The Care and Keeping of Your Knife

Knives can cost you a pretty big chunk of money, so extending their life is what many people are striving to do. Knives can take a beating, so it might surprise you to hear that they are actually pretty fragile in the scheme of things. Here are some tips on how to treat your knife with the best care to extend its life, keep it sharper for longer, and not letting it rust or corrode.

 

 

Cleaning Your Knife

 

For starters, you should be cleaning your knife. People often hear the phrase that a dull knife is a dangerous knife, but a phrase that we less commonly hear is that a dirty knife is a dangerous knife. If you clean every part of your knife, it is going to last longer than if you just give it a quick wipe down. While cleaning your knife, I would recommend starting with the blade. For the most part, your knife is going to be made of a quality steel that is resistant to rusting or corroding easily. To wash the blade and handle, I would recommend using warm water and a mild dish detergent. To prevent scratching the blade, use a soft brush, such as a toothbrush, or a smooth sponge. I would not recommend using the tougher side of most kitchen sponges, because it could scratch your metal. The next step in cleaning your knife is removing any rust. If you are constantly maintaining your knife, this shouldn’t be a problem, but, if you do have rust, it is a pretty simple solution. Just get a rust remover, spray it on the rusty spot, and leave it on for a few minutes. For cleaning any of the nooks and crannies, a cotton swab or q-tip will work great. Another efficient way to get all of the dirt and dust out of the little areas is using a can of compressed air and spraying it into those spaces. To get all of the possible parts, it is a good idea to disassemble your knife. Don’t do this unless you are sure that you know what you are doing and you are going to know how to put it back together. During this whole process, don’t be scared to really soak your knife, but when you finish, make sure that all the parts get fully dry. You should especially be cleaning it if it comes in contact with salt water.

If you are working with a kitchen knife, the cleaning process is a little bit different. Some are dishwasher safe, but some are dishwasher tolerable. This means that while they can safely go in the dishwasher, they aren’t going to maintain their full capabilities if you do put them in. Really, it’s a good idea to always wash your kitchen knives by hand. They are prone to getting dinged during the washing cycle. Dishwashers can affect the metal in your blade and damage your knife handle material. Something to remember about kitchen knives is to not leave them in your sink. Because people are constantly putting dishes in the sink, your knives could get scratched up, or even bent or broken. Another thing to remember with your kitchen knives is to immediately dry them after washing. If you leave it to dry on a rack or in another place, it can start to grow mold and mildew. Since kitchen knives aren’t usually as intricate as tactical or everyday knives, you aren’t going to have to be as concerned about the tiny crevices.

If you have a custom knife, you are going to have to give it a little extra TLC during its cleaning process. You should hand wash the blade with a gentle soap and warm water and make sure that you rinse it well. The handle should be cleaned with a damp cloth. You can buff the handle with a soft, dry cloth.

Many knife companies sell maintenance kits which will have the exact tools that your knife needs to get the cleanest. These are worth the investment.

 

 

Lubricating Your Knife

Benchmade Total Lube
Benchmade Total Lube

Lubricating your knife does two main things. First, it oils the moving parts of your knife so that your knife can function smoothly. This means that opening and closing your knife will be smoother and swifter. The second main thing that it does is protect the steel and metal parts. This is because the oil helps water, dust, and dirt slide off and not get stuck to the parts. This will help your knife resist rusting and corrosion.

When lubricating your knife, you do not need too much oil, just a few drops onto the moving parts and then wipe the blade with any excess oil. You should be lubricating your knife after each cleaning. If you are using your knife daily, it would benefit you richly to lubricate your knife once a week.

 

 

Storing Your Knife

 

If you aren’t going to be using your knife for a long period of time, you should not be storing it in its sheath, especially if the sheath is leather. Sheaths collect moisture and the moisture gets stuck, putting your blade at a higher risk of rusting. When knives are stuck in a small area with moisture, the steel will also develop pits. All steels are subjectable to rusting and corrosion, even if they are a stainless steel, those steels are just less likely to rust. Knives should be kept in a consistent and dry environment or room.

If you are storing a culinary knife, you should not be storing them in a drawer with other utensils. In a drawer like that, the knife is prone to getting scratched or dented because everything is going to shift each time you open and close your drawer. However, if this is the only place you have to store your kitchen knives, consider using a plastic guard and then laying the knives side by side. You can find these plastic guards for around five dollars. Another great storing option for your kitchen knife is on a magnetic board. A knife block is also a good place to store them, however, you should look for a block that has horizontal slots, instead of the typical vertical ones. This is because you want your blade to be resting on its side, not on the cutting edges.

 

 

Cutting Properly with Your Knife

 

This section mostly pertains to kitchen knives. For starters, you should always be cutting on a countertop. When you cut directly onto your countertop, the surface is too hard for your blade. Whatever surface you are cutting on should be softer than your knife’s steel. Using a wood or plastic cutting board is going to be the easiest on your knife blade.

Second of all, the chopping motion, or the constant up and down, is going to dull your blades edge. If you rock or slide with your blade, keeping your blade in contact with the cutting board is going to benefit you the most. Every time your knife comes in contact with your cutting surface, no matter what it is, it is going to cause small burrs on the edge, dulling it. That is why you want to maintain contact with your board during the whole process.

Lastly, when you scrape your food off your cutting board, I would recommend using the spine of your knife instead of your blade.

This does slightly pertain to tactical knives though. Unless absolutely necessary, you should not pry or dig with your knife. You should also avoid using it as a can opener or a screwdriver. Really, most of the heavy duty work should be avoided with your knife unless necessary.

 

 

Honing Your Blade

 

For kitchen knives, you should be honing them regularly. To hone a knife does not actually sharpen your knife. When a knife edge gets dull, the edge has been misaligned, so even if it is still sharp, it won’t cut the food as properly as it once could have. A honing steel pushes the edge of the knife back to the center and straightens it. It corrects the edge of the blade without actually shaving any off. However, the knife will seem sharper because the blade has been realigned. Many professional chefs will hone their knife before every use to keep it in best possible condition.

 

 

Sharpening Your Blade

Spyderco Sharpmaker
Spyderco Sharpmaker

Everyone hears the phrase that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife and that phrase brings us to the last key aspect of caring for your knife. One of the most important aspects of caring for your knife is actually one aspect that many people view to be the hardest: Sharpening. A sharp knife should be able to slide right off the skin of an onion. Sharpening your knife does take practice and it will be difficult at the beginning. If you have a high quality steel, you are going to need a high quality sharpener to get the best possible result. To sharpen the knife, you need a sharpener that is harder and stronger than your knife blade because it needs to actually grind the blade down.

When searching for a good sharpener, find one that includes a rough stock removal surface or a diamond abrasive. It should also include a finishing surface that is made out of a hard stone or a ceramic abrasive that you will use for the last touches.

When sharpening your own blade, the most common and best angle is going to be 20 degrees. This can be done with a sharpening stone, but it is going to be a lot easier if you use an actual knife sharpener. Many people don’t enjoy using an electric sharpener because they strip away too much of its metal.

Sharpening your knife repairs the nicks and dings on a blades edge to let it properly cut. Sharpening is done less frequently than honing, really just a few times a year depending on how often the knife is actually being used.

If you are terrified of sharpening your own knife because you are afraid of damaging it, or if you just don’t want the hassle of learning how to sharpen your own knife, or if you just plainly don’t have the time to sharpen your own knife, there is absolutely no shame in sending it to a professional.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

If you take care of your knife, they are going to take care of you back. Caring for your knife can seem like a time and energy consuming task, but in all actuality, it is very simple. You should always clean your knife—cleaning it is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of rusting or corrosion to your blade. By disassembling your knife, you are able to keep the innards clean, making your knife work as smoothly as possible. Second, you should be lubricating your knife. By keeping it oiled, the dirt, dust, and water is going to be more likely to slide right off. This helps to reduce the risk of rust and corrosion. It is not a bad idea to wipe down and oil your knife gently after each use, but you should certainly be oiling your knife after each cleaning. Thirdly, you should be storing your knife properly. It should not be stored for long periods of time in its sheath. Knives should also not be stored in utensil drawers along with other utensils and kitchen objects—the risk of damaging your blade increases greatly when stored in this way. Fourth, you should be cutting properly with your blade. Blades seem strong, especially when they are made out of high quality steel, but they are fragile. Treat them as such unless a situation arises where you can’t. Fifth, if you are a chef, you should be honing your knives to provide yourself with the best possible edge. You can hone before every single edge. Lastly, you should be keeping your blade sharp. You can do this by yourself or send it into a professional. By following these six steps, the lifetime of your blade will be significantly increased.

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ProTech Dark Angel OTF Knife Review

The Pro-Tech Dark Angel OTF Knife

 

ProTech Dark Angel
ProTech Dark Angel OTF Knife

Pro-Tech is a family owned company based out of Sante Fe Springs California. Pro-Tech has made its name by producing fantastic automatic knives. They have been building these high quality knives for over 17 years now. This company was founded by Dave Wattenberg in 2001. Since then they have collaborated with knife makers such as Ernest Emerson, Walter Brend, and Allen Elishewitz. Some of the most famous and most popular knives that Pro-Tech has made have been the Godfather, Godson, and the Runt J4.

The company’s mission is to produce high quality knives made out of the finest materials that they can get ahold of. Pro-Tech makes smaller batches of knives than most companies so that they can hand fit and finish each knife to produce higher quality knives than you could find if it was factory made. Because of these smaller batches, they make around 12,000 knives a year.

The fantastic knife that Pro-Tech has developed that we are going to discuss today is the Pro-Tech Dark Angel Out-The-Front knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM steel. 154CM is a high end stainless steel that has been made by Crucible. This is a relatively hard steel. 154CM steel is considered to be an upgrade from 440C steel, because 154CM steel has Molybdenum is added. Because of the added Molybdenum, this type of steel can hold a fantastic edge while it also holds on to its corrosion resistance properties. However, even though this type of steel is a stainless steel, it will rust if it is left in wet or damp environments. To prevent this happening to your knife blade, especially if you live in a humid environment, you should always remember to keep your blade clean and oil it often. You shouldn’t be turned off from this steel just because it might rust—any stainless steel will rust if left in damp environments and neglected. You just need a little extra maintenance with 154CM stainless steel. This steel is also fairly easy to sharpen.  This steel type has pretty good toughness; it has high enough levels of toughness to stand up to most tasks—including the heavier duty tasks that you will throw at this blade. This steel is found commonly in quality pocket knives. In fact, Emerson Knife Company uses this type of steel exclusively. This type of steel maintains lots of good, durable properties, but it is less expensive than a premium steel such as S30V. This steel has a good balance between being hard, tough, and resistant to corrosion. This specific knife design comes in a variety of different blade colors, some being: black, silver, and even a custom Damascus blade. All of these knives have plain edges.

The shape of this blade is a dagger style. This style of knife has also been known as a needle point blade. This shape of blade is a double-edge blade designed to be able to thrust and stab. The blade comes to a very thin, sharp point, providing you with maximum ability to pierce into your target. However, because it has such a fine point, the tip is more prone to breaking, especially if you are stabbing a hard target. The double edge means that instead of a normal knife only being sharpened on one edge and having the back, or spine, unsharpened; this blade does not have an unsharpened side. Both edges on this blade have been sharpened. Because it is able to cut on both sides, this blade shape is a fantastic option for a self-defense weapon. Especially if you are in tight quarters. One disadvantage to having a dagger style blade is that it has no belly and the edges get thick quicker than most styles of knives. These two characteristics make it a poor choice if you want to slice anything. In the center of this blade, there is a thin cut out. This cut out cuts down on weight that the blade would have had otherwise. This blade cut out also offers a unique look that you won’t find on many knives.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061T6 hard anodized aluminum. A hard anodized aluminum creates an oxidation layer on the aluminum that can make your handle up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. When an aluminum is anodized, it provides the aluminum with color. This knife comes in a variety of different colors. Some of your options are silver—with two finishes: satin and stonewash, black, desert sand, or dark desert sand. Anodizing the aluminum also offers extra harness and protection. This is the most common form of finishing aluminum and it makes your aluminum handle very durable. Because aluminum has such a low density for a metal, it offers you a heftier feel without the added weight. Aluminum can be slippery, especially in wet environments, unless properly texturized. When it is properly texturized, your grip on it will be reasonable, but still not fantastic. Another drawback to having an aluminum handle is that it is going to feel so cold in a cold environment and can start to feel very uncomfortable in your hand. Other than feeling cold, aluminum is a comfortable material that is easy to use, even for long periods of time. Aluminum is very resistant to corrosion. However, it can be easy to scratch the surface or ding it up a bit. The handle will still work perfectly after this, but it won’t look as aesthetically pleasing. If you are going for a truly superb handle material, you might want to check out aluminums brother, titanium.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is newly designed from Pro-Tech. This is a customized part of this knife. This clip actually folds over itself helping allow a deep “hidden” in the pocket look. The benefit of a deep carry pocket clip is that it is not going to slip out of your pocket. With a deep carry clip, you know that your knife is safe and secure in your pocket. This specific pocket clip allows you to conceal your knife better than other pocket clips.

 

The Mechanism:

The Pro-Tech Dark Angel is an automatic out-the-front knife. Like always, automatic knives are not legal in all states or areas. Before you purchase and/or carry this knife, make sure you know your local knife carrying laws. An out the front knife is a unique style of automatic knife. Instead of the blade folding or flipping out of the side of the handle, there is a hole in one end of the handle where the blade pops out of. The blade of an OTF knife travels on an internal channel, at the bottom of this channel, there is a spring that launches the blade out, when the button or trigger is pushed. This is only a single action OTF automatic knife. This means that to deploy the knife, you push the button and the blade will pop out, but to put the blade back in, it takes a little more work. To close this knife, you push the button down and at the same time, you slide the charging bar back along the side. Because there is more of a mechanism that has to lay inside of an automatic OTF knife, the handle has to be thicker or longer than a manual OTF knife.

 

The Sheath:

This knife comes with a nylon sheath. Nylon is a very common material used for knife sheaths. This is a relatively inexpensive material, especially compared to kydex or leather sheaths. However, you do get what you pay for. And while nylon is a cheaper material, it will be more prone to wearing out quicker than these two previous materials. Nylon also has the tendency to stretch out over time, and while the sheath will still work adequately at that point, your knife won’t be held as securely or snugly. However, I shouldn’t be focusing on the negative. There are many fantastic characteristics that nylon sheaths have. For starters, nylon is resistant to rot and mildew. They are not as vulnerable to water as a leather sheath would be. This means that your sheath will need a lot less maintenance than other sheath materials would need. Plus, nylon is not easily scuffed or torn. Another big bonus about nylon sheaths is that the nylon is relatively quiet. If you are trying to be stealthy or conceal yourself, nylon won’t give you away. Nylon is not as silent as leather would be, but it’s not loud, especially when compared to a plastic or kydex sheath. This nylon sheath will get the job done for you and last quite a while.

 

The Specs:

The Pro-Tech Dark Angel’s blade is 3.75 inches long with a blade thickness of .125 inches. When this knife is open, it measures at 8.9 inches long. When this knife is closed, it measures up at 4.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.4 ounces. This size and weight are the perfect size and weight for an everyday carry knife.

 

Pros of the Pro-Tech Dark Angel:

  • The steel is a high end stainless steel.
  • Holds a fantastic edge and is still easy to sharpen.
  • The blade has high corrosion resistance abilities.
  • The blade has high toughness that can take on even the heavier tasks.
  • This steel has good properties and is still cheaper than S30V or other premium knives.
  • The blade comes in multiple different colors.
  • Has a very fine tip, perfect for stabbing.
  • Both edges are sharpened, so it is a perfect weapon for self-defense.
  • Anodized to add color, hardness, and protection.
  • Aluminum handle is durable, but not with the added weight.
  • Aluminum is very corrosion resistant.
  • Aluminum is a very comfortable material to hold.
  • Pocket clip is custom, deep carry.
  • Automatic knife, so it will deploy very quickly.
  • Included nylon sheath has many fantastic properties for a lower cost.

 

Cons of the Pro-Tech Dark Angel:

  • The dagger style has a fine point; it is prone to breaking if used incorrectly.
  • Aluminum handles will feel extremely cold in cold environments.
  • Aluminum can be very slippery, especially when not texturized properly.
  • Automatic knives are not legal in all states or areas, so you have to be careful when purchasing and carrying this knife.
  • Nylon sheaths will not last forever; they will break down eventually.

 

Conclusion:

Pro-Tech is a unique company. They have a hybrid of mass producing knives and building each one custom. They make their knives in small batches, only around 12,000 knives a year. They keep them small so that they have the ability to hand finish each and every knife. They use the highest quality materials to produce the highest quality knives that you can stumble across. Each one has taken time, and care, and they are truly remarkable. Pro-Tech has been around for over 17 years and they have been producing fantastic knives ever since. They have collaborated with knife makers such as Ernest Emerson and Walter Brend. Pro-Tech knows what they are doing when they design, build, and finish all of their knives.

The Dark Angel has been no exception. They started out with a high quality steel that can take on almost any task that you throw at it. This steel can get a fine point and they enhanced this by giving the blade a dagger style shape to it. By giving the knife this shape, they have created an excellent self-defense weapon. They designed a custom pocket clip to top the whole automatic knife off. And with this fantastic knife comes a great nylon sheath. This is a remarkable knife that has been exceptionally produced. The Pro-Tech Dark Angel would be a fantastic addition to your knife collection and it would make a perfect everyday carry knife for you.

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Benchmade Precipice OTF Knife Review

Heckler and Koch is the leading brand of firearms today. A while back, they decided to expand their product lines and start building knives. However, they knew to get the best knives they could imagine, they needed to collaborate with a knife company. Heckler and Koch joined forces with Benchmade to produce knives that were quality, yet affordable. They were designed to be used by first responders, police, military personnel, and any other person who needs a good every day knife.

The deal between the two was that Benchmade was to build them and would retain any rights to the designs after the collaboration ended. Heckler and Koch, or H&K, would put their brand name on the knife to expand the target audience. Recently, Benchmade decided to cut off the collaboration with H&K and focus on their own knife lines. The H&K knives have been huge hits though, so Benchmade decided to upgrade a few of the favorites to give us spectacular knives.

One of these knives that has been a huge hit is the H&K Epidemic. Benchmade renamed this knife the PRECIPICE. They kept the same basic design, but upgraded the blade steel, the handle design, and the trigger button. They have created an amazing knife.

Benchmade 4700 Precipice
Benchmade 4700 Precipice

 

The Blade:

 

The Epidemic’s blade was made out of D2 steel. This is an adequate steel that gets the job done. It is a cheaper and softer steel, which keeps the overall knife cost down. However, if you are looking for a high quality knife, you would not be looking at one made with D2. Benchmade’s focus with upgrading this specific knife is to give the audience a high quality, long lasting, superior knife. So they switched out the steel. They chose to use CPM-S30V steel. This is a premium steel, that is more expensive. Because of this extra cost, the PRECIPICE is going to be more expensive than the Epidemic was. But with the extra cost comes extra durability, strength, and toughness. S30V steel is a full stainless steel, which gives it higher resistance to rust and corrosion. Another benefit of having a fully stainless steel blade is that this blade is going to require less time and maintenance to keep it in good shape. This steel is stronger and tougher, making it less prone to breaking, even if you throw harder tasks at it. S30V is a harder steel to sharpen than the D2 steel was, but it will also hold a better edge for longer periods of time than the D2 steel would have. S30V steel was designed and produced by Crucible and it was actually designed to be specifically used in knives. This fact means that you are getting one of the most superior blade steels on the market today. Dollar for dollar, this steel is seen as one of the best blade steels with the perfect balance between edge retention or durability, hardness, and toughness. This steel is going to ensure you have a fantastic blade on your knife.

 

The shape that this blade sports is spear point style. Knife Depot explained this shape best when they said, “This blade 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 this blade shape rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade.” The Benchmade PRECIPICE is a double edged blade, which means that both edges of the blade are sharpened. If it was a single edged blade, only one side of the blade would be sharpened. Spear points are exceptional if you are trying to pierce or stab something. Spear points are very similar to needle point blades, however, spear points have a much stronger tip than a needle point tip would give you. The tip on this blade is lowered, so you have great control over it and can do delicate work with the tip. A spear point blade shape has a relatively small belly, but you can use it for some simple cutting or slicing. However, if you are looking for a knife to mainly use for slicing, this should not be your go to blade. This shape has a great balance between being able to stab and being able to slice. This shape maintains the strength that a drop point shape has, but it has a much sharper tip than a drop point. While you don’t have the belly that you would find on a drop point, you do have adequate slicing abilities.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle on this knife is made out of T6-6061 anodized billet aluminum. Anodizing an aluminum works to add color. In the PRECIPICE, they have anodized it to be black. Another big reason to anodize an aluminum is to add hardness and protection. When anodized properly, aluminum is an extremely durable material, especially for your knife handle. A big benefit to having an aluminum material is that it is a very light material. This gives you the look of a heavier material, instead of a cheaper plastic-y look, but it doesn’t weigh your knife down. This specific type of aluminum has extreme strength behind it. Unfortunately, this can be a very slippery material, especially in wet situations. To prevent this being too slippery, the aluminum is often texturized to give you a little bit of a better grip. The Epidemic had deep cuts across the palm of the handle to add grip. On the PRECIPICE, Benchmade got rid of these gashes to provide your knife with a much sleeker looking handle. To help with the grip on this sleeker handle, they switched up the shape of the handle very slightly. The aluminum has been cut with more exaggerated corners, providing a different ergonomic feel. Another drawback to having an aluminum handle is that it is a cold material. If you are working or living in a very cold environment, aluminum might not be the best material for your knife handle. It can feel like it is biting into your skin when it is freezing outside.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

This knife comes with a deep carry, reversible pocket clip. This knife has been drilled so that the pocket clip can be carried for either right or left handed carry. However, this knife has only been drilled to be carried tip down. This is also a deep carry pocket clip, so the clip is longer. This means that your knife will fit deeply, snugly, and securely in your pocket. A deep carry clip makes it easier to conceal in your pocket, since none of the knife actually sticks out.

 

 

The Mechanism:

 

The PRECIPICE is a double action out the front knife. An out the front knife, or an OTF, is a knife that opens and closes through a hole on one end of the handle. This is different than the average knife, where the blade folds in and out of one of the sides. This is an automatic knife. So like always, make sure you know your local laws before you purchase and carry this knife. Automatic knives, or switchblades, are not legal in many states or areas. This is a double action automatic knife, so this means that the trigger will open and close the blade. A single action trigger would just open the blade. The HK Epidemic’s trigger was a red, plastic-y looking trigger. Benchmade decided to keep the look sleek, so they switched this trigger out. It is now a gray trigger.

 

 

The Specs:

 

The blade on the PRECIPICE is 3.45 inches long. The blade on this knife is 0.124 inches thick. When the knife is opened, it is 8.23 inches long. But, when it is closed, it is 4.78 inches long. This is a long knife when opened, but because the handle is made out of aluminum, it keeps the knife relatively light; the knife weighs in at 3.31 ounces. The handle is 0.47 inches thick. This is a great size for an everyday carry knife. This knife also has the size to back itself if you are using it for a tactical or survival knife. This knife feels like it can do it all.

 

Pros of the Benchmade Precipice:

  • This knife has a rich history.
  • Upgraded the steel from D2 to S30V steel.
  • The steel is stronger, more durable, and more resistant to corrosion and rust.
  • The edge on this steel is better and will last longer than the D2 steel would have.
  • Because of the upgraded steel, this knife can survive more extreme environments, harder tasks, and can be a tactical knife or a survival knife.
  • The spear point shape will provide you with excellent piercing ability.
  • The spear point shape still has strength behind it—in fact, it is almost as strong as a drop point shape.
  • The tip is lowered and strong, so you can do delicate work with it.
  • The anodized aluminum handle is strong, resistant to corrosion, and durable.
  • The handle has a much sleeker look than the Epidemic did.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip.
  • The pocket clip is a reversible clip, so you can carry it ambidextrously.
  • The knife is a double action knife, so the trigger does all the work for you.
  • Benchmade upgraded the trigger, so it has a classier, more conservative look to it.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it opens very quickly.

 

Cons of the Benchmade Precipice:

  • S30V steel is more expensive and harder to sharpen—both things that are worth it, but they are slight drawbacks.
  • The spear point does not provide a belly, meaning that slicing is going to be a trickier task. The shape can give adequate slicing ability, but nothing like a drop point.
  • Can only carry this knife with the tip down.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it is not going to be legal in all areas of the country.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

I’m drawn to knives with rich histories, because you know that the final version is going to be a truly spectacular knife. This knife started out as a good quality knife that used good materials to produce a knife that was affordable. When Benchmade decided to focus on their own blades and upgrade this knife, they wanted to take the same design and provide their audience with an exceptional knife. They upgraded their materials which is what gives you a superior knife. When they looked at the popular design, they decided that the first thing they needed to upgrade was the steel. By choosing a better steel, this new knife can now take on harder tasks, take harder beatings, keep its edge for longer, and because of its increased rust and corrosion resistance properties—this blade needs less maintenance. Benchmade kept the shape of the blade, a spear point, because a spear point keeps most of the strength that a drop point offers, but it provides the user with a much sharper point, allowing you to stab or pierce. Benchmade decided to keep the same aluminum handle, but they did change up how the handle looks. They got rid of the deep grooves in the Epidemic’s handle and gave us a much sleeker look. The pocket clip remained the same: a deep carry reversible pocket clip. And Benchmade also kept the double action mechanism the same as the Epidemic was.

This knife started off with a good, reliable, trusty design. The Epidemic was a popular knife for a reason. So with the new, upgraded knife, the PRECIPICE, you know that all of your wildest dreams can come true. When Benchmade decided to upgrade this knife, they created a masterpiece. The Epidemic was a good knife, and many of you might have owned and loved it. But the PRECIPICE is a fantastic knife.

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A Brief History of Benchmade Knives

Benchmade Knives
Benchmade Knives

The Benchmade company started in California in 1979 and was known as Bali-Song. This all began when company founder Les de Asis wanted a knife that had a higher quality than the ones he used as a kid. His goal was to use the newest materials and manufacturing technologies to replace the poorly made butterfly knives, or Bali-Songs, that were found on the market at that time. As the company’s logo and first name reflected, Benchmade was primarily known for manufacturing butterfly or balisong-style knives. To this day, the company continues to manufacture their patented Bali-Song butterfly knives. His goal became a reality when, after using his high school shop skills, Les went to the local gun store with his prototype. After a pleasant response from the owner asking him to make more, the company began. From this humble beginning, the company went on to become known as the Pacific Cutlery Corporation.

 

-Fact: Bali-Song was the first company in the United States to manufacture the butterfly knife. This claim to fame is one of many that Benchmade can claim.

 

It was during this time that the Pacific Cutlery Corp found themselves in some trouble. Though the company under this name was short-lived, the company reorganized and launched themselves under a new name and with a new knife. Renamed as “Benchmade” the company now had the quality control of a “factory-made” product while maintaining the personalized care of a “handmade” knife. Benchmade had redesigned the knife that started them off in the first place. The Model 68 gave the company just what they needed to boost them into the powerhouse of a company they are in the knife industry today.

 

-Fact: The Benchmade Headquarters is located in Oregon City, Oregon.

 

Benchmade is made up of several different product lines that serve different purposes. Over the years, they have included the Red class, Blue class, Black class, Gold class, Hunt series and H&K knives.

Though no longer in existence, the Red class was primarily made overseas and featured more affordable knives. The most popular knives of this class found their way into the different classes and are still available for purchase.

Benchmade describes their Blue class knives as being “like your best friend.” This class contains typical everyday carry knives. As far as Black class knives go, you will find those equipped onto the belts of the professionals. This professional class is favored by policemen, emergency response teams, and others because of the quality of this class.

Next is the Gold class. This royal class features some of the rarest materials and often come in unique designs. These knives are primarily meant for show and tell. You wouldn’t want to take these beauties into the woods. What you would want to take into the woods is a knife from the Hunt series. According to Benchmade, these knives are “built from advanced materials usually reserved for spaceships and surgical equipment.” These hunting knives are built for durability and reliability while out on the hunt.

Last and certainly not least is the H&K knives. For more than a half-century, Heckler and Koch (H&K) has been a leading designer and manufacturer of military, law enforcement, and civilian firearms. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and safety makes them an industry leader in reliability and technology. Their partnership with Benchmade has been a great asset for both parties.

 

-Fact: Benchmade has produced a unique type of locking and firing mechanism called the AXIS lock. This can be found on several models of knives.

 

Of the several different knife classes by Benchmade, there are many which are notable for their quality, performance, and design. One of such is the Benchmade Infidel. The Infidel is an Out the Front auto that many find favorable. With its unique design, this powerhouse of a knife is a great choice for professionals and for everyday use. Another popular knife is the Griptilian. This model has many variations that give a wide variety of people to enjoy this knife. Similar to the Griptilian is the Barrage, another popular Benchmade product.

 

After many hardworking years by this company, you are within reach of a high-quality product. You cannot go wrong with owning a Benchmade knife. It will last you a lifetime. Here at BladeOps, we always highly recommend getting one of these beauties. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a Benchmade today.

 

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ProTech Rockeye Auto Knife Review

Specs ProTech with a Les George Design

ProTech Knives is a family owned knife company that has been in the knife making industry since 1999. Ever since day one, this fine group has been producing knives that people everywhere enjoy. Les George began making knives in 1992 and a few short years later enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1997. Having traveled all around the world and his experience in the military has given him the knowledge needed for a good hard working knife. He knows what is helpful in most situations and what is useless. Together, with over many decades of experience, ProTech, and Les George have united to create the Rockeye automatic knife. This knife will blow you away, just wait and see.

 

ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto

Specs

One of the interesting things about the Rockeye is that it shares its name with a bomb used to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles. It’s no coincidence that the Rockeye knife shares this powerful name. Listed below are the different specs for the knife.

  • Product Type: Automatic
  • Locking Mechanism: Plunge Lock
  • Overall Length: 8.38″
  • Weight:  4.53 oz.
  • Handle Length: 5.00”
  • Blade Length: 3.38″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.130″
  • Blade Steel: D2
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Finish: Various Available
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Various Available
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Lanyard Hole Included: Yes
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up
  • Made in the USA

 

Now if that didn’t do enough damage, let’s dive a little deeper into what this explosive knife is all about.

Hard Quick Auto

Automatic knives have always been a popular choice. They offer many advantages that typical folders, fixed blades, and even a spring assisted knives do not offer. One benefit to owning an auto is its deployment speed, especially with the Rockeye. Not only is it quick, but it can be fired off with one hand. The Rockeye is abnormally quick and like its explosive counterpart, it packs a hard punch. Its kickback recoil is almost comparable to that of a gun. It’s that hard of a kick.

An automatic knife is a better option because of the ease of opening the knife. Literally, by pressing the button, the blade will flash open in a blink of an eye. Until this little button is pressed on the handle, this blade is not going anywhere.

Having these features come in handy during many instances. Is a hand of yours in a bind or holding an object that is in need of cutting? An automatic knife can be opened instantly with one hand to perform its job. In many high-stress conditions, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye can preserve a life for one more day. It is different than a traditional knife and brings something new to the knife industry.

 

Blade

Steel

The steel you will find on the Rockeye is the extremely durable D2 blade steel. The steel was first developed around the time of World War II. D2 steel is a wear-resistant steel used for various rigorous tasks and can be found on cutting tools such as shears and planers. It contains 1.5% carbon and 11.0 – 12.0% chromium; additionally it is composed of 0.45% manganese, 0.030% max phosphorus, 0.030% max sulfur, 1.0% vanadium, 0.7% molybdenum, and 0.30% silicon. It is a popular knife steel due to its edge retention. One setback the steel has is that when it becomes dull, it is harder to sharpen. Due to its chromium and carbon content, it is often considered a semi-stainless steel. D2 is a high carbon tool steel. Compared to a steel like 1095 it is not nearly as tough but it is capable of holding an edge for a long time. D2 is also much more resistant to corrosion than 1095. Being a tool steel, this knife is able to accomplish heavy duty tasks.

Style

Your standard blade, the drop point, is the blade featured on the Rockeye. It is one of the more common blade shapes in use today. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slowly curved manner. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. Another advantage that the drop point has is its tip. The point on the blade is sharp and is thicker than other styles, thus allowing for a stronger tip. The point is also great when it comes to controlling the blade. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have equipped a knife and is popular on knives because of the controllable point and large slicing area.

Finish

Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) is a special finish. Like all other finishings on knives, the DLC is going to get scratched over time. But it will take a lot of time. DLC coatings can last years, depending on how thick the coating is. I’ve had several knives with a black blade. Like any other blade, with time, it began to look used. Personally, if a knife doesn’t look used, why have one? (It’s still important to take care of it.) It is a type of material that displays some of the typical properties of diamond. From a hardness point of view, it is said that DLC is harder than diamond. The way it looks is a matte black finish. Notable benefits of it are its coolness factor, and its low reflectivity. This coating can be helpful in stealth operations that require a tactical knife with low reflectivity. When someone needs protection from corrosion, a DLC coating has some advantages. If one tends to forget proper blade maintenance, the coating can resist corrosion for a longer time. It lowers friction, offers high wear resistance, and enhances hardness. The Rockeye DLC blade coating is not all about looks, it’s about performance. The benefits are obviously important when it comes to knives.

 

ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto

Handle

Material

The handle on the Rockeye is made of an aluminum alloy. Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal (meaning it does not contain or consist of iron) that is corrosive resistant. It is a very durable material for knife handles. It’s a low-density metal that provides a nice, solid feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. It is strong because of its high strength to weight ratio. Aluminum is often considered to be inferior titanium, which tends to be found on more premium knives. Though inferior to titanium, it is still an excellent handle material.

One downside to aluminum is that if you use your knife during cooler weather, you might find the handle to be slightly uncomfortable.  If left uncared for, aluminum will oxidize. This oxidation appears as white residue and pitting on the surface. Some other things to watch out for with an aluminum handle is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings if you are not careful. Though it may seem to have significant disadvantages, there are many good qualities to this material. The biggest advantages to aluminum are its strength, its light weight, its durability, and its resistance to corrosion.

Design

Though the only real texture on the handle of the Rockeye is a honeycomb hexagonal design, this isn’t some wimpy bug of a knife. The Rockwell’s texture provides a better grip and gives variety to the rest of the smooth handle. Only the front face of the handle has this texturing on it, and it only covers three-fourths of that side. The rest of the handle is smooth to the touch. When the blade is opened, there is a finger groove that adds extra grip. Not only that, but it serves as an extra bit of protection as well. Though not a part of the handle per say, there is jimping on the blade. This jimping extends well into the handle for additional gripping ability. Some other features of the knife include a lanyard hole for your convenience. The pocket clip, only equipped tip up on the backside of the handle, allows the carrier a near discrete carry while in a pocket.

 

Variations

There are many variations available for the Rockeye. Those variations include everything from blade edge, to handle finish. And from blade finish to a completely different knife product. It would be much simpler to go to the website to learn more about it. Go to BladeOps.com for more variation information.

 

Everyday Carry or Tactical Knife

The ProTech Rockeye is a viable tool for everyone. Whether it is for everyday tasks or for the tactical situation, the Rockeye is ready to blow.

Carry Depth

It is never comfortable to carry a large knife in your pocket every day. There is only a small limited size pocket space available. With that being said, the Rockeye is a great knife to carry around daily. The total length of the knife, when closed, is 5.00″ long. For those of you with smartphones, the Rockeye is about the same size as the average phone. If you have room in your pocket for your iPhone or Android device, you definitely have room for the Rockeye. If by some chance you have a small pocket, this knife will easily fit into another pocket; such as that on your backpack. There is no need to worry about the length of this knife.

Weight

Now the Rockeye is pretty dense for its size. Weighing in at 4.40 ounces, the Rockeye is sure to pack a serious punch. As a more heavy-duty knife, its weight is perfect just the way it is. If it were any heavier, then it would be uncomfortable to carry around. And if it were any lighter, the knife would not be able to make as big of an impact when used or it could go unnoticed while in a pocket and fly out unknowingly. I’d say that the perfect weight range for any everyday carry is 3.5 to 5 ounces. The Rockeye easily fits into that range.

Thickness and Width

As far as the thickness and the width go on the Rockeye, it is your average size knife (perhaps leaning towards the larger side). The thickness of the knife is just over half an inch, including the pocket clip. Without the pocket clip, the knife’s thickness would be half an inch. The width of the knife anywhere between an inch and a quarter and an inch and a half. The dimensions of the knife are pretty normal. It will not take up much pocket space although it is slightly thicker than the average smartphone (when in a protective case).

Tactical

If carrying the knife every day isn’t enough for you, there is no need to fret. The Rockeye can be used as a tactical knife. The term “Tactical Knife” often gets thrown around the industry for a variety of reasons. Whether it is a publicity tactic or an actual description of the knife’s purpose, there is a need for a filtering lens to see what the knife is really made for. In the case of the Rockeye, it has many tools equipped on it to make it useful for several different jobs. This is what makes a knife a tactical one.

A tactical knife is a knife with one or more features designed for use in extreme situations. A tactical knife is principally designed to be used as a utility tool, not as a weapon. Folding knives are rarely, if ever, designed primarily for fighting or combat. However, several military organizations have issued folding “utility” knives that were not intended to be used as weapons, but which had tactical features that appealed to military personnel as well as civilians. A knife with aggressive looks such as having a blackened blade and grips do not make a knife “tactical.”

 

Conclusion

This knife is the bomb. ProTech is always coming up with brilliant knives to arm people with. The ProTech Rockeye is a practical tool that you can use anytime and anywhere. Being capable of working as an everyday carry and as a tactical knife makes it great to use every day. The design and construction of this knife allow you to own a knife that is made to last you a lifetime. It will not let you down.

 

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CRKT Burnley Squid Knife Review

The Squid is not your typical everyday carry folding knife. From knife designer Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico comes this compact knife with great potential. He has based this knife on the concept of a compact pistol, meaning it can still fully function without the extra fluff. It is a tactically inspired knife that can stand up to any opposition.

 

CRKT Squid
CRKT Squid

Specs

As a compact knife, the Squid might be small in size, but not in stature. Listed below are the specs for this mighty knife.

  • Product Type: Folder
  • Locking Mechanism: Frame Lock
  • Overall Length: 5.70″
  • Weight:  3.50 oz.
  • Handle Length: 3.40”
  • Blade Length: 2.10″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.110″
  • Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Back
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash
  • Handle Material: 2Cr13
  • Handle Color: Gray
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Lanyard Hole Included: Yes
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up

 

As you can see, the knife isn’t that large. Both in weight and in length it is small, but there is potential in the squid. In the wild, squids are pretty average in size (around 24 inches in length). However, there are those giant squids that always seem to wreak havoc in horror or action films. Although the CRKT Squid will not break into a rampage, the knife will still put up a good fight and be a great everyday tool.

 

Burnley Design

Burnley Knives was founded in 2003 by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their mission is to “create custom knives with a superlative level of design and function utilizing ever evolving techniques and materials.” Much of Burnley’s inspiration comes from spending time with his father, time out among Mother Nature, and action packed survival stories and films. Over the years, he has experimented with a range of styles to combine classical knife designs with modern materials and techniques. His goal in creating the Squid was to make a great quality knife, which is readily available to a broader spectrum of people to own and use. Even though the Burnley design is compact, it is still able to function at 100%.

 

Folder

While there are other opening mechanisms out in the market (spring assist, fixed, automatic, etc.) there is a reason why a folder knife is a viable tool, especially as an everyday carry. One reason a folder knife is beneficial to own is because of how quiet it opens. Another point to note is that in some places, having a spring assisted or automatic knife can get you into legal trouble whereas a folder knife will not. This isn’t true is all cases, but something to point out. One more thing to make mention of is that the more parts that move in the knife, can mean a greater potential to wear out and break down over time. Also, when compared to fixed blades, a folder can be more discrete when carrying it every day. It doesn’t draw as much attention to it compared to the attitude people have about the serious nature of fixed blades. It simply is much easier to carry around in the city. Plus a folder tends to be more compact than a fixed blade. This is especially true with the tiny size of the Squid.

 

Locking Mechanism

The frame lock on the CRKT Squid is a type of locking system that was first introduced with the Sebenza Folder. The Frame or Integral Lock was created by Chris Reeve of Chris Reeve Knives and first appeared on the Sebenza. Chris Reeve calls it an Integral Lock, but the common name used in the industry now is simply “Frame Lock”. The original Integral Lock was developed in 1987. It is used when a portion of the back handle is slotted in a groove on the knife to lock the knife into place. This groove is in place behind the blade to refrain it from closing. Many suggest that this is one of the best locking mechanisms for its life-long durability and its reliability. The locking system makes the Squid more reliable during use because of its ability to resist slipping while retaining its strength.

The Frame Lock is a modification of the Liner Lock created by Michael Walker to simplify and strengthen the design. This is done by removing the handle scales and thin liners from the knife and using thicker liners to serve as both the handles, and the integrated locking bar. Frame locks are stronger than normal liner locks and are simpler in design. While holding the knife, the lock is being reinforced since it is integrated into the handle. Having this type of lock improves the overall quality of the knife.

 

Blade Style

The drop point on the Squid is an all-purpose blade that is able to stand up to anything that it comes across. Its blade is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. Another advantage that the drop point has is its tip. The point on the blade is sharp and is thicker than other styles, thus allowing for a stronger tip. The point is also great when it comes to controlling the blade. Accuracy is key, especially when it comes to fine tune cutting. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have on a knife and is popular on knives because of the controllable point and large slicing area.

 

Blade Steel

The steel used in the blade on the CRKT Squid is 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. For a knife that is very inexpensive, 8Cr13MoV is a tough steel to compete with. It is a Chinese steel with similar qualities to the Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel. 8Cr13Mov and its variations are excellent steels considering how little it costs to produce. Similar to AUS-8, 8Cr13MoV lacks the edge retention of the higher end steels. This is considerable based on the cost of making the steel. It can, however, take a sharp edge. It is considerably tough, and corrosion resistant. Owning a stainless steel knife does not require too much attention. Even though they are a little harder to sharpen, stainless steel blades are a popular choice because of the environment where the knife will be used; i.e. working in less than ideal weather conditions, dealing with corrosive liquids, etc.

 

Blade Finish

One of my all-time favorite finishes is a nice stonewash blade. It is the finish on the CRKT Squid. The process of getting a blade to look this way begins when the blade is rolled and tumbled with pebbles and an acid of sorts, then smoothed. In theory, it can hide scratches or other abrasions to the blade. This is a favorable characteristic that many knife owners desire. Because of the tumbling process to create this finish, it looks as if there are already hundreds of markings on it. Yet, the markings are done in a natural way to form a work of art. Similar to a snowflake, no two stonewashes are the same. The finish has a different look to it. It is able to reflect direct light off the surface blade. With all of the noticeable artistic markings on the knife, there is no need to worry about other markings that may come with using the knife. The knife can be used for its intended purpose of cutting and doing any other type of work while taking on any marking. Some suggest that because of the process, a stonewashed knife can become more resistant to rust as well. The acid oxidation it goes through in the process enhances a blade’s rust resistance with a stable oxide barrier between the steel and its surrounding. Another benefit of stonewashing a blade is their low maintenance and their ability to preserve their original look overtime. I am in love with this blade. It is amazing to look at, and it comes with benefits.

 

Handle

Stainless steel handles, such as that on the Squid, contain a minimum of 10-13% chromium. The chromium in the steel alloy helps to make the knife corrosive resistant. Chromium creates a barrier to oxygen and moisture which makes is rust resistant, but not rust proof. While it does provide excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, it is not particularly lightweight. Stainless steel handles can also be rather slick. The main advantages to having a stainless steel handle is that it is strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. The Squid is practically made solely from stainless steel. This will help extend the life of the knife. The pocket clip on the Squid runs half the length of the handle. Though not quite a discreet carry, it is pretty close. Though the clip is only available in one position, it still works great for any knife user out there.

 

Small Everyday Carry

As an everyday carry knife, it is important to know how the CRKT Squid feels when being carried around all the time. Especially as a small carry knife. Those criteria include its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The CRKT Squid is comfortable to carry in your pocket. The slim design takes up minimal pocket real-estate. Because of its smaller size, it sacrifices the potential for a really secure and comfortable grip.  When closed, the knife is 3.40 inches long. You’ll find that most comfortable carry knives are anywhere between 3.5 to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests just near the edge that range. Frequently, before any knife purchase, I ask myself, “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” The knife isn’t too deep when resting in the pocket. However, the pocket clip allows the majority of the knife to fit within my pocket.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. One of the worst feelings that can happen on a day to day basis is carrying something heavy in your pocket. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The CRKT Squid barely fits right into this range. Weighing in at 3.50 ounces, this knife is fairly lightweight. For the size of the knife, it is a good idea to take precaution when carrying it around. Because of its lack of weight, the knife has a greater potential to fly out of your pocket.

Thickness and Width

Like we mentioned before, the knife is very slim. At most, the knife is just about an inch thick. And the knife is just about a quarter of an inch wide from handle scale to handle scale. There is hardly anything to the CRKT Squid.

Appearance

The goal for the CRKT Squid is a simple look, nothing to extreme. It isn’t too dull, or to flamboyant. The conservative look is one of the advantages that this knife has. One other goal for this knife was to make it legal to carry all over the place. Though you are still responsible in keeping the law, it’s nice to know that there are some people out there trying to help you to have a decent knife that is legal, and useful.

 

The Test

The CRKT Squid is a tough knife that can the job done. To best show you how it gets the job done, there are certain tests that the blade undergoes to demonstrate its skill. Below are the results of these tests.

Paper- The Squid was easily able to cut through multiple layers of paper. But because of the tip on the blade, penetration wasn’t as good as other blade styles (such as a dagger or tanto). Shredding all of that unwanted mail will be easy with the Squid.

Cardboard- This is probably where the Squid excelled the most. The cuts were much simpler than those of the other tests. I was worried that the size of the Squid would prevent me from using the knife to its full capacity. Nevertheless, I was taken back.

Plastic- Again, the penetration problem persisted primarily in cutting the plastic. But once it had pushed through the tough material, it was easily able to slice through the rest of the plastic.

Rope/Paracord- Cutting the rope was pretty normal when compared to other knives. It got the job done, but nothing too impressive.

 

Conclusion

CRKT and Lucas Burnley did an excellent job at creating an inexpensive knife that is highly functional. I would be surprised if anyone couldn’t own this knife. It is supposedly legal everywhere, it is inexpensive, the size is small and comfortable, and it is good quality for what it is worth. I highly recommend this knife. Pick up the CRKT Squid today!

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Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken Knife Review

Kwaiken History

Anciently, Japanese women and men of the samurai class once carried the kwaiken blade. Primarily used for self-defense in indoor spaces, the kwaiken had an advantage over the long blade katana and intermediate sword wakizashi in smaller spaces. Women carried them in their kimono, either in a pocket-like space (futokoro) or in the sleeve pouch (tamoto), for self-defense purposes.

Today, the modern kwaiken also serves as a great self-defense tool for men and women everywhere. Its slim profile, and durable design are perfect in this realm.

 

Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken
Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken

Specs

As a smaller version of the katana or even the wakizashi, the Boker Kwaiken is still an impressive knife. Below is a list of all the specifications you need to know before getting a modern twist on an ancient classic.

  • Product Type: Flipper
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock
  • Overall Length: 8.38″
  • Weight: 4.45 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.88”
  • Blade Length: 3.50″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.130″
  • Blade Steel: VG-10
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Straight Back
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up

 

Even though this blade has been around for many generations, it is best to cover the basics of the knife and the new modernized additions to the Kwaiken.

 

Burnley Design

Burnley Knives was founded in 2003 by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their mission is to “create custom knives with a superlative level of design and function utilizing ever evolving techniques and materials.” Much of Burnley’s inspiration comes from spending time with his father, time out among Mother Nature, and action packed survival stories and films. Over the years, he has experimented with a range of styles to combine classical knife designs with modern materials and techniques.

 

Flipper

The Boker Kwaiken opens with a “flipper.” The flipper is that part of the blade that protrudes near the knife spine when the blade is closed. One advantage to having a flipper is when the blade is opened, it acts as an additional finger support when gripping the handle. It also, depending on the size, can serve as an extra way to protect your fingers when cutting. When proficiently skilled, a user can open a flipper knife in the blink of an eye. As the user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use. Without the use of a spring or torsion bar to assist the blade out of the handle, the IKBS opening system is a manual opening system that provides a smooth, easy blade opening.

 

IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System

One of the new twists to the Boker Kwaiken is the IKBS System. The Ikoma Korth Bearing System (IKBS) is a ball bearing pivot system for folding knives. The IKBS gives an exceptionally fast and smooth opening and closing action without much friction. The pivot requires very little maintenance and has a long service life. It works is by using uncaged ball bearings at the pivot which are held in grooves machined into the folder frame and blade. The IKBS was originally designed to fit in balisong knives, but because of its versatility it can be used in most kinds of folding knives (mainly liner locks and frame locks).
The IKBS system is highly favorable because of its simplicity.
An ordinary bearing is designed to rotate at high-speed for a long period of time and usually with some load applied on it. This required additional hardware such as bearing races and cages. With a simple flipper knife, such as the Boker Kwaiken, it was possible to eliminate those bulky and complex pieces, leaving just the steel balls to rotate the blade. Instead of external races, there are recesses made in the liners to hold the steel balls. And the pivot pin is used as the internal race. The steel balls that make up the IKBS are inexpensive and can be easily replaced without the need of any adjustment, making maintenance quite simple. The IKBS system is slightly adjustable. If any blade play occurs after time, tightening the pivot screw can easily eliminate it.
Blade Style

If you want a knife with a relatively narrow point and yet a curved belly, a straight back blade is the one for you. It is well suited for both thrusting and cutting. There isn’t too much of difference between a straight back and a dropped point. However, a straight back blade is the simplest of blade shapes. The sharp edge starts near the handle and curves towards the tip of the blade. The unsharpened edge continues straight from the handle to the tip. Simple, no? Having a straight back on your knife blade helps improve the strength of the blade. It also makes it ideal for adding thumb pressure when slicing and chopping. The straight dull back won’t hurt your thumb when adding a lot of pressure.

 

Blade Steel

VG-10 Steel isn’t a common steel you hear about. Though it is not used much, the blade steel is still excellent in quality. Sticking with the Japanese theme on the Boker Kwaiken, VG-10 is a cutlery grade stainless steel was originally designed and produced by Takefu Special Steel Co. Ltd., in Japan. It is a high carbon stainless steel containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, 1.5% Cobalt, and 0.5% Manganese. Even though carbon only makes up a relatively small amount of the total material of the blade, it is still a significant amount for stainless steel. The G in the name stands for “gold,” referring to the “gold standard” that this stainless steel is considered to have met. One of the original uses of this steel was in the horticultural industry. This is because of its ability to make clean, grafting cuts. Thus it would not fray or destroy the vessels of the plant. VG-10 was originally aimed at Japanese chefs, but also found its way into sports cutlery. VG-10 is quite capable of retaining an edge, while still being rust resistant. It is preferred by many professional chefs. With VG-10, you also get the hardness of a carbon steel. It is more expensive when compared to other steels such as 440 steels, but is well worth it. All of these qualities of this steel make this knife great for everyday use, plus its ability to take abuse.

 

Liner Lock

The liner lock is one of the most prevalent locking systems used in the knife industry and is the locking mechanism on the Boker Kwaiken. It was invented and patented in 1980 by Michael Walker. A liner lock works by having a section of the liner spring inwards and wedge itself beneath the tang of the blade when it is opened all the way. This locks the blade open between the stop pin and the liner locking mechanism. The liner lock is easy to manufacture and reliable to use. The biggest advantage of the liner lock is the easy one-handed opening and closing. Most other locking methods are not as easy to close one-handed. This type of locking mechanism, in conjunction with the flipper, makes this knife perfect for one-handed use. Not only for right handed people, but for left handed people as well.

 

Handle

The handle on the Boker Kwaiken is full of mysteries, like its origin, that are waiting to be unlocked. Do not let its appearance deceive you. There is a lot more than meets the eye. The handle is quite slim. In fact, it is three quarters of an inch thick in its thinnest spot and grows to just under an inch thick near the pivot area. Though it is slender, its weight is very dense. In total, the knife weighs around four and a half pounds. For such a small knife, the Kwaiken has quite the hefty feel to it.

In addition to the slimness and weight of the Kwaiken, the handle also includes the specially fabricated handle scales. Made from a single G-10 piece, the lower part has a milled, wood-like texture for a neat design and a secure grip. The portion near the pivot is made without this texture to provide a contrasting look from the scales. This special look gives the knife a unique appeal while retaining a natural look.

G-10 or G10 is similar to Micarta and Carbon Fiber and is often used in handles because of its moisture imperviousness. G-10 is a fiberglass based laminate made by layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in an epoxy resin, are compressed, and then baked. The result is a material that is hard, lightweight, and strong. The surface of the G-10 is a checkering texture that is added for additional grip support. A unique property of the material is that the grip improves when wet. This material is difficult to break. It is also an ideal handle material because it does not shrink or swell in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Many knife companies prefer to use G-10 because of these properties, but also prefer to use it because it is easy to shape into different designs and has a possibility for an unlimited number of colors. This handle is recommended for knives that are to be used in survival situations. G-10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger (though more brittle) than Micarta. Its main advantages include its toughness, its light weight, it is strong and durable, impervious to water, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive. Though it can be brittle, and occasionally have a cheap plastic feel, G-10 is a fantastic handle material.

 

Everyday Carry

As an everyday carry knife, it is important to know how the Boker Kwaiken feels when being carried around all the time. Those criteria include its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The Boker Kwaiken is comfortable to carry in your pocket. The slim design takes up minimal pocket real-estate. Because of its smaller size, it sacrifices the potential for a really secure and comfortable grip.  When closed, the knife is 4.88 inches long. You’ll find that most comfortable carry knives are anywhere between 3.5 to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests just near the edge that range. Frequently, before any knife purchase, I ask myself, “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” The knife is a deep carry knife. The pocket clip allows the majority of the knife to fit within my pocket.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. One of the worst feelings that can happen on a day to day basis is carrying something heavy in your pocket. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The Kwaiken barely fits right into this range. It weighs 4.45 ounces. For the size of the knife, I would be careful about getting it if you are sensitive to your pocket weight. But again, it is within this range of comfortable weight. The knife is just dense.

Thickness and Width

Like we mentioned before, the knife is very slim. At most, the knife is just under an inch thick. And the knife is just under half an inch wide from handle scale to handle scale. There is hardly anything to the Kwaiken.

Appearance

When the knife is closed, it looks pretty conservative, especially with its “wood grain” finish. But when the knife is unleashed, it does have that ancient samurai intimidation to it. It’s as if it says “Be careful, this knife will come after you.”

 

Conclusion

Boker is constantly coming up with knifes that work well for a decent price. At $135, you will be happy with this purchase. There are many creative minds going into this blade. From the creators of the IKBS System to Lucas Burnley, and from the people over at Boker to the ancient Japanese creators of the kwaiken, the Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken is a huge hit. You will want this in your armory.

 

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Boker Magnum 018 Auto Knife Review

One of Boker’s fantastic automatic knives is their Magnum 018. Boker has a great history of making durable knives that are affordable, effective, and good looking. The Magnum is nothing short of the Boker Standard.

Boker 018 Magnum Auto
Boker 018 Magnum Auto

Specs

Below is the specs list for the Magnum 018. This is somewhat similar to another popular Boker auto knife. The Boker Kalashnikov 74 is just slightly smaller than the Magnum 018. Here is the list:

  • Product Type: Automatic Knife
  • Overall Length: 8.0″
  • Weight: 4.50 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.75”
  • Blade Length: 3.25″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.120″
  • Blade Material: AUS-8 Stainless
  • Blade Edge: Combo
  • Blade Style: Tanto
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Down
  • Made in Taiwan

 

Handle Material

The handle on the Magnum 018 is Aluminum is usually treated by anodizing the metal to obtain its color, hardness, and protection. It is a durable metal for knife handles. Its low density provides for a nice, light feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. The most common type of aluminum used today a T6-6061 alloy. When aluminum is properly texturized, the handle can provide a considerably secure grip that is both comfortable and easy to hold. Despite its smooth appearance, it also provides excellent grip and is especially suitable for knives that will be used in harsh weather conditions or even in just very wet conditions. Another property that aluminum possesses is a high corrosion resistance. One possible negative effect that an aluminum handle can have is its conductive property. When it is cold out, the knife’s metal will cool down too. This can be potentially uncomfortable for some people, but others may take favor to this property.

 

Blade Steel

The steel that is used on the Magnum 018 is the Japanese manufactured AUS-8 Stainless Steel. AUS-8 is said to be compared to steels such as 440C, CM-154, and even D2. This steel is exceptionally hard, and is quite capable of achieving and retaining a sharp edge. This well-rounded knife has high quality in its hardness, toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. While this metal is still far from being perfect, it is a quality steel for what it costs to produce.

 

Blade Style

The blade on the Magnum 018 is a tanto part serrated blade. The tanto blade has a somewhat chisel-like point that is thick towards the point (being close to the spine) and is thus quite strong. The tanto knife was inspired by ancient Japanese swords. The Westernized tanto is often straight but may also be gently curved. This style of blade became popular during the ‘80s shortly after the blade was created and introduced. The tanto does not have a typical belly (such as that on a drop point), which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Its design makes it great for push cuts, rather than slicing, and piercing tougher materials because of its tip’s strength.

 

Serrations

In comparison with a sharp plain edge, the serrated edge on the Magnum 018 tends to do better in cutting hard material. Whether it be thick rope, hard plastics, bones, or any other fibrous material, a serrated blade is capable of cutting through it. A serrated cut works because of several key reasons. When beginning to cut, the tiny points on the serrations touch the object being cut. This allows for a centralized pressure on the cut. After applying this pressure, the dozens of little serrations act like hooks. Each tug and pull at the material until it is cut deep. The penetrating points and scallops greatly assist in cutting with their low-edge, sharp angle. Many question the usage of a serrated blade. They ask if it is even worth it to have as a tool when they have a sharp plain edge. However, it is difficult to ever really know when you will be needing a serrated blade. It is essential though to be prepared for whenever that situation arises. This is more truth in this statement because of the line of work that tactical knives find themselves in. For some people, having a combination of a plain edge and a serrated edge is important. You never know when it can come in handy. The nice thing about serrated edges is that they can still cut when dull, while a dull plain edge has a difficult time cutting.

 

Handle Design

Because of the way the Magnum handle is finished, with its discrete looking finger holds and its parallel grooves on the handle’s surface, it provides a solid grip to hold while using the knife. Most of the time, an aluminum handle is smooth and lacks any kind of texture. The Magnum 018 has a slight texturing to the handle that helps improve the grip slightly. The handle, along with the rest of the blade, have a curving arch that runs the full length of the knife.

 

Similar to 007

The Magnum 018 is related to its similarly built Magnum 007. It is as if the 018 is the darker side of the Magnum, while the 007 is lighter. The fierce looking 018 has a more tactical look to it while the 007 is more gentlemanly. For more info on the 007, check out its review.

 

Automatic Knife

Automatic knives are a popular choice of knife to own. They offer many advantages that typical folders, fixed blades, or even a spring assisted knives do not offer. One benefit to owning an auto is its deployment speed. Some may argue that a spring assisted knife is just as fast as an automatic knife. This is true in many cases. However, what makes an automatic knife a better option is the ease in opening the knife. With the press of a button, or a flick of a switch, the blade will flash open in a blink of an eye. Not only is it quick, but it can be fired off with one hand. Plus, firing off an auto is fun to do. The firing and locking mechanism on the Magnum 018 is a plunge lock that utilizes a button. Until this little button is pressed on the handle, this blade is not going anywhere.

Having these features come in handy during many instances. For example, if one of your hands in a bind or holding an object in need of cutting, an auto can be opened right away with one hand and do its job. Emergency response teams, law enforcement, and military personnel are all constantly faced with tribulation that requires the use of a decent knife. In many high stress situations, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye using only one hand can help someone else live for one more day. They are different than a traditional knife and bring a new element to the knife industry.

 

Test

To give you a better idea on how this knife works in the “real world”, below are the results of several tests. These will inform you of what you can expect with the Magnum 018. The normal tests include cutting paper, cardboard, plastic, and rope. This testing also includes a fruit and vegetable test.

Paper- The paper was easy to cut, but it took some effort to get it started. Because of the blade style with a combo edge, there isn’t a lot of cutting edge to use. The serrated part of the blade got in the way of slicing through the paper. The tanto, with its two different edges, made it difficult to have a nice sweeping motion to cut the paper.

Cardboard- Cutting the cardboard was relatively simple, only because of the combination of the serrated edge and a sawing motion. Pushing through was slightly more difficult than pulling back when sawing through.

Plastic- All types of synthetic material were able to be cut; from tape to shopping bags, and from thicker bottles to heavy packaging plastics. The thicker stuff was easily cut with the help of the serrations. The tanto’s tip was perfect at penetrating the plastic packaging that we see around all the time.

Rope/Paracord- Here, cutting rope, is where the Magnum 018 performs well. The serrations on the tanto blade are designed to cut rope and other fibrous materials with ease. The serrated design did what it is intended to do. The rope snapped in half in a split second after taking the serrated blade to it. Of course I had to try using the non-serrated portion of the blade on the rope. The plain edge near the tip of the tanto blade cut the rope with ease.

Fruit/Vegetable- Only to be fair when talking about the tanto serrated blade, there had to be a test to see where the blade’s potential could truly shine forth. Where I imagined this type of blade to excel at is in culinary uses. The perfect foods to test the cutting ability of the Magnum 018 are apples and carrots. Most people, at one time or another, imagines slicing of a piece of apple and eating it directly from the blade (just like in the movies). The plain edge portion of the blade performed just as you would see in the movies. The apple is small enough that the small plain blade could cut right through the fruit. Carrots, denser than an apple, require a different cutting technique. Cutting carrots, especially raw carrots, takes great effort and force to cut. Luckily, there is the serrated blade that saws right through. It is similar to cutting a thin tree branch.

 

Carrying the Knife

It is very important to know how the knife feels when being carried around all the time. There are a few things to consider when looking to get a new knife. Those items include the following: its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The Magnum 018 is comfortable to carry. Not only in your hand, but it is decently comfortable in your pocket. When closed, the knife is 4.75 inches long. A typically comfortable carry knife is anywhere between three and a half to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests on the edge that range. A question I ask myself before getting a knife is “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” Ever since I lost my own knife, I check to see if the knife has the potential to fall out.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. It is the worst feeling to have to carry heavy objects in your pocket, no matter what it is. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The Magnum 018 fits right into this range. It weighs 4.50 ounces. It is about average in size. However, when holding the knife, it feels lighter than what you think.

Thickness and Width

When carrying a knife around all the time in your pocket, there is a limited amount of space available in your pocket. A good everyday carry knife should be comfortable to carry and easy to handle. The Magnum 018 is about an inch and a half wide at its thickest point from the top of the blade to the back of the handle. Its thickness from the left of the handle to the opposite side is between a half an inch and three quarters of an inch. The Magnum 018 is going to take up some room in your pocket, but not a ton of space.

Appearance

The Magnum’s appearance is significantly different than its counterpart the Magnum 007. The 018 has a dark look that comes off intimidating at a first glance. The serrations add to the intimidation factor. But all of this intimidation is contained inside the conservative looking handle. Once unleashed, the Magnum is unstoppable.

 

Conclusion

The Boker Magnum 018 Auto Knife is a good, inexpensive, automatic knife that will satisfy your basic needs. There is no need to worry about beating up this knife. Pick your Magnum up today.

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Benchmade 67 Bali-Song Review

History of the Balisong

The Benchmade history, and their Bali-Song knife, began in 1979 when Les de Asis wanted a knife that had the best quality to replace the cheap balisongs, or butterfly knives, he played with as a kid. Les used his high-school experience to develop and make his dream knife a reality. He created his first balisong in his own garage. From there he took the knife he had created, the model 68 Bali-Song, to a gun store where he was asked to make more of them. From this knife came the famous Benchmade Butterfly Logo that millions recognize everywhere.

A balisong’s peculiarity is its two handles counter-rotating around the tang of the blade. When closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. The balisong knife is the traditional name. There are other names it has. Benchmade has it named Bali-Song (with a hyphen in-between). Another name for the knife is a butterfly knife. It is also referred to as a Batangas knife, after the Province of Batangas, Philippines where it is traditionally made. The balisong was commonly used by the Filipino people for self-defense and as a utility knife. While the meaning of the term balisong is foggy, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog words “bali” and “sungay” which means broken and horn in English. They were originally made from carved caribou and stag horn. Balisong is also the name of a small area in the Batangas Province, which became famous for crafting these knives.

Benchmade 67 Bali
Benchmade 67 Bali

 

Specs

The Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is another addition to the collection of Benchmade’s balisong archive. Here are the specs for this additional balisong knife.

  • Product Type: Balisong (Butterfly) Knife
  • Overall Length: 9.20″
  • Weight: 6.39 oz.
  • Handle Length: 5.27”
  • Blade Length: 4.25″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.127″
  • Blade Material: D2
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Recurve Tanto
  • Blade Finish: Satin
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Color: Silver
  • Pocket Clip: Not Included
  • Sheath Included
  • Made in USA

 

The Blade

The blade on the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is not a common blade. There are some common characteristics that it possesses, but for the most part it is a rare blade.

Blade Style

The blade on the 67 Bali-Song is a recurve tanto blade. When talking about this blade, it is best to look at it as two separate blade styles that are mashed together.

Starting with the tanto blade, the tanto is similar to a wharncliff or a drop point, except it has a second diagonal edge and it isn’t as easy to sharpen as the other two blades. It offers a good, strong point that excels at penetration and is less likely to break when penetrating the same material versus a drop point or spear point.

Next is to examine the recurved portion of the blade. Recurved blades offer a great cutting leverage when it comes to draw cuts. Another benefit of a recurve is that it lengthens the cutting edge longer than the actual length of the blade. The design also gives the edge multiple angles to work with. Recurves excel at slicing, whether it’s for food prep or cutting rope. Slicing isn’t the only cutting task that can benefit from a recurve’s contour. Other cuts, such as chopping and slashing, are best done with the use of a recurve blade. That is why you will find recurves on blades used for clearing vegetation, large choppers, and even certain defensive blades.

There are a couple of disadvantages to a recurve edge. Sharpening the blade involves a different technique when compared to sharpening more conventional blades such as a drop point. It can be difficult, and will be frustrating at first. If you are more accustomed to a traditional blade style, the recurve may take a while to adjust to. The ways these blades cut are quite different.

The Recurve Tanto is a sick looking blade. It has a high intimidation factor to it, yet at the same time it is extremely cool looking.

 

Blade Steel

Besides having a great blade style, the Benchmade 67 blade steel is the durable D2 steel.  First developed around the time of World War II, D2 steel is a wear resistant steel used for various rigorous cutting tools such as shears and planers. It contains 1.5% carbon and 11.0 – 12.0% chromium; additionally it is composed of 0.45% manganese, 0.030% max phosphorus, 0.030% max sulfur, 1.0% vanadium, 0.7% molybdenum, and 0.30% silicon. It is a popular knife steel due to its edge retention. One setback the steel has is that when it becomes dull, it is harder to sharpen. Due to its high chromium content it is often considered a semi-stainless steel. D2 is a high carbon tool steel. Compared to a steel like 1095 it is not nearly as tough but it is capable of holding an edge for a long time. D2 is also much more resistant to corrosion than 1095. Being a tool steel, this knife is able to accomplish heavy duty tasks.

Blade Finish

The satin blade surface is covered with small linear strokes that form a uniform pattern. The blade reflects direct light for a nice shine. One benefit to a satin finish is that many minor wear and scratch marks from regular usage go unnoticed. This particular satin finish shines brighter than many other satin finishes. It complements the rest of the knife with its shine. A satin finish is similar to how a blade is sharpened. The surface is repeatedly sanded down for a smooth, reflective finish.

 

The Handle

The handle on the Bali-Song 67 is not similar to any I have felt before. It is confusing because the handles are thin as a pencil but are as heavy as a NHL hockey puck. The majority of the weigh for the entire handle comes from the two balisong handles. This isn’t to say it is a bad thing. The weight is perfect for flipping the knife around, both to simply open it and to perform fancy tricks.

The look that the handle has is phenomenal. The milled out holes in the handle are flawless. They help lighten the weight of the overall knife. Air is able to flow through to keep your hands cool in those high intense situations.

 

Parts of the Balisong Knife

To better understand what a balisong is all about and how to properly use it, it is best to understand some of the basic parts. The balisong’s handle is comprised of is basically two parts; one fixed handle in one hand and one that rotates on an axis. The axis of butterfly knives is usually made of a rivet or from hex screw. The following covers more detail about the knife components.

Bite handle

The bite handle is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade. It will cut the user if this handle is being held when they go to close it. Stereotypically located on the bite handle is the latch for the knife.

Latch

The standard locking system on a balisong knife is the latch. This holds the knife in a stationary position, whether if the blade is open or closed. The latch typically is found on the bite handle. Some latches are spring loaded for a quicker release. The Benchmade 67 has a traditional latch on it.

Pivot joint

A pivot joint is a pin about which the tang, the blade, and the handles rotate about. On all balisong knives, there are two pivot joints. A regular folder knife has one pivot joint. The two pivot joints allow the knife to open in its unique “flipping” way.

Safe handle

The safe handle is the handle that that closes on the non-sharpened edge (swedge) of the blade. Generally speaking, this is the handle that does not have the latch attached to it.

Swedge

The swedge is the unsharpened spine of the blade. Some balisongs are also sharpened on this side of the blade to make it into a double edged blade.

These are but a few of all the parts that go into a balisong, but these are the key parts of the knife. Knowing these will help with operating the knife.

 

How to Open

Opening the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is quite simple, and fun! Below is a step-by-step guide to help lead those who do not know how to open the knife:

  1. Start by holding the closed knife in your dominate hand.
  2. Unlock the knife. Do this by moving the latch that is being held stationary to disengage the blade.
  3. Grab the safe handle on the knife (you don’t want to cut yourself with the blade).
  4. Flip open the handle over your hand exposing the blade.
  5. Rotate loosely in front of your hand 180 degrees.
  6. Flip the blade against back of hand
  7. Flip back and grab rest of handle

This is just a simple list of steps on how to open the knife. There are several different ways to open up the knife. Once you play around with the knife for a while, it becomes easier to open. And given time, you could probably start performing tricks.

Now how to close the knife. It is very similar to how the knife is opened. You could almost take the same steps and just go through them backwards. Here are the steps on how to close the knife:

  1. Again, start with holding the open knife in your dominate hand.
  2. Unlock the knife if you locked it into the opening position. Unlike opening the knife, the lock has to be manually disengaged. A squeeze on the handle will not unlock it.
  3. Flip over the handle that normally conceals the blade edge when closed.
  4. Rotate the knife loosely in your hand, around the front side of your hand, 180 degrees
  5. Flip the same handle against the back of your hand. Your hand will be in-between both of the handles at this point.
  6. Flip it back over your hand and grab the rest of the handle.

It will take time getting used to, but operating the Bali-Song 67 can be done. It is different than opening a traditional folder, or auto knife. However with some practice, these knives can open much more quickly than the fastest of autos.

 

Why get a Bali-Song

Why would anyone want to get a knife like the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song? There are many different laws and regulations, and the populous reputation that connote a negative feeling to them. One reason is that they are so much fun to play around with. Secondly, they are a safe knife once opened. Unless a pin breaks or some other freak accident, they will not close on your hand. Another reason to get one is the fact that they can be opened one handed faster than many spring assisted knives. They are also slim, lightweight, and easy to carry. It is very difficult to open one accidentally when locked, including in a pocket. They are often stronger and more secure because of their two pins. Another benefit to having a butterfly knife is for their use with those that wear gloves when working. Such as yard work or working in the shop. This is because they are large and easy to operate with gloved hands.

Some other benefits of the owning a balisong include:

  1. The shocking appearance it gives off. The balisong is impressive when revealed and wielded in a dramatic fashion. With all the tricks that can be done with a balisong, the action alone can plant fear in any opponent’s mind. Helpful for those dark alley ways at night.
  2. The Bali-Song has one of the strongest locking mechanisms. There is little chance of it opening up accidentally. It can be used with no fear of the blade bending onto the hand or even closing on the hand of those that use the knife.
  3. Balisongs typically can give you a long reach. This is more so true than folders that have to be more bulky and clunky to reach the same length. Having a long knife can be useful in any number of ways.
  4. The handles of the balisong can provide to be a blunt impact self-defense tool without the blade ever being deployed.

With any knife, there are limitations to them. Some of those limitations include:

  1. Balisongs have a greater need for space when deploying than many other knives.
  2. They are not as discrete as other knives, especially when opening. They are most definitely a flashy knife.
  3. There is much practice required to effectively open a balisong. Those that struggle with fine motor skills in their hands may have a difficult time trying to use this knife.
  4. There are the obvious legal issues that many places have. I’m not even going to go there for various reasons. The biggest takeaway from this point though is that it is all one big hassle to deal with. Nobody has time for that.

 

Field Test

For a better understanding of how the 67 Bali-Song actually works, below are the results of several tests to assess the strength and ability to work as a knife. Normally, these tests are conducted by cutting different materials such as paper, cardboard, rope/paracord, and plastic. (These are common items that are cut from a day to day basis, and test the capability of the knife.) In addition to those, to test the strength of the tanto, a piercing test was conducted.

Piercing- The piercing test was only conducted on cardboard (no one or anything was harmed in the testing of this knife). With an initial thrust, the blade was stopped at the thickest point of the blade, meaning only a quarter of the entire blade went into the cardboard. After a couple of more tries, the entire blade was able to pass through the box. If you can give enough thrust to pass the tanto portion of the blade, the thin recurve portion of the blade will pass through without touching the cardboard. Basically, if you give it enough thrust, the rest will follow.

Paper- Cutting though the paper was a breeze. Envelopes stand no chance against the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song.

Cardboard- It was simple to cut through the cardboard, especially when doing so in a sawing motion. The recurve blade is created just for that reason. A rocking back and forth motion was able to slice through the cardboard with ease.

Plastic-

All types of synthetic material were able to be cut; from tape to shopping bags, and from thicker bottles to heavy packaging plastics. The 67 Bali-Song was easily able to cut through them all.

Rope-

Clean as a whistle! The cut was easy to make and no threads went uncut. It almost took one sweeping motion to cut right on through. Benchmade has always been good at providing a good blade to cut with. One that is sharp, durable, and always ready to work for you.

Conclusion

The Bali-Song 67 from Benchmade is a hit. Flipping these knives around is a lot of fun. The recurve tanto introduced me to a whole new world of possibilities for this blade style. I might have to ditch my drop point for a while and see if the recurve is better. This knife would make a great addition to any knife collection.

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