SOG Kiku Assisted Knife Review

The story about how SOG came to be begins long before SOG existed. The story actually begins in Vietnam, with members of a highly classified US special ops unit, known as MACV-SOG. These members needed to carry a unique combat knife because most of their covert missions were in the jungle. It was years later, in 1986, that Spencer Frazer came across this bowie knife. The knife inspired him to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission for the company was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tools have been filed proven by the US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. It doesn’t matter if you are protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s every day challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, you should lead the way with SOG. This tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, and honed for you.

Spencer Frazer is the founder and chief designer at SOG. He has always been a creative person who has had a great curiosity of how things worked. While he was in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes, but it was much later in his life that that interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools. He graduated from UCLA as a math and science major and started his own company in the professional audio industry. Then he went on to work in the aerospace defense industry as a n R&D tool/die and model maker. He also became involved in the modern art movement and began meeting with top artists. This is where he learned about scale and color. Spencer feels as if all of his life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie. He has said, “the knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the this knife.” Later on, Spencer said, “We don’t settle for ordinary. We never did, and we never will.”

Recently, SOG has released a brand new knife called the Kiku Assisted, and let me tell you, it is anything but ordinary.

SOG Kiku Assist Knife
SOG Kiku Assist Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Kiku Assisted is made out of VG-10 steel. This steel is a well-known, high end Japanese steel. This steel is considered premium, in fact, the G in the name stands for “gold” because this steel has reached a “gold standard”. This steel was designed for high quality blades that are used in kitchen cutlery. One of the reasons that makes this steel such a great option for kitchen knives is it’s ability to withstand rust and corrosion. People who use this blade every single day, can go about a week without washing or oiling the blade and the blade still refuses to rust. But, that feature also comes in handy in other knife types, so this stainless steel has been used for top of the line hunting, pocket, and tactical knives. This type of steel always excels. This steel can also take a crazy sharp edge. Not only can you get a crazy sharp edge on the knife, but it is a very easy steel to sharpen. Most beginners will be able to pull off sharpening this knife. And the last major benefit to the edge on this steel is that it holds an edge for long periods of time. This is also a very durable knife and because of the vanadium in the steel, it is also known for its toughness. A big benefit to this type of steel is that it is a very hard steel but it doesn’t seem to be brittle.

There are two different finishes that you can choose from when purchasing this blade. The first option is a black TiNi finish. This is short for Titanium Nitride. This is actually the very best coating finish that can be applied to steel. The main purpose that it achieves is adding a sleek, black finish to the knife as well as increasing durability. This type of finish is known to be both extremely scratch resistant as well as extremely peel resistant. Something that makes this type of coated finish unique is that it is applied to the steel through a unique process of plasma deposition that is performed in a completely air-sealed vacuum. This sets the TiNi finish apart from the other finish in the manner of how smooth and even the finish is on the steel. A big complaint about many of the coated finishes is that near the edges, it appears as if the coating has run or built up, but you won’t get that with this finish.

The other finish option that you have is a satin finish. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted, which is matte, and mirror polish, which is a high gloss. This is the most popular finish on production knife blades. It excels at showing off the fine lines of the steel. This is a very classic finish.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape isn’t designed to be an all-purpose knife, it is designed to do one thing and one thing really well. The tanto shape has been designed for piercing through tough materials. This type of blade was originally designed for piercing through armor and is similar to the Japanese long and short swords. However, in the early 80’s Cold Steel modernized it and popularized it. To form the shape, the tanto has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The point is much thicker than most knife shapes and contains a lot of metal near the tip. Because of those two characteristics, it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to snap or break. The front edge of the blade meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. This means that the tanto shape does not have a belly. Because the shape is lacking a belly, slicing is not going to be as smooth, and these knives are not as useful in a general utility sense. But, because you sacrifice the belly, you get a much stronger tip that can be used in tough situations. One of the other drawbacks to this knife is that it is harder to control the point.

This knife sports a straight edge. There are a variety of benefits about having a straight, or plain, edge. Some of them are that they excel at push cuts (which are the more common cuts), they are easier to sharpen, you can get a finer edge on them, they can peel, they can slice, and they can skin. The straight edge is definitely the more traditional edge. Some people are worried that they aren’t going to be able to cut through the tougher or thicker materials, because with a serrated edge, you can saw through those. While serrated edges do perform better in those situations, if your straight edge is sharp enough, it will be able to manage those same tasks. And because the blade on the Kiku Assisted is made out of VG-10 steel, you will be able to manage those tasks.

 

SOG Kiku Assist Kknife, Satin
SOG Kiku Assist Kknife, Satin

The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of a linen Micarta. This is a material that has been made with the organic compound Phenol, which is a type of resin. To make the Micarta, thin layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phenolic resin, which makes a product that is lightweight, strong, and looks a little classier than G-10. This material was actually originally introduced to the world as an electrical insulator and is now one of the best plastics out there for making knife handles. However, Micarta actually has no surface texture and is very slippery and smooth. This means that it requires a lot of hand labor to produce and then carve some sort of texture into the knife handle. This makes Micarta a pricier material, which means that your knife is going to be more expensive because of it. The linen Micarta on the Kiku Assisted knife is a green Micarta that has plenty of grooves carved into the spine and the bottom of the handle. These grooves will provide you with a secure grip in most situations. This is a brittle material that can break if impacted with a very hard or very sharp object. To keep your fingers safe, there is an elongated, shallow finger groove and a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Kiku Assisted knife is the classic SOG pocket clip. It has been skeletonized because “SOG” has been carved into the middle of it. This is a low carry clip that is reversible. This means that you can carry it on either the traditional or nontraditional side of the knife, helping to make this knife ambidextrous. This is a black pocket clip that matches the black hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening folding knife. The assisted mechanism on it is the thumb stud. The thumb stud is a small stud that lies on the butt of the blade, near the handle. The thumb stud sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. This makes for an easy and smooth opening operation. This is also one of the most common opening mechanisms on the market. This is a very comfortable way to open your knife with only one hand. However, the drawback to having the thumb stud mechanism is that it puts your hand very close to moving blade. There are plenty of people who have slipped while deploying their knife and slicing their thumb. While using a thumb stud, you do have to be careful.

This knife also sports the SOG Assisted Technology, which works through the balance of opposing high tension coil springs. As you initiate the opening action, the force propelling your blade open becomes greater than the force keeping it closed. The result is a blade that springs open instantly once it is engaged, seemingly on its own.

The Kiku Assisted knife sports a button lock.

 

The Specs:

The Kiku Assisted boasts a blade that is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. When the knife is closed, it measures in at 4.6 inches, and has an overall length of 8.1 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.6 ounces. This knife originated in Taiwan.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has a reputation of designing and building trusted knives that can take a beating. They build durable knives to get you through not only your everyday tasks, but also the challenges that accompany any adventure. These knives are field tested, so you know that they are going to be able to take on whatever you throw at them. These tools are tools that you can trust and rely on. The Kiku Assisted knife is no different.

To create an impeccable knife, they started out with one of the highest quality steels. This steel is easy to sharpen, you can get a crazy sharp edge, and the edge will last long. Because of how stainless this steel is, maintenance is a breeze. The tanto style blade is the perfect blade for piercing through even the toughest of materials. The handle is durable and strong, but also lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about this knife weighing you down. The thumb stud is an efficient way to get this knife open and you don’t have to worry about it closing on you because of the button lock. Get your brand new Kiku Assisted today at BladeOps.

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CRKT Batum Knives Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company, or CRKT, was founded in Oregon in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this principle, they have been collaborating with some of the best knife makers and designers in the world. Some of these designers are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. Out of these collaborations have been born many groundbreaking and innovative inventions and mechanisms. Because of these, CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff Serrated edges. The last patent that I just mentioned was designed by Tom Veff.

Looking at the company now, they are obviously succeeding and it seems as if they have always been that successful. That is not the case though. The company was founded in 1994 and it wasn’t until 1997 that it really took. That was the year that they introduced the K.I.S.S, Keep It Super Simple, knife at the 1997 Shot Show. This was a small folder that was designed by Ed Halligan and it was massively successful. Within the opening days of the show, the entire years’ worth of products had sold out. They now produce a wide range of fixed blades, folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They have recently released quite a few knives and one of them is the Batum, as well as the smaller version, the Batum Compact.

CRKT Batum Folder
CRKT Batum Folder

The Designer:

The man behind these two knives is Jesper Voxnaes. He is one of the lucky knife designers because he lives in Loegstrup, Denmark, so when he needs to test a design, he only has to step into his own backyard. The harsh elements and conditions of the fjords and forests in his native Denmark do the rest. When he was starting out, no one was making the kind of knives he wanted to design, so he learned by trial and error. Apparently his efforts paid off given his IF Award in 2013 for one of the Top European Designs. Now he creates and uses knives like the Amicus as he sails, camps, and drives off road, which just so happens to be more often than not.

 

The Blades:

Both of versions of the Batum have blades made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel has a hardness level of HRC 58-60. The steel is a Chinese steel that comes from the Cr series of steel. Out of the series the 9Cr steel is the best, with 8Cr steel falling shortly behind. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a knife with a blade that uses any of the formulas less than 6Cr, because the blade would be much too soft. The best steel comparison for 8Cr is AUS 8 steel. However, between the two, 8Cr is the inferior steel. It is a stainless steel formula, so while it will resist rusting and corrosion to an extent, you will need to keep up on your maintenance to guarantee that the blades do not rust. This is a softer steel than most, so it will be a breeze to sharpen and you will be able to get a crazy fine edge on it. Surprisingly enough, this formula of steel does maintain an edge for long periods of time. The biggest advantage that 8Cr steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. But, keep in mind that you do get what you pay for, so while this blade will be able to take on the majority of tasks that you throw at it, it will not excel at anything in particular like some of the premium steels would.

Both versions of the knife also have a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, such as sandpaper. This works to showcase the lines of the steel and provides you with a very classic look. While a satin finish does minimize some glares and reflections, it is by no means a matte finish.

Both knives also feature a thick drop point style knife. The drop point blade shape is easily one of the most popular blade shapes that you can find and it has definitely earned that position. The back of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curve, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point is what gives you such great control over your cuts and slices. It is also one of the reasons that this blade shape is so popular on hunting knives. The lowered point also provides you with more strength than you would typically find on a blades point, which makes the drop point style a great option on tactical and survival knives. The drop point and the clip point blade shapes are often confused because they are both very popular and very versatile. The biggest difference between the two is definitely the point. While they both have a lowered point, the drop points tip is much broader, which does minimize your stabbing capabilities, but also provides you with crazy strength that is going to be able to take on those tougher tasks. The clip point’s tip is much thinner and sharper, so while you have full stabbing capabilities, the tip is much weaker than a drop point and is very prone to snapping and breaking when you are trying to complete those heavier duty tasks. Another reason that this is such a versatile blade shape, which also means that the two Batum’s are going to be so versatile, is because of the large belly that it rocks. The length that it provides makes slicing a breeze, which also means that the majority of your everyday tasks are going to be a breeze.

The knives feature plain edges, which do carry more advantages than a serrated or combo edge does. While you do sacrifice a little bit of sawing ability that is useful for getting through those tougher and thicker materials, the plain edge is easier to sharpen and easier to get a super sharp edge on. When your plain edge is sharp enough, it will also be able to get through those thicker materials, if only a little less efficiently than a serrated edge would be able to.  The plain edge is the more traditional edge and is perfect for push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. The plain edge is not as niche as a serrated edge is, and because of that, it will be able to take on more of the common tasks that you expect to encounter.

 

The Handle:

The handles on these knives have been made out of two different materials, with the front handle scale being made out of G 10 and the back handle scale being made out of 2Cr13 stainless steel.

G 10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar characteristics to carbon fiber, but it is slightly less quality, and you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost of carbon fiber. To make this materials, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The material is crazy tough, very hard, still lightweight, and strong. One of the drawbacks to this handle material is that it does tend to be pretty brittle. To add texture and provide you with a secure grip, CRKT has added some intense checkering.

The stainless steel handle scale is going to be super durable and very resistant to rusting and corrosion, but it is heavy. Normally a handle made out of stainless steel would weigh the knife down, but because the Batum’s only have one handle scale out of stainless steel, you get all of the benefits without much of the drawbacks. This handle scale sports a stonewashed finish is gives you a very textured and well-worn look. The biggest benefit about a stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the handle over time and it effectively hides any scratches and fingerprints that the handle will accumulate over time.

There is a finger groove to have a comfortable, secure grip on this knife. And in case that fails, there is a thick finger guard to protect your fingers from getting cut. The butt of the handle is slightly flared and this folder does sport a lanyard hole which has so many different benefits if you choose to use it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on these knives are secured with two small silver screws that match the rest of the hardware. It is also stainless steel to match the back handle scale, which is where it rests. On the middle of the pocket clip, CRKT has stamped their logo. This pocket clip has only been designed for the traditional side of the handle, but it is eligible for a tip up or tip down carry option, which is a big benefit.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that uses a thumb slot for opening assistance. This is exactly what it sounds like: a carved out portion or slot that sits where the thumb stud would. When the knife is closed, the slot peeks out and you can easily get your thumb to push the blade open with this slot. One of the drawbacks to this style of mechanism is that your fingers and hands do have to be close to the blade at all times, which makes it easier to slip and cut yourself while opening the knife.

The Batum’s both sport a frame lock locking mechanism. This is similar to the liner lock, except that a frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. The frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging it at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness, so you will be able to take on those harder tasks with the Batum’s and not have to worry about the blade snapping closed during use.

 

The Specs for the Batum:

The blade on this knife is 3.158 inches long with blade thickness of 0.187 inches. The overall length of the knife is 7.875 inches long with a closed length of 4.772 inches long. This version of the knife weighs in at 6.9 ounces.

 

The Specs for the Batum Compact:

As the name implies, this is just a smaller version of the original Batum. The knife on this version is 2.452 inches long with a thickness of 0.147 inches. The overall length of this knife is 6.125 inches long with a closed length of 3.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.6 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

This beast of a folder sports impressive ergonomics paired with classic styling to ensure it is built for the long haul. This knife sports a frame lock that provides a convenient finger choil and finger groove for precise cutting. It also sports a thumb slot for manual blade deployment. This model features a G 10 front handle scale, a stainless steel back handle scale, a drop point style blade in a satin finish, and a pocket clip that is designed for traditional side but tip up or tip down carry. CRKT says, “The Batum™ Compact everyday carry folder is the knife equivalent of a 4×4. It’s the go-anywhere, do-anything backwoods go-to. A surprisingly capable blade pairs with an ergonomic handle to make a compact companion that won’t back down to any camp task—even if it’s twice its size.” Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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CRKT Amicus Compact Knife Review

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

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. In the past two decades, they have gained a serious reputation of long lasting, ground breaking knives. But, it wasn’t that way all the time. It wasn’t until 1997 at the Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S, Keep It Super Simple, knife. This knife was designed by Ed Halligan and is a small folder. CRKT sold out of the entire years’ worth of product in the opening days.

CRKT has recently released a new knife to the Amicus series. This is the Amicus Compact.

 

CRKT 5441 Compact Amicus
CRKT 5441 Compact Amicus

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Jesper Voxnaes. He is from Loegstrup, Denmark and when he needs to test a design, he only has to step into his own backyard. The harsh elements and conditions of the fjords and forests in his native Denmark do the rest. When he was starting out, no one was making the knife of knives he wanted to design so he learned by trial and error. Apparently his efforts paid off given his IF Award in 2013 for one of the Top European Designs. Now he creates and uses knives like the Amicus as he sails, camps, and drives off road.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This formula of steel is form a Chinese steel that has many different versions of the steel. The highest or best formula of the steel is the 9Cr formula, but 8Cr falls quickly behind. The best steel to compare this steel with is AUS 8 steel, however 8Cr is the inferior steel out of the two. 8Cr is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust fairly well, but you do have to make sure that you are keeping up on maintenance. This is a softer steel, so it is extremely easy to sharpen—many beginners can pull it off. And, you can get an extremely fine edge on 8Cr steel that does last quite a while. The biggest feature that this steel boasts is its low price. You get a steel that can stand up to most tasks for a very inexpensive cost. However, you do have to keep in mind that you do get what you pay for when it comes to steel, so while it will stand up to most tasks, this blade steel is not going to excel at anything.

The blade has been finished satin. This is one of the more traditional finishes. It is created by continuously sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive material—usually a sandpaper. The satin finish’s main purpose is to showcase the lines in the steel. In terms of how shiny this steel is, this is a fairly medium finish. It is not as shiny as a mirror finish, but it is more reflective than a matte finish. If you are looking for a very classic look, this finish is going to be your best bet.

The steel on the Amicus Compact has been carved into a tanto blade shape. This style of blade was originally designed for armor piercing because it was designed after the Japanese long and short swords. In the early 80s Cold Steel Americanized and popularized the tanto blade shape and now you can easily find a knife with this style of blade. This blade is for when you don’t want an all-purpose knife, but instead you want a knife that does one thing and does that one thing extremely well. This one thing is piercing through tough materials. The tanto style is formed with a high point and a flat grind, which leads to a crazy strong point that is perfect for stabbing into those hard materials. The tanto style also has a thick point which contains a lot of metal near the tip. Because of the extra metal, it can absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to crack under the pressure. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge of it at an angle, instead of the traditional curve. Because of this, the tanto has no belly, which is why you can’t use this for slicing or general utility purpose. But, by sacrificing the belly, your receive the extremely strong point. This style of knife is perfect for those unexpected moments while adventuring or even just going through your daily life.

The edge of this knife is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that you are going to find on knives and is tailored for excelling at push cuts. This means that the plain edge is going to be perfect for slicing, peeling, and skinning. As more benefits, the plain edge is the easier edge to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about all of the small teeth while sharpening. And, you can get your plain edge sharper than you could get a serrated or combo edge. Some people are worried that without the teeth of a serrated edge, they aren’t going to be able to saw through the harder and tougher materials. For the most part, you are going to want a serrated edge for those tougher materials, but if you get your edge sharp enough and with the benefits of the strong tanto shape, you will be able to get through those materials.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Amicus Compact is made out of stainless steel with G 10 scales covering one side of it. Stainless steel provides the user with durability that is out of the park as well as crazy resistance to corrosion. However, it is not lightweight and is going to weigh the knife down. It is also quite slippery. To combat both of these problems, CRKT used less stainless steel and added G 10 scales.

G 10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, but with the slight lag of qualities, you can get it for a much cheaper price. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin. The manufacturer then compresses the layers of cloth and bakes them under pressure. The material that comes out is extremely tough, very hard, quite lightweight, and very strong. G 10 is even considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. However, this is a brittle material because the fibers are all arranged in one direction, so when it is stressed in opposing directions, it will break down. One of the drawbacks that many knife users express is that the G 10 does not have much character and lacks elegance.

To provide you with exceptional grip, CRKT has added intense checkering as texture on the G 10 scale. There is also a row of shallow but thick jimping near the butt of the handle. The finger groove on this knife is shallow and elongated to provide you with a comfortable grip. There is also a finger guard to protect your fingers from getting sliced in the event of slipping.

As a cherry on top of the design of the handle, there is a lanyard hole on the butt, carved out of the stainless steel. One of the best reasons to keep a lanyard on your knife is that it makes it easier to attach to your belt or backpack strap, while keeping it out of the way when you aren’t using this knife, but giving you easy access when you do need your knife. The lanyard will also protect your knife from loss while you are out and about. I’ve come to realize that the preference for a lanyard is really a love-hate type of thing with people either loving it or see no point in it. Either way, it is always great to have the option.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a low carry clip that is made out of stainless steel. It is held in place by two small silver screws that match the rest of the hardware on this knife. The pocket clip is attached on the back of the knife, or the stainless steel side of the two toned handle. In the middle of this pocket clip, CRKT has stamped their logo.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that uses a thumb slot blade deployment. This type of mechanism has been around since the 1980s and is exactly what it sounds like—a slot cut into the knife that gives you a spot to gain purchase on and flip the knife open. One of the first companies to use this style of mechanism was Spyderco, but most other knife companies have jumped on the train, and for good reason—it works excellently. Using it is basically like using a thumb stud and by its design, it is extremely ambidextrous. One of the advantages that the thumb stud does not offer is that the slot does not protrude from the blade and get in the way like the thumb stud sometimes does.

The Amicus Compact sports a frame lock locking mechanism. The frame lock is very similar to the liner lock is except that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. The handle on knives with a frame lock is often cut forma steel that is much thicker than the liner of most locks. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner set inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, which engages it at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Amicus Compact is 3.004 inches long with a thickness of 0.124 inches. The overall length of this knife is 7.313 inches long and it sports a closed length of 4.249 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.8 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Designer Jesper Voxnaes has done it again with a redesign of the popular CRKT Amicus folder knife–the Amicus Compact. The word “amicus” actually translates to “friend” or “comrade” which is fitting considering how this knife will deliver whenever you call upon it. From basic chores to demanding tasks, the 3″ tanto style blade is ideal for cutting and piercing and the G-10 front scale and stainless steel back scale provide a secure grip and quick and easy access. Just like its larger counterpart, the protruding back spacer provides jimping for multiple carry options and the lanyard hole make carry options almost limitless. The pock clip is designed for tip up or tip down carry. The Amicus Compact is the perfect size for when you want a knife with you that is going to be able to take on the majority of your daily task, but still preparing you for taking on those unexpected situations that tend to pop up in your everyday life. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

 

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Kershaw 1220 Reverb Knife Review

The Kershaw Reverb

 

Kai USA, Ltd has been a premier blade producer for over 100 years now. Kai makes sure that they take an innovative approach to product development. They make sure that they take an innovative approach to coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

Kershaw is a sub brand of Kai USA, ltd and they also always take an innovative approach to every part of their production. In fact, Kershaw has pioneered many of the technologies and materials that are now the standard in the knife industry. For example, Kershaw’s Speed Safe technology were the first assisted opening knives in the market. Another example is their interchangeable blades in Kershaw’s Blade Traders. And one of their most recent groundbreaking innovations are Kershaw’s Composite Blade technology. This is when they combine two types of steel into one blade, which truly gives the user the best of both worlds. They can use a steel known for its edge retention on the edge of the blade and a steel known for its strength on the spine of the knife. Kershaw vows to keep innovating and bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife suing public.

In 1974, when Kershaw was founded, they mission was to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To complete this mission, they know that all of their knives have to be made with the highest quality materials. They choose appropriate high quality materials and are dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Kershaw has extremely tight tolerances and state of the art manufacturing techniques to ensure that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw knows that their knives are excellent and has said, “if this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.” One of Kershaw’s newest releases is called the Reverb, and it will sell you on Kershaw knives or just reinsure you about how great they are.

 

Kershaw 1220 Reverb
Kershaw 1220 Reverb

The Blade:

The steel that is used on the Reverb is 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel and actually comes from the Cr series of steels. The highest quality steel in this series is actually the 9Cr steel, with 8Cr steel falling close behind it. The biggest advantage about this type of steel is how inexpensive it is. When you are looking for a budget option that will get the job done, this is a great steel to go with. However, you do get what you pay for, so while the steel will be able to get the job done, it is considered one of the more average steels and won’t excel at anything. 8Cr steel is most commonly compared to AUS 8 steel; with AUS 8 steel being the superior out of the two kinds. 8Cr steel is a little softer than AUS 8 and doesn’t hold an edge as well. On the flip side, because it is a little softer, this steel is extremely easy to sharpen and a beginner would be able to excel at sharpening this type.

To make this steel harder and more durable, the finish that Kershaw chose is a PVD coating. This is a Physical Vapor Deposition coating, where the particles of coating are applied in a vacuum like environment. This type of coating is actually chemically bonded to the steel and vastly improves the hardness and durability of this steel. It has been said to make this steel scratch resistant. Because it is chemically bonded to the steel, it will not scratch off like any of the other coating finishes would. One of the last benefits about this type of coating is that there are no thicker deposits of the coating whereas a painted on coating could run or be applied unevenly. The PVD coating also provides you with protection against many of the elements which is perfect because this knife is designed for backpacking, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The PVD coating on this knife is a dark gray color.

Kershaw used a different finish for the flats of the blade: a satin finish. A satin finish is used to enhance the lines of a steel and creates a slighter more matte look than if it had no finish on it. It does work to reduce the glares and reflections on the knife. This finish is created by sanding the steel with increasing levels of a fine abrasive. Because it takes time and work, it does add a little bit to the overall cost of the knife. The satin finish is a much lighter gray, almost silver, compared to the PVD coating, which creates a nice contrast.

The steel has been ground into a modified drop point blade shape. This blade shape is created by having the unsharpened edge of the blade slowly curve until it meets the sharpened edge creating a lowered point. The lowered point provides the user with more control over their cuts, which is why this is a popular blade shape among hunters. The lowered point also means that the point is going to be broader, and thus stronger than another point. Because of this, the drop point blade shape is able to take on a plethora of tasks that a different blade shape would not. The drop point style is one of the most versatile blade shapes that you are going to be able to buy, and one of the reasons for that is that it provides you with a large belly that has plenty of length of slicing or cutting. The belly is perfect for your everyday tasks. The drop point blade shape is going to help you be prepared for almost any situation, whether it is the common expected, everyday tasks or the completely unexpected or emergency situations.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of G 10 with a carbon fiber overlay front and a steel back. G 10 is laminate that is made of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it can be produced for a much lower cost. To make it, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaks them in resin, compresses them, and lastly bakes them under pressure. The material is very hard, tough, lightweight, and strong. G 10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates. However, it is brittle. G 10 is a popular material because it is durable, lightweight, non porous and you can purchase it in a variety of colors.

The front overlay is made out of carbon fiber. This material is made when thin strands of carbon have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. This is an extremely strong material that is also lightweight. However, it is one of the other expensive materials. Even though it is such a strong material, it is also pretty brittle. This is because all of the fibers of carbon have been woven in one direction, so they are strong in that direction, but when they get stressed in other directions they start to break apart. This has a heavily textured pattern that looks like a woven basket.

The back of the handle is made out of steel. This is an extremely durable material that is also very resistant to corrosion. However, it is not as lightweight as the other two materials. In fact, it is one of the heavier materials. Steel is one of the more slippery materials, but because it is just on the back, you will still have an excellent grip on your knife.

The finger groove in this handle is extremely shallow, but on the front of the knife, there is a cut out from the front overlay and the back, so you can place your finger in this groove. Because of this, you will have fantastic grip on the knife, no matter what the weather is. For an outdoors knife, you need the best grip that you can get.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is long and skinny. It is an extra deep carry pocket clip. This means that it will always be safe and secure inside of your pocket, plus, with a deep carry pocket clip, it is easier to conceal. However, it is also a single position pocket clip. The knife has only been drilled to carry your knife right handedly and with the tip of your knife up.

 

The Extras:

The Reverb actually functions as a multi tool. This knife has been designed to be an outdoors knife, and to be a great outdoors knife, you have to be able to use both of your hands in many of the situations. But, you also need to be able to have quick access to your knife while ensuring that it remains secure when you are not using it. To fulfill all of these needs, Kershaw has added a Carabiner Clip onto the handle of the knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fully manual opening knife. Kershaw says that it has no assist, even the Speed Safe assisting mechanism, and it opens the classic, old school way. In fact, this knife doesn’t even feature a flipper or a thumb stud mechanism. There is a slight thumb groove to get traction on the blade to be able to push it open. Other than that, it is fully manual.

This knife also features a frame lock mechanism. This is a portion of the handle (the knife feature) that moves behind the blade to lock it into position during use. This is a safety feature of the knife. Because of this frame lock, you won’t have to worry about it closing on you or fingers during the heavy duty use.

 

The Specs:

The bade on the Reverb is 2.5 inches long. When this knife is open, it has an overall length of 6.1 inches long, but when the blade is closed, it measures in at 3.25 inches long. Because of all the lightweight materials that were used on the blade and in the handle, and the slim and sleek design that the Reverb sports, this is a crazy light knife. It weighs in at 1.6 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The reputation that Kershaw has earned over the past few decades is completely true. Kershaw knives are reliable and durable. This knife is going to be able to last a lifetime with you, through all of your outdoors adventures.

This is a super lightweight knife that is ideal for backpacking, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. With its lightweight design and no flipper or thumb stud to catch on anything, the Reverb is ready to go with you on your next outdoor adventure. The built in carabiner clip makes it easy to clip to backpack or harness.

To create such an excellent knife, Kershaw started out with steel that holds an edge for long periods of time and is a breeze to sharpen. Not only that, but the steel is extremely inexpensive and will keep the cost of this knife down considerably. To match the great blade, Kershaw had to design a perfect handle. They used G 10 to give you durability with a Carbon Fiber overlay. Both of these materials are durable and extremely light weight, which keeps the weight of the knife down considerably. This helps to make your knife light enough to take with you no matter where you go. The back scale of the handle is made out of durable, rust resistant steel. While this scale is much heavier than the other two handle materials, it doesn’t weigh the knife down because it is just the back scale.

The carabiner clip is the perfect edition to your new outdoors knife. The extra-long, extra deep carry pocket clip is just the cherry on top of a fantastic knife.

If you hike, camp, backpack, or spend much of your time in the outdoors, this is the perfect addition for your knife collection–find yours at BladeOps.

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CRKT AUX Knife Series Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in Oregon in 1994. This is an American company that is known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over 2 decades now CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. CRKT operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. They also collaborate with the best designers in the world, some of which are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Laker, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. CRKT also owns fifteen patents and patents pending which include the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated Edges.

This company produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They recently released a brand new series of knives which includes two folding knives and one fixed blade. They called it the AUX series.

 

The Designer:

The designer of this series of knives is Lucas Burnley. He is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When you ask him was drew him to the knife world as a teenager, he will tell you it was stories of survival, off path adventures with his father, and a healthy dose of action movies. Over the years, he has experimented with a broad range of styles to artfully combine classical examples with modern materials and techniques, such as with his Obake knife, Lucas believes knives are a personal expression of independence.

 

The Blades:

The blades on all of the knives are made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from a series of steels that has many different formulas in it. The best formula of steel in this Chinese series is 9Cr steel, but 8Cr steel does fall closely behind. When comparing this type of steel to other steels, it is most commonly compared to AUS 8 steel. 8Cr is the inferior between the two though. 8Cr steel is a soft steel, but surprisingly enough, it does maintain a very fine edge for long periods of time. As a bonus, it is extremely easy to sharpen, because of the softness behind it. It is a stainless steel, so it does resist rusting and corroding well, but you will still need to be keeping up on your maintenance, such as cleaning and oiling your blade. The biggest advantage that this blade steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. With steel, you do get what you pay for though, so while this steel is going to stand up to most challenges, it is not going to excel at anything.

There are two different finishes that this series offers. The fixed blade and one of the folding knives has a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive. The abrasive that is most commonly used is sandpaper. This is one of the most traditional and classic finishes that you can find on a knife today. In terms of reflectiveness, it is a medium finish. It does cut down on glares and reflections, but it is in no means matte. One of the biggest characteristics of this finish is that it shows of the lines in the steel.

The second finish option is on the second folding knife. It sports a black oxide finish. This is a blackening finish that is a conversion coating for ferrous materials. It is use to add mid corrosion resistance, for appearance, and to minimize light reflection. While this is a quality finish, it is a coating finish, so it will scratch or peel off after periods of long or heavy use.

There are also two different edge styles that you can choose from with this series of knives. Both knife versions that feature the satin finish have a plain edge. This is the more traditional style of edge that is ideal for push cuts including skinning, peeling, and slicing. You can get a sharper edge on this style and it is easier to sharpen.

The version of the knife that features the Black Oxide coating has a combination edge. This is when the half of the blade closer to the handle is serrated and the other half is plain. This type of edge gives the user the best of both worlds, because they have the teeth to saw through some of the thicker materials, but they also have a plain portion that is perfect for small slices or even detail work.

All three of the knives in the AUX series feature spear point blades. This style of blade is very similar to the needle point blade because they are both great for piercing. However, it also differs from the needle point blade because it has a stronger point and it contains a small belly that can be used for slicing. When you compare the belly to a style of knife that has been created for its belly such as a drop point or clip point, the belly on the spear point tends to seem very small. To shape of the spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the most common places that you are going to find a spear point is on a throwing knife. The spear point does have a lowered edge, which gives you more control over your cuts and slices. This makes the AUX a great option for fine tip work. The spear point knife style is considered a hybrid style because it does contain a belly for some cutting and slicing applications, but it also has the point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade. This style of blade is a great choice for the knife lover who is looking for the perfect balance between piercing and slicing abilities.

 

The Handle:

CRKT 1200 AUX Fixed Blade
CRKT 1200 AUX Fixed Blade

The handles on all of these knives are made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material that is super strong, very resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Even better, it’s a very cheap material. It is such an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. All of this lends well to high volume manufacturing and thus the low cost. What makes this material so strong is that the fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout, which makes it strong in all directions. Similar materials such as G 10, Carbon Fiber, an Micarta have the fibers arranged in only one direction which makes it brittle when it is stressed in the other directions. Many people did not warm up to this material because they thought it felt cheap and somewhat hollow. Another drawback is that it tends to provide the user with less grip. The GRN on all of the versions is black, with a texture of deep dimples. These dimples will provide you with a secure grip in almost any situation.

The handle on the different versions vary: the fixed blade version does not have a finger groove, but it does sport a finger guard to protect your hand from getting cut. There is also a row of thick jimping on the fixed blade version where the blade meets the handle, so as to provide you with better control over your cuts. The last thing that the fixed blade version has that is different from the other two is that it sports a lanyard hole at the butt end of it. The lanyard is great to fold over your handle to provide you with extra grip or for attaching your knife to your belt or pack strap so that it is out of the way, but you still have easy access to it. The hardware on this version of the knife is silver.

The handles on both of the folding versions do sport a finger groove, but this groove is more rectangular than you would normally find, but it will provide you with a comfortable grip even for long periods of use. The hardware on these handles are also silver.

 

The AUX:

The Mechanism:

This knife in the series is a fixed blade. There are so many advantages to owning a fixed blade. For starters, they are bigger and stronger because they don’t have to be small enough to fold into itself. They also don’t break, because there are no moving, small, inward parts that have the tendency to rust or break. To go along with that advantage, a fixed blade is so much easier to maintain. This is because you do not have to worry about the moving, small, inward parts to clean. Basically all you have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and oil the blade. It is a very simple process. Fixed blades are also superior for tactical use because they can be brought into play faster than a folding knife. They are also a superior survival too because they are so strong, you can use them for a variety of reasons such as cutting, digging, splitting wood, food preparation, hunting, hammering, and even prying. If you are looking for a knife that is going to do it all, look no further than the AUX.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.451 inches long, with a thickness of 0.122 inches. The overall length of the knife is 7.563 inches long and it weighs in at 3.9 ounces.

 

The AUX Folder and the AUX Folder Black:

CRKT 1221K AUX Folder
CRKT 1221K AUX Folder

The Mechanism:

These knives are folding knives with a thumb disk blade deployment. They also sport a locking liner. The thumb disk is similar to the flipper, because it is a small protrusion on the spine of the blade that you can use to assist you while you deploy the blade.

The locking liner is one of the more common mechanism that you are going to find on folding knives. The main component of this mechanism is a side spring bar that is located on the same side as the sharp edge of the blade, essentially “lining” the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed the spring bar is held under tension. And when the knife is fully opened, that same tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, which keeps it firmly in place and prevents it from closing. To disengage this type of lock, you use your thumb to push the spring bar down towards the pocket clip so that it clears contact form the butt of the blade. This then lets you use your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb from the blade path and then continue to safely close the knife. Some of the benefits to this type of mechanism tis that they allow the knife to have two true handle sides. You can also close the knife with one hand without switching grip, which is perfect for when you need both hands on the job. However, you should know that this type of locking mechanism is not as strong or durable as other locking systems, so keep that in mind for when you are doing heavy duty tasks.

 

CRKT 1220 AUX Folder
CRKT 1220 AUX Folder

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.211 inches long with a thickness of 0.144 inches. The overall length of the knife is 7.688 inches long with a closed length of 4.424 inches. These versions of the knife weigh in at 4.2 ounces.  

 

Conclusion:

The AUX is one of many new models released by CRKT this year and is offered in 2 different functionalities as well as 2 distinct blade configurations. They were designed with the vision of being an AUXiliary to the users primary EDC of choice. This is a high quality knife that is going to change the way you think about everyday carry knives. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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Fantastic Fixed Blade Knives

The most common style for an everyday carry knife is definitely a folder. However, you should not let a fixed blade everyday carry slip past your radar; fixed blade knives have many benefits. For starters, a fixed blade will always, always, always be a stronger knife than a folder will—fixed blades can pierce, they can pull, they can pry, and they can twist. These are all things that you might be able to do with a folder, but probably not without some nerves. Many people also brush off carrying a fixed blade because of the size. However, many fixed blades are smaller than large folding knives. And you really don’t need that large of a blade, around 3 inches, to accomplish the majority of your tasks. Another fantastic reason to carry a fixed blade as your everyday carry knife of choice is because they are much easier to maintain. You can do many dirty tasks with them, such as gardening, hunting, or fishing, and not have to worry about cleaning out all the nooks and crannies once you finish your work. With a fixed blade, you really only have to wipe everything down. Now that we’ve been over why you should carry a fixed blade, the next question is what fixed blade you should be carrying. To make the research easier for you, I have compiled a list of the three best fixed blades on the market.

 

The SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife:

SOG Seal Pup Elite
SOG Seal Pup Elite

This knife was designed to mimic the knife that the Navy SEALS use, so you know that this knife is going to be able to stand up to lots of heavy duty tasks.

The blade on this knife is 4.75 inches long made out of a high-quality AUS-8 hardened stainless steel. This steel has been powder coated for protection, corrosion resistance, and to defeat any glare. The lowered glare makes this knife a fantastic option for tactical missions because you won’t be alerting anyone of your position. The steel holds its edge well and has pretty good hardness. The thing that most people notice about the steel on this blade is how well it resists corrosion and rust. People use this knife for five plus years and their blades have no spots on it. The knife has a thick blade that measures .185 inches thick with a contoured spine. This thickness allows you to take on the rougher tasks without worrying about snapping your blade. There is a rasp on the blade’s spine, so you can have a place to set your thumb. Setting your thumb in this rasp will give you more control over your cutting, which makes it a perfect for smaller, more intricate tasks. The blade is partially serrated and has a clip point silhouette.

The handle on this knife is made out of Zytel, which is a super tough glass reinforced nylon. This material feels like a ceramic material, but it isn’t brittle so you don’t have to worry about your handle shattering. The handle is a black. It also has a nice finger profile which provides for fantastic grip even if the knife is wet. Another feature that gives you great grip is the textured scales. The handle also boasts a lanyard hole that is made for running paracord though.

Many people consider the sheath on this knife to be the best aspect of the knife. It is made out of quality abrasion resistant Cordura nylon webbing. The knife fits perfectly and has a button closure strap for the handle. On the front of the sheath is a small pocket that closes with Velcro, so you can carry a small item, such as fire steel in it.

Overall, this knife is 9.5 inches long. It can be carried don the right or left side, which is a very convenient aspect. No matter what you are doing, this knife will be able to stand up to the task.

Pros of the SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife:

  • The blade has a powdered coating to improve hardness, corrosion resistance, and to not reflect light.
  • The steel holds an edge well.
  • This knife is crazy rust resistant.
  • The thicker spine allows you to do heavier duty tasks.
  • The handle gives you amazing grip, even while in the water.
  • The sheath is the king of all sheaths.
  • Can be carried on the left or right side.

Cons of the SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife:

  • Some people consider the blade too thick to go about many tasks, such as filleting.
  • The plastic handle is a drawback to some.

 You can find all the SOG Seal Pup Elite options here.

The Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife:

KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife
KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife

Something that Ka-Bar is known for is how they make their blades. They have a unique steel tempering, treating, and grinding process that help perfect their blades. Ka-Bar blades are known for being tough, light, and maintaining their edges extremely well. Something that makes this specific blade unique is that it is constructed of a single piece of steel that runs clear through the handle, which is called a full tang build. Because it runs through the handle instead of being attached, you can expect higher strength and durability. The blade on this knife is 7 inches long made out of 1095 Cro-Van steel. This steels holds an edge better than most stainless steels and is also a lot easier to sharpen than most stainless steels. The original shape and straight edge of this knife have been relied upon by thousands of people over the past sixty years. Some being Marines, hunters, campers, and military men. This knife actually follows the original design which was designed for Marines during the second World War in 1942. The curve that is on this blade is ideal for slicing, skinning, and dressing, which makes this a perfect hunting knife. And, the straight edge on this knife is ideal for slashing, chopping, and really any other task that you might need to throw at it. Something unique about this knife is that it comes unsharpened. This is a great option because it allows the user to choose their own angles on the edge and you don’t have to live with the factory edges. The most common people who enjoy that characteristic are hardcore hunters or military personnel. This partially serrated blade will require more maintenance than many other blades will. The blade is stamped with USMC.

You can get this handle in either a synthetic rubber Kraton G or a stacked leather washer handle, the latter being the more traditional style. Both of these options have a flat pommel that holds a pin that extends through the tang. Some people don’t love the size of the knife and I’ve heard people complain that it was too big and different people complain that it is too small. Really, the size of your ideal knife handle depends on the size of your hands. But, in all actuality, this is a comfortable knife that works for many different hand sizes. Another complaint is that people don’t have as good of a grip on the knife as they would prefer, epically in survival situations. A good fix to that problem is adding a little bit of grip tape to the handle.  A bonus about using the Kraton G handle is that it won’t rot over time, which can be a concern when choosing the leather handle. If you do choose the leather handle, you can expect a better grip.

The sheath that goes with this knife is also a stellar sheath. It is a natural leather sheath that is easy to repair yourself if you need to. The knife locks into the sheath securely and you don’t have to worry about it coming out unexpectedly. But, when you try to pull it out, it will pop out easily. A bonus about this sheath is that it makes the knife easy to access whether you are left or right handed. There are holes in the sheath that make it very easy to attach the sheath to your backpack.

Overall, the knife is 11.75 inches long and weighs 10.5 ounces, which is .65 pounds.

Pros of the Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife:

  • The knife has a full tang blade.
  • The steel holds an edge better than most stainless steel and is easy to sharpen.
  • The knife comes unsharpened, so you get to choose the angle of the edge.
  • You can get the handle in either a Kraton or a leather.
  • The sheath is fantastic and is easy to repair if needed.
  • Holes in the sheath are ideal for attaching to your backpack.

Cons of the Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife:

  • The blade will need more maintenance than other knives.
  • The knife comes unsharpened, so you won’t be able to use it immediately and you will have to have easy access to a sharpener.
  • The handle doesn’t have the best grip.
  • This is a giant knife.

You can order yours here.

The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife:

Gerrber LMF II Infantry Knife
Gerrber LMF II Infantry Knife

This knife comes in three different models: the LMF II Infantry, the LMF II Survival, and the LMF II ASEK. All of these knives are the same exact knife, the only things that differ are the handle and sheath colors and then the accessories that come with each model.

The LMF II Infantry comes with either a black, brown, or green handle. The sheath that comes with this version matches the handle color of your choice.

The LMF II Survival only comes with a brown handle and sheath, but it does come with a safety knife and strap cutter.

The LMF II ASEK comes with a green handle and sheath plus a matching safety knife and strap cutter.

The blade on this knife is 4.84 inches long and the thickness of the blade is 3/16’s of an inch. This knife is a drop point silhouette, which means that your blade will be stronger across the entire blade than a different shaped knife. This means that it is also stronger on the point of the knife. Because of the strength of the blade, this knife is an ideal candidate for cutting, slicing, and bushcraft tasks. The steel on this blade is a 420HC stainless steel. This is an all-around good steel that is very resistant to rust. To add to its corrosion resistant properties, the steel is coated in a black oxide. The steel is also an extremely tough steel, which makes it ideal for chopping, slicing, and even hammering, prying and digging. This steel is not great at maintaining its edge when faced with heavy use. This blade is a partially serrated edge.

The handle on the LMF II Survival is made out of glass-filled nylon that has a TPV over mold grip. This over mold adds a lot of grip and helps to channel water, so the handle remains grippy even while wet. This handle is actually wider than the average handle, plus it is on the flatter side. These two characteristics help add grip surface and it makes it easier to lash this knife to a stick, if needed. There are also three holes in the handle that also help to lash this knife to a stick. At the bottom of the handle, there is a flair that helps you chop things comfortably. The butt cap at the bottom is designed to break, crush, and hammer.

The sheath of this knife is color coordinated to your handle and it is made out of ballistic nylon. It also has a fire retardant coating. The knife is held securely in place by a friction locking system. This sheath can also be a left or right hand carry. A unique aspect of this sheath is that it has an integrated sharpener, which makes sharpening your knife on the go a breeze.

Pros of the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife:

  • Comes in a variety of different colors.
  • Comes with a variety of different accessories, depending on which version you purchase.
  • The drop point silhouette makes the blade stronger across the whole thing.
  • The steel is very resistant to rust.
  • You can pry, dig, and hammer with this knife.
  • The handle is wider and flatter, making it easier to hold.
  • This handle provides great grip, even when wet.
  • You can hammer with the butt cap.
  • Sheath is fire retardant.
  • Integrated sharpener.
  • It is easy to lash the knife to a stick.

Cons of the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife:

  • This is not a full tang knife.
  • Partially serrated knives are harder to sharpen.
  • The blade steel does lose its edge quicker than other steels would.

You can order a Gerber LMF II Knife here.

Conclusion:

Many people don’t even consider a fixed blade for their everyday carry knife, but there are many reasons why you should be considering a fixed blade. This list is to help you transition from carrying a folder knife to a fixed blade; these are the three best fixed blades that you will be able to find on the market.

 

 

 

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CRKT Pineapple Knife Review

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

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, both of whom were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. Even though it seems like they’ve always been a strong company, there was a time where it was struggling. The company did not truly take off for about three years after it had been founded. It was in 1977 at the Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This was a small folder that was designed by Ed Halligan and it was a huge success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of the product had sold out. Since then, they have produced a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They have recently released a brand new folding knife called the Pineapple.

CRKT Pineapple Knife
CRKT Pineapple Knife

The Designer:

The Pineapple was designed by Matthew Lerch. He was initially trained as a jewelry and watchmaker, but then progressed into manufacturing and tool making. He now has a few patents under his belt for innovations like the Fire Safe, and has been honored with some prestigious award including the Buster Warenski award. Matt views knives as functional art, as evidenced in his Moxie and the Blade Show award winning Endorser design.

 

The Blade:

The steel on this blade is 1.4116 stainless steel. This is the steel that is used in Swiss Army Knives and it is an excellent steel for beginner sharpeners. One of the drawbacks to this steel is that it does not hold an edge super well, but because it is so easy to sharpen, it ends up being less of a drawback. You can get this steel razor sharp in only a few minutes. This steel is crazy corrosion and rust resistant. This is a German steel that is most popular on kitchen knife sets in German knives. This steel has an HRC level of 56-58.

The finish on the blade is a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is usually small pebbles. This creates a rugged, texture to the steel. After it has been tumbled around, the steel is smoothed out and polished. The resulting look is an even, matte gray. This steel finish works to cut down on glares and reflections. The biggest thing that this finish does is preserve the look of the blade overtime, because it works to hide the scratches and fingerprints that the steel would accumulate over time.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most popular and versatile blade shapes that you are going to find on a knife. One of the most common places that you are going to find a drop point blade shape is on a hunting knife, but it is also used on many other styles of knives because of how versatile it is. To form this shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curving manner. This slow curve creates a lowered point, and the lowered point provides more control to your cuts and slices. The reason that this blade shape is found on so many hunting knives is because it is so easily controllable; the hunter does not have to worry about slipping or accidently nicking the internal organs or ruining the meat. The lowered tip also adds a lot more strength to the tip of this knife. Because of the tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. A drop point knife shape and a clip point knife shape is often confused. Both of these knife shapes are very popular as well as being extremely versatile. The biggest difference between the two are the tip shape. Each of the tips have a handful of benefits, but also a drawback or two. The clip point has a lowered tip, so it is also controllable, but it does not have a broad tip. The lack of the broad tip means that it is weaker and more prone to breaking, but it also means that you have stabbing capabilities. The drop point has a lowered tip, like I mentioned, but it does have a very broad tip. SO while you do have so much more strength behind the tip, you also lose out on most of your stabbing capabilities. That is really the only drawback to the drop point blade shape. One of the other reasons that this is such a versatile knife shape is that it sports a large belly area that provides plenty of length to make slicing a breeze. The drop point blade shape provides you with the abilities to take on all of your everyday tasks, but it also prepares you for the unexpected circumstances that seem to surround your everyday life.

The edge on blade is a plain edge, which makes this an ideal knife for your everyday carry blade. The plain edge is more traditional and is easier to sharpen as well as having the capacity to get a finer edge on the blade. The plain edge is the perfect edge for push cuts, which include skinning, peeling, and slicing.

To add to the control that you have over your knife, there is a row of thick, deep jimping on the spine of the knife near the handle. On the sharpened edge, near the handle, there is a deep cut out.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the pineapple is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is thermoplastic material that is super strong and crazy resistant to bending, abrasion, and practically indestructible. As an added bonus, it’s cheap. This is an inexpensive option because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. All this lends well to high volume manufacturing and low cost. With this material, all of the fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which is why it is so strong and practically indestructible. With similar materials such as G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, the fibers are all arranged in a single direction, so when the fibers are stressed in other directions, it tends to be brittle or fall apart. But, because the GRN is arranged haphazardly, when it is stressed in any direction, it can stand up to it and not fall apart.  Many knife lovers took a while to warm up to this material, as well as FRN and Zytel (because they are all extremely similar), because they thought it felt cheap and somewhat hollow. Another drawback to this material is that it tends to offer less of grip than G 10 does.

The GRN on this handle is black and intensely textured. Not only does it have intense textured, but it also has cross hatches across the butt half of the handle to look as if it is a pineapple. On the bottom and top of the handle, there is a row of thick, deep jimping to improve your grip on it. Because of its multiple jimping platforms, you have a virtually 360-degree secure hold. When describing the handle, CRKT said, “The handle pattern, made with glass-reinforced nylon with G10 texture, was modeled after a pineapple frag grenade. Even in gritty conditions, it offers an extremely secure grip whether you’re performing fine detail work or long, slashing cuts.”

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a silver pocket clip that matches the blade of the Pineapple. On the middle of this clip, CRKT’s logo is stamped on in dark grey. This is a long clip that is angled to curve around the side of the knife. This clip is kept in place by two small, dark grey screws that match the rest of the hardware on the knife. This clip is designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that features a flipper opening mechanism as well as a locking liner. The flipper on the Pineapple is not the typical flipper shape. Instead, it is rectangular and very skinny. The flipper is a small piece of the blade that protrudes out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy the knife, you pull back on the flipper protrusion which puts enough pressure on the blade to flip the blade out and lock it into place.

The locking mechanism on this knife is a liner lock. The liner lock is one of the more common mechanisms seen on folding knives. This mechanism’s characteristic component is a side spring bar located on the same side as the sharp edge of the blade, essentially lining the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When the knife is fully opened, the tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, keeping it firmly in place and preventing it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb to push the spring bar down so that it clears contact from the butt of the blade. This lets you use your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb from the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife. One of the benefits of a liner lock is that they allow a knife to have two true handle sides. You can also close the knife with one hand without switching grip, which is perfect for when you need both hands on the job. You will find liner locks in both entry level and high end knives. However, the liner lock is not as strong as other locking systems. They are still very strong and can hold their own, but they are made out of a thinner piece of metal, so they are more prone to wearing out.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Pineapple is 2.625 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.125 inches. The overall length of this knife is 6.188 inches long and has a closed length of 3.541 inches. The weight of this knife is 3.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Pineapple is one of the new models that CRKT has released in 2017. It was designed by the American knife maker Matthew Lerch. This knife is ready in an instant and its rugged construction is built to handle even the toughest of jobs. Each model features a pineapple frag grenade design that is coarsely textured which is complimented by its multiple jimping platforms. The knife that features a liner lock is pocket friendly but can still blow its competition to bits.   You can pick your Pineapple knife up here.  CRKT has a reputation of designing and building high quality knives that are extremely durable. This model, the Pineapple 4120, features a black Glass Reinforced Nylon handle, stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade with a stonewash finish on the 1.4116 stainless steel and the an angled pocket clip that is designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle.

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Kershaw Launch 3 Automatic Knife Review

Kershaw was established in 1974 and ever since, they have been making excellent knives. Kershaw is actually a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai is a known company, especially in Japan, where they have been the leading producer of premium blades for over 100 years now. Kai has a commitment to innovation; they take an innovative approach to their product development, their research, their production, even their marketing and distribution functions.

Kershaw, as a member of the Kai group also has a solid commitment to innovation. Interestingly enough, this commitment to innovation has spurred the technologies in the knife community. Kershaw helped to pioneer the use of many of these technologies and their work with advanced materials have become the standard in the knife industry. One of these technological advancements include the SpeedSafe assisted opening. One of the world’s favorite technological advancement is that they have created knives that have interchangeable blades with their Blade Traders. One of my favorites with these technological inventions is the Composite Blade technology. For example, Kershaw will create a blade that uses a steel known for its excellent edge retention near the sharpened edge of the blade. But, for the spine of the blade, they will use a steel that is known for its strength. Because of this new technology, you can truly get the best of both worlds when it comes to your blade.

Kershaw’s founding mission is to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To accomplish this mission, Kershaw has chosen to use the highest quality materials. They believe that if the knife isn’t up to your standard, then it is not up to their own standards.

Kershaw knives truly last a lifetime. And you know that when you are carrying a Kershaw knife, you have a lifetime companion that is able to stand up to the tasks that you throw at it. Kershaw has said, “if this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.” They know that their knives are excellent, and once you use your new Kershaw, you will also know just how excellent they are. One of their popular knives is the Launch. And they just released a new version of it. This is the Launch 3 Automatic.

 

Kershaw Launch 3 Auto Knife
Kershaw Launch 3 Auto Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM 154 steel. This is a high end steel. There is regular 154 CM steel which is also a high end steel. The 154 CM steel has extra Molybdenum, so it is a very hard steel. Because of the strength behind it, it can hold an edge extremely well. Surprisingly enough, even though this steel has less Chromium, it has fantastic levels of corrosion resistance. Even though this knife has a very high level of strength, it is also very tough. The CPM in this steel name stands for Crucible Particle Metallurgy. This Particle Metallurgy makes finer carbide particles, which results in a slightly superior steel. This superior steel is tougher and has better edge retention than the classic 154 CM steel. This Particle Metallurgy also helps to more easily grind the steel. Although, the regular 154 CM steel is already relatively easy to sharpen. The finer carbide particles also allow for you to get a finer edge and the polished finish looks better than if it did not have this treatment done to it. This new version of the Launch 3 features a combo blade. This means that part of the blade is a plain edge, and the bottom part of the blade is a serrated edge. The combo blade gives you the best of both worlds, because you get the benefits of the serrated edge, while also not missing out on the advantages of having a plain edge.

One the older versions of the Launch 3, Kershaw used S30V steel instead of CPM 154 steel. This steel also is able to hold an edge for long periods of time. However, S30V steel has a higher resistance to rusting or corrosion. All in all, this is one of the best steels on the market, and is considered a premium steel. It has the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention.  However, S30V steel is a more expensive steel, so with the slight downgrade, the knife is a little more affordable.

 

There are a couple of different finishes to this steel. The classic and newest Launch 3 design has a black Diamond Like Coating on it. This coating is not painted on the steel like many of the other styles of coatings. This is actually molecularly bonded to the steel, so while it will eventually scratch off, it won’t scratch off as fast as other coatings will. There are a few pros and cons to having a coating finish. One of the pros is that coatings provide a barrier between the steel and the oxygen, so rust and corrosion levels are cut down. Another pro is that they are usually a darker color, so reflections and glares are significantly cut down. However, the biggest con to having a coating finish is that they will all eventually scratch off. The harder the coating, the higher quality it is, which also means that it is more expensive. The DLC is one of the hardest and thus, the most expensive coating finishes on the market.

One of the other finishing options is a stonewash finish. On this version of the Launch 3, the blade is not black, but rather an even gray. The stonewash finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is usually small pebbles. After this, the blade is smoothed over and polished. This finish creates a textured, rugged look. The resulting color is an even, matte, gray finish. Because of the matte, glares and reflections are cut down. Another big benefit to the stonewash finish is that it easily hides fingerprints and scratches, which cuts down on maintenance time.

The last finish option available for this knife is a Black Oxide Coating. This coating blackens the steel and is used to add mild corrosion resistance. It also helps to minimize light reflections.

Like I previously said, these last two finishing options are finish options that are on the older versions of the Launch 3.

OD Kershaw Launch 3 Auto
OD Kershaw Launch 3 Auto

The shape of the blade on the Launch 3 is a drop point blade. The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes on the market. The shape is created by having the back of the blade slowly curve until it meets up with the sharpened edge. This creates a lowered point, which helps to give you more control over your cuts. Because it is lowered, it ends up having a broader tip, which provides more strength and durability behind the tip. This way, you can use the tip of your blade more confidently than you would otherwise be able to. The drop point blade shape is a fantastic option for your everyday blade carry, because it features such a large belly. This large area for slicing lets you complete all of your everyday tasks. One of the only drawbacks to this shape of blade is that the tip is broader than most, so you really don’t have many stabbing or piercing capabilities.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this new version of the Launch 3 is an aluminum handle. This is a very durable and strong material. One of the biggest benefits to this handle material is that it provides you with a very hefty feel without actually weighing the knife down. This is a lightweight material, because of how low density of a metal that aluminum is. However, aluminum is prone to scratches, so to combat the scratches, Kershaw anodized the handle. The anodization process is the most common finish for aluminum knife handles. This finish adds hardness and protection to the handle, so it will cut down on how many scratches the aluminum would normally wrack up. It also works to add a color to the handle, in this case, black. In older versions of the Launch 3, the anodization process has also added an Olive Drab color to the handle. Another drawback is that aluminum is a cold material, so if you are working in a cold environment, I would not recommend having a knife with this handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is black to match the rest of the handle. There are pre drilled holes in the handle that allow the user to reverse the pocket clip in four different directions. You can either carry your blade with the tip up or down, or change which whether or not you carry your blade left or right handedly. This is a big benefit because it allows you to carry your knife as comfortable as possible for each specific user.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, so like always, make sure that you know your local knife. Automatic knives, or switchblades, have some very strict laws surrounding them. They are not legal in every state or city, so be sure you can legally own this knife before purchasing and carrying. An automatic knife is a knife that has the blade stored inside of the handle. Also in the handle is a tightened spring. To deploy the knife, you push down the button and the spring untightens and the blade will pop out. On the Launch 3, the name of this mechanism is the Push-button Lock. This is when the blade is locked open during use, and when you push the button again, the lock releases and you are able to store your knife.

 

The Specs:

The Launch 3 Automatic was made in the United States of America. There is also an integrated back spacer on it. The blade on this knife is 3.4 inches long. When the Launch 3 is opened, it measures in at 7.8 inches, with a closed length of 4.4 inches. The Launch 3 weighs 3.4 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Launch 3 Automatic:

  • The high end steel is tough, strong, and has great edge retention.
  • The high end steel is also resistant to corrosion.
  • The DLC adds strength, durability, and increases corrosion resistance.
  • The DLC is one of the hardest coatings on the market, so it will add the most durability and take the longest to scratch off.
  • Has a combo edge.
  • The drop point shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes.
  • The drop point has a large belly with ample cutting room.
  • The drop point has a lowered point that is broader than most, giving you some of the most strength.
  • The aluminum handle is strong, durable, resistant to corrosion, and very lightweight.
  • The anodization process makes the handle more resistant to scratches.
  • The pocket clip can be reversed in four different directions.
  • This is an automatic knife, which will deploy faster than other knives.
  • This is made in the USA.

 

Cons of the Launch 3 Automatic:

  • The steel is a little tricky to sharpen, unless you have the correct tools.
  • The DLC will eventually scratch off.
  • The drop point blade shape has a broad tip that takes away many of your piercing and stabbing abilities.
  • The aluminum handle will still get scratched, even with the anodization.
  • The aluminum handle will feel extremely cold if you are in a cold environment.
  • Automatic knives are not legal in many areas of the United States.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw is a trusted, reliable knife company that will provide you with one of the most quality knives that you have ever used. To create their newest knife, they used a high end blade steel and cut it into one of the most versatile blade shapes. To compliment the great blade, they added a durable handle. Everything combines to make a truly exceptional knife. If you have liked the previous Launches, you are going to love this version of the Launch 3.

 

 

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Spyderco Para 3 Knife Review

Spyderco is a knife company founded by Sal Glesser. The very first product that Spyderco ever released was the Portable Hand in 1976. This device was spider shaped and actually gave the company their name. It was a series of angles, ball joints, and alligator clips that helped people with small parts. Since then, they have produced many knives and knife sharpeners. Something unique about Spyderco is that they have actually been the company to pioneer many now common aspects on folding knives, such as the pocket clip, serrations, and the opening hole. Over the years, Spyderco has collaborated with about 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors to produce designs that are innovative.

People all over enjoy using their Spyderco knives because of how simple and reliable they are. Another thing that people tend to love about Spyderco knives is that they have fantastic ergonomics and functional aesthetics. These knives benefit people from every category, including private citizens, law enforcement officers, and fire and rescue personnel. Spyderco has recently released a new knife called the Para 3. This is a high quality, versatile knife that will benefit you in many different situations.

This knife was actually designed through the original concept of the Spyderco Paramilitary series, which is one of Spyderco’s most popular knives, but then they never actually produced it. It was just recently that Spyderco decided to produce and launch the knife.

Spyderco Para 3 Knife
Spyderco Para 3 Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Para 3 is ground out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is produced by Crucible, a United States based company. They designed this steel to be used specifically for knives, so you know that you are getting all of the characteristics hat you long for in a knife. Crucible actually designed this steel to be used on high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. To make this steel truly remarkable, Crucible has added Vanadium Carbides, which helps bring extreme hardness to this steel. In normal steels, when you have extreme hardness, you end up lacking toughness. This is because generally the harder the steel is, the more brittle it will be, and thus the more likely to chip or snap. CPM S30V steel is unique because even though it is crazy hard, it actually still remains most of its toughness. This is a balance that you aren’t going to be able to find in many steels. Not only that, but this steel is extremely rust resistant, cutting down on maintenance and hassle for you. This steel also has fantastic edge retention. A few years after Crucible released this steel, they released an upgraded version of it called S35VN. Because they have released a newer steel, S30V steel is less expensive than it used to be. That means that you get the best balance between all of the characteristics you desire in a knife blade and you won’t break the bank. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is a little bit tougher to sharpen. While it is manageable to sharpen without the help of a professional sharpener, beginners probably won’t be able to get a great edge.

The Para 3 has a plain edge with a flat grind. Flat grinds are useful for any general use task. Spyderco has said that the full flat grind will help with “superior balance of strength, point utility, and low-friction cutting performance”. To finish off the blade, Spyderco chose a satin finish. This is actually the most common and typical knife finish. This finish adds a little bit of corrosion resistance to the blade, but if you are looking for a finish that will really prevent corrosion, you should look for a blade that has a mirror or polish finish to it. The satin finish shows off the lines of the knife and cuts down on reflections and glares.  All in all, they have perfected the perfect everyday blade.

The blade on the Para 3 is a leaf blade. This is a signature blade shape of Spyderco. This blade shape gets its name because it resembles a leaf. Spyderco started developing knives with this shape for a few reasons, one is that it set them apart from their competition. But the main reason that they started producing knives with the leaf shaped blade is because it allows room for the Spyderco oversized thumb hole. This thumb hole is what is used to open the knife. This shape of knife has a belly that has a slight curve and then it turns to a harsh point. The belly makes this knife able to slice well. This knife is very similar to a spear point blade, except that it is not a symmetrical blade. The blade can also stab or pierce pretty well. The point on this knife is strong, so you don’t have to worry about the tip of the blade snapping or breaking. This shape of knife blade is excellent for all purpose knives and gives you a great balance between being able to slice and being able to pierce—two of the most important aspects of an everyday knife.

 

The Handle:

The Para 3 is very slim knife and to keep it that way, it features a lightweight, open backed construction style. The knife features stainless steel liners with textured G-10 scales. G-10 is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. G-10 is made by taking layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaking them in a resin. This material is compressed and baked under pressure. G-10 is very similar to carbon fiber, but it can be made for a much more inexpensive cost. This material is very tough, very hard, very lightweight, and very strong. G-10 is actually considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta. To give texture, G-10 has checkering or different patterns etched into the material. Because the Para 3 has a less obvious texture if you were looking at it, but it is definitely obvious when you hold it. This handle gives you a solid, comfortable grip. The G-10 handle makes it great for an everyday knife or a tactical knife because the material is rugged, yet still very lightweight. This handle is black with a lanyard hole carved into the bottom. There are some fantastic benefits to using a lanyard with your knife. A lanyard helps to secure your knife against loss, adds better visibility to your knife in case you lose it in the wild or the dark, and adds a little bit of your own personal style to your knife. The butt of the handle has a slight flare to it as well as integrated jimping which helps add extra control to any cutting job that you have.

Spyderco Para 3 Knife--Back
Spyderco Para 3 Knife–Back

The Pocket Clip:

This knife comes with a great pocket clip. This clip is silver with the Spyderco logo etched onto it. The clip is kept in place with three screws. This is a reversible pocket clip, so you can carry it left or right handedly. This pocket clip is ambidextrous friendly. The pocket clip is a tip up or tip down carry. The four-way positional pocket clip is truly exceptional.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife features Spdyerco’s patented Compression Locking system. Spyderco explains how this system works, “by using 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 (or anvil pin).” This locking system provides high lock strength and ease of use. This is a manual knife, so you open and close it using the oversized Spyderco hole. However, the Compression Locking system actually allows you to safely close the blade with only one hand. With this locking system, your hand never actually has to come close to the cutting edge of the blade while you are closing it.

 

The Specs:

The overall length of this knife is 7.24 inches long, with a closed length of 4.29 inches long. The blade on the Para 3 is 2.95 inches, so on the smaller side of blade lengths. The edge length is 2.62 inches long. The thickness of the Para’s blade is 0.145 inches. This knife weighs 3.4 ounces.

Spyderco Para 3 Knife
Spyderco Para 3 Knife

The Pros of the Para 3:

  • The steel on this knife is extremely hard and tough.
  • The steel maintains its edge very well and can get a fine edge.
  • The steel is pretty resistant to corrosion, so maintenance time has been cut down.
  • This knife has a full flat grind which is the perfect grind for everyday tasks.
  • The satin finish helps cut down on reflections and glares.
  • The leaf shaped blade is great for every day uses.
  • The leaf blade shape gives you a great balance between stabbing and slicing.
  • The leaf blade shape has a strong tip, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking.
  • This is a slim knife that fits excellently in your hand.
  • G-10 is tough, hard, and durable, yet still lightweight.
  • G-10 is pretty inexpensive, so you get a lot of bang for its buck.
  • The texturing on the G-10 scales provide you with a very solid grip.
  • The handle comes with a lanyard hole drilled into it.
  • The pocket clip is durable and reversible in four different directions.
  • The Compression Locking System is strong and easy to use.
  • This is the perfect everyday knife; it can really handle anything.

 

The Cons of the Para 3:

  • S30V steel is a little tricky to sharpen, this task is going to be a little more difficult for a beginner sharpener.
  • This is a manual folder, so it is not going to open quickly like an automatic knife.

 

Conclusion:

Spyderco is an excellent knife company that has changed folding knives as we know them. They are the company that revolutionized adding a pocket clip to a folding knife, adding serrations to a folding knife, and adding their opening hole to the top of the blade. Spyderco keeps their knives simple yet functional. Every aesthetic option that they add serves a function. The knife company loves the simplicity of Spyderco’s knives while they still function just as well as other company’s knives.

To create another masterpiece, Spyderco based this design off of the beloved Paramilitary series that they have previously produced. They started the blade with a superior stainless steel: CPM S30V. This steel is known for having the best balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. Not only that, but it has great corrosion resistance. The shape of the blade is Spyderco’s leaf blade shape, which is a unique, lesser known blade shape. It has similar qualities to a spear point, because it has a belly and a great tip. But it also has very similar qualities as a clip point. Really all you need to know about the leaf blade shape is that it is versatile and the perfect shape for your everyday tasks. The handle is made out of the durable and lightweight G-10. This handle fits in your hand perfectly while also giving you fantastic grip. The butt of the handle is flared to add control to your grip and gives you more security in your cutting. The pocket clip is one of the best—with four way reversible abilities. And last but not least, the Compression Locking system seals the deal at providing you with a masterpiece. This locking system allows you to close the blade with only one hand, all while keeping your fingers out of position from the cutting edge of the blade.

This knife has been designed for quite a while now, but only just made it into production and sales. I would recommend this knife to anyone who is looking for a versatile everyday knife–you can get yours here.

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CRKT Bombastic Flipper Knife Review

CRKT was born in Oregon in 1994. Columbia River Knife and Tool is an American company that is known for their distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over 20 years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. CRKT collaborates with the best designers in the world and operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand.

This company was founded by Paul Gillespie and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. However, this company did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show. This is when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This was a small folder that had been designed by Ed Halligan. Within the opening days of the show, the entire years’ worth of product was sold out. That was when this company truly became a successful company and hit the radar of many members in the knife community.

CRKT produces a wide range of field blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. They have collaborated with many of the best knife makers and designers in the world, including Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and The Graham Brothers. CRKT also owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff Serrated edges.

 

The Designer:

The CRKT Bombastic was designed by Ken Onion. Ken is considered the Real Deal. He was the youngest ever inductee into the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame in 2008. He is also recognized as one of the most innovative and successful knife designers of all time. In 1996, he created the first commercially successful assisted opening mechanism, and 20 years later he unveiled his award winning Field Strip Technology. He is also the designer of the successful Eros folder series, as well as the award wining Hi Jinx. It seems as if Ken Onion is never at a loss for ideas.

This means that you can be confident that the Bombastic will also include innovative and ground breaking technology, as well as looking aesthetically pleasing.

CRKT Bombastic Flipper
CRKT Bombastic Flipper

The Blade:

The blade on the Bombastic is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel belongs in a series of Chinese steels. In the series, there are a variety of different formulas of steels, with 9Cr steel being the top dog. However, 8Cr steel falls closely behind in terms of quality and durability. I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near any of the steels lower than a 6Cr when you are choosing a knife blade, because after that, they are much too soft. 8Cr steel is most commonly compared to AUS 8 in terms of similar qualities, hardness, and durability. Between the two steels, the AUS 8 is the superior steel though. 8Cr steel is super easy to sharpen because of the softness that the steel has. And, you can get a very fine edge on this knife blade. Another benefit of this type of steel is that the edge will last for long periods of time. The biggest feature that this type of steel boasts is how inexpensive this steel is. But while it is nice to keep the costs of your knife down, keep in mind you do get what you pay for. So while this steel is an average steel that is going to get the job done and be a breeze to sharpen, it is just an average steel that is not going to excel at anything.

The steel has been coated in a Black Oxide finish. This finish is a conversion coating that blackens the blade of your knife. This is a great finish for steels and is used to mainly add levels of corrosion resistance to the metal. Another two big reasons that people use this coating is because of the way it makes the blade look (sleek, all-black), and to minimize the glares and reflections off your blade. Keep in mind that it is a coating finish, so it will scratch off after time and/or hard use.

There is also another version of the knife that features a satin finish on the blade. The satin finish is created when the knife is continually sanded in one direction with a fine abrasive—normally sandpaper. This finish works to showcase the lines of the knife and is a very classic finish.

The steel on this blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. This blade shape is very similar to the needle point blade. But there are a few differences between the two. The spear point blade shape is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that liens up exactly with the equator of the blade. This blade shape is often found on throwing knives, but are also on a variety of other knife types. The main differences between a spear point blade and a needle point blade is that the needle point blade has a very sharp but weak point. The spear point blade has a stronger point, that is a little less sharp, but still sharp enough to pierce. The spear point has a slightly lowered point that provides you with more control over your cuts and slices. Plus, the controllable point is excellent for fine point work, such as carving. Another great benefit that comes with a spear point blade is that it rocks a small belly. This can be used for some cutting and slicing, however, it is not going to compare to a drop point or a clip point. The spear point blade shape is a great choice for someone who is looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing. This blade shape is considered a hybrid blade design and it is a very functional shape.

The Bombastic knife that sports the Black Oxide finish sports a combo edge. This means that half of the edge is plain, while the other half (the half closer to the handle) is serrated. This edge gives you the best of both worlds, because you do have the plain edge for slicing, but you also have the serrated edge for the thicker or harder materials.

The Bombastic knife that has the satin edge features a plain edge. This edge is excellent if you know that the majority of your tasks will be some form of slicing. Plus, this type of edge is much easier to sharpen than a combo or serrated edge.

CRKT Satin Bombastic Flipper
CRKT Satin Bombastic Flipper

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of stainless steel and GFN. Stainless steel provides you with exceptional durability as well as resistance to corrosion. However, this is not a lightweight material, so it is going to add a chunk of weight to the knife. The stainless steel can also be very slippery, so CRKT has added GFN to the palm portion of the handle to add texture and grip. GFN is glass filled nylon and is the same thing as FRN. This handle is one of the cheapest, but still one of the toughest handle materials to produce. This material is more flexible than G10, so it does not sport the rigidity that is often associated with that material, but it is a lot tougher. To create this material, the manufacturer arranges all of the nylon fibers haphazardly which is why this material is stronger than G 10. Because G 10’s fibers are arranged in one direction, it ends up being weak in all of the other directions. Because GFN’s fibers are arranged haphazardly, the material can be stressed in all different directions and not break down. There was a group of knife enthusiasts that did not warm up to this material, because they felt like it feels cheap and hollow. Plus, it doesn’t provide you with as much grip as you would find in G 10, or other similar materials. This material can be so cheap, because it is created in an injection molded process. One of the other major benefits to GFN is that it requires almost zero maintenance. The stainless steel on this knife is dark grey and the GFN is black. On the black version, the GFN is still black, but so is the stainless steel, making that version an all-black knife.

In the center of the handle, right near where the blade starts, there is a circle with a star in it. This is black on both versions. There is no finger groove, but the knife does sport a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the satin version is a dark grey to match the stainless steel parts of the handle. On the black version, the pocket clip is black, as I’m sure you would have guessed. This is a skeletonized pocket clip that is kept in place by two small screws. The handle on this knife has been drilled to carry your knife tip down, but the pocket clip can only be placed on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that sports the flipper mechanism to help the knife open. The flipper mechanism is a triangular shaped piece of steel that is connected to the blade. This piece will jut out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy the blade, you pull back on this flipper and it efficiently flips the knife open. Then, the blade will lock into place because this knife also features a frame lock.

The main difference between a liner lock and a frame locks is that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. The handle of a frame lock has two sides and is often cut from a steel that is much thicker than the liner of most locks. The frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When the knife is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging it at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness. This is a safety mechanism that ensures that you won’t have to worry when you are using your knife, even when you are using it for harder tasks. The blade won’t snap closed onto your hand.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Bombastic is 3.311 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.122 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.938 inches long, with a closed length of 4.506 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.2 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

CRKT has earned a reputation that they very well deserve. Over the years, they have introduced the knife community to many of the technologies that we now expect to find on our knives. They have collaborated with a  variety of differnet knife designers that means you have a variety of different looks and feels to their products. Basically, you can find anything that you want in one of the CRKT products.

To create such a great knife, the Bombastic starts out with an inexpensive steel that maintains a very fine edge for long periods of time. You can find your favorite style Bombastic flipper knife here.  The steel has been carved into a spear point blade shape, which provides you a great balance between piercing and slicing. This is a very versatile blade. The handle is made out of stainless steel and GFN. This combination gives you plenty of durability as well as a low maintenance knife handle. This knife sports the flipper opening mechanism. This knife will change the way you look at every day carry knives.

 

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