Kershaw Leek Spring Assist Knife Review

Kershaw Knives designs and manufactures a wide range of knives, including pocket knives, sporting knives, and kitchen cutlery. Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd., a member of the Kai Group, and is headquartered in Tualatin Oregon.

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

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

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

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

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

If this is your first Kershaw, you should prepare yourself, because even though it will last you a lifetime, you’re going to want a lot more Kershaw’s.

Today, we will be going over the Kershaw Leek. This version of the Leek is equipped with Carbon Fiber handle scales, a CPM 154 stonewashed blade, and is spring assisted. Get ready for it to rock your world.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM 154 stainless steel. This is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. IT has decent toughness good enough for most uses and holds an edge well. This steel is not too difficult to sharpen when you have the right equipment. This is a powder steel that has used Crucible Particle Metallurgy. The Particle Metallurgy process makes finer carbide particles resulting in a slightly superior steel that’s tougher and with better edge retention.

This blade has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by literally rolling the steel with pebbles. After the blade has been tumbled with the pebbles, it is removed, smoothed out, and polished. This creates a very rugged, well-worn look to your knife. There are a variety of benefits that come with it because the stonewash finish preserves the look of the blade overtime. The stonewash finish hides scratches and smudges, which takes maintenance time down significantly, especially when compared to other knife finishes.

This blade has been carved into a Wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade is very similar to the sheepsfoot blade shape, but should not be confused with each other. The Wharncliffe is very much like a standard blade shape that has been turned upside down. This type of blade has a totally flat cutting edge and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. There are a couple of stories as to how the name Wharncliffe came to be, with some people claiming that the pattern originated many years ago with some of the patterns used for Scandinavian Seax Knives and others claiming that it came from a British Lord who commissioned the knife to be made. There were several Lord Wharncliffe that the blade shape could have been named after, but the actual name Wharncliffe did not exist prior to 1822, which means it was named after that point in history. Regardless of history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. It is fantastic for people who work in the office for opening boxes and envelopes, and definitely excels in box cutter type chores. This blade shape is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult of cutting soft tissue and using on a cutting board. As a general guideline to differentiate a Sheepsfoot and a Wharncliffe is that a Sheepsfoot blade has an abruptly curving spine at the tip of the knife, creative very little point. The Wharncliffe has a more gradually tapering spine creating a pointier tip, and is consequently more fragile.

The Kershaw Leek sports a plain edge. The plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edges will also give you much cleaner cuts, which are excellent for your everyday tasks.

Kershaw Leek Spring Assist Knife
Kershaw Leek Spring Assist Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Carbon fiber and features stainless steel liners. Carbon fiber is a generic term for any material that is made by weaving together strands of carbon which are then set into a resin. As such, the material is going to be as good as it’s made. Kershaw makes great carbon fiber, so this shouldn’t be a worry for you. Carbon fiber is going to be very lightweight and completely resistant to rust and corrosion because it is a nonmetallic material. This material is also going to be stronger than a stainless steel. Unfortunately, this material does have the tendency to be rather brittle, and because the strands of carbon are woven in a single direction the material is rather brittle. This means that if it gets hit with a hard or sharp object, it will probably crack. This material is also on the more expensive side of the spectrum. Because the fibers are woven together, the weave reflects light in different ways. You can achieve some nice looking results in the handle. In this Kershaw knife, the handle looks as if a basket was woven together. Carbon Fiber handles are strong, lightweight, and eye-catching. Unfortunately, do the labor intensive process, it is not cheap.

The handle features stainless steel liners. Stainless steel provides excellent durability and resistance to corrosion but it is pretty heavy. This weight is perfect for giving your knife a little bit of extra heft to get the tougher tasks done. Stainless steel is very durable as well, which makes it the perfect option for a knife liner.

This is a pretty simple handle shape. There is a shallow, elongated finger guard on the bottom of the handle. The spine of the handle has a slight curve to it to give you a more comfortable grip when you are working with this knife.

The butt of the handle is rounded and there is a lanyard hole carved into it. Many people who have an EDC like the convenience of having a knife with them everywhere they go, however, they don’t always love using the pocket clip. Some people feel like the pocket clip tears up their pockets on their pants, and others are more worried about the clip giving away that they are carrying a knife with them. If you attach a lanyard to your knife, you can easily hide your knife deeper in your pocket, the clip won’t give you away, and you still have it on hand so that you have access to it at all times. Plus, when you are using the pocket clip, it will take you a little longer to pull your knife out than if you were using a lanyard instead.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible pocket clip, but you can only attach it on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip shapes mimic the shape of the handle. This pocket clip and the two screws that attach it to the knife are black, just like the rest of the hardware.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a spring assisted knife. These knives differ from automatic knives in that you use your hand to partially open the blade rather than a button or lever. Anything with a button on the handle is considered an automatic switchblade and is subject to stricter regulations. The mechanisms inside the knife is what makes a spring assisted knife a spring assisted knife and not an automatic knife. Despite the difference in the mechanism, the overall deployment of a spring assist knife is very similar to that of an automatic knife. There are many different variations on the mechanism that makes a spring assist knife work. But, they will have a spring or tension bar that is designed to spring open the blade into locked positon. What makes them different from an automatic knife is that there is resistance after the blade is closed that will keep it closed until the resistance is overcome. Once the resistance is overcome, the spring engages and does the rest of the work opening the knife for you. But, because they have a different opening mechanism a spring assisted knife is not subjected to the same strict laws as an automatic knife.

This Kershaw knife features two opening mechanisms—it has the flipper and the thumb stud. The thumb stud acts similarly to the nail nick—you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. The flipper is a shark’s fin shape that protrudes from the handle. You pull back on this protrusion and it flips the blade open. Many people like the flipper because it is naturally ambidextrous and it keeps your fingers out of the way during the entire opening process—keeping your phalanges safe.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7 inches long. Because of the lightweight handle material, this knife weighs in at a measly 2.2 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Kershaw Leek series has remained as one of Kershaw’s most popular spring assist knives thanks in part to its ultra-slim profile and versatile blade design. This liner lock designed model features Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe™ system, which quickly deploys the blade via the ambidextrous spine flipper function or the built-in dual thumb stud feature. The Leek also includes a small slide safety located on lower-rear of the back handle scale to help keep the blade at bay until you are ready to use it. This model, the 1660CF, features a smooth carbon fiber handle, stainless steel liners, a Wharncliffe style blade in a stonewash finish and a reversible pocket clip designed for tip up or tip down carry on the traditional side of the handle. The maintenance on this knife will be light because of the stonewash finish that extends the look of the blade. The 154 stainless steel has great edge retention. The handle is durable, but still aesthetically pleasing. Pick up your Kershaw Leek with a carbon fiber handle today at BladeOps.

Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife Review

The Outdoor Wire put together a perfect history of Bear and Son Cutlery: “This company all began in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility, a sister plant to w. R. Case and Sons in Jacksonville, Alabama, to create Bear MGC Cutlery. A lot has happened since then to establish Bear and Son Cutlery as a rising force in the knife industry.

After a series of twists and turns, including a time when the firm actually as owned by Swiss Army Brands, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as president. His son Matt, who began working in the factory when he was 18, is vice president, as is Ken’s wife Sandy, who has played a key role as vice president of purchasing and premium department.

With their supervisors and management team, they bring a combined knife experience of more than 290 years, including positions with Gerber, Case, Buck, Parker Edwards and Schrade. They head a skilled team of 82 craftsmen.

As Americans become more and more concerned about jobs lost to overseas sources, they resent it when they see the words “Made in China” on a product. And they have less confidence in the quality and reliability—especially if it’s a knife.

Bear and Son Cutlery meets the test because 100% of their high quality knives are made in their state of the art Jacksonville, Alabama plant, where they do all their own tooling, pressing, heat treating, grinding, hafting, finishing and assembly.

‘Our fundamental positon is clear and absolute: we make high quality knives, and we make them all right here in the USA,’ said Ken Griffey. ‘And when we say Made in America, we mean everything—set steels, every component right down to the tiniest screws, and of course every step of manufacturing. We’re a family company and we are dedicated to keeping it exactly that way.’

With a wide range of knives—from big Bowies to popular Butterflies—Bear and Son covers almost every knife need. Bear and Son Cutler is a family business that insists on top quality knives and is dedicated to America.”

Today we will be discussing the Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife.

 

The Blade:

440 steel is one of the most common steels for inexpensive knife blades, because it is relatively cheap but can still stand up to many tasks. This steel is not super high in wear resistance, but it does have enough wear resistance to stand up to mild day-to-day use. While this knife is not going to handle super humid environments, it is going to allow you to take on your average tasks. There are three different types of 440 steel: 440A, 440B, and 440C. The further along in the alphabet, the better it gets. The only issue sit hat often manufacturers simply mark the blade as ‘440”, instead of differentiating the letter grade, so knowing what you are actually getting can be tricky. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn’t say 440C, it is most likely A or B, because 440C can stand up to quite without losing its quality.

The blade has been finished with satin, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with a fine abrasive. This finish is designed to show off the bevels of the blade as well as showcase the fine lines of the steel. A satin finish is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to get, which means that this blade is going to be very classic. However, a good satin finish does add a decent chunk of cost to the knife because it is a manual process.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape, which is one of the most popular blade shapes that you can get. This is a versatile blade shape which means that you can find it on a variety of knife styles, from Bowie knives to regular pocket knives. The shape is formed by having the spine of the knife runs straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut off and on this Bear and Son knife is straight. This section is referred to as the clip, which is where the knife got its name from. Because of the clip, this knife has a lowered point, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. And because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thin at the spine, the clop point knife is exceptional at stabbing. This is because of those characteristics, the knife has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the reasons that this knife is so versatile is because of the large belly that is ideal for slicing. And slicing is one of the most common tasks that you are going to be doing throughout the majority of your days. One of the drawbacks to the clip point bale style is that because of its narrow tip it is going to be prone to breaking fairly easily.

 

The Handles:

The handle on this knife is made out of zinc. Zinc is a unique metal for making knife handles, but it is used for good reasons. For starters, we all know that steel undergoes the oxidation process, which forms rust. And then once the rust is present on the surface, the steel will continue to corrode. Zinc, on the other hand, has the ability to resist continued corrosion due to a very unique reaction. When zinc is exposed to the moisture and carbon dioxide that is present in our atmosphere, a protective layer of zinc carbonate forms on its surface, prohibiting the corrosion process that steel experiences. This protective barrier provides longevity that will allow the zinc handle to last for a lifetime. That being said, if it is submerged in water, the protective layer will not form, and instead, a white rust will form. This means that if you are living in a very humid environment or if you ever use this knife in a wet condition, you need to make sure that you wipe down the handle and make sure that it is completely dry before putting it away.

One of the other unique benefits of zinc is that it can “heal” itself overtime. As it continues throughout its life scratches and imperfections that were once present will virtually disappear. This is a huge advantage when it comes to maintenance, because many metal handles to get scratched over time, which is detrimental to the aesthetic and elegance of the knife; with the zinc handle, you do not have to worry about this.

Next, Zinc is also an environmentally friendly metal for a couple of reasons. This material is 100 percent recyclable metal that can be reused over and over again. Zinc is also a fungistat, which means that it prohibits the reproduction of mold, mildew, and fungus. This will also cut down on time and maintenance. The handle has been coated with a black epoxy powder, which increases the life of the blade by increasing the corrosion resistance. Unfortunately, a coating will always scratch off after time or heavy use.

Zinc is a very soft and malleable metal that can be worked with, with ease, which does mean that it reduces the cost of this overall knife. Overall, zinc is an aesthetically pleasing, long lasting, and corrosion resistant knife handle material that is ideal for this Bear & Son knife.

The handles on this Bear & Son Butterfly knife are black and skeletonized. The skeletonizing of the handles does reduce the weight considerably as well as adding an aesthetic look to the blade. Each of the handles has four ovals cut down the middle of each handle. These holes increase in size as they go towards the butt of the handle. These ovals also add texture to the knife, so that you can have a more solid grip on your knife when you are using it in many different environments.

 

The Mechanism:

This Bear and Son knife is a butterfly, or bali-song, knife. This style of knife is folding pocket knife that has two handles that counter rotate around the tang so that when the knife is closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles.

This knife originated in Batangas in the Philippines, so it is sometimes called a Batangas. This style of knife was commonly used by the Filipino people. It was used as a self-defense and a pocket utility knife. These knives were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippines. This knife is also used as an entertainment tool, with manipulations called “flipping”.

There are two styles of butterfly construction styles. This knife is a sandwich construction, which means that the knife is assembled in layers that are pinned or screwed together. This style of construction allows the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers.

There are a couple of pieces to the butterfly knife that separates it from a typical folding knife. For starters, there is the bite handle, which is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade. This will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. The other handle is known as the safe handle, which is the handle that closed on the non-sharpened edge of the blade. The bite handle is also usually the handle that has the latch on it. Then there is the kicker, which is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. Then there is the latch, which is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Lastly, there is the tang pins, which are the pin(s) meant to hold the blade away from the handle when closed to prevent dulling; and, in some cases, a second pi to keep the handles from excessively banging together while the butterfly knife is being manipulated.

 

Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife
Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.8 ounces. This Bear and Son knife made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Compact Butterfly Knife:

  • The blade is pretty rust resistant.
  • The blade is going to be able to stand up to any day-to-day task.
  • A very classic blade because of the satin finish.
  • The clip point style blade is very versatile because of the belly that this blade boasts.
  • The clip point blade allows you to excel at piercing.
  • This blade is a fantastic all-purpose blade.
  • The zinc handles are not prone to rusting.
  • Zinc has a way of healing itself over time.
  • The skeletonized handles keep the weight down as well as adding grip.
  • The butterfly knife can be used as a self-defense weapon, a razor, and even for entertainment.

 

The Cons of the Compact Butterfly Knife:

  • The wear resistance of this knife is not super high.
  • Satin finish adds cost to the knife.
  • Because the blade does have a narrow tip, it is more prone to breaking.

 

Conclusion:

Bear & Son Cutlery prides itself on providing excellent quality and real value to all of its customers and their butterfly knives are certainly no exception. The skeletonized nature of the handles help reduce the overall weight and the pin construction eliminates the need for adjusting which makes this an ideal entry-level model. This smaller model, the 113B, features zinc handles that are epoxy powder coated in a black finish, a satin finished clip point style blade and this model does not have a pocket clip. Pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

Duck Mini Stiletto Automatic Knife Line Review

The Blade:

There are two versions of this knife and both are made with the same stainless steel blade material. When you are looking at traditional pocket knives, there are two types of steel: stainless steel or high carbon steel. Stainless steel knives usually have around 12% chromium which helps the blade resist rusting and corrosion. This means that this knife will maintain its high-class look for longer than many other knives. However, the added chromium also means that a stainless steel is going to be softer than a high carbon blade steel. Because it is softer, you are going to be able to sharpen the steel more easily, but you will have to sharpen the blade more often than if the blade was made with a high carbon steel. Overall, stainless steel knives are tougher than high carbon blades, but it will not be harder. Unfortunately, this is not the highest level of stainless steel, so while it does have plenty of high quality, it won’t stand up to the newer super steels that are on the block.

Both versions of the blade are also finished satin. The satin blade finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This finish is designed to show off the bevels of the blade while also perfectly showcasing the fine lines of the steel. This is the most popular blade steel as well as being the most traditional blade finish. This classic finish ties perfectly with the stiletto style of handle. One of the final benefits to a stain blade finish is that it does help to resist corrosion slightly. Unfortunately, satin finishes do take manual labor, which does increase the cost of the price.

The knife has been sharpened into a clip point style blade, which is the second most popular blade shape on the market today. This is a great all-purpose blade shape. The blade shape is structured by having the back edge of the knife run straight form the handle before it stops around the halfway point of the blade. At this point, it curves inward and downward until the point of the knife. This section looks as if the blade has been “clipped off” which is where the blade style got its name. Because this clipped off portion is there, the knife has a lowered tip, which gives the user more control when you are using the knife. The clip point excels at piercing because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, these characteristic lends to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the reasons that this blade shape makes such a good all-purpose knife is because it does have a very large belly that makes slicing a lot easier. There is one big disadvantage to the clip point and that is because it does have a narrow tip, it does have the tendency to be weak and can break pretty easily. But, with these Duck Mini Stiletto knives, you most likely aren’t trying to pierce through anything too tough. These knives still make really good every-day knives.

The two versions of the knife both sport a plain edge. The plain edge is the more popular and common between a plain and a serrated edge. Plain edges allow you to take on a wider variety of tasks, which is ideal for these two knives because they are great everyday carry knives. The plain edge is going to be easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth. You can even get a finer edge on the plain edge because it is easier to sharpen. However, plain edges to have the tendency to get dull more quickly. This is because with a serrated edge, you are still capable of tearing through materials with blunt force. One of the biggest advantages to the plain edge is that it provides you with very clean cuts.

 

The Handle:

Each version of the handle has stainless steel bolsters, solid steel liners, and handle scales. There are two different versions of the knife, one has white handle scales and the other has black handle scales.

The stainless steel adds high durability and resistance to corrosion but it also adds plenty of weight. Because it is just the bolsters and the liners, the weight will not weigh down the knife, but instead add plenty of heft. This heft will help this knife back you up when you are taking on the harder tasks. The stainless steel bolsters have been anodized bronze. When it comes to anodizing stainless steel, it is mostly done for color. This is because the steel does not react in the same ways that aluminum and other porous metals do and because stainless steels are already durable and not prone to scratches. The bronze bolsters and a very unique and traditional look to this knife. It is as if this knife was not recently made, but instead came from the era when stiletto knives were popular. The solid steel liners mean that this is a durable knife that is not going to be prone to falling apart or breaking easily.

The handle scales in the middle of the two knives are made out of acrylic. Acrylic is a tough transparent plastic, often used as an alternative to glass. This is a synthetic polymer of polymethryl methacrylate or PPMA. This material is tough and shatter resistant. This material is great for a handle scale because it can easily be molded into a variety of shapes. Acrylic is tough and not affected by light, which means that it will retain its color over time. Acrylic also weighs 50 percent less than glass, so the handle scales will not weigh the knife down. This material is also impact resistant; this knife has a long lifetime ahead of it, and even longer if you take good care of this knife. When it comes to the knife handles, you can choose between either white or black.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is designed for tip-up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is stainless steel and has been stonewashed finished, which adds a rugged, well-worn look to the knife. The clip is very thin and is being held in place by two small silver screws that match the rest of the hardware on each of the knives. This is a deep carry pocket clip, which means that you are going to be able to deeply conceal this blade in your pocket. The knife is also going to sit more snugly in your pocket when you are moving around throughout your day. This allows you to constantly have your blade with you without worrying about losing it; another reason why this is such an ideal everyday carry knife. The butt of the clip flares out slightly, which adds aesthetic and allows it to better hook on your pocket.

 

Duck Mini Stiletto Automatic Knife
Duck Mini Stiletto Automatic Knife

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife that features a push button opening mechanism as well as a plunge lock.

Because it is an automatic knife, you do have to be aware that automatic knives are not legal in all cities, states, or areas of the United States. It is your responsibility as the user of this knife to know what your local knife laws are before you purchase, carry, or use this knife. BladeOps is not responsible for what happens once you purchase this knife. Automatic knives are commonly known as switchblades. This is a type of knife with a folding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designed incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position. Because it is an automatic knife, this knife is going to open quickly and efficiently. Plus, you can easily open this knife with only one hand.

The plunge lock is also known as the button lock. This is traditionally the locking method of an automatic knife. You press the button to release the blade, and a coiled spring tension fires the blade open. Once the blade is opened all the way, the plunger engages a cutout in the tang of the blade, holding it open. With an automatic knife the button locks the blade open as well as closed, preventing the knife from accidentally opening unless the button is pressed.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife design measures in at 1.875 inches with a handle that measures in at 2.75 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 4.625 inches long. The Mini Stiletto weighs in at 1.8 ounces. This knife is made in China.

 

The Pros of the Mini Stiletto:

  • Small and light enough that you can easily have this knife with you at all times, without feeling weighed down.
  • Stainless steel knives keep their look for longer than a high carbon blade.
  • The stainless steel blade is easy to sharpen.
  • The satin finish is very popular and traditional.
  • The satin finish helps to increase the corrosion resistance levels of the blade.
  • The clip point blade style has a very sharp point.
  • The clip point blade has a lowered tip, which makes your cuts easily controlled.
  • This blade is going to excel at piercing.
  • The belly is big enough to make slicing a breeze.
  • Plain edge is easier to sharpen and get a finer edge on it.
  • Plain edge gives you clean cuts.
  • The plain edge allows you take on a wider variety of tasks.
  • Deep carry pocket clip.
  • Acrylic is resistant to the elements.
  • Acrylic lasts a long period of time because of how durable it is.
  • Acrylic is inexpensive and lightweight.
  • Acrylic is one of the toughest materials around.
  • You have your choice between two different handle scale colors.
  • Opens quickly and efficiently, capable of opening it with only one hand.
  • Plunge lock is very strong.
  • When closing the blade, your hand is out of the way.

 

The Cons of the Mini Stiletto:

  • This blade is going to have to be sharpened more often than many other knife blades.
  • The satin finish does increase the cost of the knife.
  • The clip point does have a weak point.
  • The blade will have to be sharpened more often.
  • Pocket clip can only be attached on the traditional side of the handle for tip up carry.
  • Because it is automatic, it is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas.
  • The button lock is not ambidextrous.
  • This is not an ambidextrous knife in any way, shape, or form.

 

Conclusion:

The Duck Mini Stiletto automatic knives snap open with a push on the button. This model features stainless steel bolsters, solid steel liners and white or black handle scales. The stainless steel bolsters and solid steel liners add heft and weight to the knife, which pairs perfectly with the acrylic handle scales. The plain edge clip point blade is perfect for everyday chores which is why the mini automatic knife makes the perfect novelty gift. The clip point blade is all-purpose excels at slicing because of its large belly. The only thing that you have to worry about is that the tip can be prone to breaking because of how fine it is. The stainless steel blade is durable and tough. It will not stain or rust easily, which means that your maintenance time will be significantly reduced. The stain finish is classic, which pairs perfectly with the brass-looking bolsters and the stiletto style handle. This knife comes with a pocket clip that is designed for tip-up carry only. Pick up your favorite version of this knife at BladeOps.

 

Benchmade 482 Megumi Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

The next two steps are back-sanding and finishing. Back-sanding is the portion of the process that gives the back of the blade special attention. Up until this point, the back has mostly remained untouched. Finishing is the part of the process that gives the blade a more refined look.

Last is assembly and sharpening. Each and every Benchmade is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components and carefully pieces them together. The technician checks the knife for blade play. The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.

Today we will be talking about the Benchmade Megumi.

 

The Class:

This knife falls into the Blue Class, which has the slogan “Day After Day.” Benchmade believes that a Blue Blass knife is going to be your best friend. It can always be with you. They say, “In fact it’s better, because your other friends aren’t made of steel.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S30V premium stainless steel that has been hardened to a 58-60 HRC. This steel is made by Crucible Steel Industries, which is a US based company. This steel was created with high end pocket knives and kitchen cutlery in mind, which means that it is going to have all of the best steel qualities for a blade. Crucible says, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.” This steel is regarded as having the best balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention in the industry. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of its hardness, it does prove to be a little tricky to sharpen. Crucible also explains the CPM process and its benefits, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.”

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is one of the most common blade finishes you are going to find in the cutlery industry. This finish is traditional and will always help make your knife look classic. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive to show off the fine lines of the steel and also showcase the bevels of the blade. This blade finish is used to slightly reduce glares and reflections while also reducing some of the corrosion that the knife might be susceptible to.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade that is going to excel at piercing. This blade shape is one of the two most popular blade shapes in the market today. The blade shape is made by having the spine of the knife run straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks as if it is cut out and is known as the clip. The clip is also where the knife shape got its name. The clip on the Megumi is straight, although on some knives it can be curved. The point that is created is lowered, which gives the user more control when they are using the knife. And, because the tip is so controllable as well as being sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife is going to excel as stabbing. One of the other reasons that a clip point is so versatile is because of the large belly that it has, which will make slicing a breeze. The clip point does have one major disadvantage, which is the narrow tip. Because it is so sharp and narrow, the tip does have a tendency to be weak and is prone to breaking. Overall though, the clip point is very versatile and will equip you to take on a very wide variety of tasks, especially when it comes to your everyday tasks.

Benchmade 482 Megumi
Benchmade 482 Megumi

The Handle:

The handle is made out of contoured cocobolo wood as well as carbon fiber.

Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood of Central America. When this wood is used in manufacturing, the heartwood is the only section used, which is the center of the wood. The heartwood from a Cocobolo wood is usually an orange or reddish-brown, with darker traces weaving through the wood. This is a very dense wood that can stand up well to repeated handling and even exposure to water. These characteristics make it a great option for a knife handle. While this wood is hard, finely textured, and dense, it is still easily machined. Wood has been used for knife handles since knife handles have been around. This is a very traditional look to a knife, which matches well with a satin blade. Wood is strong, durable, and gives a very traditional look.

Carbon fiber is a material that is made out of thin strands of carbon that are tightly woven together and then set in resin. Carbon fiber is a really strong material that is still lightweight. However, because of all the manual labor that goes into it, it does end up being very expensive. Although carbon fiber is strong, it is not close to being indestructible and does happen to be brittle. This is because all of the carbon fibers are woven together in a single direction. In that specific direction it is extremely strong, but when it is stressed in other directions it will begin to break apart. Plus, because it is brittle, it can crack when it is subjected to sharp impacts. The overall benefits of having carbon fiber in this handle is that it is going to be strong, lightweight, and looks nice. Unfortunately, it is going to raise the cost of the knife because of the cost and it can be brittle.

The handle on this knife is pretty simple, with a curving spine. The belly has a bulging middle, but overall curves slowly from the blade to the butt. There is a lanyard hole on this knife, which is an added bonus.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual knife. In terms of legality, a manual folding knife is going to be the most legal. If your area allows you to carry knives, a manual folding knife is going to be legal. That being said, always check with your local knife laws because BladeOps is not responsible for any consequences. In terms of efficiency, a manual folding knife is not going to be as efficient as a spring assisted or automatic knife would be.

The knife is equipped with a thumb stud to assist you in opening the knife. The thumb stud is one of the more common opening mechanisms on folding knives, especially when it comes to easy one handed opening mechanisms. The thumb stud replaces the nail nick that is found on more traditional knives. The thumb stud is easy to use and to get the hang of using. However, some people are frustrated because the thumb stud extends out of the blade and they feel like it gets in the way once the knife is opened. Sometimes, the stud will even catch on your pocket and flip the knife open, which is pretty dangerous.

The Megumi is equipped with a Nak-Lok as well as a MIM back spacer. The Nak-Lok is built on the framework of a locking liner but has some updates. The lock uses tensile strengths, as opposed to the compression hold that a locking liner is going to give you. Also, when you are opening a knife, the opening finger shouldn’t cross paths with the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.48 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.28 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.460 inches. The overall length of this opened knife measures in at 5.76 inches long. This knife weighs in at 1.85 ounces. This knife is going to be a tip up knife, which can be dangerous if it accidently opens in your pocket.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade 482 Nakamura designed Megumi Folder features an S30V premium stainless steel clip style blade. The steel is tough, durable, strong, and will maintain an edge for long periods of time. The maintenance time is reduced because of the premium steel used. The blade has been finished satin, which is extremely traditional and goes along with the wood handle well. The clip point is versatile and excels at stabbing, although it is prone to breaking because of the weak tip. The Built with the Nak-Lok® locking mechanism this knife also features a contoured cocobolo wood and carbon fiber handle. The Megumi boasts a MIM back spacer with a lanyard hole. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kershaw Volt II Knife Review

There is really nothing like a Kershaw. From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing. Kershaw says, “The real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even our inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, and reliable. That’s why we can back each of our knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with our famous Limited Lifetime Warranty. And yes, people do own their Kershaw knives for a lifetime. (Although, occasionally, a Kershaw has been known to get accidentally left at a campsite, lost in the garage, or permanently borrowed by a friend.) The point is, you can always look to Kershaw for everyday carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from its plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactical knives that ensure you’re ready for anything.”
They were founded in 1974 with a mission to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. Whether it’s a hardworking pocketknife, a hunting knife, or a special collectors’ edition, Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

They also have a serious commitment to innovation. Kershaw pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. Kershaw says, “Our SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. We introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in our Blade Traders. Recently, our Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels into one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling us to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And we will keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.”
Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

Today we will be discussing the Kershaw Volt II.

Kershaw Volt II
Kershaw Volt II

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. It is commonly said that 8Cr13MoV steel is the equivalent of an AUS8A steel. This is mostly true. When it comes to an EDC, you aren’t going to be able to tell the difference between the two. But when it comes to your wallet, 8Cr13MoV steel is the way to go. Nevertheless, there are slight differences in the steel formula. While most other components are relatively equal, 8Cr13MoV has slightly more carbon for hardness and wear resistance and slightly less nickel. The key to blade performance for both of these steels is manufacturing quality. That’s where Kershaw’s expertise comes in. Kershaw precision heat-treats 8Cr13MoV steel to bring out its best high-performance characteristics: the ability to take and hold an edge, strength, and hardness. This is a top-of-the-line Chinese steel that is going to offer a great value. The thing with this steel is that it is going to get the job done for a very low price, and what more could you ask for?

The knife has been coated with a black-oxide coating. The black oxide coating is created with a chemical bath that converts the surface of the steel to magnetite. Kershaw uses this coating on some blades, mainly for appearance, although it also does add some corrosion resistance to the blade. The coating itself, although more for appearance, is going to prolong the life of the blade, purely because the blade is coated. Unfortunately, just like other coatings, if it does get scratched off, it will need to be re-coated to maintain the same benefits.

The blade on this knife is a classic drop point. The shape is formed by a slowly sloping spine that creates a lowered point which is going to lead to more control over your cuts. What really sets the drop point apart is the broad tip which means that you are going to be capable of taking on those tougher tasks. However, this broad tip does mean that you are not going to be as capable of piercing, which usually isn’t too big of an issue because of the strength that you get in exchange.

The blade does have 2-Step Serrations, which Kershaw describes by saying, “Serrations assist in cutting through particularly tough or fibrous material, such as rope or cord.” In essence, the Kershaw 2-step serration is a more aggressive style of serration. This is a combo edge, so only the bottom third is serrated. The upper two thirds are plain, so that you can get fine work done. On the top of the blade, there is a short row of jimping to provide you with more control.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of glass-filled nylon, or GFN. This is a nylon synthetic polymer that has been reinforced with glass threads for increased strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability combined with excellent wear resistance. One of the most unique parts about GFN is that the fibers are arranged completely haphazardly, which means that the handle is going to be strong in all directions instead of just one, like G10. This material is also going to be cheap because it can be injection molded which means that plenty can be produced at one time. One of the last major benefits is that there is zero maintenance. This is the perfect handle material for those people who want a great knife but don’t want to have to work with a finicky material.

The handle shape is pretty simple. The spine has a slight bulge toward the butt of the handle as it angles downward. This bulge is going to give a little bit of a more solid grip. There is the flipper that is going to work as a finger guar. Then there are four finger grooves on the belly, which will give a comfortable and secure grip. The first finger groove is the deepest and the shortest, with each one getting progressively more elongated and shallower. The first finger groove does sport some jimping to give you an even better ability to work with this Volt II.

The handle is solid black, which creates a very sleek look to it. The face of the handle has been aggressively textured with small diamonds to give you a great grip in almost any environment.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife contrasts with the black handle, being a sleek silver. The clip itself is unique, curving around the hardware on the back. The screws that keep it in place are black, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife. It has been slightly skeletonized, with four small holes carved out of the tip in a row, each getting progressively smaller the closer it gets to the tip of the clip. The clip is reversible, with pre-drilled holes in the handle which allow the user to change the tip position as well as the side on which the knife is carried. The Volt II allows the clip to be attached on the left side in tip-down position as well as on the right side in tip-up positon.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is an assisted opening knife that is equipped with a SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism, a flipper, and a liner lock.

The flipper is a protrusion on the back of the blade that the user can pull back on, or flip in order to move the blade easily out of the handle. This flipper is a rounded rectangular and is much smaller than your typical flipper. One of the benefits about a flipper is that it is going to act as a finger guard when the knife is opened. Plus, when you are opening this knife, it will keep your fingers out of the blade’s path, which is not a benefit of a thumb stud.

The SpeedSafe mechanism is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade’s thumb stud or pull back on the flipper. SpeedSafe is built into many of Kershaw’s best-selling knives. The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the thumb stud or flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into position, ready for use. Overall, the benefits of the SpeedSafe is that it is going to use a torsion bar to help move the handle out of the blade which will enable smooth and easy one-handed opening. Plus, this is not a switchblade, so it is not going to fall in the same strict category as automatic knives do.

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

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.25 inches long with a handle that measures in at 3.9 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 7.1 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.3 ounces, which is an ideal weight for a knife that you are going to keep with you at all times.

 

Conclusion:

             When Kershaw is talking about this knife, they say, “High-voltage looks in basic black. You get the same versatile blade and handle style as the original Volt, but with a non-reflective black oxide blade coating, black handle scales, and black pocket clip. In fact, the only things that aren’t black on this new iteration of the Volt II are the wicked gleam of the Kershaw-sharp edge and the secure locking liner.

The Volt II opens one-handed and with an authoritative “twack” thanks to Kershaw’s SpeedSafe® assisted opening system. A simple pull back on the flipper and the Volt II opens smoothly and easily. We think you’ll appreciate the versatility of the Volt II’s slightly dropped point blade. This classic shape is just about perfect for any task you’ll want to ask it to do. Partial blade serration just extends the Volt II’s capabilities and makes it easy to whip through materials like cord, webbing, or rope.

For a secure grip and a solid, satisfying feel in the hand, the Volt II has finger contours on the handle, diamond-patterned, glass-filled nylon handles, and heavy jimping on the back of the blade. With its great look and versatility, the black Volt II is destined to become a permanent partner for your pocket. You may wonder how you ever did without it.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

SOG Mini Salute Folding Knife Review

SOG Mini Salute Folding Knife
SOG Mini Salute Folding Knife

SOG’s founding mission is to strive to be the creators of the most distinctive gear- gear made especially for adventurous people who like to “live on the edge”.

Their vision is to design and create gear of the highest quality, distinction and value that delivers what consumers need- and in order to do so, always defining the leading edge of technology.

They were founded with eight values. The first is pride: delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship. SOG says, “We have pride in our products and in the way in which we conduct business with our customers, co-workers, and consumers.” The second is innovation: a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation. SOG says, “We leverage our innovation as a competitive advantage by creating and manufacturing products that meet consumer needs better than the competition.” The third is passion: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. SOG says, “We are passionate about using leading edge technology to create the best products to meet and exceed consumer and customer expectations.” The fourth is creativity: the ability to produce through imaginative skill. SOG says, “We use our creativity to produce results – from developing products, to improving processes, to delivering our message to both customers and consumers.” The fifth is integrity: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. SOG says, “We always try to do the right thing — for our consumers, our customers, our co-workers, and the global community.” The sixth is accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for or to keep track of one’s own actions. SOG says, “We mean what we say… we do what we say… and we take responsibility for our actions.” The seventh is leadership: the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. SOG says, “We are all leaders in our area of responsibility and we are deeply committed to delivering continuous improvements with a focus on results.” The eighth is sustainability: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. SOG says, “We seek to preserve the environment by using recycled/ recyclable materials and minimizing waste in all that we do.”

Today we will be discussing the Mini Salute Folding Knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese based steel that is from the Cr line of steels. The top of the line is the 9Cr formula, with 8Cr shortly behind. 9Cr steel is better than AUS-8, but 8Cr is about even with AUS-8, maybe even a little behind it. 8Cr13MoV steel is going to get the job done. It is resistant to corrosion, but not extremely resistant to corrosion. It isn’t hard and it isn’t soft. Really, it sits right in the middle of the spectrum. The biggest advantage that it boasts is it’s cost. This is a fantastic budget steel. It will get the job done and it isn’t going to raise the cost of the overall knife. It also isn’t going to compare to the newer steels or the super steels that you might encounter.

The blade on this SOG knife has been bead blasted. The bead blasting finish is created when the manufacturer uses abrasive glass or ceramic beads that are then blasted at the material at a high pressure, which results in an even gray finish. The blasted finish is used to reduce the reflections and glares because of the matte surface. However, the blasting does increase the surface area and does cause micro-abrasions which can make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. This does just mean that you need to make sure you keep the knife dry and clean immediately after each use.

The knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This popular blade shape is also a great all-purpose blade shape. The knife is shaped by having the spine of the knife run straight form the handle before it stops at about the one third of the way to the point of the blade. At this point, it turns towards the tip and continues downward, which creates a lowered point. This section that is angled downward is referred to as the clip and is where the knife got its name from. The clip also creates a lowered tip, which is where the high levels of control are going to come from when using this knife. The clip point is really designed to pierce well, because the tip is sharper and thinner at the spine. Of course, these characteristics also make the tip weaker and more prone to breaking, which is one of the only disadvantages of a clip point blade. The clip point blade shape also has a large belly that is great for slicing.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of G10, which is a pretty common handle material for knives. The G10 is a modern, synthetic material. Some of its qualities are that it is very tough, hard, lightweight, and strong. However, it does suffer from being brittle. This is because all of the fiberglass fibers are arranged in one direction. In that specific direction the material is going to be crazy strong, but when it is stressed in the other directions, it is going to begin to break apart. The three biggest advantages are that it is tough, light, and durable. The biggest drawbacks are that it is brittle and it does lack some elegance.

The handle on this knife has a deep finger groove followed by a second-deep finger groove. Both the grooves are completed with some jimping that will help give a more secure grip on this knife. There is a large finger guard that will protect your finger in case of accidental slippage. The butt of the knife has been squared off. The spine of the knife goes straight out until about 2/3rds of the way down the knife where it angles down toward the butt of the handle. The face of the handle has been texturized greatly.


The Pocket Clip:

             The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either left or right handed carry, although it can only be attached for tip-up carry, which is the more dangerous way to position the tip. The pocket clip is silver and has been bead blasted to match the blade. It has also been skeletonized with “SOG” carved out. This skeletonization cuts down on weight but also adds a unique aesthetic to the knife. This is a low-carry clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that uses a thumb stud to help assist you in opening the knife. The knife has been equipped with a lock back locking mechanism.

This is a manual folding knife. In terms of efficiency, this is not going to be as smooth as an automatic or an assisted opening knife would. This is because you do have to fully open it by yourself with no assistance from a spring or mechanism inside. This does mean that you aren’t going to bring the knife into play as quickly as one of the other styles. That being said, in terms of legality, it is going to be legal in many more places than the other two styles would be. And when it comes to maintaining the knife, a manual is going to be easier to maintain because there are less parts inside that have to be working perfectly, as is the case with the automatic or assisted opening knives.

The thumb stud is one of the most common one handed opening mechanisms that is in use today. It is a small barrel that sits where the nail nick would if the knife had a nail nick. This knife does let you open the knife with only one hand, although it will take a little bit of practice to accomplish this. The two biggest drawbacks to a thumb stud are the first: it does extend off of the blade. Some people do feel like this gets in the way when they are trying to use their knife, although plenty others do not feel this way. The biggest drawback to the thumb stud is that when you are opening the knife, your hands do get in the way of the path of the blade. This isn’t really even an issue once you have the hang of using it, but at the beginning, it can lead to accidentally cutting yourself. Just keep that in mind when you pick up this knife that you should be hyper-aware of where your fingers are at first, while the muscle memory is being built.

A lock back mechanism is what you see on many classic American folding knives. It’s essentially made of a “spine” on a spring. When the knife is opened, the spine locks into a notch on the back of the blade. To close the knife, push down on the exposed part of the spine (usually found in the middle or rear of the handle) to pop up the part of the spine in contact with the blade. This disengages the lock, allowing you to swing the blade to a closed position. The benefits of a lock back include reliable strength and safety. The unlock “button” is out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blade’s path when closing, minimizing the risk of cutting yourself.  One disadvantage is that while using both hands to close a lock back is safer, it can be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. Although it’s possible to close a lock back with one hand, it isn’t easy. You’d likely need to switch grips and take extra care when closing the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.1 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4 inches long. When this folding knife is opened, it measures in at 7.1 inches long and weighs in at 3.6 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When SOG is discussing this knife, they say, “Designed as a compact discreet pocketknife, the Salute Mini is still capable of delivering big time. Thanks to an easy opening blade that snaps to attention and a G10 handle that’s easy to hold, the Salute Mini is ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. The SOG Salute Mini is an acknowledgment that great design can still be affordable with a little perseverance. For a new, refreshed look, the handles are machined G10 with scalloped full-length steel liners. In addition to the detailed handle, the Salute Mini is completed with a strong lock back mechanism, smooth opening and operation, and a proven Bowie-style blade. To accommodate for different users, the adjustable thumb stud can adapt to various hands and thumbs, allowing the user to find the ideal fit for them. Equipped with a removable low-carry pocket clip, the Salute is a great tactical folder for everyday use.”

The SOG Mini Salute stands as proof that a great design can still be affordable. This Fusion tactical folder is built with machined G10 handles paired ups with scalloped full length steel liners for a bold new look. With a big lock back and smooth as silk opening, this Bowie style blade is built to perform. The blade has a bead blast finish. Add in the patent pending movable thumb stud so you can make the blade perfect for you, the Salute Mini is the perfect knife you can carry around the world and in your backyard. Comes with the SOG trademark low carry bayonet clip. Small in size, this knife delivers big. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 15061 Grizzly Ridge Knife Review

Benchmade says, “For over thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world class-customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, we continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected.”

Benchmade has an edge on the industry that stems from a variety of different reasons.

For starters, there are the materials. Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They only select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide value for their customers.

Next is the mechanisms. The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. They ask, “is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most?” They ask these questions because they know that those are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.

The third reason that they have the Benchmade edge is the manufacturing. The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry—often to tolerances half the width of the human hair. They say, “Our commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.”

Today, we will be talking about the brand new Benchmade Grizzly Ridge.

 

The Series:

The Grizzly Ridge is in the Benchmade HUNT series. Benchmade says, “Research projects, R&D lab tests and many miles of field research provided the foundation for the design and development of Benchmade HUNT. Built from advanced materials usually reserved for spaceships and surgical equipment, these technologically advanced hunting knives provide refined performance and rugged durability.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is made by US based steel company Crucible Steel Industries. They say, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balance dot promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance.” This means that the steel will be extremely tough, especially when compared to other high hardness steel such as 440C and D2. Plus, it’s corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments. This steel resists rusting and corroding with ease. This quality is ideal in a hunting knife, because you don’t want to deal with maintenance while you are in the field. So while you will need to wipe it down, you won’t have to worry too much about rusting like you would if the steel rusts easily.  And, dollar for dollar, this steel is known for having the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This is a surprisingly hard balance to maintain because the harder the steel is, the less tough it is going to be. The harder the steel, the better the edge retention. So what is CPM? Crucible says, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grind-ability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.” This steel really only has one drawback, which is because of the hardness, it is going to prove hard to sharpen.

The blade has been finished satin, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. This is the most traditional blade finish and the most popular blade finish that is used today. The satin finish reduces glares, reflections, and corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose knife that is able to stand up to anything. It is also one of the more popular blade shapes that are used in the cutlery industry today; the most common place that you are going to find this style of blade is on hunting knives. The blade shape is formed by having the back edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curving manner, which creates a lowered point. Lowered points give the knife more control and add strength to the tip. It is because of how controllable the drop point blade is that makes it such a good option on hunting knives, such as this one. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Another feature of the drop point style blade that it makes it exceptional for hunting is the large belly. The belly is going to make slicing a breeze, perfect for field dressing your game. The drop point blade shape does have one major disadvantage, which is the broad tip does reduce your ability to pierce or stab. This shouldn’t be a big deal when it comes to your hunting knife, but if you are looking for a knife that is going to excel at piercing, you should look for a knife with a clip point blade shape.

Of course, like all good hunting knives, the Grizzly Ridge features a plain edge.

 

Benchmade 15061 Grizzly Ridge
Benchmade 15061 Grizzly Ridge

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Grivory with a Versaflex inlay. This material is the proven material for metal replacement. Grivory is used in knives, especially hunting knives, because it has high levels of strength. This ensures that your handle won’t break when you are out in the field and cannot replace your knife. Also, Grivory is not known for absorbing liquids, which is ideal for when the job gets messy, as hunting jobs always do. Grivory also has good chemical resistance, so you don’t need to worry about the acidity of your game’s body fluids to compromise the quality of this handle. The Grivory used on this knife is a tan-gray. All of the components of this knife handle have been outlined in orange to match the Versaflex inlay. The inlay provides plenty of texture so that you don’t have to worry about slipping and injuring yourself.

The spine of the handle is relatively straight, as is the bottom of the handle. Although, the bottom of the handle does have a finger groove and a large finger guard. This guard is perfect for when things get slippery.

On the butt of the handle, a lanyard hole has been carved into it. The lanyard is a huge deal for a hunting knife for a couple of reasons. For starters, it allows you to tie this knife onto your belt loop, your backpack, or just tuck it into your pocket a little deeper. However, if you are in the middle of an extra slippery job and you are worried about how much texture you have, you can wrap the lanyard around the handle to provide a more solid grip. Lastly, if you loop the lanyard around your wrist, you don’t have to worry about losing your knife inside of the game that you are dressing if you do happen to lose grip on it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a split arrow pocket clip, which means that it is shaped like an arrow and is mostly skeletonize. This helps the clip attach more efficiently to your pocket while also cutting down on weight because of the skeletonized handle. This is a benefit, because when you are out hunting, you don’t want to worry about what is going on with your knife, you want to be able to trust that it is securely attached inside of your pocket. Plus, every ounce counts when you are on a long hunting trip. By skeletonizing the clip, the weight of the entire knife is reduced—just for you. The pocket clip has only been designed to be attached for tip-up carry. The clip is also reversible for either left or right hand carry, which helps to make this knife more ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that uses a thumb stud as well as Benchmade’s AXIS locking system. Because it is a manual knife, you don’t have to worry about the strict knife laws that are in your area and that surround automatic knives. Of course, always know your local knife laws regardless.

The thumb stud is one of the most common one-hand opening features that you are going to be able to find. It is used by a wide variety of knife manufacturers and designers, including Benchmade. The thumb stud has been designed to replace the nail nick that is found on more traditional knives as well as older folding knives. The concept is very straightforward—you hold the folded knife in one hand, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives’ with a thumb stud will include a locking mechanism of some sort, in this case, the AXIS mechanism. Some people complain that the thumb stud gets in the way because it does protrude directly out of the blade. Another issue with the thumb stud is that your hand ends up in the path of the blade throughout the opening process, which makes it one of the less safe opening mechanisms. However, this is also one of the easiest opening features that you are going to find; you will be able to figure it out quickly. The pocket clip on this knife is bright orange.

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

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.50 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.124 inches. The handle measures in at 4.34 inches long, with a thickness of 0.58 inches. The overall length of the Grizzly Ridge is 7.84 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.77 ounces. This Benchmade knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade says, “Based on the highly regarded Grizzly Creek, the Grizzly Ridge brings the comfort and sure grip of a dual durometer handle, a blade designed for all around hunting utility, and unique orange accents.” The Blade steel is very resistant to rusting and corrosion, which means that maintenance is going to be a breeze—perfect for when you are on a long hunting trip and cannot worry about cleaning the blade well. The satin finish is classic. And the drop point blade shape is perfectly designed for hunting knives. The lowered tip allows you to expertly dress your game while the large belly makes slicing a breeze. The handle is durable, strong, low maintenance, and does not absorb liquids—the ideal combination for your new hunting knife. The Versaflex overlays add plenty of texture for when things get messy. The AXIS lock keeps this knife safe to use while also allowing for quick and easy one-hand opening. The thumb stud also lets you open the knife easily with only one-hand. You can pick up this brand new Benchmade knife today at BladeOps and have your new favorite hunting knife—the Grizzly Ridge.

Kershaw Flythrough Knife Review

Kershaw Knives designs and manufactures a wide range of knives, including pocket knives, sporting knives, and kitchen cutlery. Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd., a member of the KAI Group, headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon.

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

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

Kershaw was founded in1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. Whether it’s a hardworking pocket knife, a hunting knife, or a special collector’s edition, Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

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

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

Today we will be discussing the brand new Kershaw Flythrough.

Kershaw Flythrough
Kershaw Flythrough

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese produced steel that belongs to the Cr series. Compared to another steel, it is similar to AUS-8. At its low cost, it is a good cutter. Especially when the steel has undergone a suitable heat treatment, the steel can maintain the sharpness of the edge for long periods of time as well as having extremely high corrosion resistance. This steel hardens to a level of 56-59HRC steel. Because of this is a softer steel, knives made out of these steel will always keep sharpening well as well as being easy to sharpen. This steel has a good balance in regard to strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. The biggest characteristic that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. It is extremely inexpensive but still has a good balance of all the best characteristics. That being said, you do get what you pay for, so this steel will not compare to the other super steels on the block.

The blade has been finished with a black-oxide coating. This is created when a chemical bath converts the surface of the steel to magnetite. Kershaw uses this coating on some blade and pocket clips, mainly for appearance, though it does add some corrosion resistance. The pros of a coating is that it is going to prolong the life of the blade because it does cut does on corrosion and wear. However, a coating can and will scratch off after long periods of time or heavy use. Once the coating does scratch off, you lose out on all the coating benefits.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that you are going to find in the cutlery industry. This is because the shape is tough and still all-purpose. The blade is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curving manner, which creates a lowered point. When a knife has a lowered point, the user is going to have more control when they are cutting. This is a great everyday carry knife, so having control over what you do is important. The lowered point is also a very broad point, which gives the knife shape its character strength. One of the reasons that this blade shape is so versatile and makes for a great everyday carry blade is the large belly area that is perfect for making slicing easy. The majority of tasks that you are going to be completing throughout your day are going to involve slicing, so the large belly is especially important to this knife. The drop point blade shape does have one significant drawback, which is that because of the broad point, this knife is not going to excel at piercing or stabbing.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of stainless steel and has the same black-oxide coating that the blade does.

Stainless steel provides excellent durability and resistance to corrosion. Unfortunately, it is not a particularly lightweight material, in fact, it is going to be one of hte heavier knife handles that you are going to have. Plus, stainless steel handles can be slippery, so manufacturers have to put in the extra work to add etchings or ridges so that there is enough texture that you can have a secure hold on the knife. The overall advantages to having a stainless steel handle is that it is going to be strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. However, it is also going to be heavy and it can be slippery.

The coating is going to give the same advantages to the handle that it gave to the blade, meaning the life is going to be prolonged.

The handle is one of the unique aspects of this knife, because there are more angles than curves which gives this knife a futuristic edgy look. There is a finger guard, but because of the flipper, which turns into extra finger guard, the finger guard is quite large on this knife. This just means that you won’t have to worry about cutting yourself if you do slip. There is also a very deep finger groove, which helps to make this straight handle comfortable to hold. The spine and the bottom of the handle are completely straight, both angling towards the butt, which is tapered. The butt is also flat. To add texture, the middle of this knife handle comes outwards in a straight line down the middle of the handle. This creates enough texture that you do not have to worry about your grip when it comes to this knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible deep-carry pocket clip.

The clip is reversible in the sense that you can attach it to either side of the handle, making this knife a fantastic option for left or right handed people alike. However, the clip can only be attached to carry the knife tip-up.

This is a deep carry clip, so you can easily conceal the blade in your pocket while also keeping the Flythrough more snug in your pocket. This means that if you are using this knife as an everyday carry knife, you don’t have to worry about the knife sliding out while you go about your daily business.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual knife that uses a flipper for assisting you. This knife is equipped with the KVT ball-bearing opening system as well as a frame lock.

The flipper is a small rectangular sharks-fin shaped piece of the blade that extends through the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. The flipper enables fast and easy one-handed opening. It is also completely ambidextrous. To open a manual knife that uses a flipper, you are going to hold the knife handle in one hand with the butt end resting firmly in the palm of your hand. Place your index finger on the highest point of the flipper. Push down strongly and quickly on the flipper. At this point, the blade is going to move out of the handle and lock into place because of the frame lock.

In a frame lock, the knife handle consists of two plates of material on either side of the blade. When the knife is opened, the metal side of the frame, the lock bar, butts up against the backend of the blade and prevents the blade form closing. To close a frame lock knife, the user pushes the frame to the side, unblocking the blade, and folds the blade back into the handle. Like locking liner knives, frame locks are manufactured so that the locking side of the frame is angled toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias toward the locked position. Both the blade tang and the lock bar are precisely angled so they fit together for a secure, reliable lockup. The thickness of the frame material blocking the blade open makes the frame lock extremely sturdy.

The Kershaw KVT ball-bearing system makes one-handed opening of this knife fast and easy—without the need for a mechanical assist. While SpeedSafe assisted opening uses a torsion bar to help move the knife blade out of the handle, KVT relies on a ring of “caged” ball bearings that surround the knife’s pivot. Caged just means the ball bearings are secured within a ring that surrounds the pivot. It keeps the ball bearings in place, while still allowing them to rotate freely. When the user pulls back on the built-in flipper, the blade rotates out of the handle as the ball bearings roll in place. KVT makes one-handed opening quick, easy, and smooth as butter. In knives with the KVT ball-bearing system, you will also notice the knife has additional “detent.” This is a design feature that helps hold the blade safely in the handle when the knife is closed. When opening the knife, you may notice a little ‘stickiness’ just as you pull back on the flipper and before the blade rolls out of the handle on the KVT ball bearings. Just a little extra pressure on the flipper overcomes the detent and the knife will open with ease.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 3.9 inches long. The overall length of the blade measures in at 6.9 inches long. It weighs in at 3.7 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When Kershaw is talking about this new knife of theirs, they say, “Designed by RJ Martin, the new Flythrough features his unique ‘See-Through Pivot.’ This oversized pivot is hollow in the center, letting you ‘see through’ it. What’s more, the Flythrough also has a handle cutout behind the pivot that lets you see the end of the blade tang when the blade is open. Both of these features add interest to this striking knife. The Flythrough’s drop-point blade has a sculpted top swedge and is made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with black-oxide coating for a monochrome look and additional corrosion protection. A concave thumb-ramp on the top of the blade provides a secure place to rest a thumb or forefinger for controlled cuts. The steel handle features sweeping, sculpted lines that add to the dynamic look of the Flythrough. Lockup is secure thanks to a sturdy frame lock and a reversible deep-carry pocket clip lets the Flythrough ride comfortably low in your pocket.” Come pick up this brand new Kershaw knife today at BladeOps.

Medford Knife & Tool Dress Marauder Flamed Titanium Folder Knife Review

Greg Medford is a native Arizonan and an ardent American patriot. He is dedicated to hand crafting and small-scale manufacturing as a part of the new Small Factory Industrial Rebirth of America. Greg’s early development was deeply shaped by his mom being a 2nd generation Greek immigrant and his Dad being form an old Irish/American family that came from Massachusetts, west Texas, and Arizona.

The values of pragmatism, hard work, honesty, love of one’s country, and treating people right were instilled early. Greg’s Greek grandfather, Christy Nekitopoulos, would get teary eyed talking about his love for this country. The trucking company he established is still family-owned and operated nearly 100 years later.
Greg’s grandpa, Ferris Medford, was a scrappy West Texas American forged out of the dust and cattle that surrounded him. He was an avid horseman, and throughout his life he handcrafted fine leather goods for his peers in law enforcement.

Greg finds these men and his parents as the principle influences of him being an innovative designer. His designs bring Yankee ingenuity, Western Freedom, and high-tech aerospace to an intersection of form and function that puts smiles on faces.

Greg is relatively new to knife making but attacks the calling with the same intense passion and dedication towards excellence that he brings to everything he does. A lifelong lover of all things edged, he is no newcomer to the design and use of knives. He has been restoring and using period Japanese swords since the mid 1980s. Greg is a 31-year professional Martial Artist and hand-to-hand instructor, as well as a close quarters master level instructor and has a very strong background in close quarters bare-handed weapon defense and disarms. He holds a Commercial Pilot’s License and is an FAA certified single/multi/instrument flight instructor. He holds a surface level aerobatic competency card for flying airshows and has been a leader in the Warbird Aviation community for years. When Greg flew airshows professional, he was not only the pilot, but he built his planes, rebuilt their engines, and even imported exotic planes from around the world for restoration and use. All of these experiences uniquely prepared him for the design and manufacture of advanced edged weapons and tools. Greg served in the United States Marine Corps form 1988-1992 as an M.O.S. 0311. He was part of “New England’s Own” and deployed for Operations Desert Storm and Shield in 1990-1991.

Greg was part of the augmentation fore integrated into the 5th Marines and was a part of ground combat operations in Task Force Ripper in Wester Kuwait. He holds a special place in his heart for anyone who needs a knife for the various things required in warfare and brings his first-hand experience to the design and making of these special blades. As a husband and father of two, Greg knows and feels how important it is to have the very best tools to get you back to your loved ones after a mission or adventure. When a knife leaves the studio with the MKT logo stamped into it, all of these influences bear forth in the steel and quality of their products.

Today, we will be going over the Medford Knife & Tool Dress Marauder Flamed Titanium Folder Knife with a D2 satin blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 tool steel. D2 is a tool steel that is often found in different industrial settings. This steel comes with a high hardness and relatively high toughness, which does make it a great choice for tools and especially in cutlery. This steel is technically not a stainless steel because it does fall just short of the 14% chromium content, but it is steel very corrosion resistant. D2 has been around for over 20 years, which means that the steel has been tried and true and is a reliable option.

The blade has been satin finished. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive, such as a sandpaper. This finish is the most popular steel finish in knife blades, because it gives you a very traditional and classic look that is never going to go out of style. In terms of luster, the satin finish falls in between a polished finish, which is extremely reflective, and a coated finish, which is completely matte. The satin finish is designed to show off the bevels and fine lines of the blade and the steel.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is formed by having the back, or the unsharpened, edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which gives you a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and even adds extra strength to the tip. This broad tip is what sets this popular blade shape apart from the clip point shape, which has a much finer tip. So while the drop point does not sport as sharp of a tip clip point, it is much stronger. And because of this tip strength and its ability to not break when subjected to heavy use, drop point blades are a very popular shape on tactical and even survival knives. This blade shape is also very popular on hunting knives, because the lowered tip helps you easily control your blade, helping you avoid nicking the internal organs or ruining the meat if you slipped. Drop point blades are one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today and that is for good reason—they are extremely strong and very versatile. These blades are so versatile because they sport such a large belly area that helps make slicing a breeze. Most of the activities that you are going to be performing are going to need you to have the slicing capability. While I previously mentioned how much strength the broad tip adds, this wide tip is also one of the drawbacks to this blade. Because it is so broad, you do miss out on most of your stabbing abilities. The point is not fine or sharp, so while many people do appreciate the strength that the tip adds, you should be aware that you won’t be able to stab with this knife. This knife does sport a plain edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of flamed titanium handle scales. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the bet rust resistance out of any metal. This metal is heavier than its brother, aluminum, but it is still considered a lightweight metal. And for the extra weight, you get exponential strength behind it. Unfortunately, because it is so much stronger, it is also more expensive to machine. Because of this, titanium is relatively expensive. Titanium has a rare quality to it that when you touch it, it actually has a warm feel to it, so if you are going to be using this Medford blade during the winter, you won’t have to worry about it feeling like it is cutting into your palms. This metal is strong, light, and very corrosion resistant. However, it is expensive and it is prone to scratches.

Medford Knife & Tool Dress Marauder Flamed Titanium Folder Knife
Medford Knife & Tool Dress Marauder Flamed Titanium Folder Knife

This titanium has been flamed which means that it has undergone the flaming process. This process creates a stunning and very durable alpha-case skin which makes this handle more scratch resistant that your typical titanium handle scales. Plus, the flaming process makes it so that the handle displays different colors in a unique design. The colors that you get out of the flaming process on this knife are deeper colors with hints of navy and some brownish green swirled throughout.

The handle has a slight curve to it to give you a more comfortable grip and there are two shallow thumb grooves on the handle that help give you a place to put your fingers and have a slightly more secure grip. The butt of the handle is squared off.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Marauder is made out of titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. This metal is a little bit heavier than the similar aluminum, but it is still a lightweight metal. Plus, it is extremely strong. Titanium is a sturdy material, but it still has a “springy” so your clip isn’t going to be extremely stiff. Unfortunately, titanium is pretty prone to scratches, so your pocket clip might get a little bit beat up. The pocket clip has been aggressively finished and roughed up with an “M” carved into it. This is a super short pocket clip that is kept in place by two silver screws that match the rest of the hardware. The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

The Marauder Dress is a folding knife. This blade features a recessed thumb slot that helps you to open your knife. This slot gives you a spot to gain good traction on the blade before pushing the blade out of the handle.

This knife also boasts a frame lock mechanism. The frame lock is very similar to a liner lock, but the main difference is that a frame lock sues the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. The handle will have two sides, is often cut form a steel that is much thicker than the liner of most locks. Some similarities between the liner lock and the frame lock is that they are both situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When the knife is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, which engages it at its furthest point. Frame locks are well known for their thickness and strength, so they are the perfect locking mechanism for a knife that is going to be taking a beating throughout its life.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.5 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.125 inches. The handle measures in at 3.2 inches, which puts the overall length of this knife at 5.7 inches when it is opened. The handle has a thickness of 0.375 inches. This knife weighs in at 2.3 ounces. This Medford Knife & Tool knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Much like the classic Praetorian series by MKT, the Marauder is manufactured is 3 separate sizes–the Dress being the smallest. Built much slimmer than the other models, each gentlemanly frame lock designed model features an elegant yet simplistic design that is sure to please and each blade is deployed with the use of the recessed thumb slot. This custom model features a flamed titanium handle scales, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and the extra-short titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Finally, this model includes an olive drab green waterproof storage case complete with black foam inserts. The steel that has been chosen for this blade is tough, and although this steel isn’t actually a full stainless steel, it is very corrosion resistant, which makes it ideal for a blade that is going to get some serious use throughout its life. It is the flamed titanium handles that really set this knife apart from others, giving it a very unique look. A Marauder is a person who raids, often mentioned in fantasy style genres. The flamed titanium handles give the knife the look of a Marauders cape—which has to allow them to hide in the shadows. Pick up your own Marauder today at BladeOps.

Benchmade Coalition Knife Review

For over thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. They exceed what is expected.

Benchmade says, “Whether you are using a Griptillian for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

Benchmade has an edge that other knives don’t. For starters, Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grad handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide great value for their customers.

The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry—often to tolerances half the width of a human hair. Their commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.

The last edge that they have is the LifeSharp. Benchmade knives are all supported through a team of skilled technicians. Their only function is to ensure your Benchmade is in optimal working condition or your entire life. This service is called LifeSharp. A name that speaks for itself. When you send your knife to the Benchmade LifeSharp team, the knife is completely disassembled and all worn parts are tune or replaced. The knife is then lubricated and reassembled, a sharpener applies a factory edge to the blade and the knife is shipped back to you.

There are many reasons why Benchmade knives are set apart from others. Today we are going to be talking about the new Benchmade Coalition.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S30V steel. This steel is made by Crucible, which is a steel company that is based in the United States. This premium steel was created and designed specifically for knives, especially for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Because of this, you can expect it to have all of the best qualities that people look for in their knives. This steel has amazing edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. Crucible has added vanadium carbides into the steel which brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. If you look at this steel for cost and quality, S30V steel is viewed as one of the finest knife blade steels. This steel has the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness, which is actually a pretty complicated balance to achieve. There is one major drawback to this steel, which is because of the hardness, it proves to be tricky to sharpen. This shouldn’t veer you away from this steel, because of all the other qualities that you do get out of it. However, if you are a beginner sharpener, I wouldn’t suggest you try to sharpen this blade on your own.

The blade has been finished with a black coating. This is a powder coating, which is applied using the electrostatic principle. This means that the blade is given a negative charge and the powder coat is given a positive charge before being sprayed on. The dry coated parts are baked in an oven, where the powder melts and fuses into a hard, protective finish. Coatings prolong the life of the blade, because they do protect the steel form the harsh environments. The coating reduces rusting and corrosion while also cutting down on glares and reflections. The biggest drawback to a coated blade is that it will scratch off after heavy use or long periods of time. At this point, your blade will have to be re-coated if you wish for the benefits to remain.

The blade on the Coalition has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is the most popular and commonly found blade shapes in the cutlery industry today. Drop point knives are tough and versatile. This blade shape is formed by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. And while the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. It is because of this strength and the drop point’s ability to hold up to the heavy use that makes the drop point so capable on tactical or survival knives. Plus, because of the lowered tip, the drop point blade is easily controllable, which helps you perform fine tip or detail work. The biggest reason that this blade is so versatile is because of the large belly areas that makes slicing a breeze. If you are using this knife for an everyday knife, slicing is what you are going to be doing the most of. There is one big drawback to the drop point blade style, which is the broad tip. Because of this tip, it is not as capable for piercing or slicing as the clip point blade style. But you do get so much more strength than in the clip point knife. By choosing the Benchmade Coalition, you are preparing yourself for any task whether it is your everyday tasks or the unexpected situations that seem to pop up often.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 billet aluminum that has been anodized grey. Plus, to add texture and security, there are grippy G10 inlays in the middle.

Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when it comes to knife handles. This material is unique because it is considered a low-density metal, but it still gives you a hefty feel without the weight. This is the ultimate combination, because when it comes to an everyday carry or a tactical knife, like this one, you don’t want to be weighed down, but you don’t want to feel like you have enough weight and heft behind you to really take on the issue.

The most common type of aluminum that is used today is the 6061-T6 alloy, which has the highest tensile strength. Overall, aluminum is strong, light, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. However, it is also cold to hold because of its conductive properties, it can be a little slippery, and it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

A billet aluminum is a solid block of aluminum, which means that the entire handle has been carved out of a solid piece of the aluminum. This means that there are not going to be any weaker spots where two pieces have been welded together.

The aluminum portions of the handle have been anodized a sleek gun-metal grey. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion resistant surface. The process is done by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current though the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released from the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized. According to anodziign.org, “Anodizing is, therefore, a matter of highly controlled oxidation—the enhancement of a naturally occurring phenomenon.” Aluminum was already a great material for your knife handle, but with the anodized finished, it enters the next level.

The G-10 inlays work to give you the most secure grip on the Coalition that you can possibly have. G-10 is made out of fiberglass and has very similar properties to carbon fiber. However, out of the two materials, G-10 is inferior which mean that you can get it for much less. To create G-10 the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in a resin before compressing them and baking them under pressure. G-10 is very hard, tough, lightweight, and still strong. However, it is a brittle material and it does lack elegance and character.

This knife has a very large finger guard as well as jimping on the spine and the belly of the handle. This knife looks more like a tactical knife than an everyday knife, because of all the sharp edges, but it can be used well for either. The jimping and the G-10 are going to give you a very solid grip so that no matter what environment you are in; you will feel that you have a secure grip on this knife. While the spine and the belly of the handle are very straight, this is still a comfortable knife to hold, even if you are using it for long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Benchmade Coalition is a deep carry clip, which means that you can keep it snugly in your pocket if you are using this knife for your everyday carry knife. Or, you can conceal your knife deeper in your pocket if you are choosing to use this new Benchmade knife for your go-to tactical knife. The Coalition is going to excel at either of these options. The clip is reversible, which does help to make this knife ambidextrous. However, it is only designed to be attached tip-up.

All of the hardware on this knife is black, except for the trigger to release the blade.

 

Benchmade Coalition
Benchmade Coalition

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, which does mean that it is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas of the United States. It is your responsibility as the user to know your local knife laws before buying, owning, or carrying this knife. BladeOps is not responsible for consequences if you choose to ignore the local knife laws.

The Coalition is a push button automatic that features an integrated safety mechanism. Because it is an automatic knife, it is going to be easier to bring into play in a tactical situation. And because it is a push button automatic knife, you can easily open it with just one hand. The knife is going to open quickly and efficiently. However, there are a few drawbacks to an automatic knife as well. Because there are so many inner mechanisms, you do have to be very careful when getting this knife near water. If any of the insides begin to rust or corrode, it could compromise the entire opening mechanism. Automatic knives are harder to maintain because they are such a complex knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.87 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The handle measures in at 3.91 inches long with a thickness of 0.53 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 6.78 inches long. This knife measures in at 2.63 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

This knife combines the strength of aluminum handles and S30V blade steel, with the style and traction of G10 inlays, this push button automatic is a big deal in a small package. The S30V blade is easy to maintain because it resists rust with ease. The drop point blade is tough which allows you to take on any tactical situation, while also providing you a large belly that will come in handy throughout your day-to-day tasks. The aluminum handle is tough and durable while the G-10 inlays give you plenty of texture to have a secure grip on the Coalition. The deep carry pocket clip allows you to more easily conceal your knife. Pick up the Coalition today at BladeOps.