Zero Tolerance 0920 Knife Review

Zero Tolerance is a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai has been the leading producer of premier blades in Japan for over 100 years now. They have a commitment to innovation and are constantly coming up with new, ground breaking technologies. Kai is also a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares—all in Japan.

Zero Tolerance is also committed to innovation. They first made their public appearance in 2006 when they noticed a place in the market for a Made-in-the-USA lien of hard-use knives. They wanted their knives to meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, as well as other first responders, such as firefighter and emergency medical personnel. So that is just what they did.

When they first began designing and producing knives, they made combat knives, and only combat knives. Since that time, they have expanded their line to include a variety of products. They have produced larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter every day carrying knives. All of their products are built to Zero Tolerances high-performance standards. Zero Tolerance wants to prove their users with the top of the line quality.

One of Zero Tolerance’s claim to fame is that they are “proudly overbuilt”. This company only uses the top quality materials and the manufacturing is conspicuously smooth. Plus, the Zero Tolerance fit and finish is second to none. When you are carrying a Zero Tolerance knife, you know that you can trust it. And it will last you a lifetime. Zero Tolerance has just released a brand new knife called the 0920. And it is a showstopper.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is carved out of CPM 20CV steel. This steel has been produced by Crucible, an American company. They designed this steel to compare to the Bohler’s M39p steel as well as Carpenter CTS 204P steel. CPM 20CV steel is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel. Because of this, you get a combination of impressive wear resistance and edge retention. And, because of the high levels of chromium, this steel is extremely resistant to rusting and corroding. This steel has been known as a super steel, because of its properties and its ability to perform. This is also a steel that requires very little maintenance. However, this steel is difficult to sharpen; a beginner probably wouldn’t be able to handle it.

The steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is made by tumbling the steel around in an abrasive material. This material is usually small pebbles. After it is tumbled around, the steel will be smoothed over and polished. The finished look is a rugged, textured look. One of the biggest benefits about the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the blade for long periods of time. The stonewash finish effortlessly hides fingerprints and scratches, which accumulate over time. Because of this, maintenance time is significantly reduced.

The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is one of the most versatile blade shapes, and is very similar to the drop point blade shape. This shape is commonly found on pocket knives and fixed blades. This blade shape is created by having the unsharpened edge of the blade run straight form the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area look like it is cut out and can be curved out straight. The 0920 looks a little bit different where it curves and then goes straight, but still has the portion that looks to be “clipped out”, which is where the shape got its name. This blade shape creates a lowered point which gives you more control when you are using the knife. However, unlike the drop point blade shape, the point is not broad. The tip on the clip point shape is very fine and sharp. This allows you to have stabbing capabilities. However, because it is finer, it is more prone to breaking or snapping. Another reason that makes it so versatile is because the clip point provides a large belly with a large area for slicing. The ability to slice makes this a perfect blade option for an everyday knife. There are many, many knife lovers that adore the clip point shape. This provides you with the ability to be prepared for the expected or the unexpected.

At the back of the blade, right next to the handle, there is a portion of jimping. This jimping is a little shallower and rounded than you would normally find, but it will provide you with a place to rest your thumb and give you more control over the blade while you are cutting. Right under the jimping, Zero Tolerance has stamped a black “ZT” logo.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the 0920 has been made out of titanium. While titanium is a heavier material than its little brother, aluminum, it is still considered a lightweight metal alloy. And while it is slightly heavier, with the extra weight, you get a considerable amount of extra strength. The extra weight is one hundred percent worth the strength you gain. However, because it is so much stronger, it is a more expensive material to machine, which does increase the overall cost of the knife. One of the most unique and loved characteristics about having a titanium handle is that it is a rare metal that has a warm feel to it. This means that you won’t have to suffer when you are using this knife in the winter or a cold environment. However, there are a couple of drawbacks to titanium. One of them is that it is prone to scratches especially when you are comparing it to stainless steel. The other drawback is that it can be a slick material, unless it has been properly texturized.

To add enough texture to provide you with a secure grip, Zero Tolerance has finished the titanium handle with a bead blast finish. The bead blasted finish is created when the metal has been blasted with small ceramic beads at a high pressure. The resulting look is an even, matte, gray finish. Because it is matte, the bead blast finish minimizes glares and reflections. However, because the bead blast finish creates micro abrasions in the metal, the titanium is going to be more prone to rusting or corroding. This means that you are going to have to keep up on maintenance time and make sure that you don’t leave it in a damp or humid environment. Another thing that Zero Tolerance did to increase the amount of texture was to add vertical milling pattern across the width of the knife. This texturing provides you with a secure grip no matter the environment you are in.

The handle sports a shallow finger groove, but a large finger guard to protect from slipping and injuring your finger.

On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole drilled into it. Having a lanyard tied onto your handle can help prevent against loss, improve the ability to find your knife if you happen to drop or misplace it, and you can add a little bit of your own personal style to the knife.

The frame lock design includes a steel lock bar insert as well as bronze anodized tube spacers with the same finish that will be found on the pocket clip.

 

Zero Tolerance 0920
Zero Tolerance 0920

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a bent titanium pocket clip. This pocket clip actually does not match the handle, but instead sports a copper look to it. This pocket clip is reversible, so you can carry it either left or right handedly. However, it is not tip reversible. It is only drilled to carry the knife tip up. The pocket clip is kept into place by three small black screws. The screws that keep the clip in place match the rest of the black hardware.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a flipper knife that sports a KVT ball bearing opening system. Instead of the usual sharks fin flipper shape, the flipper tab on this knife is more rectangular. The KVT ball bearing system is an innovation that Zero Tolerance has created. This is a manual opening system that enables smooth, easy blade opening without the use of a spring or torsion bar to assist the blade out of the handle. The ball bearings in the KVT system surround the pivot point. When the knife user pulls back on the flipper protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle and then locks into place. This mechanism allows the user to open the knife efficiently with only one hand. This system is what makes this knife a fully ambidextrous blade.

 

The Specs:

This knife has been made in the United States of America. The blade length on the 0920 knife is 3.9 inches long with a thickness of 0.156 inches. The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long, with a closed length of 5.1 inches. This knife weighs in at 5.4 ounces.

 

The Pros of the 0920 Knife:

  • Zero Tolerance has been known to proudly overbuild their knives.
  • The steel that they chose to use is a super steel.
  • The steel provides you with excellent edge retention.
  • The steel effortlessly resists corrosion.
  • The stonewash finish easily hides fingerprints and scratches.
  • The stonewash finish preserves the look of the blade overtime.
  • The clip point blade is extremely versatile.
  • The clip point provides you with exceptional stabbing capabilities.
  • The clip point also has a large belly that allows you to easily slice.
  • The titanium handle actually has a warm feel to it.
  • The titanium handle is lightweight, yet extremely strong.
  • Titanium is one of the most corrosion resistant metals on the market.
  • The handle has a large finger guard on the handle to protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut.
  • The milling on the handle provides you with fantastic grip.
  • The handle has a lanyard hole drilled into it.
  • The bead blast finish on the handle also helps to give you a secure grip.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, so it is ambidextrous.
  • The knife sports a KVT ball bearing opening system.
  • This is a fully ambidextrous knife.

 

The Cons of the 0920 Knife:

  • The tip on the clip point shape is finer, so it is more prone to breaking or snapping.
  • The aluminum does have a significant amount of weight to it.
  • The bead blasted finish on the handle does make the handle more prone to corroding or rusting.
  • The knife can only be carried tip up, because the handle has only been drilled for that.

 

Conclusion:

Zero Tolerance knives have a reputation of being overbuilt. What does that mean? It means that Zero Tolerance only uses the highest quality materials and the manufacturing is seamless. The Zero Tolerance final fit and finish is second to none. They deserve the reputation that they have earned over the years. In 2006, when they saw the need in the market for made-in-the-USA knives that could take a hard beating, they swooped in. And we are so grateful that they did. They have produced countless ground breaking knives and have come out with many innovative mechanisms. It’s the little details that they pay attention to that sets them apart from all of their competition.

With one of their newest knives, the 0920, they paid special attention to the details. They started out with a super steel for the blade and finished it with a low maintenance look. The versatile blade shape demands an exceptional handle, so Zero Tolerance used one of the most durable materials. The reversible pocket clip is a cherry on top and the KVT ball bearing opening system makes deploying the blade a seamless task. This knife is a game changer that will definitely up the standards that you have for your pocket knives.

SOG Pillar Knife Review

Many knife company histories start with a person, a passion, and a new knife design. SOG’s history actually starts years before the person, the passion, but it did start with a new knife design. Kind of. In Vietnam there was a US special ops unit made up of high classified members. This unit was called MACV-SOG. The members in this group worked on covert missions that were primarily based in the jungle. This is where the new knife design comes into play. The jungle required features of a knife that they hadn’t previously had. This knife was a unique combat knife called the SOG Bowie.

Years later, Spencer Frazer came into the picture. He had always had an interest in knives, but became inspired by this SOG Bowie and what it had come to represent. Spencer founded SOG Specialty knives with a mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie Knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that had created it. SOG Specialty Knives started with a single commemorative model but soon branched into becoming a full line of innovative tools. These tools are field proven by the US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, when you carry a SOG knife, you can carry it with confidence. You know that these knives have been “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.” You know that these knives will stand up to any task, from protecting other, to leading a hunting expedition, to tackling one of life’s everyday challenges. Even if you are in the most extreme conditions, your SOG knife will be able to stand up and represent. “Lead the way with SOG.”

SOG Pillar
SOG Pillar

The Blade:

The blade on the Pillar has been shaped out of CPM S35VN steel. Years ago, Crucible released a steel that had been specifically designed for use on knife blades. They called it the CPM S30V steel. This steel became known as the steel that had the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The steel was able to avoid rust and corrosion effortlessly. However, the users quickly realized that the steel was tricky to sharpen. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve released this newer version of the older steel and named it CPM S35VN steel. This is a premium steel that is a slightly superior version of S30V steel. However, they used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium (which is where the N comes from in the name). With these two switches, they were able to make the newer version of the steel much easier to sharpen. The finer grain structure also gives the finished steel a more polished look. Crucible and Chris Reeve were also able to improve the toughness of the steel. The S35VN steel also resists rust just as effortlessly as the beginning steel type. When the first version of the steel was considered the best steel that your blade could be, just imagine how much better CPM S35VN steel actually is.

The finish that has been applied to this steel is a stonewashed finish. This finish is created by tumbling the stone with small abrasive materials, which are usually small pebbles. After the steel has been tumbled around, it is smoothed out and polished. This finish creates a rugged look, because it looks pretty textured. This finish also works well to hide scratches and fingerprints, which significantly cuts down on maintenance time with this blade. The stonewash finish creates an even, matte gray finish. This helps cut down on glares and reflections.

The premium steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is a very versatile blade shape because of all of its great characteristics. The shape is created by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area of the knife looks to be cut or clipped out, which is where the shape gets its name from. The point on this blade shape is lowered, which helps to give you more control while you are using the knife. This is similar to the drop point blade shape, except for on the clip point shape, the point is sharper and thinner. This gives you more stabbing and piercing capabilities because the point has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the other reasons that a clip point blade shape is so versatile is because it has a large belly, which makes it perfect for slicing and other everyday activities. On the Pillar, the clip point is less dramatic than many clip point blade shapes. Near the handle, on the back of the blade, there is a short area of thick jjimping. This jimping helps add increased control for when you are working on precise cutting tasks.

 

The Handle:

The Pillar is a full tang knife, which means that the CPM S35VN steel forms the entire shape of the knife. However, holding the handle on this knife would not be comfortable and not give you excellent grip, so SOG has covered the handle portion of this knife with a canvas micarta. This material is made by soaking thin layers of canvas in a phenolic resin, which produces a product that is lightweight and strong. Micarta also provides you with a little bit of a classier look when compared to the similar G10. However, just like most materials, there are drawbacks to it. Micarta is a brittle material. Because of the way that it has been built, it is extremely strong in one direction, because the canvas is all going in that direction. However, when it is stressed in other directions, it has the tendency to break down. This means that if it is subjected to an impact on a hard or sharp object, your knife handle might break or crack. The other drawback to having a micarta handle is that micarta has no surface texture whatsoever. Because of this, the manufacturer has to hand carve or etch the handle to add any amount of grip. This takes time and hand labor, so it does increase the cost of the knife by a decent amount. In the Pillar, SOG has carved five deep grooves going across the width of the knife. With these, you will have a solid grip on your knife whether in wet or dry conditions. They also have a deep finger groove that you can rest your hand in with a finger guard to protect from slipping and cutting yourself.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole. There are so many advantages to having a lanyard on your fixed blade, but I’ll just cover a few of them. The lanyard helps you to secure your knife against loss. This is because you can easily tie your knife onto you or your backpack. If you are using this knife to skin anything or work in wet environments, you can actually put the lanyard in between the handle and your knife, which helps to add some extra texture. This will help your knife from slipping up the length of the handle and getting cut on the blade of the Pillar. When you are using your knife, you can easily slip the lanyard around your wrist to secure it against loss. And, if you are using your knife in the outdoors or dark environments, you can attach a brightly colored lanyard for greater visibility, just in case you drop or misplace your knife. The last reason that a lanyard is such a great addition is that it can add a little touch of your own personal style.

 

The Mechanism:

The Pillar is a fixed blade which comes with a large variety of benefits. Many people think that they prefer folding knives because they are easier to transport, easier to have with you at all times, and easier to conceal. They like the convenience of a folding knife. But if you haven’t given a fixed blade a shot, you are really missing out. For starters, a fixed blade is much stronger than a folding knife. This is because the full tang prevents any weak spots from forming while transitioning from the blade to the handle. Also, the handle is solid, because the blade doesn’t have to be stored inside, so you do have more strength coming from the handle. The blade can also be thicker, because it does not have to be stored inside a small handle. One of the other major benefits of having a fixed blade is that maintenance time is significantly reduced. Instead of having to clean the inner mechanisms and all the small parts, you really just have to wipe down the blade and handle and call it good. Another benefit to owning a fixed blade is that they are a great survival tool. Not only can a fixed blade cut, but it can also dig, split wood, hammer, pry, and of course, it can be used as a weapon. Lastly, on a fixed blade, you have the benefit of having a longer blade. This longer blade also helps with some of the previously mentioned activities.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a black Kydex sheath. This is a more modern material that can be used for your sheath. Kydex is a thermoplastic that has also been sued for holsters. The reason that people love Kydex is because of its durability and ability to withstand many extreme environments, including being submerged in salt water. However, Kydex also has some cons to it. One is that it lacks any personality. It is basically a hard lump of plastic. The advantage to this is that it is dark and can work great if you are trying to conceal your sheath. Unfortunately, Kydex is a very loud material when you are sheathing and unsheathing your knife. There is a definite “click” when you pull your knife out of the sheath. This click is loud enough to give you away if you are trying to be stealthy, so it isn’t the best option for tactical missions. The biggest negative characteristic about Kydex in my opinion is that over time, with repeating sheathing and unsheathing of your knife, the blade will dull and lose its edge. The sheath includes a Tek-Lok compatible mounting option.

 

The Specs:

The Pillar is made in the United States of America. The blade on this knife is five inches long, with a thickness of 0.16 inches. The overall length of the knife is 9.9 inches long, with 4.9 inches making up the handle length. This knife weighs 7.3 ounces.

 

The Designer:

This knife was designed by Spencer Frazer, who is the founder and head designer of SOG. He had a variety of life experiences that led up to him founding SOG and designing knives. These include graduating with a science and math major and starting his own company in the professional audio industry, working in the aerospace defense industry, and becoming involved in the modern art movement and meeting many of the top artists. When he became inspired by the SOG Bowie knife, he felt like all of these experiences converged. Since then, he hasn’t stopped designing knives and has come out with many innovative designs.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has been a reliable company since the 1980’s. They have won awards for their exceptional knife designs. When you carry a SOG knife you know that it is going to be able to stand up to the challenges of life, whatever those might be for you.

With the Pillar, they built the knife around the superior S35VN steel. They carved it into a versatile blade shape that will be able to help you accomplish the expected and the unexpected. The full tang knife has a handle covering made out of canvas micarta. The Pillar comes with a fantastic sheath. All in all, this is truly a remarkable knife that you can feel comfortable using in any situation.

Zero Tolerance 0850 Knife Review

Zero Tolerance is a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. For over 100 years, Kai has been the leading producer of premier blades in Japan. Kai also is a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares in japan. Kai is committed to innovation and always produces high quality tools.

Zero Tolerance saw a gap in the market for Made-in-the-USA knives in 2006. These knives would need to be hard use knives that would meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcements, as well as other first responders, such as firefighters and emergency medical personnel. The first products that Zero Tolerance produced were combat knives, but over the best decade, they have expanded their product line to carry other general use and premium knives and tools. Zero Tolerance carries anything form larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter everyday carrying knives. Each of these tools are built to meet Zero Tolerance’s high standards.

Zero Tolerance knives have been known to be “proudly overbuilt”. This means that they use the highest quality of materials to produce their knives. Some of these materials include S30V steel, CTS 204P steel, titanium, and G10, among other things. The manufacturing for these tools are smooth and the Zero Tolerance fit and finish is second to none. When you are carrying a Zero Tolerance knife, you know that you can rely on your knife. This is a tool that will last a lifetime with you. And if you treat your knife well, the knife will treat you well back. Zero Tolerance has recently released a brand new knife called the 0850.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM 20CV steel. This steel is considered an ultra-premium steel or a super steel. Crucible is the producer behind this steel and they made it to compete with Bohler’s M390 steel which is also similar to Carpenter’s CTS 204P steel. CPM 20CV steel is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel, which means that you get a combination of fantastic wear resistance and great edge retention. Because the steel has such high levels of chromium in it, you also get extremely high levels of corrosion resistance. This steel requires very little maintenance to maintain its high quality. However, because this is a harder steel, it does tend to be a very hard steel to sharpen.

The CPM 20CV steel has been finished with a stonewash finish and a satin finish. The stonewash finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is normally small pebbles. This creates a very textured look, which is usually regarded as rugged. After the steel has been tumbled around with the pebbles, it is smoothed over and then polished. Because of the textured look, this steel easily hides scratches and fingerprints, which accumulate over time. And, the finish helps to preserve the look of the blade overtime. Then, the steel undergoes a machined satin finish. The satin finish is when the blade gets sanded in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive. The satin finish shows of the lines of the knife, while working to reduce the reflections and glares of the steel. The blade has been finished with a two toned look. The satin finish is used for the majority of the blade, while the stonewash portion is the raised section on the blade.

The steel is carved into a sheepsfoot blade shape. The shape of the sheepsfoot blade is created by having a straight edged front blade and a dull back spine that curves down to meet the straight edge. The two edges meet at the tip and form what is called a “false point”. Because of the false point, you can cut and slice without having to worry about controlling the point or accidently stabbing something. This shape of blade is very popular with emergency responders because they are able to cut through seatbelts without worrying about injuring the victim. Another very popular use for this shape of knife is with sailors, because they can cut the rigging without piercing through the sails. The last very popular reason for a sheepsfoot blade is for the Japanese Santoku kitchen knife that uses this blade for slicing through food with the point getting in the way. One of the great advantages to having a sheepsfoot blade is that you can hold the dull edge with your fingers to give you more control over your cuts. Because the shape of blade has such a straight edge, the cuts that this knife can produce are extremely clean. The only drawback to the sheepsfoot blade is that there is no point whatsoever on it. This means that you have no stabbing capabilities. However, this drawback is also one of its biggest benefits.

Zero Tolerance 0850
Zero Tolerance 0850

The Handle:

The handle is made out of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a pretty generic term for a material that has thin strands of carbon that have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. The full name for the material that you are getting when you buy a carbon fiber knife handle is a carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer. This material is one of the strongest materials that you can buy while also being extremely lightweight. Even though it is extremely strong, it does happen to be brittle. This is because the carbon fibers are all going in one direction. So while they are extremely strong in that direction, when the material has been stressed in any of the other directions, it tends to be extremely brittle. In the direction that the carbon fibers have been woven, the material is actually stronger than steel. Because of its brittleness, if the material is subjected to an impact on a hard or sharp object, it is prone to cracking or breaking. Because the manufacturer can weave the carbon fiber in a variety of different ways, you can get some pretty unique looks to the handle material. These different patterns can be very aesthetically pleasing. On the 0850, there is a light diagonal checkering pattern. The carbon fiber used on this knife is a deep blue. However, because of the weaving process, this material is a very labor intensive process, so it is on the more expensive end of the spectrum. Carbon fiber knife handles are normally only found on the higher end knives.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is made out of titanium. This is a great material because it does feel springy, while it is still hard and durable. The pocket clip is straight, without any bends. The clip is kept in place by two small black screws that contrast with the clip. This is a single position pocket clip. The handle has only been drilled to carry the clip right handedly and only tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that utilizes a thumb stud. The thumb stud allows you to open this knife with ease. The stud sits on the side of the blade nears where the blade pivots on the handle. On the 0850, it is silver to match with the blade, instead of the common contrast that is found on thumb studs. This thumb stud is made out of aluminum, which is a great choice because it is extremely durable and strong, while also being very lightweight. This gives you the durability that you want in a thumb stud, without adding a large chunk of weight to the knife. This thumb stud has been anodized with a clear anodization. Because of the thumb stud, you can easily open this knife with only one hand. However, you to have to put your fingers and hand very close to the blade. Because of this, it is quite easy to slip and slice your thumb while opening this knife.

 

The Extras:

This knife features a round turned aluminum back spacer. Using aluminum for this piece of the knife is a great option because of how lightweight the material is. It gives you a sturdy back spacer while not weighing the knife down.

The 0850 also features a Sub-Frame Lock, with a hardened steel lock bar insert.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.75 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.156 inches. When this knife is open, the overall length is 8.7 inches long, and it sports a closed length of 4.95 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces.

 

The Pros of the 0850:

  • The steel used on the blade is considered a super steel.
  • This steel gives you phenomenal edge retention and great resistance to corrosion.
  • This is a low maintenance steel.
  • This steel also offers you a great level of wear resistance.
  • The stonewash finish hides scratches and fingerprints with ease, cutting down on maintenance time.
  • The stonewash finish preserves the look of this blade overtime.
  • The satin finish shows of the lines of the steel.
  • The satin finish helps to cut down on glares and reflections.
  • The two toned blade gives this knife a very unique look to it.
  • The sheepsfoot blade has a false point, so you won’t be able to pierce through anything with it.
  • Because the sharpened edge is so straight and sharp, when cutting or slicing with this blade, you get extremely clean cuts.
  • You are able to hold the dull edge with your fingers to give you more control over the knife and your cuts.
  • Carbon fiber is a very strong material.
  • Carbon fiber is also very lightweight.
  • The thumb stud opening mechanism allows you to open your blade quickly and efficiently.
  • The thumb stud also allows you to open this knife with only one hand.
  • Features a round turned aluminum back spacer.
  • Features a Sub-Frame Lock with a hardened steel lock bar insert.
  • Zero Tolerance knives have been known to be “proudly overbuilt”, so you know that you will be able to rely on this knife when you need it the most.

 

The Cons of the 0850:

  • Because the steel is so hard, it does tend to be tricky to sharpen.
  • Because the sheepsfoot blade shape has a false point, you will have almost no stabbing capabilities.
  • Carbon fiber is actually a very brittle material, so you have to avoid bumping your handle on a hard or sharp object.
  • The pocket clip can only be put on to carry your knife tip up.
  • The pocket clip can only be put on to carry your knife on the right side.
  • Because it is a thumb stud mechanism, your hand and fingers do have to get fairly close to the blade when you are opening it, putting you at risk for slopping and slicing your fingers.

 

Conclusion:

Zero Tolerance is an exceptional knife company. They have a commitment to innovation and their knives are designed to take a hard beating for long periods of time. They’ve been on the market for a little over a decade, which is when they saw the need for made in the USA knives that could take a beating. Since they released their first knife, they have gained the reputation of being “proudly overbuilt” which just means that they will only use the highest quality materials to build their knives. It also means that their manufacturing is smooth and seamless and they definitely don’t skimp on the fit and finish, having theirs second to none.

For their newest knife, the 0850, Zero Tolerance started out with a super steel. This steel is hard, tough, has great edge retention, and resists rust and corrosion with ease. They finished the steel with a two toned look to add some dimension and carved it into the shape of a sheepsfoot blade. To match the exceptional blade, they made an exceptional handle. The carbon fiber is a deep blue with an eye catching checkered pattern. This is a manual opening knife that sports a thumb stud. When you are carrying a Zero Tolerance knife, you are carrying a lifelong companion.

Kershaw Leek Carbon Fiber Knife Review

Kershaw Leek Carbon Fiber
Kershaw Leek Carbon Fiber

Kershaw Knife Company was founded in 1974. There is really nothing else like a Kershaw knife. They have award winning technologies and use advanced materials, so when you are carrying a Kershaw knife, you are carrying a lifetime companion.

When they founded their company, they had a founding mission: to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This is one of the reasons that they use their award winning technologies and the appropriate, high quality materials. Kershaw is also dedicated to intensive craftsmanship, which guarantees that the high quality materials are put together in a good way and stay together.

Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation. Something unique about Kershaw is that they have pioneered many of the technologies and advanced materials that are now the standard in the knife industry. Some of their finest innovative technological advances have been their SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism, knives that have interchangeable blades because of Kershaw’s Blade Trader technology, and one of their newest is the Composite Blade technology. This last technology is where they can actually use two different steels to give the knife the best of both worlds. For example, Kershaw can choose a steel that is known for having excellent edge retention and use it on the bottom portion of the blade, and then choose another steel that has been known for strength and use it on the spine of the blade. That way, you don’t have to compromise or give up either characteristic. This Composite Blade technology is truly groundbreaking.

Kershaw is actually a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai has now been Japan’s leading blade producer for over 100 years. Kai as a whole also has a commitment to innovation and uses an innovative approach for product development, research, production, marketing, and even distribution functions.

Kershaw has said, “If this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.” One of Kershaw’s newest releases is a new version of their famous Leek knife. This time, it is made with Carbon Fiber. So whether this is your first, or you are a returning customer, this new knife will be a great option for you.

 

The Blade:

The steel that Kershaw chose for this version of the Leek is CPM 154. This is a high end steel. The CPM stands for Crucible Particle Metallurgy. This Particle Metallurgy allows the steel to have finer carbide particles, which results in a slightly superior steel compared to just plain 154 CM steel. This superior version of the steel is easier to sharpen and has better results when polished. This superior steel is a little bit tougher and has better edge retention. For how tough this steel is, it is also relatively hard, because of the added Molybdenum. This steel has fantastic levels of corrosion resistance, which is surprising if you know your blade chemistry because it actually has less Chromium. When you have the correct equipment, this steel is pretty simple to sharpen, although it might take a couple of trial runs to get used to this particular style of steel.

 

The steel on this knife has been finished with a classic stonewash finish. A stonewash finish is when the steel is tumbled around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. After this process is completed, the steel is polished and smoothed over. The resulting look is a matte gray, with a textured look to it. Because the finish is an even, matte, the stonewash will help cut down on reflections and glares with the metal. The textured look of the finish also helps to conceal scratches and fingerprints, which allows you to go longer in between polishes. The stonewash finish on this Leek adds a rugged look while also cutting down on maintenance.

 

The steel on this Leek has been carved into a modified drop point shape. The drop point shape is the most versatile blade shape that you are going to be able to find. The shape is created by having the unsharpened edge slowly curve until it meets the sharpened edge at the point. This point is actually lowered, which gives you better control over the knife. The control aspect of the drop point blade shape is the reason why so many hunters or carvers love this shape. The hunters don’t have to worry about nicking the inner organs or damaging the meat while they are skinning their game. And carvers can go about doing their precision work without too much effort, because the knife is on their team. The difference between a drop point shape and this modified drop point shape is the point. On a regular drop point, the tip is relatively broad, which adds strength, but does not allow you to pierce or stab. The blade on this Leek is actually slimmer, which allows you to pierce, while also performing more intricate work. The only drawback to having this blade be the modified version of the drop point is that the tip is not going to have as much strength behind it and will be slightly weaker. One of the other reasons that a drop point is so versatile is that it sports a large belly with plenty of length for cutting or slicing. The ability to slice is one of the main features that you should be looking for on an everyday knife. So, the Leek is going to be a very comfortable everyday carry blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Leek is made out of black Carbon Fiber. Carbon fiber is a reinforced polymer, and is considered a generic term for a material that has thin strands of carbon that have been tightly woven together and then set in resin. This material is a crazy strong material that also happens to be very lightweight. Although it is such strong material, it is not indestructible in any way. In fact, because of how strong this material is, it ends up being extremely brittle. If you happen to drop a knife with this handle material, or knock it against something sharp or hard, it is likely to crack. This is because all of the carbon fibers are woven together in a single direction, so while the material is extremely strong going in that direction, it is not strong when the fibers are stressed in any other way. Unfortunately, because it is a labor intensive process to create this material, it ends up being fairly expensive. Because of the cost, carbon fiber is usually only found on high end knives. One unique characteristic about a carbon fiber handle is the look of it. Because of the way that the carbon is woven, and the ways that the light reflects off of the carbon strands, you can get a variety of patterns jut by weaving the carbon in a different way. On the Leek, Kershaw has woven the carbon fibers in a diagonal checkered pattern. The ergonomics on this handle are fantastic. Kershaw elongated the finger groove, which helps to give you more control over the knife and your cuts. The handle fits perfectly in your palm, providing you with comfort, even when you have been using the knife for long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Leek is black to match the rest of the handle. Kershaw has pre-drilled holes in the handle, which allow you to reverse the pocket clip in four different directions. You can carry your knife tip up or tip down, and also on the left or right hand side. This helps to make the Leek ambidextrous friendly.

 

The Mechanism:

The Leek is a flipper knife. This mechanism works by having a protrusion form the blade, on the Leek, this protrusion is triangular. This triangle is part of the blade, but sticks out of the back of the handle when the knife is closed. When you want to deploy your blade, you push down on this protrusion which will then flip your blade into the open position. One of the biggest advantages in my opinion about the flipper mechanism is that it keeps your fingers and hands out of the way of the sharpened edge of the blade during the entire process, keeping your fingers safe. Another huge benefit to this mechanism is that you can actually open your knife with just one hand.

Since it is a Kershaw flipper, it features the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism, which just helps you to flip your knife open quickly, efficiently, and safely.

This knife also features a Liner Lock. This mechanism locks the blade open during use. On one side of the knife’s steel liner, which is the steel plate where the handles scales are attached, moves into position behind the blade to securely lock it open. When you want to close your knife, you unlock this and manually push your blade back into the handle.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the leek is 3 inches long. When the Leek is opened, it is exactly 7 inches long, with a closed length of 4 inches. This is a light knife, weighing in at 2.3 ounces. This Leek has been made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Kershaw Leek:

  • The steel is a high end steel with an excellent balance between strength and toughness.
  • The steel has fantastic levels of corrosion resistance, while maintaining an edge for long periods of time.
  • This steel is relatively easy to sharpen, when you have the correct equipment.
  • The stonewash finish adds a rugged look to the blade.
  • The stonewash finish helps to hide scratches and fingerprints, effectively cutting down on maintenance time.
  • The stonewash finish creates an even, matte look, so glares and reflections are cut down significantly.
  • The modified drop point shape gives you the control of the regular drop point, while offering a finer tip, so you do have stabbing capabilities.
  • The drop point shape provides you with a large belly, allowing for easy slicing, and making this knife a fantastic option for your everyday carry knife.
  • The carbon fiber handle is crazy strong and lightweight.
  • The pocket clip can be reversed in four different directions, giving you the most comfortable carry options.
  • The flipper mechanism allows you to open your knife one handedly, all while keeping your hand out of the way of the sharpened edge.
  • Sports the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism.
  • Sports a Liner Lock.
  • Made in the USA.

 

The Cons of the Kershaw Leek:

  • The modified drop point shape has a finer tip, therefore, it has a weaker tip that is not going to be able to stand up to what a regular drop point would.
  • Carbon fiber is a very brittle material, prone to cracking or breaking when impacted with a sharp or hard object.
  • Carbon fiber is an expensive material.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw is a well-known and trusted knife company. Since the beginning, they have been creating innovative and ground breaking new technology that has since become the standard in the knife world. Kershaw uses some of the highest quality materials to create the highest quality of knives. These are knives that will last a lifetime and will be able to last through all of your adventures.

The Leek is one of Kershaw’s most popular knife designs. For this version of the Leek, Kershaw decided to upscale it. To create a higher quality design, they switched out the handle material and gave it what they call, “a handsome new suit of carbon fiber.” This new handle material is light weight, which in return cuts down on the weight of the whole knife. This makes it an extremely comfortable everyday carry knife. The combination of a high quality steel, a versatile blade shape, and an easy going blade finish creates a one of a kind blade. If you have loved the Leek in the past, you are going to want to purchase this brand new Leek.

Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife Review

Jake Hoback knives has a history that proves how much this company actually loves knives. Jake Hoback, the founder of this knife company, first started making knives in 1990, in his back yard. He would pound out the knives on a huge chunk of steel with a hammer and fence post nails. After that, he and his best friend got a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop. It was then that he was completely hooked. Finally, in 2003, he began professionally making knives. His most popular knife is the Kwaiback knife, so recently, Jake Hoback Knives has released a couple of new versions. One of these is the Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is carved out of CPM-20CV steel. This steel is produced by Crucible and considered to be a super steel. This steel is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel, which means that you will get a combination of wear resistance and edge retention. Not only that, but because the steel has such high levels of chromium, the steel is going to be much more resistant to corrosion. This steel requires very little maintenance to keep its good qualities and great edge. Unfortunately, this steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, so a beginner is not going to be able to sharpen this well. In fact, you will probably want the help of a professional sharpener.

The finish on this blade is an acid stonewash finish. A stonewash finish is when the manufacturer tumbles the blade around in an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. An acid stonewash finish is when the steel undergoes an acid treatment that works to darken the steel before the steel undergoes the stonewashing process. The acid oxidation actually will enhance the steels rust resistance because it places a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. The stonewash finish hides scratches very well. Another benefit of the stonewash finish is that they are low maintenance and they maintain their original look for long periods of time. This acid stonewash finish creates a very rugged, textured, almost mottled look on the blade. The resulting color of the blade has a matte gray look to it.

The 20CV steel has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape was inspired by the Japanese Samurai swords. In the 1980’s, Cold Steel revolutionized this steel and made the American Tanto blade shape a popular blade shape. While many of the blade shapes are all-purpose, versatile, and can perform a variety of different tasks, the tanto blade shape specializes in only one task. The Japanese Samurai sword shape was designed to pierce armor, and the tanto blade shape is still made for piercing through hard and tough materials. The tanto blade shape has a high point with a flat grind. Because of this, it has a very strong tip. The strength behind the tip is what allows it to pierce through the hard and tough materials. Because there is a lot of metal towards the tip of the blade, the tip can absorb the impact from repeated stabbing. This repeated stabbing would cause most blade shapes to snap. Not only does the strong tip allow for piercing through hard materials and repeated piercing, but it also allows the user to o untraditional tasks with this knife. You can hammer, pry, and even dig with this knife if needed. That is why the tanto blade shape, and this specific knife, is such a great option for your survival and tactical scenarios. The sharpened edge of the tanto blade shape meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, instead of the traditional curve. Because of the lack of curve, there is no belly to this knife. The lack of belly is one of the main reasons that this knife is not ideal for an everyday knife; you cannot slice well with it. But, the traditional Japanese Samurai swords could make excellent slicing motions. The tanto shape will also be able to slice a little bit, but you shouldn’t rely on this knife to do your slicing tasks. Because there are two bevels to the tanto blade shape, sharpening this knife can be a little bit tricky at first. However, once you get the hang of it, sharpening this knife is fairly easy. The edge is a straight, plain edge, so you can actually sharpen this knife with a stone. While this knife is not going to be able to serve your every need, it has the strongest tip out of all the blade shapes. This blade shape does what it is designed to do, and it does that well.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of solid titanium. Titanium has some definite benefits to it. One of these is that titanium has the best corrosion resistance out of any metal. Titanium is a lightweight metal, but it is actually extremely strong. Titanium is heavier than aluminum, but much stronger, so the extra weight is worth the exponential strength that you get. However, because it is stronger, it is more expensive to machine. Titanium has a unique quality to it, where it feels warm to touch. While aluminum would bite into your hand during the winter, titanium will feel warm and won’t hurt your hand in cold environments. Titanium is a slippery material, so to add texture, Hoback knives has etched two deep grooves going down the length of the handle. Another bummer about titanium is that it is prone to scratches. To combat the ease of scratching, Hoback knives has anodized the handle. Not only does the anodization process result in a stronger and more durable material, it also adds color to the titanium. This version of the Kwaiback knife, the anodization process has made the metal into a bronze handle. The Kwaiback has a unique handle shape, it is very rectangular with an angle at the butt of the handle. There is a deep finger groove on the handle towards the blade. Even though the handle is very rectangular, it is comfortable to use, even for long periods of time.

Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife
Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife

The Pocket Clip:

This knife has been outfitted with a pocket clip. The pocket clip is titanium and anodized bronze to match the rest of the handle. This pocket clip can be carried on either the left or right hand, but it has only been drilled to carry the knife tip up.

 

The Extras:

This version of the Kwaiback features pivot thrust bearings, a Hoback Roller Detent, a stainless steel lock insert with over travel protection and cold formed bearing races.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a mid-level flipper. The flipper was added to the knife market in the mid 1990’s. This opening mechanism is quick, easy to use, and is a very low maintenance way of opening the knife—even one handedly. The flipper is normally located on the spine of the knife as part of the blade. You deploy the blade by using your index finger to pull back on it. Having the flipper mechanism has a few advantages, one is that you get to keep your hands at a safe distance from the blade. Another advantage is that you get an added finger guard once the blade is opened. The flipper will usually swing around and end up underneath the knife to offer protection from accidents. Many people prefer the flipper mechanism because of how it keeps your fingers safe. The flipper is similar to the thumb stud opening mechanism, except it is safer. If you are a worrier, the flipper mechanism is probably closer to your tune.

 

The Specs:

The overall length of this blade is 3.75 inches long. The blade has a thickness of .1875 inches. The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long with a closed length of 5.25 inches. This knife weighs 4.6 ounces.

 

Pros of the Kwaiback Bronze Flipper:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is a super steel.
  • The steel gives you great wear and corrosion resistance with the steel.
  • The steel keeps a fine edge for long periods of time.
  • This steel is strong and tough.
  • The finish is an acid stonewash which gives the steel better corrosion resistance and hides scratches really well.
  • The tanto blade shape has a strong tip that can pierce through hard and tough materials.
  • The tanto blade shape is exceptional for your tactical or survival needs.
  • Because of how strong the tip is on the tanto blade shape, you can hammer, dig, and even pry with your knife.
  • The titanium handle is extremely resistant to corrosion, more resistant than any metal.
  • The titanium handle is very strong, but doesn’t weigh the knife down.
  • Titanium actually feels warm to the touch, so using this knife in a cold environment will be just fine.
  • The handle is comfortable to hold, even for long periods of time.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, making this knife ambidextrous carry friendly.
  • The flipper mechanism keeps fingers safe and out of the way of the blade.

 

Cons of the Kwaiback Bronze Flipper:

  • The steel on the blade is one of the trickier steels to sharpen.
  • The tanto blade shape has no belly, so being able to slice with this blade is almost out of the question.
  • The tanto blade makes this knife not a good option for your everyday carry needs.
  • The tanto blade shape is not versatile.
  • Titanium does not provide you with the best grip out of the knife handle materials.
  • Titanium is prone to scratches.
  • The flipper mechanism takes a little bit of getting used to.
  • The tanto blade shape is tricky to sharpen until you get the hang out it.

 

Conclusion:

Jake Hoback loves knives. You can tell that not only through his history of making knives in his backyard, but also through the level of quality that his professional knives have. Especially with the Kwaiback. This knife has a rich history, not only is the blade inspired by the ancient Japanese Samurai’s, but Jake has modernized this knife to the point of perfection. Since the Kwaiback was such a popular knife and such a huge hit, Jake decided to revamp it and release a few new versions. One of these brand new versions is the Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper.

This knife is truly a masterpiece. Jake started out with a super steel that has great edge retention and excellent corrosion resistance properties. This is a tough steel that requires very little maintenance to keep the good qualities that it has. The next step was choosing the perfect blade shape. Because the super steel has been ground into a tanto blade shape, this knife is great for tactical, survival, and fighting needs. The tip us strong enough that it won’t break, even with repeated piercing. The tip has a good amount of metal near the tip, which results in having one of the strongest tips that you will ever find on any blade. To accompany such a great blade, the handle also had to be superior. Jake chose to use titanium because it has the highest level of corrosion resistance properties out of almost any metal. This characteristic helps cut down on maintenance time as well. To combat the scratches, the titanium has been anodized to a modern bronze color. This handle is what brings modern day knives to such an ancient blade shape. The pocket clip is reversible and has also been anodized to a bronze color to match the handle. This knife has a flipper opening mechanism, which works to keep your fingers safe and out of harm’s way.

Jake has said, “4 generations of Kwaibacks and this is by far the greatest of them all! All of the newest tricks and features are on this Kwaiback. All of the strength of the first two generations, but so lightweight it will blow your mind.” Jake Hoback Knives has taken all of the favorite characteristics of the previous Kwaiback versions and combined them to make the perfect Kwaiback. This knife is a needed addition to your collection.

 

 

CRKT Vizzle Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool Company is an American company that was founded in 1994. CRKT is known for their distinction in design, selection, and quality and for over 20 years, they have put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. This company operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this, they have been collaborating with some of the best knife makers and designers in the world. Some of these well-known designers are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham brothers. From these collaborations have been born about fifteen patents and now CRKT owns fifteen patens and patents pending. Some of the better known patents that they own are the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff Serrated edges.

There are two men behind CRKT knives, Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. At this point in time it seems as if they have created legendary knives and it almost seems like that process was a quick and easy one. The process was not quick nor easy. It took about three years for this company to truly take off; it was at the 1997 Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S, Keep It Super Simple, knife. This is a small folder that Ed Halligan designed. It was within just the opening days of the Shot Show that the entire years’ worth of product sold out. They now produce a wide range of fixed and folding blades, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

CRKT has recently released a new everyday carry knife called the Vizzle.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this sleek everyday folder is Jesper Voxnaes. Something unique about him as a knife designer is that when he needs to test a design, he only has to step into his own backyard. The harsh elements and conditions of the fjords and forests in his native Denmark do the rest. When he was starting out, no one was making the kind of knives he wanted to design so he learned to make them himself by trial and error. Apparently his efforts paid off given his IF Award in 2013 for one of the Top European Designs. He now creates and uses knives like the Amicus as he sails, camps, and drives off road, which happens to be more often than he isn’t.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This specific formula of steel comes from a Chinese series of steel. Out of this series, the 9Cr steel is the top dog in quality levels, but 8Cr steel falls shortly behind it. When people are looking for a steel to compare 8Cr steel to, they normally pick AUS 8 steel, but between the two, AUS 8 is the superior steel. 8Cr steel is a stainless steel, but it is also an average steel, so while it does resist rust well, you do need to keep up on your maintenance to keep it in tip top shape. 8Cr is a softer steel, so it will be very easy to sharpen and you will be able to get a very fine edge on it. Surprisingly enough, the edge actually does stay sharp for very long periods of time, which is a total bonus. Especially since softer steels normally don’t have high levels of edge retention. This steel has a hardness level of 58-60 HRC. The biggest benefit that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. While it doesn’t excel at anything, it can take on the majority of tasks, and you get it at a very low cost.

The finish on this steel is a satin finish. This style of finish is created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The main purpose of a satin finish is to showcase the lines on the knife. This is a very classic finish and in terms of where it falls on the spectrum, it is a medium finish. There are a handful of finishes that are shinier than the satin finish but there are also a handful of finishes that are more matte than the satin finish. The satin finish provides you with a very traditional look.

The blade has been carved into a trailing point shape. The trialing point style is lightweight blade that has a back edge that curves upward. The style gets its name from the point which actually trails higher than the generalized axis of the spine of the knife and blade. Some of the benefits to having a trailing point is that it provides a large belly with plenty of length. This aspect of it is perfect for slicing or skinning. Another one of the benefits is that they offer the sharpest point for fine, delicate, and small work, such as skinning and caping game or fish. One of the most commonly found places for the trailing point blade is on skinning and fillet knives, but they are found elsewhere. The Vizzle would be great for skinning, but it has been designed to be an everyday carry knife, and the fact that it is such a great slicer makes it a great option for your everyday carry knife. With all of the advantages, there are also a couple of disadvantages to the trailing point style blade. The main disadvantage is its weak point. Because this style of blade has been designed for fine and delicate work, it will easily bend or break if it is used on tougher materials.

The edge on the Vizzle is a traditional plain edge. This style of edge is the perfect edge for push cuts, slicing, and skinning. You can get a very fine edge on this style of edge and it is very easy to sharpen. One of the concerns is that a plain edge is not going to be able to saw through some of the thicker materials, but with a sharp enough edge, you will be able to accomplish that.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Vizzle has been made out of stainless steel. One of the biggest benefits to having the handle made out of stainless steel is that it is very resistant to corrosion. With a knife that is so good at skinning and working with wet, bloody, or messy situations, the corrosion resistant handle material is going to be a huge blessing. One of the second main advantages that stainless steel works to give you is its excellent durability. This material can truly take a big beating, which makes it a great option for your everyday knife, when you never know what you are going to encounter. One of the drawbacks to a stainless steel knife handle is that it can be pretty slippery and it is heavy. You are going to feel this knife in your pocket at all times.

To combat the slipperiness of the handle, CRKT did add a row of light jimping on the spine of the handle, near the butt. However, it is still a stainless steel, so there are going to be other knife handles that you have a better grip on.

The handle is fairly straight, but it does still provide you with a comfortable grip. There is no finger groove for you to rest in, but there is a finger guard to protect your fingers from getting cut.

The stainless steel handle has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tossing the steel around with small pebbles. It roughs up the steel just enough to give a textured look. After the steel has been tossed around, it is smoothed out and polished. This is one of the more rugged looks that you are going to get with a finish. The best aspect of the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the handle over time and effortlessly hides fingerprints and scratches that the handle would accumulate over time.

 

CRKT Vizzle
CRKT Vizzle

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is also made out of stainless steel and sports the same stonewashed finish. It has a flared end and is kept in place by two small silver screws that match the rest of the hardware. On the center of this clip, CRKT has stamped their logo in a darker gray. The pocket clip can only be used for tip up carry and only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a drawback, because it means that the knife is not ambidextrous carry friendly.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a folding knife that features a flipper to help you open it. The flipper on the Vizzle is a rectangular triangle. The flipper is a small protrusion that juts out of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy the blade, you pull back on the flipper, providing the knife with enough resistance to “flip” the blade open and then lock it into place.

The blade locks into place thanks to the frame lock mechanism that this knife features. This mechanism is one of the more common locking mechanism that you are going to come across. The frame lock mechanism is very similar to the popular liner lock, but the main difference between the two is that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, which engages it at its furthest point. The frame locking mechanism is known for their strength and thickness, which means that you are going to be able to perform some of the heavier duty tasks with the Vizzle.

This knife also features the IKBS ball bearing pivot system. This system was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. The system uses lubed ball bearings that have been set into the folding knife pivot. Because of the ball bearings, you can quickly deploy the blade, while keeping it smooth and fast. CRKT, talking about using the IKBS ball bearing pivot system has said, “Go ahead, set a flipping land speed record.”

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Vizzle is 3.353 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.144 inches. The overall length of this knife is an even 8 inches long. When the knife is closed, it sports a length of 4.605 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.7 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

CRKT said it best when they wrapped up this knife in a perfectly flowing paragraph: “Rough yet refined. Just like you. The stylish Vizzle™ everyday carry folder looks like it belongs in a speakeasy, but the long, sleek blade shape won’t hesitate when it’s time to get down to business. So minimal, it’s as at home in your pocket as your money clip, and it’s just as useful.

Jesper Voxnaes was inspired by traditional fixed blades like the Puukko and Telemark while designing the Vizzle™ in his shop in Loegstrup, Denmark. It mirrors the sleek, clean lines so common among Scandinavian knife designs while still remaining capable enough to come up against whatever it may find. The hollow-ground blade is deployed from the sleek stainless steel handle with a swift, smooth action thanks to the IKBS™ ball bearing pivot system. The stonewashed handle is punctuated with a radar-looking circular pocket for both aesthetics and to help your grip. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if you wipe it clean on your Sunday bests before tucking it away in your pocket. The Vizzle™ pairs best with dry whiskey, fresh air, and a little adventure.”

Pick your brand new Vizzle up today at BladeOps.

Benchmade Loco Family Knife Review

Benchmade started in 1979 and has since become one of the greatest knife companies around. Their 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. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They use the best materials and equipment. They make world class knives for world class users and this is how. Every blade begins as a sheet of steel, so the first step in the process is laser cutting. At this step a laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. If a part isn’t up-to-spec, it doesn’t become a Benchmade.

The second step is surface grinding. This 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. Benchmade knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.

The third step in the process is the milling process. This is where blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip.

The fourth step in the process is beveling. This is the step that the blade starts to really take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function.

The fifth and sixth step are tied together: the back sanding and the finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The sides of the blade have been beveled and milled, but the back has been relatively untouched since the original laser cutting. The back sanding technician sands the back of the blade until it is smooth. Finishing gives the blade a more refined look. The finishing technician stone washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and gives the blades a clean, polished appearance. When the blade is cleaned up, it is taken to laser marking to receive its one of a kind Benchmade mark.

The seventh and eight steps are the last steps and are also tied together. This time, it is the assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, and it’s no surprise that there are more hand operations performed at this point in a knife’s production than at any other stage in the process. A sharpening technician puts a razor edge on the knife using a standing belt sander, and this step takes extraordinary concentration. Each blade is 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. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.

Today, for Benchmade Month, we will be going over the Loco family of knives.

Benchmade Loco
Benchmade Loco

The Blade:

The blades on this family of knives is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium formula of steel that is made by US based Crucible. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically sued for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. The only drawback to this steel is that it does prove to be pretty tricky to sharpen.

There are two different blade finishes that you get to choose from. The first is the satin finish, which is created by sanding the blade repeatedly in one direction. The key characteristic of this finish is that it shows the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the lines in the steel. This is a traditional finish that provides your knife with a very classic look. While it does work to reduce glares and reflections slightly, there are definitely more matte finishes.

The second finish option that you are presented with is a coated finish. This is a black coating that reduces the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion. Coating finishes can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. However, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade will then have to be re-coated.

The blade has been carved into a reverse tanto blade shape. This blade shape was designed by Bob Dozier and it actually resembles a reverse Drop Point style blade. This style of blade has no angular corners, but actually looks something like a Santoku. It does have a markedly different feel than other blade shapes. The point is much lower than the midpoint as with a spear point there are some differences as you would have better tip control than a spear point, but slightly less belly—like a halfway point between a spear point and a Wharncliffe blade. In general, there is no real rule with reverse tantos. Tanto blades have been made for excelling at piercing through tough materials. This was originally designed for armor piercing and was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. While most tanto’s do not have a large belly, because it is a reverse tanto, there is a small belly that can work to slice a little bit. This family of knives has been designed as an everyday knife and also as a tactical knife. This knife shape makes for a good everyday knife option, because you do have the slight belly with the reversed tanto blade shape. But, it can also be a great tactical knife because the point is strong and sharp.

You have the option between two different edge styles. The first edge option is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge option that you can go with and provides you with cleaner cuts than with a serrated edge. The plain edge is easier to get a finer edge and is easier to sharpen.

The plain edge excels at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling.

The second option that you are presented with is a combo edge. This means that a portion of it is serrated and the other half is plain. The serrated portion is perfect for sawing through thicker and tougher materials. However, it will give you more jagged edges when you use it to cut. The benefits of a combo edge is that you have the serrated edges to get through the tougher things, but the plain edge for finer detail work.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Loco family is made out of black G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, yet it can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them, and bakes them under pressure. The material that results is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. In fact, G10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger, although more brittle than Micarta. Checkering and other patterns add a texture to the handle, which makes for a solid, comfortable grip. The production process can utilize many layers of the same color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the g10 handle. Tactical folders and fixed blade knives benefit from the qualities of G10, because it is durable and lightweight, non-porous, and available in a variety of colors. While it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process used in FRN handles.

The handle has a deep finger groove to provide a secure grip, with a slight finger guard to keep your hand safe. After the finger groove, the handle curves until the butt of the handle, where it forms an angle to meet the spine of the handle. There is plenty of texture on the handle to give you a secure grip in most environments. The majority of the hardware on the handle is black, to match the G10. There is also a lanyard hole on the butt of the handle. This will come in handy when you are using the Loco as an everyday knife because it keeps it out of the way, but you have easy access to it. The lanyard will come in handy when you are using it as a tactical knife because with the lanyard, you can draw the knife out and into play quicker.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Loco family is a standard clip that can be attached to the knife tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a manual opening knife that uses a thumb hole to assist you when you are opening your knife. Since the 1980s, the familiar round hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Over the years, numerous other knife makers have adopted or adapted the feature, one of which is Benchmade. There’s good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole works. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole or slot is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, its ambidextrous. And many knife lovers favor a hole, because unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade.

The Loco knives also feature the AXIS locking mechanism. The AXIS lock is a proprietary mechanism you’d only find on Benchmade knives, but due to its ingenuity and popularity among EDCers, its definitely worth knowing about. It’s easy to sue with one hand, but also important, its completely ambidextrous. The lock is made up of a spring tensioned bar that slides back and forth on a track cut into the handles of the knife. The butt of each blade featuring an AXIS lock has a flat spot that allows a spring tensioned bar to lock into place when the knife is opened. To close the knife, you pull the bar towards the back of the knife, using the thumb studs, and fold the blade shut. Right handers and lefties can both appreciate how easy it is to sue this lock, because the bar is accessible form both sides of the knife handle. Because this mechanism has plenty of moving parts involved, it can be difficult to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Loco knives are 3.68 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.160 inches. The overall length of the Loco knife is 8.62 inches long with a closed length of 4.94 inches. The handles on these knives are 0.67 inches thick. This knife weighs in at 6.56 ounces. This knife is made in the US.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade named the 808 the Loco because it is crazy how overbuilt the knife is. A truly robust tactical knife with the refined style of custom hardware. This knife has a unique styling. This Black Class model utilizes the Benchmade AXIS mechanism and uses an oval shaped cutout in the blade to open it. Even without thumb studs or a flipper function, this large blade opens extremely smooth and closes just the same. The beefy black G10 handle scales, with stainless steel liners, are contoured providing a comfortable ergonomic grip—even for prolonged periods of time. The Loco takes the unique factor to the next level by featuring a reverse tanto style blade that gives exceptional performance thanks to the S30V stainless steel as well as custom hardware fond on both the AXIS lock and pivot pin and even the back spacers. Come celebrate Benchmade month with us today and pick up your favorite version of the Loco knife.

SOG Fielder Folder Knife Review

SOG was named in honor of a covert US Special Ops unit that fought in Vietnam. That unit was known as Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG). Its existence once denied by the US Government, it wasn’t until long after the war that the SOG story could even be told.

The following is excerpted from “US ELITE FORCES-VIETNAM,” an article by Leroy Thompson that further describes the nature of this specialized group and its secret missions: Separate from “conventional,” unconventional operations of the 5th Special Forces Group were the clandestine operations of Military Assistance Command Vietnam/Studies and Observations Group (MACV/SOG). The Studies and Observation Group (SOG) was a cover name to disguise SOG’s real function, and the name “Special Operations Group,” as it was sometimes called, described its real mission more accurately. Activated in January of 1964, SOG was a joint services unit composed of members from all four branches of the armed forces, including Navy SEALs, Marine Recons, Air Force Special Operations pilots of the 90th Special Operations Wing, but predominantly Army Special Forces.

MACV/SOG’s missions included: cross-border operations into Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam to carry out intelligence gathering or raiding missions on the enemy’s ‘home ground’; gather intelligence about POWs and carry out rescue missions when possible; rescue downed aircrews in enemy territory (“Bright Light” missions); train, insert, and control agents in North Vietnam to gather intelligence or form resistance groups; carry out ‘black’ Spy Ops such as operating fake broadcasting stations inside North Vietnam; kidnap or assassinate key enemy personnel; retrieve sensitive documents from equipment lost in enemy territory or in enemy hands; and insert rigged mortar rounds or other booby-trapped ordnance in enemy arms caches (OPERATION ELDEST SON).

Today we will be discussing the SOG Fielder Folder Knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 7Cr17MoV. This is a budget formula of steel, which can be nerve wracking, because you aren’t sure if it is going to work well or not. While this is a budget steel, it is not going to perform like the budget steels that you are thinking of. For starters, this steel has been specially modified from 440A to contain more vanadium than other steels. The vanadium in the steel is going to increase the overall strength, increase the wear resistance, and increase the toughness. All of these characteristics will help the edge last for longer periods of time. Next, SOG is going to give this steel a good heat treatment. This is when the knife is heated, then quenched, then reheated and cooled again. The heat treatment is going to make the knife tough from the first heating but also flexible for the second heating. This steel has also been hardened to a 52-59 HRC, which is a pretty medium level of hardness. It is going to keep its edge well but it is not going to be completely inflexible.

This knife has been finished with a satin finish, which is the most traditional blade finish that you are going to get in today’s market. It gives the knife a very classic look that is not going to go out of style any time soon. The finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. This finish works to showcase the bevels of the blade while also showing off the fine lines of the steel. As a key, the finer the sandpaper used and the more even the lines when sanded, the cleaner the finish is going to look. Because this is a SOG knife, the finish is going to look pretty clean, but you will be able to find cleaner finishes on higher end knives. The satin finish also cuts down on glares, reflections, and works to increase the corrosion resistance of the knife. This is a classic finish that does not increase the price of the knife too much, while also providing the knife with other benefits.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade shape. This is also one of the two most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The shape is formed by having the back, or spine, of the knife run straight from the handle before stopping 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 of the knife and is referred to as the clip, which is also where the knife got its name. This knife can be straight or curved, but on the Fielder, it is straight. The point that the clip creates is lowered, which gives the user more control when they are using this knife. Clip points have been designed to excel at piercing, which is accomplished because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine. These characteristics mean that there is going to be less drag during insertion as well as a faster withdrawal. One of the other reasons that clip points are so versatile is because they feature a very large belly area that is ideal for slicing. Just like any blade shape, the clip point is going to have its disadvantages as well. The biggest one is that because of its narrow tip that is fine and sharp, it does have a tendency to be weak and can break fairly easily. This blade shape is going to prepare you to be ready for almost anything.

The blade on this knife is a straight plain edge. The plain edge is easier to sharpen than the serrated edge, which means sharpening this knife is going to be an absolute breeze. You can also get a very fine edge on it because there are no teeth to worry about. You can sharpen this style of knife in the field if needed, even if all you really have are some rocks. The plain edge is also going to give you cleaner cuts than you would get with a serrated edge. However, a serrated edge is going to need sharpening less than a plain edge. And, the serrated edge is capable of sawing through thicker materials that a plain edge is not capable of slicing through. As you can see, a plain edge is going to equip you to perform a wider variety of tasks than the serrated edge would.

 

SOG Fielder Folder Knife
SOG Fielder Folder Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made with stainless steel bolsters and a G10 handle.

The stainless steel bolsters are going to provide the knife with high levels of durability as well as being resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel is rather heavy though, which is where a significant source of the knife’s weight comes from. Because it is just the bolsters though, and not the entire handle, the knife is not going to be too heavy to use comfortably.

G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material has similar properties to carbon fiber, but because it is the inferior material, you can get it for a much cheaper cost. This helps to keep the overall cost of this knife down. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin. The next step in the process is compressing them, and then baking them under pressure. This process creates a material that is very hard, very tough, very lightweight, and very strong. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates (Micarta, Carbon Fiber, GFN, and G10) G10 is considered the strongest. Unfortunately, this material is going to be brittle. As a key, the harder a material gets, the more brittle it is also going to get, which is why this material is so brittle. If it is subjected to a hard or sharp impact, it will probably crack and begin to break apart. Another reason for the brittleness is that all of the fibers are arranged in a single direction. While the material is strong in that direction, when stressed in other ways, it will begin to break apart.

The handle does have two large finger guards on either side of the blade, which creates a safer grip. The spine of the handle curves down towards the butt of the handle. The belly of the handle is relatively straight, until the very end, where the butt extends lower than the rest of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which is going to make this a comfortable knife for almost everyone to use. It is not reversible for tip up or tip down carry though, which is a drawback. The pocket clip is also a low-carry clip, which means that it is going to sit low in the pocket. This will help the knife be more concealed as well as keeping it more snugly in the pocket, both of which are advantages. The only disadvantage to this is that it will take a few milliseconds longer to pull out of the pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife. In terms of legality, the manual folding knife is going to be legal in more areas of the country than an automatic or assisted knife is going to be. This is because there really is no mechanism on the inside. You have to open this knife completely manually. In terms of efficiency, it is not going to be super-efficient or as smooth as an automatic or assisted knife is going to be.

The knife has been equipped with a thumb stud, which is going to assist you in opening the knife. The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits where the nail nick would if the knife had a nail nick. The user is going to hold the closed knife and then use their thumb to push open the knife against the thumb stud. The thumb stud has many benefits because it allows the user to open the knife with only one hand and it is easy to get the hang of. Of course, it is also going to have its drawbacks. For example, the thumb stud does extend off the blade, which can get in people’s way when they are trying to use the knife. Another issue is that it does put your fingers in the path of the blade when you are trying to open the knife, which makes it relatively unsafe if you aren’t used to opening a knife with the thumb stud.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.3 inches long with a blade thickness that measures in at 0.1 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.5 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.80 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.8 ounces, which is a heavier knife if you are planning on having it with you at all times. That being said, it is not so heavy that it would be incapable of being an EDC knife, it is just going to rest on the heftier side of that spectrum.

 

Conclusion:

SOG says, “A smart looking folding knife, the new Fielder G-10 is the latest addition to SOG’s gorgeous Fielder line. The stainless steel and G-10 handle give this model a classic look and the 3.3-inch blade is easy to open with either hand. The Fielder G-10 is the perfect addition to a knife collection that emphasizes both aesthetics and functionality. Indeed, it’s designed as a do-it-all everyday knife.”

The SOG Fielder G10 Folder boasts a stainless steel and G-10 handle that give it a classic look. The easy to open 3.3″ blade is perfect for serious field work. A perfect blend of looks, workmanship and functionality, the Fielder G-10 knife is an all-around every day carry knife for the man on the move. You can pick up this knife today from BladeOps.

 

Kershaw Leek Spring Assist Knife Review

Kershaw Knives designs and manufactures a wide range of knives, including pocket knives, sporting knives, and kitchen cutlery. Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd., a member of the Kai Group, and is headquartered in Tualatin Oregon.

Kershaw Knives was started in Portland, Oregon in 1974 when knife salesman Pete Kershaw left Gerber Legendary Blades to form his own cutlery company based on his own designs. Early manufacturing was primarily done in Japan. In 1977, Kershaw became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kai Group. In 1997 the US production facility was opened in Wilsonville, Oregon. Due to an expanding market, the facilities were moved to a larger production site in 2003. Currently, Kai USA manufacturing facilities are located in Tualatin, Oregon with some goods coming from their Japanese and Chinese factories.

Kai USA Ltd. has three lines of products; Kershaw Knives brand of sporting and pocket knives, Shun Cutlery, which are handcrafted Japanese kitchen cutlery, and Zero Tolerance, which is a line of premium and professional knives.

Kershaw has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers over the years to produce ground breaking knives. Collaborations include working with Hall of Fame Knife Maker, Ken Onion on Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives, Ernest Emerson, Grand and Gavin hawk, Frank Centofante, Rick Hinderer, RJ Martin, and more.

In 2002, Kershaw released a Steven Seagal model featuring stingray leather on the handle. IN 2004, Kershaw developed a multi-tool for the National Geographic Society with National Geographic filmmaker Bryan Harvey. Kershaw has also released models in collaboration with Jeep, Orange County Choppers, the American Professional Rodeo Association, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

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

If this is your first Kershaw, you should prepare yourself, because even though it will last you a lifetime, you’re going to want a lot more Kershaw’s.

Today, we will be going over the Kershaw Leek. This version of the Leek is equipped with Carbon Fiber handle scales, a CPM 154 stonewashed blade, and is spring assisted. Get ready for it to rock your world.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM 154 stainless steel. This is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. IT has decent toughness good enough for most uses and holds an edge well. This steel is not too difficult to sharpen when you have the right equipment. This is a powder steel that has used Crucible Particle Metallurgy. The Particle Metallurgy process makes finer carbide particles resulting in a slightly superior steel that’s tougher and with better edge retention.

This blade has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by literally rolling the steel with pebbles. After the blade has been tumbled with the pebbles, it is removed, smoothed out, and polished. This creates a very rugged, well-worn look to your knife. There are a variety of benefits that come with it because the stonewash finish preserves the look of the blade overtime. The stonewash finish hides scratches and smudges, which takes maintenance time down significantly, especially when compared to other knife finishes.

This blade has been carved into a Wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade is very similar to the sheepsfoot blade shape, but should not be confused with each other. The Wharncliffe is very much like a standard blade shape that has been turned upside down. This type of blade has a totally flat cutting edge and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. There are a couple of stories as to how the name Wharncliffe came to be, with some people claiming that the pattern originated many years ago with some of the patterns used for Scandinavian Seax Knives and others claiming that it came from a British Lord who commissioned the knife to be made. There were several Lord Wharncliffe that the blade shape could have been named after, but the actual name Wharncliffe did not exist prior to 1822, which means it was named after that point in history. Regardless of history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. It is fantastic for people who work in the office for opening boxes and envelopes, and definitely excels in box cutter type chores. This blade shape is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult of cutting soft tissue and using on a cutting board. As a general guideline to differentiate a Sheepsfoot and a Wharncliffe is that a Sheepsfoot blade has an abruptly curving spine at the tip of the knife, creative very little point. The Wharncliffe has a more gradually tapering spine creating a pointier tip, and is consequently more fragile.

The Kershaw Leek sports 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 edges will also give you much cleaner cuts, which are excellent for your everyday tasks.

Kershaw Leek Spring Assist Knife
Kershaw Leek Spring Assist Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Carbon fiber and features stainless steel liners. Carbon fiber is a generic term for any material that is made by weaving together strands of carbon which are then set into a resin. As such, the material is going to be as good as it’s made. Kershaw makes great carbon fiber, so this shouldn’t be a worry for you. Carbon fiber is going to be very lightweight and completely resistant to rust and corrosion because it is a nonmetallic material. This material is also going to be stronger than a stainless steel. Unfortunately, this material does have the tendency to be rather brittle, and because the strands of carbon are woven in a single direction the material is rather brittle. This means that if it gets hit with a hard or sharp object, it will probably crack. This material is also on the more expensive side of the spectrum. Because the fibers are woven together, the weave reflects light in different ways. You can achieve some nice looking results in the handle. In this Kershaw knife, the handle looks as if a basket was woven together. Carbon Fiber handles are strong, lightweight, and eye-catching. Unfortunately, do the labor intensive process, it is not cheap.

The handle features stainless steel liners. Stainless steel provides excellent durability and resistance to corrosion but it is pretty heavy. This weight is perfect for giving your knife a little bit of extra heft to get the tougher tasks done. Stainless steel is very durable as well, which makes it the perfect option for a knife liner.

This is a pretty simple handle shape. There is a shallow, elongated finger guard on the bottom of the handle. The spine of the handle has a slight curve to it to give you a more comfortable grip when you are working with this knife.

The butt of the handle is rounded and there is a lanyard hole carved into it. Many people who have an EDC like the convenience of having a knife with them everywhere they go, however, they don’t always love using the pocket clip. Some people feel like the pocket clip tears up their pockets on their pants, and others are more worried about the clip giving away that they are carrying a knife with them. If you attach a lanyard to your knife, you can easily hide your knife deeper in your pocket, the clip won’t give you away, and you still have it on hand so that you have access to it at all times. Plus, when you are using the pocket clip, it will take you a little longer to pull your knife out than if you were using a lanyard instead.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible pocket clip, but you can only attach it on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip shapes mimic the shape of the handle. This pocket clip and the two screws that attach it to the knife are black, just like the rest of the hardware.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a spring assisted knife. These knives differ from automatic knives in that you use your hand to partially open the blade rather than a button or lever. Anything with a button on the handle is considered an automatic switchblade and is subject to stricter regulations. The mechanisms inside the knife is what makes a spring assisted knife a spring assisted knife and not an automatic knife. Despite the difference in the mechanism, the overall deployment of a spring assist knife is very similar to that of an automatic knife. There are many different variations on the mechanism that makes a spring assist knife work. But, they will have a spring or tension bar that is designed to spring open the blade into locked positon. What makes them different from an automatic knife is that there is resistance after the blade is closed that will keep it closed until the resistance is overcome. Once the resistance is overcome, the spring engages and does the rest of the work opening the knife for you. But, because they have a different opening mechanism a spring assisted knife is not subjected to the same strict laws as an automatic knife.

This Kershaw knife features two opening mechanisms—it has the flipper and the thumb stud. The thumb stud acts similarly to the nail nick—you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. The flipper is a shark’s fin shape that protrudes from the handle. You pull back on this protrusion and it flips the blade open. Many people like the flipper because it is naturally ambidextrous and it keeps your fingers out of the way during the entire opening process—keeping your phalanges safe.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7 inches long. Because of the lightweight handle material, this knife weighs in at a measly 2.2 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Kershaw Leek series has remained as one of Kershaw’s most popular spring assist knives thanks in part to its ultra-slim profile and versatile blade design. This liner lock designed model features Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe™ system, which quickly deploys the blade via the ambidextrous spine flipper function or the built-in dual thumb stud feature. The Leek also includes a small slide safety located on lower-rear of the back handle scale to help keep the blade at bay until you are ready to use it. This model, the 1660CF, features a smooth carbon fiber handle, stainless steel liners, a Wharncliffe style blade in a stonewash finish and a reversible pocket clip designed for tip up or tip down carry on the traditional side of the handle. The maintenance on this knife will be light because of the stonewash finish that extends the look of the blade. The 154 stainless steel has great edge retention. The handle is durable, but still aesthetically pleasing. Pick up your Kershaw Leek with a carbon fiber handle today at BladeOps.

Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today we will be discussing the Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife.

 

The Blade:

440 steel is one of the most common steels for inexpensive knife blades, because it is relatively cheap but can still stand up to many tasks. This steel is not super high in wear resistance, but it does have enough wear resistance to stand up to mild day-to-day use. While this knife is not going to handle super humid environments, it is going to allow you to take on your average tasks. There are three different types of 440 steel: 440A, 440B, and 440C. The further along in the alphabet, the better it gets. The only issue sit hat often manufacturers simply mark the blade as ‘440”, instead of differentiating the letter grade, so knowing what you are actually getting can be tricky. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn’t say 440C, it is most likely A or B, because 440C can stand up to quite without losing its quality.

The blade has been finished with satin, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with a fine abrasive. This finish is designed to show off the bevels of the blade as well as showcase the fine lines of the steel. A satin finish is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to get, which means that this blade is going to be very classic. However, a good satin finish does add a decent chunk of cost to the knife because it is a manual process.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape, which is one of the most popular blade shapes that you can get. This is a versatile blade shape which means that you can find it on a variety of knife styles, from Bowie knives to regular pocket knives. The shape is formed by having the spine of the knife runs straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut off and on this Bear and Son knife is straight. This section is referred to as the clip, which is where the knife got its name from. Because of the clip, this knife has a lowered point, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. And because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thin at the spine, the clop point knife is exceptional at stabbing. This is because of those characteristics, the knife has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the reasons that this knife is so versatile is because of the large belly that is ideal for slicing. And slicing is one of the most common tasks that you are going to be doing throughout the majority of your days. One of the drawbacks to the clip point bale style is that because of its narrow tip it is going to be prone to breaking fairly easily.

 

The Handles:

The handle on this knife is made out of zinc. Zinc is a unique metal for making knife handles, but it is used for good reasons. For starters, we all know that steel undergoes the oxidation process, which forms rust. And then once the rust is present on the surface, the steel will continue to corrode. Zinc, on the other hand, has the ability to resist continued corrosion due to a very unique reaction. When zinc is exposed to the moisture and carbon dioxide that is present in our atmosphere, a protective layer of zinc carbonate forms on its surface, prohibiting the corrosion process that steel experiences. This protective barrier provides longevity that will allow the zinc handle to last for a lifetime. That being said, if it is submerged in water, the protective layer will not form, and instead, a white rust will form. This means that if you are living in a very humid environment or if you ever use this knife in a wet condition, you need to make sure that you wipe down the handle and make sure that it is completely dry before putting it away.

One of the other unique benefits of zinc is that it can “heal” itself overtime. As it continues throughout its life scratches and imperfections that were once present will virtually disappear. This is a huge advantage when it comes to maintenance, because many metal handles to get scratched over time, which is detrimental to the aesthetic and elegance of the knife; with the zinc handle, you do not have to worry about this.

Next, Zinc is also an environmentally friendly metal for a couple of reasons. This material is 100 percent recyclable metal that can be reused over and over again. Zinc is also a fungistat, which means that it prohibits the reproduction of mold, mildew, and fungus. This will also cut down on time and maintenance. The handle has been coated with a black epoxy powder, which increases the life of the blade by increasing the corrosion resistance. Unfortunately, a coating will always scratch off after time or heavy use.

Zinc is a very soft and malleable metal that can be worked with, with ease, which does mean that it reduces the cost of this overall knife. Overall, zinc is an aesthetically pleasing, long lasting, and corrosion resistant knife handle material that is ideal for this Bear & Son knife.

The handles on this Bear & Son Butterfly knife are black and skeletonized. The skeletonizing of the handles does reduce the weight considerably as well as adding an aesthetic look to the blade. Each of the handles has four ovals cut down the middle of each handle. These holes increase in size as they go towards the butt of the handle. These ovals also add texture to the knife, so that you can have a more solid grip on your knife when you are using it in many different environments.

 

The Mechanism:

This Bear and Son knife is a butterfly, or bali-song, knife. This style of knife is folding pocket knife that has two handles that counter rotate around the tang so that when the knife is closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles.

This knife originated in Batangas in the Philippines, so it is sometimes called a Batangas. This style of knife was commonly used by the Filipino people. It was used as a self-defense and a pocket utility knife. These knives were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippines. This knife is also used as an entertainment tool, with manipulations called “flipping”.

There are two styles of butterfly construction styles. This knife is a sandwich construction, which means that the knife is assembled in layers that are pinned or screwed together. This style of construction allows the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers.

There are a couple of pieces to the butterfly knife that separates it from a typical folding knife. For starters, there is the bite handle, which is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade. This will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. The other handle is known as the safe handle, which is the handle that closed on the non-sharpened edge of the blade. The bite handle is also usually the handle that has the latch on it. Then there is the kicker, which is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. Then there is the latch, which is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Lastly, there is the tang pins, which are the pin(s) meant to hold the blade away from the handle when closed to prevent dulling; and, in some cases, a second pi to keep the handles from excessively banging together while the butterfly knife is being manipulated.

 

Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife
Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife

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. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.8 ounces. This Bear and Son knife made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Compact Butterfly Knife:

  • The blade is pretty rust resistant.
  • The blade is going to be able to stand up to any day-to-day task.
  • A very classic blade because of the satin finish.
  • The clip point style blade is very versatile because of the belly that this blade boasts.
  • The clip point blade allows you to excel at piercing.
  • This blade is a fantastic all-purpose blade.
  • The zinc handles are not prone to rusting.
  • Zinc has a way of healing itself over time.
  • The skeletonized handles keep the weight down as well as adding grip.
  • The butterfly knife can be used as a self-defense weapon, a razor, and even for entertainment.

 

The Cons of the Compact Butterfly Knife:

  • The wear resistance of this knife is not super high.
  • Satin finish adds cost to the knife.
  • Because the blade does have a narrow tip, it is more prone to breaking.

 

Conclusion:

Bear & Son Cutlery prides itself on providing excellent quality and real value to all of its customers and their butterfly knives are certainly no exception. The skeletonized nature of the handles help reduce the overall weight and the pin construction eliminates the need for adjusting which makes this an ideal entry-level model. This smaller model, the 113B, features zinc handles that are epoxy powder coated in a black finish, a satin finished clip point style blade and this model does not have a pocket clip. Pick up this knife today at BladeOps.