SOG Strat Ops Auto Knife Review

Unlike the usual history of a knife company, SOG began years before the company actually became a company. And, to make the story more unique, SOG began in Vietnam. There was a group of highly classified US Special Ops that were officially known as MACV-SOG. The members of this group were working primarily in the jungle of Vietnam, so they needed special knives to be able to actually accomplish tasks and survive. Years later, around 1986, Spencer Frazer, who was a young knife designer, came across the story of that special ops units and was inspired by the knife that they used. He had a mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and help to pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. He named his company SOG Specialty Knives. This replication, which was a commemorative model, became extremely popular and soon became a full line of innovative tools. These knives and tools have been field proven by US Special Forces and even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Now SOG knives are carried with confidence even when you are carrying them in the most demanding of situations. These knives and tools have been forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. SOG says, “So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.” And lucky for us, SOG has just come out with another durable knife. They call it the Strat Ops Auto.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been forged out of S35VN steel. This steel is a high end steel that has been developed by Crucible and Chris Reeve. Years ago, Crucible released S30V steel which became known as one of the best blade steels that money could buy. This steel was developed specifically for knives, which gave the user all of the qualities that they could ask for from their blade steel. This steel had the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The steel was also extremely resistant to corrosion. There was one drawback to the steel though: it was relatively tricky to sharpen. So in 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeves upgraded this near perfect steel and named it the S35VN steel. They added Niobium, which is where the N comes from in the name. This Niobium and the much finer grain structure that they chose to use makes the blade much easier to sharpen. Not only that, but they also upgraded the other features of the steel. Now, the steel is slightly tougher, while still having the hardness behind it. And it’s not brittle, which is normally a problem when a steel is extremely hard. One of the other aspects that have been upgraded with S35VN steel is that it is even more resistant to corrosion. All in all, this is one of the best steels out there. It will give you a durable blade that is able to take on all your challenges.

This steel has a Hardcased Black finish. This finish provides the steel with a black look, which cuts down on glares and reflections. Having a finish on the steel helps to cut back on rust or corrosion, even though the S35VN doesn’t necessarily need the help. This finish adds a little bit of hardness and a little bit of durability, further enhancing the excellent steel.

The blade shape on this knife is a straight back blade. This is one of the simplest shapes for a knife. Like the name implies, the back, or unsharpened edge of this blade shape is straight. The sharpened edge starts at the bottom of the tang, follows a straight line for a little bit, then curves up to meet the point of the blade. There are a handful of advantages that come with having this blade shape. One of the biggest is that this is a very strong blade shape because the spine is thicker. Another big benefit of this blade shape is that you can rest your thumb on the back of the knife, which adds pressure when slicing or chopping. Because the straight back is dull, it won’t hurt your thumb when you are adding a lot of pressure. Another big benefit to this blade shape is that it has a large belly, which gives you plenty of ability to slice, cut, and perform all of your daily activities.

On the unsharpened edge of the Strat Ops, there is some thick jimping near the handle area.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of linen micarta. The most popular version of a micarta material is a linen micarta. This is when thin layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phenolic resin, which produces a material that is not only strong, but also lightweight, and provides you with a little bit classier of a look when being compared to G-10. When this material was first introduced to the world, it had been designed as an electrical insulator. However, it is now one of the best plastics out there for making knife handles. However, there are a few drawbacks to the linen micarta. One of the biggest disadvantages is that linen micarta really has no surface texture. To provide the user with a secure grip, the manufacturer has to hand carve or etch texture into the knife handle. Because this takes time and hand labor, this increases the cost of this handle material steeply. On the Strat Ops, SOG has etched four deep grooves into the palm of the knife handle. This will provide you with a secure grip, whether you are in a wet or dry environment. They also carved in the “SOG” initials. Other benefits of a linen micarta knife handle is that Micarta is extremely hard to scratch because of how hard the material actually is. Compared to G-10 or Carbon Fiber, it holds up very well. One of the other drawbacks to this knife handle material is that it does tend to be brittle. This is because the linen is all facing one direction, so while it is extremely strong in that direction, when it is being stressed in the other directions, it does have the tendency to crack or break. If this handle material is impacted with a hard or sharp object, it might crack or break. SOG says that the more this handle is used, the better it will look.

The Strat Ops sports stainless steel liners.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a low carry clip. This clip is skeletonized with “SOG” carved in the middle of it. This is a reversible pocket clip, which means that you can carry it on the left or right side, depending on which is more comfortable for you. This helps to make this knife ambidextrous friendly. However, you cannot reverse whether you carry this knife tip up or down.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic folding knife. Like always, because this is an

SOG Strat Ops Automatic
SOG Strat Ops Automatic

automatic knife, and automatic knives have some strict laws surrounding them, make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing or carrying this knife. This knife won’t be legal in all states, cities, or areas. An automatic knife is a knife that has its blade stored inside of the handle. Also inside of the handle are a variety of small mechanisms and moving parts. One of the most important mechanisms in the knife is a spring with tension on it. When you push the button on the handle to deploy the knife, the tension of the spring is released and the blade pops out of the handle and locks into place. This lock helps to keep your blade locked into place while you are using it to help avoid accidents and injuries. When you want to close the knife, you push down on the handle button again and fold the blade back down into the handle. One of the reasons that many people love automatic knives is that they are quick, efficient, and easy to use. You can quickly have your knife deployed in a tactical, survival, or self-defense situation. However, because there are many inner mechanisms and moving parts, an automatic knife is more prone to breaking. Maintaining an automatic knife will take a little extra time, but if you treat your knife right, your knife will treat you right as well.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Strat Ops is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.11 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.9 inches long overall, with a closed length of 4.4 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.70 ounces. The Strat Ops is made in the USA.

 

The Designer:

SOG is a unique company because the founder of the company is also the chief designer: Spencer Frazer. As a kid, he was always filled with curiosity for the world around him. He was constantly intrigued with the ways that the world worked. When he was in Boy Scouts, he started to become interested in knives and axes. However, it would still be years before he created a career out of knives and axis. He actually graduated college as a math and science major and began his own company in the professional audio industry. He also worked with the aerospace defense industry, in the Top Secret Black Projects Division making tools and models. Around that same time, he worked in the modern art movement and met with many of the top artists. When he became interested in the SOG Bowie knife, he felt like all of his life experiences had led him to this and prepared him to recreate it. When he first started the company, he had only designed that knife. Since then, he has gone on to create many different knives that have been innovative and durable. He has also won many industry awards.

 

The Pros of the Strat Ops Auto:

  • The steel is a high end steel that has the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention.
  • The steel is easy to sharpen.
  • Because of the fine grain structure, the finishing look on the blade is more polished than with many other steel options.
  • The steel is extremely resistant to corrosion.
  • The Hardcased Black finish provides the steel with extra corrosion resistance, hardness, and durability, all while cutting down on glares and reflections.
  • The straight back has a strong spine.
  • The straight back provides you with a big enough belly to slice, which makes it great for everyday use.
  • The linen micarta handle is durable and hard.
  • The linen micarta handle will provide you with a great grip, whether in wet or dry conditions.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, helping to make this knife ambidextrous friendly.
  • The automatic knife works quickly and efficiently to deploy your blade.
  • The blade locks securely into place after it has been deployed.

 

The Cons of the Strat Ops Auto:

  • The pocket clip is not deep carry.
  • The pocket clip cannot be tip carry reversed.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has been a reliable company since the 1980’s. Spencer Frazer has designed many reliable knives that have become extremely popular and have helped many people in a variety of circumstances. These knives are built to last whether you are in a survival situation or just going through your daily tasks.

This new knife combines exceptional steel, a great, versatile blade shape, and a durable handle to give you a knife that will last through the years. The all black knife looks classy and sleek making this knife a perfect addition to your collection. You can get your Strat Ops here on our website.

 

 

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Kershaw 7007 Natrix Knife Review

Kershaw knives was founded in 1974. Their purpose was to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To make sure that their users were proud to carry their knives, they knew that they must make each and every knife with the highest quality materials and manufacturing tools.

Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation. Because of this, Kershaw has pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are the standard in today’s market. Some of their best innovations have been the SpeedSafe assisted opening knives. They also had the idea to create knives that can have interchangeable blades with their Blade Traders. One of their most recent innovations is their Composite Blade technology, which actually combines two steels into one blade. This gives the user the best of both worlds because they can have one steel by the sharpened edge that provides them with a fine edge and long lasting edge retention, but then still have a strong spine, because they can use a stronger steel on that portion of the blade. Because one of their major drives is to keep innovating bigger and better technologies, they will constantly have excellent knives in the market.

Kershaw Knives is actually a sub brand of Kai USA, Ltd. Kai has been Japan’s leading blade producer for over 100 years now. This larger company also vows to take an innovative approach to their products, product development, marketing, and distribution functions.

Kershaw says, “If this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.”

Kershaw has just released a brand new knife, and it is going to be a showstopper. They named it the Natrix.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Natrix is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. There is actually a series of Cr stainless steels. The best in the series is the 9Cr steel, with 8 falling right behind it. This is a Chinese stainless steel that is comparable to AUS 8 stainless steel. However, 8Cr13MoV steel is a little bit softer than AUS 8 steel and has a shorter edge retention span that AUS 8 steel. 8Cr13MoV steel is more prone to corrosion than AUS 8 steel as well. Its biggest boast is how inexpensive it is. So while this steel will be able to get the job done, it is not going to excel at anything. With knife steels, you get what you pay for. So while this steel is a bargain and is going to keep the cost of the Natrix down considerably, you will have a lacking of quality. Another excellent feature about this steel is that it is extremely easy to sharpen. So while it does dull quickly, sharpening will be a breeze. With this type of steel, the better the heat treatment on it, the better the quality of the blade.

The blade on the Natrix has been finished with a Stonewash finish. This is when the steel is rolled around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. After that portion of the process, it is smoothed over. This finish gives a slightly textured look to the blade, so it hides scratches and fingerprints very well. Because of how well it hides scratches and fingerprints, the Natrix’s blade will have to be polished less.

The blade on the Natrix has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This blade shape is the most versatile out of all the blade shapes. The shape is formed because the back, or unsharpened, edge of the blade slowly curves to meet the sharpened edge of the blade at a lowered point. This lowered point allows you to have more control over your knife. This is one of the reasons why a drop point blade shape is so popular with hunters—they can easily skin their game without having to worry too much about nicking the inner organs or ruining the quality of their meat. The lowered tip also lets you perform precision work because of how much control you have over your blade. The lowered point also makes the tip broader than you would find on other knives. This gives the knife more strength and durability because the tip is less likely to snap or break. One of the only drawbacks to this shape of knife comes from this lowered tip: because it is more broad, you cannot pierce or stab with this shape of knife. Another reason that the drop point blade shape is so durable is because it has such a large belly. This belly allows you to perform many tasks and makes this blade perfect for everyday use. The drop point blade shape is perfect for any knife lover who wants to be prepared for any situation. Your knife is going to be able to take on almost anything.

 

The Handle:

Kershaw Natrix
Kershaw Natrix

The handle on the Natrix is made out of black G10. This is a laminate composite that has been made out of fiberglass. G10 is similar to carbon fiber in its properties, although carbon fiber is a slightly superior material. However, you can get a G10 handle for a fraction of the price that a carbon fiber handle would be. The tradeoff between a slightly less quality handle, but a big chunk of money is usually worth it for knife users. G10 is made by a manufacturer that takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin. This material is then compressed and baked under pressure. G10 is crazy hard, tough, strong, and lightweight. G10 is even considered to the be toughest out of all the fiberglass resin laminates. G10 is even stronger than the popular material Micarta. Because G10 does not provide the user with a super steady grip, the manufacturer will usually add checkering or a different pattern to give the user more texture. On the Natrix, Kershaw has added a small checkered pattern that will provide the user with a great grip. Unfortunately, G10 does have a tendency to be brittle, so it might crack if hit with a sharp or hard object. Another drawback to having a G10 handle is that it doesn’t have a ton of personality. Many people believe that it lacks elegance and looks pretty plastic-y. Because G10 is so strong, hard, and lightweight, this is a very common material found on tactical knives. The Natrix handle has been 3D machined and chamfered to fit comfortably in your hand, even with long periods of use.

On the front of the handle, there is an oversized pivot that adds a unique look and obvious focal point of the knife. When you look at the back of the handle, the Sub-Frame Lock secures the blade, while also created a dramatic, contrasting line on the back. All in all, this handle has a sleek, modern look to it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip that comes with the Natrix is custom drilled. The handle has pre drilled holes so the user change which side the clip is on, depending on if you are left or right handed. However, you can only carry this knife tip-up, as it has not been drilled to reverse to tip down carry. This pocket clip is also a deep carry pocket clip, so you can be sure that your knife is safe and secure deep in your pocket. Another benefit that many people enjoy about the deep carry pocket clip is that it is easier to conceal your knife than with a regular pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

The Natrix is a manual flipper knife. This type of mechanism works because there is a small protrusion, on the Natrix this protrusion is triangular shaped, that comes out of the knife’s spine when it is in closed positon. To deploy the knife, you push down on this protrusion and it flips the blade open. This mechanism keeps your fingers out of harm’s way during the entire process, so you are in a safer position than with other manual mechanisms. And as a cherry on top, this flipper mechanism allows you to easily open the Natrix with only one hand.

This knife also features the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening. This mechanism allows you to open the knife quickly and easily.

The Natrix also sports a Sub-Frame Lock. One side of the lightweight handle, it is fitted with a steel plate integral to the frame; it is the part of the frame that moves behind the blade to lock it into position during use. With the Sub-Frame Lock, the knife can be large, yet a lighter knife, with an even more secure lock than you would find on other knives. Because of this Sub-Frame Lock, Kershaw was able to keep the weight of the Natrix down while still providing you with a large blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long. When the Natrix is in opened position, it measures in at 7.5 inches long, sporting a closed length of 4.25 inches long. This knife only weighs a mere 2.9 ounces.

 

Pros of the Kershaw Natrix:

  • The steel chosen for this knife is very inexpensive.
  • The steel chosen for this knife is easy to sharpen.
  • The stonewash finish on this blade easily hides scratches and finger prints.
  • The drop point blade shape has a very controllable tip.
  • The drop point blade shape has a very strong and durable tip.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes because it also sports a large belly.
  • The blade shape is perfect for everyday purposes.
  • The handle is strong, tough, and lightweight.
  • The handle has been 3D machined to fit comfortably in your hand.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, helping to make this knife ambidextrous,
  • The pocket clip is deep carry, so you can easily conceal your knife while keeping it safe and secure.
  • The flipper mechanism keeps fingers out of the way and safe.
  • The flipper mechanism opens quickly and efficiently.
  • The Natrix sports the Sub-Frame Lock which allows the weight of the knife to be reduced significantly while still providing you with a large, useable blade.
  • The flipper mechanism sports the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening.

 

Cons of the Kershaw Natrix:

  • The drop point blade shape does not allow you to easily pierce or stab.
  • The pocket clip cannot be reversed for tip down carry.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw Knives have been designing and producing exceptional, innovative knives for years. They have created many of the features that are now commonly found on knives. They have also helped to set the standard of what people expect from their pocket knives and other tools. Because of this, you know that when you purchase a Kershaw knife, you are getting the best tool for you and your needs. With one of their newest knives, the Natrix, you can expect that same level of quality and same amount of innovative technologies to complete your perfect knife.

To start off creating such a great knife, they gave it a good blade that also helps to keep the price of the entire blade down. This steel is easy to sharpen although it doesn’t excel in many other aspects. To ensure that this knife is versatile and can be used for almost any purpose, Kershaw ground it into the drop point shape. The steel was then finished with a stonewash finish, which does help cut down on maintenance. To complement the blade, Kershaw added a G10 handle which is tough, strong, durable, and still very lightweight. As the perfect bonus to this manual flipper, they added a deep carry, reversible pocket clip. This knife is going to be able to assist you in all of your everyday needs. This is a great budget option for your perfect every day knife–get yours here at BladeOps.

 

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Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Knives

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

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within on thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives of ruse by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”
And although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. Microtech along with Benchmade Knives was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knave sin the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves their facility. In a world of every changeling technology, they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus remains the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They appreciated their customers or the years of loyalty and support and for motivating them to better themselves so that they may continue to rise above your expectations.

Today we will be talking about the Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Wharncliffe series of knives.

 

The Blades:

The blades in this series of knives are all made out of M390 Stainless Steel. This is an ultra-premium knife steel. It is also one of the new super steels on the block, manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm. It uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. Unlike ZDP-189 most carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, leaving more “free Chromium” to fight corrosion. M390 hardness to 60-62 HRC. Bohler class this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel is moderately difficult to sharpen, but it won’t take you as long as with S90V.

In this series of knives, you can choose your blade with a variety of different blade finishes. The first option you can choose from is a stonewash finish. With a stonewash finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. There is actually a variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. However, the most common look that you are going to find is a very rugged, well-worn look. The pebbles make the steel look very textured. Many people like this finish because it hides scratches better than other finishes. It also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. This is a low maintenance finish because it works to preserve the look of the blade overtime.

One of the other finish options that you are presented with is an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is also an acid stonewash or a black stonewash finish. The blade actually has an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between eh steel and the environment. Other than that difference, it is just the same as a regular stonewashed finish.

The last finish that you can get is a bronze finish. This blade also has a very textured look to it, similar to the stonewash. But instead of being a dark silvery gray, it is bronze in color.

Microtech Borka Stitch Auto
Microtech Borka Stitch Auto

The blades on each of the knives in this series feature a wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade, which is not to be confused with the sheepsfoot blade, is very much like a standard blade shape 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 few stories as to how the name Wharncliffe came to be, with some people claiming that the pattern originated many years ago from some of the patterns used for Scandinavian Seax Knives and other claiming that tit came from a British Lord who commissioned the knife to be made. There is one thing that is for certain however according to the website of Ron Neep. There were server Lord Wharncliffes 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 the history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. It is fantastic for office workers for opening boxes and envelopes and excels in box-cutter type chores. It is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult for cutting soft tissue and using on a cutting board.

There are three different versions of the blade edge that you can choose from out of this series. You can choose a plain edge, a combo edge, or a serrated edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and is the most traditional out of the three. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is a strong, steady pressure. Another one of the key advantages of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft, flexible or can be crushed easily with downward cutting. The downside to the serrated blade, though, especially ropes and fabrics, they can easily cause fraying. And when the blade dulls it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. A serrated blade ode not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. Often sharpening requires taking the blade to a professional sharpener, especially if the sharpening is long overdue. The combo edge is when half of the blade is a plain edge and the other half is a serrated edge. While some people believe that this gives you the best of both worlds, other people believe that you don’t get the benefits out of either one and it is a pointless edge. The major benefit about this knife series is that you can choose whichever blade shape most fits your comforts and the tasks that you are going to be performing with it.

 

The Handle:

Microtech Stitch Auto
Microtech Stitch Auto

The handles are all made out of an aluminum alloy Aluminum is a very low density metal used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Most knifes use a type of aluminum alloy called T6-6061, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 is used extensively in aircraft and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum” and sometimes this is seen as a gimmick, kind of like “surgical stainless steel.” Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less. Aluminum is a nonferrous metal. This material gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight that usually accompanies hefty materials. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing. The handles in this series of knife are black.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole attached. The ergonomics of the handle make this knife fit comfortably in your palm and provide you with a very solid grip. There has been a pattern added to the palm of the handle to give you a secure grip for almost any task.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is slightly curved and is held in place by two screws. The pocket clips on each version of this knife match the blade on each of the knives. The hardware is the same finish as the blade and pocket clip on each version of the clip.

 

The Mechanism:

These knives are all automatic side-open knives. This is also known as a switchblade and there are some pretty strict laws surrounding automatic knives. They are not legal to won or carry in all states, cities, or towns. This is a type of knife with a folding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring with a button on the handle or bolster is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends in the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

 

The Specs:

The blade on all of these knives are 3.75 inches long, with a handle length of 5 inches long. The overall length of the blades is 8.75 inches long. These knives weigh in at 6.3 ounces. These knives are made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:
The Stich side-open automatic knife is one of many knives produced between Tony Marfione of Microtech and Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades. The two have been collaborating on many models including the SB1, the SBT, the SBK and the SRambit to name a few. At last, the production version of the Stitch is now in full swing–yet another once MCK turned production model. Each model features a hollow ground premium stainless steel blade, a quasi tri-grip knurling pattern throughout the handle and a ribbed back spacer, finger choil and pronounced thumb ramp for increased control in any grip position. This series features a black alloy handle, standard hardware, a partly serrated wharncliffe style blade in a variety of different finishes and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your favorite version of the Microtech Borka Stitch Wharncliffe Automatic knife today at BladeOps. With this series of knives, you can truly get almost any combination that you could want.

 

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Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel OTF Knife Review

Benchmade 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 sue the best materials and equipment. They make world-class knives for world class users.

All of their blades begin as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technicians programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade. The next step in the process is surface grinding. This is the step 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. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. They knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness. The third step in the process is milling. 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 he folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. The fourth step is beveling. Now the blade really starts to 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. Some of the last steps are back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The finishing is when the blade gets a more refined look. The finishing technician stone-washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The very last step in the Benchmade process is assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, which helps to set them apart. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is only sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. At that point, and only at that part, is it truly a Benchmade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 tool steel. This is a high end steel that is often referred to as “semi-stainless” as it falls just short of the require amount of chromium to qualify as full stainless yet it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion. On the flip side, D2 steel is much harder than other steels in this category such as 154CM or ATS-34 and as a result holds its edge a litter better. That said, it’s not as tough as many other steels and exponentially tougher to sharpen. In fact, you are probably going to need to be a master-sharpener to get a find edge on D2. This steel has a high hardness and relatively high toughness to make it an excellent choice there and in cutlery.

The blade has been finished with a black coated finish. There are some big

Benchmade Mini Infidel
Benchmade Mini Infidel

benefits to having a coated finish such as it reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Also, coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. And while quality coatings do add cost to eh knife, they also provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. Unfortunately, all coatings will be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will have to be re-coated at that point. The coatings are also prone to chipping and scratching. And, sometimes the coating is painted unevenly, which does cut down on how quality the blade is.

The blade on this Mini Infidel is a dagger point style blade. The dagger style, also known as a needle point blade, is designed to have an excellent point. This is opposite of the sheepsfoot blade, which has no point. A dagger point blade is a double edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing. It is composed of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut on both sides equally. This makes them a favorite blade design for self-defense in close combat situations. Dagger style blades are popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed and easily withdrawn. However, there are also a handful of disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because of the geometry of the blade lacks a belly and contains quickly thickening edges, it is not good for slicing or slashing. Also, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is weak and has a tendency to break when used on hard targets. If you are looking for a good balance between stabbing and cutting, a better choice is the clip point blade. However, if you’re looking for the perfect blade that is designed for piercing, the dagger point is exactly what you’re looking for.

The blade on this knife has a plain edge. In general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, skinning a deer. It is because all of these tasks involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. Aluminum is a very low density metal that is used in knife making and it is extremely corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. And even though it is a soft and low density metal, it provides you with plenty of heft, without the weight of a stainless steel knife. This is a huge benefit because it has the heft to take on all of the tough tasks, without the weight to make it a hassle to carry with you at all times. Fun fact about aluminum: it is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. 60601-T6 aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. This type of aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. This alloy of aluminum is also used commonly in aircraft, which is why it got the nickname of being aircraft aluminum. This is a nonferrous metal and the most common finish for this steel is anodizing, which is an electrochemical process which adds color the aluminum. This is especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on eh voltage used in the anodization process, colors can vary. If you have a high voltage, you will get a dark color. If you have a low voltage, you will get a lighter color. The handle on the Mini Infidel is black, so they used a high voltage to provide the color. When aluminum is properly texturized, it can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the flip side, if you are planning on using your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle to be extremely cold because of its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considering inferior to its stronger brother Titanium, which is most often used on the higher end knives. One of the other drawbacks to an aluminum handle is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

To help with your grip, there is ribbing that goes down the center of the handle. The handle has curves to fit your palm perfectly. In the top center of the handle, there is a light gray lever to deploy the blade. This handle will be comfortable to use even after long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. It is a dark gray pocket clip that has “Infidel” stamped across the center. Because it is a deep carry clip, it is going to fit comfortably in your pocket without you needing to worry about it jostling out when you go about your daily activates. Another one of the benefits of a deep carry clip is that it is easier to conceal if you are trying to keep your knife out of the public’s eye.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a double action out the front automatic knife. An out the front knife is a pocket knife that has a blade that deploys and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than the majority of folding knives that one out of the side of the handle. Out the front only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. Then, out the front knives can be divided into whether it is an automatic or manual knife. An automatic out the front knife blade travels within an internal track in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife.

Then, in the division of automatic knives, it can be divided into whether it is double action or single action. This specific knife is a double action out the front knife. This means that the knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design, whereas single action knives deploy automatically but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

And despite popular movie magic, double action out the front knives are actually not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. In all actuality, double action sliding automatics are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters and then afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.1 inches long, with a handle length of 4 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 7.1 inches long, with the knife weighing in at 3.4 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that is included with this knife is made out of nylon. Nylon is a material that is commonly used in knife sheaths. Just like a leather sheath, nylon is also tough and strong. However, nylon is resistant to rot and mildew. And, they are not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths would be. Another great aspect is that nylon sheaths aren’t easily scuffed or torn.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel double action out the front automatic knife, designed by McHenry & Williams, is a favorite amongst law enforcement and military professionals around the globe and is praised for its rugged construction, solid durability and an “X” factor of pure awesomeness that one can only experience when owning one. The design of the black anodized 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum handle boasts a milled “step” design that transitions seamlessly into the design of the slide trigger. On the black dagger style blade, you will find a blood groove that runs the length of the blade on both sides that further enhances the already aggressive nature of this black class model. Furthermore, the enlarged slide trigger is housed on the broad side of the handle scale allowing for better accessibility, even while wearing gloves. This knife also comes with a MOLLE compatible nylon sheath and malice clip for multiple carry options. You can pick yours up here.

 

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Buck 110 Automatic Knife Review

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

Following the death of his father, Al kept the fledgling custom knife business going until incorporating Buck Knives, Inc. in 1961. Al introduced his son, Chuck, to the knife business at an early age and Chuck and his wife, Lori, were both involved when the company was incorporated. IN n1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A position that they still hold proudly today.

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

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

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

Today we will be talking about the Buck 0110BRSA 110 Automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this sleek knife is made out of 420HC High Carbon Stainless Steel. This comes from the 400 series which remains one of the most popular choice for knife makers because it is easy to sharpen and it is resistant to corrosion. 420 series contain several types with various carbon content between .15% and .40% this steel grade is widely used to make high end razor blades, surgical scalpels, etc. It obtains about 57 HRC after suitable heat treatment. 420HC is a higher carbon content, which is where the HC comes from. It holds a higher carbon production rate than stainless steel. The content is much softer than the higher number steel count 440, yet it’s more rugged than other similar proudcts. This steel can be brought to a higher hardness than 420 and should not be mistaken for it. Buck Knives is known for using this type of steel in many of their knives. This steel material has a greater carbon base and is mixed to a harder content than 420 stingless steels. There are many different levels of steel, but products made from 420HC steel are definitely different from other types of steel in terms of performance and reliability. Knives that are made with this steel are easy to sharpen and are durable when in constant use. Blades made from this steel are less prone to corrosion.

Buck Auto Knife
Buck Auto Knife

The blade has been finished with the classic satin finish. This is one of the most typical knife finishes. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish, and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. The luster of this finish usually falls between bead blasted, which is a matte finish, and a mirror polish, which is a high gloss finish. This finish works to show fine buffing lines with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade. It actually takes great hand skill to finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks.

This blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point is one of the three most common knife blade shapes used today. The other two are the drop point and the spear point. Clip point blades have the appearance of having the front third of the blade “clipped” off. Traditionally, the spine or unsharpened edge of the knife begins at the hilt and continues to a point between one third to one fourth of the blade length. The blade spine than tapers in thickness in a recurve to the knife’s point. The clip point blade design actually dates back to at least Macedonian times, where examples of knapped flint clip point knives have been unearthed. Variants of this style include the California clip, which uses a clip greatly extended in length, and the Turkish clip point with its extreme recurve. One of the most recognizable clip-point blades is used on the famous Bowie knife. The clip point allows a quicker, and thus deeper, puncture upon insertion because clip point blades are thinner at the spine. The clip point lends itself to a quicker stabbing advantage with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. However, when you are comparing the clip point design to the drop point design, the clip point is going to seem a lot weaker because of this thin characteristic. If you want a knife that is going to be able to take on all the challenges that you throw at it, I would recommend the sturdier drop point. The clip point blade does feature a large belly that is perfect for slicing or skinning. And because this knife has a plain edge, you are going to be able to skin or peel just about anything with this blade. The plain edge is also going to excel at push cuts of any kind, shaving, and traditional uses for your knife. The plain edge is going to give you the clean cuts that you long for, without fraying what you are working with.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Dymondwood and brass. Dymondwood is phenolic resin impregnated wood veneers that are laminated and compressed. This material is extremely similar to Micarta, G10, and Carbon Fiber, except that the base material is wood instead of an unnatural material. Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence, really. A good quality wood handle can be durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. But, unlike many of the other budget friendly options, wood has a quality aesthetic that it adds to the knife, making your knife look sleek and elegant. In fact, wood hands are very popular among collector’s knives. There are many different types of woods used in knife handles, so you have to choose based on how you are going to use the knife. In this case, the handle has been made out of Macassar Ebony wood. This is an exotic wood with heartwood that is reported to be strong, very heavy, and very hard. The black heart is usually brittle, and the wood is used mostly for decorative purposes. This is a very dark wood that contrasts nicely with the bright brass hardware and ends.

Brass is known and valued for its easy machinability and the ease that the metal can be formed into desired shapes and forms while still retaining its high strength. All brasses are considered malleable and ductile and due to its low melting point, brass can also be cast relatively easily. This metal has both good heat and electrical conductivity and it is wear and spark resistant. Other you won’t need to worry about the electrical and spark related characteristics, the other two are important to knife users. The heat conductivity means that even if you are planning on working with this knife in cold environments, you won’t have to worry about it biting into your hand because it will quickly draw in your body heat. And, being wear resistant means that it is going to stand up to many of the elements and resist scratching easily.

The combination of the dark Ebony Dymondwood and the bright brass create an elegant feel to your knife. This knife is going to be a classic and as the years pass, this knife will always be in style. The handle has a slight curve to make your grip comfortable and secure, even after using it for long periods of time.

This knife does not sport a pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, sometimes known as a switchblade. The typical switchblade knife has been around since the 1920s and is really not all that different from a folding knife. The handle is going to be longer and thicker than the blade itself because it has to be able to store the blade in the handle. The handle has been hollowed out and has a slit going down the length of one side. IT contains the folded knife blade, a spring, and a locking mechanism that is attached to a button that extends form one of the flat sides of the handle. When the knife blade is hidden, it is folded into the base of the handle form the side, passing through the slit in the side of the handle. This pulls the spring, which catches on a lever connected to the activation button, effectively preventing the spring form exerting force on the hinged base of the blade. When the button is pushed, the lever, which is on a small rocker, is pulled out of the spring’s way. The spring snaps back into its original shape, pulling the base of the blade around das it does so, flipping the blade’s point out from the side of the handle. The only way to then close the knife is to physically pill upward on the hinged hilt before folding the blade back again. The lever attached to the activation button simply clicks into place against that underside the blade the same way as it would against the spring.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this Buck knife is 3.75 inches long, with a handle measuring in at 4.875 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 8.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.1 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

The Sheath:

Because this knife does not have a pocket clip attached to it, it does come with a leather sheath. Leather is one of the traditional materials that is used to make a knife sheath. Leather is very rugged, tough, and strong. A leather knife sheath feels and looks good, and the attractiveness of a leather sheath only gets better as it ages. One of the best features about a leather knife sheath is that they are silent, so you can easily pull the knife out or put it back in without making a sound. Unfortunately, leather is not waterproof, so getting it wet a lot or exposing it to extreme heat can dry out the oils in the leather which could lead the sheath to crack. To combat that, oiling the sheath from time to time can help make it last longer.

 

Conclusion:

The iconic Buck 110 folder first debuted in 1964 and quickly propelled the company into one of the country’s most prominent manufacturers to date. The name and style has always maintained its heritage but over the years we have seen emerging variations in both finish and functionality. Buck finally took wind of the popular auto-converted 110 model and now produces the knife from start to finish and is 100% eligible for Buck’s limited lifetime warranty. Each product features a high carbon stainless steel blade that has been hardened to a standard RC 58-60 for ideal performance with both edge retention and corrosion resistance and the handle styling boasts a flared base for proper grip security. This model features a brown Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handle complete with brass bolsters, a clip point style blade in a satin finish, no pocket clip and the black leather sheath provides a convenient belt carry option.

 

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Gerber Grey Shark Belly Knife Review

Gerber Gear has a charming backstory. What once started out as Gerber Legendary Blades, a young knife company, it quickly grew into a big business. Joseph R. Gerber started this company out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts. But this quickly turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives.

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

When talking about who they are, Gerber has said, “Like the mean and women who carry our gear, Gerber is Unstoppable. Decades of innovation and dedication have put us ere. Renowned as a master of knives and tools, Gerber’s problem-solving, life-saving products are designed with the unique needs of specific activities in Inc. Today that includes much more than a blade.”

These knives are carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, and tradesmen, and Gerber’s heritage runs deep. They are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

All of Gerber’s products are designed and engineered in Portland, Oregon, where many are produced. They also tap their global supply chain to create a wide range of activity specific gear for wide variety of consumers. And no matter what, every product that bears the Gerber name is back by their famous lifetime warranty. “Quality, reliability, innovation. For over 70 years this is what our customers have expected from us. And whether our products are sued to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.”

Today, we will be going over the Gerber Grey Shark Belly Wharncliffe folder knife, which was released just earlier this year.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 420HC High Carbon Stainless Steel. This steel is a 420 stainless steel that has been modified with more carbon, which is actually where the HC in the name comes from—High Carbon. This steel also usually sports a better heat treatment than a regular 420 stainless steel would have. 420HC holds a higher carbon production rate than a stainless steel. The content is much softer than the higher number steel count 440, yet it is more rugged than other similar products. This steel material has a greater carbon base and is mixed to a harder content than 420 stainless steels. Buck Knives is well known for using this type of steel in their products. There are many different levels of steel, but products made from 420HC steel are definitely different form other types of steel in terms of performance and reliability. Tools made from this steel are easy to sharpen and are durable even when in constant use. This makes this steel type a great option for machetes and tools. Blades made from this material are less prone to rusting or corroding as long as you remember to rinse, dry, and oil your knife after use. There are plenty of advantages to using 420HC steel, but one of the biggest is that they are so easy to sharpen. Knives made of this material stand up really well while fishing or hunting, making this knife a reliable work tool while on the trail or in the outdoors. This will be a strong and reliable blade.

This blade has been finished with the most traditional finishes on knife blades: a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing levels of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. A satin finish works to show the bevels of the blade, showcasing the lines of the knife, while also reducing its reflective glare. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks. This is a slightly less shiny finish than a polished finish, and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted—which is a matte finish, and mirror polish—which is a high gloss finish. This finish requires great hand skill to accomplish and does cut down on corrosion slightly.

This knife has been carved into a Wharncliffe blade shape, which is extremely similar to the sheepsfoot blade, but not to be confused with the sheepsfoot blade. The Wharncliffe is pretty much as standard blade shape that has been turned upside down. This means that the blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. The history of this blade shape gets pretty muggy because there are a few main stories about how the Wharncliffe came to be. But, the actual name “Wharncliffe” did not exist until 1822, which means that this knife style was named after that point in history. Regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape, although it might not at first appear to be. It is fantastic for opening boxes and envelopes, and for box cutting. However, it is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult for cutting soft tissue and using it on a cutting board.

There are a variety of things that are confusing between the Wharncliffe and the Sheepsfoot blade. It is generally accepted that a Sheepsfoot blade has an abruptly curving spine at the tip of the knife, creating very little point, while a Wharncliffe has a more gradually tapering spine creating a pointer tip. Unfortunately, this also means that the Wharncliffe shaped blades will also have a more fragile tip.

The blade does feature a plain edge, although there is some shallow jimping at the bottom of the blade near the handle. This is so that you have impeccable grip no matter what you are using this knife for. This jimping, along with a design on the handle is where the Grey Shark Belly got its name.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Glass Filled Nylon, or GFN for short. This material is the same thing as Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, or FRN for short. They are both a nylon based plastic that tis reinforced with glass fiber and injection molded for use in knife handles. This handle material is one of the cheapest and toughest handle materials to produce in large scale production knives. This material is not going to be seen on custom knives because it is optimized for large scale production with dies for injection molding, and not unique custom made products. And even though GFN is perceived as a cheaper material, which it is, it makes for a very tough knife handle material and can take some serial abuse. TI is quite a bit more flexible than G 10 and other Resin Laminates, so it does not have the rigidity associated with them. However, it makes up for this in its impact toughness. Additionally, nearly any texture can be created on the surface of this material because it is injection molded, making it a very versatile material to work with, with infinite possibilities. As a general guide, the higher the glass content, the more rigid the nylon is going to be.

The characteristic that makes this material almost indestructible is that the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions as opposed to G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which have the fiberglass strands aligned in a single direction. This means that the other materials are going to be extremely strong in a single direction, but as soon as they are stressed in a separate direction, they are prone to cracking and falling apart. These other materials are very brittle because of this characteristic and will crack if subjected to a hard or sharp object. GFN though, has the haphazardly arranged nylon fibers, which means that it is not going to be brittle. On the other hand, it is not going to be as “grippy” as G 10, and some people feel like it has a cheap, plastic feel to it. The last major benefit to having a knife handle made out of this material is that it requires zero maintenance.

This handle does sport a lanyard hole that has been carved into the butt of the handle. On the belly of the handle, there is a row of markings that do resemble shark markings, which is one of the reasons that this knife was named the Grey Shark Belly.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a skeletonized, wire pocket clip. It is silver, to go with the blade. The clip does have a slight bend to it, which will help it stay snugly in your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that features a lock back mechanism and a thumb window to assist you in the opening process. The thumb window is very similar to the thumb hole, except that it is more rectangular and much larger. Since the 1980s, the thumb hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Over the years though, many other knife makers have adopted the feature because of how well the thumb hole does work. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb window is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, it is ambidextrous. And, many knife enthusiasts prefer the thumb window to the thumb stud because it doesn’t protrude from the blade and get in the way.

This Gerber knife features the lock back locking mechanism which is also known as the back lock. This is one of the oldest and most reliable locking mechanism on the market. Due to its simplicity and affordability, the lock back mechanism is one of the most well-known knife locks. The lock back functions with a locking arm, which sits along the handle spine and is molded with a hook that fits into a notch on the back of the blade, behind the pivot. This hook is dragged by tension from the back spring into the notch, therefore locking the knife with a snap. Because it is reliable and economical to construct, the lock back is one of the most common used in folding knives.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.5 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 7.75 inches long and the knife weighs in at 2.3 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Shark Belly is one of many new models released by Gerber in 2017. This manual folder features a lock back mechanism that utilizes a rocker arm to provide top-notch stability and ease of operation. Each high carbon stainless steel blade is deployed with the use of the thumb window which also provides an ambidextrous opening option. The name of this knife is indicative of the unidirectional pattern of the lower portion of the handle scales–providing an ideal amount of control regardless of the task at hand. This mode features grey GFN (Glass Filled Nylon) handles, a sheepsfoot style blade, that is partly serrated, in a satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your Shark Belly knife today at BladeOps.

 

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Boker Magnum Automatic Knife Review

Boker is one of the oldest knife manufacturers around, dating back clear into the 17th century. Boker says that “a huge chestnut tree towering above the small Boker hardware-factory in eh 17th century is the oldest traceable fact about the Boker family. Apparently Boker tools were very successful, for they ranked among the leading products in Germany and neighboring countries a hundred years later.”

In 1829, there was a rising demand in a politically restless era. Hermann and Robert Boker decided to start with the production of sabres in 1829. Inventories of September 1830 already prove a weekly production of 2000 pieces, made by 64 smiths, 47 grinders, and a large number of laborers. With an ever growing variety of tools and cutlery combined with the possibilities of international marketing the family realized that responsibility assignment was crucial to keep their chances. So Hermann Boker emigrated to found Boker & Co in New York, whereas the younger Robert established his company in Canada in 1865, and later a branch in Mexico.

Heinrich only cross the river Wupper to go to Solingen, where the German cutlery industry was booming, to found Heiner. Boker & Co. with the well-known cutlery expect Hermann Heuser in 1869.

The Bokers in Remscheid and their cousins overseas were very interested and in demand of razors, scissors, and pocket knives from Heinrich’s new enterprise. They had to label their products in a simple manner for overseas-markets, for many customers had problems spelling the German name Boker. Heinrich considered the chestnut tree as an ideal memorable logo, which belonged to the Remscheid company with another one, an arrow. One of the rare and precious documents, which survived the total destruction of WWII is an ad of Boker Remscheid form 1874, showing both logos.

The relationship between the two Boker companies has always been very friendly. Heinrich was allowed to take the tree-brand with him across the river without troubles or payments. Since then not a single product has left the Solingen factory without this sign. After over 100 years of existence the venerable tree was cut down by a stroke of lighting in 1925. A gifted artist carved an image of the majestic tree into a piece of original tree trunk, which adorns the executive’s office in Solingen.

The US market actually became the main customer of Boker production as early as 1900 with H. Boker & Co in New York concentrating on Solingen cutlery. The demand for pocket knives soon beat that for other products like scissors or razors. In due course, the Solingen capacities were exhausted and the New Yorkers started their own pocket knife production. Because of the tree-brand being well established by then and the good understanding within the international Boker family, there wasn’t any problem to get permission from Solingen to use the tree-brand for American products too. Since then, there were two different lines of Boker knives son the US market, with identical logos and sometimes even identical item numbers, one line made in USA, the other made in Solingen. The only distinguishing characteristic is the markings “Boker USA” or “H. Boker Improved Cutlery Solingen.”

With such a rich history, you can expect rich, high quality knives. Today, we will be talking about the Boker Magnum.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel. AUS-8 steel is Japanese made and extremely similar to 440B steel which is slightly more resistant to rust and corrosion than 440C but less hard. It’s also similar tough but may not hold its edge as well as some of the more premium steels which carry a greater degree of carbon. Remember, more carbon means more hardness and edge holding. This steel is really easy to sharpen and does take a razor sharp edge. This is one of the more common stainless steels, and it is one readily available in lots of different places worldwide. This is a decent all around steel. It is hard enough, tough enough, and stain resistant enough. It will not hang long with high end powder metal steels, but among the steels you are going to find on most knives, this is a pretty good choice.

The blade has been finished with a black coated finish. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually and at different rates, depending on the quality of the coating. Coated finishes are completely matte and reduce glares and reflections, while also reducing wear and corrosion. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but will provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and even require less maintenance.

Boker Magnum Auto Knife, Tanto
Boker Magnum Auto Knife, Tanto

The Boker Magnum has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is the perfect option if you don’t want an all-purpose knife. This blade shape is designed for doing one thing and that one thing really well. The thing that the tanto excels at is piercing through tough materials. This style of blade was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tips, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it does lack a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, its extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is required. When you choose this knife, you are choosing a knife that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials.

This knife does feature a combo blade edge. This edge style is where the top portion of the blade is a plain edge and the bottom portion of the blade is a serrated edge. This style of blade edge has actually overtaken the all-serrated format. There are plenty of mixed feelings on this format. Many people actually swear by this format, and feel that it is a good compromise, giving the user the choice of precise push cuts form the plain edge, and the advantage of the serrated edge for tougher materials. However, because the edge is split, some people feel like the serrated portion is too short for the serrations to really be useful and the length of the plain edge is being sacrificed for no good gain. Really, when choosing a knife with a combo edge, it comes down to solely preference. There are plenty of good things to a combo edge, but there are also a few drawbacks. I would recommend looking at what you expect to be doing with this knife to see if it is a good option for you and your lifestyle.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Magnum has been made out of aluminum. This aluminum has been anodized black, not only for color, but also for hardness and protection. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is in the category of low density metals, but it still has the hefty feel to it, without actually weighing the knife down. This balance is hard to achieve because you want the knife to feel hefty enough to take on your daily tasks, but you don’t want your knife to weigh you down, like a steel handle would. When this material is texturized correctly, it can provide you with a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. Unfortunately, one of the biggest disadvantages is that if you are using your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium, which tends to be found on the more premium knives. One of the other drawbacks to this handle material is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

The ergonomics of this handle are excellent. The handle curves to fit in your palm smoothly and comfortably, even if you are using this knife for long periods of time. The butt of the handle is flared out slightly and three are grooves cut in down the palm of the handle to provide you with exceptional grip.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has been designed for tip down carry only. The clip is mostly straight, but the portion that is screwed into the handle does curved to match the curves of the handle top. The clip is black, matching the rest of the knife and three black screws keep it held in place.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife. Automatic knives do have a series of strict laws surrounding them in the United States. They are not legal in all states, cities, or areas. Make sure that you are certain about your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife, because it might be illegal to carry. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activate. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

There are plenty of advantages to having an automatic knife such as that they are fast and you can even open them one handed. Some of the disadvantages are that there is restricted ownership, they are usually more expensive, and since there are so many mechanical pieces, something could break and then the knife wouldn’t work. If you are in a tactical situation, an automatic knife is going to be a great option because they do have crazy fast blade deployment. However, while automatic knives are extremely fast to deploy, they are also typically slower to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Boker Magnum is 3.25 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 8 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces. When you order this knife from BladeOps, the seals on the box will arrive broken due to the knife being converted in our shop.

 

Conclusion:

The Boker Magnum automatic knife is one of the more popular side open automatics on the market today considering the price point. This knife is referred to an auto-conversion knife which means the knife is produced as a folder knife and then converted via third party to offer the automatic function. The Magnum series features an aluminum handle scale that is comfortable and ergonomic and the AUS-8 blade material offers better edge retention than you would expect. The aluminum handle is extremely durable and resistant to rusting or corrosion. The AUS-8 is a quality, all-around steel that is going to be able to take on almost all of your daily challenges. With a knife made out of both of these materials, you can expect a knife that is going to step up to the plate and succeed under pressure. This particular model features a black handle with standard hardware and a tanto blade, that is partly serrated, in a black finish. Finally, the pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. Pick up your Boker Magnum Tanto Automatic Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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Benchmade 3320 Pagan OTF Knife Review

In 1988, Benchmade set out to make the best knives in the world—and that’s exactly what they did. They’ve grown a lot since then, and while they have expanded to provide tools for elite tactical operators, first responders, and even collectors, their goal remains the same: make the best knives in the world.

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

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68. Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving’s its name from Bali-song, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

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

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

With its first ten years of manufacturing experience behind it, and by working with world-class custom knife makers like Mel Pardue and Warren Osborne, Benchmade perfected a business model that involved lending manufacturing process to custom knife designs; affording a level of innovation and quality to the largest market that was previously unavailable. This eventually led to Bill McHenry and Jason Williams approaching Benchmade with the AXIS lock. and the future of cutlery was born.

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

Today, we are going to be talking about the Benchmade 3320 Pagan knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM stainless steel. This is a higher end steel that is relatively hard and is generally considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similarly excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. It does have decent toughness good enough for most uses and holds an edge well. This steel is not too difficult to sharpen with the right equipment. You will find a lot of quality pocket knives form top manufacturers like Benchmade using 154CM steel.

The blade has been finished with a stonewash finish. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it entered the tumbler. A very positive benefit of a stonewashed blade is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. The stonewashed finish hides the scratched that can occur with use over time. This finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance.

Benchmade Pagan OTF
Benchmade Pagan OTF

The blade has been cut into a dagger style blade shape. This is also known as a needle point blade shape. This style of blade shape has been created to enhance and accentuate the point. This is a double edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing. It is made up of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thing, sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut in on both sides equally. This makes it a favorite blade design for self-defense in close combat situations. Dagger blades are popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed (think of in a boot). However, there are some disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because of the geometry of the blade, it does not have a belly and it does have quickly thickening edges, which means that it is not good for slicing or slashing. And, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is weak and is prone to breaking when used on hard targets. If you are looking for a blade that is going to give you a good balance between stabbing and cutting, a better choice is the clip point blade. But, if you are looking for the ultimate blade designed specifically for piercing, the dagger style blade is exactly what you are looking for.

This knife does sport a plain edge. The plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, skinning a deer. All of those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. And generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a razor polished edge. A knife edge becomes more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones. As a last advantage of a plain edge, it will offer you cleaner cuts than if you were using a serrated or combo edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum comes in many grades. It has good mechanical properties and is one of the most common alloys for general purpose use. This material is typically anodized for extra protection and color, because hard anodized coatings offer superior scratch resistance. Since aluminum is already prone to scratches and dings, the anodization process is ideal. Aluminum is very durable and provides a solid feel without the extra weight. It can be formed to provide a very comfortable and secure grip. One of the biggest drawbacks to having a knife handle that has been made out of this material is that it has fantastic conductive properties, which will make it extremely cold during the winter months. If you are planning on working with your knife lots during the colder months, I wouldn’t recommend getting this knife because it will feel like it is biting into your hand. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives.

The handle has been anodized in two different colors. The middle of the handle is black, and the sides are dark gray. The handle has perfect curves to fit snugly in your palm. The top of the handle flares out, with two grooves cut out of each side. This is the perfect place to rest your fingers. Plus, these cut outs both sport jimping to really give you good control over your knife. The butt of the handle also flares out.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This is a deep carry pocket clip that is designed for tip down carry only. The back of the entire knife is black, but the pocket clip is a dark grey, which does make it stand out. Across the middle of the pocket knife, “Pagan” has been stamped in a lighter gray. This clip is kept in place by two small, black screws, which match the rest of the knives hardware.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a dual action out the front, or OTF, automatic knife. This is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. Contrast this with the majority of knives, which are either standard folding knives or are fixed blades. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. An automatic OTF knife blade travels within an internal tack or channel in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar sixed gravity or sliding knife. This is a double action OTF knife. This means that it deploys and retracts with a multifunction button and spring design.

Despite popular belief and movie magic, double action OTF knives are not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. Double action sliding autos are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters. Afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open.

Because this is an automatic knife, there are strict laws that do surround owning and carrying this knife. Make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing and carrying the Benchmade 3320 Pagan.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.96 inches long and the knife sports an overall length of 8.96 inches long. The handle of the Pagan is 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.1 ounces and was made in the USA.

 

The Sheath:

The Pagan does come with a nylon sheath. Nylon is a material that is commonly used in knife sheaths. Just like their leather counterpart, nylon sheaths are also tough and strong. Unlike leather though, nylon sheaths are resistant to rot and mildew. They are also not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths. Another great aspect is that nylon sheaths aren’t easily scuffed or torn. The best thing about this nylon sheath is that it is MOLLE compatible.

 

Conclusion:

New for 2015, the Benchmade Pagan OTF auto knife is a double action out the front model that is a more refined yet still powerful version of the classic Benchmade Infidel OTF auto knife. With smooth black anodized aluminum handle scales, this tried and true warrior delivers maximum blade control in an ergonomic and stylish shape. The difference in this knife lies in the blade steel and blade grind–D2 tool steel has been swapped out with American-made 154CM stainless steel, in a dagger style, with a chisel grind for improved blade penetration. Furthermore, the enlarged slide trigger is housed on the broad side of the handle scale allowing for better accessibility, even while wearing gloves. Due to the size, this knife comes with a nylon sheath and includes a MOLLE compatible malice clip for multiple carry options. The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. Pick up your Benchmade 3320 Pagan Double Action Out-the-Front Automatic knife today at BladeOps.

 

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Gerber Coyote Brown Mini Covert Auto Knife Review

Joseph R. Gerber one time described his young knife company as the “birth of an enterprise that grew into a big business.” He nailed it right on the head, and while it was true, it was definitely an understatement. Gerber Gear started in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets that were given as holiday gifts turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives. Over 70 years since its founding and Gerber is continuing to grow. They are still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s enterprise, Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. The sleek, stainless steel sheath knives of the 50s and 60s have given birth to today’s lightweight, open frame clip folders. Gerber is no longer just a knife company. They are now designing, making, and selling multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, and digging implements. These are all the newest directions that Gerber explores with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making.

“Like the men and women who carry our gear, Gerber is Unstoppable.” With decades of innovation and dedication, Gerber has come far. They are renowned as a master of knives and tools, Gerber’s problem solving, lifesaving products are designed with the unique needs of specific activities in mind. Today, that includes much more than a blade. This company was founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, Gerber is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, and tradesmen, Gerber’s heritage runs deep. They are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

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

“Quality, reliability, and innovation. For over 70 years this is what our customers have expected form us. And whether our products are used to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.”

Today we are going to be talking about one of their Mini Covert automatic knives. This is their Coyote Brown version.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM-S30V stainless steel. This steel is a premium grade steel that is made by US based Crucible. This steel is often referred to as only S30V steel, instead of CPM-S30V steel. It has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and is typically used for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible added vanadium carbides to the steel alloy matrix to bring out the extreme hardness. 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. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it does prove tricky to sharpen. Crucible has made a better looking brother, S35VN steel, which is distinctly similar, but easier for manufacturers to work with thanks to the niobium addition. S30V is really common these days and is one of my favorite steels for a blade.

This steel has been finished with a black coated finish. A coated finish helps to reduce the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion on the blade. Unfortunately, because it is a coated finish, it can and will be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade on the Mini Covert will have to be re-coated if you wish to keep all of the high qualities. As a general guideline, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and corrosion, but also the more expensive to add to a knife. A coating finish also eliminated shiny surfaces, which is an absolute necessity if you are using this knife on a mission. Another great benefit is that a coating finish can reduce drag during a cut. Lastly, the coating finish does add aesthetic to the knife. It provides an even, matte surface to the blade.

This blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. A spear point blade is similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. However, its point is stronger and it does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. A spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. They can be single or double edged, although this version of the mini covert is single edged. In contrast to the needle-point blade which has a very sharp but weak point, a spear pint knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. However, a spear point blade is only good for piercing if both edges are sharpened. The lowered point is easily controllable and is useful for fine tip work. Spear point blades contain a small belly which can be used for some cutting and slicing applications, however, the belly is relatively small when compared to drop point and clip point knives. A spear point knife is a great choice for the knife lover who is looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while maintaining some of the belly that is used for slicing. This is a hybrid shape that is extremely functional.

This blade is a plain edged blade. Plain blades are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, trimming your nails, or peeling an apple. The nice advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. With a plain edge blade, you directly affect its purpose by changing how you sharpen it. It is standard practice to customize the edge of a plain edged blade to tackle a specific task. For some tasks, a highly polished, low friction edge will do the best job. Tasks such as food prep and wood carving are great examples of when a highly polished edge is ideal. For other tasks, a roughly sharpened edge that has hidden “micro-serration” is ideal and will often work similar to the way a true serrated blade would.

Because this blade is a plain edge blade and features the spear point blade shape, it is an extremely versatile blade shape that is going to meet your needs in a wide variety of situations.

 

The Handle:

Gerber Coyote Mini Covert
Gerber Coyote Mini Covert

The handle of this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. This is the most common type of aluminum that is in use today, which has tremendous tensile strength. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal, so it is lightweight. However, it does provide a nice, hefty feel to the knife as well. This is a huge benefit of aluminum because you do want the weight or heft to complete tasks, but you also don’t want to be weighed down by a crazy heavy knife. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. However, aluminum can prove to be a very slippery material. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortable cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives. One of the other drawbacks to this handle material is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

This knife handle has been anodized for color, hardness, and protection. Thus making it a more durable knife handle. The anodization process has made the handle a Coyote Brown, which is a light tan color. Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. The process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear and provides better adhesion for paint, primers, and glues than bare metal does. Anodizing changes the microscopic texture of the surface and the crystal structure of the metal near the surface. Thick coatings are normally porous, so a sealing process is often needed to achieve corrosion resistance. Anodized aluminum surfaces are harder than aluminum but have low to moderate wear resistance that can be improved with increasing thickness or by applying suitable sealing substances.

To help with grip, there are three skinny grooves cut across the palm of the handle. This knife has a skinnier top part of the handle, which has two curves cut out for added finger control. Then, the handle flares out to fit well into you hand, and tapers back towards the butt of the handle. This handle does sport a lanyard hole.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. The clip is black, to contrast with the handle and to match the blade. It is a deep carry pocket clip, helping it fit snugly in your pocket. “Gerber” has been stamped across the middle of the clip. This clip is kept in place by two small, black screws.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife that deploys with a lever on the palm of the knife handle. An automatic knife is also known as a switchblade or an ejector knife. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a lever on the handle is activated. The blade is unlocked manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon.

You do need to keep in mind that automatic knives have strict laws surrounding them in certain states, cities, and areas. Make sure you know your local knife laws before purchasing and carrying this Gerber Mini Covert.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 2.8 inches long with the knife sporting an overall length of 6.5 inches long. The handle measures in at 3.7 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.1 ounces. This knife is made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:

The Applegate-Fairbairn designed Gerber Covert automatic knife series was modeled after their best-in-class Covert folder model and combines premium elements with user-friendly functionality. This auto knife features coyote brown anodized aircraft aluminum handle scales that showcases a sleek symmetrical design with integrated dual finger grooves for a secure hold despite its size. A front-mounted slide safety has been built into the handle and even portrays a red dot so you know the knife is ready for action. This Mini Covert auto knife also features a plain edge spear point blade comprised of premium CPM-S30V stainless steel in a black finish and the pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. The stainless steel is durable and strong, and maintains one of the best balances of toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The aluminum handle is durable and strong and very resistant to corrosion. However, it does accumulate scratches easily over time. With the combination of those two materials, you are going to get one of the most durable knives on the market.

Pick up your Coyote Brown Mini Covert Auto Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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The Boker Plus 01BO777 Lateralus Knife Review

Boker has been around since the 17th century. There was a huge chestnut tree towering above the small Boker hardware-factory in the 17th century, which is the oldest traceable fact about the Boker family. For hundreds of years, it seems as if Boker tools have been successful and ranked among the leading products in Germany and spreading to the neighboring countries and then worldwide hundreds of years later.

It was due to rising demand in a politically restless era Hermann and Robert Boker decided to start with the production of sabers in 1829. Inventories of September 1830 already prove a weekly production of 2000 pieces, made by 64 smiths, 47 grinders, and a large number of laborers. With an ever growing variety of tools and cutlery combined with the possibilities of international marketing, the family realized that responsibility assignment was crucial to keep their chances. So Hermann Boker emigrated to found Boker & Co. in New York, whereas the younger Robert established his company in Canada and 1865 a branch of it in Mexico.

The Boker’s in Remscheid and their cousins overseas were very interested and in demand of razors, scissors, and pocket knives from Heinrich’s new enterprise. They had to label their products in a simple manner for overseas-markets, for many customers had problems spelling the German name Boker—apart from widespread analphabetism. Heinrich considered the chestnut-tree as an ideal memorable log, which belonged to the Remscheid company with another one, an arrow. One of the rare and precious documents, which survived the total destruction of WWII is an ad of Boker Remscheid from 1874, showing both logos.

On Boker’s website, they say, “The relationship between the two Boker companies has always been very friendly. Heinrich was allowed to take the tree-brand with him across the river without troubles or payments. Since then, not a single product has left the Solingen factory without this sign. After over 100 years of existence the venerable tree was cut down by a stroke of lighting in 1925. A gifted artist carved an image of the majestic tree into a piece of original tree trunk, which adorns the executive’s office in Solingen.”

Within the Boker Brand, there are four different lines. They have the Premium collection, the Boker Arboltio—which is the tradition collection, Boker Plus—which is the innovation collection, and lastly Magnum by Boker—which is Price and Performance.

The Lateralus is part of the Boker Plus line. The products in this line are in close cooperation with international acknowledged experts from military, police and security as they develop and test tactical knives for the professional user. Boker Plus knives are innovative in terms of function and design, as well as guaranteed for everyday use. Conception, design, and construction are carried out in Solingen, and production takes place in Europe, the USA, and Asia.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 Tool Steel. This steel is used in industrial settings. It has a high hardness and relatively high toughness that make it an excellent choice in the industrial setting and in cutlery. While it is technically not a stainless steel, it is relatively corrosion resistant. This steel is considered a “semi stainless” as it falls just short of the required amount of chromium to qualify as full stainless. D2 has been around for more than 20 years, which is considered an eternity in metallurgy terms. Over the years, different heat treats have emerged, but one has risen to the top as the best—Bob Dozier’s D2. Despite its age, it is a truly superior steel. D2 steel is much harder than other steels in the same category such as 154CM or ATS-34, and as a result, it does hold its edge a little better. With that being said, it is not as tough as many other steels and is exponentially tougher to sharpen. In fact, you will most likely need to be a master sharpener to get a fine edge eon D2 steel.

The Lateralus has been finished with a stonewash finish. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finish based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it entered the tumbler. One of the very positive benefits of a stonewashed blade is that it is a very low maintenance finish and it easily preserves the original look of the blade overtime. A stonewash finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. The stonewash finish provides the knife with a very rugged, well-worn look. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance.

The blade has been carved into a drop point style blade. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to almost anything. This shape is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger blades in Swiss army knives. To form this shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which does create a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. It is because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that makes drop point blades a popular blade shape on tactical and survival knives. Drop point knives feature a large belly area that tis perfect for slicing. One of the only real disadvantages the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. However, this broad tip provides point strength that is not found on the similar clip point knives. When you choose this knife, because of the drop point, you are equipping yourself with a blade that reacts well in many situations.

The Lateralus does sport a plain edge, which will give you very clean cuts. This plain edge will also be able to take on a wide variety of tasks—more tasks than a serrated or combo edge would be able to complete. The plain edge is easier to sharpen and you will also be able to get a finer edge on it.

On the spine of the blade, there is a row of thick, shallow jimping to help you have complete control over your cuts.

 

The Handle:

The handle of this Boker knife is made out of G10 and stainless steel. The front handle scale is G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber yet can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. To make this material, 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. G10 is actually the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger, although more brittle, than Micarta. G10 is durable and lightweight, but

Boker Lateralus
Boker Lateralus

still non-porous. These qualities make it a phenomenal choice for tactical folder and fixed blades, because it is in these genres that things are going to messy. The G10 on the front handle scale is black.

The back handle scale is made out of stainless steel. This material provides excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, but it is not lightweight. Also, stingless steel can be slippery. Because it is combined with the G10 handle scale though, the weight won’t be an issue and the G10 will give you a secure enough grip. Stainless steel is strong and durable.

For the texturing and solid grip, Boker has a series of grooves going down the palm of the handle. The shape of this handle is a unique one. The handle is much skinnier at the top of the knife, where the blade and handle meet. There is a deep, elongated finger groove carved out of the bottom part of the handle. This finger groove is going to give you a secure, comfortable grip on this knife. The butt of the handle is rectangular, but it does have an angled portion. It is on the angled portion that the knife features the lanyard hole.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The clip is on the stainless steel handle scale, so it is stainless steel. This clip is kept in place by two small, silver screws, which do match the rest of the hardware on the Lateralus.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife features a flipper mechanism. This is an assisted-opening knife which means that it is a type of folding knife which uses an internal mechanism to finish the opening of the blade once the user has partially opened it using the flipper. When the knife is in the closed position, the blade is held in place by means of torsion springs and an additional blade lock. As the user applies manual pressure to the flipper, a mechanism such as a torsion spring moves along a track in the liner and rapidly rotates the blade into the open and locked position. Although commonly confused with switchblade knives, a switchblade can be opened automatically simply by the push of a button, but the user of an assisted-opening knife must open it about one quarter of the way before the mechanism opens the knife the rest of the way. The difference is important legally because the blade does not simply open by the push of a button or by the force of gravity, the assisted opening knife is typically not considered a switchblade and may escape the restrictions applying to those in many places.

The flipper mechanism is a square shaped protrusion that juts out of the pine of the handle when the knife is closed. You pull back on this piece of metal and it flips the knife open and locks it into place. The blade is deployed by using the index finger to pull back on it. This not only keeps your hands at a safe distance from the blade but gives you an added finger guard once opened. The flipper in most cases, including this one, will actually wing around and end up underneath the knife continuing to offer protection form accidental knife injuries. If you are concerned with the safety of your thumb, a flipper knife will be more to your liking.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.7 inches long with an overall knife length of 7.9 inches long. The handle of this Boker Plus knife is 4.2 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.7 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Lateralus is a Jason Stout designed flipper model that is a distant cousin to the Lucas Burnley designed Kihon–but with alternative styling, a longer blade and a lighter frame. Each frame lock designed model features a tool steel blade that is deployed with the spine flipper function and operates quick and fluid-like thanks to the ball bearing pivot. Stout also added his own personal flair–outfitting the Lateralus with a massive blood groove and the deep finger groove allows for accurate precision work. The Boker Plus line of knives are designed in cooperation with knife experts worldwide and provide innovative knife concepts for every task. This model features a black G-10 front handle scale, a stainless steel back handle scale, a drop point style blade in a stonewash finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. You can find your new Lateralus here on our website.

 

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