Joker’s Wild Grey Cupid Clone OTF Automatic Knife Review

Joker’s Wild Grey Cupid Clone OTF Automatic Knife
Joker’s Wild Grey Cupid Clone OTF Automatic Knife

 

The Blade:

The blade on this version of the Joker’s Wild Cupid Clone is made out of 440 stainless steel. When it comes to 440 stainless steel, there is actually three different members of the family: A, B, or C. 440C is a high quality steel, so if the knife is made out of this steel, it is likely that the manufacturer specifies that it is made out of this steel. If it has not been specified, you can assume that it is either A or B. 440 is a medium carbon, martensitic stainless steel that is very corrosion resistant, while also being tough. This steel can be hardened to about RC58. A and B are not considered premium knife steels, but they still have some very good properties for cutlery use. They take a fine enough edge that if it has been treated properly, it will even be able to cut the hairs off your arms. These two versions of 440 steel are often only used in production knives. 440A is tougher and more corrosion resistant than 440B. 440B is inferior to 440C in edge retention and edge sharpness, though like A, it is not as good a choice as a premium steel. 440B is more ductile than 440C and less brittle. Both A and B are easy to machine and easy to sharpen well, which makes it ideal for when the manufacturer needs a cheaper blade steel for production purposes. One of the biggest advantages to these steels is that they are inexpensive and you still get a pretty quality steel. While this steel will not stand up to super-steels or be able to take on crazy amounts of force, they will be able to get you through your day-to-day tasks.

The blade on this version of the Joker’s Wild Grey Cupid Clone has been bead blast finished. This finish is created by using abrasive glass beads that are blasted at the steel with a high pressure, which results in an even gray finish. A blasted finish reduces reflection and glare due to its even matte surface. The blasting creates an increased surface area and micro abrasion make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. A blasted blade, even from stainless steel, can rust overnight if left in a very humid environment. This means that you will need to make sure that your blade is dry before pulling it back into the handle. You will also need to oil your blade often if you are using the knife often.

The blade is a dagger style blade shape. The dagger style blade is also known as the needle-point blade. Both of the names for this blade style are perfect, because this style of blade is all about the point. The blade style has a double-edge blade, with the sole purpose being to pierce and stab. The blade is made up of 2 symmetrically sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut in on both sides equally. These characteristics make it a great option for your self-defense weapon, even, or especially, if you are in close combat situations. Just like any blade shape, the dagger style blade does have its disadvantages. First, the blade is created to be all about the point, so the edges are straight, meaning the knife has no belly. Because of this, it is not good for slicing or slashing. Second, because the tip is sharp and thin it does have the tendency to break, especially when it is used on harder targets. While this blade design is not going to be your all-purpose knife, it will be fantastic if you ever need to use it for self-defense or any other situation that requires piercing.

Each edge of the blade has been sharpened into a combination edge. This is where the upper two thirds of the blade (near the tip) are plain edged, and the lower third (near the handle) is serrated. The reasoning behind the combination edge is that the user gets the best of both worlds. They can use the plain edged section when they need cleaner cuts or need to perform fine detail work. The user can then use the serrated portions of the blade to saw through your tougher materials. And for those of you who are planning to use this knife for self-defense, the different edges will inflict more damage. The biggest complaint when it comes to combination edges is that you don’t get enough of either portion, so instead of getting the best of both worlds, you get the worst of each. When it comes to the combo edge, it really comes down to personal opinion.

The Handle:

The handle is made out of anodized aluminum. Because aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making, it keeps the weight of the overall knife down without taking away any of your heft. This is a major advantage because you feel like you have weight to back you up, but you don’t have to lug a heavy knife with you at all times. Aluminum is also a very corrosion resistant metal, which means that it is not going to easily rust; Maintenance time is reduced because of that characteristic. Most knives use a type of aluminum alloy called T6-60161, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. T6-6061 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 is often found in aircraft, which is why it has been nicknamed “aircraft aluminum.” This nickname is a little bit of a marketing ploy; while it is a quality aluminum, it is not as quality as that nickname makes it out to be. Aluminum is cheaper to machine and produce than titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, aluminum is an inferior metal to titanium aside from its lightness. However, because producing an automatic knife is complex and requires a large amount of CNC machining, like with this knife, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and manufacturer the knife.

The handle on this knife has been anodized dark grey, which adds extra durability, resistance to wear and corrosion, and generally prolongs the life of the blade. According to anodizing.org, anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is especially suited to anodizing, which is why it is often anodized on knives. Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current though the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released form the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized.

The handle on this knife is mostly rectangular, although the top of the handle is arrow-head shaped, and the bottom of the handle does flare out so that you can get a better grip on the knife. To assist with texture, grooves have been carved into the face of the palm.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This means that the knife is not ambidextrous. The clip is sliver, which contrasts elegantly with the black handle. TI is kept in place by two silver screws that match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

The Joker’s Wild Grey Cupid Clone is an automatic OTF knife. An Out-the-Front, or OTF knife is style of pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than your typical pocket knife, which has a blade that is stored in the handle and folds in and out of the side. Within the OTF category you can find manual or automatic, this knife is an automatic.

An automatic OTF knife blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclose within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity of sliding knife. Because this is an automatic knife, you do need to be aware that it falls under the strict automatic laws in the United States. It is your job, at the user, to know your local knife laws.

You can then further divide automatic OTF knives into two separate categories: double action, or single action. This knife is a single action, which means that the knife does deeply automatically, but it must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Joker’s Wild Cupid Clone measures in at 3.3 inches long. The handle on this OTF knife measures in at 5.1 inches long. The overall length of this knife when it is opened measures in at 8.4 inches long. This is a lightweight knife, because of the steel and the aluminum, so it only weighs in at 4 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Wild Grey Cupid Clone:

  • The blade steel is inexpensive, but still gives you enough grit to get your day-to-day jobs done.
  • The blade steel is very corrosion and stain resistant.
  • The blade is easy to sharpen because of the softness of the steel.
  • The bead blasted finish creates an even finish that reduces glares and reflections.
  • The dagger point style blade is going to excel at piercing.
  • You can perform fine detail work with the plain edge.
  • You can use the plain edge to achieve cleaner cuts.
  • You can saw through the thicker materials with the serrated portions of the blade.
  • When it comes to self-defense, the changing edges will inflict maximum damage.
  • Lightweight knife means you can have it with you at all times and not be weighed down.
  • Not an ambidextrous knife.
  • The aluminum handle is going to be strong.
  • The aluminum handle is light, keeping the overall weight of the knife down.
  • The aluminum handle is very durable and corrosion resistant.
  • The anodized aluminum is stronger, tougher, more durable, and more resistant to corrosion.

 

The Cons of the Wild Grey Cupid Clone:

  • Because the blade is softer steel, you will have to sharpen it often.
  • The blade does not have high wear resistance.
  • Because of the blasted finish, the blade can rust overnight, so maintenance is required and required often.
  • Because the tip is so sharp and thin, it will break if used on harder objects.
  • The blade does not have a belly, which is why it cannot be used for multiple purposes.
  • Some people feel like the two separate blade edges means that you cannot fully utilize either portion.
  • The aluminum handle is susceptible to scratches and dings.
  • The aluminum handle can feel pretty cold to hold.
  • Because it is an automatic knife, this knife is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas of the United States.

 

Conclusion:

The Joker’s Wild Cupid Clone automatic knife is a single-action out the front knife that closely resembles that of the Dalton Cupid model which The Joker was seen wielding in the iconic Batman movie. A single action out the front knife by definition means that the blade is automatically deployed with the push of a button and then is manually retracted with a lever feature–in this case found on the side of the handle. This wildly popular knife showcases amazing construction and a lockup that is as solid as knives even 10 times the price. This model features a grey handle, a dagger style blade that is partly serrated on both sides and a pocket clip that is designed for tip down carry only. Pick up this knife at BladeOps.

 

Wasp Out the Front Knife Review

The Blade:

There are four different versions of this knife, but the differing characteristic is their handles, not the blade. Each of the four blades are the same. Each of them are made out of 440 stainless steel. 440 stainless steel is an interesting label, because there are actually three different levels of 440 stainless steel. There is 440A, 440B, and 440C. The further down the alphabet they get; the higher quality the steel is. In fact, 440C is such a high quality stainless steel that many manufacturers have changed the name of 440C to decipher and show that it is in fact, a high quality steel. The issue with identifying which level the steel is comes into play when manufactures only stamp 440 on the steel, instead of saying which level of steel it is. If this is the case, like with this OTF, you can assume that it is not a 440C stainless steel. While we cannot tell which level of 440 stainless steel this blade is made out of, there are a few characteristic that each carries. For starters, each of the levels of is considered truly stainless, which means that the maintenance time will be significantly reduced. A common misconception about stainless steel is that it cannot rust or corrode. This is not the case. It is just less prone to rusting. You will need to make sure that the blade is dry before pulling it back into the handle, and you will need to oil it occasionally. Next, 440A and 440B are relatively inexpensive for the quality of steel that you get. Unfortunately, these steels do not have high wear resistance. This means that the blade is not going to withstand high use or force; the steel will be able to withstand the day-to-day wear. Overall, this steel gives you a high quality of steel for a low cost. 440 stainless steel is a good option for this knife.

The blade on each of the four versions of this knife have been finished with a black coating. The coating offers a few major benefits, the biggest being how well it increases the corrosion resistance of the blade. This is because it forms a barrier between the blade and the environment, which cuts down on the chemical reactions that cause rusting. The next advantage is that it cuts down on all reflections and glares. This is ideal if you are ever trying to discreetly use the blade, or even if you are just working with it outside on a sunny day. Lastly, the coating provides a very sleek, black look to these knives. One of the only disadvantages to finishing your blade with a coating is that coatings can and do scratch off after long periods of use or even just really heavy use. Once the coating does scratch off, if you want the blade to stay protected, you are going to have to re-coat the blade.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a dagger blade style. The dagger blade style is also known as the needle point blade. This style of blade is known and designed to be all about the point. This means that if what you are doing does not involve stabbing, it is to going to be super successful at it. The blade is designed with two symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin, sharp point, which can pierce and stab with ease. The sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut in on both sides equally. Because of this design and these characteristics, this OTF knife is going to be great for self-defense, even if you are in a close combat situation. The dagger style knives are especially popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed and easily withdrawn from their sheaths. Unfortunately, the dagger style blade does have a couple of disadvantages to it. For starters, the edges are straight, and the blade is lacking a belly. This means that it is not going to be capable of slicing well. The other major disadvantage to the dagger style blade is that because the tip is very sharp and gets so thin at the very tip, this blade is going to be prone to breaking when you are using this on harder targets. While this blade is not a very good all-purpose blade style, it is going to be one of your best bets if you ever need to pierce into something.

The edges on this knife are plain edged. These plain edges will give you cleaner cuts, let you take on a wider variety of tasks, and you can get a very fine edge on the blade. The plain edge is also going to prove to be much easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth. And, because of the 440 steel, this knife will be a total breeze to sharpen.

 

The Handle:

The handles on each of the knives are made out of aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is often used in knife making. This material is also very corrosion resistant. Since it is a soft metal; this material is primarily used in knife handles instead of the blades. Most knives use a type of aluminum alloy called T6-6061, which means the type of aluminum is 6061, and it is T6 tempered. T6-6061 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum,” this is sometimes seen as a gimmick, kind of like “surgical steel.” Aluminum is also cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is the inferior metal to Titanium, aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with the Wasp OTF knife, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

Like previously mentioned, aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles that is low density but still provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. This is a major advantage because you want to feel like your knife can back you up, but you don’t want to remember that you’re carrying a knife all day because of how much it weighs.

When an aluminum handle is correctly texturized, it does provide a pretty secure grip that is also comfortable, even if you are using it for long periods of time. On the flip side, aluminum also has high conductive properties, which means that if you were planning to use this knife in the winter months, it is going to be uncomfortably cold in your hand.

The handles have all been anodized, which adds additional strength, durability, and corrosion resistance to the aluminum. Because the anodization process actually changes the construction of the metal, instead of being applied onto it, the color is not going to scratch off. There are four different colors of handles that you can choose from with this knife design. You have black, green, gold, or red.

The handle is mostly rectangular, although it does curve inwards towards the middle of the handle. This lets you have a more secure and more comfortable grip when using this knife. One the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole, which is perfect for keeping your knife close by you, without it getting in the way. If you apply a lanyard to your knife, you can be more efficient when removing the knife from your pocket.

 

Wasp Out the Front Knife
Wasp Out the Front Knife

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic, double action, OTF knife. An OTF knife is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. An automatic OTF knife blade travels within an internal track 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 to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. This is a double action OTF knife, which means that it deploys and retracts with a multifunction slide lever and spring design.

Because it is an automatic knife, you need to be aware that it will not be legal in all states, cities, or areas to own, carry, or use. It is your responsibility as the user to know your local knife laws. BladeOps is not responsible. Because it is an automatic knife, it is going to open more efficiently and easier than if it were a manual knife.

 

The Specs:

When this knife is opened, it measures in at 5 3/16 inches long. When the knife is closed it measures in at 3 3/16 inches long. The blade on the Wasp OTF knife measures in at 1 15/16 inches. This knife is extremely lightweight because of the small size of the knife and the lightweight materials used, weighing in at only 1 ounce. The super lightweight knife allows you to have it with you at all times, without even noticing that it is with you. This prepares you for any self-defense situation when you need a knife and you need it quick.

 

The Pros of the Wasp Out the Front:

  • The blade has high corrosion and stain resistance.
  • The blade is inexpensive, keeping the overall cost of the knife down.
  • This is a fully stainless steel, so maintenance is low.
  • The coating prolongs the life of the blade.
  • The coating reduces reflections and glares, while also cutting down on wear.
  • The coating provides a very sleek aesthetic to the blade.
  • The dagger style blade has a very sharp point that is perfect for piercing.
  • Plain edged.
  • Aluminum is strong, light, durable, and resistant to corrosion.
  • Anodized handle provides additional durability, strength, and corrosion resistance—all prolonging the life of the blade.
  • You have multiple colors to choose from when it comes to this knife.
  • There is a lanyard hole on this knife.
  • The handle will be comfortable to hold because of the ergonomics.
  • Automatic knife is going to open quicker and more efficiently than a manual knife.
  • This is a double-action OTF.

 

The Cons of the Wasp Out the Front:

  • 440 stainless steel does not have high wear resistance.
  • The black coating is going to scratch off after time.
  • The dagger style blade does not have a belly, which means that it is not going to be an all-purpose knife.
  • The dagger style blade does have a weak tip that can break if subjected to hard materials.
  • Aluminum is cold to hold, can be a little slippery, and is prone to being scratched.
  • Because it is an automatic knife, it is not going to be legal to own, carry, or use in all states, cities, or areas of the US.

 

Conclusion:

The Wasp Out the Front knife features a double action dagger blade with a black finish. The 440 steel is rust and corrosion resistant, while also proving to be very inexpensive. . The steel gives you all the qualities that you want from a knife, without the high cost that people have come to expect. The coating on the blade works to prolong the life of this knife, creating a very trustworthy blade that you can have with you at all times. The dagger style blade excels at stabbing through soft materials, which makes this Wasp OTF knife a great option for your go-to self-defense knife. This small OTF auto boasts solid action and a size that is ideal for pocket carry. The slide trigger sits on the front scale; it opens and retracts the blade. Pick up your favorite version of this knife today at BladeOps.

 

Duck Faux Stag Mini Stiletto Automatic Knife Review

Duck Faux Stag Mini Stiletto Automatic Knife
Duck Faux Stag Mini Stiletto Automatic Knife

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of stainless steel. For the most part, a blade is either made out of stainless steel or out of a high carbon steel. Because this automatic knife is made out of a stainless steel, we are going to focus on the pros and cons of having a stainless steel knife blade. For starters, stainless steel blades usually have at least a 12 percent chromium level, which works to accomplish two things for the blade: it makes the blade better able to resist wear and it makes the blade a lot more corrosion resistant. Unfortunately, stainless steel is going to be softer than a high carbon blade. Because it is softer, the blade is going to be easier to sharpen, but it is also going to lose its edge faster than a high carbon blade would. In terms of durability, stainless steel knife blades are usually tougher than high carbon steels. Often times, they are not harder than a high carbon blade. Also, stainless steel blades are not going to rust, chip, or even stain easily. There is a common misconception that because a stainless steel is never going to rust. This is an incorrect assumption; stainless steels just have a higher resistance to rusting. You will still need to make sure that this blade is dry after each use, and to fully maintain its quality, you will need to oil the blade every once in a while. In terms of appearance, stainless steel blades look good for a very long time. When being compared to a high carbon steel, stainless steels take less time to maintain and keep their look intact a little bit better.

The blade has been finished satin, which is the most popular blade finish in the cutlery industry today. This finish is also very traditional, because the luster levels are pretty close to being right in the middle. Because of this, you are able to find more reflective blades and less reflective blades, but you don’t have to worry about this classy knife ever going out of style. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with increasing levels of a fine abrasive. This finish is designed and used to show off the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the fine lines in the steel. In terms of how the finish is created, the finer the abrasive that is used and the more even the lines are, the cleaner the finish is going to look. This finish also helps increase the corrosion resistance slightly.

The blade on this stiletto knife has been carved into a clip point style blade. The clip point, along with the drop point, is one of the two most popular blade shapes that can be found on the market. The clip point blade is similar to the drop point in terms of how versatile it is; this blade style is considered an all-purpose blade shape. The form of the knife is created by having the unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This section starting when turns is known as the clip, which is where the blade shape got its name. The clip on this knife is curved and looks as if this portion from the spine to the point has actually been clipped away. Because of the clip, the point on this knife is lowered, which helps provide you with more control when you are using this knife. The clip point blade shape is also known to be exceptional at stabbing, and this is because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine. These characteristics lend well to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. The characteristic of this knife that makes it such a versatile knife is the large belly that it boasts. This belly allows you to slice with ease, which is the most common task that you will be performing throughout the day. The clip point blade shape really only has one disadvantage, and that is because the point on the clip point blade is narrow and sharp, it does have the tendency to be weak is prone to breaking or snapping off. This narrow tip is also the characteristic of the clip point blade style that separates it form the drop point blade style. While both of these popular blade shapes are all-purpose and feature a lowered point, the clip point has a narrow tip and the drop point has a broad tip. This means that while the droop point blade style does offer you more strength, it also takes away all of your stabbing capabilities. And on the other hand, while the clip point is able to stab and pierce with ease, it is prone to breaking.

The Duck Faux Stag Mini Stiletto does have a plain edge that equips you to take on a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge will also give you cleaner cuts and will be easier to sharpen than a serrated edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of acrylic to look like faux stag horn. According to fibersource.com, an acrylic is a manufactured fiber in which the fiber forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of acrylonitrile units. Acrylic fibers are produced form acrylonitrile, which is a petrochemical. The acrylonitrile is usually combine with small amounts of other chemicals to improve the ability of the resulting fiber to absorb dyes. Some of the positive characteristics of acrylic is that they repel water exceptionally well. An acrylic is also quick drying to move moisture from the surface of this handle. Plus, the color should not fade in the sunlight like some plastics might.

The liners and bolsters on this knife are made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a great material for the liners because they have excellent durability and high resistance to corrosion. One of the drawbacks to stainless steel is that it is a relatively heavy material. But since it is only the bolsters and liners that are made out of stainless steel, it won’t weigh your knife down, and instead, it will add just enough heft that you can feel confident in the weight backing you when you are performing your day to day tasks.

The handle is pretty rectangular, with the butt flaring out for added control over this knife. There are two finger guards that jut out from either side of the top of the handle, which protects your fingers from getting cut if you slip. The two finger guards also are a classic characteristic of the stiletto style knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is only designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip on this knife is super skinny and is kept in place by two silver screws that match the rest of the hardware on this knife. The pocket clip has been stonewashed, which gives it a very rugged, well-worn look. The look of the pocket clip goes perfectly with the faux stag handle. With the length of the pocket clip and the small size of the handle, this knife will be easily concealable in your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife that features a push button opener and a plunge lock mechanism.

Because this is an automatic knife, it does fall under the strict set of laws that surround automatic knives in the United States of America. These strict laws state that automatic knives are not legal in all states, cities, or areas of the United States. You, as the user, are responsible for knowing your local laws. BladeOps does not take responsibility for any consequences on your part.

An automatic knife is a style of pocket knife that has its blade contained in the handle. The blade is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. The deploying button on this specific knife is silver and stonewashed finish.

The locking mechanism on this knife is a plunge lock, which is the same as a button lock. This style of locking mechanism is often found on automatic knives. This style of lock uses a spring-loaded plunger to hold the knife open. When you press the button, it lines up a notch in the plunger and allows the blade to pivot. Some of the benefits to the plunge lock is that it is incredibly strong and it doesn’t put your fingers in the blade’s path. Plus, this lock is fast and easy to use, as well as being reliable. Unfortunately, this style of locking mechanism is not ambidextrous.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 1.875 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 2.75 inches long. When this stiletto knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 4.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at a measly 1.8 ounces, so it will be easy to have with you at all times, without weighing you down in the slightest. This knife was made in China.

 

The Pros of the Duck Faux Stag Mini Stiletto:

  • The stainless steel blade is going to resist rust well.
  • The blade is going to be easy to sharpen.
  • The blade resists wear well.
  • Stainless steel blades are tougher than a high carbon blade.
  • The blade is not going to rust, chip, or stain easily.
  • The satin finish is the most traditional finish, so you know that this knife won’t go out of style.
  • The satin finish does increase the corrosion resistance slightly.
  • The clip point blade style is versatile and all purpose.
  • The clip point blade style has a thin, sharp tip that is perfect for stabbing.
  • The clip point blade style has a controllable tip.
  • The blade sports a large belly that is ideal for slicing.
  • Plain edge lets you take on a wider variety of tasks.
  • Small size and lightweight allows you to have this knife on you at all times.
  • The acrylic handle is durable and tough.
  • Stainless steel liners add enough weight to be confident in your knife, but not enough that it weighs the knife down.
  • Plunge lock is very strong, so you don’t have to worry about your knife closing when you are in the middle of using it.
  • The plunge lock means that your fingers never have to be in the path of the blade when you are opening it.

 

The Cons of the Duck Faux Stag Mini Stiletto:

  • The blade is a little bit softer, which means that you will need to sharpen this blade more often than some others.
  • The clip point blade style odes have a weak point because of how sharp and narrow it is.
  • The plunge lock is not ambidextrous and neither is the pocket clip, which means this knife is definitely not an ambidextrous friendly knife.
  • As an automatic knife, it is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas.

 

Conclusion:

The Duck Mini Stiletto automatic knives snap open with a push on the button. This model features stainless steel bolsters, solid steel liners and faux stag handle scales. The plain edge clip point blade is perfect for everyday chores which is why the mini automatic knife makes the perfect novelty gift. The stainless steel blade is corrosion resistant and tough, which means that maintenance time will be a breeze. The satin finish is a traditional finish that goes exceptionally with the faux stag horn handle. This knife comes with a pocket clip that is designed for tip-up carry only. Pick up this perfect everyday carry knife at BladeOps.

 

Microtech Cypher OTF Knife Review

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

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

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military, such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs. Greg Lightfoot, along with other custom knife makers, has remarked that it is the tolerances that Microtech sticks with that makes the factory knives so close to the custom design.

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

Microtech Cypher
Microtech Cypher

anodized black. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making and is also very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is actually the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. This alloy of aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”.  Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.
Hard anodized aluminum is an anodizing technique that creates an oxidation layer on the aluminum that is up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. Anodizing aluminum involves placing the aluminum in a bath of acid and passing electrical charges through the material. This builds up a layer of aluminum oxide on the outside of the aluminum. This anodization process makes the aluminum more durable, corrosion resistant, and wear resistant. This anodization process helps to make the aluminum act a little more like titanium.

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Conclusion:

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

 

SOG Strat Ops Auto Knife Review

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

The Strat Ops sports stainless steel liners.

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

SOG Strat Ops Automatic
SOG Strat Ops Automatic

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Designer:

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

 

The Pros of the Strat Ops Auto:

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

 

The Cons of the Strat Ops Auto:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

 

 

Buck 110 Automatic Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

Buck Auto Knife
Buck Auto Knife

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

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

This knife does not sport a pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Sheath:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

 

Gerber Coyote Brown Mini Covert Auto Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

Gerber Coyote Mini Covert
Gerber Coyote Mini Covert

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

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

 

SOG TAC Ops Automatic Knife Review

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

SOG TAC Ops Knife
SOG TAC Ops Knife

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Pros of the Tac Ops Auto:

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

 

Cons of the Tac Ops Auto:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

Pro-Tech Strider PT Automatic Knife

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

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

 

The Blade:

ProTech PT Strider Auto Knife
ProTech PT Strider Auto Knife

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip and Hardware:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Pros of the Dark Blue Strider:

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

 

Cons of the Dark Blue Strider:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

 

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.