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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Microtech LUDT Automatic Knife Review

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 ever changing technology, we strive to ensure their customer 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: delivery revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They appreciate their customers, for the years of loyalty and support, and for motivating them to better themselves so that they may continue to rise above your expectations. Some memorable moments from Microtech’s history:

  • In 1994, the very first knife prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment.
  • In 1994, the release of the UDT marked the official beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent.
  • In 1995, they released the HALO, which has become a prominent line through Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
  • In 1999, the Ultratech, the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production.
  • 1999 was also the second year in a row which Microtech earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Awards.
  • In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012.
  • In 2004, the initial run of the Currahe was limited, with the first few placed in the hands of those best suited to test the knife, the United States Special Forces.
  • In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
  • In 2015, they had significant collaborations with Heretic Knives, Sean Marfione, Kohi hara, Borka Blades, and Munroe Knives.
  • 2015 also saw the introduction of the thin Blue Line law enforcement special Ultratech.
  • In 2016 production porotypes of the SBK and kitchen knife collaborations with Borka Blades were released at Blade Show.

Microtech’s knives are amazing knives. All of them are durable and reliable. Today, we are going to be talking about the LUDT (Large Underwater Demolition Team) knife series. This series has a wide variety of different options to choose form, so we will be going over all the different options that you are presented with.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Microtech LUDT’s are made out of Bohler Elmax steel. This is a European powder metal steel that is used in higher end knives, Elmax has an advanced formula and the result is a very good all-around steel, a generation ahead of formulations like 154CM. When this steel first came out, it was pricey, but the competition has driven it down to reasonable levels, which makes it a decent value. This steel is a high chromium vanadium molybdenum alloyed powdered steel with extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax is stainless but acts in many ways like a carbon steel. You get superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening while maintain a healthy resistance to rust. Many of Microtech’s blades are made from Bohler’s Elmax. This is because they have found it to provide the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. This is a high performance knife stele, and is a third generation powder metal technology that is noted for its fine carbide distribution with extremely low inclusion content for virtually no chip out.

With the blade, you can get a very wide variety of blade finishes. The two most common ones that you are going to find on a LUDT knife is either a black coated finish, a bronze/bead blasted finish, or a satin finish. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually and at different rates, depending on the quality of the coating. One of the most common coating finish is the black coating that you are going to get on the LUDT knife. The black coating is matte.

A satin finish is the most typical knife finish. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It has decent corrosion resistance but less than polish or mirror finished blades.

The bronze/bead blasted finish is also one of the common finishes that you are going to find on this knife series. A bead blasted blade is dull and non-reflective and it is just what it sounds like—the steel is literally blasted with plastic beads to reach the desired finish. This type of finish also hides scratches pretty well, but the stonewash accomplishes this a little better. A bead blasted finish has a rougher texture and is therefore more susceptible to corrosion. These blades are covered with a bronze finish.

You can also get the LUDT with a custom finish. This is from their Star Wars series: The Jedi Knight, which has a blue and satin blade, the Sith Lord which has a red and satin blade, the Jedi Master which has a green and satin blade, and the Storm Trooper which has a white blade.

Microtech LUDT Auto Knife
Microtech LUDT Auto Knife

The LUDT has been designed as an everyday carry knife and the perfect blade shape for that is the drop point that they chose. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything. A drop point knife blade is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The most recognizable knife that feature a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger bales in Swiss army knives. To form this blade shape, the edge of the knife runs straight from eh handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on the drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. It is this large belly that makes the LUDT such a perfect everyday carry blade. The blade shape is ideal for everyday carry and simple chores, because the drop point profile is very popular and used on a variety of pocket knives and fixed blades. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited for piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

With the LUDT knife series, you have the option between either a plain edge or a serrated edge blade. A plain edge is a blade that is one continuous sharp edge and it is far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, however, it may simply slip. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw like edge ground into 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. Serrate blades also work great on substances that are soft, such as bread or tomatoes. However, cutting with a serrated edge often causes fraying and when the blade is dull it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. It really comes down to what you are most likely going to be using your blade for and personal preferences.

 

The Handle:

The LUDT knife series is mostly made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. There are a couple of other options for the handle material, but the majority of the knives in this series are made out of the aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. The most common type of aluminum that is used today is the 6061-T6 aluminum 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 considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives.

The handles that are made out of the aluminum have been anodized for color, hardness, and protection. There is a very wide variety of different colors of anodized handles such as: black, tan, bronze, red, green, turquoise, burnt orange, purple, and silver.

The handle has four long grooves that go down the length of the knife. The handle has been contoured to fit your hand comfortably. There has been a lanyard hole carved out of the handle, which comes in use in many different situations.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is held in place by tree small screws.

 

Microtech LUDT, 135-1TQ
Microtech LUDT, 135-1TQ

The Mechanism:

This series of knives are all Automatic knives, or 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 activated. Most switchable 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 operation a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position. However, switchblades do have some strict laws surrounding them. This means that before purchasing your favorite LUDT knife, you need to be aware of what your local knife laws are. This knife might be illegal to purchase or carry in your area.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.375 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 8 inches long, with a closed length of 4.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.6 ounces. It was made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:

The LUDT is based on the U.D.T, Microtech’s original compact automatic folder.  Re-released for the first time in years, this larger, updated version features a milled handle, with lanyard hole, and recess for the firing button.  The latest model also features a revised blade profile and tri-angle hardware. Microtech’s L.U.D.T. auto knives are back–and we couldn’t be more excited. This premium automatic knife was first produced in the 1990’s and quickly established itself as one of Microtech’s fastest selling side open automatic knives. The L.U.D.T (Large Underwater Demolition Team) comes made out of Elmax steel that is strong, durable, and reliable. This steel has some of the highest corrosion resistance that you are going to find and is a premium grade steel that is going to give you good bang for your buck. The drop point blade shape is useful in a wide variety of circumstances and helps to make this a great EDC option. You have the option of a wide variety of different blade steels and you can choose between a combo edge or a plain edge. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is very durable and very resistant to corrosion and rusting. This material has been anodized in almost any color that you can picture. With so many options, this automatic knife is sure to please. Pick up your favorite version today at BladeOps.

 

 

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Benchmade APB Automatic Knife Review

The Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song into a local guns tore and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68. Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name from Bali-song, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

In 1987, due to its inability to control quality, price, and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality, and customer relationships. The company would now need a new name.

While there was “handmade” and “factory-made”, it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market—even to this day.

In 1990, Benchmade moved from California to a facility in Clackamas, Oregon and began producing knives there under the name Benchmade, Inc. This was a major turning point, as the company was now located in the epicenter for knife manufacturing. Many technological advancements were now possible and Benchmade became the first company to now and employ a high power laser cutter, allowing for work with steels too hard to stamp. The company also became the world leader in automatic knife manufacturing, which is still true to this day, and began to supply military units.

To this day, Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics, and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

This May, we are celebrating Benchmade month over here at BladeOps. To celebrate today, we are going to go over the Auto APB family of knives. This family of knives has a variety of different options that you get to choose from and we will be going over those today.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this family of knives is made out of 154CM steel. This is a high end steel. This is also 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. It is not too difficult to sharpen with the right equipment. You’ll find a lot of quality pocket knives from top manufacturers like Benchmade using 154CM steel.

You are presented with two different blade finishes for the Auto APB family of blades. The first option is a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade repeatedly in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This finish works to show the bevels of the blade and also to showcase the lines of the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across.

The second option that you have with the blade finish is a coated finish. This is a black coated finish that works to reduce the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. On the flip side, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade would have to be re-coated. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. A quality coating can add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

The Auto APB family of knives has been designed to be an everyday knife. To create a perfect EDC knife, Benchmade chose to carve the blade into a drop point style blade. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to almost anything. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other knives as well. To form the shape of this blade, the back or unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. One of the last reasons that drop point knives make exceptional EDC knives is that they feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. The only real disadvantage of the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piecing than the clip point. However, this broad tip provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives.

With this family of knives, you are presented with two edge options. You can choose from a plain or combo edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and are far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly. A serrated edge are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw like edge ground into the cutting surface. These are intended to be sued 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 is that especially with 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 does 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.

Benchmade APB Auto Knife
Benchmade APB Auto Knife

The Handle:

The handle is made out of anodized aluminum. This handle is anodized black and aluminum is usually anodized for color, hardness, and protection. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip hat is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives.

The handle has a big finger guard to protect your fingers. There is also a large finger groove. The rest of the handle has been carved to fit comfortably in your hand even for long periods of use. Across the palm of the handle, there is a series of diagonal grooves to provide a secure grip. On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into it. This lanyard hole is a fantastic addition for your EDC knife. The lanyard will help you draw out your knife quicker, you can put the knife deeper into your pocket and just have the lanyard hole hang out, and it can help with a solid grip when you are taking on those tougher tasks.

On the very butt of the handle, there is a glass breaker.

 

The Clip Point:

Like most Benchmade models, the pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but it is eligible for left or right hand carry options. This is a standard pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

This family of knives sports an ambidextrous push button automatic opening mechanism. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades and they do have strict laws surrounding them in many states and cities. Before you purchase an APB Automatic knife, make sure that you do know your local laws. This knife might not be legal for owning or carrying. An automatic knife 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 activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the APB automatic family of knives is 3.52 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.124 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.64 inches long and it sports a closed length of 5.12 inches. The handles on this knife are 0.63 inches thick. This knife weighs in at 6.28 ounces. This family of knives is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is talking about this series of knives they say, “The first ever ambidextrous push-button automatic. The APB features push buttons on both sides of the handle, because you don’t always get to choose which hand to use.” The Benchmade APB (Ambidextrous Push Button) fami.ly includes both spring assist and automatic models and offers a truly ambidextrous utility. This newly developed versatile design allow the blade to be fired as well as released with either of the oval shaped silver buttons found on both sides of the handle. The spine safety on this series has been elongated to make engaging and disengaging more user friendly—even with gloves.

The steel on this knife is 154CM stainless steel which is a hard, high end steel. This is one of the tougher steels that has exceptional edge holding properties. You can choose between a combo or plain edge, which both make for great EDC knife edges; however, they both sport different advantages. Both of the finishes work to prolong the life of the blade by cutting down on corrosion and wear. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is a very durable material and is also very resistant to corrosion. This is a phenomenal knife that will change the way you think of EDC knives. Come celebrate Benchmade month with us and pick up your favorite version of the APB Automatic family.

 

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Benchmade Rift 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. We carefully measure every part at every step in the process. We use the best materials and equipment. We make world class knives for world class users. The first step in the knife making process is laser cutting. Every blade begins as a sheet of steel. In this first step, the laser cuts the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are then hammered out of the sheet by hand. The second step in creating the perfect knife is surface grinding. This is where the blank is ground to its precise width. Benchmade says that their knives have no room for error, and neither does their blank’s thickness. The third step in the process is milling. This is where the blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. The fourth step is beveling; this is when the blade starts to really take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. This is because an imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function. The next two steps are back sanding and finishing. The back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The finishing is where the blade gets a more refined look. The finishing technician stone washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove an y burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The last two steps are assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. An assembly technician receives all of the components—blade, liner, handle, hardware—and carefully pieces them together. The very last step is sharpening. It takes longer to master blade sharpening than any other skill. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angel, 15 degrees on each side. Benchmade considered the knife sharp enough only when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing.

Benchmade’s rich history dates back over 30 years. It is the product of many dedicated employees, a never quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vison and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation.

At BladeOps, we are celebrating May as Benchmade month. Today’s celebration focuses on the Rift family.

 

The Blade:

The steel that this family uses is 154 CM steel. This is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This addition achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. This steel has decent toughness good enough for most uses and does hold an edge well. If you have the right equipment, it is not too difficult to sharpen.

With this family of steel, you have two choices of blade finishes. The first option is the satin finish. This finish is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to find. It is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material, which is usually a sandpaper. The satin finish does cut down on glares and reflections slightly.

The second finish option that you are presented with is a coated finish. This is a black finish that helps to reduce the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, all coatings can and will be scratched off after continuous heavy use. At that point, the blade will have to be recoated. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

The steel has been carved into a reverse tanto blade style. This style of blade was popularized by Warren Osborne with his designs for Benchmade Knives. This is not a very common shape and does resemble a Spey blade. This type of reverse tanto is an American Tanto blade that is turned upside down so the angular side is on the top, making the knife look like it has a very drastic drop point. The thing about a tanto knife is that it isn’t an all-purpose knife, it is a knife that does one thing and does that one thing extremely well. The tanto blade shape excels at piercing through tough materials. The thick pint 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. One of the drawbacks to this blade shape is that it does not have a belly, because the belly has been sacrificed for a stronger tip. And because it lacks a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, because this knife family is actually a reverse tanto style, it does sport a belly. This comes in handy when you are working with your everyday tasks. When you choose a knife that has a tanto point, you will be choosing a knife that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials.

You also have two options for your edge style. The first option is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that is tailored to perform a wider array of tasks. The plain edge excels at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. With a plain edge, the edge is easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth, and you can usually get a finer edge on the blade.

The other option that you have is a combo edge. This is where the bottom portion of the edge is a serrated portion and the upper portion is a plain edge. Serrated edges excel at sawing through some of the thicker materials, such as rope or branches. And one of the benefits to choosing a combo edge is that you have the portion of the blade to saw through those thicker materials, but you also have the plain edge to perform the push cuts and do all of the detail work.

Benchmade Rift Knife
Benchmade Rift Knife

The Handle:

You have to options for the handle, but both of them are made out of G 10. G 10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber yet can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The material that results is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. In fact, G 10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger, although more brittle, than Micarta. Checkering and other patterns add a texture to the handle, which makes for a solid, comfortable grip. The production process of G 10 can utilize many layers of the same color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the G 10 handle. Tactical folders and fixed blades alike benefit from the qualities of G 10, because it is durable and lightweight, non-porous and available in a variety of colors. And while it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles. One of the drawbacks to the G 10 material being the handle is that it does lack elegance.

Your first G 10 option is gray and black. This has a more unique texture design than the other option. The black G 10 option has less intense texturing, and instead has deep grooves down the two sides of the width of your palm.

Both options of the handles provide you with fantastic grip that is going to stay secure in almost any situation. To give you a comfortable grip even after long periods of usage, there is a deep curve where you palm sits.

 

The Mechanism:

You have two different mechanism options. The first option is an automatic opening knife. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, and switchblades are not legal in all areas of the country. Make sure that you know your local knife laws before you choose this version of the knife. An automatic knife is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade that is contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button, lever, or switch on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon.

The other mechanism option that you have is a manual opening Rift knife. The opening assist is a thumb stud. The thumb stud is arguably the most common one hand opening feature, and is commonly employed by Benchmade. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward—grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives with a thumb stud also usually incorporate a locking mechanism of some sort. If the stud extends through the blade, which means that it protrudes on both sides, the knife can be opened with either hand. And the Rift manual opening knives does have the dual thumb stud, which helps make this knife an ambidextrous knife.

Benchmade Rift Auto
Benchmade Rift Auto

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

 

The Specs:

The length of the blade on the Rift family is 3.67 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.114 inches. The open length of this knife is 8.27 inches long, and it sports a closed length of 4.60 inches long. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.56 inches. These knives weigh in at 4.8 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America. This knife family was designed to be an everyday knife or a tactical knife.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is talking about this family of knives, they said, “This glaringly obvious warren Osborne design features a reverse tanto top for toughness, large bellied blade for utility and textured G 10 handle scales for secure grip. Made in the USA.” The 154 CM steel is a hard, durable, stainless steel. You can choose between a satin finish that gives you a very traditional look or you can choose a coated BK1 black tactical coated blade. The bonus about choosing the coated version for your tactical knife is that there are going to be no glares or reflections to give your position away. However, the coating will chip off over time or heavy use. The G 10 handle is durable, strong, tough, and still lightweight. This knife comes with a removable tip up, reversible pocket clip. So help us over here at BladeOps celebrate Benchmade month by picking out your favorite Rift family knife and purchase it today.  Find the AXIS-Lock Folder models here and the Automatic models here.

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Benchmade 3150BK Impel Automatic Knife Review

Benchmade has a rich history that dates back over 30 years. Benchmade came about as a result of many dedicated employees, a never quite demand for excellence, and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation. Benchmade really began in 1979 when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives that he had played with as a kid. When Les was in high school, he had taken a shop class, so he put those skills to use and blueprinted his dream knife. He eventually met Victor Anselmo who helped him grind the first ever pre-Benchmade prototype. Les paired this prototype with handles that Les sourced form a small machine shop in California. Les actually assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. He was proud of his creation and took it to a local gun store when the owner asked him if he could make 100 more.

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment that this company used was actually purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Les utilized the rudimentary technology that was available to him at the time and began building handmade, custom Bali-Songs, or butterfly knives. He was building these knives along with Jody Sampson, who was grinding all of the blades in the operation. It was the success of these custom butterfly knives that spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68.

Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives and evolved its name from Bali-Song, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

In 1987, due to its inability to control quality, price, and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality, and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.

Les recognized that while there was “handmade” and “factory made”, it was actually “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s positon in the market—even to this day. To this day, Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

Benchmade has a wide variety of quality tools. When you are carrying a Benchmade, you can count on your knife to be reliable and durable, no matter the situation. At BladeOps, we respect the high quality products Benchmade produces and are celebrating them during the month of May.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Benchmade 3150BK Impel is made out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is made by Crucible, which is a US based company. This steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and is typically sued for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar of 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 formula of steel is that it does tend to be tricky to sharpen.

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

The blade on this version of the Impel has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a fantastic all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything. A drop point is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. One of the most recognizable knife styles that features a drop point blade is the hunting knife, although it is use on many other types of knives as well. To form the shape of this style of blade, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curve manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. And because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Because the point on a drop point blade is so easily controlled, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reasons that this style of blade is so versatile is because of the large belly area that is perfect for slicing. The Impel knife has been created to be an everyday knife, so the large belly is a huge advantage. When you choose this knife, you are preparing yourself to take on all the daily tasks that you expect to encounter, but also the twists and turns that life is known for throwing at you.

The edge on this knife is a plain edge, which is the perfect option for your everyday carry knife. The plain edge is designed to take on a wider range of tasks. A plain edge is going to excel at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. Many people do worry that without the teeth on a serrated edge, you aren’t going to be able to cut through the thicker materials, like branches and ropes. While this is mostly accurate, when you get a plain edge sharp enough, you will be able to tackle those materials. A bonus of the plain edge is that it is going to be easier to sharpen, because of the lack of teeth. And, you can usually get a finer edge on a plain edge as opposed to the serrated edge. Because this knife does sport a plain edge, your cuts and slices are going to be much cleaner.

Benchmade Impel Knife
Benchmade Impel Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. This is the most common type of aluminum that is used today and it has tremendous tensile strength. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It’s a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. This is a big benefit, because you want to feel like you have weight behind the knife that is going to be able to tackle your tasks, but you don’t want a crazy heavy knife. When it is properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium, which tends to be found on the more premium knives.

To add texture, Benchmade has added a G10 inlay to the palm portion of this handle. G10 is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material is similar to carbon fiber, except that you can get it at a much cheaper cost. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The material is very tough, hard, lightweight, and strong. It is very easy to add checkering or other patterns to the handle to provide you with sufficient texture.

The aluminum on the handle is a classic silver and the G10 inlay is a classic black. The handle has a comma shape to it, with the butt of the handle being much thinner than at the front portion. The Impel does have a finger groove, that is slightly more shallow than a traditional finger groove, but also slightly elongated. This works to give you a very comfortable grip, with the handle molding perfectly to your handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This is a standard pocket clip that is made out of stainless steel. The knife has been designed to attach the clip tip down.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a push button automatic knife. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades or flick blades. This is a type of knife with a folding blade that is contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position. The ability to purchase or carry switchblades or automatic knives continues to be heavily restricted or prohibited throughout much of the world. In the USA, switchblades remain illegal to import from abroad or to purchase through interstate commerce since 1958 under the Switchblade Knife Act. But, in 2009, an amendment provides that the Act shall not apply to spring assist or assisted opening knives. This means that the Impel might not be legal to own or carry in your area, so make sure that you know all of your local knife laws before you purchase or carry this knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Impel measures in at 1.98 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The overall length of this opened knife is 5.03 inches long and it sports a closed length of 3.06 inches long. The handle on this knife is 0.35 inches thick and the Impel weighs in at 1.39 ounces. This knife has been made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade 3150BK Impel auto knife a push button design with an integrated slide safety. This Lerch design automatic knife has a plain edge blade of S30V premium stainless steel with a BK1 black tactical coat. The steel has the perfect balance between strength, toughness, and edge retention—which is a hard balance to achieve. The black tactical coat does cut down on glares and reflections while also prolonging the life of the blade; however, all coating finishes will be scratched off after periods of heavy use. The Impel also has a machined aluminum handle with black G10 inlay. The aluminum is hard and durable while the G10 inlay provides you with plenty of texture to have a solid grip on this everyday carry knife. The Impel comes with a removable tip down steel pocket clip. This small automatic knife falls in the Cali Legal class with a blade just shorter than 2″. The Impel has extremely fast action and tight lock up. Especially nice is the slide safety that is right next to the button. Makes for easier one handed operation. This is the perfect carry auto for the office but it’s solid construction makes it just at home pretty much anywhere.

Come help us celebrate Benchmade month this May at BladeOps and pick up your Impel knife today.

 

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Kershaw Launch 3 Automatic Knife Review

Kershaw was established in 1974 and ever since, they have been making excellent knives. Kershaw is actually a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai is a known company, especially in Japan, where they have been the leading producer of premium blades for over 100 years now. Kai has a commitment to innovation; they take an innovative approach to their product development, their research, their production, even their marketing and distribution functions.

Kershaw, as a member of the Kai group also has a solid commitment to innovation. Interestingly enough, this commitment to innovation has spurred the technologies in the knife community. Kershaw helped to pioneer the use of many of these technologies and their work with advanced materials have become the standard in the knife industry. One of these technological advancements include the SpeedSafe assisted opening. One of the world’s favorite technological advancement is that they have created knives that have interchangeable blades with their Blade Traders. One of my favorites with these technological inventions is the Composite Blade technology. For example, Kershaw will create a blade that uses a steel known for its excellent edge retention near the sharpened edge of the blade. But, for the spine of the blade, they will use a steel that is known for its strength. Because of this new technology, you can truly get the best of both worlds when it comes to your blade.

Kershaw’s founding mission is to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To accomplish this mission, Kershaw has chosen to use the highest quality materials. They believe that if the knife isn’t up to your standard, then it is not up to their own standards.

Kershaw knives truly last a lifetime. And you know that when you are carrying a Kershaw knife, you have a lifetime companion that is able to stand up to the tasks that you throw at it. Kershaw has said, “if this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.” They know that their knives are excellent, and once you use your new Kershaw, you will also know just how excellent they are. One of their popular knives is the Launch. And they just released a new version of it. This is the Launch 3 Automatic.

 

Kershaw Launch 3 Auto Knife
Kershaw Launch 3 Auto Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM 154 steel. This is a high end steel. There is regular 154 CM steel which is also a high end steel. The 154 CM steel has extra Molybdenum, so it is a very hard steel. Because of the strength behind it, it can hold an edge extremely well. Surprisingly enough, even though this steel has less Chromium, it has fantastic levels of corrosion resistance. Even though this knife has a very high level of strength, it is also very tough. The CPM in this steel name stands for Crucible Particle Metallurgy. This Particle Metallurgy makes finer carbide particles, which results in a slightly superior steel. This superior steel is tougher and has better edge retention than the classic 154 CM steel. This Particle Metallurgy also helps to more easily grind the steel. Although, the regular 154 CM steel is already relatively easy to sharpen. The finer carbide particles also allow for you to get a finer edge and the polished finish looks better than if it did not have this treatment done to it. This new version of the Launch 3 features a combo blade. This means that part of the blade is a plain edge, and the bottom part of the blade is a serrated edge. The combo blade gives you the best of both worlds, because you get the benefits of the serrated edge, while also not missing out on the advantages of having a plain edge.

One the older versions of the Launch 3, Kershaw used S30V steel instead of CPM 154 steel. This steel also is able to hold an edge for long periods of time. However, S30V steel has a higher resistance to rusting or corrosion. All in all, this is one of the best steels on the market, and is considered a premium steel. It has the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention.  However, S30V steel is a more expensive steel, so with the slight downgrade, the knife is a little more affordable.

 

There are a couple of different finishes to this steel. The classic and newest Launch 3 design has a black Diamond Like Coating on it. This coating is not painted on the steel like many of the other styles of coatings. This is actually molecularly bonded to the steel, so while it will eventually scratch off, it won’t scratch off as fast as other coatings will. There are a few pros and cons to having a coating finish. One of the pros is that coatings provide a barrier between the steel and the oxygen, so rust and corrosion levels are cut down. Another pro is that they are usually a darker color, so reflections and glares are significantly cut down. However, the biggest con to having a coating finish is that they will all eventually scratch off. The harder the coating, the higher quality it is, which also means that it is more expensive. The DLC is one of the hardest and thus, the most expensive coating finishes on the market.

One of the other finishing options is a stonewash finish. On this version of the Launch 3, the blade is not black, but rather an even gray. The stonewash finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is usually small pebbles. After this, the blade is smoothed over and polished. This finish creates a textured, rugged look. The resulting color is an even, matte, gray finish. Because of the matte, glares and reflections are cut down. Another big benefit to the stonewash finish is that it easily hides fingerprints and scratches, which cuts down on maintenance time.

The last finish option available for this knife is a Black Oxide Coating. This coating blackens the steel and is used to add mild corrosion resistance. It also helps to minimize light reflections.

Like I previously said, these last two finishing options are finish options that are on the older versions of the Launch 3.

OD Kershaw Launch 3 Auto
OD Kershaw Launch 3 Auto

The shape of the blade on the Launch 3 is a drop point blade. The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes on the market. The shape is created by having the back of the blade slowly curve until it meets up with the sharpened edge. This creates a lowered point, which helps to give you more control over your cuts. Because it is lowered, it ends up having a broader tip, which provides more strength and durability behind the tip. This way, you can use the tip of your blade more confidently than you would otherwise be able to. The drop point blade shape is a fantastic option for your everyday blade carry, because it features such a large belly. This large area for slicing lets you complete all of your everyday tasks. One of the only drawbacks to this shape of blade is that the tip is broader than most, so you really don’t have many stabbing or piercing capabilities.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this new version of the Launch 3 is an aluminum handle. This is a very durable and strong material. One of the biggest benefits to this handle material is that it provides you with a very hefty feel without actually weighing the knife down. This is a lightweight material, because of how low density of a metal that aluminum is. However, aluminum is prone to scratches, so to combat the scratches, Kershaw anodized the handle. The anodization process is the most common finish for aluminum knife handles. This finish adds hardness and protection to the handle, so it will cut down on how many scratches the aluminum would normally wrack up. It also works to add a color to the handle, in this case, black. In older versions of the Launch 3, the anodization process has also added an Olive Drab color to the handle. Another drawback is that aluminum is a cold material, so if you are working in a cold environment, I would not recommend having a knife with this handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is black to match the rest of the handle. There are pre drilled holes in the handle that allow the user to reverse the pocket clip in four different directions. You can either carry your blade with the tip up or down, or change which whether or not you carry your blade left or right handedly. This is a big benefit because it allows you to carry your knife as comfortable as possible for each specific user.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, so like always, make sure that you know your local knife. Automatic knives, or switchblades, have some very strict laws surrounding them. They are not legal in every state or city, so be sure you can legally own this knife before purchasing and carrying. An automatic knife is a knife that has the blade stored inside of the handle. Also in the handle is a tightened spring. To deploy the knife, you push down the button and the spring untightens and the blade will pop out. On the Launch 3, the name of this mechanism is the Push-button Lock. This is when the blade is locked open during use, and when you push the button again, the lock releases and you are able to store your knife.

 

The Specs:

The Launch 3 Automatic was made in the United States of America. There is also an integrated back spacer on it. The blade on this knife is 3.4 inches long. When the Launch 3 is opened, it measures in at 7.8 inches, with a closed length of 4.4 inches. The Launch 3 weighs 3.4 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Launch 3 Automatic:

  • The high end steel is tough, strong, and has great edge retention.
  • The high end steel is also resistant to corrosion.
  • The DLC adds strength, durability, and increases corrosion resistance.
  • The DLC is one of the hardest coatings on the market, so it will add the most durability and take the longest to scratch off.
  • Has a combo edge.
  • The drop point shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes.
  • The drop point has a large belly with ample cutting room.
  • The drop point has a lowered point that is broader than most, giving you some of the most strength.
  • The aluminum handle is strong, durable, resistant to corrosion, and very lightweight.
  • The anodization process makes the handle more resistant to scratches.
  • The pocket clip can be reversed in four different directions.
  • This is an automatic knife, which will deploy faster than other knives.
  • This is made in the USA.

 

Cons of the Launch 3 Automatic:

  • The steel is a little tricky to sharpen, unless you have the correct tools.
  • The DLC will eventually scratch off.
  • The drop point blade shape has a broad tip that takes away many of your piercing and stabbing abilities.
  • The aluminum handle will still get scratched, even with the anodization.
  • The aluminum handle will feel extremely cold if you are in a cold environment.
  • Automatic knives are not legal in many areas of the United States.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw is a trusted, reliable knife company that will provide you with one of the most quality knives that you have ever used. To create their newest knife, they used a high end blade steel and cut it into one of the most versatile blade shapes. To compliment the great blade, they added a durable handle. Everything combines to make a truly exceptional knife. If you have liked the previous Launches, you are going to love this version of the Launch 3.

 

 

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ProTech Rockeye Auto Knife Review

Specs ProTech with a Les George Design

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

 

ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto

Specs

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

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

 

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

Hard Quick Auto

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

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

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

 

Blade

Steel

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

Style

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

Finish

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

 

ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto

Handle

Material

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

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

Design

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

 

Variations

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

 

Everyday Carry or Tactical Knife

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

Carry Depth

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

Weight

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

Thickness and Width

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

Tactical

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

 

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Boker Magnum 018 Auto Knife Review

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

Boker 018 Magnum Auto
Boker 018 Magnum Auto

Specs

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

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

 

Handle Material

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

 

Blade Steel

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

 

Blade Style

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

 

Serrations

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

 

Handle Design

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

 

Similar to 007

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

 

Automatic Knife

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

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

 

Test

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Carrying the Knife

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

Carry Depth

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

Weight

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

Thickness and Width

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

Appearance

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

 

Conclusion

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

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ProTech Tactical Response 2 Automatic Knife Review

Pro-Tech Knives, LLC is a family owned company that was established in 1999. Pro-Tech strives to make high quality American made knives. Pro-Tech chooses only the best materials that are available and they have a commitment to craftsmanship. Pro-Tech uses the most current high tech manufacturing process that are around to produce an exceptional knife that tis going to last through the years. To keep quality high and satisfaction levels higher, they actually produce their knives in small batches (around 12,000 knives a year) so that they can take the time to individually hand fit and finish each knife. Because they give each knife special attention, you get a level of quality that isn’t normally found on factory knives. Pro-Tech has worked with knife makers such as Ernest Emerson, Walter Brend, and Allen Elishewitz to produce some of the most innovative knives today. Some of Pro-Tech’s most popular knives are the Godson and Godfather. Pro-Tech has designed models for the U.S. Military and several police departments over the years. One of their popular knives is the Tactical Response 2 Auto Knife, which is what we will be discussing today.

Exclusive ProTech TR2 Auto
Exclusive ProTech TR2 Auto

 

 

The Blade:

 

The blade on the Tactical Response 2 is carved out of 154 CM stainless steel. This is a high end stainless steel that is produced by Crucible. Essentially, they took 440C steel and added Molybdenum to upgrade the quality of it. Because of the added Molybdenum, the steel has fantastic ability to hold an edge while maintain excellent levels of corrosion resistance. This is a relatively hard steel that has decent toughness—enough toughness to complete most of your tasks without worry. This steel is not difficult to sharpen, if you have the correct machinery or equipment. 154 CM stainless steel has fair corrosion resistance abilities, but, you will need to make sure to oil your knife periodically. This steel gives you many of the same qualities that S30V steel does, just at a slightly lower level, for a cheaper cost. All in all, this is a good steel. It is not the best steel around, but it will get the job done. It has a good balance between being hard, tough, and corrosion resistant. There are two different options of blade finishes. One blade is the traditional silver and has been bead blasted. The other option is a black blade that has a Diamond Like Coating on it. A bead blast finish is where the manufacturer uses glass or ceramic beads and blasts them at the blade at a high pressure. This process will result in a very even, gray finish. Some pros to having a bead blast finish is that the reflection and glare will be diminished, because it produces a matte finish. However, because the beads create micro-abrasions in the surface of the knife, your blade is going to be more prone to rusting or corroding. If you choose the bead blasted blade, just be aware that you are going to have to put more maintenance into the blade. The second option is the black Diamond Like Coating. This option will also reduce the reflection and glare, because it is dark and matte. The DLC also reduces wear and corrosion, because the blade is literally coated in a material. However, coatings will also be scratched off if you are constantly performing heavy duty tasks with it. Also, the harder the coating, the more expensive it is going to cost. And since a DLC is one of the hardest coatings on the market, the cost of your knife will go up.

The Tactical Response 2 sports a spear point blade shape. This style of blade is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both of the edges on the blade rise and fall equally to create a point that is directly center in the blade. This shape of blade is very similar to a needle point blade, but it does have a few advantages over the needle point shape. First, the point on the spear point is stronger, so you won’t have to be as concerned over your tip snapping. Second, the spear point blade shape does sport a small belly that will help you when you are slicing. Another advantage to a spear point blade shape is that there is a lowered tip, which provides you with greater control over your blade helping you perform detail or delicate work with the tip. The spear point blade shape is an excellent balance between piercing and slicing. With this style of knife, you really get the best of both worlds: the tip is sharp enough to stab or pierce things and strong enough for you not to worry about it, and the belly is big enough to allow you to slice things, without getting in the way of your other tasks. This is a great hybrid type blade that is going to be versatile and functional.

There are two different options for the blades edge. You can either get a plain edge or a combo edge, meaning that half of it is serrated and half of it is plain. A plain edge grind will give you better control and accuracy while also providing you with cleaner cuts. With a plain edge, it is easier to skin, peel, or shave. Another benefit to having a plain edge is that they are easier to sharpen. On the other hand, serrations are going to be able to perform the harder cutting tasks. Serrations excel at cutting through rope or wood, because the serrations will bite through it. Before deciding, I would figure out what you want your knife to accomplish and then figure out which edge will give you the best benefits. Another thing to consider is that some people love serrations while some people hate them. Getting a combo edge really just comes down to personal preference.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle on the Tactical Response 2 is made out of T6-6061 aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially for knife handles. It has some definite benefits, one being that it is a very lightweight knife, but feels hefty. Many people prefer the heftiness behind it to support them during the heavy duty tasks, and aluminum will give you that. Aluminum is also very resistant to corrosion, cutting down on maintenance time. Unfortunately, aluminum has its drawbacks. One is that it is a cold material; aluminum can actually feel like it is biting into your hand when it gets really cold outside. The second one is that it is prone to scratches and dings. The last one is that aluminum is slippery unless properly texturized. Pro-Tech combats the slickness by adding several areas of engraving. These areas of engraving provide you with fantastic gripping power, so you won’t have to worry about your knife slipping right in the middle of using it. The ergonomics on this handle are also perfect. The curves of the handle fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. There are a few different colors of handles on the Tactical Response 2. The most common color is a simple black handle. But, you can also get your handle in grey.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

This knife comes with a convenient pocket clip to keep your knife secure in your pocket. The pocket clip matches the handle, so it will either be black or grey. This clip is held in place by three screws that have been drilled into the handle. This pocket clip has been designed to carry your knife tip up.

 

 

The Mechanism:

 

The Tactical Response 2 is an automatic knife, or a switchblade. Keep in mind that automatic knives have strict laws in most areas. Make sure you know your local laws before purchasing or carrying this knife. This knife has a button that you push in to activate the opening mechanism. The blade is contained inside of the handle and when you push the button, it will open automatically. To close the knife, you hold down the button and then push on the back, or unsharpened edge, on the knife and then click it into place.

 

 

The Specs:

 

The blade on the Tactical Response 2 is 3 inches long and 0.120 inches thick. When the blade is opened, it measures at 7.5 inches long, with a closed length of 4.5 inches. The handle has a thickness of 0.44 inches. This knife weighs 3.4 ounces.

 

 

The Pros of the Tactical Response 2:

 

  • The steel is a high end stainless steel.
  • The steel has a great balance between toughness, hardness, and corrosion resistance.
  • The steel has two different options for finishes.
  • The bead blasted finish creates a matte look, cutting down on reflection and glare.
  • The bead blasted finish helps scratches to appear not as obvious.
  • The DLC is hard and helps add corrosion resistance to the blade.
  • The DLC also cuts down on reflection and glare.
  • Can get a black or a grey blade.
  • The steel is not difficult to sharpen.
  • The spear point shape has a great balance between being able to pierce and being able to slice.
  • You have the option to choose a plain edge blade or a combo edge blade.
  • The aluminum handle is durable, strong, and very resistant to corrosion.
  • The aluminum handle gives you the feel of a heavier knife without actually being a heavier knife.
  • You can get the handle in black or grey.
  • The ergonomics of the handle help it to fit perfectly in your hand.
  • Pro-Tech has engraved areas on the handle to provide you with great grip.
  • Pocket clip is sturdy and reliable.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.

 

 

The Cons of the Tactical Response 2:

 

  • The steel choice is decent at all of its properties, but doesn’t really excel at any of its properties.
  • The spear point blade shape has a great balance between piercing and slicing, but doesn’t excel at either.
  • The pocket clip is not reversible and can only carry your knife tip up.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it is not going to be legal in all areas or states.
ProTech TR2 Auto Knife
ProTech TR2 Auto Knife

 

Conclusion:

 

Pro-Tech is an exceptional knife company that gives each and every knife special attention by hand fitting and finishing the knife. They have collaborated with many top notch knife makers and have produced knives for the military and a few different police departments. When you purchase a Pro-Tech knife, you can be sure that it is going to be a high quality knife that has some of the finest materials and newest technology used to create it. Pro-Tech did just that when they designed and produced the Tactical Response 2.

They started out with a good, high end steel. When the blade on a knife is made out of a good steel, the knife is going to be able to complete most tasks. This steel is hard, tough, has fair resistance to corrosion, and maintains an edge well. They provide the user with two different finishes to give you the blade that you want. This knife has been designed to be an all-purpose knife, so they provided you with a fantastically shaped blade. Pro-Tech chose to use a spear point blade because it can pierce and stab and also slice things. You can really do it all with a spear point blade. To complement a great blade, they needed a great handle to go with it, so they chose to use aluminum. This is a lightweight, yet durable material that is very resistant to corrosion. This knife fits perfectly in your hand and gives you exceptional grip. This knife really is a must for your collection or to carry for everyday use.

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