SOG Strat Ops Auto Knife Review

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

The Strat Ops sports stainless steel liners.

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

SOG Strat Ops Automatic
SOG Strat Ops Automatic

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Designer:

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

 

The Pros of the Strat Ops Auto:

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

 

The Cons of the Strat Ops Auto:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

 

 

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Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Knives

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Blades:

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

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

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

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

Microtech Borka Stitch Auto
Microtech Borka Stitch Auto

The blades on each of the knives in this series feature a wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade, which is not to be confused with the sheepsfoot blade, is very much like a standard blade shape turned upside down. This type of blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. There are a few stories as to how the name Wharncliffe came to be, with some people claiming that the pattern originated many years ago from some of the patterns used for Scandinavian Seax Knives and other claiming that tit came from a British Lord who commissioned the knife to be made. There is one thing that is for certain however according to the website of Ron Neep. There were server Lord Wharncliffes that the blade shape could have been named after, but the actual name “Wharncliffe” did not exist prior to 1822, which means it was named after that point in history. Regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. It is fantastic for office workers for opening boxes and envelopes and excels in box-cutter type chores. It is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult for cutting soft tissue and using on a cutting board.

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

 

The Handle:

Microtech Stitch Auto
Microtech Stitch Auto

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

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

 

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Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel OTF Knife Review

Benchmade knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum, and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They sue the best materials and equipment. They make world-class knives for world class users.

All of their blades begin as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technicians programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade. The next step in the process is surface grinding. This is the step where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. They knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness. The third step in the process is milling. Blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to he folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. The fourth step is beveling. Now the blade really starts to take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function. Some of the last steps are back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The finishing is when the blade gets a more refined look. The finishing technician stone-washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The very last step in the Benchmade process is assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, which helps to set them apart. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is only sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. At that point, and only at that part, is it truly a Benchmade.

 

The Blade:

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

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

Benchmade Mini Infidel
Benchmade Mini Infidel

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Sheath:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

 

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Buck 110 Automatic Knife Review

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

Following the death of his father, Al kept the fledgling custom knife business going until incorporating Buck Knives, Inc. in 1961. Al introduced his son, Chuck, to the knife business at an early age and Chuck and his wife, Lori, were both involved when the company was incorporated. IN n1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A position that they still hold proudly today.

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

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

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

Today we will be talking about the Buck 0110BRSA 110 Automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this sleek knife is made out of 420HC High Carbon Stainless Steel. This comes from the 400 series which remains one of the most popular choice for knife makers because it is easy to sharpen and it is resistant to corrosion. 420 series contain several types with various carbon content between .15% and .40% this steel grade is widely used to make high end razor blades, surgical scalpels, etc. It obtains about 57 HRC after suitable heat treatment. 420HC is a higher carbon content, which is where the HC comes from. It holds a higher carbon production rate than stainless steel. The content is much softer than the higher number steel count 440, yet it’s more rugged than other similar proudcts. This steel can be brought to a higher hardness than 420 and should not be mistaken for it. Buck Knives is known for using this type of steel in many of their knives. This steel material has a greater carbon base and is mixed to a harder content than 420 stingless steels. There are many different levels of steel, but products made from 420HC steel are definitely different from other types of steel in terms of performance and reliability. Knives that are made with this steel are easy to sharpen and are durable when in constant use. Blades made from this steel are less prone to corrosion.

Buck Auto Knife
Buck Auto Knife

The blade has been finished with the classic satin finish. This is one of the most typical knife finishes. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish, and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. The luster of this finish usually falls between bead blasted, which is a matte finish, and a mirror polish, which is a high gloss finish. This finish works to show fine buffing lines with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade. It actually takes great hand skill to finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks.

This blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point is one of the three most common knife blade shapes used today. The other two are the drop point and the spear point. Clip point blades have the appearance of having the front third of the blade “clipped” off. Traditionally, the spine or unsharpened edge of the knife begins at the hilt and continues to a point between one third to one fourth of the blade length. The blade spine than tapers in thickness in a recurve to the knife’s point. The clip point blade design actually dates back to at least Macedonian times, where examples of knapped flint clip point knives have been unearthed. Variants of this style include the California clip, which uses a clip greatly extended in length, and the Turkish clip point with its extreme recurve. One of the most recognizable clip-point blades is used on the famous Bowie knife. The clip point allows a quicker, and thus deeper, puncture upon insertion because clip point blades are thinner at the spine. The clip point lends itself to a quicker stabbing advantage with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. However, when you are comparing the clip point design to the drop point design, the clip point is going to seem a lot weaker because of this thin characteristic. If you want a knife that is going to be able to take on all the challenges that you throw at it, I would recommend the sturdier drop point. The clip point blade does feature a large belly that is perfect for slicing or skinning. And because this knife has a plain edge, you are going to be able to skin or peel just about anything with this blade. The plain edge is also going to excel at push cuts of any kind, shaving, and traditional uses for your knife. The plain edge is going to give you the clean cuts that you long for, without fraying what you are working with.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Dymondwood and brass. Dymondwood is phenolic resin impregnated wood veneers that are laminated and compressed. This material is extremely similar to Micarta, G10, and Carbon Fiber, except that the base material is wood instead of an unnatural material. Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence, really. A good quality wood handle can be durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. But, unlike many of the other budget friendly options, wood has a quality aesthetic that it adds to the knife, making your knife look sleek and elegant. In fact, wood hands are very popular among collector’s knives. There are many different types of woods used in knife handles, so you have to choose based on how you are going to use the knife. In this case, the handle has been made out of Macassar Ebony wood. This is an exotic wood with heartwood that is reported to be strong, very heavy, and very hard. The black heart is usually brittle, and the wood is used mostly for decorative purposes. This is a very dark wood that contrasts nicely with the bright brass hardware and ends.

Brass is known and valued for its easy machinability and the ease that the metal can be formed into desired shapes and forms while still retaining its high strength. All brasses are considered malleable and ductile and due to its low melting point, brass can also be cast relatively easily. This metal has both good heat and electrical conductivity and it is wear and spark resistant. Other you won’t need to worry about the electrical and spark related characteristics, the other two are important to knife users. The heat conductivity means that even if you are planning on working with this knife in cold environments, you won’t have to worry about it biting into your hand because it will quickly draw in your body heat. And, being wear resistant means that it is going to stand up to many of the elements and resist scratching easily.

The combination of the dark Ebony Dymondwood and the bright brass create an elegant feel to your knife. This knife is going to be a classic and as the years pass, this knife will always be in style. The handle has a slight curve to make your grip comfortable and secure, even after using it for long periods of time.

This knife does not sport a pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, sometimes known as a switchblade. The typical switchblade knife has been around since the 1920s and is really not all that different from a folding knife. The handle is going to be longer and thicker than the blade itself because it has to be able to store the blade in the handle. The handle has been hollowed out and has a slit going down the length of one side. IT contains the folded knife blade, a spring, and a locking mechanism that is attached to a button that extends form one of the flat sides of the handle. When the knife blade is hidden, it is folded into the base of the handle form the side, passing through the slit in the side of the handle. This pulls the spring, which catches on a lever connected to the activation button, effectively preventing the spring form exerting force on the hinged base of the blade. When the button is pushed, the lever, which is on a small rocker, is pulled out of the spring’s way. The spring snaps back into its original shape, pulling the base of the blade around das it does so, flipping the blade’s point out from the side of the handle. The only way to then close the knife is to physically pill upward on the hinged hilt before folding the blade back again. The lever attached to the activation button simply clicks into place against that underside the blade the same way as it would against the spring.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this Buck knife is 3.75 inches long, with a handle measuring in at 4.875 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 8.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.1 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

The Sheath:

Because this knife does not have a pocket clip attached to it, it does come with a leather sheath. Leather is one of the traditional materials that is used to make a knife sheath. Leather is very rugged, tough, and strong. A leather knife sheath feels and looks good, and the attractiveness of a leather sheath only gets better as it ages. One of the best features about a leather knife sheath is that they are silent, so you can easily pull the knife out or put it back in without making a sound. Unfortunately, leather is not waterproof, so getting it wet a lot or exposing it to extreme heat can dry out the oils in the leather which could lead the sheath to crack. To combat that, oiling the sheath from time to time can help make it last longer.

 

Conclusion:

The iconic Buck 110 folder first debuted in 1964 and quickly propelled the company into one of the country’s most prominent manufacturers to date. The name and style has always maintained its heritage but over the years we have seen emerging variations in both finish and functionality. Buck finally took wind of the popular auto-converted 110 model and now produces the knife from start to finish and is 100% eligible for Buck’s limited lifetime warranty. Each product features a high carbon stainless steel blade that has been hardened to a standard RC 58-60 for ideal performance with both edge retention and corrosion resistance and the handle styling boasts a flared base for proper grip security. This model features a brown Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handle complete with brass bolsters, a clip point style blade in a satin finish, no pocket clip and the black leather sheath provides a convenient belt carry option.

 

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Boker Magnum Automatic Knife Review

Boker is one of the oldest knife manufacturers around, dating back clear into the 17th century. Boker says that “a huge chestnut tree towering above the small Boker hardware-factory in eh 17th century is the oldest traceable fact about the Boker family. Apparently Boker tools were very successful, for they ranked among the leading products in Germany and neighboring countries a hundred years later.”

In 1829, there was a rising demand in a politically restless era. Hermann and Robert Boker decided to start with the production of sabres in 1829. Inventories of September 1830 already prove a weekly production of 2000 pieces, made by 64 smiths, 47 grinders, and a large number of laborers. With an ever growing variety of tools and cutlery combined with the possibilities of international marketing the family realized that responsibility assignment was crucial to keep their chances. So Hermann Boker emigrated to found Boker & Co in New York, whereas the younger Robert established his company in Canada in 1865, and later a branch in Mexico.

Heinrich only cross the river Wupper to go to Solingen, where the German cutlery industry was booming, to found Heiner. Boker & Co. with the well-known cutlery expect Hermann Heuser in 1869.

The Bokers in Remscheid and their cousins overseas were very interested and in demand of razors, scissors, and pocket knives from Heinrich’s new enterprise. They had to label their products in a simple manner for overseas-markets, for many customers had problems spelling the German name Boker. Heinrich considered the chestnut tree as an ideal memorable logo, which belonged to the Remscheid company with another one, an arrow. One of the rare and precious documents, which survived the total destruction of WWII is an ad of Boker Remscheid form 1874, showing both logos.

The relationship between the two Boker companies has always been very friendly. Heinrich was allowed to take the tree-brand with him across the river without troubles or payments. Since then not a single product has left the Solingen factory without this sign. After over 100 years of existence the venerable tree was cut down by a stroke of lighting in 1925. A gifted artist carved an image of the majestic tree into a piece of original tree trunk, which adorns the executive’s office in Solingen.

The US market actually became the main customer of Boker production as early as 1900 with H. Boker & Co in New York concentrating on Solingen cutlery. The demand for pocket knives soon beat that for other products like scissors or razors. In due course, the Solingen capacities were exhausted and the New Yorkers started their own pocket knife production. Because of the tree-brand being well established by then and the good understanding within the international Boker family, there wasn’t any problem to get permission from Solingen to use the tree-brand for American products too. Since then, there were two different lines of Boker knives son the US market, with identical logos and sometimes even identical item numbers, one line made in USA, the other made in Solingen. The only distinguishing characteristic is the markings “Boker USA” or “H. Boker Improved Cutlery Solingen.”

With such a rich history, you can expect rich, high quality knives. Today, we will be talking about the Boker Magnum.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is an upper mid-range steel. AUS-8 steel is Japanese made and extremely similar to 440B steel which is slightly more resistant to rust and corrosion than 440C but less hard. It’s also similar tough but may not hold its edge as well as some of the more premium steels which carry a greater degree of carbon. Remember, more carbon means more hardness and edge holding. This steel is really easy to sharpen and does take a razor sharp edge. This is one of the more common stainless steels, and it is one readily available in lots of different places worldwide. This is a decent all around steel. It is hard enough, tough enough, and stain resistant enough. It will not hang long with high end powder metal steels, but among the steels you are going to find on most knives, this is a pretty good choice.

The blade has been finished with a black coated finish. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually and at different rates, depending on the quality of the coating. Coated finishes are completely matte and reduce glares and reflections, while also reducing wear and corrosion. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but will provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and even require less maintenance.

Boker Magnum Auto Knife, Tanto
Boker Magnum Auto Knife, Tanto

The Boker Magnum has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is the perfect option if you don’t want an all-purpose knife. This blade shape is designed for doing one thing and that one thing really well. The thing that the tanto excels at is piercing through tough materials. This style of blade was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tips, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it does lack a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, its extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is required. When you choose this knife, you are choosing a knife that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials.

This knife does feature a combo blade edge. This edge style is where the top portion of the blade is a plain edge and the bottom portion of the blade is a serrated edge. This style of blade edge has actually overtaken the all-serrated format. There are plenty of mixed feelings on this format. Many people actually swear by this format, and feel that it is a good compromise, giving the user the choice of precise push cuts form the plain edge, and the advantage of the serrated edge for tougher materials. However, because the edge is split, some people feel like the serrated portion is too short for the serrations to really be useful and the length of the plain edge is being sacrificed for no good gain. Really, when choosing a knife with a combo edge, it comes down to solely preference. There are plenty of good things to a combo edge, but there are also a few drawbacks. I would recommend looking at what you expect to be doing with this knife to see if it is a good option for you and your lifestyle.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Magnum has been made out of aluminum. This aluminum has been anodized black, not only for color, but also for hardness and protection. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is in the category of low density metals, but it still has the hefty feel to it, without actually weighing the knife down. This balance is hard to achieve because you want the knife to feel hefty enough to take on your daily tasks, but you don’t want your knife to weigh you down, like a steel handle would. When this material is texturized correctly, it can provide you with a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. Unfortunately, one of the biggest disadvantages is that if you are using your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium, which tends to be found on the more premium knives. One of the other drawbacks to this handle material is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

The ergonomics of this handle are excellent. The handle curves to fit in your palm smoothly and comfortably, even if you are using this knife for long periods of time. The butt of the handle is flared out slightly and three are grooves cut in down the palm of the handle to provide you with exceptional grip.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has been designed for tip down carry only. The clip is mostly straight, but the portion that is screwed into the handle does curved to match the curves of the handle top. The clip is black, matching the rest of the knife and three black screws keep it held in place.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife. Automatic knives do have a series of strict laws surrounding them in the United States. They are not legal in all states, cities, or areas. Make sure that you are certain about your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife, because it might be illegal to carry. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activate. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

There are plenty of advantages to having an automatic knife such as that they are fast and you can even open them one handed. Some of the disadvantages are that there is restricted ownership, they are usually more expensive, and since there are so many mechanical pieces, something could break and then the knife wouldn’t work. If you are in a tactical situation, an automatic knife is going to be a great option because they do have crazy fast blade deployment. However, while automatic knives are extremely fast to deploy, they are also typically slower to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Boker Magnum is 3.25 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 8 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces. When you order this knife from BladeOps, the seals on the box will arrive broken due to the knife being converted in our shop.

 

Conclusion:

The Boker Magnum automatic knife is one of the more popular side open automatics on the market today considering the price point. This knife is referred to an auto-conversion knife which means the knife is produced as a folder knife and then converted via third party to offer the automatic function. The Magnum series features an aluminum handle scale that is comfortable and ergonomic and the AUS-8 blade material offers better edge retention than you would expect. The aluminum handle is extremely durable and resistant to rusting or corrosion. The AUS-8 is a quality, all-around steel that is going to be able to take on almost all of your daily challenges. With a knife made out of both of these materials, you can expect a knife that is going to step up to the plate and succeed under pressure. This particular model features a black handle with standard hardware and a tanto blade, that is partly serrated, in a black finish. Finally, the pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. Pick up your Boker Magnum Tanto Automatic Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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Gerber Coyote Brown Mini Covert Auto Knife Review

Joseph R. Gerber one time described his young knife company as the “birth of an enterprise that grew into a big business.” He nailed it right on the head, and while it was true, it was definitely an understatement. Gerber Gear started in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets that were given as holiday gifts turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives. Over 70 years since its founding and Gerber is continuing to grow. They are still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s enterprise, Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. The sleek, stainless steel sheath knives of the 50s and 60s have given birth to today’s lightweight, open frame clip folders. Gerber is no longer just a knife company. They are now designing, making, and selling multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, and digging implements. These are all the newest directions that Gerber explores with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making.

“Like the men and women who carry our gear, Gerber is Unstoppable.” With decades of innovation and dedication, Gerber has come far. They are renowned as a master of knives and tools, Gerber’s problem solving, lifesaving products are designed with the unique needs of specific activities in mind. Today, that includes much more than a blade. This company was founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, Gerber is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, and tradesmen, Gerber’s heritage runs deep. They are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

All of Gerber’s products are designed and engineered in Portland, OR where many of their products are produced. They also tap their global supply chain to create a wide range of activity specific gear for wide variety of consumers. And no matter what, every product that bears the Gerber name is back by their famous lifetime warranty.

“Quality, reliability, and innovation. For over 70 years this is what our customers have expected form us. And whether our products are used to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.”

Today we are going to be talking about one of their Mini Covert automatic knives. This is their Coyote Brown version.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM-S30V stainless steel. This steel is a premium grade steel that is made by US based Crucible. This steel is often referred to as only S30V steel, instead of CPM-S30V steel. It has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and is typically used for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible added vanadium carbides to the steel alloy matrix to bring out the extreme hardness. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it does prove tricky to sharpen. Crucible has made a better looking brother, S35VN steel, which is distinctly similar, but easier for manufacturers to work with thanks to the niobium addition. S30V is really common these days and is one of my favorite steels for a blade.

This steel has been finished with a black coated finish. A coated finish helps to reduce the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion on the blade. Unfortunately, because it is a coated finish, it can and will be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade on the Mini Covert will have to be re-coated if you wish to keep all of the high qualities. As a general guideline, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and corrosion, but also the more expensive to add to a knife. A coating finish also eliminated shiny surfaces, which is an absolute necessity if you are using this knife on a mission. Another great benefit is that a coating finish can reduce drag during a cut. Lastly, the coating finish does add aesthetic to the knife. It provides an even, matte surface to the blade.

This blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. A spear point blade is similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. However, its point is stronger and it does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. A spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. They can be single or double edged, although this version of the mini covert is single edged. In contrast to the needle-point blade which has a very sharp but weak point, a spear pint knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. However, a spear point blade is only good for piercing if both edges are sharpened. The lowered point is easily controllable and is useful for fine tip work. Spear point blades contain a small belly which can be used for some cutting and slicing applications, however, the belly is relatively small when compared to drop point and clip point knives. A spear point knife is a great choice for the knife lover who is looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while maintaining some of the belly that is used for slicing. This is a hybrid shape that is extremely functional.

This blade is a plain edged blade. Plain blades are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, trimming your nails, or peeling an apple. The nice advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. With a plain edge blade, you directly affect its purpose by changing how you sharpen it. It is standard practice to customize the edge of a plain edged blade to tackle a specific task. For some tasks, a highly polished, low friction edge will do the best job. Tasks such as food prep and wood carving are great examples of when a highly polished edge is ideal. For other tasks, a roughly sharpened edge that has hidden “micro-serration” is ideal and will often work similar to the way a true serrated blade would.

Because this blade is a plain edge blade and features the spear point blade shape, it is an extremely versatile blade shape that is going to meet your needs in a wide variety of situations.

 

The Handle:

Gerber Coyote Mini Covert
Gerber Coyote Mini Covert

The handle of this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. This is the most common type of aluminum that is in use today, which has tremendous tensile strength. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal, so it is lightweight. However, it does provide a nice, hefty feel to the knife as well. This is a huge benefit of aluminum because you do want the weight or heft to complete tasks, but you also don’t want to be weighed down by a crazy heavy knife. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. However, aluminum can prove to be a very slippery material. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortable cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives. One of the other drawbacks to this handle material is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

This knife handle has been anodized for color, hardness, and protection. Thus making it a more durable knife handle. The anodization process has made the handle a Coyote Brown, which is a light tan color. Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. The process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear and provides better adhesion for paint, primers, and glues than bare metal does. Anodizing changes the microscopic texture of the surface and the crystal structure of the metal near the surface. Thick coatings are normally porous, so a sealing process is often needed to achieve corrosion resistance. Anodized aluminum surfaces are harder than aluminum but have low to moderate wear resistance that can be improved with increasing thickness or by applying suitable sealing substances.

To help with grip, there are three skinny grooves cut across the palm of the handle. This knife has a skinnier top part of the handle, which has two curves cut out for added finger control. Then, the handle flares out to fit well into you hand, and tapers back towards the butt of the handle. This handle does sport a lanyard hole.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. The clip is black, to contrast with the handle and to match the blade. It is a deep carry pocket clip, helping it fit snugly in your pocket. “Gerber” has been stamped across the middle of the clip. This clip is kept in place by two small, black screws.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife that deploys with a lever on the palm of the knife handle. An automatic knife is also known as a switchblade or an ejector knife. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a lever on the handle is activated. The blade is unlocked manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon.

You do need to keep in mind that automatic knives have strict laws surrounding them in certain states, cities, and areas. Make sure you know your local knife laws before purchasing and carrying this Gerber Mini Covert.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 2.8 inches long with the knife sporting an overall length of 6.5 inches long. The handle measures in at 3.7 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.1 ounces. This knife is made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:

The Applegate-Fairbairn designed Gerber Covert automatic knife series was modeled after their best-in-class Covert folder model and combines premium elements with user-friendly functionality. This auto knife features coyote brown anodized aircraft aluminum handle scales that showcases a sleek symmetrical design with integrated dual finger grooves for a secure hold despite its size. A front-mounted slide safety has been built into the handle and even portrays a red dot so you know the knife is ready for action. This Mini Covert auto knife also features a plain edge spear point blade comprised of premium CPM-S30V stainless steel in a black finish and the pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. The stainless steel is durable and strong, and maintains one of the best balances of toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The aluminum handle is durable and strong and very resistant to corrosion. However, it does accumulate scratches easily over time. With the combination of those two materials, you are going to get one of the most durable knives on the market.

Pick up your Coyote Brown Mini Covert Auto Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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SOG TAC Ops Automatic Knife Review

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

SOG TAC Ops Knife
SOG TAC Ops Knife

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Pros of the Tac Ops Auto:

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

 

Cons of the Tac Ops Auto:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

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Pro-Tech Strider PT Automatic Knife

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

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

 

The Blade:

ProTech PT Strider Auto Knife
ProTech PT Strider Auto Knife

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip and Hardware:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Pros of the Dark Blue Strider:

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

 

Cons of the Dark Blue Strider:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

 

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Kershaw Launch 7 Automatic Knife Review

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

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

 

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

 

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

Kershaw Launch 7 Auto
Kershaw Launch 7 Auto

The Handle:

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Extras:

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

 

The Pros of the Launch 7:

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

 

Cons of the Launch 7:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

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Hogue 34002 OTF Knife Review

Hogue Inc. is home to a proud family tradition of American quality and innovation since 1968. Every Hogue product—from handgun grips to long gun stocks to AR components to specialty knives to gear and accessories—is built in the spirt of fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and complete dedication to the legacy of founder Guy Hogue, carried into the next generation by his sons Aaron and Patrick, by Hogue Tool and Machine Company president Jim Burhns, by his grandson Neil, and by each and every employee at Hogue, Inc.

Fit, function, superior performance and world class design are hallmarks of the Hogue name. When you purchase a Hogue product, you’re carrying piece of their family history, designed from the ground up to enhance and improve your sporting experience. Their brightest ideas, the finest materials, and the world’s best manufacturing practices are united under the Hogue name, under the direct supervision of the best and brightest hope they can find to carry the Hogue legacy. They’re proud to be the first choice of law enforcement, handgun manufacturers, competitive shooters, and firearm enthusiasts worldwide for products that reflect their passion, their proud history, and their commitment to bringing you a full range of products designed and manufactured to enhance your sporting experience for years to come.

They call themselves “team Hogue” which includes Jerry Miculek, Max Michel, Lena Miculek, and B.J. Norris. Jerry is a speed shooter and competition shooting instructor, he is also experienced in nearly every type of firearm made. He is renowned as the fastest revolver shooter on the planet, emptying a five-shot revolver in 0.57 seconds, in a group the size of a playing card. Jerry currently holds five world records in exhibition revolver shooting. Max is a legend within the world of competitive shooting. He is the current International Practical Shooting Confederation World Champion. He was born and raised in New Orleans, La, Max began shooting when he was just 5 years old. In 1999 Max joined the famed USAMU’s Action Pistol Team and served in the U.S. Army for 10 years as an Army shooter and trainer. Max is also the current captain of the Team SIG SAUER shooting team. Today, Max is recognized worldwide as a top tier athlete and instructor. Lena began competition shooting at the young age of eight. The daughter of professional shooter Jerry Miculek and semiprofessional shooter Kay Miculek, Lena began her serious journey in 2011 winning 4 high lady revolver events. Since then she has expanded into 3Gun competition with similar results, completely domination the ladies’ tactical ops division. B.J. began shooting competitively in USPSA in late 2000, at age 11 in the Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia. 2005 was the year he really got serious about shooting. That year consisted of hard practice, traveling to almost every USPSA Area Championship, the IPSC World Shoot in Ecuador and his first Steel Challenge. Since then, it has been one Championship after another.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of CPM 154 stainless steel. This high end steel is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. It has decent toughness good enough for most uses and holds an edge well. This steel is not too difficult to sharpen if you have the right equipment. You will find a lot of quality pocket knives form top manufacturers using this steel for their blades. This is a powder version of the same alloy produced by Crucible Particle Metallurgy. This Particle Metallurgy process makes finer carbide particles resulting in a slightly superior steel that’s tougher and with better edge retention.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a Stonewash finish. With this type of finis, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the lade has before it enters the tumbler. Many people like this type of finish because it hides scratches better than other finishes. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin forma distance. Stonewash also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. This finish also provides a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. This finish provides you with a very rugged, well-worn, textured look.

The Hogue 34002 knife has a tanto blade shape. This blade shape is great for when you don’t want an all-purpose knife, but instead you want a knife that does one thing and does that one thing really ell. If you’re looking for a knife that excels at piercing through tough materials, then the tanto blade is what you are looking for. This was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angel, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it lacks a belly from slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, it’s extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where pricing hard materials is required. By choosing a tanto point, you will be among the few knife lovers who own a blade that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials. If the situation arises, expected or unexpected, you’ll be ready.

This knife does sport a plain edged blade.

 

The Handle:

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

The handle has three finger grooves carved out of the sides of the handle for a comfortable, secure grip. The aluminum has a honeycomb pattern etched into the palm portion to provide exceptional grip on the handle during any situation or environment.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip has been statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

Hogue 34002 OTF Knife
Hogue 34002 OTF Knife

This is a double action out the front automatic knife. Because it is an automatic knife, it can also be known as a switchblade, a pushbutton knife, or ejector knife. Automatic knives do have strict laws surrounding them in many states and cities, so make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing and carrying the 34002 knife. Out the front knives are also known as OTF knives, sliding knives, and even telescoping knives. It is a pocketknife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. Contrast this with the majority of knives, which are either standard folding knives or are fixed blade knives. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. An automatic OTF knife blade travels within an internal tack or channel in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle o be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. There are actually two different types of OTF automatic knives: single or double action. Double action OTF knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design. Despite popular belief and movie magic, double action OTF automatic knives are not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. Double action sliding autos are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters; afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open. This is possibly a misbelief based on confusion with the ballistic knife which has a secondary handle tube with a robust coil spring for launching a fixe blade knife. However, some single action autos do have enough power to penetrate a human target.

The trigger to deploy the blade is placed on the side of the knife which gives you easy access to deploy and retract the blade with power.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. The overall length of the Hogue 34002 knife is 8.5 inches long. When the knife is closed, it sports a length of 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.3 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Pros of the Hogue 34002:

  • The steel that is chosen is a high end steel.
  • The steel that is chosen is a hard, tough steel.
  • This steel is easy to sharpen, with the right tools.
  • This steel has fantastic edge retention.
  • The tanto blade shape excels at piercing through tough materials.
  • The tanto blade shape is extremely strong near the tip, because that is where a lot of the metal resides.
  • The stonewash finish hides scratches and smudges—preserving the look of the blade overtime.
  • The stonewash finish is low maintenance.
  • The stonewash finish gives you a well-worn and rugged look to your blade.
  • The aluminum handle is durable and comfortable to use over long periods of time.
  • The aluminum handle has extreme strength and has been anodized to add even more strength, durability, and protection.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry clip.
  • This knife is made in the USA.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.
  • Because it is a double action OTF knife, you can deploy and retract your blade with the trigger.

 

Cons of the Hogue 34002:

  • This is an automatic knife, so it is not going to be legal in all areas of the US.
  • The tanto blade shape does not excel at anything except piercing through those tough materials.
  • The pocket clip can only be attached tip down on the traditional side of the handle.
  • The aluminum handle is going to be very chilly in the colder months.

 

Conclusion:

Hogue’s new line of tactical double action OTF auto knives represents the same vision of all of their other knife lines by combining the best of old world craftsmanship with a product designed for real-world applications. Hogue initially began in 1968 with the production of handgun grips, long gun stocks and accessories but quickly saw the value in incorporating the same hallmarks to the knife industry. Offered in different blade styles and handle colors, each Allen Elishewitz designed model features honeycomb texturing in addition to shallow finger grooves for plenty of hold and the side-mounted trigger helps to both deploy and retract the blade with plenty of power. This model, the 34002, features grey anodized aircraft aluminum handle scales, a tanto style blade in a stonewash finish and the deep carry pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

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