Chris Reeve Cross Hatch Small Sebenza Knife Review

Chris Reeve Knives began operations on January 1, 1984 in a one car garage in Durban, South Africa, when Chris changed his life from full time Tool and Die Maker/part time knife maker to full time knife maker. For a couple years he was the only employee but gradually and steadily, the company has grown to reach its present position as a well-equipped manufacturing company and a note brand in the industry.

The road between 1984 and January 2016 has not always been smooth. For many years, the endeavor was under funded but with determination Chris and Anne put all they had into producing the best knives possible, within the resources available. In March 1989, they moved from their native South Africa and settled in Boise, Idaho. That move in itself was a major undertaking but vital for the future of the company.

Chris has always “pushed the envelope”. Whether on a motorcycle or behind a belt grinder, he dreamed of being a world champion. He did not win a motorcycle world championship but in many respects, the standing of CRK today represents one. His induction into the Cutlery Hall of Fame in June 2015 could be considered his championship trophy. The single though in Chris’ mind has always been to design every model with deliberation, taking into account how the knife works, its intended purpose and the most appropriate materials. On this foundation, CRK now enjoys a worldwide reputation for outstanding design, exceptional execution, and the closest tolerances in the industry—all backed by excellent customer service.

CRK is a vibrant business, has great staff of well-trained employees, and remains a company with a worldwide reputation for raising the standards bar—“pushing the envelope”—for the industry.

Here at BladeOps, we are proud to carry Chris Reeve knives and support his dream and championship. Today, we are going to be going over his Cross Hatch Small Sebenza.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Cross Hatch Small Sebenza has been made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve introduced an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel and named it S35VN. S30V had excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides is what brought extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, it is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. However, it was extremely hard to work with. In S35VN steel, they used a much finer grain structure and adding small quantities of niobium, which is where the N comes form in the name, they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while improving toughness and ability to sharpen. In the real world, however, you will find the two near-indistinguishable. Many would argue this is the ultimate in ‘mainstream’ knife steels and you would struggle to find any steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the money. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, if you love S30V steel, it would be hard to not love S35VN steel. They updated all of the problems that people encountered with S30V steel. S35VN steel is extremely easy to sharpen and work with.

This steel has been finished with a stonewashed finish. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. With this type of finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finish blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type o finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. Stonewashed finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finish. A very positive benefit of a stonewashed blade is that it is a low maintenance finish and preserves the look of the blade overtime.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a style of knife that slopes on the spine of the blade form the handle of the knife to the tip of the blade. This allows the spine of the blade, where the blade is thicker and thus stronger, to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating

Chris Reeve Crosshatch
Chris Reeve Crosshatch

any pitch momentum when stabbing. The curve on the top of a drop point blade is always convex, which is what distinguishes it from a clip point blade. This is one of the most common blade types, the drop point is most popular within the realm of hunting knives and larger pocket knife blades, but his blade style also works well as a tactical or survival knives. The slow curved manner, creates a lowered point which offers more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidently nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reasons that this blade shape is so popular and versatile is because drop point knives features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the only real disadvantages of the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. When you choose a knife with a drop point blade shape, you will be choosing a great all-purpose blade that can be used in many situations, expected or unexpected.

The Small Sebenza has a plain edge. Plain edge blades excel at push cuts, where you push the edge against the thing you’re trying to cut. Good examples of push cuts are when you’re shaving with a razor or whittling a piece of wood. Plain edge blades are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain edge blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, trimming your nails, or peeling an apple. The advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. With a plain edge blade, you directly affect its purpose by changing how you sharpen it. The plain edge is perfect for day to day needs as well as a wider variety of tasks.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of 6A14V Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It’s a little heavier than aluminum but is still considered a lightweight metal and much stronger. Alas, it’s more expensive to machine. Titanium is one of those rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. It is very sturdy, yet still springy. However, Titanium does suffer from being prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel. Titanium can be given a unique and attractive color through the anodization process and on the Cross Hatch Small Sebenza has a tan anodized front handle scale. The back handle scale is also titanium, but it is a dark sandblasted finish. This is when sand gets blasted at the handle scale at high pressure. A blasted finish reduces reflection and glare due to its even matte surface. The blasting creates an increased surface area and micro abrasions make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. This material is still far from indestructible and not all alloys are as strong as stainless steel. The special CGG, Computer Generated Graphic, Cross Hatch graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This texture is going to provide you with a very solid grip whenever you are using this knife.

The handle has a slight finger guard to protect your fingers from getting sliced. It also sports a finger groove carved out for you to rest your finger in and providing you with a comfortable grip. There is a black lanyard attached to the butt of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip matches the back handle scale and is attached by a small screw. The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only n the traditional side of the handle. This is a removable pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

The Small Sebenza features an integral lock. This was created by Chris Reeve and the first knife that it appeared on was the Sebenza. Chris Reeve calls it an Integral Lock, but the common name used in the industry now is simply “Frame Lock”. The Integral Lock is essentially a reworking of the Liner Lock to simplify and strengthen the design by removing the handle scales form the knife and using thicker liners that would serve as the handles, the liner, and the integrated locking bar. This locking mechanism is extremely popular with hard use folders because they are stronger than normal liner locks and give the perception of simplicity and strength. An additional advantage that the Integral Lock has over the liner lock is that when you are gripping the knife, you are also reinforcing the lock since it is integrated into the handle.

The opening mechanism is a single thumb lug. This is an easy and quite common operation that is used to open up a folding knife. The thumb lug sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. It makes for a comfortable way to use one hand to open the knife. One thing to consider is how close this puts your hand to the blade itself. There are many accounts of people actually cutting themselves while opening their blade. It is easy for your thumb to slip and get sliced.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Small Sebenza is 2.94 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 6.875 inches long and it has a closed length of 3.935 inches. The small Sebenza weighs in at 3 ounces. This knife was made in the USA.

 

The Conclusion:

The Small Sebenza 21 features sandblasted handles, a tumbled finish drop point blade, 303 stainless steel hardware, and exterior accents in the Reeve signature anodized blue titanium. Built with handcrafted care at a production level, the Sebenza 21 has earned a worldwide reputation for rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. Designed for lifetimes of use, the Sebenza 21 was carefully developed to improve upon its predecessors. With every iteration, we seek to improve strength and longevity, while still maintaining the sleek profile and simplicity of the iconic Sebenza. The Chris Reeve Sebenza has become synonymous world-wide with quality, rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. First developed in 1987, the Sebenza has gone through only some minor changes over the years and in 2008, the Sebenza 21 was released to celebrate 21 years of this flagship model. This model features an Integral Lock® frame lock design that was built to handle a lifetime of use and abuse and each premium stainless steel blade is deployed with the single thumb lug. The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Cross Hatch” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This smaller model boasts a tan front titanium handle, a dark sandblasted back titanium handle, a drop point style blade in a tumbled stonewash finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.  Find yours here.

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The Bear and Son 115 Silver Vein Balisong 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.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 1095 Carbon Steel. This is the most popular 10 series standard carbon steel with low corrosion resistance and average edge retention properties. So why would you even want 1095 steel? The appeal here is 1095 is a tough steel that’s resistant to chipping, it’s easy to sharpen, takes a crazy sharp edge, and is inexpensive to produce. This makes it desirable for larger heavy duty fixe blades and survival knives which are going to be subject to more abuse than your typical EDC.

The finish on this knife is a coated black finish. This coating finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will then have to be recoated. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and do require less maintenance.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything, then you’ve come to the right place.  A drop point is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger blades in Swiss army knives. To from this blade shape, the back, or unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. There is really only one disadvantage of the drop point blade and that is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. It is this tip strength that is crucial in survival knives. When you are choosing a knife with a drop point blade, you are choosing a knife that is going to help you in a wide variety of situations, whether it is the expected situations or the unexpected.

The Bear and Son 115 Butterfly knife has a plain edge. The plain edge is one continuous sharp edge and is far more traditional. The plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge I superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge is going to work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those application involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. And, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a razor polished edge. Plain edges are going to serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another one of the key advantages of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly.

 

The Handle:

The knife handles on this Butterfly knife are a speckled black and grey casted zinc. Having zinc knife handles is one of the most unique aspects about this knife. Zinc is not commonly used in knife handles; however, zinc has been here for years. US architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries relied on the chemical substance for making sheet based roofs. Zinc is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to increasing demand for eco-friendly products. Zinc is known as spelter in commerce and is a silvery white metal that is mined from the earth. Long before zinc was used to manufacture alloys such as brass, which is a combination of zinc and cooper, and was used throughout the world for a variety of applications that included weapons buckets, and wall plaques. By the end of the 18th century, Europeans had begun smelting zinc and the process spread to the US by the mid-19th century. Some of zinc’s best qualities is its ability to keep away corrosion. In fact, because of the ability to keep away corrosion, zinc is used for coating iron and steel to inhibit corrosion. Another advantage of since is that it is one of the most durable metals out there. Thirdly, zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, so it makes sense to use it for everything we can. Plus, zinc is considered a “green” material. Zinc is known for being eco-friendly because it requires less energy for production than other metals because of its lower metal point and because zinc is completely recyclable.

Because this is a butterfly knife, there are actually two handles that unfold and attach together to form one larger handle. There are oval cut outs all the way down both of the handles.

 

The Mechanism:

Bear & Son 115 Butterfly
Bear & Son 115 Butterfly

The Bear and Son 115 is a butterfly knife, which is also known as a balisong, a fan knife, and sometimes even a Batangas knife. This type of knife was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. Hollow ground butterfly knives were also used as straight razors before conventail razors were available in the Philippines. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called “flipping”, are performed for art or amusement. Blunt versions of these knives, called “trainers”, are for sale to practice tricks without the risk of injury.

While the meaning of the term balisong is not entirely clear, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog words baling sungay (broken/folding horn) as they were originally made form carved caribou and stag horn.

This specific balisong is called a sandwich constructed balisong. This means that the knife is assembled in layers that are generally pinned or screwed together though may sometimes use a ball bearing system. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rest between the layers.

There are a couple of main parts on a balisong that we will go over. First, the bit handle. This is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade and will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. This is the handle that usually has the latch on it.

The second part is the choil. The second part is the kicker. This is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

The third part is the latch. This is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Magnets are occasionally used instead. It also keeps it from opening up when the user doesn’t want it to.

Fourth, the latch gate. This is a block inside the channel of the handles that stops the latch from impacting the blade.

Fifth, the tang pins. This pin(s) is meant to hold the blade away from the handle when closed to prevent dulling and in some cases, a second pin to keep the handles form excessively banging together while the butterfly knife is being manipulated.

Sixth, the safe handle. This is the handle, which generally is the handle without the latch, that closes on the non sharpened edge of the blade.

 

Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long. The knife has an overall length of 9 inches long with a handle length of 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The 115 series of butterfly knives are one of several new knives released by Bear & Son Cutlery this year. This line of knives has expanded off of the popular 114 and 113 series of knives by offering different handle colors with the same traditional blade finishes and options. Offered in a wide variety of sizes, colors and finishes, these butterfly knives showcase pin construction and the blade smoothly operates on bronze phosphorus washers and precision ball bearing surfaces. This model, 115, features speckled black and grey casted zinc handles, a closing latch with a double tang pin design and a drop point style blade in a black finish. The zinc handles are eco-friendly and one of the most durable materials that you are ever going to work with. The drop point style blade is going to help you work on a large variety of tasks, form the everyday tasks that you expect to the unexpected emergencies that tend to pop up. Pick up your new favorite butterfly knife today at BladeOps.

 

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CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade Knife Review

Born in Oregon in 1994, Columbia River Knife and Tool is an American company known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For more than 20 years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. CRKT operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To do this, they have been collaborating with the best knife designer sin the world. Some of these designers are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steven Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. Out of these collaborations have been born plenty of groundbreaking and innovative inventions. CRKT now owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these patents include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men had been formerly employed by Kershaw knives. And while they did found this company is 1994, it took until 1997 to truly take off. It was at the Shot Show of 97 that they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This was a small folder that Ed Halligan had designed and it was a massive success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of the product had sold out. They sold at 4-5 times the original production numbers, resulting in a tripling of production efforts. They now produce a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

CRKT has a fixed blade called the Strafe. This is the knife that we will be going over today.

 

The Designer:

The man behind the Strafe is Lucas Burnley. He is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When you ask Lucas what drew him to the knife world as a teenager, he’ll tell you it was stories of survival, off path adventures with his father, and a healthy dose of action movies. Over the years, he has experimented with a broad range of styles to artfully combine classical examples with modern materials and techniques, such as with his Obake knife. Luas believes knives are a personal expression of independence, and CRKT couldn’t agree more with him.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Strafe is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This is Chinese steel that comes from the Cr series of steels. Out of all the formulas in the series, 9Cr steel is the highest quality, with 8Cr steel falling shortly behind it. If you were trying to compare a steel with 8Cr steel, the most similar would be AUS 8 steel. However, out of the two, AUS 8 is the higher quality steel. 8Cr steel is considered a stainless steel, but it is not as premium as some stainless steels. This means that while it will work to resist rusting or corroding, you will have to keep up on your maintenance after working with your knife. It is a softer steel, so it will be easy to sharpen. And, as a bonus, it does maintain an edge for long periods of time. The hardness level that this steel has is HRC 56-58.  The biggest advantage that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. Keep in mind that you do get what you pay for though, so while this steel is a tough steel that is going to be able to tackle many tasks, it is steel an average rated steel.

The finish on the Strafe’s blade is a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is usually small stones. After the blade has been tumbled around, it is removed, smoothed out, and polished over. This finish creates a very textured, well-worn look. It gives you a classy style while still looking rugged. The biggest advantage about the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the blade over time. Because this finish looks so textured, it easily hides scratches and smudges that the blade will accumulate over time.

The blade on the Strafe has been carved into a drop point blade shape.

CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade
CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade

This is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today and for good reason: it is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to almost anything. One of the most common places that you are going to find this style of blade is one a hunting knife, but you will also find it on many other types of knives, such as Swiss army knives. To form the shape of the knife, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is what gives you such great control over the knife and it helps to add strength to the tip. And while the tip on a drop point is definitely not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it does have exponential strength. Because of the tip strength and ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are a popular option on tactical and survival knives. The reason that drop point knives are so popular on hunting knives is because of how easily controlled the blade is. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reasons that this blade shape is such a versatile blade shape is because of the large belly area that provides plenty of length for slicing.  There are almost no disadvantages to the drop point blade except for its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape—which is a similar shape. But, you do need to keep in mind that it is that point strength that allows it to stand up to such heavy duty tasks that the clip point blade shape would not be able to withstand. When you choose a knife with a drop point, you are choosing a knife that can be used in almost any situation, whether it is the expected or the unexpected that you are facing.

The edge on the Strafe is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge style that you can get and it is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material which is super strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. And even more, it’s super cheap! This is such a strong material because in GRN the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This is a similar material to G 10, carbon fiber, and Micarta, except that the fibers in those other materials are arranged in a single direction. This is the reason that those other materials are so brittle, when the fibers are stressed in any direction other than the one that they are arranged in, they break down and fall apart. You don’t have to worry about that problem with GRN. With the fibers arranged in all different directions, it won’t break down when it is stressed in any direction. However, many knife lovers did not warm up to this material because they felt like it was cheap and somewhat hollow. Another drawback to this material is that it is not as “grippy” as G 10. This is an inexpensive material to produce because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of way in the production process. All these characteristics lends well to high volume manufacturing and hence the low cost. One of the other major benefits about GRN is that it has almost zero maintenance.

The handle is black and has been textured with extreme grip. This grip will give you a secure hold even in the wetter environments. While there is not a big finger groove, there is a finger guard to protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut. The handle is not as curved as other handles that you can find, but it does have a small curve to fit well in your palm to provide you with a comfortable grip over long periods of time.

 

The Mechanism:

The Strafe is a fixed blade. There is a definite battle going on between whether a folding knife or a fixed blade is the correct way to go. In all honesty, it really does come down to preference and what tasks you are expecting to perform with your knife. And while a fixed blade comes with a wide array of advantages, let’s be candid about the disadvantages for just a second. For starters, they are harder to carry and conceal. Secondly, fixed blades are usually regarded as tools for violent causes instead of a tool to help get jobs done. Third, a well-constructed folding knife is just as tough as a fixed blade would be.

But now, let’s talk about all of the crazy benefits that you are going to gain when you choose to carry a fixed blade. For starters, they are strong and big. You can really find a fixed blade in any size that you are looking for—from a small, handy knife to a monster blade. No matter what size you choose though, the same strength is going to be behind the blade. The second advantage is that they don’t break down easily because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. Third, they are easier to maintain—cleaning is straightforward and simple. All you have to do with a fixed blade is wipe it down, because there is no moving, small, or inward parts on a fixed blade. Fourth, the blades on fixed blades are longer, but still stronger than on a folding knife. Fifth, they can be used for superior tactical use. Fixed blades can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife during tactical situations. Sixth, fixed blades make for a superior survival tool. This tool can perform much more than just cutting, they can dig, split, prepare food, be used in first aid, be used as a hunting weapon, hammering, and even as a prying tool.

While you might not be quite warmed up to the idea of having a fixed blade knife being your go-to, there are so many reasons to choose the Strafe as your favorite knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, just like the handle is. This will provide you with a very strong, durable sheath that will last as long as your knife. The sheath comes in black.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Strafe is 4.612 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.184 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 9.5 inches long and it weighs in at 6.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT was talking about the Strafe they said, “Stealth like a ninja, power like a .50 cal. The Strafe tactical fixed blade is born of both an admiration for sleek Japanese designs and a fascination with US military combat blades. The blade shape is influenced by a classic tanto style and the slight design makes this knife swift in motion and extremely lightweight to carry. The field is full of unsuspected variables; the Strafe is built to address every last one. Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico built the Strafe to be the ultimate modern filed knife with traditional, classic undertones. It’s first and foremost a field utility knife, but it’ll always be there to run sweep. The lean, angular blade shape is rooted in its Japanese tanto heritage and is finished with a sleek stonewash finish. When matched with diamond cross section grip and shadow boxed scales, it looks like a relic fit for a display case, but this is a powerful and capable beast that doesn’t belong in a cage. The tough polypropylene sheath features a j hook accessory so it remains poised and at the ready at all times. In a combat situation, every second counts. The sleek, swift Strafe eats milliseconds for breakfast.” Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

 

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Buck Impact Auto Knife Review

A young Kansas blacksmith apprentice named Hoyt Buck was looking for a better way to temper steel so it would hold an edge longer. His unique approach produced the first Buck Knife in 1902. Hoyt made each knife by hand, using worn-out file blades as raw material. His handiwork was greatly appreciated during World War II. Hoyt’s eldest son Al relocated from the Pacific Northwest to San Diego California after finishing a stint in the navy a decade earlier. Hoyt, and his wife Daisy, moved in with Al and his young family in 1945 and set up shot as H.H. Buck and Son.

Following the death of his father, Al kept the fledgling custom knife business going until incorporating Buck Knives, Inc. in 1961. Al introduced his son, Chuck, to the knife business at an early age and Chuck and his wife, Lori, were both involved when the company was incorporated. In 1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A position we hold proudly today.

Chuck worked his way up through the company serving as President and CEO for many years before handing over the reins to his son, CJ, in 1999. Chuck remained active as Chairman of the Board until his passing in 2015. Lori now serves on the Board of Directors and is actively involved with buck promotional events throughout the US, continuing Chuck’s legacy.

CJ, the 4th generation family member to run Buck Knives and current CEO, President and Chairman, started out with the company on the production line in 1978. He has been quoted saying, “We have been helping people thrive with reliable and trustworthy edged products for over a century. Since our name is on the knife, our quality, focus, and attention to detail is very personal.”

Hoyt and Al Buck’s ingenuity may have put the company on the map. But it is their ongoing commitment to developing innovative new products and improving what they have by third and fourth generation Buck family members that have made Buck the successful knife maker it is today. Frankly, it is what their customers expect forma Buck.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of S30V Stainless Steel. This steel formula is made by US based Crucible. The full name is CPM S30V steel, but it so often referred to as S30V steel. It has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used of the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, harness, and toughness. However, S30V is a little bit tricky to work with or to sharpen, which is one of the only drawbacks that you are going to find in this steel. It used to be a more expensive steel, but since Crucible released CPM S30VN steel, the price has significantly released. S30V is a pretty common steel these days and it is one of my favorites for my knife’s blades.

A satin finish is the most typical knife finish. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish, and it less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It has decent corrosion resistance, but less than polish of mirror finished knives. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polish. The most popular finish on production knife blades, it shows fine buffing lines with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade.

The blade on the Impact has a drop point blade shape. A drop point blade’s spine curves, or drops, slightly down toward its point. Its convex profile gives it strength and makes it easy to stow in a sheath, contributing to its popularity as a utility knife among pointed blade styles. Its handling characteristics resemble those of clipped point styles, but with greater thickness at the tip that produces a sharp, strong point less usable for piercing. It excels at cutting tasks and those that resemble carving techniques. The single edge blade profile has earned wide adoption as a general purpose EDC knife, and in hunting, tactical, and survival knives. You’ll also find this shape on chefs’ knives and the larger blades in Swiss Army pocket knives. The drop point blade profile creates a blade with a strong, robust tip that is easy to direct when cutting or piercing. This is ideal for everyday carry and simple chores, the drop point profile is very popular and sued on a variety of pocket knives and fixed blade knives. This is one of the most common blade types. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited for piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

Buck Impact Auto Knife
Buck Impact Auto Knife

The blade on this knife has a plain edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and are for more traditional. The plain edge is also best at what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. In general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. Generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge becomes more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Impact Auto is made out of aluminum and rubber. Aluminum is aery durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. When it’s properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium, which tends to be found on the more premium knives. To help add grip to the handle, Buck has added a rubber inlay to the palm of the knife. The rubber will give you a secure grip in almost any environment.

The handle has a slow curve across the spine of the handle to fit comfortably in your palm. The butt of the handle is slightly flared out opt give you a better grip. At the top of the handle, there is also a flare, that works as a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip that is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is a cured clip that has a cut out at the top of the clip. The deep carry pocket clip is perfect if you are trying to conceal this knife throughout everyday tasks. The deep carry pocket clip will also keep your knife safer, because it can rest deeper and more securely in your pocket without the worry about it slipping and falling out when you are going about your everyday tasks. However, with a deep carry pocket clip, it will take slightly longer to draw out of your pocket when you do need to use it. In the majority of situations, this time is miniscule and will not make a difference, but if you are planning on using this as a tactical knife, keep that in mind.

 

The Mechanism:

The Buck Impact is an automatic knife. But it does feature a thumb hole. The first company to use the thumb hole was Spyderco, but over the years, other knife makers have jumped on the bandwagon and there is good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole works. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, it is ambidextrous. And many knife lovers favor a hole because, unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade.

This is an automatic knife, which is also known as a switchblade or a pushbutton knife. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a lever on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. 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.

Switchblade knives date from the mdi-18th century. The earliest known examples of spring loaded blades were constructed by craftsmen in Europe, who developed an automatic folding spike bayonet for use on flintlock pistol and coach guns. Examples of steel automatic folding knives from Sheffield England have crown markings that date to 1840.

However, in 1954, Democratic Representative James J Delaney of New York authored the first bill submitted to the US Congress banning the manufacture and sale of switchblades, beginning a wave of legal restrictions worldwide and a consequent decline in their popularity.

Because this is an automatic knife, you will need to know your local knife laws before purchasing or carrying this knife because it could very well be illegal where you live.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Impact is 3.125 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7.75 inches long with a handle length of 4.625 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.1 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Buck Impact Auto:

  • The steel has the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention.
  • The steel is stainless, so it does resist rust effortlessly.
  • This steel has good value for the qualities that you get out of it.
  • The satin finish is a very traditional finish.
  • The drop point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade shape.
  • The drop point blade shape is very versatile because of the strong tip.
  • The drop point blade shape has a large belly that is perfect for slicing.
  • The plain edge well suited for the widest variety of tasks.
  • The aluminum handle is durable.
  • The aluminum handle is rust resistant.
  • The rubber inlay on the handle gives you plenty of grip for almost any situation.
  • The pocket clip is deep carry.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.

 

The Cons of the Buck Impact Auto:

  • The S30V steel is harder to sharpen than less quality steels.
  • The drop point blade shape does not have piercing capabilities.

 

Conclusion:

Introducing Buck’s first automatic, the 898 Impact. The Impact engages with the push of a button and includes a safety slide. Once the safety switch is moved to the red, you simply push the button. The button lock style keeps the knife locked open and closed to prevent accidental deployment. The handle features a textured inlay for added grip. Weighing only 4.1 oz., this automatic knife is lightweight and easy to carry. The blade and handle are made out of very durable materials and the blade has a very durable blade shape—all of this means that this knife is going to be able to take a beating. Pick up your Buck Impact Automatic Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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The Chris Reeve Think Twice Code Knife Review

Chris Reeve Knives began operations on January 1, 1984 in a one car garage in Durban, South Africa, when Chris changed his life from full time Tool and Die Maker/part time knife maker to full time knife maker. For a couple years, he was the only employee but gradually and steadily, the company has grown to reach its present position as a well-equipped manufacturing company and noted brand in the industry. The road between 1984 and January 2016 has not always been smooth. For many years, the endeavor was under-funded but with determination Chris and Anne put all they had into producing the best knives possible, within the resources available. In March 1989, they moved from their native South Africa and settled in Boise, Idaho. That move in itself was a major undertaking but vital for the future of the company.

Chris has always pushed the envelope. Whether on a motorcycle or behind a belt grinder, he dreamed of being a world champion. He did not win a motorcycle world championship but in many respects, the standing of CRK today represents one. His induction into the Cutlery hall of Fame in June 2015 could be considered his championship trophy. The single thought in Chris’ mind has always been to design every model with deliberation, taking into account how the knife works, its intended purpose and the most appropriate materials. On this foundation, CRK now enjoys a worldwide reputation for outstanding design, exceptional execution, and the closest tolerances in the industry—all back by excellent customer service.

CRK is a vibrant business, has a great staff of well-trained employees, and remains a company with a worldwide reputation for raising the standards bar—pushing the envelope—for the industry.

2015 saw the withdrawal of Chris from daily operations into semi-retirement; he continues to contribute to design and consulting. Of writing, the staff at Chris Reeve Knives is 40 people strong—a talented and motivated group who ensures their worldwide reputation for quality, functional knives continue. They look confidently to the future where Chris reeve Knives will show that exceptional design and quality craftsmanship are always desired.

Today, we are talking about the Think Twice Code, which is a Large Sebenza. 2012 was the 25th year of the Sebenza.

 

The Blade:

Chris Reeve Think Twice
Chris Reeve Think Twice

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve introduced an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel and named in S35VN. CPM S30V has an excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. However, it was extremely hard to sharpen, so Crucible revamped it and thus is S35VN steel. They used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium (which is where the N comes from in the name) they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while also improving toughness and ability to sharpen. In the real world, many people will find the two near-indistinguishable. But, you are going to struggle to find an y steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the money. The S30V steel was considered one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness, so just imagine how amazing the S35VN steel is going to be for you and your blade.

This blade has a stonewashed finish. This finish is achieved just like the name says—the parts are literally put in a huge vibrating bin with pieces of stone that are literally making thousands and thousands of tiny scratches on the surface of the part. It results in a nice, smooth finish with a somewhat mottled appearance. Some of the advantages of the stonewashed finish is that it is pretty durable and does not show wear very much. In addition, the process tends to make the surface of the blade smoother which helps shed moisture and help to minimize corrosion issues. The stonewash finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade will not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes.

The blade on the Chris Reeve Think Twice Code has been carved into a drop point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can essentially stand up to anything—this is going to be a great knife for you. A drop point blade shape is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. This blade shape is a great blade shape for hunting knives for a variety of reasons, although you are going to find this blade shape on many other types of knives as well. To form the blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. It is because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that makes drop point blades a popular option on tactical and survival knives. The reason that this blade style is so popular on hunting knives is because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable. It is this lowered, controllable point that makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking integral organs and ruing the meat. Drop point knives feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, which is why this is such a great EDC option. The large belly makes slicing a breeze, which also means that the majority of your everyday tasks a breeze. The only real disadvantage of the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. Clip point knives are one of the other most popular blade shapes that you are going to come across. Both make for great EDC knives, because they both have lowered tips and wide bellies. However, a clip point is better designed for piercing, because the point is thinner, finer, and sharper. But, because of this, the tip is going to be more prone to breaking. The drop point blade is not suited for piercing, but it does have strength that you aren’t going to be able to find on a clip point blade shape.

The Think Twice Code large Sebenza 21 features a plain edge because it is more suited for a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge is better suited for push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. This is the more traditional blade edge and it is going to be easier to get a finer edge on it. In general, plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All of those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. Generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have e a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge will become more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones.

 

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6A14V Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It’s a little heavier than aluminum but still consider a lightweight metal and much stronger. However, it is also going to be more expensive to machine. Titanium is one of those rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. It’s very sturdy and yet springy. However, titanium does suffer from being prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel. Titanium can be given a unique and attractive color through the anodization process which is particularly common on custom knives. However, you should beware of the Titanium marketing machine. You’ll often see titanium being given more credit than it deserves through effective marketing. It’s far from indestructible and not all alloys are as strong as stainless steel.

The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Think Twice Code” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. There is a lanyard attached to the butt of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This clip is attached by a single screw on the back of the knife

 

The Mechanism:

This knife features an Integral Lock frame design. Chris Reeve originally designed the Integral Locking mechanism, but the common name for it is a frame lock. The frame lock is a beefed up version of the liner lock. They’re very similar to liner lock mechanisms, except instead of an internal spring bar moving into place, it’s part of the handle itself. Frame lock knives tend to be stronger than liner locks, as the piece of metal that slips into place is more substantial than that in a liner. Because of their similarity to liner locks, closing a frame lock knife is virtually the same—push down on the spring bar so it no longer blocks the butt of the blade, remove your thumb from the path, then fold the knife closed. This type of looking system puts a large portion of metal against the blade, ensuring a strong lockup for piercing, cutting, slicing, another heavy duty tasks. Frame locks are seen in lots of mid to upper range knives, typically rafted from titanium. Not only do they add a unique look to the knife, but they’re also easily operated with one hand.

The opening assist is a single thumb lug. This is arguably the most common one handed opening feature. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward, 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 Specs:

The blade length on the Think Twice Code is 3.625 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 8.335 inches long and the handle measure sin at 4.71 inches. The knife weighs in at 4.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Chris Reeve Sebenza has become synonymous world-wide with quality, rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. First developed in 1987, the Sebenza has gone through only some minor changes over the years and in 2008, the Sebenza 21 was released to celebrate 21 years of this flagship model. This model features an Integral Lock® frame lock design that was built to handle a lifetime of use and abuse and each premium stainless steel blade is deployed with the single thumb lug. The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Think Twice Code” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This larger model boasts a titanium handle, a drop point style blade in a tumbled stonewash finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your Think twice Code Large Sebenza 21 folder knife today at BladeOps.

 

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CRKT Directive Flipper Knife Review

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

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, both of whom used to work for Kershaw Knives. The company did not truly take off until 1997 at that years Shot Show. This was when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This knife was a small folder that Ed Halligan designed and it was a raging success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of product was sold out. CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They recently released a brand new folder called the Directive. There are two different versions of this knife, but both of them are game changers. Let’s begin.

 

The Blade:

The blade on both versions of this knife have been made out of 8Cr14MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from a series of steel. In the series of steel, the highest quality is the 9Cr steel, however 8Cr is close behind. This steel is most often compared to AUS 8 steel, however AUS 8 is the superior steel by a little bit. The biggest feature that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. It is a softer steel which does have some drawbacks, but with this formula, it is an advantage. This steel is easy to sharpen, can get a very fine edge on it, and surprisingly, the edge does hold for long periods of time. This is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust well. While this steel is can stand up to many tasks, it is still considered an average steel. So while it does hold its own, it won’t excel at any of the tasks.

Both versions of the blade sport a black oxide finish. This finish is also sometimes known as a blackening finish and is used to add the sleek black look that you can expect from this blade. This coating is a conversion coating for ferrous materials that is used to add mild corrosion resistance and for an appealing black appearance. However, it is a coating finish which means that it will scratch or peel off over time.

Like I previously mentioned, the knife does come in two different versions. The first version has a drop point style blade. The drop point style is a shape that can stand up to almost any task, is a great all-purpose shape, and is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is used on the market today. One of the most common places that you are going to find this lade shape in use is on hunting knives; however, it is also used on many other knives. To form the shape of this knife, the back edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. This creates a lowered point and the lowered point provides more control over your cuts and slices—this is one of the reasons that it is so popular on hunting knives; the hunter does not have to worry about nicking any of the inner organs or damaging the quality of the meat. The lowered point also adds strength to the tip, which gives this blade shape the ability to hold up to heavy use. Because of that, this is a very popular blade shape on tactical and survival knives. One of the last reasons that this is such a popular blade shape is because it sports a large belly. This belly makes slicing a breeze, making this knife a fantastic option for your everyday carry knife. One of the only disadvantages to this blade shape is that it does have a very broad tip. The broad tip is what gives this blade shape so much strength, but it also reduces your stabbing abilities. If you are looking for a knife that can easily stab, I would recommend checking out the clip point style blade. When you choose the version of the Directive that has the drop point blade shape, you will be preparing yourself for not only all of your expected tasks, but also the unexpected challenges that accompany your adventures.

 

The other version of the Directive sports a tanto blade shape. Something funny about the two options that you have is that the drop point is designed to be able to take on almost any task, while the tanto has been designed to take on one task and one task only. The tanto has been designed for piercing tough materials. This blade shape was designed after the Japanese long and short swords and was popularized by Cold Steel in the early 1980’s. The original style was designed to pierce through armor, so you know that this knife is going to be able to get through some tough things. The tanto is formed with a high point and a flat grind, which leads to an extremely strong point. The thick point of the tanto has a lot of metal near the tip, which makes it able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause many other knives to break or snap off. Something else that is unique about this blade shape is that the front edge of it meets the back edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. Because of this, the tanto blade style does not sport a belly. In this case, you sacrifice the belly for a stronger tip. This lack of belly is the biggest reason that this knife has not been designed for everyday use or as a general utility knife. By choosing the version of the Directive that has a tanto blade shape, you will own a knife that has been designed and tailored to pierce through those tougher materials.

 

Both of the versions of the knife have a plain edge. The plain edge has been designed to take on a wider variety of needs. The plain edge is the more traditional edge that excels at push cuts such as slicing, peeling, or skinning. Another one of the major benefits to the plain edge is that it is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it than if it were a serrated or combo edge.

 

The Handle:

The handles on both of these knives have been made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material that is crazy strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and also practically indestructible. As a total bonus, it’s pretty cheap. What makes this material so strong and durable is that the fibers are all arranged haphazardly, as opposed to in one direction like the similar materials G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta. Those other materials have the fibers arranged in one direction, which means that if the material is stressed in any other direction, it is going to be brittle and prone to breaking or snapping. With GRN’s fibers being arranged so haphazardly, it doesn’t matter which direction the handle is stressed—it is going to stand up to it all. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process, this leads to high volume manufacturing and low cost. Many knife lovers did not love this material at first because they felt like it felt cheap and almost hollow. One of the other drawbacks is that it is not as grippy as G 10 is.

To help add texture, there are four slashes going diagonally across the palm of this knife. Near the butt of the handle, there is a row of deep, thick jimping. Here is also jimping on the bottom of the handle, which allows for plenty of grip security in both the traditional as well as the reverse position. There is a finger groove as well as a finger guard to protect your fingers from sliding and getting cut.

On the butt of the handle, there is also a lanyard hole. This offers you a variety of benefits, from being able to fold your lanyard across the palm to provide you more texture to simply wanting a taste of your own style on this knife. The lanyard lets you easily attach this knife to your belt or pack strap; giving you easy access when you do need it, but keeping it out of the way when you don’t need it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip, as well as the hardware is all black making this a completely black knife. On the middle of the pocket clip CRKT has stamped their logo. The pocket clip is kept in place by two small screws. This is a 4-way positional pocket clip, which means that you can carry it tip up or tip down as well as carrying it on either side of the handle. This is a huge benefit because you can carry it in whichever way feels the most comfortable to you.

 

The Mechanism:

CRKT Directive
CRKT Directive

This is a folding knife that sports a flipper opening as well as a locking liner mechanism. The flipper mechanism is a small triangular portion of the blade that juts out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy the blade, you pull back on this flipper which gives enough resistance to flip the blade open and lock it into place. This is an efficient way to open it quickly, and you don’t have to worry about your fingers getting sliced, because the flipper opening mechanism keeps them safe and out of the way during the whole process.

The liner lock is one of the most common mechanisms that is seen on folding knives. The key component to this mechanism is a side spring bar located on the same side as sharp edge of the blade, “lining” the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When fully opened, the tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, keeping it firmly in place and preventing it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb to push the spring bar down so that it clears contact form the butt of the blade. This lets you use your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb from the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife. One of the advantages to this mechanism is that it allows a knife to have two true handle sides.

 

The Specs:

Drop Point Version:

The blade on this knife is 3.624 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.136 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.438 inches and has a closed length of 4.828 inches. This version of the knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces.

Tanto Version:

The blade on this knife is 3.614 inches long with a thickness of 0.148 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.375 inches long and sports a closed length of 4.829 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.8 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

These knives were designed by Matthew Lerch. The blade will hold a very sharp edge for long periods of time and the handles are durable as well as completely ambidextrous. The locking system will guarantee that the blade doesn’t fold on your hand while in the middle of use and the 4 way positional pocket clip is the cherry on top of it all. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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SOG Strat Ops Auto Knife Review

Unlike the usual history of a knife company, SOG began years before the company actually became a company. And, to make the story more unique, SOG began in Vietnam. There was a group of highly classified US Special Ops that were officially known as MACV-SOG. The members of this group were working primarily in the jungle of Vietnam, so they needed special knives to be able to actually accomplish tasks and survive. Years later, around 1986, Spencer Frazer, who was a young knife designer, came across the story of that special ops units and was inspired by the knife that they used. He had a mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and help to pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. He named his company SOG Specialty Knives. This replication, which was a commemorative model, became extremely popular and soon became a full line of innovative tools. These knives and tools have been field proven by US Special Forces and even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Now SOG knives are carried with confidence even when you are carrying them in the most demanding of situations. These knives and tools have been forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. SOG says, “So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.” And lucky for us, SOG has just come out with another durable knife. They call it the Strat Ops Auto.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been forged out of S35VN steel. This steel is a high end steel that has been developed by Crucible and Chris Reeve. Years ago, Crucible released S30V steel which became known as one of the best blade steels that money could buy. This steel was developed specifically for knives, which gave the user all of the qualities that they could ask for from their blade steel. This steel had the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The steel was also extremely resistant to corrosion. There was one drawback to the steel though: it was relatively tricky to sharpen. So in 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeves upgraded this near perfect steel and named it the S35VN steel. They added Niobium, which is where the N comes from in the name. This Niobium and the much finer grain structure that they chose to use makes the blade much easier to sharpen. Not only that, but they also upgraded the other features of the steel. Now, the steel is slightly tougher, while still having the hardness behind it. And it’s not brittle, which is normally a problem when a steel is extremely hard. One of the other aspects that have been upgraded with S35VN steel is that it is even more resistant to corrosion. All in all, this is one of the best steels out there. It will give you a durable blade that is able to take on all your challenges.

This steel has a Hardcased Black finish. This finish provides the steel with a black look, which cuts down on glares and reflections. Having a finish on the steel helps to cut back on rust or corrosion, even though the S35VN doesn’t necessarily need the help. This finish adds a little bit of hardness and a little bit of durability, further enhancing the excellent steel.

The blade shape on this knife is a straight back blade. This is one of the simplest shapes for a knife. Like the name implies, the back, or unsharpened edge of this blade shape is straight. The sharpened edge starts at the bottom of the tang, follows a straight line for a little bit, then curves up to meet the point of the blade. There are a handful of advantages that come with having this blade shape. One of the biggest is that this is a very strong blade shape because the spine is thicker. Another big benefit of this blade shape is that you can rest your thumb on the back of the knife, which adds pressure when slicing or chopping. Because the straight back is dull, it won’t hurt your thumb when you are adding a lot of pressure. Another big benefit to this blade shape is that it has a large belly, which gives you plenty of ability to slice, cut, and perform all of your daily activities.

On the unsharpened edge of the Strat Ops, there is some thick jimping near the handle area.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of linen micarta. The most popular version of a micarta material is a linen micarta. This is when thin layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phenolic resin, which produces a material that is not only strong, but also lightweight, and provides you with a little bit classier of a look when being compared to G-10. When this material was first introduced to the world, it had been designed as an electrical insulator. However, it is now one of the best plastics out there for making knife handles. However, there are a few drawbacks to the linen micarta. One of the biggest disadvantages is that linen micarta really has no surface texture. To provide the user with a secure grip, the manufacturer has to hand carve or etch texture into the knife handle. Because this takes time and hand labor, this increases the cost of this handle material steeply. On the Strat Ops, SOG has etched four deep grooves into the palm of the knife handle. This will provide you with a secure grip, whether you are in a wet or dry environment. They also carved in the “SOG” initials. Other benefits of a linen micarta knife handle is that Micarta is extremely hard to scratch because of how hard the material actually is. Compared to G-10 or Carbon Fiber, it holds up very well. One of the other drawbacks to this knife handle material is that it does tend to be brittle. This is because the linen is all facing one direction, so while it is extremely strong in that direction, when it is being stressed in the other directions, it does have the tendency to crack or break. If this handle material is impacted with a hard or sharp object, it might crack or break. SOG says that the more this handle is used, the better it will look.

The Strat Ops sports stainless steel liners.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a low carry clip. This clip is skeletonized with “SOG” carved in the middle of it. This is a reversible pocket clip, which means that you can carry it on the left or right side, depending on which is more comfortable for you. This helps to make this knife ambidextrous friendly. However, you cannot reverse whether you carry this knife tip up or down.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic folding knife. Like always, because this is an

SOG Strat Ops Automatic
SOG Strat Ops Automatic

automatic knife, and automatic knives have some strict laws surrounding them, make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing or carrying this knife. This knife won’t be legal in all states, cities, or areas. An automatic knife is a knife that has its blade stored inside of the handle. Also inside of the handle are a variety of small mechanisms and moving parts. One of the most important mechanisms in the knife is a spring with tension on it. When you push the button on the handle to deploy the knife, the tension of the spring is released and the blade pops out of the handle and locks into place. This lock helps to keep your blade locked into place while you are using it to help avoid accidents and injuries. When you want to close the knife, you push down on the handle button again and fold the blade back down into the handle. One of the reasons that many people love automatic knives is that they are quick, efficient, and easy to use. You can quickly have your knife deployed in a tactical, survival, or self-defense situation. However, because there are many inner mechanisms and moving parts, an automatic knife is more prone to breaking. Maintaining an automatic knife will take a little extra time, but if you treat your knife right, your knife will treat you right as well.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Strat Ops is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.11 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.9 inches long overall, with a closed length of 4.4 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.70 ounces. The Strat Ops is made in the USA.

 

The Designer:

SOG is a unique company because the founder of the company is also the chief designer: Spencer Frazer. As a kid, he was always filled with curiosity for the world around him. He was constantly intrigued with the ways that the world worked. When he was in Boy Scouts, he started to become interested in knives and axes. However, it would still be years before he created a career out of knives and axis. He actually graduated college as a math and science major and began his own company in the professional audio industry. He also worked with the aerospace defense industry, in the Top Secret Black Projects Division making tools and models. Around that same time, he worked in the modern art movement and met with many of the top artists. When he became interested in the SOG Bowie knife, he felt like all of his life experiences had led him to this and prepared him to recreate it. When he first started the company, he had only designed that knife. Since then, he has gone on to create many different knives that have been innovative and durable. He has also won many industry awards.

 

The Pros of the Strat Ops Auto:

  • The steel is a high end steel that has the perfect balance between toughness, hardness, and edge retention.
  • The steel is easy to sharpen.
  • Because of the fine grain structure, the finishing look on the blade is more polished than with many other steel options.
  • The steel is extremely resistant to corrosion.
  • The Hardcased Black finish provides the steel with extra corrosion resistance, hardness, and durability, all while cutting down on glares and reflections.
  • The straight back has a strong spine.
  • The straight back provides you with a big enough belly to slice, which makes it great for everyday use.
  • The linen micarta handle is durable and hard.
  • The linen micarta handle will provide you with a great grip, whether in wet or dry conditions.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, helping to make this knife ambidextrous friendly.
  • The automatic knife works quickly and efficiently to deploy your blade.
  • The blade locks securely into place after it has been deployed.

 

The Cons of the Strat Ops Auto:

  • The pocket clip is not deep carry.
  • The pocket clip cannot be tip carry reversed.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has been a reliable company since the 1980’s. Spencer Frazer has designed many reliable knives that have become extremely popular and have helped many people in a variety of circumstances. These knives are built to last whether you are in a survival situation or just going through your daily tasks.

This new knife combines exceptional steel, a great, versatile blade shape, and a durable handle to give you a knife that will last through the years. The all black knife looks classy and sleek making this knife a perfect addition to your collection. You can get your Strat Ops here on our website.

 

 

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Kershaw 7007 Natrix Knife Review

Kershaw knives was founded in 1974. Their purpose was to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To make sure that their users were proud to carry their knives, they knew that they must make each and every knife with the highest quality materials and manufacturing tools.

Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation. Because of this, Kershaw has pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are the standard in today’s market. Some of their best innovations have been the SpeedSafe assisted opening knives. They also had the idea to create knives that can have interchangeable blades with their Blade Traders. One of their most recent innovations is their Composite Blade technology, which actually combines two steels into one blade. This gives the user the best of both worlds because they can have one steel by the sharpened edge that provides them with a fine edge and long lasting edge retention, but then still have a strong spine, because they can use a stronger steel on that portion of the blade. Because one of their major drives is to keep innovating bigger and better technologies, they will constantly have excellent knives in the market.

Kershaw Knives is actually a sub brand of Kai USA, Ltd. Kai has been Japan’s leading blade producer for over 100 years now. This larger company also vows to take an innovative approach to their products, product development, marketing, and distribution functions.

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.”

Kershaw has just released a brand new knife, and it is going to be a showstopper. They named it the Natrix.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Natrix is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. There is actually a series of Cr stainless steels. The best in the series is the 9Cr steel, with 8 falling right behind it. This is a Chinese stainless steel that is comparable to AUS 8 stainless steel. However, 8Cr13MoV steel is a little bit softer than AUS 8 steel and has a shorter edge retention span that AUS 8 steel. 8Cr13MoV steel is more prone to corrosion than AUS 8 steel as well. Its biggest boast is how inexpensive it is. So while this steel will be able to get the job done, it is not going to excel at anything. With knife steels, you get what you pay for. So while this steel is a bargain and is going to keep the cost of the Natrix down considerably, you will have a lacking of quality. Another excellent feature about this steel is that it is extremely easy to sharpen. So while it does dull quickly, sharpening will be a breeze. With this type of steel, the better the heat treatment on it, the better the quality of the blade.

The blade on the Natrix has been finished with a Stonewash finish. This is when the steel is rolled around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. After that portion of the process, it is smoothed over. This finish gives a slightly textured look to the blade, so it hides scratches and fingerprints very well. Because of how well it hides scratches and fingerprints, the Natrix’s blade will have to be polished less.

The blade on the Natrix has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This blade shape is the most versatile out of all the blade shapes. The shape is formed because the back, or unsharpened, edge of the blade slowly curves to meet the sharpened edge of the blade at a lowered point. This lowered point allows you to have more control over your knife. This is one of the reasons why a drop point blade shape is so popular with hunters—they can easily skin their game without having to worry too much about nicking the inner organs or ruining the quality of their meat. The lowered tip also lets you perform precision work because of how much control you have over your blade. The lowered point also makes the tip broader than you would find on other knives. This gives the knife more strength and durability because the tip is less likely to snap or break. One of the only drawbacks to this shape of knife comes from this lowered tip: because it is more broad, you cannot pierce or stab with this shape of knife. Another reason that the drop point blade shape is so durable is because it has such a large belly. This belly allows you to perform many tasks and makes this blade perfect for everyday use. The drop point blade shape is perfect for any knife lover who wants to be prepared for any situation. Your knife is going to be able to take on almost anything.

 

The Handle:

Kershaw Natrix
Kershaw Natrix

The handle on the Natrix is made out of black G10. This is a laminate composite that has been made out of fiberglass. G10 is similar to carbon fiber in its properties, although carbon fiber is a slightly superior material. However, you can get a G10 handle for a fraction of the price that a carbon fiber handle would be. The tradeoff between a slightly less quality handle, but a big chunk of money is usually worth it for knife users. G10 is made by a manufacturer that takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin. This material is then compressed and baked under pressure. G10 is crazy hard, tough, strong, and lightweight. G10 is even considered to the be toughest out of all the fiberglass resin laminates. G10 is even stronger than the popular material Micarta. Because G10 does not provide the user with a super steady grip, the manufacturer will usually add checkering or a different pattern to give the user more texture. On the Natrix, Kershaw has added a small checkered pattern that will provide the user with a great grip. Unfortunately, G10 does have a tendency to be brittle, so it might crack if hit with a sharp or hard object. Another drawback to having a G10 handle is that it doesn’t have a ton of personality. Many people believe that it lacks elegance and looks pretty plastic-y. Because G10 is so strong, hard, and lightweight, this is a very common material found on tactical knives. The Natrix handle has been 3D machined and chamfered to fit comfortably in your hand, even with long periods of use.

On the front of the handle, there is an oversized pivot that adds a unique look and obvious focal point of the knife. When you look at the back of the handle, the Sub-Frame Lock secures the blade, while also created a dramatic, contrasting line on the back. All in all, this handle has a sleek, modern look to it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip that comes with the Natrix is custom drilled. The handle has pre drilled holes so the user change which side the clip is on, depending on if you are left or right handed. However, you can only carry this knife tip-up, as it has not been drilled to reverse to tip down carry. This pocket clip is also a deep carry pocket clip, so you can be sure that your knife is safe and secure deep in your pocket. Another benefit that many people enjoy about the deep carry pocket clip is that it is easier to conceal your knife than with a regular pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

The Natrix is a manual flipper knife. This type of mechanism works because there is a small protrusion, on the Natrix this protrusion is triangular shaped, that comes out of the knife’s spine when it is in closed positon. To deploy the knife, you push down on this protrusion and it flips the blade open. This mechanism keeps your fingers out of harm’s way during the entire process, so you are in a safer position than with other manual mechanisms. And as a cherry on top, this flipper mechanism allows you to easily open the Natrix with only one hand.

This knife also features the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening. This mechanism allows you to open the knife quickly and easily.

The Natrix also sports a Sub-Frame Lock. One side of the lightweight handle, it is fitted with a steel plate integral to the frame; it is the part of the frame that moves behind the blade to lock it into position during use. With the Sub-Frame Lock, the knife can be large, yet a lighter knife, with an even more secure lock than you would find on other knives. Because of this Sub-Frame Lock, Kershaw was able to keep the weight of the Natrix down while still providing you with a large blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long. When the Natrix is in opened position, it measures in at 7.5 inches long, sporting a closed length of 4.25 inches long. This knife only weighs a mere 2.9 ounces.

 

Pros of the Kershaw Natrix:

  • The steel chosen for this knife is very inexpensive.
  • The steel chosen for this knife is easy to sharpen.
  • The stonewash finish on this blade easily hides scratches and finger prints.
  • The drop point blade shape has a very controllable tip.
  • The drop point blade shape has a very strong and durable tip.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes because it also sports a large belly.
  • The blade shape is perfect for everyday purposes.
  • The handle is strong, tough, and lightweight.
  • The handle has been 3D machined to fit comfortably in your hand.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, helping to make this knife ambidextrous,
  • The pocket clip is deep carry, so you can easily conceal your knife while keeping it safe and secure.
  • The flipper mechanism keeps fingers out of the way and safe.
  • The flipper mechanism opens quickly and efficiently.
  • The Natrix sports the Sub-Frame Lock which allows the weight of the knife to be reduced significantly while still providing you with a large, useable blade.
  • The flipper mechanism sports the SpeedSafe Assisted Opening.

 

Cons of the Kershaw Natrix:

  • The drop point blade shape does not allow you to easily pierce or stab.
  • The pocket clip cannot be reversed for tip down carry.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw Knives have been designing and producing exceptional, innovative knives for years. They have created many of the features that are now commonly found on knives. They have also helped to set the standard of what people expect from their pocket knives and other tools. Because of this, you know that when you purchase a Kershaw knife, you are getting the best tool for you and your needs. With one of their newest knives, the Natrix, you can expect that same level of quality and same amount of innovative technologies to complete your perfect knife.

To start off creating such a great knife, they gave it a good blade that also helps to keep the price of the entire blade down. This steel is easy to sharpen although it doesn’t excel in many other aspects. To ensure that this knife is versatile and can be used for almost any purpose, Kershaw ground it into the drop point shape. The steel was then finished with a stonewash finish, which does help cut down on maintenance. To complement the blade, Kershaw added a G10 handle which is tough, strong, durable, and still very lightweight. As the perfect bonus to this manual flipper, they added a deep carry, reversible pocket clip. This knife is going to be able to assist you in all of your everyday needs. This is a great budget option for your perfect every day knife–get yours here at BladeOps.

 

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Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Knives

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

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within on thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives of ruse by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”
And although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. Microtech along with Benchmade Knives was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knave sin the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

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

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

Today we will be talking about the Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Wharncliffe series of knives.

 

The Blades:

The blades in this series of knives are all made out of M390 Stainless Steel. This is an ultra-premium knife steel. It is also one of the new super steels on the block, manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm. It uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. Unlike ZDP-189 most carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, leaving more “free Chromium” to fight corrosion. M390 hardness to 60-62 HRC. Bohler class this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel is moderately difficult to sharpen, but it won’t take you as long as with S90V.

In this series of knives, you can choose your blade with a variety of different blade finishes. The first option you can choose from is a stonewash finish. With a stonewash finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. There is actually a variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. However, the most common look that you are going to find is a very rugged, well-worn look. The pebbles make the steel look very textured. Many people like this finish because it hides scratches better than other finishes. It also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. This is a low maintenance finish because it works to preserve the look of the blade overtime.

One of the other finish options that you are presented with is an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is also an acid stonewash or a black stonewash finish. The blade actually has an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between eh steel and the environment. Other than that difference, it is just the same as a regular stonewashed finish.

The last finish that you can get is a bronze finish. This blade also has a very textured look to it, similar to the stonewash. But instead of being a dark silvery gray, it is bronze in color.

Microtech Borka Stitch Auto
Microtech Borka Stitch Auto

The blades on each of the knives in this series feature a wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade, which is not to be confused with the sheepsfoot blade, is very much like a standard blade shape 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 few stories as to how the name Wharncliffe came to be, with some people claiming that the pattern originated many years ago from some of the patterns used for Scandinavian Seax Knives and other claiming that tit came from a British Lord who commissioned the knife to be made. There is one thing that is for certain however according to the website of Ron Neep. There were server Lord Wharncliffes 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 the history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. It is fantastic for office workers for opening boxes and envelopes and excels in box-cutter type chores. It is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult for cutting soft tissue and using on a cutting board.

There are three different versions of the blade edge that you can choose from out of this series. You can choose a plain edge, a combo edge, or a serrated edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and is the most traditional out of the three. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is a strong, steady pressure. Another one of the key advantages of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft, flexible or can be crushed easily with downward cutting. The downside to the serrated blade, though, especially ropes and fabrics, they can easily cause fraying. And when the blade dulls it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. A serrated blade ode not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. Often sharpening requires taking the blade to a professional sharpener, especially if the sharpening is long overdue. The combo edge is when half of the blade is a plain edge and the other half is a serrated edge. While some people believe that this gives you the best of both worlds, other people believe that you don’t get the benefits out of either one and it is a pointless edge. The major benefit about this knife series is that you can choose whichever blade shape most fits your comforts and the tasks that you are going to be performing with it.

 

The Handle:

Microtech Stitch Auto
Microtech Stitch Auto

The handles are all made out of an aluminum alloy Aluminum is a very low density metal used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Most knifes use a type of aluminum alloy called T6-6061, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 is used extensively in aircraft and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum” and sometimes this is seen as a gimmick, kind of like “surgical stainless steel.” Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less. Aluminum is a nonferrous metal. This material gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight that usually accompanies hefty materials. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing. The handles in this series of knife are black.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole attached. The ergonomics of the handle make this knife fit comfortably in your palm and provide you with a very solid grip. There has been a pattern added to the palm of the handle to give you a secure grip for almost any task.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is slightly curved and is held in place by two screws. The pocket clips on each version of this knife match the blade on each of the knives. The hardware is the same finish as the blade and pocket clip on each version of the clip.

 

The Mechanism:

These knives are all automatic side-open knives. This is also known as a switchblade and there are some pretty strict laws surrounding automatic knives. They are not legal to won or carry in all states, cities, or towns. This is a type of knife with a folding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring with a button on the handle or bolster is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends in the blade to the fully opened position. 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.

 

The Specs:

The blade on all of these knives are 3.75 inches long, with a handle length of 5 inches long. The overall length of the blades is 8.75 inches long. These knives weigh in at 6.3 ounces. These knives are made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:
The Stich side-open automatic knife is one of many knives produced between Tony Marfione of Microtech and Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades. The two have been collaborating on many models including the SB1, the SBT, the SBK and the SRambit to name a few. At last, the production version of the Stitch is now in full swing–yet another once MCK turned production model. Each model features a hollow ground premium stainless steel blade, a quasi tri-grip knurling pattern throughout the handle and a ribbed back spacer, finger choil and pronounced thumb ramp for increased control in any grip position. This series features a black alloy handle, standard hardware, a partly serrated wharncliffe style blade in a variety of different finishes and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your favorite version of the Microtech Borka Stitch Wharncliffe Automatic knife today at BladeOps. With this series of knives, you can truly get almost any combination that you could want.

 

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Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel OTF Knife Review

Benchmade 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. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They sue the best materials and equipment. They make world-class knives for world class users.

All of their blades begin as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technicians 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. The next step in the process is surface grinding. This is the step where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. They knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness. The third step in the process is milling. Blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to he folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. The fourth step is beveling. Now the blade really starts 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. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function. Some of the last steps are back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The finishing is when the blade gets a more refined look. The finishing technician stone-washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The very last step in the Benchmade process is assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, which helps to set them apart. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is only sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. At that point, and only at that part, is it truly a Benchmade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 tool steel. This is a high end steel that is often referred to as “semi-stainless” as it falls just short of the require amount of chromium to qualify as full stainless yet it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion. On the flip side, D2 steel is much harder than other steels in this category such as 154CM or ATS-34 and as a result holds its edge a litter better. That said, it’s not as tough as many other steels and exponentially tougher to sharpen. In fact, you are probably going to need to be a master-sharpener to get a find edge on D2. This steel has a high hardness and relatively high toughness to make it an excellent choice there and in cutlery.

The blade has been finished with a black coated finish. There are some big

Benchmade Mini Infidel
Benchmade Mini Infidel

benefits to having a coated finish such as it reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Also, coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. And while quality coatings do add cost to eh knife, they also provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. Unfortunately, all coatings will be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will have to be re-coated at that point. The coatings are also prone to chipping and scratching. And, sometimes the coating is painted unevenly, which does cut down on how quality the blade is.

The blade on this Mini Infidel is a dagger point style blade. The dagger style, also known as a needle point blade, is designed to have an excellent point. This is opposite of the sheepsfoot blade, which has no point. A dagger point blade is a double edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing. It is composed of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut on both sides equally. This makes them a favorite blade design for self-defense in close combat situations. Dagger style blades are popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed and easily withdrawn. However, there are also a handful of disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because of the geometry of the blade lacks a belly and contains quickly thickening edges, it is not good for slicing or slashing. Also, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is weak and has a tendency to break when used on hard targets. If you are looking for a good balance between stabbing and cutting, a better choice is the clip point blade. However, if you’re looking for the perfect blade that is designed for piercing, the dagger point is exactly what you’re looking for.

The blade on this knife has a plain edge. In general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, skinning a deer. It is because all of these tasks involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. Aluminum is a very low density metal that is used in knife making and it is extremely corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. And even though it is a soft and low density metal, it provides you with plenty of heft, without the weight of a stainless steel knife. This is a huge benefit because it has the heft to take on all of the tough tasks, without the weight to make it a hassle to carry with you at all times. Fun fact about aluminum: it is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. 60601-T6 aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. This type of aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. This alloy of aluminum is also used commonly in aircraft, which is why it got the nickname of being aircraft aluminum. This is a nonferrous metal and the most common finish for this steel is anodizing, which is an electrochemical process which adds color the aluminum. This is especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on eh voltage used in the anodization process, colors can vary. If you have a high voltage, you will get a dark color. If you have a low voltage, you will get a lighter color. The handle on the Mini Infidel is black, so they used a high voltage to provide the color. When aluminum is properly texturized, it can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the flip side, if you are planning on using your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle to be extremely cold because of its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considering inferior to its stronger brother Titanium, which is most often used on the higher end knives. One of the other drawbacks to an aluminum handle is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

To help with your grip, there is ribbing that goes down the center of the handle. The handle has curves to fit your palm perfectly. In the top center of the handle, there is a light gray lever to deploy the blade. This handle will be comfortable to use even after long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. It is a dark gray pocket clip that has “Infidel” stamped across the center. Because it is a deep carry clip, it is going to fit comfortably in your pocket without you needing to worry about it jostling out when you go about your daily activates. Another one of the benefits of a deep carry clip is that it is easier to conceal if you are trying to keep your knife out of the public’s eye.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a double action out the front automatic knife. An out the front knife is a pocket knife that has a blade that deploys and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than the majority of folding knives that one out of the side of the handle. Out the front only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. Then, out the front knives can be divided into whether it is an automatic or manual knife. An automatic out the front knife blade travels within an internal track in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife.

Then, in the division of automatic knives, it can be divided into whether it is double action or single action. This specific knife is a double action out the front knife. This means that the knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design, whereas single action knives deploy automatically but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

And despite popular movie magic, double action out the front knives are actually not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. In all actuality, double action sliding automatics are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters and then afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.1 inches long, with a handle length of 4 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 7.1 inches long, with the knife weighing in at 3.4 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that is included with this knife is made out of nylon. Nylon is a material that is commonly used in knife sheaths. Just like a leather sheath, nylon is also tough and strong. However, nylon is resistant to rot and mildew. And, they are not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths would be. Another great aspect is that nylon sheaths aren’t easily scuffed or torn.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel double action out the front automatic knife, designed by McHenry & Williams, is a favorite amongst law enforcement and military professionals around the globe and is praised for its rugged construction, solid durability and an “X” factor of pure awesomeness that one can only experience when owning one. The design of the black anodized 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum handle boasts a milled “step” design that transitions seamlessly into the design of the slide trigger. On the black dagger style blade, you will find a blood groove that runs the length of the blade on both sides that further enhances the already aggressive nature of this black class model. Furthermore, the enlarged slide trigger is housed on the broad side of the handle scale allowing for better accessibility, even while wearing gloves. This knife also comes with a MOLLE compatible nylon sheath and malice clip for multiple carry options. You can pick yours up here.

 

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