SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife Review

SOG Specialty Knives, Inc. is a U.S. knife and tool manufacturing company that is famous for their reproduction SOG Knife form the Vietnamese era. SOG currently manufactures a variety of knives other than the original military inspired designs, many designed for everyday carry. SOG also produces a line of multi-tools.

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

Making changes to the original design of the MACV SOG Fighter, like resin impregnating the leather handle, utilizing thicker stock and new grind lines, Spencer and Gloria launched their product and company with a one-page, black and white ad in Soldier of Fortune Magazine of the S1 Bowie, a replica of the SOG Knife used by the SOG groups operating in South-East Asia. They also produced the SCUBA/Demo knife, which is a replica of one of the rarest military knives to date. Knives such as these and many of the SOG models produce prior to the shift of production from Seki, Japan to Taiwan are considered to be the best knives SOG had ever made.

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

SOG manufactures a knife used by the United States Navy SEALs dubbed the SEAL 2000. The SOG SEAL 2000 was designed for the US Navy SEAL knife trials in 1992. The knife was manufactured from 1995 to 2007. Both the SEAL 2000 and the smaller version, the Seal Pup are on display in the knife exhibit at the US Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida.

SOG Specialty Knives manufactures an array of tools available for military personnel and casual outdoor users. SOG also makes several other military style knives including a tactical switchblade which is only available to military/law enforcement personnel. SOG has developed fixed blade knives for survival and outdoors such as the Tech Bowie as well as folding knives, many of which feature assisted opening technology such as the Aegis, Twitch, and Trident. SOG also manufactures multi-tools including the Paratool, PowerLock, and PowerAssist. Many of SOGs folding knives and multi-tools are made or assembled in the USA with the higher priced folders being by in Japan. A couple of SOGs lesser priced tools are manufactured in Taiwan or China.

Today we will be going over a BladeOps Exclusive SOG DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG Tac automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that is made in Japan. This steel is very similar to 440B steel, but is slightly inferior in terms of rust resistance. However, AUS-8 is the harder steel out of the 440 steel line. AUS-8 is also similarly tough, but may not hold its edge as well as some of the more premium steels, which carry higher amounts of carbon. This steel is going to be very easy to sharpen and you can get a razor sharp edge on it.

The blade has been finished with a TiNi black finish. This is a Titanium Nitride coating, which is an extremely hard ceramic material that is often sued as a coating on blades. The coating works to improve the surface properties of the blade finish. This finish is applied as a thin coating, TiNi is used to harden and protect cutting and sliding surfaces and even for decorative purposes. This finish is known for edge retention and corrosion resistance and works to improve the steels lifetime.

The blade has been carved into clip point blade style. This is a fantastic all-purpose blade shape and one of the second most popular blades that is in use today. To form the blade shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut-out” area is straight and is referred to as the “clip,” which is how this shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped off. The point that is created by the clip is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. The tip of the clip point blade shape is going to be more capable of stabbing than a drop point =because of how controllable, sharp and thin the point is. This means that the blade shape will lend itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the reasons that the clip point blade shape is so all-purpose is because it does feature a large belly that is perfect for slicing. With the large belly and the sharp tip, this exclusive knife has been perfectly designed to work as a tactical knife. The clip point blade shape really only has one disadvantage: that is that it does feature a narrow tip. Because the tip is so sharp and narrow, it is prone to being weak and breaking fairly easily, especially when compared to the other popular blade shape—the drop point.

SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife
SOG BladeOps Exclusive DTST-02 Desert Tan SOG TAC Knife

The blade features a plain edge, which is better equipped for a variety of different jobs. While this knife has been specifically designed for tactical purposes, it would still make a phenomenal everyday carry blade. On the spine of the blade, about 1/3 has jimping to give you a little bit extra control when you are slicing with this blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle has been made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The most common type of aluminum alloy used in knife handles is 6061-T6 aluminum, which means that the type of aluminum is 6061, and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”, which is sometimes seen as a gimmick. Aluminum is cheaper to machine and produce than titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to titanium aside from its lightness.  However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

The handle scales have been anodized to a Desert Tan color. Anodizing is a method of increasing the corrosion resistance of a metal part by forming a layer of oxide on its surface. The part that is being treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear, and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal does. The process of creating this protective oxide coating is achieved electrolytic-ly. The metal part to be treated is first submerged in an electrolytic solution bath along with cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution hydrogen is released from the cathode and oxygen forms on the surface of an anode. This results in a metal oxide film growing on the surface of the part being treated. The anodized handles are more corrosion and wear resistant than non-treated parts, which means that they will have much longer life spans than non-anodized parts.

The spine of the handle has a slight curve to it, while the bottom of the handle has four deep finger grooves to provide you with a better grip on the handle. Because of these deep finger grooves, there is a slight finger guard and the base of the blade.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only, but it is reversible for either left or right hand carry options. The pocket clip is black and matches the rest of the hardware and accents on the blade.

 

The Mechanism:

This SOG knife is an automatic knife. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, pushbutton knife, and ejector knives. This is a type of knife with a folding blade that is contained in the handle. The blade is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon. Automatic knives do have a strict set of laws surrounding them though, and they are not legal in all states, cities, or areas. It is your responsibility to know your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife.

Switchblade knives date from the mid 18th century. The earliest known examples of spring loaded blades were constructed by craftsmen in Europe, who developed an automatic folding spike bayonet for use on flintlock pistols and coach guns. Cutlery makers such as Tillotson, A. Davey, Beever, Hobson, Ibbotson, and others produced automatic-opening knives. Some had simple iron bolsters and wooden handles while others featured ornate, embossed silver alloy bolster and stag handles. It was in 1950 that the article The Toy That Kills appeared and sparked a storm of controversy and a nationwide campaign that would eventually result in state and federal laws criminalizing the importation, sale, and possession of automatic opening knives. Switchblades have continued to be sold and collected in those states in which possession remains legal. In the 1980s, automatic knife imports to the U.S. resumed with the concept of kit knives, allows the user to assemble a working switchblade forma parts kit with the addition of a mainspring or other key part. Today, the ability to purchase or carry switchblades or automatic knives continues to be heavily restricted or prohibited throughout much of Europe with some notable exceptions.

This exclusive knife features a slide safety and a button lock. A button lock knife is easy to use and maintain. It simply features a small push-button. To deploy the knife, you push this button and to unlock this knife, you will push this button down and then fold the knife closed.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this SOG TAC measures in at 3.5 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 3.4 ounces. The overall length of this knife when it is opened is 8 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.4 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

BladeOps is proud to announce the newest addition to the family of exclusive products–the SOG DTST-02 auto knife. The SOG-TAC series is an invigorating new design that offers a fully functioning automatic knife with the added benefits of a slim profile. Specifically tailored for the tactical user, the blade deploys quickly and locks up with plenty of security. The desert tan anodized aluminum handles were machined with insets for increased control and grip and there is an integrated slide safety on the back side of the knife that allows the blade to be locked in either the open or closed position. This exclusive full size model, the DTST-02, features a desert tan colored handle and a clip point style blade in a TiNi (Titanium Nitride) black finish and the deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for left or right hand carry options. Pick up this exclusive knife at BladeOps today.

 

Kershaw Vedder Knife Review

In 1974, Kershaw, a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd., was founded along with their founding mission. They wanted to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. They knew that this meant that each and every one of their knives must be of the highest quality. So whether it’s a hardworking pocketknife, a hunting knife, or a special collectors’ edition, Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and sate of the art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

 

Kershaw also has a strong commitment to innovation. From award winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, everything they make and design is innovative and effective. Kershaw has even been the company that has pioneered many of the technologies and advanced materials that are the standard in today’s knife industry. For some examples, Kershaw introduced the first assisted opening knives to the knife market, they called it the Speed Safe assisted opening mechanism. They also introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in their knives that they call their Blade Traders. And one of their more recent technologies that they have introduced is their Composite Blade technology. This technology works to combine two different types of steels into one blade, which effectively gives the user the best of both worlds. For example, the user can enjoy a blade that has extreme edge retention because of the steel chosen for that edge, while also having a very strong spine on their knife, because the steel on the spine is different than the steel on the edge.

 

You know that when you are carrying a Kershaw, you are carrying the real thing. And what does that mean? It means that your knife has value and plenty of it. You get incredible bang for your buck, because even their inexpensive models are impressive. You know that any of their models are going to be reliable. And one of their newest releases is the Vedder.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Vedder is made out of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from the Cr series. The best out of the series is the 9Cr steel, but the 8Cr steel falls closely behind. This steel is most commonly compared to AUS 8 steel, however, AUS 8 is actually the better steel out of the two. 8Cr is a little bit softer, a little more prone to rusting or corroding, and a little less durable. However, 8Cr steel does hold an edge for a while and you can get a crazy fine edge on it. And, because it is a softer steel, when you do need to sharpen it, sharpening will be a breeze. This steel can also resist rust and corrosion well, with the proper maintenance. The biggest advantage that 8Cr steel boasts is the inexpensive price tag. This is a steel that is able to get the job done without adding a hefty cost to the overall price of the knife. On the flip side, you do get what you pay for when it comes to blade steels, so this will be an average steel that can get the job done. However, this type of steel does not excel at anything.

 

The steel has a titanium carbo-nitride coating. This coating was developed from Titanium Nitride and is a thin film coating. This coating is also known as TiCN. This coating helps to increase the hardness on the blade considerably, which helps limit the wear and tear that this blade will accumulate. This is one of the harder coatings that is going to last longer than some of the other coatings on the market. The color of this TiCN is a dark, matte gray. Because it is such a dark color and is matte, it does completely reduce glares and reflections on your blade.

 

This blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape. This is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market and for good reason. This blade shape is strong, durable, can take a beating, and is extremely versatile. The shape is created because the back, or the unsharpened, edge of the lade slowly curves until it meets the sharpened edge of the blade. This creates a lowered point, or a dropped point, which is where this blade shape got its name. The lowered point has plenty of benefits, one is that it gives the user much more control over their cuts and slices. This is the reason that it is so popular among hunters; they don’t have to worry about piercing any of the organs or damaging the meat of their game. Another one of the benefits that comes with a dropped point is that it creates a much broader point than you would commonly find on a blade. This gives the blade extra strength behind the tip, which means that you will be able to take on most tasks without having to worry about your blade snapping or breaking. However, the broader tip is also one of the only drawbacks to this blade shape. Because it is so broad, it drastically cuts down on any stabbing capabilities that you would have had. Many people consider this more of an advantage, because the benefits certainly outweigh the cons, however, in certain situations, it can be a major drawback. One of the other reasons that this blade shape is so popular and so versatile is because of the large belly that it sports. The belly is large and provides you with plenty of length for slicing. And since slicing is one of the most common things that you will have to do with your everyday tasks, this is a huge characteristic that you should be searching for. Drop points are one of the few blade shapes that prepare you for all of your daily tasks while also preparing you for the unexpected tasks that you might happen across.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is what really sets the Vedder apart aesthetically. It is made out of a stainless steel but also sports a 3D machined G10 overlay. The stainless steel is a great material to have on your knife handle because of how durable it is. It sports plenty of strength and has the weight behind it to get the harder tasks done. Plus, a stainless steel handle is extremely resistant to rusting or corroding. There are two major drawbacks to having a stainless steel knife handle. The first one is that it is a very heavy material. It has enough weight that you’re going to notice it when it is in your pocket. I wouldn’t say that it is going to weigh you down, but it does have a very hefty feel to it. The second major drawback to having a stainless steel handle is that it can be extremely slippery.

Kershaw decided to coat the stainless steel handle in the same coating as the knife’s blade. The titanium carbo-nitride coating helps add hardness to the stainless steel, giving you an extremely durable handle.

 

While there isn’t much that Kershaw could do about the weight that stainless steel has, they could do something about how slippery it is. And they did. They decided to overlay the stainless steel with 3D machined G10. G10 is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material is very similar to carbon fiber, but it can be made at a fraction of the cost, so it does help to keep the overall cost of the knife down. To build or manufacturer G10, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is tough, hard, lightweight, and strong. In fact, G10 is the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates. To add texture to the G10, Kershaw carved out dimples to provide you with a very comfortable and secure grip. You will have a solid grip on this knife in any environment.

 

The finger groove on this handle is extremely elongated and extremely shallow. However, to protect your fingers, Kershaw did add a finger guard. This finger guard helps to stop your fingers if you slip, so that you don’t end up slicing them. Kershaw also added a lanyard hold into the top of the butt of the Vedder. I could go on about the benefits of having a lanyard tied onto your knife, but the biggest advantage of tying one on is convenience. You can easily tie the lanyard onto this knife and then attach it to either your belt or your pack strap. This keeps your hands free and you won’t have to worry about losing it while you don’t need it. But, it steel keeps it close enough that you can swiftly grab it whenever the need arises. A knife that sports a lanyard hole is a big bonus in my eyes.

Kershaw Vedder
Kershaw Vedder

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is black to match the rest of the hardware on this knife. The clip is kept in place by two small screws. This is a reversible pocket clip, which helps to make this knife ambidextrous friendly. You can switch which side you carry it on, however, the handle has only been drilled to attach this pocket clip tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife sports a flipper opening mechanism as well as Kershaw’s Speed Safe assisted opening mechanism. The flipper on the Vedder is skeletonized and features an angular sharks fin shape. To deploy the blade, you push down on the flipper, which puts enough pressure on the blade to flip it out. The Speed Safe system is a patented system that assist the user to open the knife with a manual pull back on the flipper. This system works because of the Speed Safe’s torsion bar. When the knife is closed, the torsion bar helps to prevent the knife from being opened by gravity, it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user will apply manual pressure to the flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into position, ready for use. This mechanism also allows you to open the knife with only one hand, which is another reason that this blade is ambidextrous friendly. And while this mechanism helps your knife feel like a switchblade, it isn’t a switchblade, so you won’t have any of the strict laws surrounding the Vedder.

This knife also features a frame lock. This is a portion of the handle, in the knife frame, that moves behind the blade to lock it into positon during use. This is a safety feature of the knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Vedder is 3.25 inches long. When the Vedder is opened, it measures in at 7.5 inches long, but when this knife is closed, it measures in at 4.25 inches long. Because of the handle material, this is on the heavier side of things, weighing in at 4.1 ounces.

 

The Conclusion:

The Vedder provides the user with a distinctive look as well as top function. On the style side of things, the Vedder features an attention getting handle. The steel handle is titanium carbo-nitride coated in soft matte gray. But to add a little more depth and character, Kershaw has added two 3D machined G10 overlays that not only look great, but also provide you with a secure grip. On the function side of things, Kershaw started out with a steel that is going to get the job done and can get a crazy sharp edge. Plus, sharpening it is a breeze. The Speed Safe mechanism means that opening the blade will always be fast and easy, and as a bonus, you only need one hand. The deep carry pocket clip is just the cherry on top of this exceptional knife.

SOG Ultra C-Ti Knife Review

The story of SOG Specialty Knives does not begin with the founder, Spencer Frazer, and his love of knives, although that does play a big part of it. It actually all started in Vietnam, with members of a highly classified US Special Ops unit. This unit was known as MACV-SOG and the member had to carry a unique combat knife because of their covert missions in the jungle. It was in 1986, years later, that Spencer Frazer happened across that bowie knife and founded SOG Specialty Knives. His mission 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 are field proven by 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. From protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, to facing your most extreme conditions yet, your SOG knife will stand up to the demands needed. So no matter your situation, you should lead the way with SOG. These knives are “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.”

Spencer Frazer is not only the founder of SOG, but also the chief designer. He has always been a creative person and since he was a young boy, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. Throughout his life he has graduated from UCLA as a math and science major, started his own company in the professional audio industry, worked in the aerospace defense industry, and has been involved in the modern art movement. Spencer says that he felt like all of his life experiences converged the moment he first saw the Vietnam SOG Bowie. Spencer has said, “SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

They have recently released a brand new knife called the Ultra C-Ti. This product is just as innovative and durable as you would expect from a SOG knife.

SOG Ultra C-Ti
SOG Ultra C-Ti

The Blade:

The blade on this new knife has been carved out of VG-10 steel. The G in the name actually stands for “gold” as in the “gold standard” that this steel has reached. It is a stainless steel that is considered to be premium. This is a Japanese steel that is commonly used in the Japanese cutlery market. However, because of the many high qualities that this steel possesses, it is also commonly used in top of the line pocket, hunting, and tactical knives. This steel does contain vanadium, which is renowned for its toughness. The blade on this knife can be sharpened to a fine edge that is very durable and can maintain a high level of hardness without feeling or becoming brittle. This is a huge advantage, because many steels that have a matched hardness are very brittle and very prone to breaking. Plus, this edge on this blade will last long periods of time in between sharpening’s, even if you are using it on the daily. Another huge benefit to this steel is that it is easy to sharpen; many beginners would be able to handle it.  Another one of the great qualities that this steel possesses is its ability to resist rusting. Many knife users that own knives with blades made out of VG-10 steel can go a solid week, using it lots every day, without washing and/or oiling them. This steel refuses to rust. And while this type of steel is more expensive than many, it is on the inexpensive side of things when compared to the other premium steels.

The blade has been finished with a black TiNi coating. This is short for Titanium Nitride and is by far the best coating that can be applied to your blade steel. This finish is commonly used for the black look, but also because it increases the durability of the steel. This specific type of finish is known to be both extremely scratch and peel resistant. Something that sets this coated finish apart from the rest is how it is applied; the TiNi finish is applied to the steel through a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air sealed vacuum. Because it is applied in a vacuum, the application is going to be extremely smooth and even. A common problem with coated finishes is that during application, the edges sometimes receive more of the coating than the other areas. This creates an uneven, lumpy finish that is more prone to chipping off.

The blade on the Ultra C-Ti knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This shape is the prefect all-purpose blade shape. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is sold on the market today. One of the usual places that you will find this blade shape is a Bowie knife, but it is also popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. To form the shape of this knife, the back edge runs straight form the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. It then turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut out or “clipped out” which is where this blade shape got its name from. The clipped out portion on the Ultra C-Ti is straight, although on some knives, you will find a curved portion. Because of the clipped out portion, the point on this knife is lowered, which helps to give you more control over your slices and cuts. And, because the tip is controllable, sharp and thinner at the spine, this knife will lend itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. The clip point blade shape is often confused with a drop point blade shape. These are both very versatile and popular blade shapes. However, they are different blade shapes and the biggest difference between the two is the tip. A drop point has a lowered tip, but there is a good portion of metal near the tip, which creates a broader tip. Because of the broader tip, you do have more strength behind it, but you also lose out on most of your stabbing capabilities. A clip point also has a lowered tip, but the point is sharper and thinner than a drop point. So while you do lose a good chunk of the strength behind the tip, you gain back your stabbing capabilities. Both of these blade shapes make fantastic knives because of the versatility behind them, but you should look at what you are most expected to do and then choose the appropriate blade shape between the two. One of the reasons that a clip point is such a perfect all-purpose blade is because it sports a large belly area that provides you with plenty of length for slicing. The only disadvantage is something that we have already mentioned—the thinner tip. While you do have full stabbing capacities, your tip will be more likely to break.

The edge on this knife is a straight edge, which is definitely the more traditional edge for knives. Straight edges are easier to sharpen, while also having the capabilities of achieving a finer edge. The straight edge is the perfect edge for push cuts, while also making skinning, peeling, and slicing easier. While the serrated edge is the ideal edge if you are going to be working with thicker or tougher materials, such as branches or rope, when your straight edge is sharp enough, you can manage to cut through those materials as well.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Ultra C-Ti is made out of Carbon Fiber. This is a material that is made when thin strands of carbon have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. What you get when you purchase a knife with a carbon fiber handle is a carbon fiber reinforced polymer. This material is extremely strong, but also lightweight. However, because of the time that has to go into manufacturing it, it is a pretty expensive material. While it is extremely strong, it is also far from indestructible because it suffers from being brittle. This is because all of the fibers have been woven together in a single direction, so while it is crazy strong in that specific direction, if the fibers are stressed in a different way, the material will start to break apart. Because of its level of brittle ness, it can crack if it is subjected to sharp impacts.

Something unique about carbon fiber is that depending on the way that the fibers are woven and the way that the light reflects off of the carbon, you can get a variety of different patterns. On the Ultra C-Ti, it looks like a classic woven pattern, like something that you find on a basket. This weave offers texture to provide you with a secure grip in almost any situation. Another thing that SOG did to provide you with a secure, comfortable grip, was to carve three deep finger grooves in the handle. There are a variety of other carved out portions on this handle, but those don’t work to give you a better grip. These etchings work to carve out every bit of excess weight on the knife, to provide you with a powerful knife that won’t weigh you down.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife has been designed out of titanium and is a solid pocket clip. “SOG” has been etched into the clip. This is a thick clip that covers almost half of the pocket clips handle. This pocket clip is the perfect shape to also work as a money clip. The clip has a satin finish.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a folding knife that features SOG’s Arc-Lock. This is an extremely strong locking mechanism that has been tested at over 1000 pounds of force (measured at the lock), which far surpasses a conventional lock strength. This is an ambidextrous locking mechanism and is quick to open and close. SOG describes the speed of this locking mechanism as lightning-quick, even when you are just using one of your hands. The safety that this locking mechanism sports is a spring action that securely retains the blade closed, which keeps finger safely clear while unlocking. This locking mechanism is also extremely durable, because it is self-adjusting over time and is easily cleaned for long term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The country of origin for the Ultra C-Ti knife is Japan. The blade on this knife is 2.8 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.08 inches. The overall length of this knife is 6.2 inches long, with a closed length of 3.4 inches long. This knife is very lightweight, weighing in at 1.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

At just 1.3 ounces, the Ultra C-Ti makes a great, lightweight folder that doubles as a money clip. The minimalistic design of the Ultra C-Ti does not take up much space and even fits comfortably in the small watch pocket of jeans. The 2.8-inch clip point blade opens and closes with one hand smoothly and locks open with SOG’s exclusive Arc-Lock. The high quality VG-10 steel ensures that every cut is as sharp as the first. Utilizing carbon fiber for the handle and titanium for the clip, it is light yet strong and durable. Although every bit of excess weight has been engineered out of the Ultra C-Ti, you will be surprised at the power it conveys.

 

 

CRKT Remedy Knife Review

CRKT Remedy
CRKT Remedy

Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in Oregon in 1994. CRKT is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over two decades at this point, 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 greatest knife makers and designers in the world. These designers include Lion Mah, Steven James, Michael Walker, Greg Lightfoot, Tom Veff, Ron Lake, Steve Ryan, the Graham Brothers, Pat Crawford, Allen Elishewitz, Harold “Kit” Carson, and even Ken Onion. Throughout these collaborations, CRKT has ended up with fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these have been the Veff Serrated edges, which was invented by Tom Veff, the OutBurst assist opening mechanism, and the Lock Back Safety mechanism.

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, both of whom were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. However, the company did not truly take off until 1997 Shot Show. This was the Shot Show that they introduced the K.I.S.S, Keep It Super Simple, knife, which was a small folder that Ed Halligan had designed. This folder was a major success and within the opening days of the Shot Show, the years’ worth of product had sold out. Since that year, they have expanded the width of their products and ow sell a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They have recently released a brand new everyday folder that is called the Remedy.

 

The Designer:

Liong Mah is the man behind this knife. He is from Palm Bay, Florida. CRKT says, “IF we didn’t know any better, we’d think the English definition of Mah is ‘practical’.” This is because Liong incorporates useful sensibility into all of his designs. Some examples of this useful sensibility is the G.S.D, the Eat’N’Tool, and the 2015 Mah-chete. As a kid, where others doodles cartoons in their school notebooks, he drew knife designs. Later, having learned CAD, he was able to bring these ideas to life by collaborating with many of the top designers in the industry.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from the series Cr. In this series, the 9Cr formula is the top quality, with 8Cr falling shortly behind it. When comparing this steel to another type of steel, the most common comparison is AUS 8 steel, however, AUS 8 steel is slightly superior. 8Cr steel is a stainless steel, so it will resist rust up to a point, however, since it is a softer steel, you will need to keep up on your maintenance with the blade to keep it in great shape. Because this is a softer steel, it will be extremely easy to sharpen and you will be able to get a very sharp edge on it. And it will keep its edge for long periods of time. One of the best advantages that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. So while the steel will get the job done, it is considered an average steel, and it won’t excel at anything.

The finish on this steel is a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the knife in one direction repeatedly with increasing levels of an abrasive. The main characteristic of this finish is how it showcases the lines of the steel. This finish provides you with a very classic look. This is because it is a traditional look that lies in the middle of how shiny the finish is. A mirror finish is going to be more reflective than a satin finish and a matte finish is going to be much less reflective than a satin finish.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most popular blade shapes that you are going to find and for good reason: this is one of the best all-purpose styles that you can find. To form this shape, the back, or unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is what gives this blade shape so much control. One of the most common places that you are going to find a drop point blade shape is on a hunting knife. The reason that this is one of the most common places is because of how easily controllable the tip is. This tip makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking the internal organs or ruining the meat of your game. The lowered point also adds strength to the tip. Drop point and clip point blade shapes are often times confused, because they are both very popular and very versatile. The biggest difference between the two is the tip and the strength behind the tip. On a clip point blade shape, the point is sharper, thinner, and finer, which gives you all of your stabbing capabilities. However, it also makes the tip much weaker and more prone to breaking or snapping during heavy duty use. The drop point is broad, so you don’t have most stabbing capabilities, which is one of the only drawbacks to this blade shape. However, because it is broader, you have crazy amounts of strength behind your point, which allows you to do the heavier duty tasks. This strong point also makes this blade shape a very popular style for tactical or survival knives. One of the last reasons that this blade shape is so crazy versatile is because of the large belly that provides you with enough length to make slicing a breeze. This large belly is why the drop point blade shape is found on so many everyday carry knives. All in all, the drop point blade shape is truly all encompassing. You will be prepared to take on all of the expected situations and also all of the unexpected ones that will pop up.

The edge on the Remedy is a traditional plain edge. One of the worries about having a plain edge is that it won’t be able to saw through those thicker and tougher materials like a serrated edge would be able to. While this is correct in most situations, and while a plain edge will never have the sawing capabilities that a plain edge will, if you get your plain edge sharp enough, it will be able to take on some of these materials. The plain edge has been designed for excelling at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. The plain edge is a perfect option for this everyday carry knife. One of the last benefits to an everyday carry knife is that it is easier to sharpen, because it does lack the teeth that a serrated or combo edge would sport.

On the spine of the handle, right where the blade meets the handle, there is a row of jimping to give you some extra control over your cuts.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Remedy has been made out of stainless steel. This material is going to provide you with some of the best durability and resistance to corrosion and rusting that you can find. This is also an extremely strong material. Because of these three characteristics, the Remedy is going to excel at your everyday tasks, but it is also going to have the strength to take on those tougher tasks. There are a handful of drawbacks to a stainless steel handle though, the first being that it is not a lightweight material. Because the Remedy has a stainless steel handle, you are going to be able to feel it when it is in your pocket, but it isn’t so heavy that it is going to pull your pants down. The other major drawback to having a stainless steel handle is that it doesn’t provide you with exceptional grip and can be slippery. The jimping on the blade will help with grip, but CRKT has also added some layering/texturing to the back of the handle to provide you with a quality grip. There is also a very deep finger groove so that your fingers won’t slip and if by chance they do slip, there is a finger guard to protect yourself from getting sliced.

On the butt of the handle, there is a small lanyard hole. A lanyard will benefit you with this stainless steel handle because when you are using the Remedy, you can actually fold the lanyard over the palm of the knife to provide you with some extra texture. This benefit will be the best if you are trying to perform some of the heavier duty tasks. Or, you can loop the lanyard over your hand or wrist while using the Remedy to keep yourself from dropping the knife. This last point will be especially good if you are working in wet situations. With the remedy, the lanyard can really be an advantage.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is stainless steel to match the rest of the knife as well as the hardware on the knife. The pocket clip has a small waist and a flared end. It is not quite skeletonized, but it does have areas that have been carved out. The clip on the Remedy has been statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

The Remedy is a folding knife that features a flipper assist opening mechanism. It is this flipper that will become the finger guard when the blade has been deployed. There are a handful of benefits to having a flipper as opposed to a thumb stud or slot, and the biggest one is that it keeps your fingers out of the blade’s way during the entire deployment.

This knife also features the IKBS ball bearing system. This system was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. The system sets lubed ball bearings into the folding knife pivot. The result of this system is a rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast.

The last mechanism that this knife sports is the frame lock. The frame lock and the liner lock are very similar but the biggest difference between the two is that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging it at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness, so the Remedy is going to be able to take on those tougher tasks. And you won’t have to worry about it failing you and the blade snapping down on your fingers in the middle of a task.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Remedy is 3.572 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.137 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.313 inches long with a closed length of 4.732 inches long. Because of the stainless steel handle, this knife does weigh more than your average knife, weighing in at 5.4 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Remedy is one of many new models that CRKT has released this year. It was designed by Liong Mah and the classy flipper was modeled after a traditional Finnish Puukko knife. This model features a stainless steel handle, a drop point style blade that is sports a satin finish, and a pocket clip that is designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The Remedy will change the way you view your everyday carry knives. Pick yours up at BladeOps today.

United Cutlery Sabotage Knife Review

United Cutlery celebrates over 28 years of innovation and design. For over twenty years United Cutlery has been distinguished by their unique and innovative product designs that cover a wide range of knives and swords, from functional to fantasy: Collectible movie replicas, functional swords and martial arts, fantasy swords, throwing knives, sporting and hunting knives, personal protection and military knives, folding and utility knives, camping and fishing knives, displays and stands.

United is well known for their movie prop replicas, fantasy collectibles, their great selection of functional sport and utility knives, traditional samurai swords, and their unique designer knives and swords by Kit Rae and Gil Hibben. Often imitated, but never exceeded, United Cutlery strives to make their knives and swords to the highest standards in the industry, with superior value, quality, performance, great customer service, and prices that cannot be beat. Untied Cutlery sells solely to wholesale dealers and distributors, so the perfect place to pick on up is at BladeOps.

Today we are going to be going over the United Cutlery Sabotage Tanto Fighter Fixed Blade knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 2Cr13 stainless steel. The ground breaking properties of 2Cr13 stainless steel allows for a variety of applications ranging from the production of domestic knives to heavy duty metals used in military manufacturing. One advantage offered by 2Cr13 stainless steel in addition to its inherent strength is its ability to use Black Oxide coating which makes it extremely resistant to corrosion. This advance reduces the onset of corrosion by essentially working to reduce how porous the steel is. 2Cr13 stainless steel is particle reinforced for added strength and resilience. Immersion tests have revealed that this steel has a finer matrix structure resulting in an increased tinsel strengthened the electrostag remelting process used in manufacturing it makes it highly versatile. In addition to the pure molecular strength of the steel, the added Black Oxide coating further increases the resistance to a variety of corrosive materials.

The blade has been finished with a satin coating as well as a black coating. The majority of the finishes is a black coating, but the flats of the Sabotage is a satin finish. The coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion, However, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade would then have to be re-coated. As a guideline, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. Interestingly, before being coated, most blades receive a blasted finish to have maximum adhesion surface area. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but they do provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

The flats of the Sabotage have been finished with a satin finish. This is a semi shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polish. The most popular finish on production knife blades, it shows fine buffing lines with two directional finishes that better show the bevels of a blade. This finish is the most typical knife finish. It has decent corrosion resistance, but less than polish or mirror finished knives.

The Sabotage features modified tanto style blade. A tanto knife is great for when you don’t want an all-purpose knife, you want a knife that does one thing and does that one thing really well. If you are looking for a knife that excels at piercing tough materials, then the tanto blade is what you’re looking for. This was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, which leads to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The Sabotage is a reverse tanto, which means that it is basically a regular tanto blade that is turned upside down so that the angular side is on the top. There are five main advantages to the tanto blade shape: the strength, the chisel blade point, the Japanese design, the pommel, and the sharpening. The strength is one of the most prominent advantage of a Tanto blade over other types of blades. This particular design structure makes for a very powerful tool that has the capability to puncture even the hardest of materials. The reinforced blade also makes it possible to use the knife for puncturing objects continuously without encountering problems such as snapping of the blade. Its quality also does not easily deteriorate with wear and tear even with frequent use. The next advantage is the chisel point blade. This means that the Tanto’s blade point as a style similar to that of a chisel that gives the blade more power and durability compared to other types of blade points. Although this particular blade design is generally not considered as ideal and practical for use in the wilderness, it is a great design for defensive weapons. The next advantage is the Japanese design; the blade is inspired by the design of Japanese blades. The influence from ancient Japanese design and craftsmanship also lends a somewhat aesthetic historical appeal to the modern Tanto blade. Fourth, the pommel. The Tanto’s pommel is made from steel and is tapered. By using a small amount of materials, it is specifically designed to provide the capability to absorb the impact coming from heavy strikes. This means that even a seemingly minor blow from the pommel can have the same powerful effect of a blunt weapon when used against an aggressor or attacker. The last major advantage is sharpening—tanto blades are crazy easy to sharpen. Because the tanto has such a straight blade it can easily be sharpened on a stone.

The Sabotage does feature a plain edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Thermoplastic Rubber, or TPR. This material is a part of polymers family that displays rubber like properties having styrene based segment to achieve excellent strength. Besides conventional vulcanized rubber, it delivers superior properties to make replacement application of rubber and soft plastic in the sense of processing and end uses. It has some high quality properties such as being lightweight, having a wide variety of color options, it has good tear strength, excellent abrasion resistance, excellent dimension stability, low temperature flexibility, excellent weather resistance, reusable and recyclable, and non-migratory.

There is a large finger guard to protect your fingers from the large blade. The handle has curves that mold exceptionally to your palm to provide you with a comfortable grip, even when you are performing the longer tasks. The butt of the blade flares out and is thick, which actually adds a great tactical advantage. The butt of the handle is going to be able to use to hammer or it with—if the need arises.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole. The Sabotage has been designed as a tactical knife, but it would make a great knife in other situations as well. With a lanyard hole, you can easily secure your knife against loss. A lanyard hole also makes an excellent addition in hand to hand combat. What many people don’t consider is that when you are fighting with your knife, you are going to need to find a way to secure your knife so that it doesn’t getting wrestled away in the midst of your battle. With the lanyard attached to your tactical blade, you will be able to easily hang on to it during a struggle.

 

The Mechanism:

The Sabotage is a fixed blade and a fixed blade will never surprise you in use because it is a solid piece of steel anchored to the handle. For those who want a blade they really trust for tough jobs, such as field dressing and tough camping tasks, a fixed blade is the answer. Fixed blades are durable and hold up to the elements well because of their straight, simple construction without folding mechanisms. In fixed blade knives the blade is one piece of metal that runs the length of the knife. When the blade reaches the beginning of the handle, it tapers and continues as a tang that is covered on either side by the handle.

Fixed blades make for exceptional tactical knives for a wide variety of reasons including but not limited to: being strong and big, not breaking, easier to maintain, length of the blade, superior tactical use, and even making a great survival tool. For starters, fixed blades, especially the Sabotage is strong and big. You can find a fixed blade in basically any size that you could desire, including the massive Sabotage. Because of its extra size comes its extra strength. Fixed blades are so reliable because they do not break. There are no moving parts on a fixed blade that could end up failing you when you need it the most. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain and cleaning is very simple. All you have to do with cleaning is wipe down the blade and handle. Because there are no inner or small parts, you don’t have to worry about those parts degrading. The blade length on a fixed blade is usually twice as long as the blade on a folding knife because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle and also because the blade is thicker, it is not going to break when it gets to those long sizes. Fixed blades make for exceptional tactical tools because a fixed blade can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife can during these tactical situations. With a folding knife, you have to take out the knife and then deploy it before you can use it, but with the Sabotage, you just have to draw your blade and you are ready for use. Lastly, the Sabotage can double as a fantastic survival knife. Because of the length and strength, this knife is going to be able to not only cut, but also dig, split wood, be used as a first aid tool, be used for food preparation and a hunting weapon, as well as hammering and prying tool.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that this comes with is a black nylon sheath, complete with a rubberized blade cover and it even offers a security strap as well as a convenient belt carry option. Nylon is a material that is commonly used in knife sheaths. Just like their leather counterpart, nylon sheaths are also tough and strong. Unlike leather though, nylon sheaths are resistant to rot and mildew. They are also not as vulnerable to water as a leather sheath is going to be. Another fantastic aspect about a nylon sheath is that they are not easily scuffed or torn. However, because the nylon sheath is going to be less expensive than some of your other options, it is also going to have the propensity to get worn out quicker. Nylon is prone to getting stretched out, and while it will continue to work, it won’t be as secure as before.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Sabotage is 8 inches long with a thickness of 0.33 inches. The overall length of the knife is 13 inches with the handle measuring in at 5 inches. This knife weighs 1 pound 1 oz. and the sheath weighs in at 4 ounces.

United Cutlery Sabotage
United Cutlery Sabotage

Conclusion:

The M48 tactical series is a sub-series produced by United Cutlery that showcases exclusive blades and tools that continually push the envelope in terms of design and practicality. Each full tang design features an ultra-thick blade coupled with a grip-friendly handle for plenty of blade control. The tanto style blade allows for better piercing abilities and the high-point tip equates to reinforced tip strength. Furthermore, this model features a triple beveled blade which gives it a high-end look without the high-end price. This model features a black TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber) handle, a modified tanto style blade in a two-toned black and satin finish. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

 

CRKT Scrub Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. They say, “From day one, we put innovation and integrity first. We made a commitment to build knives and tools that would inspire and endure. We collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand.”

Both of the founders were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. However, they quit to being pursuing knives based on their own designs.

Kershaw did not really take off until the 1997 Shot Show. This was when Ed Halligan introduced his Keep It Super Simple knife. Within the opening days of the show, the entire years’ worth of the product was sold out.

The company produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT does collaborate with some of the greatest designers in the world such as Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and even the Graham Brothers.

Through these collaborations and through their own work, CRKT has come to own fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of the more popular of these patents are the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges.

Today we are going to discuss the CRKT Scrub, which is one of their brand new knives.

 

The Designer:

             The designer behind this knife is Corey Brewer from Lafayette, Alabama. CRKT says, “Corey Brewer’s conviction: ‘if you want to break out and do something that makes you happy, you damn well can.’ Coming from a relatively new designer with serious raw talent, that’s one we can get behind. From his cluttered garage in Lafayette, Alabama, he’s vowed to make knives that aren’t simply useful, but artful—pieces that people resonate with. Beyond that, he creates to inspire: ‘if there’s someone out there that gets online to learn how to create a knife because he saw one of mine? That’s a hell of a good feeling.’”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Sk5 Carbon steel. This steel is the Japanese equivalent to the American 1080 and is one of the highest quality steels for knife blades. This is a hard steel, which helps to give it some of the good quality for blades. Plus, because of the hardness, it can cut through practically anything. Sk5 steel can have a hardness level of RC64. Plus, it is also a very tough steel, which is a harder balance to achieve than believed because usually the harder the steel, the more brittle that steel is going to be. This steel also has the capacity to get a razor sharp edge.

The blade has been finished with a magnesium phosphate coating. This is a tougher coating, which will help to prolong the life of the blade because of the barrier it creates. The coating helps increase the wear and corrosion resistance levels of the blade. The coating is also a matte black finish, which means it will cut down on glares and reflections that this knife tries to give off. That characteristic is crucial when it comes to field work with this tactical knife and you are trying to be as stealthy as you can. Unfortunately, all coatings can and will scratch off after time. Since this is a tougher coating, you won’t have to worry about it scratching off anytime soon. But you do need to be aware that may happen over time. If that does happen, the blade has to be re-coated to sustain the same great benefits that it did at the beginning.

The knife has been carved into a trailing point blade shape. A trailing point blade is a lightweight knife that has a back edge that curves upward. It got its name because the back point is higher than the rest of the spine. The biggest advantage that a trailing point blade offers is the large belly that is ideal for slicing. Next, the tip is very sharp, so you can easily perform fine detail work. However, because of the fine and sharp tip, you do need to remember that it is going to have a weaker tip. If you try to pierce this knife through a harder material, the fine tip will probably snap. This trailing point is not as exaggerated as a fillet knife’s trialing point will be, so it is not going to be as weak as some trialing point knives. This is a major benefit to the CRKT Scrub, because it allows you to better use this knife as what it was made for—an excellent tactical blade.

This knife also has a plain edge, which allows you to really slice and field sharpen if you need to.


The Handle:

Because this knife is a full tang, the handle is also made out of Sk5 Carbon Steel. This steel is going to make the handle very durable and strong. It will give you the feel of the heft that makes you feel like you have the capability of taking on any task—which is just what your favorite tactical knife needs.

To cut down on weight, the handle has been skeletonized. This is how such a large knife only weighs in at 2.6 ounces. Normally, a steel handle would not be comfortable or provide you with a solid enough grip for a tactical knife, so CRKT wrapped the handle in cord.

The cord is woven around the edges of the handle as well as through the skeletonized middle of the handle. The texture of the cord and the weave pattern will give you near perfect grip in almost any environment. Unlike many regular knife handle materials, when the cord gets wet, you will still have high texture. As an added bonus, if you ever end up in a survival situation, you will be able to unwrap the handle and use the cord for a variety of purposes.

The handle has a simple shape to it. The butt is rounded and large. There is a thicker section on the blade that hasn’t be sharpened, so that you avoid cutting yourself accidentally. There is a large, but elongated finger groove on the belly of the handle that curves all the way towards the butt. This will give you a comfortable place to rest your fingers as well as being a safer place to rest your fingers out of the way. The spine of the handle curves inward slightly before curving back up toward the butt of the handle.

The simple shape is easy to hold on to and not too distracting—the blade is still the star of the knife. The handle is comfortable to use for long periods of time. If you need the cord, you can unwrap the handle and have the cord. While the cord is on, it will give you high amounts of texture.

 

CRKT Scrub
CRKT Scrub

The Mechanism:

This is a tactical fixed blade. There are a couple of major benefits to having your go-to tactical blade being a fixed blade. For starters, a fixed blade can be brought into a tactical situation much quicker than a folding knife could be. This is because all you have to do is remove the knife from its sheath and it is ready to go. With a folding knife, you would have to remove it from your pocket, deploy it, and then you could use it.

There are a few other advantages as well. Fixed blades are strong and big, which also means that they aren’t going to break. The blade can be thicker and longer because it doesn’t have to fit inside of the handle. There are also no moving parts on a fixed blade, which means it is going to be a lot sturdier. With a pocket knife, you have to worry about cleaning and drying all of the internal parts and with an automatic knife, you have to worry about the spring. With a fixed blade, none of that is an issue. This also means that the knife is going to be much easier to maintain. Cleaning is simple and a breeze—all you have to do is wipe down the blade, pat dry the cord wrapped handle, and oil the blade when needed. This will be a quick process because you do not have to worry about the insides on this knife.

This is also a full tang knife, which means that the entire knife is made out of the same piece of metal. This means that the knife is going to be stronger than a non-full-tang knife, because there are no weaker parts where the handle has been welded together. This also means that if you lose the cord around the handle, you still have the shape of a handle, which means that you still have a full knife. Full tang knives are especially good for survival knives, but also benefit tactical knives in full because if you are in the field, you don’t have to worry about your knife breaking.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon. This is the same material as FRN and is the off-brand of Zytel. GRN is a thermoplastic material that is strong, cheap, and resistant to both bending and abrasion. These qualities make the material almost indestructible.

The qualities stem from the fact that the fibers in the material are arranged completely haphazardly throughout, which means that it is going to be strong in all the directions. This is different than the other materials made from fibers (such as G10 or Carbon Fiber) because those have the fibers arranged in a single direction.

This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded, which leads to high volume manufacturing and a low cost. Some people did not warm up to GFN because it does feel a little bit plastic-y and it does have a little less grip than G-10. However, when it is used for a sheath, instead of a handle, you are going to get all of the benefits and not have to worry about too many of the disadvantages.

Overall, this sheath is going to be strong, tough, have no maintenance, and will be inexpensive which will keep the overall cost of the knife down as well.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.939 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.115 inches. The knife measures in at an overall length of 7.375 inches long. The Scrub weighs in at 2.6 ounces.


Conclusion:

When CRKT is talking about the Scrub, they say, “Simple stealth. Moving parts, burly knives, stout blades: they have their place. But in the heat of the moment, when everything is on the line, basic is better. That’s the conviction upon which the Scrub™ tactical fixed blade is built. Don’t get caught without one.

As he burns the midnight oil in his crowded garage in Lafayette, Alabama, designer Corey Brewer remembers what it’s all about. His mantra: “if you want to break out and do something that makes you happy then you damn well can.” His first CRKT® design, the Scrub™ is all the proof we need that Corey’s conviction is dead on; he’s on a fast track to asserting himself as a serious designer.

This lightweight, compact tactical fixed blade is a paradox: it’s both remarkably simple and packed full of thoughtful details. The 4” blade is carefully modeled after a traditional Persian pesh-kabz, renowned for both its strength and utility. He’s brought both the shapely SK5 carbon steel blade and handles definitively into the future with a magnesium phosphate coating for extreme corrosion resistance. For heightened utility options—from duty belt to covert carry—he’s wrapped both the handles and parts of the glass-reinforced nylon sheath with paracord.

The Scrub™: damn simple, damn near perfect.”

You can pick up this brand new knife today at BladeOps.

 

SOG Pentagon Elite 1 Knife Review

“SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

Born in 1955, Spencer Frazer was a creative kid with a great curiosity for how things worked. As he grew older, while in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. But it wasn’t until much later that this interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools.

After graduating from UCLA as a math and science major, Spencer started his own company in the professional audio industry, designing a whole new style of speaker system.

“I learned to work with many different materials as I built models and prototypes,” he says.

Then Spencer went on to work in the aerospace defense industry – in the Top Secret Black Projects Division – as an R&D tool/die and model maker. He recalls, “I saw things there I still can’t talk about.” At about that same time, while becoming involved in the modern art movement and meeting with top artists, Spencer learned a lot about scale and color. He went on to work in product development, creating toys and consumer products.

All these life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie: “The knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the knife.” That single knife spawned the birth of SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, Inc. His one goal: to reproduce the mystical knife… the SOG Bowie. “We started our company by having to sell a one-knife line at the very high price of $200 retail!”

Today, SOG is a true innovator in the knife industry. Having won many industry awards, SOG was one of the first companies to be synonymous with a high-tech modern image. “SOG was the first company,” says Spencer, “to produce a sculptural faceted folding knife. We called it the Tomcat. With the Paratool, SOG became the second company ever to produce a folding multi-tool. And we remain the only company that uses compound leverage in our multi-tools; the only company to have adjustable lock-on clips on our folding knives; the only company to employ one of the strongest locks in the industry with the Arc-Lock; the only company to use exotic BG-42 steel cost effectively in the production of our knives; and the first company in the world to offer an automatic opening multi-tool.”

But those are just a few of the landmarks Spencer Frazer has helped SOG achieve. “I design each one of our products,” he says, “to be functional and comfortable to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing. If I personally don’t like them or wouldn’t use them, they don’t make it into production.”

Today, SOG is distributed and sold throughout the world. Law enforcement specialists, military, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, industrial professionals, and everyday carry knife enthusiasts have come to rely on SOG in the most extreme conditions. “We don’t settle for ordinary,” says Spencer. “We never did, and we never will.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Pentagon Elite 1.

SOG Pentagon Elite 1
SOG Pentagon Elite 1

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of VG-10 steel. This is a high end steel that is often compared to 154CM as well as ATS-34 steel. VG-10 steel does have slightly more chromium than the other two styles of steel, which will help when it comes to enhanced corrosion resistance. The steel also contains vanadium, which does help to make it a tougher steel than the other two steels. This is a Japanese steel that was slowly introduced into the American market and is now received well in the American market. This steel is relatively hard and can get very sharp with the right equipment. Its toughness is going to be capable of standing up to most tasks. The steel has been hardened to an RC 59-60.

The steel has been finished with a bead blasted finish. The bead blasted finish is sued to give the knife an even, gray surface. This is created when the manufacturer uses abrasive glass or ceramic beads that are then blasted at the metal at a high pressure. The even matte finish reduces reflections and glares that would come off of this knife. The blasting does create an increased surface area as well as micro-abrasions, both of which make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. The spear point is a similar blade to the needle point because they are both great for piercing. However, the spear point is stronger and does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. The shape of the spear point is created with a symmetrically pointed blade that has a point that falls in lien with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife will rise and fall at the same time to create a very symmetrical and even blade. This blade shape is different than the needle point because the needle point does have a sharp but weak point, while the spear point has a strong point that is also sharp enough to use for piercing. Like earlier mentioned, the spear point does have a small belly that can be used for some cutting. If you were to compare this belly with that on a drop point or clip point though, it would seem incredibly small. Overall, the spear point is considered to be a hybrid shape because you do get both the piercing and slicing ability as well as the strength plus the point that can pierce, and not to mention the belly that can be used for slicing.

This is a combo blade, which is when the blade has both the plain edge portion as well as the serrated portion. The plain edge extends for roughly 2/3 of the blade on the upper portion. This section can be used to give clean cuts or be used for fine detail and tip work. The serrated portion is the portion closest to the handle. This section can be used for swing through thicker materials that you might happen to encounter. The benefit of a combo blade is that you should get the best of both worlds with it. However, the common complaint when it comes to a combo blade is that both portions are so small that you can’t really utilize either one of them.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass-Reinforced Nylon, which is a very similar material to Zytel. This is a thermoplastic material that is strong, resistant to both bending and abrasion, as well as being almost indestructible. This material is so strong and nearly indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout the knife which creates a knife that is strong in all directions. This is different form the other fiberglass resin laminates such as G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which have the strands arranged in a single direction. Many people did not warm up to this material because it is so modern and synthetic, it was believed to be plastic feeling, and it does offer less grip than G-10 would.

This can be 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. The overall benefits to this knife is its strength, its toughness, its cost, and how low maintenance it is going to be. The overall cons to it is that it does not offer as much grip as you could get out of a different synthetic material, and some people feel like it feels plastic-y.

The knife has a straight belly and a straight spine, both of which come in slightly in the middle to offer better grip. The butt on this knife is rounded. There is some jimping near the blade on both sides of the handle which will give you more control.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible pocket clip for either left or right handed carry. This helps to make the knife more comfortable for each individual to use, because you don’t have to carry it on a side that is not familiar to you. That being said, it is not reversible for tip carry, and can only be attached for tip up carry. Tip up carry is definitely the more dangerous of the two because if the knife happens to accidentally come open while in your pocket and you reach into your pocket, it could easily slice your hand. This is a not a deep carry pocket clip, which is a disadvantage.

The clip is kept in place by one big screw and two much smaller screws. The screws are silver, which match the rest of the hardware and the pocket clip on this knife. The pocket clip has been mostly skeletonized which does cut down on weight.

 

The Mechanism:

             This is a folding knife that has been equipped with a thumb stud as well as SOG’s Arc-Lock.

The Arc-Lock is described by SOG by saying, “With its ambidexterity – and all the other attributes knife enthusiasts so relentlessly seek – the Arc-Lock might just be the perfect lock.” It has incredible strength: Tested at over 1000 lbs. of force (measured at the lock), far surpassing conventional lock strength. It also has high speed: Lightning-quick, one-handed opening and closing capability. It is a safe mechanism to use: Spring-action securely retains blade closed, keeping fingers safely clear while unlocking. And it is incredibly durable: Self-adjusting over time and easily cleaned for long-term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.14 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of this knife measures in at 8.75 inches long when it is opened. It weighs in at 4.3 ounces, which is a weight right in the middle for an EDC knife. This knife was made in Japan.

 

Conclusion:

When SOG is talking about this knife, they say, “A folding version of the Pentagon, the Pentagon Elite has all the benefits of its big brother as well as a bead blasted blade that reduces reflection. The stainless steel blade offers the instant choice between a serrated or beveled edge, giving you the best of both worlds for cutting virtually any material. Extremely lightweight, the Pentagon Elite features a glass-reinforced GRN handle with stainless steel liners that provides sensational feel and balance. Tested at over 1000 lbs. of force at the lock, the Arc-Lock is SOG’s strongest lock. It can be carried conveniently with its reversible low-carry pocket clip.”

The Pentagon Elite series by SOG has been amazingly popular with military and law enforcement officials as well as the general market.  The Pentagon Elite I is the “smaller” of the two versions.  This is still a good sized knife.  Made with a low reflective bead blasted 5″ VG-10 blade, the Pentagon Elite I is plenty big.  At the tip of the blade is a shark tooth tip that increases the point strength of the blade.  The handle is made of glass and Kevlar reinforced Zytel.  Very comfortable to hold, the knife has ambidextrous slotted thumb studs to open the knife with and is machine screw constructed.  The Pentagon Elite knives all use SOG’s innovative Arc-Lock system and this knife also has a reversible military style clip.  This SOG also has a limited lifetime warranty.  You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

Kershaw Duck Commander Rayne Knife Review

Kershaw knows that there is nothing like a Kershaw. From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing.

The real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even their inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable. That’s why they can back each of our knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with their famous Limited Lifetime Warranty.

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

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

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

Kershaw says, “If this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back. We’ve got some cool new blades to show you—along with a wide selection of your favorites. For design, innovation, quality, and genuine pride of ownership, Kershaw is the one.”

Today we will be discussing the Kershaw Duck Commander Rayne.

Kershaw Duck Commander Rayne
Kershaw Duck Commander Rayne

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. You may have heard that 8Cr13MoV stainless is basically the equivalent of AUS8A. And it’s true. For everyday use, even a serious “knife knut” would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a well-made 8Cr13MoV blade and a well-made AUS8A blade. Nevertheless, there are slight differences in the steel formula. While most other components are relatively equal, 8Cr13MoV has slightly more carbon for hardness and wear resistance and slightly less nickel. The key to blade performance for both of these steels is manufacturing quality. That’s where Kershaw’s expertise comes in. Kershaw precision heat-treats 8Cr13MoV steel to bring out its best high-performance characteristics: the ability to take and hold an edge, strength, and hardness. 8Cr13MoV is top-of-the-line Chinese steel and, Kershaw believes, offers our customers an excellent value. This steel has been hardened to a HRC: 57–59

The blade has been finished satin, which is one of the more common blade finishes. It is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, usually a sandpaper. The satin finish shows off the bevels of the blade, while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel, cutting down on glares and reflections, and even increasing the corrosion resistance of this blade slightly.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade shape that is going to excel at stabbing. The back of the blade runs straight from the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, in turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks as if it is “cut-out” and is where the blade shape got its name from. This area is referred to as the clip and on the Rayne, it is straight, although on some knives, it can be curved. The clip creates a lowered point, which is going to give the user more control when they are using the knife. And because the tip is so controllable, as well as being sharper and thinner at the spine, a clip point is going to excel at stabbing. This is because it has less drag during insertion as well as having a faster withdrawal. One of the other reasons that a clip point blade is so versatile is because of the large belly that they sport. The large belly makes slicing an absolute breeze, which is ideal for this hunting knife. Of course, every blade shape is going to have its disadvantages. This blade shapes biggest disadvantage is that because the tip is relatively narrow, it is prone to breaking, especially when used on harder targets.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of G10 with a 420HC bolster. G10 is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. The manufacturer makes this material by taking layers of fiberglass cloth and soaking them in resin, then compressing them and baking them under pressure. The result of this process is a meatal that is very tough, very hard, very strong, and still lightweight. This material is also inexpensive to create, although it is not going to be as inexpensive as FRN. One of the bigger advantages to having a G10 handle on your hunting knife is that it is a non-porous material, which means it is not going to absorb any of the fluids that this knife comes in contact with during your hunting process. This makes maintenance a lot easier, because you don’t have to worry about deep down cleaning it. A few of the other advantages for the Rayne having a G10 handle is that it is so durable and lightweight, so it is capable of taking on those harder tasks, but it isn’t going to weigh you down in the field.

The handle is a dark brown and pretty simple. There is a medium sized finger groove, which creates a more comfortable grip. Other than that, the belly is pretty straight. The spine of the handle angels up on the bolster, but then angles sharply down toward the butt once the G10 starts. The handle also sports the Duck Commander Medallion.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which helps to make this knife a little bit ambidextrous. The clip is silver and finished satin, which contrasts nicely with the bulk of the handle. The clip is kept in place by two small silver screws, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife. The clip is slightly hourglass shaped, with a rounded butt and head, but a cinched middle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife, which means that it is not fully automatic, but it does have an internal mechanism that helps the user fully open the knife once they have opened it slightly using the flipper. The assisted opening mechanism is a good balance between automatic and manual because you get the efficiency of an automatic knife, but you get the legality of a manual knife.

This knife has been equipped with a flipper, which is a protrusion on the back of the blade that the user can pull back on, or flip, in order to move the blade easily out of the handle. The flipper on the Rayne is thicker than your typical flipper, which means that you are going to have a wider finger guard. Once the knife is opened, the flipper is going to stand in place of the finger guard and protect your fingers. While the flipper does take a few tries to really get the hang of it, it does keep your fingers safer than a thumb stud would. This is because a thumb stud puts your fingers in the path of the blade, while a flipper keeps them out of the blade’s path during opening.

The knife has been equipped with Kershaw’s SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism. Kershaw was the first to bring SpeedSafe® assisted opening knives to market, launching a revolution in opening systems—and winning numerous industry awards along the way. Originally designed by Hall of Fame knife maker, Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade’s thumb stud or pull back on the flipper. SpeedSafe is built into many of Kershaw’s best-selling knives. The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the thumb stud or flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into position, ready for use.

The knife has also been equipped with a liner lock. The liner lock is the most common of today’s blade-locking systems. In knives with locking liners, the handle consists of two metal (usually steel or titanium) plates (the “liner”) on either side of the blade. Handle scales, which can be made from a variety of materials, such as G10, aluminum, plastic, or natural materials like wood or bone cover the plates. When the knife is opened, one side of the knife’s liner, often called the lock bar, butts up against the backend of the blade (the tang) and prevents the blade from closing. The lock bar is manufactured so that it angles toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias for the locked position. To close the knife, the knife user applies manual force to move the lock bar to the side so that the blade is unblocked and can be folded back into the handle. The liner lock provides a secure and convenient way to make using a Kershaw folding knife even safer.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.1 inches long. When the Rayne is open, it measures in at an overall length of 7.25 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.9 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

             When Kershaw is explaining this knife, they say, “As a tip of the hat to Duck Commander’s southern heritage, the Rayne is named for the Louisiana city of Rayne and features classic good looks and a solid feel. The clip-point blade is sharpened to a razor edge and satin finished. The blade is quality stainless steel, heat treated to Kershaw’s demanding specifications to bring out the very best qualities in the steel. The handle features a stainless steel bolster with textured G10 handle scales inlaid with the Duck Commander logo medallion. The handle curves slightly to fit the palm for a secure grip. The Rayne opens quickly and easily with SpeedSafe® assisted opening and the built-in flipper makes it a breeze to open the knife one-handed. Once open, a locking liner secures the blade for safe use. The Rayne’s pocket clip is reversible for left- or right-handed carry. For a quality knife that’s perfect for outdoor use or every day carry, the Rayne reigns supreme.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benchmade Valet Knife Review

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

Every blade begins as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade.

After laser cutting is surface grinding. This is where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand (racks vary by the number of blanks they can hold at one time), and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Benchmade says, “Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. Our knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.”

Next is milling. Blade holes, handles and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For every job (or batch), the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets our precise tolerances. Blades and handles differ from knife to knife, so the technician gathers a specific set of measuring tools for each job. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to the folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. Handles require the same precision in order to fit the liners and blades properly and ensure a smooth mechanism.

Following milling is beveling. Benchmade says, “Now the blade starts to really take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. Once again, the technician measures the blade to verify that it meets the specified tolerances. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength and mechanism function.”

Finally comes back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade finally gets its special attention. Up until this point, it has remained almost untouched. Last is finishing, which gives the blade a more refined look.

Last is assembly and sharpening. Each Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components — blade, liner, handle, hardware — and carefully pieces them together. The technician checks the knife for blade play (movement from side-to-side and up-and-down), and the result is a knife just waiting to be sharpened. Very last is when the blade gets sharpened. Benchmade says, “The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.”

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Valet.

The Blade:

             The blade on this knife is made out of M390 steel. This steel is one of the newer super steels that has gained popularity in the past couple of years. This steel was made and designed by Bohler-Uddeholm. They created this steel by using third generation powder metal technology. They developed this steel specifically for knives, especially knives that require high corrosion resistance levels and high hardness which leads to high wear resistance. Bohler-Uddeholm added in chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten, which all work to promote the sharpness of the blade as well as the high edge retention that this steel is known for. This steel is also extremely corrosion resistant because most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which leaves more “free chromium” to fight corrosion. This steel can be hardened to 60-62 HRC. Something that is unique about this steel is that the manufacturer calls it “Microclean” which means that it can be polished to a complete mirror finish, which is rare. This steel is a little bit complicated to sharpen, but not even as hard as S90V, to put it in perspective.

The blade on this knife has been finished satin, which is the most popular blade finish on the market today. The satin finish is created by the manufacturer repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. As a key, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner that the satin finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect a very clean satin finish. The satin finish is used to showcase the fine lines of the steel as well as frame the bevels of the blade. Some of the other benefits to this type of finish is that it is going to cut down on glares, reflections, and even some corrosion. The satin finish gives the knife a very traditional look, which is perfect for this everyday carry blade.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the two most popular blade shapes on the market today. The shape is both versatile as well as tough, which makes it the perfect option for your everyday carry knives. The shape is designed by having the spine of the blade run from the handle to the tip in a slow curve, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is going to give you more control over your cuts, which allows you to perform fine detail work with this knife. The lowered point is also very broad, which is where the knife gets its high levels of strength from. The strength of this knife is what the drop point is known for and what lets the user really use this knife for almost anything. The broad point is also one of its biggest disadvantages, because it does take away a lot of your stabbing or piercing capabilities. Lastly, the drop point blade shape has a very large belly, which helps to make slicing a breeze. If you are anything like me, you are going to be slicing the most with your everyday carry blade, which is another reason the drop point is such an ideal blade shape for the Valet.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of black G10, which is a synthetic material. This is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. G10 has very similar properties to carbon fiber, although it is slightly inferior and can be made and purchased for a fraction of the cost. Although it is cheaper to manufacture than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape, so it is going to be a lot pricier than FRN/Zytel.

To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in a resin. The material is then compressed and baked under pressure. This creates a very hard, tough, strong, and still very lightweight material that is perfect for an everyday carry knife. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates (which includes Micarta, carbon fiber, and FRN), G10 is considered to be the toughest. It is also known as begin stronger than Micarta, but with the extra strength does comes the extra brittleness.

This folding knife is going to benefit from G10 because it is durable and lightweight, so it is going to be able to take a beating throughout its lifetime. It is also lightweight enough that you are not going to notice that it is in your pocket every day. Plus, G10 is non-porous, which helps to reduce maintenance because it is not going to rust or corrode.

Benchmade Valet
Benchmade Valet

The handle on the Valet is pretty simple. The spine of the knife curves slowly from the blade to the butt of the handle. The belly of the knife is pretty much entirely straight, although it does have a very small indent and groove for you to rest your finger in. The handle has enough added texture that you will be able to have a solid grip on this knife. Plus, the handle has been equipped with a lanyard hole.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is not a deep carry clip, which can be viewed as a definite drawback to the knife. Especially since this is an everyday carry knife. The clip is also not reversible, which does bother many people. The clip is designed to be attached in tip-up carry only.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife, which means that there is not a mechanism that is inside the knife to help it open. This means that the knife is not going to be as efficient as an automatic or even a spring assisted knife would be. That being said, it is going to be a little bit safer because it is harder to open. This is especially nice because the clip only attaches for tip up carry. Tip up carry can be more dangerous because if the knife accidently opens inside your pocket, it could cut your hand when you reach in your pocket. Because it is a manual knife, you won’t have to worry about this.

The Valet has been equipped with a thumb stud, which is one of the more common blade opening mechanisms available. This is a small barrel that sits on the blade near where the blade begins and the handle ends. The thumb stud replaces the nail nick that is found on older knives as well as more traditional knives. The thumb stud is a fan favorite because it allows you to easily open your knife with just one hand. That being said, some people don’t love how it puts your hand dangerously close to the blade during opening. And, some people complain that the thumb stud gets in the way even once the blade is opened. Overall, more people enjoy the thumb stud than don’t.

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

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.96 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.099 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.73 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.45 inches. When the Valet is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 6.69 inches long. This knife weighs in at a mere 2.18 ounces, which is ideal for your everyday knife, because you aren’t even going to notice it in your pocket. The Valet was made in the United States of America with Austrian blade steel.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is describing this knife, they say, “A Benchmade designed, AXIS® gent knife, the Valet is comfortable to carry in slacks and ready to get the job done when called upon for bigger tasks.” You can pick up this blade today at BladeOps and have yourself your brand new favorite everyday carry knife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gerber Tactical Grey Ghostrike Fixed Blade Knife Review

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

The company was founded in 1939 and is based in Portland, Oregon. This is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Their knives are carried and used often by hunters, soldiers, and tradesmen, with their heritage running deep. Gerber is looking toward the future, because they recognize that tomorrow’s problems can and will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

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

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

Today we will be discussing the new Gerber Tactical Grey Ghostrike Fixed Blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of BDZ-1 Stainless steel. This steel is a great steel for knives that are meant to perform pretty rough tasks, or for utility blades. This is because utility and survival knives require high hardness and edge retention, both of which this steel can offer. While this is not a super steel, it should perform as well as a utility blade is required to. This steel is not extremely expensive, so the overall cost of the knife is not going to increase dramatically. Gerber has been experimenting with this steel, putting it on knives that have previously used 420HC. This is because the knives that have been using 420HC are more tactical and survival style knives, usually fixed blades, and the general consensus is that most of the customers have not loved 420HC. So while this is not a super steel, it will perform what you need it to. And, it is an improvement on the previous 420HC steel.

The blade has been finished with a stonewash finish. The stonewash finish is very rugged and gives the knife a well-worn look. It is created by tumbling the steel in an abrasive material until it looks almost textured. After it has been tumbled in the abrasive material, which is most commonly pebbles or stones (hence the name), the steel is smoothed out and polished. The finish is a great finish for a tougher knife like this one because it hides scratches while also reducing the reflective nature that you would get with a brushed or a satin finish. The stonewash finish can also hide smudges, which are bound to accumulate over time. In essence, the stonewash finish works to maintain the original look of the blade through long periods of time.

The blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape. The original drop point blade is tough and versatile, which is why it is so popular. This modified drop point is still going to be tough and versatile, it is just constructed a little differently. Typically, a drop point has a spine that slowly curves from the handle to the tip of the knife, which creates a lowered point. The biggest difference between a typical drop point shape and this drop point is that instead of going from the handle to the tip in a slow curve, it goes from the handle to the tip in a straight line that is angled towards the tip. Because of this, it still gives you the lowered tip, which helps you have more control over your cuts and slices. The tip is still broad, although it is not as broad as a typical drop points. Because it is still broad, it is going to still have the strength that people love in a drop point. And, it is going to be able to pierce or stab better than a typical drop point can. This blade still has the large belly that a drop point is known for, which makes slicing an absolute breeze. While you will be able to pierce better with the Ghostrike than you would have been able to with a regular drop point, you are still not going to be able to pierce well. This is taken from you because of the strength that you get from a broad tip.

Gerber Tactical Grey Ghostrike Fixed Blade
Gerber Tactical Grey Ghostrike Fixed Blade

The blade on this knife has a plain edge, which is great for a tactical knife because it allows you to take on a wider variety of tasks as well as giving you cleaner cuts. Plus, if you are in the field with this knife, you can more easily sharpen a plain edge with a rock than you would be able to a serrated edge. However, plain edges do dull more easily and quickly than a serrated edge would.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of rubber. The rubber handle is used to keep costs of the knife down, but also to provide a more secure grip on this knife. The rubber has been texturized with small bumps to give you texture and grip when you need it most. This is a benefit for a tactical knife, because you never know how messy or sweaty the situation is going to be. With the rubber handle, you are going to have a good grip on the knife no matter the environment. Not only that, but rubber is easier to care for, because you don’t have to worry about it corroding. This means that you will be able to take the knife into more humid environments without repercussions on the handle. Of course, fi the rubber is too soft, it is going to break down, which is an entirely different issue. The rubber handle is going to be low maintenance and easy to care for in the field, which is exactly what most people want out of a tactical knife.

The handle is designed to give you the absolute best grip possible. The spine is straight, similar to the spine of the blade. The belly is where things are a little different. The rubber has a thick row of jimping that extends from the blade to the butt of the handle on the belly of the handle. This jimping is there to give you a more secure grip. There is a large finger guard, which is there to protect your fingers in case of accidental slipping. After the guard, there is a deep finger groove. This groove is large enough to fit any finger and will help the handle by making it a little more comfortable.

The handle has been skeletonized. This cuts down on weight, but also allows you to slip your fingers inside of the knife handle to really hold onto the knife. This is a benefit of the Ghostrike tactical knife, because you never know how strong of a grip you might need. With the Ghostrike, you are going to be able to have the strongest grip possible.

Lastly, the handle has been equipped with a lanyard hole.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife. For a tactical knife, there is the one really obvious benefit to having a fixed blade: it is going to be the superior tactical tool. While it is not going to be as discrete as a pocket knife would, it is going to be able to be brought into play much faster. When it comes to a tactical situation, every single second counts. With a folding knife, the knife has to be taken out of your pocket, opened, and then it is ready for use. With a fixed blade, the only thing to do is remove it from the sheath and it is ready to go.

Other than being the superior tactical tool, it is also going to be the superior survival tool. This is because fixed blades are usually longer and stronger than folding knives. For starters, the blade can be thicker because it does not have to fit inside the handle of the knife. This means that there is going to be less bending of the blade and in the end, less snapping of the blade. There is also no mechanism that can wear down or break over time. With a folding knife, you have to be worried about the hinge wearing out as well as worrying about the spring rusting or wearing out. There are none of those pieces on a fixed blade, so the knife is not going to break. Because of these characteristics, the Ghostrike is also going to make a great survival knife, because you can use this knife for things other than cutting. It is going to be strong enough that you can dig with it, pry with it, use it as a food preparation tool, a first aid tool, or even just a regular knife. When it comes to fixed blades in survival settings, there is almost no end to what they can do.

Lastly, cleaning and maintenance are going to be especially easy with this Gerber knife because it is a fixed blade. As for cleaning, all you have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and make sure that the blade is dry before putting it in its sheath. Maintenance is also going to be easy because there are no moving parts on this knife that will need replacing. When it comes to a fixed blade, what you see is what you get. And with the Ghostrike, what you see is pretty fantastic.

 

The Sheath:

             The sheath that comes with this knife is a molded polymer. This is essentially a plastic sheath. The plastic sheaths are going to be the cheapest ones that you can find on the market. However, you do get what you pay for which means that the plastic sheaths are also going to be the least quality ones on the market. While some plastic knives can be durable, they are not the best home for you knife because they trap in moisture. For long periods of time, a plastic sheath is going to have a significantly negative effect on your blade. However, this did keep the cost of the knife down, which is a benefit. The sheath is very rectangular and has a variety of carrying options because of the design of the sheath. With this sheath, you will be able to have your knife with you at all times.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.3 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.08 inches. The handle on the Ghostrike measures in at 3.6 inches long. The overall length of this knife measures in at 6.9 inches long. The sheath that comes with this knife weighs 1.9 ounces. The knife, without the sheath, weighs in at 1.9 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it. 7

 

Conclusion:

Gerber has been producing fixed blade combat and survival knives for the military forces since the late 60’s and the Ghostrike continues with that fine tradition of excellence. The new-and-improved Ghostrike sports a new handle color in addition to a stronger blade steel so you can tackle more tasks while it still holds an edge. Key highlights of this knife include an ultra-light skeletonized profile and also includes a diamond textured handle and dedicated finger groove for extra support. This model features a tactical grey rubber handle, a modified drop point style blade in a stonewash finish and the molded polymer sheath allows for a variety of carry options. You can pick up this new knife today at BladeOps.