CRKT 6491 Large Pazoda Folder Knife

Columbia River Knife and Tool, Inc., or CRKT, is an American Knife company that was established in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of the individuals had formerly worked for Kershaw Knives. The company did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduced. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan was a success. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of the product was sold out. They sold at 4-5 times original production numbers resulting in a tripling of production efforts.

Only three years later, the company would encounter a massive problem. On October 3 of 2000 US Customs seized a shipment of 80,000 CRKT folding knives worth more than $4.3 million. All 50 models seized had always passed every Customs test in prior situations. The shipment had cleared Customs on September 29 but on October 3 an inspector decided that the knives acted like switchblades despite the fact that none of them fit within the definition set forth by the U.S. Switch Blade Knife Act of 1958. On October 17 a letter was co-signed by Oregon U.S. Congresswoman Darlene Hooley and Senator Gordon Smith that petitioned the head of Customs to aid CRKT. Because of their action there was a Federal inquiry of the US Customs actions that had to be answered within thirty days. On October 20 the company was once again allowed to move their product. However, this was not before losing over $1 million in sales and spending over $30,000 on legal fees.

This company has since bounced back and is now producing a wide range of fixed lades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has also collaborated with many custom knife makers. At this point, CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending.

Today we will be discussing the CRKT 6491 Large Pazoda.

CRKT Large Pazoda 6491
CRKT Large Pazoda 6491

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel that has been hardened to a 56-59 HRC. This steel belongs to the Chinese Cr series of steel. These blade formulas are very common in Chinese made knives. 8Cr is the most common formulation out of the entire series and is most easily compared to AUS-8 steel. However, it is a little bit worse than AUS-8 steel being a little more prone to corrosion as well as not being quite as hard. This steel is extremely cheap though, which is one of its biggest benefits. While it is not going to stand up next to a super steel or a premium steel, when you look at what you pay for the steel versus what you get out of it, you are getting a very high Return on Investment. This steel is going to resist corrosion well, keep an edge well, and get the job done. However, it is not going to do anything extra or excel at anything that it is doing.

The blade has been coated with a titanium nitride coating. This coating is often known as a TiNi coating. It is an extremely hard ceramic material that is often used as a coating on blades. It is designed to improve the substrate’s surface properties. It is applied as a thin coating and then is hardened to protect cutting and sliding surfaces and even for a decorative purpose. It is a very thin material, adding less than 5 micrometers to the steel when it is applied. This coating is going to prolong the life of the blade, just like any other coating would. It is going to increase the wear resistance, the corrosion resistance, and even allow you to cut a little more smoothly. However, like all coatings, it can and will scratch off with time or hard use. At this point, it would have to be re-coated to give you any of the good benefits.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a drop point style blade. The drop point is extremely versatile as well as being capable of standing up to almost anything. This is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The back 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. This lowered point proved more control and adds strength to the tip. Even though the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. It because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that makes the drop point blade shape a great option on tactical and survival knives. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that makes slicing a breeze. This belly is going to allow the knife to be used for a very large variety of things. This belly will let you use this knife as an everyday carry knife as well as being a great outdoors knife. The bigger the belly, the better the knife. The only real disadvantage that the drop point blade has is that its relatively broad tip does make it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade. Overall though, you will be preparing yourself for almost any situation with this knife.

The blade on this knife is a combination edge, which means that the bottom half is serrated and the top half is plain. This is designed to give you the best of both worlds because you can use the plain edge for fine tip work and the serrated edge for sawing through thicker materials. One of the complaints when it comes to a combo edge is that neither portion is actually big enough to fully utilize.

 

The Handle:

            The handle on this knife is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is an incredibly durable material, especially when it comes to knife handles. It is going to be very resistant to corrosion, although it is not going to be very lightweight. One of the issues is that stainless steel is a pretty slippery material, so manufacturers do have to add in etchings or ridges for the user to have the required texture. The overall pros to a stainless steel handle is that it is going to be strong, durable, and very corrosion resistant. The overall cons to this knife handle material is that it is heavy and it can be slippery.

The handle on this knife has a pretty simple design. The spine of the handle curves from the blade to the butt of the knife. The belly of the knife has a slight finger guard that will help to protect your fingers if you do slip, but it is not going to do as much as some could. After that, there is a shallow and elongated finger groove, which helps to provide a comfortable grip on the knife as well as helping you have a more secure grip on the knife. The belly bulges out to help you have a solid grip on the knife.

The butt of the handle does have a lanyard hole, which is a bonus. Especially if you are using this knife as an outdoors or adventure knife.

The face of the handle does have a unique design on it. For the most part, the front handle scale is a bright silver, but there is a dark grey wave that goes through it on the bottom portion. This gives an elegant look without being too over the top. The back handle scale is a dark grey handle scale.

 

The Pocket Clip:

            The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry pocket clip. This means that it is going to be more secure and more concealed in your pocket. You won’t have to worry about jostling it out of your pocket, as it is going to be very snug inside. The clip is a matte grey which matches the rest of the knife. It is extremely skinny and the same width from the tip to the bottom. On the middle of the clip “CRKT” is stamped in white. The clip is kept in place by two grey screws, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife. The pocket clip is not reversible—it has been attached to the handle for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that has been equipped with a thumb hole, a frame lock, and Veff Flat Top serrations.

The thumb hole is a wide hole that replaces the nail nick or thumb stud. The hole is just as easy to use as either of the other options would be. Of course, this does mean that it is still going to put your fingers directly into the blade’s path when you are opening this knife. But, it is considered a little better than the thumb stud, because it doesn’t extend out of the blade. This means that it is not going to catch or snag on anything, and it is also not going to get in the way when you are trying to use this knife.

The frame lock has been described as the beefed up version of the liner lock. This is a very similar mechanism to the liner lock, except that instead of an internal spring bar that moves into place, the lock is part of the handle itself. Frame locks are known to be stronger than liner locks, because the piece of metal that slips into place is more substantial that than in a liner. Because they are so similar to liner locks though, closing a frame lock is pretty much the exact same. All you have to do is push down on the spring bar so that it no longer blocks the butt of the blade, then remove your thumb from the path, then fold the knife closed. This type of locking mechanism does put a large portion of metal against het blade, which ensures a strong lockup that is perfect for piercing, cutting, slicing, and other heavy-duty tasks. Frame locks are often found on mid to upper range knives.

Tom Veff knows a thing or two about edges. As the world’s finest and only “Edgeologist” he specializes in serrations that improve cutting efficiency. So you can go through fibrous materials like a torched straight edge does through cold butter.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.08 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.11 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.24 inches long. When the Pazoda is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.31 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.8 ounce, which is one the heftier side, but it still won’t weigh you down when you are on your adventures.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT is discussing this knife, they say, “You almost don’t want to get it dirty. Almost. With its stylish frame and clean lines, it almost feels wrong to use the Pazoda™. But once you’ve got this blade in hand, that feeling goes away real quick.

The Pazoda™ family of pocket knives are subtly stylish and expertly efficient. The Pazoda™ Large is the bigger version of the original Pazoda™ and the smaller Pazoda™ 2. It features an oval thumb hole for easy ambidextrous opening and a stainless steel frame lock for safety. This folding knife has a deep carry pocket clip for tip down carry and it rides low and inconspicuous in your pocket. The smooth stainless steel handles of the Large Pazoda are ideal for personalized laser etching or simple engraving.

The Pazoda™: a stylish knife that isn’t afraid to get run through the mud.” This knife has since been discontinued by CRKT, but BladeOps does have a few of them left. You can hurry on over to BladeOps.com and pick up this fantastic knife before its gone.

 

 

 

CRKT 2020 Sting Fixed Blade Knife Review

 

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

This company was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. The company did not actually take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduced. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan was a success. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of the product was sold out. In fact, they sold at 4-5 times original production numbers which resulted in a tripling of production efforts.

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

CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending.

Today we will be talking about the CRKT 2020 Sting fixed blade.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is A.G. Russell, who is from Rogers, Arkansas. CRKT says, “Simply put, A.G. Russell eats, sleeps and breathes knives. He was the first member of the Knife Digest Cutlery Hall of Fame, a founding member of the Knifemakers’ Guild, founded the Knife Collectors Club™, and started the first mail order knife business. Even with a pedigree like that, if you ask him what he enjoys most, he’ll still tell you it’s designing custom knives.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 1050 steel that has been hardened to a 52-55 HRC. This is a carbon steel with only carbon and manganese added to the iron. This series is known as the 10xx series, because the second number, in this case 50, refers to the amount of carbon in the steel. This steel will have .50% carbon. This is one of the lower levels of this steel, but will work well in this fixed blade. This steel is also often found in swords.

CRKT Sting 2020
CRKT Sting 2020

The blade has been finished with a black powder coat. This powder coat is going to help prolong the life of the blade because it protects the blade by acting as a barrier in between the elements and the steel. Because of the coating, the wear resistance and the corrosion resistance of this blade are going to be significantly improved. Not only that, but this knife is designed for stabbing and this coating can help lessen the drag on the blade for quicker stabbing and faster withdrawal. Unfortunately, coatings also do have their drawbacks. For example, this coating is a lesser quality coating which means that it is going to chip or scratch off with use and time. While all coatings eventually do this, the powder coating is going to be more likely to scratch off as well as scratching off more quickly. Also, sometimes the coating is applied unevenly, which creates ridges and spots where the knife is not even. This can hinder how well you can stab or slice with the knife.

The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. A spear point is similar to the needle-point because they are both designed for piercing. However, the spear point does have a stronger point as well as a slight belly that can be used for slicing. The blade is made out of a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that liens up exactly with the equator of the blade. This blade is double edged, so you can pierce very well with it. The spear point also has a tip that is durable enough for piercing—ideal for this tactical blade. Spear points also do contain a belly that can be used for some cutting and slicing, although if you compare the belly to that of a drop point or clip point, it is going to seem extremely small. The spear point is known as a hybrid blade because it has a good balance between piercing and slicing. It also has the sharp point that you would find on a dagger with the strength that compares more to a drop point, while also having a belly that can be used.

The blade on this knife does have a dual plain edge. Both edges of the spear pint have been sharpened and both have a plain edge. The plain edge is going to provide you with cleaner cuts, while also being easier to sharpen, even if you are in the field. However, plain edges do need to be sharpened more often than serrated blades do. The plain edges are going to allow you to take on a wider variety of tasks as well, so if you ever need to use this knife for more than a tactical blade, you are going to be able to do that. The plain edge is not going to inflict as much damage as a serrated edge would, but it will be easier to push into your target and then pull it out as well.

 

The Handle:

The handle is also made out of 1050 steel, because it is a full tang knife. This is a durable steel that is going to get the job done. However, in its series, it is one of the lower end steels.

The handle is relatively simple for a tactical knife. The spine and the belly mirror each other, each with a large finger guard that will keep your fingers safe in the rare case that you slip when you are using this knife. Following the finger guard is a deep finger groove which will give you a solid and comfortable grip—even if you have to be using this knife for long periods of time. After the finger groove, the spine and the belly are straight and angle towards the butt of the handle. For texture on the handle there is a divot carved out near the blade as well as another divot carved out in the middle of the knife.

The butt of the knife does sport a wide lanyard hole, which will be able to fit almost any lanyard that you want to put in it. Having a lanyard on a tactical blade allows you to take on messier tasks, because it can provide texture.

 

The Mechanism:

This tactical knife is a fixed blade. The knife has been made out of one long piece of continuous steel. This means that it is not going to have any spots on the knife that are weaker than others. Because it has been made out of one piece of steel, the knife is going to be more durable and tougher—allowing you to take on harder and more complicated tasks without worrying if it is going to break your knife. This is ideal for a tactical blade; where you need it to not fail you in the heat of the moment.

A fixed blade is a type of knife that does not have a mechanism. Some people prefer their knives to be a folding knives, even their tactical knives, because they are more easy to conceal, more convenient, and can be almost as tough as a fixed blade. That being said there are plenty of benefits to having a fixed blade as your go to tactical knife. For starters, they are big and strong. This means that the blade is going to be longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside of a handle. The thicker the blade is, the tougher it is going to be. Plus, because the blades and handles are bigger and more durable, the knife is less likely to break. Another reasons that they are less likely to break is because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. This also makes them easier to maintain because you don’t have to worry about the innards rusting or not being able to get clean, thus destroying the knife. You also don’t have to worry about the hinge, which is extremely important for a folding knife. Along with maintenance is cleaning, which is ten times easier with a fixed blade. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and oil the blade occasionally. Lastly, fixed blades are the superior tactical tool because they can be brought into play faster than a folding knife. These situations are ones where every single second counts; the fixed blade is definitely the better option.

 

The Sheath:

            The knife comes with a nylon sheath. Nylon is a very common material when it comes to knife sheaths. They are often compared to leather, because those are some of the most common used materials. Just like leather, they are tough and strong. However, they are resistant to rot and mildew, which is something that leather is not. This means that a nylon sheath is also going to be tough to scuff or tear. As for its disadvantages, nylon sheaths don’t last as long as leather ones. Nylon is cheaper, which is great, but it also means that it is not going to last as long as a leather sheath. While leather sheaths fit your knife better as time goes on, nylon sheaths get stretched out over time which means that your knife won’t always fit securely inside it’s sheath. While the nylon sheath will continue to work after it is stretched out, it just won’t keep your knife as safe as it could.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.197 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.137 inches. The overall length of this fixed blade measures in at 6.85 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.9 ounces, which is a lighter weight for a fixed blade.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT is discussing this knife, they say, “This Blade Was Meant for Walking. A fixed blade tactical knife featuring two edges and one solid piece of hot forged steel, it knows its place—clipped to your boot.

Crafted by A.G. Russell of Rogers, AR, The Sting™ displays one of the inventors of the modern knife industry’s attention to detail. After all, despite all his awards and achievements, he is first and foremost a custom knife maker.

A virtually indestructible spear point blade begins life as an ordinary blank of 1050 carbon steel, similar to the alloy used in traditional Samurai swords. It’s then hot forged and precision ground into its final shape. Dual cutting edges give you twice the protection and double the attitude. We then apply a black non-reflective powder coat finish to resist corrosion in tactical environments that are as tough as you are.

Grab hold of the handle and feel how it’s perfectly contoured to fit your bare or gloved hand. Notice its heft, balance and thumb detents for grip. There’s even a large lanyard hole so you can use it with a wrist lanyard, or carry it as a neck knife. When it comes to defense, this blade means business.

The CRKT® Sting™ comes complete with a custom nylon-stitched sheath with a glass reinforced nylon insert and a strapping option for versatile gear attachments or a clip for attaching it to your belt, pack or boot. Wherever it sits on your gear, it won’t be sitting there for long.

Strap it down and take it into any situation. It’s ready to battle with any environment.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps and have yourself a new favorite tactical knife.

 

 

 

Kershaw Decimus Knife Review

From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing. Kershaw says that the real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even their inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable.

Kershaw says, “You can always look to Kershaw for every day carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from tis plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactual knives that ensure you’re ready for anything.”

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

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

Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd, a member of the Kai Group. For over 100 years, Kai has been Japan’s premier blade producer. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a popular budget brand of knife steel. This is a Chinese steel; if you were comparing it to another steel, the closest in composition is a Japanese AUS-8 steel. This steel demonstrates very worthy characteristics of cutting. With a suitable heat treatment of steel, the products made of 8Cr13MoV steel retain the sharpness for a long period of time. This steel also has a high corrosion resistance, which is surprising based on the quality of the steel. Because this is a softer steel, the blade will keep sharpening well and be easy to sharpen. Overall, this steel has a good balance of strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. The biggest advantage that this steel has to offer is how inexpensive it is. While this is a cheap steel, it can stand up to daily wear and tear. But, this steel is not going to compare to the newer super steels that are on the block.

The knife has been finished with a BlackWash, which is also known as an acid wash. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. An acid stonewashing or black stonewash finish is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blade is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches that can occur with use overtime.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a spear point blade shape. This is a similar blade style to the needle-point blade because they are both meant for piercing and piercing well. However, the spear point blade is stronger and does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. A spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. In contrast to the needle point blade, which has a very sharp but weak point, a spear point knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. Spear point blades contain a small belly which can be used for some cutting and slicing applications, but the belly is pretty small, especially when compared to drop point and clip point knives. The spear point knife is a really good hybrid knife, because it maintains a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while still maintaining some of the belly that you can be used for slicing. This is a very functional design.

The Decimus blade is plain edged, which is ideal for this everyday carry knife. The plain edge allows you to take on a wider variety of tasks. It will also give you cleaner cuts, be easier to sharpen, and will take a finer edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is stonewashed stainless steel with a glass-filled nylon overlay.

Stainless steel gives this knife high durability while being resistant to corrosion, but it is extremely heavy. Stainless steel handles tend to be slippery, which is where the glass-filled nylon comes in.

Glass-filled nylon is a thermoplastic material that is super strong, practically indestructible, and resistant to bending and abrasion. Plus, this is a cheaper material to produce. This material is so near to being indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This material is similar to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, except that those materials have their fibers arranged in a single direction. This is why glass-filled nylon is so much stronger. This is such an inexpensive material to make because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. One of the issues that people find with glass-filled nylon is that it does not have a lot of character and feels cheap.

The handle is one of the more unique parts of the knife. Each side of the handle has a large flipper/finger guard that protects your knife from slipping, while also giving this knife a medieval look. Right after the finger guards, on each side, there are two shallow finer grooves. The butt of the handle tapers to a flat end. Near the butt, on the spine and the belly of the handle, there is a short row of thick jimping. This jimping will allow you to have a better hold on your blade while you are cutting.

The stainless steel portions of the handle are rugged and give the knife a well-worn look. The glass-filled nylon provides enough grip that you won’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hands in most environments.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is finished satin and slightly skeletonized. The clip is kept in place by two black screws that match the handle, and some of the hardware. The rest of the hardware is silver. The pocket clip is reversible with right and left handed carrying. However, the clip can only be attached for tip up carry.

 

Kershaw 1559 Decimus
Kershaw 1559 Decimus

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that is equipped with SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism, a flipper opening mechanism, and a frame lock locking mechanism.

Kershaw was the first to bring SpeedSafe assisted opening knives to market, launching a revolution in opening systems—and winning numerous industry awards along the way. Originally designed by hall of Fame knife maker, Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. Today, almost all knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife, but none matches the popularity or proven durability of the original. SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual pull back on the flipper. The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into positon, ready for use. The SpeedSafe makes the knife very safe to use. When the user overcomes the resistance of the torsion bar, SpeedSafe assists in opening the knife. Once opened, a locking system secures the blade in position so that it does not close accidentally. When releasing the lock, the blade won’t snap shut due to resistance provided by the torsion bar. Since the torsion bar provides a bias towards the closed positon, it will normally hold the blade securely closed.

To open this knife, you will hold the knife handle vertically in one hand. Place your index finger on the top of the flipper and gently apply downward pressure on it. The Decimus will open quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place. The flipper is a small protrusion that extends out of the spine of the handle when it is closed.

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

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Decimus measures in at 3.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.5 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Based on Rick Hinderer’s Maximus, the new Kershaw Decimus offers a heroic look—and makes for a very distinctive EDC. The 8Cr13MoV blade is a single edge bayonet grid with BlackWash finish for a handsomely dangerous look. It opens quickly and easily with SpeedSafe assisted opening. The flipper itself is mirrored by a symmetrical protrusion on the back side of the knife, providing a short cross guard to keep your fingers safe. The handle is steel with a stonewashed finish and black, glass-filled-nylon overlays that have zigzag texturing inspired by the custom texture on the original Maximus and designed for both secure grip and good looks. As an additional detail, the handle also has a Hinderer-style filler tab with stonewashed finish. This new design from Kershaw and Rick Hinderer is sure to draw admiring glances every time you use it. The Kershaw Decimus will be your best friend throughout each of your days; able to take on almost any task that you throw at it. Pick up the brand new Kershaw Decimus today at BladeOps.

Benchmade 101BK Follow-Up Knife Review

The Benchmade Knife Company is a knife manufacturer run by Roberta and Les de Assis in Oregon City. Its products are geared toward many niche markets, such as outdoor sporting cutlery, rescue, law-enforcement, martial-arts, and military. The company has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers since its inception.

Benchmade started in California in 1979 as Bali-Song, changing its name in 1988 to the Pacific Cutlery Corporation. In 1990 the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon. In 1996, the company moved to a 144,000 square foot facility in Oregon City. Benchmade became known primarily as a manufacturer of butterfly, or Bali-song style knives, which it continues to manufacture. These knives have been so identified with the company that Benchmade has registered “Bali-Song” as a trademark and logo. Benchmade’s original Bali-Song design by Jody Sampson was awarded Blade Magazine’s knife of the Year Award in 1979.

As of February 2009, the company was employing approximately 150 people. Benchmade has had several years of growth and has expanded both the variety of knives it produces and the facility itself.

Blade steels such as 154CM, D2, CPM S30V steel, CPM S90V, CPM 20CV, N680 and M390 are used on many models. Benchmade is one of the few manufacturers to have offered high speed M2 and CPM M4 tool steels in a production knife.

Benchmade receives a significant amount of revenue from selling restricted-sales knives to the military and law enforcement. Benchmade produces a diverse selection of auto, or switchblade knives, along with a range of hunting, fishing, utility, and miscellaneous knives, however balisong’s remain a core product.

Benchmade has three different classes when it comes to their knives. The first class is the Blue Class, also known as the Recreation Class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for typical use by the everyday person. The next class is the Black Class, also known as the Professional class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for military, law enforcement, and public safety workers. They are knives made for more challenging work. The last class is the Gold Class, also known as the Collector Class. This class of Benchmade knife is made for collectors and are limited edition.

Benchmade also has a long tradition of incorporating knife design form noted custom cutlery makers into their production models. These include Jody Sampson, Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz, Mel Pardue, Bill McHenry, Mike Snody, Jason Williams, Warren Osborne, and Bob Lum. Several production Benchmade models based on the work of these designers have become influential within the industry.

Today we will be discussing their brand new knife, the 101BK Follow-Up.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Benchmade knife is made out of CMP S30V premium stainless steel. This steel hardness to a 58-60HRC level. This steel is made and designed by Crucible steel industries specifically for knives. This steel is a martensitic stainless steel that is designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Crucible says, “Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance.” CPM S30V also offers a higher improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels that are similar, such as 440C and D2. One of the biggest things that this steel can offer is its high corrosion resistance; it can resist rust with ease, which significantly cuts down on maintenance time. Crucible also explains the CPM process, “the CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.” CPM S30V steel is known for having the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This is a tricky balance to get down, because normally the harder the steel is, the less tough it is. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of the high hardness, it does prove to be tricky to work with.

The steel of the blade has been finished with a black coating. There are a variety of benefits to having this blade coated, ranging from it prolonging the life of the blade to simply giving this knife an aesthetically pleasing look. First, a coating works to prevent corrosion. This is because the coating is an actual layer that lays between the steel and the environment. Because of this layer, it is harder for the effects of the environment, such as humidity, to reach the blade. Next, a coating also eliminates shiny surfaces, which can become a necessity if you are using this knife in the field or for tactical reasons. The coating also cuts down on wear, because anything that happens to the knife will happen to the coating before it gets the blade. That being said, one of the biggest drawbacks to a coated knife is that all coatings are going to scratch off eventually. This can be caused because of high amounts of use or just really heavy use. But as soon as the coating is scratched off, it has to be recoated to provide the same protective qualities.

This knife has been designed to be an everyday knife as well as a tactical knife; so the obvious choice for blade shape is the drop point—and that is exactly the one that Benchmade chose. The drop point blade shape is an all-purpose knife that is known for standing up to even the toughest of tasks; because of that, it is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The shape of the knife is formed by having the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which results in a lowered point. Lowered points add an element of control to the knife, which means you can perform fine detail work with the Follow-Up. The lowered tip is also very broad, which is where the drop point blade shape gets its characteristic strength. Because of the tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blade are commonly found on tactical knives. The drop point blade shape makes for a great every day carry blade because of the large belly, or cutting edge, that makes it a breeze to slice with this knife. There is really only one major drawback to the drop point blade shape and that is because the tip is so broad, you are not going to be able to pierce easily.

 

The Handle:

Benchmade 101 Back-Up
Benchmade 101 Back-Up

This is a fixed blade knife, so the handle is also made out of CPM S30V steel. The handle has also been coated just like the blade has. The coating is going to prolong the life of the handle just like it is going to prolong the life of the blade.

To cut down on weight, because stainless steel is going to make a heavier knife, the handle has been completely skeletonized. Not only does this cut down on weight, but it also makes it easier to hold and provides you with a more secure grip. Another characteristic that gives you a more secure grip is that there is thick jimping along all of the edges of the knife. This jimping is going to add texture and let you have more control when you are cutting with this knife. The last aspect that gives you a more secure grip is that the knife sports a very large finger groove. As an element of safety, there is also a very large finger guard, which will prevent you from cutting yourself if you do end up slipping.

As an added bonus to the 101BK Follow-Up, the butt of the handle has been skeletonized to give you a very large lanyard hole. You can use a lanyard on this knife to wear it as a neck knife throughout your day-to-day work. Or using it as a neck knife could come in handy when you are using it as a tactical knife and want to have quick access to the knife. A lanyard will also let you attach the knife (and sheath) to whatever you want.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a full tang fixed blade. For starters, not as many people like fixed blades as they do a regular folding knife. This is because a folding knife can be more discrete and easier to conceal, which means that not as many people will know that you have a knife. Plus, folding knives are convenient and ca be easily transported in your pocket. However, there are plenty of other advantages to having a fixed blade; many that even rival the advantages of a folding knife. For starters, fixed blades are stronger and bigger than many folding knives. This is because the blade does not have to fit in the handle, so the blade can be longer than the handle and thicker than most of the blades that you are going to find on a folding knife. Folding knives are also less likely to break because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. Because of the lack of moving parts, fixed blades are even easier to maintain. When it comes to cleaning it, you don’t have to worry about the hinge and cleaning is straightforward and simple. And, an advantage that is especially important when it comes to the Benchmade 1001 Follow-Up is that fixed blades have superior tactical use. Fixed blade knives can be brought into play faster than a folding knife during tactical situations.

A full tang knife means that the entire knife is made out of one piece of metal. This is a major advantage because there are no weaker parts of the blade or handle where it is going to break apart.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a Bolatron sheath. Bolatron is a fire retardant, extruded thermoplastic alloy that offers extreme durability, chemical resistance, while also exhibiting exceptional physical properties. The sheath is going to be extremely strong and you won’t have to worry about it warping. This sheath is also not going to absorb liquids, which is ideal for this tactical knife. If you are in the field, you don’t want to worry about your sheath breaking down and leaving your blade unprotected. The sheath is a classic black with the Benchmade logo stamped in the middle. Plus, the sheath has plenty of holes and strap grooves to attach it to anything. However, because it is a plastic, and a very hard plastic at that, with repeated drawing of the knife and re-sheathing of the knife, the blade edge can get a little bit dull.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.60 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.140 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 5.99 inches long. The Follow-Up weighs in at 2.03 ounces and the Boltaron sheath weighs in at 0.62 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade says, “This small convenient fixed blade is at the top of the curriculum in Self Defense 101, hence the numeric designation. It is a first option for a wide variety of EDC activities and an excellent last resort option for back-up and self-defense applications. LE and Security personnel will tuck it behind other belt mounted gear, while EDC users may elect to wear it as a neck knife for a quick, convenient access.” The CPM S30V steel is tough, durable, and extremely resistant to corrosion. The blade has been coated, which prolongs the life of the blade. With the steel and the coating, this blade proves to be a very low maintenance blade. The handle of this knife has been skeletonized to cut down on weight and give you a more secure grip on the knife. This Benchmade knife comes with a super durable Boltaron sheath. Pick up this Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.

Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade Knife Review

It’s been two decades since Microtech began working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each and every knife that leaves their facility. They recognize that the knife world is a world with ever-changing technology, so they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making. But, they also recognize how important it is to keep a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. Even while their company is growing and growing fast, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas.

Microtech was founded in 1994 in Vero Beach, Florida. They operated there until 2005 when they relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania. Then, just four short years later, they moved opened another factory in Fletcher, North Carolina to expand production capabilities. This knife company is famous for its automatic knives specifically. To create such phenomenal automatic knives, the company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances—to within one thousandth of an inch! Famous custom knife maker, Greg Lightfoot has said that it is these tight tolerances that gives their knives the same quality as a custom handmade knife. And although they are most famous for producing their tactical automatic knives, they do produce a variety of other blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and even balisong knives.

Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has also 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 Microtech exclusive designs.

A fun fact about Microtech knives is that once on the TV series “24” one of their HALO knives was featured. This knife has become a prominent lien through Microtech’s history and also earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives Magazine.

Today we are going to be discussing the brand new Microtech Borka SBK fixed blade. The production prototypes for this knife was released at the 2016 Blade Show. This knife is a result of a collaboration with Sebastijan Berenji from Borka Blades. These are custom knives that Sebastijan Berenji is behind. These knives are made with premium steel and designed for a variety of reasons ranging from tactical use to everyday carry. His knives have a way of hitting it big with knife connoisseurs, so you know that this collaboration has resulted in an exceptional blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of M390 stainless steel. This is an ultra-premium steel and is regarded as a super steel. This steel has been manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and uses third generation powder metal technology. This steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades, so it gives you all of the characteristics that you could want out of your blade. This steel provides you with excellent corrosion resistance and has very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and its outstanding edge retention. Bohler-Uddeholm calls this steel Micro-clean. This steel will be relatively difficult to sharpen, but with an experienced sharpener, you shouldn’t encounter any issues. M390 steel hardens to a HRC 60-62. This knife has been designed to get the job done—whatever that job may be for you. And thanks to this super steel, the knife is going to be able to accomplish just that.

The blade has been finished with an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is one of my favorite finishes because of how convenient it is and because of the look. It gives you the same well-worn, rugged look that you could get from a classic stonewash finish, but it does give off a little bit of a more threatening vibe. An apocalyptic stonewash finish is created by the same process that a classic stonewash finish is, except for the very first step. With an apocalyptic finish, also known as an acid stonewash, or black stonewash, the blade undergoes an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it goes through the stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. Then the steel is tumbled in an abrasive material, which is usually pebbles. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. This finish is very low maintenance because it works to preserve the original look of the blade throughout time. This finish hides scratches and smudges that naturally occur over time, so you won’t have to polish the Borka SBK blade as often.

This blade is a unique blade shape that you don’t see as often as others: an upswept, trailing point. This blade shape got its name because the point actually trails higher than the generalized axis of the spine of the knife blade. The back edge of the knife curves upward. Because of this shape, you will have a large curved cutting area, or belly, so this style of blade is optimized for slicing or skinning. This blade shape also gives you one of the sharpest points for fine, delicate, and small work, such as skinning game. However, you are also going to come across several disadvantages to the trialing point blade, with the main one being that it has such a weak point. Because this knife style was designed for fine work, it will unfortunately end or break easily when used on tougher materials. This knife will also prove to be slightly trickier to place in its sheath because you will have to carefully guide the tip in.

This knife is a combo edge, which means that the upper two thirds of the blade is a plain edge, with the lower portion being a serrated blade. The plain edge is going to excel at all of the push cuts such as skinning, slicing, and fin work. The serrated edge is there so that you can saw through the tougher materials that you come in contact with. The plain edged portion is going to give you clean cuts while the serrated will give you jagged cuts. Some haters of the combo edge complain that because you have split the blade, you actually can’t use either of the edge styles effectively. But, because this knife has a longer blade, I can assure you that you really are going to get the best of both worlds with this blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle scales are made out of G-10. G-10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material does have similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it is slightly inferior, and because of that, you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them

Microtech Borka SBK
Microtech Borka SBK

in resin, then compresses the layers and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material form this process is extremely tough, very hard, still lightweight, and super strong. G-10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta, although it is more brittle. To add texture to the handle, Microtech has made a very small checkered pattern, which gives you a very solid, yet still comfortable grip. Fixed blades definitely benefit from the qualities of G-10 because it is durable, lightweight, and non-porous. This means that no matter how messy the environment you put this blade it, it is going to be easy to clean because the handle is not going to absorb any of the fluids it comes in contact with. While this this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN, so it does still have a cost to it. Some pros of this material is that it is tough, light, and durable. However, this material is brittle and it does lack elegance.

Although the handle is pretty straight, but it is still very comfortable because of the handle scales. There is jimping on both sides of the handle near the blade and around the curved butt, to give you the most secure grip while you are using it. There is a very large finger guard to keep your fingers from being sliced by this monster and there is a large lanyard hole carved into the butt of the handle. This lanyard hole is large enough for leather twine, a thick lanyard, or basically anything else that you want to tie through this hole.

 

The Mechanism:

The Microtech Borka SBK is a fixed blade. This has a wide variety of benefits, but one of the biggest is that there are no legal issues surrounding a fixed blade. Fixed blades are legal in all areas that a knife is legal in. Some of the other pros surrounding fixed blades is that they are super strong. No matter how great your folder blade is, it is not going to be as strong as a fixed blade. This is because there are no moving parts inside of the knife to break and there are no small pieces that could break. Also, the blade is longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside the handle, so the blade is going to be able to do many things that a folder knife could not such as twisting, hammering, and prying. The next major benefit is that it is extremely easy to clean. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and then oil the blade at times. With a folding knife, to really get it clean, you have to dismantle your knife before you can really clean it. And, this is a big benefit, because you are going to be doing a lot messier work with a fixed blade versus a folding blade.

 

The Sheath:

This tough knife comes with a carbon fiber and Kydex sheath. Carbon fiber is a material made out of thin strands of carbon being tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is a crazy strong and still lightweight material, but it is expensive. While it is strong, it is not indestructible and is brittle. Kydex is a thermoplastic that is used to make holsters and other items. The greatest advantage to Kydex is how durable it is. This material can even be submerged in salt water and maintain its integrity. However, Kydex will dull your blade after repeated drawing and retracting.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 5.1 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches. The handle measures in at 4.625 inches long, with this Microtech and Borka Blades knife overall length being 9.65 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.3 ounces and the sheath weighs in at 3.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The team at Microtech knives teamed up with Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades to bring you the SBK fixed blade knife. Once made solely as a custom knife, the SBK production model features a full tang design and the jimping on the thumb ramp, base of the knife and also near the finger guard translates to multiple effective gripping options. This particular model, the 200-11AP, features black G-10 handle scales as well as a partially serrated trailing point upswept style blade in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Finally, each SBK includes a Kydex sheath finished with carbon fiber integrated with a Tek-Lok carry system which provides multiple carry options. This is a very durable knife that is going to easily assist you throughout your life. Come pick up your Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade knife with an apocalyptic stonewash combo blade today at BladeOps.

 

Spyderco Spin FrameLock Knife Review

Spyderco is based in Golden, Colorado. This knife company produces knives and knife sharpeners. Sal Glesser is the man behind this company, with the very first product being the Portable Hand in 1976. This was a spider-shaped device, with a series of angles, ball joints, and alligator clips that helped people such as jewelers work with small parts. Sal and his wife converted an old bread delivery truck into a motor-home and traveled to different knife shows. As their success grew, they moved from the bread truck to a truck and trailer. They settled in Colorado in 1978. This was the year that they began producing knife sharpeners and three years later, they produced their first folding knife. This was the first knife to feature a round hole in the blade designed for fast, one-handed and ambidextrous open, which is now Spyderco’s trademark. Spyderco also claims that this was the first knife to feature a pocket clip on the right side of the handle.

They are actually the company that pioneered many features that are now the standard in folding knives, including the pocket lip, serrations, and the opening hole. A large part of Spyderco production is outsourced to foreign contractors in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Italy, and China. Spyderco knives have a reputation for their simplicity, reliability, good ergonomics, and their functional aesthetics. Their knives are popular with many markets—from private citizens to fire and rescue and even to law enforcement officers.

Spyderco has collaborate with 30 custom knife makers, athletes, and self-defense instructors for designs and have innovated over 20 different blade materials.

Spyderco Spin Knife
Spyderco Spin Knife

Spyderco is a high quality brand that is going to tackle your needs effortlessly. Spyderco knives are also a good budget choice, because they usually won’t break the bank. That being said, you also don’t have to worry about these knives lacking quality—they are still made with high quality, durable materials. Not only will they be able to assist you with your needs, Spyderco knives are going to look good while doing it.

Spyderco is known for producing limited edition models, which they refer to as sprint runs. These limited runs are usually versions of discontinued models with different blade and handle materials, although some are completely new models. Today, we are going to be going over the Spyderco Spin FrameLock knife with a handle made out of Nishijin Glass Fiber, which does happen to be included in one of their sprint runs.

 

The Designer:

The main man behind this knife is Eric Glesser. He is known to be the second most important designer at Spyderco and is Sal Glesser’s (head designer) son. He has been working under the instruction of Sal throughout the years and has created many of Spyderco’s most well-known knives such as the Tenacious, Manix 2, and Dodo. Knife designing must run in his blood because he has a fantastic understanding of knife designs and ergonomics. Eric has become a bigger presence in the Spyderco company and we expect to see his phenomenal designs for a while longer.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Spin is made out of VG-10 stainless steel. This steel is a cutlery grade stainless steel that is produced in Japan. The G in the name stands for “Gold” because this steel has reached a gold standard. This steel was originally aimed at Japanese chefs, but it quickly found its way into sports cutlery and for good reason: this steel holds an edge fairly well and has exceptional ability to withstand rust. VG-10 steel is a high carbon steel, which gives it its durability that it is known and loved for. This steel is very hard and you can achieve a very sharp edge on this knife; unfortunately, it has been prone to chipping.

This knife has been finished with a satin finish. This is the most popular finish on knives in the market today, because it offers you such a traditional look. This finish makes it so that the blade color doesn’t steal the show—it blends in, but in a good way. This finish is very medium in terms of luster—the mirror polish finish is definitely more reflective than this finish and it is not as matte as a stonewashed finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This means that the sandpaper used to sand the steel will continually get finer and finer. The resulting metal shows of the bevels and the fine line in the steel exceptionally. The satin finish is a classic and will never go out of style. This was also the perfect option for the Spyderco Spin because the handle is supposed to steal the show.

This knife features a Wharncliffe style of blade. This blade shape is very similar to the sheepsfoot blade, but should not be confused with each other because they do have very different purposes. The classic Wharncliffe blade basically looks like a drop point blade that has been flipped over, meaning that the straight edge is the sharp edge. However, this Spyderco blade does not sport the traditional Wharncliffe blade, instead, the blade is much more triangular with both edges (the sharpened and unsharpened) being straight. But, when the unsharpened edge gets near the tip, it does curve, so as not to create a pointy tip. This creates a false-point, meaning that you the point itself isn’t’ sharp. This feature of the blade style is one of its perks, but it also is one of the drawbacks to this shape. For starters, this false point means that you are much safer when using this knife: there is no way that you are going to accidently stab yourself or someone else. However, this false point also means that if you are in desperate need of piercing or stabbing something, you are not going to accomplish that. Really, you have to look at what you hope to do with this knife before deciding if the Wharncliffe blade style is going to be a hindrance or a perk. The history of the Wharncliffe blade style does get muddled, with a few different stories claiming to be accurate. But regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe blade shape proves to be a very useful blade. This is also a great everyday blade if you work in an office setting, because the Wharncliffe blade excels at slicing open boxes, envelopes, and other basic everyday uses. On the flip side, this knife is not going to be very good for preparing food because of its lack of belly.

This Spyderco sports a plain edge. This enables the Spin to take on a wider variety of tasks and it will provide you with much cleaner cuts than a serrated blade would. Additionally, the plain blade makes sharpening this blade a breeze, and you can get it sharper than you could if it was serrated. Since this knife is going to be more of a general-utility blade, the plain edge was the perfect option for it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the spin knife is made out of Blue Nishijin Glass Fiber on one of the handle scales and a traditional stainless steel handle scale on the other side.

Inspired by a centuries-old traditional Japanese weaving style called Nishijin, the highly polished glass fiber scale reveals a complex internal pattern that is strikingly beautiful. The stainless steel handle provides the knife with excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, but it is not lightweight. Because it is only one of the handle scales, this should not weigh the knife down too much, instead, it just adds the durability and heftiness that you desire out of your knife. The stainless steel handle scale has a few perks form being strong and durable to just how corrosion resistant it is. However, this scale is going to be more slippery than the Glass Fiber handle scale. The stainless steel handle scale has also been finished with a satin finish, to perfectly match with the sleek blade.

On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole carved out. This is definitely a smaller knife, and you can actually attach this to a lanyard and wear it around your neck if you desire. If that is not something that you would want to do, you can easily attach a traditional lanyard and carry it how you normally would.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The Spin comes with a three-screwed stainless clothing clip that positons the knife tip down in a pocket and also offers a way to money-clip your cash or attach to a necktie. This stainless steel clip is highly polished and the screws keeping it attached to the handle match with the rest of the hardware on this knife. This pocket clip is longer, so it will stay snug in your pocket, perfectly concealed.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife features Spyderco’s trademark thumb hole to assist you in opening it. This mechanism has been around since the 1980s and although you might find the thumb hole on knives made by different brands, Spyderco is the one that perfected it and then made it wildly popular. Opening a folder that has been equipped with a thumb hole is exactly like using a thumb stud. Because of the very design, it is always going to be ambidextrous. And, many knife enthusiasts actually prefer the hole to the stud because it does not protrude from the blade. To use the hole, you get traction with your thumb through the whole and then manually flip the blade open. It is simple, it’s easy, and there is no way that the hole can malfunction. There is no better opening mechanism.

This knife features Chris Reeve’s Integral Lock Mechanism or the RIL that will lock the blade securely open. This locking mechanism was created by the custom knife maker Chris reeve and is a design modification of the Liner Lock. He altered it so that the knife sues the handle scale as the lock’s liner. With the back portion of the handle doubling as both handle and lock, the need for internal liners is eliminated and the knife can be manufactured incredibly slim, yet still very strong. This is another reason why the stainless steel handle scale is such a benefit—it houses the RIL mechanism that will securely lock the blade open. The stainless steel gives it the sturdiness to work correctly at all times, working to never fail you.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this bite size knife is 1.812 inches long with a thickness of .093 inches. The overall length of the knife when it is opened is a micro 4.125 inches, sporting a closed length of 2.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at a measly 1.3 ounces—the perfect size and weight to constantly have on you, preparing you for whatever might come your way.

 

Conclusion:

The Spyderco Spin, designed by Eric Glesser, now comes with the special Blue Nishijin glass fiber handle. This handle is ancient Japanese inspired and provides you with a unique look that you are not going to find anywhere else. The opposite handle scale is stainless steel, to give you the extra weight you need to really get behind your cutting. This knife boasts a Wharncliffe style, VG-10 stainless steel blade that is perfect for serious detail cuts. This steel is low maintenance, resisting rust effortlessly to make your life a little easier. The locking mechanism was designed by Chris Reeve and uses the handle scale as the lock’s liner. The Spin comes with a pocket clip that can be doubled as a money clip. This clip is designed for right-side tip-down carry to ensure both convenience and ease of access. This limited-edition Sprint run puts a new “Spin” on a classic Spyderco design and is sure to be in high demand. Pick up this limited edition Blue Nishijin glass fiber version of the Spin today at BladeOps.

 

 

Microtech Cypher OTF Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company that is famous, but especially famous for their automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida and 1994 in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment. They operated in Florida until 2005, when they relocated to Bradford Pennsylvania. Then, in 2009 they opened another manufacturing building in North Carolina, to speed up production.

Although they are most famous for their tactical automatic knives, they do produce many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives. The most popular designs among collectors are their Out the Front and Double Action automatic knives. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives, were responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. Before this knife, these knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military, such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. 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. Greg Lightfoot, along with other custom knife makers, has remarked that it is the tolerances that Microtech sticks with that makes the factory knives so close to the custom design.

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves our facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, Microtech strives to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still maintaining a humanize element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They always appreciate their customers, for not only the loyalty and support, but also for motivating Microtech to better themselves so that they can continue to rise above your expectations.

Today, we will be going over the Microtech Cypher blade, which is Out the Front automatic knife. This knife is a collaboration between Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe. This knife features Microtech’s trademark exceptional detailing and their perfect craftsmanship. This knife is unique, featuring a build that is not only durable, but also stylish.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Cypher has been made out of M390 stainless steel. This is a super steel, so it is definitely an ultra-premium steel. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm, which is a merger of Austrian Bohler and Swedish Uddeholm. This steel uses third generation powder metal technology and this steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades. Because of this, the manufacturer developed the steel with excellent corrosion resistance and with a very high hardness as well as excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote the sharpness and outstanding edge retention. In this steel, most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which does leave more “free chromium” to help fight corrosion.  M390 steel hardens to a 60-62 HRC. This stainless steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, but it won’t require a master sharpener to get a fine edge on it.

The blade on the Cypher has been finished with a stonewashing. With this finish style, the blade is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. This finish is rugged, manly, and looks well-worn. When the blade is rolled in pebbles, it creates a very textured look which helps to hide scratches and smudges better than other finish styles. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. The stonewash finish works to preserve the look of the blade overtime and even hides fingerprints on the blade, which means that you will have to polish it less than other finish styles. This is one of the lowest maintenance blade finishes that you can come across.

This OTF blade is a drop point style blade. The drop point is a blade shape that is used on so many knives, especially in today’s market. This blade shape is going to be found most on hunting knives. The blade on this knife 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 to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way, the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating any pitch momentum when you are stabbing. The curve on the top of the drop point blade is always convex, which is what distinguishes it from the clip point blade. The drop point and the clip point blades are often confused with each other, but there are a variety of differences. For starters, the drop point blade has a lowered point, but the tip is broad. This broad tip is what provides you with the strength that you get with a drop point blade, however, because it is so broad, it does take away from your stabbing capabilities almost completely. A clip point blade also has a lowered tip, but on this blade shape, the tip is very fine and sharp. This gives you full capabilities of stabbing, but unfortunately, it does take away the strength of the tip. The clip point is weak and very prone to snapping. They are both very popular knife blade shapes and are both very versatile. The drop point blade shape is the stronger blade shape though, which makes it the perfect option or the Microtech Cypher. The Cypher does not have as big of a belly as most drop points, but it is still very capable of slicing, because it does still have a slight belly, instead of a straight edge.

This blade is a plain edge, which gives it the ability to take on a wider variety of tasks than a serrated edged blade. The plain edge does provide you with much cleaner cuts than you would get with a serrated blade. The grind on this knife is a hollow grind. This is a common grind where a convex hollow is removed from both sides of the edge. It produces a very sharp edge but being so thin the edge is more prone to rolling or damage than other grinds. It is unsuited for heavy chopping or cutting hard materials.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum that has been

Microtech Cypher
Microtech Cypher

anodized black. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making and is also very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is actually the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. This alloy of aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”.  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.
Hard anodized aluminum is an anodizing technique that creates an oxidation layer on the aluminum that is up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. Anodizing aluminum involves placing the aluminum in a bath of acid and passing electrical charges through the material. This builds up a layer of aluminum oxide on the outside of the aluminum. This anodization process makes the aluminum more durable, corrosion resistant, and wear resistant. This anodization process helps to make the aluminum act a little more like titanium.

The handle is mostly rectangular, but there are some curves to make this a more comfortable handle to hold. There are a series of ridges carved down the length of the knife. There is a shallow finger groove at the top to give you a secure place to rest your finger. The butt of the handle is triangular, which means there is a slight point that you could use as a hammer if the situation arises.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This knife does have standard tri-winged hardware. All of the hardware is silver, with the cli being a matte grey. The pocket clip has the same grooves carved into the length as the handle does.

 

The Mechanism:

This Microtech knife is an automatic out-the-front knife, or OTF. This is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is very different than the majority of knives that have the blade fold out of the side of the handle. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. But then, OTF knives can be even further divided into either a manual knife or an automatic knife. The Cypher is an automatic knife, which means the blade travels within an internal channel in the same manner as a manual slider knife. But, the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar sized gravity OTF knife. Then, automatic OTF knives can be even further subdivided into either a single action or a double action. This knife is a double action automatic OTF knife. This means that the blade will deploy and retract with a multifunction handle slide. If it were a single action automatic OTF, the knife would deploy automatically, but it must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 5.625 inches long. The overall length of the Cypher is 9.625 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Cypher finally found its way from the custom factory of MCK to the production side to add to the army of double action out-the-front models that Microtech has been manufacturing for over 20 years. Like the Sigil, this automatic is a collaboration with Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe and features a “stepped” milling pattern that is both futuristic and functional. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. This model, the 241-10, features a black anodized aluminum handle, standard tri-winged hardware, a drop point style blade in a stonewash finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The M390 steel is very resistant to corrosion as well as being very tough, which means that this knife is going to be able to take on those tougher tasks. However, this is a collector’s knife, so you probably won’t be using it for a wide variety of tasks. The aluminum handle is durable and also very corrosion resistant. The anodization process makes this knife even more durable, and the color cannot be scratched off, because it becomes part of the metal. The materials and manufacturing processes used make this collector knife a sleek, unique, and tough knife. Pick up your Microtech 241-10 Cypher S/E OTF Automatic knife with the stonewashed blade today at BladeOps. You won’t regret it.

 

CRKT Carnufex 5480 Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. Some of the designers that they have collaborated with 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. CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending which include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, Lock Back safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

However, they didn’t always collaborate with the best designers and have their own patents. CRKT took almost three years before it truly took off. It was at the 1997 Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple). This was a small folder, which was designed by Ed Halligan. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of product was sold out. Since then, they have continuously progressed, developing a fantastic reputation, and maintaining that reputation.

CRKT has recently released a brand new knife called the Carnufex. This is a simple folding knife that can perform much more than simple tasks.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This steel comes from a series of Chinese steels. There are a variety of formulas in this series of steel—the best is the 9Cr steel. 8Cr steel is the next best one in the series and is commonly compared to AUS 8 steel, however 8Cr steel is the inferior steel between the two. This steel is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust well. However, since it is a softer steel, you do have to keep on top of your maintenance. Make sure that you clean and oil this blade often. Since this is a softer steel, it is an easy steel to sharpen. In fact, most beginners will be able to pull this sharpening job off. You can also get an extremely fine edge on this blade and the sharp edge will last for long periods of time. The biggest advantage thatiop0- this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. With it, you get a good balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. But, you still do get what you pay for, so while this is an average steel that will be able to take on the majority of tasks, it will not excel at anything.

The finish on the Carnufex blade is a satin finish. The satin finish is created by sanding a steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material; the abrasive material is most commonly sandpaper. One of the main purposes of a satin finish is to showcase the lines in the steel. This is a classic finish that is also one of the most popular finishes on blades today. In terms of the look, the satin finish is a medium finish. The mirror finish is more reflective than a satin finish and a coated finish is going to be more matte. This look provides you with a very traditional look to your blade.

The blade on the Carnufex has been carved into a modified spear point blade shape. The spear point blade shape is very similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. But, they do differ because the spear point is stronger and it contains a small belly that can be used for some slicing. The spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the most commonly found knife styles that sports a spear point blade shape is on throwing knives. One of the other differences between a needle point blade and a spear point blade is that the needle point blade has a very sharp but weak point whereas a spear point blade has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. Another one of the benefits to the spear point blade shape is that it has a lowered point that is easily controllable. This means that it is very useful for detail work and for fine tip work. One of the reasons that makes this style of knife versatile is that it has a small belly hat can be used to manage some cutting and slicing applications. However, if you do compare the belly to a knife with a large belly such as a drop point or a clip point knife, the belly is extremely small. This is considered a hybrid blade design that is extremely functional. The spear point design offers you a great balance between piercing capabilities and slicing abilities. It has the sharp point of a dagger or needle point knife and sports the strength that a drop point blade has behind the tip. Plus, it also has that belly that is used for slicing.

The blade sports a plain edge. The plain edge is the more traditional edge between plain edge, combo edge, and serrated edge. The plain edge is easiest to sharpen out of the three options because it doesn’t sport any teeth. The plain edge is the best type of edge for push cuts, slicing, peeling, and skinning.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 2Cr13 Stainless Steel. This is a newer steel that has ground breaking properties. This is a very stainless steel, because the alloy works to reduce how porous the steel is. The stainless steel is particle-reinforced for added strength and resilience. Immersion tests have revealed that this steel has a finer matrix structure resulting in an increased tinsel strength and the electrostag remelting process used in manufacturing it makes it highly versatile. The stainless steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. After the steel has been tumbled, it is smoothed out and polished. This creates a textured, rugged look. It is usually a dark, matte gray. One of the best benefits to a stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the handle for long periods of time.

CRKT 5480 Carnufex
CRKT 5480 Carnufex

The handle on this knife has inlays made out of Glass Reinforced Fiber, or GRF. This is a thermoplastic material. This is extremely strong, it is resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, it’s cheap. With this material, the fibers are all arranged haphazardly throughout, which is why it is such a strong material. In similar materials, such as G 10 or Carbon Fiber, the fibers are all arranged in a single direction, which means when it is stressed in a different way, it tends to become very brittle. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a variety of way in the production process. This leads to high volume manufacturing and low cost. One of the drawbacks to this material is that some people feel as if it has a cheap plastic feel to it.

The inlays on this knife do add enough texture to provide you with a very strong grip in almost any situation. This is a huge bonus because the stainless steel is slippery, like most stainless steels are.

The black GRF is designed to look like a dinosaur fossil, which contrasts nicely against the smooth silver of the stainless steel. To help add more grip, there are two finger grooves. The first one is the classic finger groove shape, with the second one being extremely shallow and elongated. There is also a finger guard to help protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Carnufex is a silver clip to match the handle. It is not skeletonized and has “CRKT” stamped on it. This is not a reversible pocket clip. The clip is kept in place by two, small, silver screws. These screws match the rest of the hardware on the knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that is assisted by a flipper. The flipper is a shark’s fin shaped protrusion that is part of the blade. When the Carnufex is closed, the protrusion comes out of the spine of the blade. To deploy the blade, you pull back on the flipper and it puts enough pressure on the blade to flip it open and then lock it into place.

The Carnufex also sports the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot system. This system was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. The system uses lubed ball bearings that are set into the folding knife pivot. The result is a rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast. CRKT says, “Go ahead, set a flipping land speed record.”

The Carnufex knife also features a frame lock. The frame locking mechanism is very similar to the liner locking mechanism except that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Carnufex has a blade that is 3.975 inches long with a thickness of 0.148 inches. The overall length of the knife is 9.063 inches and sports a closed length of 5.098 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.8 ounces.

 

The Designer:

The Carnufex was designed by Flavio Ikoma. He says while some kids dream of being a ballplayer, Flavio always dreamed of being a knife maker. In his adolescence, he worked on knives of the Japanese sword variety in his father’s shop. He has gone on to learn metallurgy, to work with Ken Onion, and to become a force for innovation. Flavio brought to market the revolutionary IKBS ball bearing pivot system and evolved the classic locking liner with the ILS safety.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT described this knife they said, “Make mincemeat of your daily tasks—dino style. The Carnufex™ everyday carry folder is modeled after a keystone dinosaur predator—and for good reason. The form influences function for this attractive, shapely folder, and tears apart anything that gets in its way. Flavio Ikoma of Presidente Prudente, Brazil designed the Carnufex™ to be an aggressive take on a general utility knife. This everyday carry folder’s unique look is modeled after the prehistoric ancestor of the crocodile, and the streamlined design and textured inlays look distinctly reptilian. The unique, eye-catching designs of the handle serve to set off the no-nonsense stainless steel blade. Flavio Ikoma is the inventor of the IKBS™ Ball Bearing Pivot System and puts it to work with the Carnufex™. After all, a knife named for a reptilian hunter should deploy swiftly and smoothly. The stainless steel stonewash handle features a glass-reinforced nylon textured inlay meant to replicate the prehistoric reptile for which it’s named. The Carnufex™, in Latin, translates to butcher. Put anything in its way, and watch it mow straight through.”

As you can see, this knife is truly a game changer. Flavio has provided us with a unique, sleek look. This is a high quality knife that will be the perfect addition to your collection. Pick yours up at BladeOps today.

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.

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.