm. This steel uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Added into the steel is chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. This steel actually has most of its carbides formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which leaves more “free chromium” to fight corrosion. M390 steel usually hardens to about a 60-62 HRC. The manufacturer calls this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel is relatively hard to sharpen, but as long as you have the right tools, you will be able to manage it.

The steel has been polished to a bronzed satin finish. A satin finish is created by sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This abrasive material is usually sandpaper. The satin finish is one of the most common blade finishes that you can find on a knife, but Marfione Custom Knives has switched up this classic finish to give you a unique finish that you aren’t going to normally find. With the bronzed finish, you get all of the benefits from having a satin finish, but the blade is more aesthetically pleasing than your average blade. The satin finish is a semi-shiny finish. This finish is not matte, such as a blasted finish, but it also is not reflective, such as a mirror finish. This finish does provide you with average corrosion resistance, cuts down on wear, and slightly cuts down on glares or reflections. This finish is added to knives to show off the bevels and fine buffing lines in the steel. This finish does create extreme hand skill to accomplish. This blade has been bronzed, which does help to make this knife more of a collector’s edition. Because let’s be real, how many quality knives have you seen with a bronzed blade?

The blade on this Marfione and Strider knife has been carved into a spear point blade shape. The spear point blade is relatively similar to the needle point blade because they are both designed to be good piercers. The spear point blade shape does prove to be superior though, because the point is stronger than the point on the needle point blade and it sport a small belly, that gives you the ability to slice with this blade. To describe the shape of a spear point: the spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of this shape of blade rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the benefits about a spear point blade shape is that it does have a lowered tip, which makes a blade controllable and able to perform fine tip work. All in all, the spear point blade shape has a phenomenal balance between its piercing and slicing ability. It does sport a belly that is usable—but when you compare it to the drop or clip point, the belly seems very small. And, it has the sharp point of a dagger style blade with the strength of the drop point blade. Overall, this is a very functional design because of how great the hybrid is. This custom knife does have plain edged blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of anodized titanium, with copper inlays. Titanium is a very popular knife handle material and for very good reason. For starters, titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. While it is a little heavier than aluminum (its younger brother), it is still a lightweight metal and it is much stronger than aluminum. So while it is a little heavier than aluminum and more expensive to machine, you get phenomenal return on investment: for a little bit of weight, you get a lot more strength. A fun fact about titanium is that it is one of the rare metals that has a warm feel to it. This comes in handy when you are working with your knife during the winter, because it won’t bite into your hands like aluminum would. Unfortunately, titanium is prone to scratches. The titanium handle is given its unique color through the anodization process.

Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. This process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. The anodization process increases the materials resistance to corrosion and wear. This process also changes the color of the metal. This custom knife has been anodized to an antique green finish.

The inlays on this knife handles are made out of copper. Interestingly enough, copper was one of the first metals that was ever extracted and used by humans and since then has been used for a very wide variety of uses. Some of the best benefits about copper in this knife is that it is very resistant to corrosion (copper can even be submerged in sweater and not corrode), it is very durable and strong, and it is also easy to work with.

The handle on this knife is one of the most unique aspects of the knife. The handle is almost triangular, with the butt of the handle flaring heavily. There is jimping near the butt of the handle, helping to provide you with grip and control over the knife. There is a large finger groove, keeping your fingers comfortable and safe during use. The spine of the handle is completely straight.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is also made out of titanium and is statically designed for tip up carry only. The clip is also anodized to an antique green and is completed with its own copper inlay. The clip on this knife is kept in place by a large copper screw. The clip also is triangular, with a circular end. All of the hardware on this knife is bronze.

 

The Mechanism:

There are two ways to open this knife: you can either open it with the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. This custom blade is outfitted with a frame lock.

Let’s start by talking about the thumb window—because that is the more traditional opening mechanism. What started out as a thumb hole mostly on Spyderco’s has developed into a new, very popular opening mechanism. And there is a big reason for so many knife companies jumping on the wagon—it works and it works well. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb window is just like using a thumb stud. And by its very design, it is ambidextrous. Plus, it is out of the way, unlike a thumb stud, because it is carved out of the knife instead of being screwed into the blade.

The other option for your opening mechanism is the flipper. This is a sharks’ fin shaped protrusion that juts out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To open a knife that is equipped with a flipper, you pull back on the flipper and it flips the blade out of the handle and then locks it securely into place. The flipper by design, is also naturally ambidextrous. And, if you are worried about the safety of your fingers, I would recommend that you use the flipper as opposed to the window, because it keeps your fingers out of the way during the whole process. As a total bonus, the flipper acts as a finger guard when the knife is opened.

The frame locking mechanism is basically the liner lock on steroids. Frame locks are stronger than liner locks, because instead of an internal spring bar moving into place, it is a metal piece of the handle that slips into place. To close a knife with this locking mechanism, you just push down on the spring bar so it no longer blocks the butt of the blade, remove your thumb form the pat, then fold the knife closed.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this custom knife is 3.5 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of this Marfione knife is 8.25 inches long. The knife weighs in at 5.9 ounces. This knife was made in the USA. This is a custom collector’s knife and BladeOps has the serial #008.

 

Conclusion:

Marfione Custom Knives (MCK) are well known for their high-end custom knives and products that feature exotic materials that turn mere tools into works of art. The MSG 3.5 is a collaborative effort between Tony Marfione and Mick Strider of Strider Knives that showcases an integral frame–meaning the handle was milled out of a single piece of titanium. Additionally, the Hinderer Lockbar Stabilizer™ that each model is outfitted with makes for a solid and consistent lock up without fail. Every frame lock designed MSG 3.5 model rides seamlessly on a ceramic bearing system and can be operated with the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. This Blade Show 2017 exclusive model features a titanium handle in an antique green finish, a copper inlay on both the front handle scale as well as the pocket clip, standard bronze hardware, a spear point style blade in a hand-rubbed bronzed satin finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only. Package comes complete with a presentation box, zipper pouch as well as a certificate of authenticity.

This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this knife, so contact BladeOps today to get 008!