SOG TAC Ops Automatic Knife Review

SOG has an interesting history. Instead of the usual beginning to a knife company, SOG’s story actually began in Vietnam. There was a highly classified US special ops unit, with the name of MACV-SOG, where the members would carry a unique combat knife that would last the challenges of the jungle. Fast forward to 1986, where Spencer Frazer was inspired by these specialty knives. Because of them, he founded SOG Specialty Knives. Spencer’s founding mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. He achieved this goal, and the company quickly went from being a single commemorative model to a full line of innovative tools. These knives and tools are field proven by US Special Forces, and have even received the honor of the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

To this day, SOG knives are carried with confidence in any situation, from everyday carry knives, to some of the most demanding situations. “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.” With this slogan, you can be confident in purchasing and using a SOG knife. These knives are going to help you accomplish whatever task you need it to. And luckily enough for us, SOG has just released a new knife: The Tac Ops Auto.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been carved out of CPM S35VN steel. This blade steel was introduced to the knife community in 2009 by Crucible and Chris Reeve. This is a slightly superior version of the S30V steel that they had previously created just for knives. To make it a more superior steel, they used a finer grain structure and actually added small quantities of niobium, which is where they get the N in the name from. By using the finer grain structure, they were able to make this steel easier to sharpen, which is one of the only drawbacks to the S30V steel.  They also improved the toughness of the steel, while maintaining the strength levels. This steel has all the abilities to maintain an excellent edge for long periods of time while also resisting rust and corrosion easily. This steel was also designed specifically for knives, so you know that you are getting all of the qualities you could want in a blade’s steel. The previous version (S30V) was regarded as one of the finest blade steels because it provides you with the best balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness, so just imagine how great this superior version will be.

This steel has been finished with a hardcased black finish. This provides the steel with a sleek black color, more durability, and more resistance to corrosion.

The blade shape on this knife is a straight back blade shape. This knife has a wide curve towards the bottom of the blade. And of course, the back of the blade is completely straight. This is one of the simplest blade shapes. On the SOG Tac Ops, there is some jimping located on the unsharpened edge of the blade, near the handle. The straight back blade shape has a few advantages to it. One is that this is a strong blade shape, so you are going to be able to chop or cut through thicker materials. And, because the back of the blade is flat, the knife can easily be batoned. Because the sharpened edge of the blade is so curved, you can easily skin, slice, and cut with the blade. The tip is oriented towards the top of the blade, but you can actually still use this for drilling. This blade shape is a great all around shape for hunting, survival, and camping. All in all, the two biggest advantages to this blade shape is the strength that is behind the knife, because of the thick spine, and the ability to rest your thumb or fingers on the dull edge of the knife for added pressure while cutting or chopping.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of linen micarta, which is the most common versions of micarta. Micarta is made by soaking thin layers of linen clothes in a phenolic resin. This process will produce a material that is strong, lightweight, and has more personality than the similar G-10. This material was actually originally introduced as an electrical insulator, but is one of the best plastics that you could make a knife handle out of. While this is material does provide you with some excellent benefits, there are a few drawbacks to linen micarta. One of the biggest is that it has no surface texture whatsoever; it is extremely smooth, which makes it very slippery. To combat the fact that linen micarta provides you with almost no grip, the manufacture has to use hand labor to carve texture into the knife. On the Tac Ops, SOG has carved five deep grooves going down the length of the handle. And, they also carved out their initials “SOG” into the handle. With these carvings in the knife, you will have an excellent grip on your knife in wet or dry conditions. Because of the hand labor, the cost of linen micarta goes is pretty expensive, which does add cost to the knife overall. Some of the other benefits of linen micarta is that it is a very hard material that is hard to scratch. Micarta has a reputation of being easy to scratch, because to add texture, the manufacturer has to “scratch it up”. This is not a true statement; it is so hard to scratch and will hold up better than G-10 or carbon fiber. However, just like G-10, linen micarta is a brittle material. This is because the linen is all going in one direction, so while it is extremely strong in that direction, when it gets stressed in other ways, it has the tendency to break. If your knife handle is bumped against a hard or sharp object, the handle does have a tendency to break or chip. The linen micarta handle on the Tac Ops is black.

Another aspect of the knife handle that provides you with a quality grip is that there are deep finger grooves going down the length of the handle. These grooves help the handle contour perfectly in your palm. This is a comfortable knife to hold and use, even for long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip that is included on this knife is black to blend in with the handle, the blade, and the hardware. This is a skeletonized pocket clip, with an outline of “SOG” carved into the middle of the pocket clip. This is a low carry pocket knife. This pocket clip is a reversible pocket clip, which makes it ambidextrous friendly, because you are able to carry it on your right or left side.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding automatic knife. Like always, because this is an automatic knife, or a switchblade, there are some strict rules and laws surrounding it. Switchblades are not legal in all areas or states, so before purchasing this knife and definitely before carrying this knife, make sure that you know your local knife laws. An automatic knife is a knife that has its blade stored inside of its handle. When you push the button that is on the handle of the Tac Ops, it releases the pressure on the spring inside of the handle and deploys the blade. The blade will then lock into place, so that

SOG TAC Ops Knife
SOG TAC Ops Knife

you don’t have to worry about it collapsing during use. To close the knife, you push the button down and fold the blade back into the handle. There are a couple of major advantages to having an automatic blade. One of them is that you can open your knife quicker than if it was a purely manual knife. However, there are also some drawbacks, one I already covered: it is not legal in all states or cities. Another is that there is are many small, moving parts inside of the handle that have the ability to rust or corrode. If these parts do rust, the mechanism can work slower, or not work at all. You just have to make sure that you are maintaining and up keeping your knife, including the inner mechanisms to maintain its high quality.

 

The Specs:

The Tac Ops is made in the United States of America. The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.11 inches. The overall length of the Tac Ops is 8.2 inches long, with a closed length measuring in at 4.7 inches long. This knife weighs 4.6 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Tac Ops Auto:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is a superior steel.
  • The steel has a fine grain which makes sharpening easier and gives the finished product a more polished look.
  • This steel resists rust and corrosion effortlessly.
  • This steel has a high toughness, without sacrificing any of its strength.
  • This steel maintains its edge for long periods of time.
  • Because this steel has been specifically designed for knives, it provides you with all of the qualities that you could desire in a blade.
  • The finish on the blade is a hardcased black finish, helping the blade to resist corrosion while also adding strength and durability.
  • The straight back blade shape provides you with a thicker steel, thus more strength.
  • Because the back is straight and unsharpened, you can easily rest your fingers or thumbs on it to add more pressure.
  • There is a large, curved belly, which is excellent for slicing or skinning.
  • This blade is an excellent all around blade.
  • The linen micarta handle is strong while still maintaining its lightweight characteristics.
  • The linen micarta handle is hard to scratch up.
  • The finger grooves contour perfectly in your palm, making this a very comfortable knife to use.
  • You will have a secure grip on this knife always, whether it is in wet or dry conditions.
  • The pocket clip is reversible.
  • The automatic knife opens quickly and efficiently.
  • This knife is made in the USA.

 

Cons of the Tac Ops Auto:

  • The steel is one of the more expensive options on the market.
  • The tip is fine, which makes it more prone to snapping off if used incorrectly.

 

Conclusion:

Spencer Frazer based his original knife design off of the highly specialized special ops group that had to battle in the jungle. These knives were built to be durable and capable of accomplishing almost any survival task. After his first knife was such a hit, he expanded his product base and his knives have been widely popular. His company has developed a reputation of producing classic knives that are able to stand up to almost any task that you can throw at it. SOG has recently released a new knife called the Tac Ops Auto.

Spencer started this knife off with a superior steel. This steel has been designed specifically for knives, so you know that you are getting all of the benefits out of it. It has the perfect balance between strength, toughness, and edge retention, all while being easy to sharpen and very resistant to corrosion. The blade is finished with a black finish. The straight back blade shape provides the user with strength to perform most survival tasks while having the belly for your daily tasks. The linen micarta handle is black to match everything else, while providing you with strength without weighing you down. The reversible pocket clip is an excellent addition.  Get your TAC Ops knife here at BladeOps.

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Pro-Tech Strider PT Automatic Knife

Pro-Tech Knives, LLC is a knife company that has been around since 1999. They are a family owned company who designs and produces high quality American Made knives. Pro-Tech strives to use only the finest materials that are available and use the newest high tech manufacturing processes. Because of this, you know that your knife is innovative, modern, and will last you a lifetime. To keep quality of their knives high and customer satisfaction higher, they manufacture their knives in small batches, around 12,000 each year. By keeping their batches smaller, they can take the time to hand fit and finish each individual knife, creating a level of quality that is hard to come by on factory made knives.

Pro-Tech has collaborated with high end knife makers and have also produced knives for the U.S. Military and a couple of police departments. Some of their most well-known knives are the Runt J4 and the Godson. Pro-Tech recently came out with a brand new knife that I’m sure will be just as big of a hit. They named this new knife the Dark Blue Strider.

 

The Blade:

ProTech PT Strider Auto Knife
ProTech PT Strider Auto Knife

The blade on this knife is made out of the high end stainless steel 154CM. This steel is made by Crucible, who produces ground breaking and high quality steels. To create this type of steel, Crucible took the regular 440C steel and added Molybdenum. This extra Molybdenum helps the steel have fantastic edge retention and great levels of corrosion resistance. This steel is relatively easy to sharpen, when you have the correct equipment. This steel is tough enough to get the job done. 154 CM stainless steel has many similar qualities to S30V, although slightly inferior, for a much more inexpensive cost. You have a couple of options when it comes to the knife finishes. There is a black finish, a stonewash finish, or a bead blasted finish. The bead blasted finish is created by shooting small ceramic or glass beads at the blade with a high pressure system. This creates a more matte finish, reducing reflections and glares. However, it does create micro abrasions in the surface, so your blade will be more prone to rusting or corroding. This finish gives you a gray look to it. The stonewash finish is created by tumbling the blade around with pebbles. This finish easily hides scratches and reduces glares and reflections. This finish is the most silver out of all of them.

The shape of this blade is the versatile drop point blade. This shape of blade is perfect for an everyday, all-purpose knife. This is a durable shape that can really stand up to any task. This shape of blade gets its name because the unsharpened edge of the blade runs from the handle to the tip in a slow curve. Because of this curve, it creates a lowered, or dropped, point. There are a handful of advantages to having the tip on your knife lowered, one of them being that you will have more control over your blade with a lowered tip. Hunters especially love the drop point shape because it allows them to do precision work without piercing the organs while they are skinning their game. Another one of the advantages to having the tip of your blade lowered is that it adds strength to the tip. The tip is on the broader side of things, especially compared to a clip point, but because of the broadness, it is much more durable than that of a clip point. Because of the strength behind the point, this shape is great for tactical and survival knives. One of the characteristics of the drop point blade shape that makes it so versatile is that it sports a large belly area. This belly allows your blade to excel at slicing. With all of the benefits of a drop point blade, it can seem like there are no disadvantages to it. This is almost true, except for with a broad tip, this blade is not going to be able to pierce or stab as well as a clip point would. This shape of knife is great for every situation, whether it is the expected or unexpected.

This knife has two options for the edge. The stonewash and bead blasted versions are both plain edged. Plain edged blades are going to be easier to sharpen, because they do not have the teeth that a serrated edge does. The plain edge excels at shaving, peeling, and skinning. When people prefer a serrated blade, it is usually because serrations can cut through harder and tougher materials. However, when a plain edge blade is sharp enough, it can also cut through those hard and tough materials. There are two options for the black finish: a plain edge and a combo edge. The combo edge is popular because it gives you the best of both worlds; you get the plain edge for the easier tasks and the serrated portion for the trickier tasks that are presented to you.

On the unsharpened edge of the blade, near the handle, there is a series of thick jimping. Jimping is the notches down the spine of the blade that help to provide grip on your knife.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Pro-Tech Strider is made out of T6-6061 aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material. One of the biggest advantages about aluminum is that it provides you with the hefty feel that many knife lovers long for, without actually weighing you down. This is because aluminum is a low density metal that is very lightweight. This version of aluminum, the T6-6061 allow, has incredible strength behind it. This allow is also the most common type of aluminum used today. Aluminum is very strong and very resistant to corrosion. There are a few drawbacks to aluminum though. One, aluminum is a cold material. If you work in a cold environment or live in an area that experiences winter, this knife is going to bite into your hand. Another drawback is that aluminum is a slicker material. Pro-Tech, to avoid having no grip on the handle, has added jimping in a few places. It also has a deep finger groove to provide you with extra grip. The last drawback to aluminum is that it is prone to scratches and dings. To combat the accumulation of scratches on the Dark Blue Strider, Pro-Tech has anodized the aluminum. There are many benefits to the anodization process. This process adds strength and durability to the knife. The most obvious benefit of this process though is that it adds color to the aluminum. Pro-Tech has anodized the Strider to a dark blue.

One of the most defining aspects about the Strider’s handle is the shape of it. The handle has a slow, triangular shape to it, wider at the butt than it is at the top. The butt of this handle has an angled portion with jimping on it. This slightly flared butt will provide you will better grip and better control over your knife.

 

The Pocket Clip and Hardware:

Both the pocket clip and all of the hardware on the Dark Blue Strider is black, matching the black versions of the blade and contrasting with the stonewashed blade. This pocket clip is sturdy. The pocket clip can carry your knife tip up and only on the traditional side of the handle. With the black hardware and black blade, this knife has an elegantly modern look to it. The only exception to the black hardware is the bead blasted version of the Dark Blue Strider. This version has gray hardware to match the blade.

 

The Mechanism:

The Dark Blue Strider is an automatic, or switchblade, knife. Like always, automatic knives have pretty strict laws behind them that vary depending on where you live. Make sure you know your local knife laws before purchasing this knife and especially before carrying or using this knife. A switchblade knife works by pressing a button to automatically open the blade. There is a spring encompassed in the handle of the blade that has significant pressure on it when it is in the closed position. When the button is pressed on the Strider, the spring is released, popping the blade out of the handle. A black thumb stud on the blade stops the blade when it opens all the way. The blade is locked into place. When you want to close this knife, you press the button again, which unlocks it, and push the blade back into the closed position.

 

The Specs:

The overall length of the Dark Blue Strider is 6.4 inches; this knife is on the smaller end of the spectrum. The closed length of this knife is 3.65 inches long, which will fit comfortably, securely, and well concealed in your pocket because of the small size. The blade length on this knife is 2.75 inches long, big enough to get the job done, but again, everything about the Strider is big things in small packages. This knife weighs 2.5 ounces.

 

Pros of the Dark Blue Strider:

  • The steel of the blade has great edge retention and corrosion resistant properties.
  • The steel offers only slightly inferior qualities to S30V, but for a much lower price tag.
  • The steel is easy to sharpen.
  • The steel is tough enough to get the job done.
  • The drop point blade shape is the most versatile out of the blade shapes.
  • The lowered point gives the user better control and extra strength.
  • The belly on the drop point blade shape gives you plenty of room to slice.
  • The plain edge is easy sharpen and excels at shaving, peeing, and skinning.
  • The combo edge allows you to cut the thicker and tougher materials.
  • You have the option of three different finishes, all with their own pros and cons.
  • Pro-Tech has added jimping to the blade to give the user better grip and control.
  • The aluminum handle is strong and tough.
  • The aluminum has been anodized to add a dark blue color.
  • The aluminum is lightweight, but still provides you with a hefty feel behind it.
  • Aluminum is very resistant to corrosion.
  • The slightly flared handle gives the user more control over their cuts.
  • The pocket clip and hardware are black to match the blade; giving you a very aesthetically pleasing look.
  • The automatic mechanism will open quickly and efficiently.

 

Cons of the Dark Blue Strider:

  • The pocket clip has only been fitted for traditional carry, so it is not ambidextrous friendly.
  • The pocket clip only allows the knife to be carried tip up.

 

Conclusion:

Pro-Tech has released many knives that are huge hits in the knife communities. This company chooses to keep their knife batches low so that they can give each individual knife the attention that it deserves. Pro-Tech hand fits and finishes every single knife to provide the user with a quality that is hard to find in factory made knives.

The Dark Blue Strider is the newest of their masterpieces. They started with a tough steel to get the job done and gave the user three different options for the finishes. The blade shape is the most versatile of them all: the beloved drop point. The user also has the option to decide between getting a plain or combo edged blade. The handle as a unique shape to it, giving you the most control. The durable aluminum handle has a modern dark blue color to it. With the Pro-Tech Dark Blue Strider, they gave you a perfect auto knife in a small package. You are not going to want to put this knife down.

 

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SOG Sync Belt Buckle Review

Spencer Frazer, the man who founded SOG had a unique mission when he started his company. He had found the SOG Bowie knife, which is the knife that members of a highly classified US Special Ops unit carried. The knife had been designed for this specific group, MACV-SOG, because they were working on covert missions in the Vietnam jungles. Spencer’s mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. SOG Specialty Knives began as a single commemorative model but quickly expanded to become a full line of innovative tools. These tools are filed proven by US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Now when you carry a SOG knife, you can carry it with confidence, knowing that it will stand up to the most extreme conditions and craziest adventures. SOG tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, and honed for you.

SOG has recently released a brand new series of multi tools. This series is called the Sync Belt Buck series. Right now, it has two separate multi tools called the Sync I and the Sync II. These will help you get almost any job done and are a fantastic addition to your tool collection.

 

The Steels:

The Tool Steel:

The steel that has been used for these multi tools is 5Cr15MoV stainless steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from the Cr steel series. This is a low end steel, but because of that, it is very inexpensive. This inexpensive property is what helps to keep the cost of the entire tool down. This is a very soft steel that does not hold its edge for long periods of time. However, because of its softness, this steel is extremely easy to sharpen. This steel is widely used to make kitchen knives, high end scissors, folding knives, and hunting knives because it is very resistant to staining and rusting. The Rockwell Hardness on this steel is around a 54-56. However, the bigger the knife or tool is, the softer this steel will be.

The Handle Steel:

The handle is made out of a stainless steel. This is a very durable material for a handle material. Another major benefit of having a stainless steel handle is that it is very resistant to corrosion. However, stainless steel is a heavier material. Because the handle is made out of stainless steel, you are going to be able to feel your tool in your pocket or wherever you are keeping it. The stainless steel really does add a significant amount of weight. However, because the tool is on the smaller side, it’s not going to feel like a rock in your pocket, and will add some desired heftiness. One of the other drawbacks to stainless steel is that it is a pretty slippery material that does not provide you with exceptional grip. To combat this, SOG has added jimping along the sides of the handles when the tool is unfolded. There are also some etchings along the handles to help give you a good grip. All in all, SOG has worked with the stainless steel very well and you will be able to have a secure grip on it at all times.

 

The Finishes:

The tool and handle steel have been finished with a bead blasted finish. This finish is created by blasting small ceramic or glass beads at the steel with a high pressure. This finish creates an even gray finish. This finish works to reduce reflections and glares because it does create an even matte surface. However, because the bead blasting does create micro abrasions in the steel, the tool will be more likely to rust or corrode. Because of this, you do need to make sure that you are maintaining and up keeping this tool or else it will rust.

 

The Purposes/Design:

The Syncs are multi tools that have been designed to be easily worn. The Syncs have a detachable base that can be worn as a belt buckle or even clipped onto a backpack or boot. Because of the design, you can be sure to always have your multi tool with you. You can easily detach the tool with only one hand, but it will stay locked and secure when it has been clipped on and is not needed.

 

The Designer:

Spencer Frazer is the man behind SOG. He just so happens to also be the head designer. Since he was a young kid, he has always bene interested in the way that the world works. When he was in boy scouts, he gained an interest for knives and axes, but he never really considered making them a career until much later. He graduated with a math and science major and actually began his own company in the professional audio industry. This is when he learned to work with different materials and build models and prototypes. He went on to work in the aerospace defense industry as a R&D tool/die and model maker. Around the same time as that, he became involved in the modern art movement and met many of the top artists. During this time of his life, he learned a lot about scale and color. He says that he felt like all of his life experiences converged the moment that he saw the Vietnam SOG Bowie knife. This is the knife that encouraged him to start his own company as a knife designer. Since then, he has designed hundreds of innovative, ground breaking tools.

 

The Sync I:

The Specs:

This product originated in china. It has a closed length of 2.4 inches and weighs in at 2.6 ounces. This multi tool sports 11 different tools. The Sync I fits belts up to 1 3/8 inches.

The Tools:

  1. The Awl:

The awl comes out of the left side of the handle when the tool has been unfolded. This tool comes out of the butt of the handle. An awl is a long, pointed spike that can be used for making holes in wood or making markings on wood.

  1. The Blade:

The blade on this tool is located at the butt of the left side of the handle. This is a straight edged blade.

  1. The Bolt/Nut Gripper:

This tool is located at the top of the unfolded tool, right in the center. The pliers actually make up the framing for this tool.

  1. The Bottle Opener:

The bottle opener is located at the butt of the right side of the handle. The jewelry driver actually extends off of the bottle opener.

  1. The Crimpers:

The crimpers are located right in between the two handles, but is on the lower end, under the pliers. Crimpers are often used for fishing. This is a quick and reliable method for making joins in monofilament and cable.

  1. The File:

The file is a three sided file that folds out of the butt of the right handle. At the end of the file. There is a flat screwdriver.

  1. The Flat Screwdriver:

At the butt of the right handle, where the file folds out, there is a flat screwdriver. This screwdriver is in a size small.

  1. The Jewelry Driver:

This tool also extends out of the butt of the right handle. This specific tool is at the tip of the bottle opener.

  1. The Pliers:

The Pliers are located at the very top of the Sync 1 when it is unfolded.

  1. The Ruler:

When this tool is unfolded, the ruler goes up the inside of the two handles. Each of the sides carries about 2.4 inches. When you extend the ruler and make it into one long stick, it spans a little over 5 inches long.

  1. The Wire Cutter:

The last tool that this multi tool sports is the wire cutter. This wire cutter can cut through soft wire. It is located at the top of the tool when it is unfolded. The wire cutters lie directly below the bolt and nut gripper.

The Sync I has been designed to give you the tools that you need on a daily basis. This tool will be able to get you through your daily life whether you are encountering the expected or the unexpected.

 

The Sync II:

The Specs:

This tool originated in China. It has a closed length of 3.1 inches long, an overall length of 5.8 inches long, and weighs 5 ounces. The Sync II sports 12 different tools. This tool fits belts up to 1 ¾ inches wide.

The Tools:

  1. The Blade:

The blade is located at the butt of the right handle. This is a straight edge blade.

  1. The Bolt/Nut Gripper:

The bolt/nut gripper is located at the top of the unfolded tool. It is made up of the pliers.

  1. The Bottle Opener:

This tool folds out of the inner side of the right handle. At the top of the bottle opener, there is a flat screwdriver.

  1. The Crimpers:

The crimpers are located in between the two handles. Crimpers are often used in fishing, to make joins in lines or cords.

  1. The File:

The file is a three sided file. It folds out of the butt of the right handle and is attached to the small flat screwdriver.

  1. The Flat Screwdriver:

This flat screwdriver is located on the bottle opener, and folds out of the inner side of the right handle. This screwdriver is in a size medium.

  1. The Flat Screwdriver:

This flat screwdriver is in a size small. It folds out of the butt of the right handle and is connected to the end of the file.

  1. The Phillips Screwdriver:

This screwdriver folds out of the butt of the left handle.

  1. The Pliers:

The pliers are located at the top of the unfolded tool. These pliers are needle nosed pliers.

  1. The Ruler:

The ruler extends on both of the inner sides of the handles. When the tool is closed, each side of the handle has bout three and a half inches. However, you can unfold the tool so that the ruler lines up. When you unfold the tool in that manner, the ruler will measure 7 inches.

  1. The Scissors:

The scissors are located on the left side of the handle, where they fold out of the butt.

  1. The Wire Cutters:

The wire cutters are located at the top of the unfolded tool. The cutters lie at the bottom portion of the pliers, directly under the nut/bolt gripper. These are soft wire cutters.

The Sync II has been equipped with a selection of frequently used components that are available at a moment’s notice to save the day anytime and anywhere.

 

Conclusion:

SOG is a reliable company that you will help you carry their products with confidence. Their tools have been US Special Forces approved and have even been honored as the knife of the year. The tools are built and designed to stand up to the roughest of environments and the most extreme of situations. They have been built to help you lead, protect, save, and have fun while doing it. They use high quality materials to complete the high quality designs that Spencer Frazer has introduced to the world. They just released a brand new line of multi tools called the Belt Buckle Sync series, and it will change the way you do everyday life.

They looked at the common dilemma of forgetting your tool or knife and designed a multi tool that you can wear at all times. This belt buckle design has a detachable base, so you can also attach it to a boot or pack strap. The Sync I and II can fit on belts up to 1 ¾ inch wide. The tools that SOG chose to incorporate on the two are tools that you can use frequently in a variety of different scenarios. This tool will be a great investment that will constantly pay itself off when you encounter the unexpected.

 

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Kershaw Launch 7 Automatic Knife Review

Kershaw was founded in 1974. Since the very beginning, they have had one mission: to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to won, carry, and use. Inspired by this mission, Kershaw has built each of their knives with the highest quality. Kershaw chooses appropriate, high quality materials. When you pair the great materials with intensive craftsmanship, you get true masterpieces. Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation. They have actually pioneered many of the technologies that are today’s standard in the knife community. Some of their most popular innovations have been the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening Knives, knives with interchangeable blades thanks to the Blade Traders, and one of the more recent ones is the Composite Blade technology. This last technology allows Kershaw to combine two different types of steels into one blade. This lets the user experience the best of both worlds with their blade. Kershaw has combined two steels to create a knife with excellent edge retention, but the other steel is known for strength, so they put the second steel on the spine. Because of their commitment to innovation, they will also keep innovating and bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knives.

One aspect of Kershaw’s reputation is that people will own a Kershaw knife for a lifetime. This is a true story, because they do use such great materials. Kershaw has said that even their inexpensive models are impressive.

Kershaw is actually a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai has been the leading blade producer of Japan for over 100 years now. The whole Kai community has vowed to take an innovative approach to product development.

Once you purchase one Kershaw knife, you are going to want more. So be prepared. Whether this is your first Kershaw knife or your 50th, the brand new Launch 7 Automatic knife will be a game changer.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Launch 7 is made out of CPM 154 steel. The CPM means that it is made with Crucible’s Particle Metallurgy. CPM will result in a slightly superior steel that is tougher and has better edge retention than regular 154CM steel. Not only that, but because of the Powder Metallurgy, the steel has better toughness, while still being easier to sharpen than regular 154 CM steel. The last big benefit that the Powder Metallurgy is that the finished polished result will be better than the other kind of steel. CPM 154 steel is a pretty hard steel because the manufacturer has added Molybdenum. Although it has less Chromium content in the steel, the steel still sports excellent corrosion resistance. This steel has a good balance between being hard and being tough; you don’t really lose out on either side of the spectrum with CPM 154 steel. If you have the right equipment, this steel is not that hard to sharpen. This steel is often used in blades that are going to be used in heavier cutting or harder tasks, so you know that the Launch 7 will be able to stand up to what you throw at it. All in all, this is a high quality steel.

 

The coating on this steel is a Diamond Like Coating, or DLC. Coating finishes are good because they add corrosion and rust resistance while also preventing many reflections or glares. Because this specific DLC is black, you really won’t get any reflections or glares out of it. The only drawback to a coated finish is that it will eventually scratch off. There is not much you can do to stop it from scratching off over time or with heavy use. The harder the coating is, the longer it will take to scratch off. And the DLC is one of the absolute hardest coatings that you can find. Instead of just being “painted” on, it is actually chemically bonded to the steel itself. Because of this, you get a stronger and more durable blade.

 

The blade on the Launch 7 has been ground into a clip point shape. Clip points are a great blade shape option if you are hoping to be able to use your knife for any task. Clip points are a successful all-purpose blade shape. The blade shape is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the blade run straight from the handle until it stops about halfway up the blade. Once it stops, it actually drops and continues to the point of the knife. This drop almost looks like that portion of the blade has been cut out, or clipped off, which is where it this blade shape got its name. On the Launch 7, this cut out portion is straight. Because the point on this blade shape is lowered, you have more control over the blade and tip. This is a great benefit if you are hoping to perform detail work with the Launch 7. While this sounds very similar to the drop point blade style, this shape has a fine and sharp point, unlike the broad point of the drop point. This is an added benefit because you have a much better ability to stab with a clip point. However, it is also a drawback, because this thin tip is fairly weak and much more likely to break off. Another fantastic feature about the clip point shape is that it sports a large belly that is great for slicing.

Kershaw Launch 7 Auto
Kershaw Launch 7 Auto

The Handle:

The Launch 7 sports an anodized aluminum handle. The anodization process is the most common finish for an aluminum handle. While the aluminum handle is already extremely durable and hard, the anodization process does add a smidge of extra protection. However, even though the aluminum is very durable, it is prone to scratching or dinging. The anodization process helps to add a layer of protection against the scratches. Another, more obvious, benefit of having the aluminum on this handle anodized is that it creates a new color on the aluminum. This is not a coating, because it actually molecular draws out a different color. On this specific knife, the anodization process has turned the aluminum into a dark gray. A drawback to an aluminum handle that anodizing cannot fix is that aluminum is a very cold metal. If you are hoping to use the Launch 7 in a cold environment, just be prepared and either have gloves or be ready for the handle to feel like it is biting into your skin. One characteristic of aluminum that many knife lovers enjoy is that it has a very hefty feel to it. When you are using a knife with an aluminum handle, you feel like it has weight behind it and that it will be able to stand up to your hardest tasks. However, aluminum is a very low density metal, so it is very lightweight. Because of this, you will get the hefty feel that you crave, but the handle won’t end up weighing the knife down, like a stainless steel handle would. The last key aspect of having an aluminum handle that we will touch on is that aluminum is a slippery material. To provide you with a little bit extra grip, Kershaw has drilled four small arches into the bottom portion of the handle. This also provides the handle with an industrial look to it. Kershaw has also drilled a deep finger groove into the handle to provide you with extra grip while you are using this knife. Although the handle looks like all angles and edges, it actually fits comfortably in your hand and will stay comfortable even after long periods of use.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is black to match the blade and hardware. The Launch 7 has pre drilled holes in the handle that enables the user to rotate the pocket clip four different ways. You can either carry the knife tip up or down, or left or right handedly. That is a very convenient feature because it allows you to carry your knife as comfortably as possible. Plus, it is ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is an automatic knife. Because of this, make sure that you know your local knife laws before buying or carrying the Launch 7. Automatic knives, or switchblades, have strict laws surrounding them. An automatic knife has a spring taut spring inside of the handle. When the button is pushed, the spring releases and the knife opens. Switchblades can open very quickly and very efficiently. This knife also features the Push-button Lock. This mechanism locks the blade open during use, so that you don’t have to worry about the blade folding while in use. The Push-button Lock also releases with the push of a button for storage. When you are ready to close an automatic knife, you unlock the knife, push down the deploy button, and manually fold the knife closed.

 

The Specs:

This knife has a blade length of 3.75 inches long. When the Launch 7 is opened, the knife measures in at 8.6 inches long, with a closed length of 5 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.2 ounces.

 

The Extras:

The Launch 7 was made in the USA, which is a big bonus. Tim Galyean is the designer behind this knife. There is also an integrated back spacer on this knife.

 

The Pros of the Launch 7:

  • The steel is a high quality steel with a great balance of strength and toughness.
  • With the right equipment, this steel is very easy to sharpen.
  • The steel has great edge retention.
  • The DLC is the best coating that you can get and will stay on the longest.
  • The DLC helps to cut down on reflections and glares while also providing corrosion resistant properties.
  • The clip point shape offers a big belly that is great for slicing.
  • The clip point shape can stab easily.
  • The clip point shape is a great all-purpose blade shape that is going to get the job done.
  • The lowered tip is great for performing detail work.
  • The aluminum handle has been anodized helping to add strength and durability.
  • The anodized aluminum is less prone to scratches than plain aluminum.
  • The aluminum handle is strong, tough, and durable.
  • The aluminum handle gives a hefty feel without adding too much weight.
  • The pocket clip is four way reversible.
  • The automatic mechanism opens quickly and efficiently.
  • The knife sports the Push-button Lock.
  • Made in the United States of America.

 

Cons of the Launch 7:

  • The DLC will eventually scratch off, just like any other coating finish.
  • The clip point shape has a weak tip that is prone to breaking off.
  • The aluminum handle is prone to scratches and dings.
  • The aluminum handle is pretty slick.
  • The aluminum handle will feel super cold in your hand when using it in a colder environment.
  • Because it is an automatic knife, it will not be legal in all states or areas.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw has been around for a little over four decades now and since the very beginning they have been producing innovative and ground breaking new technology. Their knives have helped to set the new standard in the current knife market. Kershaw’s goal is that when you purchase a knife from them, you can own that knife for your lifetime. They also know that if it is your first knife, you will be coming back for more, and if it is a second, third, or maybe even tenth knife, that you already appreciate the quality that is Kershaw.

To create their newest in their knife collection, they started off with a high quality steel that is strong while still being tough, very durable, maintains an edge well, and is still relatively easy to sharpen. They threw on a Diamond Like Coating and ground the steel into a versatile clip point shape. To match the excellent blade, they added a durable aluminum handle in a dark gray color. The four-way reversible pocket clip is an excellent added bonus to this automatic knife. The Launch 7 will be the perfect addition to your knife collection.

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CRKT Homefront Folder Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and tool, Inc., or CRKT, was established in 1994. From the very beginning of this company, CRKT has had a purpose driving them forward: they want to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to market. Because of this drive, they have had collaborations and partnerships with the world’s top designers and many custom knife makers. Born from these collaborations are products and knives that are aesthetically pleasing, superior over all other knives, and have innovative and ground breaking characteristics about them. CRKT produces knives for everyday carry, for tactical missions, for hunting and fishing, they even have a few for survival situations. CRKT knows that their products are being put to the test in your lives every single day, and these products are standing up to the task. To ensure that their products are up to the standards of their users, they make sure to use the most advanced equipment and production systems. CRKT also believes in integrity, and that’s how they do business. They build products that are going to be reliable no matter what the task is at hand. They believe that everyone should be able to afford to carry the highest quality knives and tools, so they build their products with efficiency.

CRKT has recently released a brand new knife. They’ve named it the Homefront, and it really is a game changer. The Homefront was designed by Ken Onion. Ken Onion is the youngest person to ever been inducted into the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame, he accomplished this in 2008. Ken is also recognized as one of the most successful knife designers of all time. Ken is also one of the most innovative knife designers of all time, and has continually designed and released key aspects of knives that keep getting better.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Homefront is made out of AUS-8 steel. This steel is a Japanese steel and is similar to the more common 440B steel. AUS-8 is a common stainless steel and it is a decent all around steel. This steel is hard enough to get the job done, it is tough enough to get the job done, and it has enough resistance to staining and rusting. However, it does not excel at any of these. AUS-8 is not a high end steel; it is more like an upper mid-range steel. AUS-8 holds an edge fairly well, but you are going to need to sharpen it more often than many other types of steel. So count your blessings that AUS-8 is a breeze to sharpen and can get crazy sharp. A big advantage to having an AUS-8 blade is that it is pretty inexpensive.

The AUS-8 steel has been finished with a satin finish. This is one of the most common and typical types of finishes for knife blades. This finish is less expensive than a mirror finish and a polish finish, but because of that, it is less shiny as well. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive. This finish will show off the bevels of the blade, while also showing off the lines of the knife. This finish reduces glare and reflections. This finish has decent levels of corrosion resistance.

The AUS-8 steel has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape. I’m sure you’ve heard of a drop point blade shape and know the blade pretty well, but a modified drop point is not as popular. So what it is? This term is generally used when the knife has a shape that is pretty much a mix of a clip point and a drop point, but probably shouldn’t be classified as either. We’ll go over the advantages of both styles of blade shapes and what the advantages on the modified drop point shape are. The drop point is such a popular blade shape because of how versatile this blade shape is. It has a strong point that is easily controlled. This controllable tip gives you the ability to do precision work; hunters love the controllable tip because it allows them to skin an animal without piercing through the organs or ruining the meat. The tip is strong enough to endure heavy use and because of this, the drop point is a popular shape for tactical or survival knives. Another huge benefit of the drop point shape is that it has a large belly that allows easy slicing. The clip point blade shape is similar to the drop point in many ways. For starters, it also has a big belly and plenty of cutting edge, making slicing a breeze. The point is similar, but this is also where they differ. While the tip on a clip point is controllable, it is much sharper than the point on a drop point. However, because it is sharper, it is also weak, whereas the drop point has a very strong tip. Both shapes are great for all purpose knives. The modified drop point combines advantages from both of these blade shapes. Of course it features a large belly, so with the Homefront, you will easily be able to slice. But, it features a broader point than a clip point, so you get the strength behind the point, but you also get a sharper point than you would on a drop point shape. The modified drop point has combined all of the best characteristics, giving you one heck of a blade. The Homefront will be a great knife for your everyday needs, your survival needs, your tactical needs, and basically any other need that you can think of.

 

The Handle:

CRKT Homefront Knife
CRKT Homefront Knife

The handle on the Homefront is made out of aluminum. T6-6061 aluminum alloy to be exact; which just so happens to be the most common type of aluminum used along with one of the strongest alloys of aluminum out there. Aluminum is a very durable material for handles. Many knife carriers like to have weight and heftiness behind the knife, because it helps the user feel more in control and gives you a little extra durability. But, knife carriers also don’t want to feel weighed down, like they have a brick in their pocket. Aluminum truly gives you the best of both worlds; it feels hefty, but it is actually a very low density, lightweight material, so it is not going to weigh you down. Aluminum is a pretty slippery material, so to combat that, CRKT has added some heavy texture. This texture will provide the user with a solid, secure grip. CRKT has also added jimping down part of the length of the handle, giving you an even more secure grip. Aluminum is also prone to scratches, and to help combat that, CRKT has anodized the Homefront handle. The anodization process provides hardness and protection to the aluminum. It also can add color to the handle. The Homefront has been anodized gold. The last drawback to having an aluminum handle is that it is a cold material. If you work in a cold environment, this knife is going to feel very cold in your hand, it might even feel like it is biting into your skin. If you work or live in a cold environment, or somewhere that experiences pretty harsh winters, this knife is not going to be your best friend during those colder months.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip that has been included with this knife is a skeletonized pocket clip. It is a charcoal color.

 

The Mechanism:

The Homefront is a manual folding knife, with a spine flipper to help rapidly deploy the blade. So how exactly does a flipper work? The basics of it is that there is a part of the blade that extends through the spine of the knife when the knife is closed. On the Homefront, this flipper is a small circle with a hole in the middle of it, which is one of the most uniquely shaped flippers that I’ve seen. You push down on this flipper, which then puts pressure on the detent. When enough pressure overcomes the detent, the blade will flip up into the open position and lock into place. There a few benefits of a flipper mechanism, but one of the biggest is that it keeps your fingers safe and out of the way of the sharpened edge of the blade while opening your knife. Another big advantage to the flipper mechanism is that you can open the Homefront with only one hand. The flipper mechanism is safe, quick, and efficient; these three characteristics are probably everything that you are looking for in an opening mechanism.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Homefront is 3.5 inches long, with a thickness of 0.133 inches. The overall length of the knife is 8.313 inches long, with a closed length of 4.728 inches long. The Homefront weighs in at 4.8 ounces.

 

The Extras:

This knife features a very unique, innovative characteristic. This is the first of CRKT’s knives to feature what they all the “Field Strip”. This innovation was created by Ken Onion, a well-known knife craftsman. This innovation allows you to take apart your knife with no tools for practical and efficient cleaning and maintenance, even when you are in the field. To dissemble your knife, you 1. Start with the knife in the closed positon. 2. Push the front release level up away from the blade. 3. Spin the release wheel on the rear of the handle away from the pivot shaft, once you feel the handle release you pull it up and away from the blade. The Homefront will then come apart into three sections. To reassemble the knife, you do the same process, but in reverse.

 

Pros of the Homefront:

  • The steel is hard enough, tough enough, and corrosion resistant enough to get almost any job done.
  • The AUS-8 steel has been finished with a sleek satin finish.
  • The blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape, which gives you all of the best characteristics of both the drop point and clip point shape.
  • The aluminum handle is durable, strong, and resistant to corrosion.
  • The flipper mechanism is efficient, safe, and quick.
  • This knife features the Field Strip mechanism, which allows you to take apart your knife without any tools whenever you want, to easily clean and maintain your entire knife.

 

Conclusion:

The Homefront looks like your classic grandpa’s World War 2 folder, but it’s so much more than that. While it does rock an old timey look, I guarantee that everything about this knife is new and modern. For starters, the AUS-8 steel is carved into a modified drop point shape, truly giving you the best of both worlds. You get the strength behind the tip that the drop point shape offers, and you still get the sharpness behind the tip that the clip point shape offers. With this blade shape, there isn’t much that you aren’t going to be able to accomplish. The handle has been anodized gold, giving it a more classic look. But this aluminum handle is going to be able to endure more than you can imagine. To top the whole knife off, CRKT has added their new Field Strip technology. This is an innovative invention that allows you to take your knife apart, without tools, to clean and maintain in the field. There is nothing old timey about this new invention. This invention is all thanks to Ken Onion. The brand new Homefront is going to change the way that you think about knives.

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SOG Vision ARC Knife Review

The story about SOG knife company begins long before there was even the thought of SOG knife company. This story begins in Vietnam, with a highly classified US Special ops unit. The unit was known as MACV-SOG, and the members had to carry a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. It was years later that Spencer Frazer, a young knife designer, founded SOG Specialty Knives. The year was 1986 and his mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. SOG Knife Company began as a single commemorative model, but quickly 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. So whether you are protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG. These tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.

Spencer Frazer is the founder of this company as well as the chief designer. He 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.”

Recently, SOG has released a new knife called the Vision Arc. This knife lives up to the SOG reputation and will be able to assist you through the challenges of your life.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is forged out of VG 10 steel. This is a well-known, high end Japanese steel. It is considered to be a premium level steel. The G in the name stands for “gold”, which refers to the “gold standard” that his level of stainless steel is considered to have met. This steel has been designed for high quality blades and is often used in Japanese cutlery. And even though it was the high end cutlery that really put this type of steel on the market, many top of the line pocket, hunting, and tactical knives have used and are now using VG 10 steel. The reason that it makes such a good kitchen cutlery steel is because of how well it holds and edge as well as its ability to withstand rust. And while those are important characteristics of a kitchen knife, those characteristics will make your everyday carry knife stand apart from the pack. And because of how well this steel resists rust, you can often go longer periods of time without wiping or oiling them. The edge holding abilities are almost second to none. This steel is easy to sharpen, even a beginner will be able to pull it off, and you can get the finest edge on them. Not only that, but it holds that fine edge for very long periods of time. This steel also contains some vanadium, which is why this knife is so tough. This steel is also very durable and very hard without seeming brittle. The steel chosen for this blade is what helps to really set this blade apart.

This knife has been finished with a black TiNi coating. TiNi is short for Titanium Nitride. This is one of the best coating finishes that can be applied to steel. Not only does it provide the user with a smooth, black finish, it also works to increase durability. The TiNi finish is known to be both extremely scratch resistant as well as very peel resistant. This type of finish is actually 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, this finish is going to be one of the smoothest and most even coated finishes that you will come across. There will be no portions on the blade where the coating will have run or been applied to thick, especially around the edges. This is a top notch type of coating that won’t disappoint.

The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today, and for good reason. You can use this blade shape for all purposes and it is extremely versatile. This shape of blade is most commonly found on the Bowie knife, but it is also very popular on pocket knives or fixed blades. To form this blade shape, the back, or the unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This portion looks as if it is “cut-out” or “clipped-out” and is where this knife shape gets its name form. This clipped out portion can be straight or curved, but on the Vision Arc, it is a very shallow curve. It almost looks straight, but it lacks the hard angles that would accompany a straight clipped area. The point on this blade shape is lowered, so you will have more control when you are suing this knife. Plus, because the tip is more controllable, sharper and thinner at the spine, this blade shape is perfect for quick stabbing, because it has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. Another reason that makes this such a perfect all-purpose knife is because of the large belly that it sports. The belly will easily assist you in your everyday tasks, which mostly include some form of slicing. The clip point blade shape is often confused with the drop point blade shape, because they are both pretty popular and great all-purpose knives. The biggest difference between the two different designs is the point. The drop point has a broader tip that provides you with more strength, but denies you the ability to pierce. The clip point blade shape has a much thinner point that lets you pierce very well. However, it doesn’t have as much strength behind it, and is prone to breaking fairly easily. This blade shape prepares you to perform all of the common, daily tasks that you might come across, such as opening boxes. But, it will also arm you to take on the unexpected challenges that you will come across as time goes by.

The Vision Arc sports a straight, or plain, edge. This style of edge is definitely the more traditional edge that can be found on knives. The straight edge excels at push cuts, slicing, peeling, and skinning. As a bonus, this type of edge is much easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it. Some people are worried that if they don’t have a serrated edge, or a combo edge, that they won’t be able to cut through the tougher or thicker materials. While the serrated edge does help cut through the thicker materials because you can saw instead of slice, when the plain edge is sharp enough, it can also manage cutting through those tougher materials.

 

The Handle:

SOG Vision ARC
SOG Vision ARC

The handle on the Vision Arc is made out of black Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This material is a super strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, it is relatively inexpensive. This is a similar material to G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, but it is much stronger. This is because in GRN, the fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which means that it doesn’t matter which direction the handle is stressed, it is going to stand up to it. With the other materials that I mentioned, the fibers are all arranged in one direction, so they are extremely strong in that direction, but tend to fall apart when the fibers are stressed in other ways. This is why GRN is less brittle than the other materials. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and texture. Because of this, the manufacturer can produce high volume amounts at a lower price. However, many knife enthusiasts did not warm up to this material because they felt like it was cheap and plastic-y. One of the other drawbacks to this material is that it provides you with less grip than G 10 does.

To provide you with a stellar grip, SOG has added some intense texture throughout the palm portion of the handle. They have also carved “SOG” into the middle of the handle.

To keep your grip comfortable for long periods of use, SOG has added a medium deep finger groove. The rest of the handle is fairly straight. And to keep your grip safe and protected, SOG has added a finger guard to keep you from cutting your fingers.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is SOG’s classic style of pocket clip. It is skeletonized, with their logo in being carved out in the middle of the clip. This pocket clip is black to blend in with the all black knife and to match the black hardware. This is a low carry pocket clip, which means that it won’t be as snug in your pocket as a deep carry would. But, it is a reversible pocket clip, which means that you can carry it on the left or right side of the knife, helping ot make this an ambidextrous friendly knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a folding knife that sports the Arc-Lock. The Arc-Lock is ambidextrous. This locking mechanism uses a pivotal block to lock the blade into place. This is considered to be one of the finest locks available. This is a crazy strong locking system. SOG has tested this to withstand over 1000 pounds of force (measured at the lock), which far surpasses the conventional lock strength. This is also a very fast mechanism to use. Many people say that it is lightening quick, and because you can deploy this blade with only one hand, it helps everything go more efficiently. This is also a very safe locking mechanism to use. It uses spring action that securely retains the blade closed, and it keeps fingers safely clear while unlocking. This is also a very durable locking mechanism because it is self-adjusting over time and is easily cleaned for long term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Vision Arc knife measures in at 3.8 inches in length. The blade has a thickness of 0.12 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.5 inches, with a closed length of 4.7 inches. This is a slim knife and weighs in at 4.20 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

SOG knives and tools are built to last a lifetime. And not just a lifetime of performing the easy, daily tasks, but the unexpected tasks that accompany adventures. These knives have been field tested, so you can be confident when you are carrying a SOG knife. These knives are built to be durable, so that they can last with you through the ages. When you purchase a SOG knife, you are purchasing the only knife that you will need, but with the high quality that they are, you are going to want to buy a few more.

To perfect the Vision Arc knife, SOG started out with a premium steel that is durable, resistant to rust and corrosion, and can get a crazy fine edge that it holds onto for long periods of time. The handle is made out of the durable and lightweight GRN. Because the handle is so lightweight, you can easily have this knife with you at all times without it weighing you down. The reversible pocket clip and perfected locking mechanism are just the cherry on top of an already fantastic knife. Get yours today at BladeOps.

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CRKT 281KXP Hi Jinx Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, has been around since 1994. This company is based in Oregon and is an American company that has made a reputation through their distinct design, the selection that they offer, and the quality of all of their products. Since the very beginning, CRKT has had a purpose that has driven them to accomplish what they have. This purpose is “to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to market.” Because of this purpose, CRKT has collaborated with a variety of the best knife designers and custom knife makers. These collaborations have resulted in products that are always visually stunning and technically superior. These collaborations have also resulted in some of the most innovative inventions in the knife world to date, including the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot system, the Automated Line Safety System, and the OutBurst assist opening mechanism. CRKT uses the newest and most advanced manufacturing equipment and production systems to produce the knives efficiently and with excellence.

CRKT has a company motto of integrity. They build their products with integrity and deal with their customers with integrity. Because of this, they believe that if their knives and tools aren’t up to their customer’s standards, then their knives and tools aren’t up to their own standards. When you purchase a CRKT knife, you can be sure that you are getting a high quality product and that you are dealing with a company that truly cares about you and your experiences. CRKT has produced their products to be able to stand up to everyday use, tactical use, survival use, and hunting and fishing. One of their newest knives is called the Hi Jinx Z, and it is just as quality as the rest of their knives.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of 1.4116 SS steel. If you are like me, you have probably never actually heard of this steel, and if you have, you aren’t quite sure what sets it apart from the other steels. 1.4116 SS steel is similar to the 440A steel. This steel is pretty inexpensive, which helps to keep the cost of the overall knife down. This type of steel has great resistance to rust and corrosion. It can take a fine edge, however, it doesn’t hold this edge as well as other types of steel do. This type of steel is most commonly found on kitchen knives. 1.4116 SS steel is decent, it will get the job done, but it is not super high quality. Investing in a knife with a higher quality steel is going to give you better results in the end. But having a blade made out of this type of steel is a great knife to have as your backup knife.

The steel has been finished with a satin finish. This type of finish is one of the most common finishes that you are going to find on knives. It does help to reduce glare and reflections a little bit, but it is not matte by any means. The satin finish will also help reduce corrosion to an extent, but if that is what you are looking for in a finish, keep looking. The satin finish is mostly to give your knife a pleasing, clean, elegant look.

The 1.4116 SS steel is carved into a drop point blade shape. This is the most versatile blade shapes out there, and it is certainly one of my favorites. The shape is formed by the unsharpened edge slowly curving to meet the point in a lowered position. There are a variety of benefits from having the point lowered. The first one is that you will actually have more control over the tip. Most hunters search for knives with a drop point shape because it lets you skin your game without having to worry too much about nicking the organs or ruining the meat. Another big benefit to having a lowered point is that it creates a broader tip than you would find on a clip point. Because the tip is broader, it has more strength behind it, and it is more durable. This helps your knife stand up to heavier duty and harder tasks. Another reason why the drop point blade shape is so popular is because it sports a large belly. This large belly with plenty of cutting room is what makes the Hi Jinx Z such a great every day knife. One of the only drawbacks to having a drop point blade shape is that because the tip is broader than many other blade shapes, you are not going to be able to pierce or stab many things. In my mind, this is a small price to pay to get all of the other benefits about the drop point blade shape.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Hi Jinx Z is made out of glass reinforced nylon, or GRN for short. This material is made by arranging the nylon fibers haphazardly, instead of in a single direction, like G-10, Carbon Fiber, or Micarta. Because of them being arranged haphazardly, GRN has a high strength level, while also being very resistant to abrasion and bending. GRN has been considered to be basically indestructible. However, GRN does not have too much texture when it is in its pure form, so to give the user a solid grip on the Hi Jinx Z, CRKT has added some extreme texturing to the palm area of the handle. With this aggressive texturing, you will be able to hold on to your knife in almost any condition without having to worry too much about slipping.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The Hi Jinx Z comes with an attached pocket clip. It is half skeletonized and silver satin to match the blade of this knife.

 

The Mechanisms:

CRKT Hi Jinx
CRKT Hi Jinx

This knife is a folding knife with a locking liner. This knife sports the IKBS system. This was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. This system sets lubed all bearings into the folding knife pivot. Because of this, the knife can be rapidly deployed with a smooth and fast movement. This knife is a flipper knife. A flipper knife works by using a small fin shaped that protrudes from the spine of the knife when the knife is in the closed position. You push down on this fin and it flips the blade open. Then the locking liner safety clicks into place and your blade is locked in the open position. When you want to close the knife, you undo the liner lock and push the blade closed. There are a few benefits to having your knife be a flipper, one of them is that it always keeps your fingers out of the sharpened blade range. This means that you never have to worry about your fingers getting cut or pinched. It also allows you to open your knife quickly and efficiently.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.293 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.111 inches long. When this knife is open, it measures in at 8 inches long, with a closed length of 4.721 inches. The Hi Jinx Z weighs in at 4.9 ounces.

 

The Designer:

Ken Onion is the man behind the Hi Jinx Z. Ken is considered to be the most innovative and successful knife designers of all time. He was the youngest ever to be inducted into the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2008. In 1996, Ken, created the first commercially successful assisted opening mechanism. He recently just introduced the Field Strip Technology. Ken seems to always have new, ground breaking ideas. These ideas have won him so many awards. You know that if Ken Onion helped to design your knife, it is going to be an innovative, quality knife.

 

Pros of the Hi Jinx Z:

  • The steel on this knife is a pretty inexpensive knife.
  • The steel has decent toughness and strength behind it.
  • This steel is very resistant to corrosion.
  • This steel can get a very fine edge.
  • The satin finish helps to reduce glare, reflections, wear, and corrosion.
  • The drop point blade shape has a large belly with plenty of cutting room.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes, perfect for everyday use, tactical, or survival needs.
  • Because the tip is lowered, you have more control over it, allowing you to accomplish detail work with the tip.
  • Because the tip is lowered, it is broader, and thus has more strength and durability behind the tip.
  • The GRN handle is basically indestructible, it has incredible durability.
  • The GRN handle is resistant to wear and bending.
  • The GRN handle has plenty of extreme texture to provide you with a secure grip.
  • The knife comes with a pocket clip.
  • This knife sports the IKBS ball Bearing Pivot System.
  • This is a flipper knife, so your fingers are going to be kept out of the way and always safe.
  • Ken Onion is one of the worlds most renowned knife designer, so you know that this knife is going to be quality and innovative.

 

Cons of the Hi Jinx Z:

  • Because it is a drop point shape, the point is broad and stabbing things will be harder.
  • The pocket clip is not a deep carry pocket clip, so your knife will not be as secure in your pocket.

 

Conclusion:

Columbia River Knife and Tool company produces some of the most unique and quality knives on the market. They believe that everyone should be able to afford a high quality knife. They make their products with the newest manufacturing equipment to produce their knives and efficiently as possible. Because they produce their products so efficiently, they can keep their prices a little bit lower. Over the past two decades, they have collaborated with a variety of the most well-known knife makers and designers. Out of these collaborations have been born some of the most innovative technology in the knife market to date.

To create yet another masterpiece, the Hi Jinx Z, CRKT started off with a good steel. This steel is able to take on the tasks that you need it to, but it really isn’t going to be able to perform anything extra. This steel has a satin finish and a plain edge. Because it is a plain edge, it will be easier to sharpen and will be used for a larger variety of tasks. To make this knife perfect for every day uses, they chose to grind the steel into a drop point shape. This shape is the most versatile out of any of the knife blade shapes because it is strong, durable, has a big belly, and a decent tip. To complement this blade, Ken Onion and CRKT designed the handle out of Glass Reinforced Nylon. This is one of the strongest materials of its kind, because of how the fibers are placed haphazardly instead of in a uniform direction. This helps the handle be less brittle and less resistant to wear and bending.

This knife does have a flipper opening mechanism, which helps to keep your fingers safe and out of the way when you are opening it. Because they used the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, the flipper mechanism will work quicker, smoother, and more efficiently.

The Hi Jinx Z is a quality knife that is going to be able to accomplish your everyday tasks. Because of the level of steel, this knife is the perfect knife for your backup knife or if you don’t want to worry about banging up your knife. Because all of the materials are good, but not great, this is a very inexpensive option for your everyday knife choice.

When purchasing a new knife, you know that you can rely on CRKT for giving you a great knife. The Hi Jinx Z will be a great addition to your collection.

 

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CRKT Copacetic Knife Review

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

This company was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. These two men were both formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. However, the company did not truly take off until 1997. They took one of their new knives, the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) to the Shot Show that year. This was a small folder that had been designed by Ed Halligan. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of the product had sold out.

CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has collaborated with custom knife makers such as Ken Onion, Harold Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers.

CRKT owns fifteen patents and they have patents pending. Some of these patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff Serrated Edges.

Over the past twenty years, CRKT has built a reputation of being reliable, durable, and long lasting. You know that when you purchase a CRKT knife, you are purchasing a lifelong adventure partner and a blade that will be able to get the job done, no matter what the job is. CRKT has recently released a brand new knife and they call it the Copacetic.

 

The Designer:

Larry Hanks is the man behind this knife. He was practically born a woodworker but had plenty of other talents. He designed jewelry and foundry work and then culminated in a decorated career as a tattoo artist. After all of that, he met Ken Onion. Larry’s knife engravings were so skilled that Ken Onion enlisted his talents shortly after they met, and now they’ve been working together for over twenty years. It wasn’t until four short years ago that Larry took on his own projects. The progression was natural, and there’s no doubt around here that his knife making career will soon eclipse his tattooing career.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Copacetic is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This type of steel belongs in a series of Chinese steel. In the series, 9Cr steel is the highest quality. However, 8Cr steel falls closely behind in quality. This steel is best compared to AUS 8 steel, however, AUS 8 is the better steel between the two. 8Cr steel is softer, less durable, and rusts easier than AUS 8 steel. The biggest advantage that the 8Cr steel boasts is how inexpensive the steel is. Because of this, it can drastically reduce the cost of the overall knife. And this is an average steel that is able to get the job done. Because of how soft the steel is, sharpening is a piece of cake. And you can get a very fine edge on this knife that lasts for a while. While this steel has a variety of benefits, but it does not excel at anything.

The steel has been coated in a black oxide finish. This is a blackening coating that is used to coat metals. This type of coating is used to add mild corrosion resistance, as well as for appearance, and to minimize light reflection. However, because it is a coating finish, it will eventually scratch off. This finish helps to add a sleek essence to the all-black knife.

The steel has been carved into a clip point shape. This is a great all-purpose blade shape and is one of the most popular shapes on the market. This blade shape is commonly found on Bowie knives, but it is also popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. To form this blade shape, the back of the knife runs straight from the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. The spot where it turns and continues on to the point looks as if to be cut or clipped out. This is where the blade shape gets its name from. The clipped out portion can be either straight or curved, but on the Copacetic, it is straight. This type of blade shape has a lowered point, which makes it similar to the drop point blade shape. This lowered point provides more control when you are using this knife. And because the tip is controllable, sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. However, the tip is also the spot that makes the clip point and the drop point blade shape different. While the drop point has a broad tip, the clip point has a thin and sharp point. This is a disadvantage, because it is more prone to breaking or snapping when you are doing the harder tasks. However, it is an advantage because you do have stabbing capabilities. One of the last reasons that makes this blade shape so versatile and so popular is that it features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. This large belly provides you with plenty of length that will help you have plenty of room for slicing. This is one of the key characteristics that you should be looking for in an everyday knife, because the majority of your everyday tasks include some form of slicing. The clip point blade shape is the perfect blade shape to be prepared for any situations, whether they are the expected or the unexpected.

On the unsharpened edge of the blade, near the handle, there is some deep, chunky jimping. The edge of the blade is a plain edge. This is when the edge is one continuous sharp edge. This type of edge is the most traditional type of edge. The plain edge serves a wider range of uses compared to other types of edges. One of the biggest benefits of a plain edge knife is that it is much easier to sharpen than a serrated edge. Some people worry that their plain edged blade is not going to be able to cut through the stronger or thicker materials, but when your edge is sharp enough, it can manage these tasks.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Polypropylene with Glass Fiber; Thermoplastic Elastomer. This material is lightweight as well as being more chemical and heat resistant than many of the other handle materials. And, because of the glass reinforcement, there is plenty of texture to provide you with a secure grip. The Thermoplastic Elastomers is a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers, which are usually a plastic and a rubber. This consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. Thermoplastic elastomers show advantages typical of both rubbery materials and plastic materials. These two materials will provide you with a very secure grip in almost any environment.

There is a deep, rounded finger groove carved into the handle to make this a more comfortable handle to hold for long periods of time. Plus, CRKT has added a finger guard to protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is black to match the rest of the knife. This is a deep carry pocket clip that is kept in place by two small screws. The handle has only been drilled to carry tip down on the traditional side of the handle. All of the hardware on this knife is also black to blend in with the all black knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening folding knife that sports a flipper mechanism to assist you in opening the Copacetic. The flipper mechanism is a shark’s fin shaped protrusion that juts out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy your knife, you push down on the flipper protrusion and it puts enough pressure on the blade to flip the knife open. It is also the section of the knife that turns into the finger guard when the knife is opened. Once, the blade has flipped open, the blade locks into place because of the locking liner that this knife sports.

The liner lock is a locking mechanism that many folding knives sport. This is the most popular knife lock that is found on folding knives. It was invented in the early 80’s by knife maker Michael Walker and was quickly adopted by a number of mainstream knife makers. The liner lock functions with one section of the liner angled inward toward the inside of the knife. Form this position, the liner is only able to go back to its old position with manual force, therefore locking it in place. The tail of the liner lock, which is closest to the blade, is cut to engage the bottom of the blade under the pivot. If the user wants to disengage the lock, they must manually move the liner to the side, away from the blade bottom. The liner lock was a great advancement in knife lock technology and assisted in the evolution of the tactical knife and the one handed knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.054 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.115 inches. When the knife is opened, the length is measure din at 7.625 inches long. When the blade is closed, it measures in at 4.551 inches long. This knife weighs 4.7 ounces.

 

Pros of the Copacetic:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is very inexpensive.
  • The steel is very easy to sharpen, because of the softness that it is.
  • The steel can hold a very fine edge for long periods of time.
  • The clip point blade shape is very versatile.
  • The clip point blade shape features a large belly that offers you plenty of length for slicing.
  • The clip point blade shape has a fine, thin edge that provides you with great stabbing capabilities.
  • The clip point blade shape has a lowered point which gives the user more control over their cuts.
  • Because it is a plain edge, this blade is extremely easy to sharpen.
  • The handle is lightweight and extremely durable.
  • This is a manual knife, so there are none of the pesky knife laws that surround a switchblade.
  • The flipper mechanism helps to efficiently deploy your blade.
  • Because of the liner lock mechanism, you won’t have to worry about the blade closing while you are using your knife.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip.

 

Cons of the Copacetic:

  • The steel that has been chosen for this knife is an average steel that does not excel at anything.
  • Because the finish on the blade is a coating, it will scratch off eventually.
  • The clip point has a very fine and thin edge that is prone to breaking or snapping when you are performing harder tasks.
  • Because this is a manual opening knife, it will be slower to deploy than a switchblade and much slower to bring into action than a fixed blade.
  • The pocket clip can only be attached to carry your knife tip up and can only be attached on the traditional side.

 

Conclusion:

CRKT has earned a reputation of being reliable, durable, and giving you long lasting knives. They deserve this reputation because their knives are game changers. To start off in the design of this new knife, they started with a steel that is easy to sharpen and will hold an edge for long periods of time. They matched it will a very durable handle that provides you with a secure, comfortable grip. The deep carry pocket clip is the cherry on top of this knife. This knife will change the way you think about everyday carry knives and you can pick yours up here at BladeOps.

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Microtech Tachyon III Knife Review

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

IN 1994, the very first prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment. They also released the UDT which marked the beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent. In 1995 they released the HALO, which has become a prominent line through Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine. In 1999, the Ultratech, which is the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production. This year, Microtech also earned Blade’s Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award for the second year in a row.

In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012. In 2004, The MTX2 was awarded American Made Knife of the year by Blade Magazine. This same year, originally designed for U.S. Special Forces Boat Team 20, the initial run of the Currahee was limited, with the first few placed in the hands of those best suited to test the knife, the United States Special Forces. In 2015, they featured significant collaboration with Heretic Knives, Sean Marfione, Koji Hara, Bork Blades, and Munroe Knives. This same year, the Ultratech underwent a major aesthetic revamp, with the introduction of the new tri-grip handle and thumb slide. Also, the Arbiter was introduced as production model for the first time. This was also the year that the Tachyon III was introduced, bringing a whole new level of mechanics and visual appeal to the balisong industry.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Bohler ELMAX steel. This is a high chromium, vanadium, molybdenum alloyed powdered steel with extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax is stainless but acts in many ways like a carbon steel. you get a superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening while maintain a healthy resistance to rust. This steel might even be the best all-around knife steel. The majority of Microtech’s blades are crafted from this steel, because they believe that is provides the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. This is a high performance knife steel. Elmax is a third generation powder metal technology that is noted for its fine carbide distribution with extremely low inclusion content for virtually no chip out. Bohler says that this steel has four main characteristics: high wear resistance, high compressive strength, corrosion resistant, and very good dimensional stability. High wear resistance is normally connected to low corrosion resistance and vice versa. In Elmax, it has however been able to achieve this unique combination of properties by a powdered metallurgy based production.

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

The second finish option that you are presented with is a DLC black coating. A 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 will then have to be recoated. Generally, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. High quality finishes are bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint like coatings. High end coatings like DLC require that the blade go to a specialty coating facility for physical vapor deposition application in a vacuum environment. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

These knives all have a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most common blade types, the drop point is most popular within the realm of hunting knives and larger knife blades, but this blade style also works well as a tactical or survival knife. Characterized by a convex sloped, sloping spine, and a lowered point, drop point blades are especially useful for controlled cuts—hunters find that the blades large belly facilitates skinning. In addition, drop point blades have very strong tips that resist breaking, which is crucial in survival situations. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited or piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

You also have two different edge options with the Tachyon III series of knives. You can choose between a plain or a combo edge. Plain edges are blades that are one continuous sharp edge and are far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of us when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft, flexible, or can be crushed easily with downward cutting such as bread or tomatoes. However, serrated edges can easily cause fraying and when the blade dulls it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. A serrated blade does not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. Often, sharpening requires taking the blade to a professional sharpener, especially if the sharpening is long overdue.

 

The Handles:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1DLCBL
Microtech Tachyon 173-1DLCBL

The handles are made out of T6-6061 aluminum. Aluminum, which is usually anodized for color, hardness, and protection, is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. The most common type of aluminum used today is the T6-6061 alloy which has tremendous tensile strength. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you sue your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is actually considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on more premium knives.

With the handles you have the option of a couple of different colors: black, blue, and a handful of custom colors.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife has been designed for tip up carry only.

 

The Mechanism:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1BW
Microtech Tachyon 173-1BW

The Tachyon III is a balisong knife. This is also known as a butterfly knife or a fan knife. Its distinction is two handles counter rotating around the tang so that when the closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. The balisong was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. A common stereotype is that people in this area carries one everywhere he or she goes. The hollow ground balisongs were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippines. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. This type of knife can be used as an art form when flipping. This style of knife is actually now illegal or restricted in many countries, often under the same laws and for the same reasons that switchblades are restricted.

This specific type of balisong has a channel constructed balisong, which means that the main part of each handle is formed form one piece of material. In this handle, a groove is created in which the blade rests when the knife is closed. This style is regarded as being stronger than sandwich construction, which is the other style of balisong knife that you can find.

There are a couple of main parts of the balisong knife:

The bit handle: this is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade, and will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. It’s the handle that usually has the latch on it.

The Kicker: this is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge form touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

The Latch: the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Magnets are occasionally sued instead. This part also keeps it from opening up when the user doesn’t want it to.

The Safe Handle: this is the handle that closes on the non-sharpened edge of the blade. It is generally the handle that does not have the latch on it.

Zen pins: these are the screws mounted inside the handles that collide with the kicker mounted on the tang to prevent the blade from moving around whilst in the open or closed position.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on this knife is 4.5 inches long with an overall knife length of 10 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 5.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.1 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1FL
Microtech Tachyon 173-1FL

Released in 2012, the Tachyon™ II was modeled after Microtech’s® original balisong knife, the Tachyon™ from 2000.  Re-engineered to perfection in 2015, the Tachyon™ III reflects the ideal evolution of Microtech’s® balisong line. The handles are machined from solid billet and a redesigned silicon nitride race bearing system creates a flawless flipping mechanism.  The blade and overall lengths have been significantly lengthened, generating a new balance compared to its predecessor.  The Tachyon™ III also showcases the new spring-loaded pocket clip (patent pending) that sits in a milled channel so it is flush to the handle when not in use.

Between stonewashed or DLC finish, the multiple handle colors, and the two different edge options that you can choose from, you are sure to find the exact Microtech Tachyon III for you. With such a wide variety of options in this series of knives, there’s sure to be the perfect option for you. So whether it’s for flipping or defense, pick up your favorite version of the Tachyon III today at BladeOps.

 

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Zero Tolerance 0450G10 Short Run Knife Review

Zero Tolerance is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. The ZT brand first made its appearance in 2006 when we saw a place in the market for a Made-in-the-USA lien of hard-use knives that would meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, as well as other first responders, such as firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

The initial products were combat knives, but since that time, the line has expanded to include a variety of general use and premium knives. From larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter every day carrying knives that are built to ZT’s high performance standards, ZT knives always provide knife owners with top-of-the-line quality.

Zero Tolerance Knives are manufactured of premium materials such as S30V, S35VN, or CTS-204P blade steel and G10, titanium, and carbon fiber handle scales. Operation is conspicuously smooth and ZT fit and finish is second to none. Their customers have described ZT’s as a “real beast” and proudly “overbuilt.” All ZTs are built in their Tualatin, Oregon USA manufacturing facility by their most skilled workers.

Kai USA Ltd., the makers of Zero Tolerance Knives, is a member of the Kai Group. Kai is a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares in Japan.

Today, we will be discussing the Zero Tolerance 0450G10 knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S35VN steel. This steel was released by Crucible and Chris Reeve as an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel. To understand S35VN steel, you need to understand S30V steel. This first steel was also made by Crucible and has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and was typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible had added vanadium carbides to bring out the extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, it was generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steel with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. But, this first steel was tricky to sharpen. That was the biggest complaint surrounding S30V steel. So Crucible and Chris Reeve decided to revamp it and try again. They used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium, which is where the N in the name is derived from. Because of the niobium addition, they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while also improving toughness and the ability to sharpen. Many people believe that you will find the two steels near-indistinguishable. However, if the first steel was absolutely phenomenal, just imagine how exceptional S35VN steel is going to be. You will struggle to find any steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for your money.

The blade actually has two different finishes. The blade sports a satin finish with a stonewashed flat. To form the satin finish, the blade is sanded in one direction with increasing degrees of affine abrasive, which is generally a sandpaper. A satin finish shows the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the lines of the knife and reducing its reflective glare. The finer the abrasive that is used, the ore even the lines; the more lean the satin finish blade looks. This is a semi shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polish. This is also the most popular finish on production knife blades. To form the stonewashed finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. But, depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches and fingerprints that can occur with use over time. Because of its ability to hide the fingerprints so well, the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes.

The blade on the Zero Tolerance 0450G10 has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a knife that can stand up to almost anything while also being able to perform a wide variety of tasks. One of the most common places that you are going to find a drop point blade shape in use today is on hunting knives, but it is not uncommon to find this blade shape on a variety of other styles of knives, especially Swiss army knives. To form this blade shape, the back, also known as the unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curving manner, which creates a lowered tip. It is this lowered tip that adds strength and control to your knife, which makes it a great option for tactical and survival knives. In tactical and survival situations, you are going to need a large amount of tip strength and the drop point blade style gives you just that. It is because of the controllable nature of this blade shape that makes this style such a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, easily controlled point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. The drop point blade style also is a popular blade option on everyday carry knives because of the large belly area that is perfect for slicing. The majority of your everyday tasks are going to involve some sort of slicing, so the large belly on this knife gives you the best capabilities to accomplish those tasks. When you choose a knife with a drop point blade shape, you are choosing a knife that can be used in many different situations from hunting and survival to your everyday tasks. This is because the drop point blade shape can take on the expected and unexpected without batting an eye.

This knife has been designed to take on a wide variety of different tasks, so ZT gave it a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that is capable of taking on slicing, skinning, peeling, and push cuts. The plain edge blade style has been known for excelling at a wider variety of tasks as opposed to a combo or serrated edge. The plain edge gives much cleaner cuts than a serrated style blade. And, the plain edge is going to be much easier when it comes to sharpening, because you don’t have to worry about the specialty sharpening tools required to take on the teeth.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of G10 and Titanium. The front handle scale on this folder knife is made out of black G10. G10 is a grade o laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. And although it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber is, it still has to be cut and machined into shape, so it is not as cheap as something like an FRN handle would be. To make this material, the manufacturer will take layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaks them in reins. After they have been soaked, the layers of compressed and then baked under pressure. The material that you get is tough, hard, lightweight, and still strong. Actually, G10 is considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and is stronger, although it is more brittle, than Micarta. This material is an excelled option for tactical and fixed blade knives because it is so durable and lightweight, but still non-porous.

Zero Tolerance 0450G10
Zero Tolerance 0450G10

The back scale on the 0450G10 is made out of Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best rust resistance out of any metal. It is often compared to aluminum, although it is a little heavier and much stronger. Even though it is heavier than aluminum, it is still considered a lightweight metal. However, it is much more expensive to machine than aluminum. Titanium has a unique quality to it in that it has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. Unfortunately, titanium is prone to scratching, especially when being compared to stainless steel. Many knife manufacturers will act like titanium is the top dog and can do no wrong, but it is far from indestructible and not all of the titanium alloys are as strong as stainless steel.

The handle has a finger guard, ad deep finger groove, and anther groove to give your hand a comfortable place to rest. The butt of the handle does flare out slightly and there is a lanyard hole carved out of the handle. When you are using this knife for your EDC, the lanyard is perfect for hanging out of your pocket to give you easy access to your knife, while still keeping your knife concealed.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This knife has a reversible titanium pocket clip that has been designed for tip up carry only but it is eligible for a left or right hand carry option, helping to make this an ambidextrous knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a manual opening knife that uses a flipper mechanism to assist you. While thumb studs and holes enlist a thumb to open the knife, a flipper employs your index finger, and the feature is naturally ambidextrous. This mechanism is a small protrusion that extends out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. You pull back on this flipper and it pops the blade out of the handle.

This knife also is equipped with KVT ball-bearing system. The KVT opening system is a manual opening system that enables smooth, easy blade opening without the use of a spring or torsion bar to assist the blade out of the handle. Instead, the KVT system uses a series of ball bearings that surround the pivot point of this knife. As a knife user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use.

The 0450G10 blade also sports a frame lock. The frame lock is very similar to a liner lock except that a frame lock sues the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. The handle, which has two sides, is often cut form a steel that is much thicker than the liner of most locks. 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 of the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long with a thickness of 0.121 inches. The overall length of this knife is 7.4 inches long, with a closed length of 4.1 inches long. This Zero Tolerance knife weighs in at 2.6 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Based on the streamlined form and high-performance function of the original ZT + Dmitry Sinkevich collaboration—the 0454—and on its more-compact cousin, the 0450, the 0450G10 sprint run knife comes with a handsome G-10 front scale. The G-10 gives this 0450 a discreet look, while its 3.25-inch blade and lightweight-yet-stronger-than-steel titanium frame, make it an easy-to-carry EDC. ZT built the 0450G10 with an S35VN stainless blade that sharpens to a razor edge, holds that edge well, and then can be sharpened easily. The knife opens smoothly and easily with our KVT ball-bearing opening system and built-in flipper. A titanium frame lock with hardened steel lock bar insert ensures solid lock up, too. Pick yours up before these run out forever.

 

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