Benchmade 551BKSN-AS Griptilian Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Designer:

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

 

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

What Benchmade has to say about it:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

 

SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife
SOG Ace Fixed Blade Knife

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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


The Mechanism:

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

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

 

The Sheath:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 417 Fact Knife Review

Benchmade 417 Fact
Benchmade 417 Fact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade 417 Fact.

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The handle has been skeletonized to cut down on weight.

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

Gerber 30-001295 06 Automatic Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

 

The Handles:

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

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

 

Spyderco Dark Blue Paramilitary 2 Folder Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

 

Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife Review

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

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances to within one thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives for used by the US Military such as the Halo, UDT, Socom, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

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

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

This tough knife features a plain edge. The plain edge is one long continuous edge and in general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. And generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge becomes more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones. Generally, 1200-grit is considered polished while a 6000+ grit water stone would even further polish the edge.

 

The Handle:

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

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

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

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

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

The Sheath:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Conclusion:

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

 

Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show Strider Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

 

Piranha Blue Mini-Guard Knife Review

Piranha Knives specialize in excellent automatic knives. All Piranha products are made in the United States of America and feature superb design and craftsmanship. They use modern technology and cutting edge materials to make a highly quality automatic knife. They have a wide variety of different models and every single one of them would be a great option for you. Also, Piranha Knife Company offers you a lifetime limited warranty—which is unusual in the industry and a true testament to their willingness to stand by their high quality knives.

Today, we will be going over their Blue Mini-Guard Automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM-S30V steel. This is an American made powder steel that is produced by Crucible and developed specifically for knives and more specifically for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible works alongside knife guru Chris Reeve to produce this excellent steel. S30V steel is a martensitic powder-made stainless steel. Martensitic is a specific type of stainless steel alloy. This premium steel is a great balance of the three qualities you want out of your knife steel: edge retention, hardness, and toughness. To create such a high quality steel, Crucible has added Vanadium into the steel, which is where the V in the name comes from. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. When the steel first came out, it came with a premium price. But now that other companies are producing similar steels, the price has dropped. Now, you can get a high quality steel for a lower price. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is hard to work with and sharpen. This does increase the cost slightly, because the manufacturers have to work with it, and if you are a beginner sharpener, I wouldn’t try to sharpen this steel. If you are looking for a more workable steel with the same qualities, S30V steel does have a better looking brother, S35VN steel, which has added Niobium to make it easier for the manufacturers to work with. At this day, S30V is a very common steel and it is one of my favorites.

The blade on the Blue Mini-Guard knife has been finished with a black coating. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually, and at that time, the blade will have to be re-coated. The coated finish reduces the reflections and glares while also reducing wear to the blade. Coatings can work to prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but they also provide you with more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. This black finish is a matte finish.

This knife is a classic stiletto style design. The stiletto style of blade is a dagger with a long slender blade and needle-like point, which has been designed as a primarily as a stabbing weapon. The stiletto’s blade narrow cross-section and acuminated tip reduces friction upon entry, allowing the blade to penetrate deeply. Over time, the term stiletto has been sued as a general descriptive term for a variety of knife blades exhibiting a narrow blade with minimal cutting surfaces and a needle-like point. The stiletto was first developed in Italy, dating back to the late 15th century, and is thought to be a development of the rondel dagger, which is a needle pointed weapon with a narrow blade designed primarily for thrusting, although it does possess cutting edges. The blade shape was later adopted throughout Italy as the favored offensive thrusting knife of the medieval assassin. The stiletto was even preferred by assassins as it was silent, easily concealed inside a sleeve or jacket, and featured a blade capable of easily penetrating the heavy leather and clothing of the day. The stiletto remained a popular weapon of criminals or political assassins form the 16th through the end of the 1th century, especially in France, Corsica, and Italy. The stiletto later followed the first wave of Italian immigration to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana during the mid-19th century, where the knife became a popular weapon of gamblers, gang members, and assorted assassins. This style of knife was actually involved in so many stabbings that the city passed an ordinance in 1879 outlawing the sale of any stiletto within the city limits. During World War One, there became a new need for stabbing weapons, which is when the dagger and stiletto reappeared. During the Second World War, there was another resurgence of the stiletto in the form of combat knives. During the 1950s, large numbers of folding switchblades with locking blades were imported from Italy to the United States. These Italian switchblades were commonly referred to as stilettos, since most incorporated a long, slender blade tapering to a needle-like point. These stiletto switchblades were designed primarily as an offensive weapon, optimized for thrusting rather than cutting. This was unlike most of the US switchblade designs of the day because they had a locking device, which locked the blade in the open position.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a spear point style blade. The spear point is similar to the needle-point blade, because they are both good for piercing. But, the spear point is a little stronger and it does contain a very small belly that can be sued for slicing. This style of blade is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. A spear point knife is a great choice for the knife enthusiast who is looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It successfully 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.

The blade on this knife does have a plain edge. The main difference between plain edge blades and serrated blades really comes down to how you use your blade. Plain edges excel at push cuts, which is where you push the edge against the thing that you are trying to cut. Some good examples of this style of cuts are when you are shaving or whittling. Plain edges are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain edge blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, or peeling an apple. The other nice advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. The plain edge is going to give you cleaner cuts than a serrated edge. With a plain edge, you are going to be able to get a finer edge on your blade and it will be easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth. However, because it is a plain edge, you are going to have to sharpen your blade more often than if it were a serrated blade.

Piranha Blue Mini-Guard Knife
Piranha Blue Mini-Guard Knife

The Handle:

The handle is made out of T6-6061 anodized aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal 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 hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The alloy of aluminum used is 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. Because this aluminum is used extensively in aircraft, it is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”. Aluminum alloy is much 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. Aluminum is a nonferrous metal. One of the benefits of having an aluminum handle is that it gives your knife as solid feel, without all the extra weight. Some of the drawbacks to your knife handle being made out of aluminum is that if you use your knife quite a bit during colder months, you will probably find the handle uncomfortable cold given its conductive properties. This material is also susceptible to scratches and dings. Lastly, unless it is property texturized, the handle can be fairly slippery. When it is properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use.

The handle on the Mini-Guard has been anodized. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideal suited to anodizing. The anodic oxide structure originates from the aluminum substrate and is composed entirely of aluminum oxide. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. Anodized finish has made aluminum one of the most respected and widely used materials today. The handle on the Mini-Guard has been anodized a deep blue.

To provide you with a secure grip, there is ribbing all around the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only. This pocket clip is made out of titanium and has been anodized black. This clip is kept in place by a large screw and is a deep carry pocket clip. Titanium offers you one of the best rust resistance of any metal.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife with a plunge lock. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, which is a type of knife with a sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a button. Automatic knives have strict laws surrounding them in most states and cities, so know your local laws before your purchase and carry this knife. You are responsible for knowing your laws and the consequences surrounding them.

A plunge lock is long wearing and mechanically robust. A spring pushes a hardened, taper cylinder into a slot in the tang preventing closing. When the blade is stowed, the rounded plunger head makes contact with another slot in the tang acting to hold the blade closed. The plunger’s double duty is an elegant solution, negating the need for a ball detent. The mechanism is housed in the nested bolster plates for strength and longevity.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Piranha Blue Mini-Guard measures in at 2.9 inches long with the handle measuring in at 3.7 inches long. The overall length of the knife measures in at 6.6 inches long. The knife weighs in at 1.8 ounces and is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Piranha knives have certainly made their mark in the automatic knives arena for their tight tolerances, consistent quality and competitive pricing. Thanks to their unique custom-like anodized handle colors and a multitude of knife models with their respective blade variations, Piranha can most certainly appeal to every knife user. All models feature all-stainless steel hardware in addition to a titanium pocket clip. The Mini-Guard stems for the same style as the Bodyguard series but in a smaller size. This knife showcases aircraft grade aluminum handle scales that have been chamfered, rounded and polished for a comfortable and ergonomic feel and offers a classic stiletto style design coupled with modern materials. This knife puts a contemporary spin on the classic stiletto and fires hard and fast. This model, the 7BTBLU, features a marbled blue handle and a single-edged spear point style blade in a black finish and the pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only.  This is a durable, solid knife that is going to make the perfect self-defense knife. The marbled blue handle is classy and sleek, which will never go out of style. Pick up your Blue Mini-Guard Automatic Knife with an S30V Black Blade today at BladeOps.

Brous Blades Parallax Knife Review

Brous Blades Parallax Knife
Brous Blades Parallax Knife

 

When Brous Blades talks about Jason Brous, they say, “Knife making encompasses an amazingly broad spectrum of styles ranging from the purely practical to the whimsical. Most makers getting into the craft tend to start with fairly basic, functional designs and, as their skills develop, get more ambitious and artistic. Jason Brous; however, isn’t like most makers.” He started his efforts in knife making in his early 20s, with the benefit of nearly 10 years of experience in CNC machining. His father owns a shop that specializes in the custom machining of high-precision components, mainly for the medical industry. Jason spent a lot of time in his father’s shop while growing up, and by his id teens was actively helping out with production. His skills and knowledge steadily increased and by the time he was 20 he was a seasoned and very competent machinist. Jason’s interest in knives actually began with art—specifically a style called Bio-mechanical” as practiced by one of his favorite artists, a Brazilian painter and tattooist named Lango. Biomechanical art is a surrealistic style of art that combines elements of machines and robotics with organic animal features.
Intrigued by this style of art and its similarity to many fantasy knives, Jason figured that knife making would be a natural extension of his metalworking skills and an appropriate medium for his artistic ideas. Although he had no specific training in knife making, in 2010 he designed and made his first knife—a fantasy design with a Biomech flavor—and eagerly posted photos of it on several Internet knife forums. Unfortunately for him, his design drew harsh criticism from some all-knowing keyboard commandos. However, fortunately for us, he turned that criticism into fierce determination which ultimately led to his success.

Though persistent trial and error, Jason changed his style of knife design to focus on functional simplicity, while still maintaining a strong artistic signature. His early successes came in the form of a series of stout neck knives with dual finger-hole grips. Fans of these “Silent Soldier” neck knives began asking for other expressions of the design. Since then, Jason has created numerous variations including a clip point version, a tanto version and the very popular folder version called the Silent Soldier Flipper.

Today, we will be going over the Brous Blades Parallax Acid Stonewash flipper knife, with a D2 blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this exceptional everyday carry knife is made out of D2 steel. This is a tool steel that is often used in industrial settings. This steel has very high hardness and relatively high toughness, which does make it the perfect choice for a knife steel. Because this still is so much harder than similar steels, it holds its edge much better. Unfortunately, this also makes it exponentially harder to sharpen. In almost all cases, you will require a master sharpener to get a fine edge on this blade. D2 steel is technically not a stainless steel, because it falls just short of the required chromium percentage, but it is still very corrosion resistant. So corrosion resistant that it is actually often referred to as a semi stainless steel. This steel also sports excellent wear resistance. This steel has made its mark in the history of knife steels, because it has been around for over 20 years. All of these characteristics make it the perfect option for your everyday carry blade, because it will be tough enough to take on the tough tasks that you encounter in your day to day life and it is pretty low maintenance. This steel is hard and tough enough that you shouldn’t encounter chipping or breaking very often at all. And, because it sports the acid stonewash finish, this blade looks extremely rugged.

The acid stonewash has a few names that it is called, but it is essentially a darker stonewash than what you are used to. This finish, as well as the classic stonewash finish are created by tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish works to easily hide scratches, while also providing you with a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finish blade. Surprisingly, there is actually a wide variety of stonewashed finishes due to the variety of abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and even the type of finish the blade has previously had. The acid stonewash is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. Not only does it give you a very cool look, it actually enhances the blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. While the regular stonewashed finish is already very low maintenance and already works to preserve the original look of the blade overtime; an acid stonewash finish is like a stonewash finish on steroids. This finish is extremely low maintenance because it will hide the scratches and smudges that a blade accumulates over time. This means that you are going to have to polish the blade less often. And, you have a rugged, well-worn, textured blade. You really can’t go wrong with this finish.

The blade on this knife has been carve into a drop point blade shape. This is just about the most popular blade shape that is used for EDC knives today. Also, the drop point is for sure the most commonly available pocket knife blade type on the market right now. To form the shape, the unsharpened back of the blade follows a long and slight curved downward form its base toward the point. The belly, or edge, follows a similar but slightly more pronounced slope upward toward the point. Because of this shape, the blade has a long and easy to maintain cutting surface and does feature a fairly sharp point. Although, this point is probably not fine enough to have full stabbing or piercing capabilities. This blade shape is so popular for good reason: it is one of the easiest shapes to use and to maintain.

This knife does have a high, hollow grind and plain edge. A hollow grind is one of the most common grinds where a convex hollow is removed from both sides of the edge. It produces a very sharp edge, but being so thin, the edge is going to be more prone to rolling or to damage than some of the other grinds. This grind makes it unsuited to heavy chopping or cutting hard materials. Because it is a plain edge, this knife is going to be able to take on a wide variety of everyday tasks.

The blade itself has been perfectly designed for your next everyday carry blade. It is rugged, strong, tough, and ready to accompany you throughout your life. This blade is not going to let you down when you rely on it.

 

The Handle:
 The handle on the Parallax is made out of titanium. Titanium is extremely durable and tough, and for how sturdy this metal is, it’s crazy lightweight. However, this is also the most expensive common metal that can be used in knife handles. This material offers one of the highest resistances to corrosion and it is not going to bit into your hand as strongly as aluminum would, because titanium doesn’t conduct and retain cold as much as aluminum. This is perfect if you were hoping to use this knife in the colder months, while aluminum would feel too bitter. Even though this material is so tough, it is actually more prone to scratching than stainless steel. You will probably see titanium being advertised as the perfect metal, but it is still for from indestructible, and you have to keep that in mind.

The handle has also been finished with an acid stonewash to match the handle and to give this knife a more unified look. Because of each part of the knife being finished with an acid stonewash, you have a very tough looking knife on your hands.

One of my favorite features about this blade is that the handle and the blade almost look like they are doing the wave. The handle is very curved, just like the blade. In fact, it almost looks like the handle is an upside down drop point. Because of the extreme curves, your grip is going to be secure and comfortable. There is an extremely elongated finger groove to give you a place to rest your fingers comfortably. To keep your fingers safe, this knife does sport a finger guard when the blade is opened. There are a couple of raised portions of the handle to provide you with the grip that is need while going about your everyday tasks.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has a very slim profile and has been attached for tip up carry only. This clip has also been acid stonewashed and has “Brous Blades” stamped down he length. All of the hardware on this knife also matches blends in, being a dark charcoal. Although the clip is slimmer than some that you would find, it is going to keep your knife very secure inside of your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a flipper knife with a very solid frame lock locking mechanism.

The flipper mechanism is a very straightforward and loved opening mechanism. There is a portion of the blade that juts out of the handle when the blade is closed. This piece of metal looks like a shark’s fin coming out of the handle. You manually pull back on this piece and it flips the knife open until it locks into place with the frame lock. This mechanism is an alternative to the thumb stud and many people love it because once the blade has been opened, the flipper doesn’t get in the way like a stud would. In fact, the flipper actually falls perfectly in place to act as a finger guard. One of the other main benefits of a flipper mechanism versus a thumb stud or hole is that the flipper keeps your fingers out of the way of the blade during the entire opening process. If you are at all worried about keeping your fingers intact, I would highly recommend the flipper mechanism.

The frame lock mechanism operates similarly to a liner lock, except that the lock is a tensioned part of the handle frame with an open channel. When the blade opens, the frame lock moves into the handle opening and locks against the blade. Pushing this piece to the left will release it from its locked position so that you can close the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.75 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 5 inches long, with an overall length of 9 inches long. The Parallax weighs in at 4.9 ounces. This knife was also made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Brous Blades Parallax flipper features elegant 3-D machined titanium handle scales with an integrated flipper for quick deployment that keeps your fingers safe throughout the entire opening process. This model features Jason Brous’s iconic acid stonewash finish all throughout the knife and the D2 tool steel used on the Parallax offers a drop point profile with a high hollow grind for an incredibly razor sharp edge right from the start. These features make this the perfect knife for your next EDC because the blade is tough enough to take on the unexpected situations, but looks good enough to be a constant accessory. The frame lock design and reinforced steel insert offers a solid lock up–exactly what you would expect from any Brous Blades knife. The ultra-slim profile of the pocket clip is designed for tip-up carry only. This knife is one of a limited run of 250. So come pick up your Brous Blades Acid Stonewash Parallax Flipper Knife with a D2 blade today at BladeOps. You couldn’t ask for a more equipped every day carry knife to accompany you throughout your adventures.

 

Kershaw CQC-11K Knife Review

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

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

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

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

Kai USA Ltd. and its Kershaw, Zero Tolerance, and Shun brands have a history of garnering industry awards. In May 2005, Kai USA Ltd. won four of the top awards at the Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the first time in the show’s history that one company won this number of awards in one year: 2005 Overall Knife of the Year, 2005 Most Innovative American Design, 2005 Kitchen Knife of the Year, and 2005 Knife Collaboration of the Year.

2009 brought a Kershaw win for the Speed form. In 2010, Kershaw won “American Made Knife of the Year” for the Tilt.

Kershaw had a founding mission to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This means that Kershaw builds each of their knives with the highest quality. They also have a commitment to innovation. In fact, Kershaw has pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. When you are carrying a Kershaw, you know that you are carrying the real deal—from solid sound of the blade lockup to award winning technologies and advanced materials.

Kershaw has earned a reputation of creating phenomenal knives that are exceptional—even their inexpensive knives are top quality. Today, we are going to be going over their CQC-11K model.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This type of steel comes from a Chinese series of steel. Out of the series, 9Cr steel is the highest quality, with 8Cr steel falling shortly behind. If you were going to compare this steel to another steel, the closest type is AUS 8 steel. However, AUS 8 steel is the higher quality one. 8Cr steel is a softer steel, so it will be an easy steel to sharpen, even if you are out in the field, and this steel can be repeatedly sharpened without losing its quality. As a total bonus, this steel does keep its fine edge for long periods of time. This is a stainless steel, so it does resist rusting and corroding fairly well. This is an average grade steel, so while it does stand up to most tasks, it does not excel at anything like a premium grade steel would. The biggest advantage that this steel boasts is how budget friendly it is. This steel is jam packed full of value—it is a low cost steel that can stand up to the majority of things that you throw at it.

This steel has been finished with a stonewashed 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 enters the tumbler. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. The stonewashed finish hides the scratches and smudges that occur with use over time.

The blade has been carved into an upswept clip point style blade. If you are looking for a great all-purpose blade, then the clip point blade is a great option for you. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a clip point is the Bowie knife, but it is also popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. The back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This cut out area is a curved area and is referred to as the “clip”, which is how this shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped off. The area of the point is upswept but the actual point is still lowered, which does provide more control when you are using the knife. Because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. Clip point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. This CQC-11K has been designed as a hunting knife and the large belly is perfect for skinning any game that you are trying to dress. The large belly also offers superior slicing for a wide variety of tasks.

Because this knife has been designed as a hunting knife, the edge is a plain edge to help with skinning and slicing and providing you with clean cuts.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of a textured G10 front scale with a 410 bead blasted finish back scale. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, yet it can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. While it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles. 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. In fact, G10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta, although it is more brittle. Tactical folders and fixed blade knives benefit from the qualities of G10 because it is durable and lightweight, non-porous and available in a variety of colors. The fact that it is non-porous is what makes it an exceptional material for a hunting knife.

The back handle scale is made out of stainless steel. This material provides excellent durability and resistance to corrosion but is not particularly lightweight. Stainless steel is a slippery material, so that is why the dual material handle scales make such a great combination. The G10 gives you all of the grip that you need and the stainless steel gives you the durability that you want.

The stainless steel handle scale has been finished with a bead blasted finish. This finish is created by using abrasive, glass or ceramic beads. The bead are blasted at a high pressure against the metal, resulting in an even, grey finish. A blasted finish reduces reflection and glare due to its even matte surface. Creating a blasted finish is a base level or user level finish on a knife blade. The blasting creates an increased surface area and micro abrasions make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. However, a blasted finish, even from stainless steel, can rust overnight if left in a very humid environment.

Kershaw CQC-11K
Kershaw CQC-11K

The handle has a thick finger guard and a deep finger groove to protect your fingers from getting sliced as well as keeping your fingers comfortable. At the bottom of the handle, there is a row of jimping.

At the bottom of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into it. The lanyard is going to come in handy when you are processing a large animal. While field dressing a large game animal, there comes a time when you’ll reach inside the cavity to cut the esophagus so the intestines can be pulled out. This is a messy, bloody situation, which makes a knife handle slippery. You really don’t want your hand to slip down the handle onto the blade. Or suppose a lengthy fish-cleaning session is going on. As your knife dulls, the handle will probably get slippery from the slime, blood, and guts. All it takes is an inattentive instant to hurt yourself. A lanyard around your wrist or hand can prevent this from happening.

 

The Lanyard Hole:

The lanyard hole is black, in contrast with the bead blasted stainless steel. The knife has pre drilled holes in the handle that enable the user to change either the tip position or the side on which the knife carries.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual knife that has no mechanical assist, such as SpeedSafe, used to open the folding knife. It opens the classic, old school way. This knife has a thumb disk, “wave shaped opening feature”. This is also called the remote pocket opener and is built into the back end of the blade, similar to the flipper. The unique wave shape is a hook that enables the user to open the knife as it is withdrawn from the pocket. Make sure closed knife is snugged up against the rear seam of your pants pocket, tip up. Reach into the pocket to hold the handle of the knife, keeping your fingers away from the blade. Pull toward the rear seam, withdraw the knife form your pocket quickly and steadily so that the wave shaped opening feature hooks on the rear seam of the pocket. This will open the blade. By the time its fully out of the pocket, the knife will be open and ready for sue. Pull back quickly and smoothly to ensure blade lock up.

The CQC-11K also features a frame lock. This is a portion of the handle that moves behind the blade to lock it into positon during use. This is the safety feature of the knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 8.5 inches long and it sports a closed length of 4.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.8 ounces. This knife was designed by Emerson, built by Kershaw.

 

The Conclusion:

This knife is part of Kershaw’s series of hunting knives—for the toughness, durability, and edge holding capabilities your next hunting trip demands. The popular Kershaw—Emerson series is growing. The newest entry, the CQC-11K, is based on the Emerson Rendezvous. Originally designed as a hunting knife, it’s equally adept for survival, camping, bush crafting, or for just about any outdoor activity.

The CQC-11K features a blade of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a stonewashed finish. It holds an edge well, and then resharpens easily when out in the field. The blade offers plenty of belly for skinning and other game processing, as well as superior slicing for a wide variety of tasks. For a secure-grip, the CQC-11K has a G-10 front scale with stainless steel back and a sturdy frame lock. Of course, it’s also equipped with the Emerson “wave shaped opening feature” so that the folder can be opened as it is withdrawn from the pocket. Or use the thumb disk for simple, manual opening. The CQC-11K’s handle is contoured for comfort and grip security while you work. A reversible pocket clip enables left- or right-handed carry.
This brand new hunting knife is going to make all of your buddies jealous while also meeting and excelling at any task that you throw at it.