Microtech Tachyon III Knife Review

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

IN 1994, the very first prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment. They also released the UDT which marked the beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent. In 1995 they released the HALO, which has become a prominent line through Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine. In 1999, the Ultratech, which is the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production. This year, Microtech also earned Blade’s Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award for the second year in a row.

In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012. In 2004, The MTX2 was awarded American Made Knife of the year by Blade Magazine. This same year, originally designed for U.S. Special Forces Boat Team 20, the initial run of the Currahee was limited, with the first few placed in the hands of those best suited to test the knife, the United States Special Forces. In 2015, they featured significant collaboration with Heretic Knives, Sean Marfione, Koji Hara, Bork Blades, and Munroe Knives. This same year, the Ultratech underwent a major aesthetic revamp, with the introduction of the new tri-grip handle and thumb slide. Also, the Arbiter was introduced as production model for the first time. This was also the year that the Tachyon III was introduced, bringing a whole new level of mechanics and visual appeal to the balisong industry.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Bohler ELMAX steel. This is a high chromium, vanadium, molybdenum alloyed powdered steel with extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax is stainless but acts in many ways like a carbon steel. you get a superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening while maintain a healthy resistance to rust. This steel might even be the best all-around knife steel. The majority of Microtech’s blades are crafted from this steel, because they believe that is provides the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. This is a high performance knife steel. Elmax is a third generation powder metal technology that is noted for its fine carbide distribution with extremely low inclusion content for virtually no chip out. Bohler says that this steel has four main characteristics: high wear resistance, high compressive strength, corrosion resistant, and very good dimensional stability. High wear resistance is normally connected to low corrosion resistance and vice versa. In Elmax, it has however been able to achieve this unique combination of properties by a powdered metallurgy based production.

There are two coating options that you can choose from on this series of knives. The first coating is an apocalyptic stonewashed finish, which is a black stonewashed finish. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. An acid stonewashed or black stonewash finish is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. The stonewashed finish hides the scratches and smudges that can occur with use over time.

The second finish option that you are presented with is a DLC black coating. A coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion. However, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will then have to be recoated. Generally, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. High quality finishes are bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint like coatings. High end coatings like DLC require that the blade go to a specialty coating facility for physical vapor deposition application in a vacuum environment. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

These knives all have a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most common blade types, the drop point is most popular within the realm of hunting knives and larger knife blades, but this blade style also works well as a tactical or survival knife. Characterized by a convex sloped, sloping spine, and a lowered point, drop point blades are especially useful for controlled cuts—hunters find that the blades large belly facilitates skinning. In addition, drop point blades have very strong tips that resist breaking, which is crucial in survival situations. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited or piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

You also have two different edge options with the Tachyon III series of knives. You can choose between a plain or a combo edge. Plain edges are blades that are one continuous sharp edge and are far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of us when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft, flexible, or can be crushed easily with downward cutting such as bread or tomatoes. However, serrated edges can easily cause fraying and when the blade dulls it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. A serrated blade does not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. Often, sharpening requires taking the blade to a professional sharpener, especially if the sharpening is long overdue.

 

The Handles:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1DLCBL
Microtech Tachyon 173-1DLCBL

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

With the handles you have the option of a couple of different colors: black, blue, and a handful of custom colors.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife has been designed for tip up carry only.

 

The Mechanism:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1BW
Microtech Tachyon 173-1BW

The Tachyon III is a balisong knife. This is also known as a butterfly knife or a fan knife. Its distinction is two handles counter rotating around the tang so that when the closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. The balisong was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. A common stereotype is that people in this area carries one everywhere he or she goes. The hollow ground balisongs were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippines. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. This type of knife can be used as an art form when flipping. This style of knife is actually now illegal or restricted in many countries, often under the same laws and for the same reasons that switchblades are restricted.

This specific type of balisong has a channel constructed balisong, which means that the main part of each handle is formed form one piece of material. In this handle, a groove is created in which the blade rests when the knife is closed. This style is regarded as being stronger than sandwich construction, which is the other style of balisong knife that you can find.

There are a couple of main parts of the balisong knife:

The bit handle: this is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade, and will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. It’s the handle that usually has the latch on it.

The Kicker: this is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge form touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

The Latch: the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Magnets are occasionally sued instead. This part also keeps it from opening up when the user doesn’t want it to.

The Safe Handle: this is the handle that closes on the non-sharpened edge of the blade. It is generally the handle that does not have the latch on it.

Zen pins: these are the screws mounted inside the handles that collide with the kicker mounted on the tang to prevent the blade from moving around whilst in the open or closed position.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on this knife is 4.5 inches long with an overall knife length of 10 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 5.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.1 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1FL
Microtech Tachyon 173-1FL

Released in 2012, the Tachyon™ II was modeled after Microtech’s® original balisong knife, the Tachyon™ from 2000.  Re-engineered to perfection in 2015, the Tachyon™ III reflects the ideal evolution of Microtech’s® balisong line. The handles are machined from solid billet and a redesigned silicon nitride race bearing system creates a flawless flipping mechanism.  The blade and overall lengths have been significantly lengthened, generating a new balance compared to its predecessor.  The Tachyon™ III also showcases the new spring-loaded pocket clip (patent pending) that sits in a milled channel so it is flush to the handle when not in use.

Between stonewashed or DLC finish, the multiple handle colors, and the two different edge options that you can choose from, you are sure to find the exact Microtech Tachyon III for you. With such a wide variety of options in this series of knives, there’s sure to be the perfect option for you. So whether it’s for flipping or defense, pick up your favorite version of the Tachyon III today at BladeOps.

 

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Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho Bali-Song Review

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

When deciding on a name for this new company, Les realized that there was “handmade” and “factory made”, but it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom.

Each of Benchmade’s knives go through a series of different steps. At each of the steps, the materials are carefully measured. During this process they use the bets materials and equipment because they are making world class knives for world class users.

The first step is a laser cutting step because each of the knives begins as a sheet of steel. The second step is a surface grinding which is where the blank is ground to its precise width. The third step is where the blades and handles get milled. This third step is where blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. The fourth step is beveling which is when the blade really begins to take place. The fifth and six step is back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention and finishing is what gives the blade a more refined look. Finally, the knife goes through assembly and sharpening. All Benchmade knives are assembled by hand. A fun fact is that it takes longer to master blade sharpening than any other skill related to the Benchmade knife building technique.

Now you can see why Benchmade has such quality knives. At BladeOps, we celebrate May as Benchmade month. We will go over the different knives and why they are such a quality knife. Today, we are going to go over the Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Mini Morpho has been carved out of D2 steel. This is considered a high end steel that is commonly referred to as a “semi stainless” steel. This is because it falls just short of the required amount of chromium to quality as full stainless, but it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion. On the other hand, D2 is a very hard steel, so while it does hold an edge for long periods of time, it is very tough to sharpen. With this type of steel, you do need to be a master sharpener to get a fine edge on your blade.

The D2 blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The key characteristic to this type of finish is how it showcases the lines in the steel so well. This finish provides you with a very traditional look. In terms of how reflective it is, it is a very medium steel. A mirror finish is going to be much more reflective than the satin finish and a matte finish is going to be much less reflective than a satin finish.

The steel has been carved into a drop point style. This is a fantastic blade style if you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything. A drop point blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. One of the most common places that you are going to find a drop point blade shape on is a hunting knife, but you will also find it on other knives as well. To form the shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered pint that provides you with more control and adds strength to the tip. It is because of that tip strength and the ability for it to hold up to heavy use that makes this style of blade so popular on tactical and survival knives. And because the tip on the drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. One of the many reasons why this style of blade is such a versatile option is because of the large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the other most popular blade shapes is the clip point blade shape, and it has been confused with a drop point style quite a bit. While they are both very versatile, popular, and have lowered tips, it is the tips that sets them apart from one another. The clip point has a much finer, thinner, and sharper tip. It is this tip that gives you the ability to pierce and stab with your knife, but it is also much weaker and prone to breaking when subjected to the heavier duty tasks. The drop point blade has a much broader point, and because of that, you have exponential strength to the tip. However, because of how broad the tip is, you cannot stab well with it. It is this broad point that is one of the only drawbacks to the drop point style blade. When you choose a knife, such as the 32 Mini Morpho, you are choosing a knife that is going to be able to be used in many different situations, whether they are the expected or unexpected.

The blade on the Mini Morpho has a plain edge. This edge is more traditional and can be sharpened much easier as well as being able to get a much finer edge. The plain edge can also be used for a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge excels at push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling.

Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho
Benchmade 32 Mini Morpho

The Handle:

The handles on the Mini Morpho are made out of G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. IT has very similar properties, although slightly inferior, to carbon fiber yet it can be had for almost a fraction of the cost. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure The material that results is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. In fact, G10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger, although more brittle, than Micarta. To add texture to the handle, checkering and other patterns are added, making for a solid, comfortable grip. The production processes can utilize many layers of the amse color, or varying different colors to achieve a unique cosmetic look on the G10 handle. Tactical folder and fixed blade knives benefit from the qualities of G10 because it is durable and lightweight, non porous, and available in a variety of colors. And while it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process used in FRN.

The handles are black, with rough texturing to provide you with a quality grip. The liners are blue anodized and jeweled titanium. Titanium is a great liner material because titanium is lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. While it is a little heavier than aluminum, it is so much stronger. This material is very sturdy and still feels “springy”, which is why it makes such a great material for liner.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a standard pocket clip that allows you to carry your knife tip up.

 

The Mechanism:

The Mini Morpho is a Bali song, otherwise known as a butterfly knife. This type of knife is something that Benchmade excels at, because once upon a time, butterfly knives were all they had produced. Vance Collver has said that, “A Bali song can be best described as a “folding fixed blade”, as there is typically no mechanism. And with the exception of the modern spring latch, there are no springs incorporated in the design. All other locking folder designs require some sort of spring technology to function. with the Bali song, the handle is essentially just split in half down the middle. Each half is attached to the blade so it can pivot. This allows the tow handle halves to fold around the blade itself, action as a sheath, in a sense.

Collver goes on to explain that the user’s hand is essentially the lock for the split handle, and some type of latch keeps the handle halves from parting, though a latch is not necessary and the user’s grip maintains the position. When the knife is in use, both handles are gripped, which make the lock mechanism as strong as the user’s grip. There are no locks to fail other than letting go. All Bali songs are the same with the two handle halves pivoting at the blade tang, so the mechanism is more a question of what the best example are with this style knife. Darrel Ralph says that the considers the Bali songs one of the world’s strongest folding knives. He describes the pivot as equal parts simple and intricate. “the handles pivot on the blade independently”, he said. “This allows for offset, unique and crazy tricks or flips with the handles and the blade. The secret is to confident and always keep the safe handle—the handle that allows the back of the blade to ricochet of your hand—oriented properly as you flip.

The butterfly knife is also knowns as a fan knife. This type of knife was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. Hollow ground Bali songs were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippine’s. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called “flipping”, are performed for art or amusement. You can also buy blunt versions of these knives, which are called “trainers”, to practice tricks without the risk of injury.

This type of knife is now illegal or restricted in many countries, often under the same laws and for the same reasons that switchblades are restricted.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.35 inches long, and has a closed length of 4.39 inches long. The handle on the Mini Morpho is 0.44 inches thick. The Mini Morpho weighs in at 2.7 ounces.

 

The Conclusion:

When Benchmade describes this knife they call it, “a compact, lightweight Bali-Song with a great modern look and feel. The 32 brings layered style to the classic Bali. Made in the USA.” This knife features semi skeletonized black G 10 handle scales couple with blue anodized and jewel titanium liners, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and reversible titanium pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only, but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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Benchmade 67 Bali-Song Review

History of the Balisong

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

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

Benchmade 67 Bali
Benchmade 67 Bali

 

Specs

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

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

 

The Blade

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

Blade Style

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

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

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

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

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

 

Blade Steel

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

Blade Finish

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

 

The Handle

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

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

 

Parts of the Balisong Knife

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

Bite handle

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

Latch

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

Pivot joint

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

Safe handle

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

Swedge

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

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

 

How to Open

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why get a Bali-Song

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

Some other benefits of the owning a balisong include:

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

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

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

 

Field Test

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

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

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

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

Plastic-

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

Rope-

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

Conclusion

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

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Remington Butterfly KNife

Butterfly/Balisong

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

 

Specs

There are many different types of butterfly knives out on the market. So to narrow it down, here is a few key specs on the Remington Butterfly knife.

  • Product Type: Balisong/Butterfly
  • Locking Mechanism: Latch
  • Overall Length: 9.00″
  • Weight:  5.21 oz.
  • Handle Length: 5.00”
  • Blade Length: 4.00″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.125″
  • Blade Steel: 1095
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Tanto
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No

 

Now that we have seen the basic overview, let’s dive into what the knife really has to offer.

Remington 39018 Tanto Butterfly
Remington 39018 Tanto Butterfly

Blade

Style

The tanto blade found on the Remington Butterfly knife is a bit unusual. Normally, a tanto blade has a somewhat chisel-like point that is thick towards the point (being close to the spine) and is thus quite strong. Rather, the two different angled edges do not so much meet at a sharp point, but instead, they have a slight curving into each other. Thus it looks more like a traditional tanto blade which is inspired by ancient Japanese swords. The Westernized tanto is most often straight but may also be gently curved. This style of blade became popular during the ‘80s shortly after the blade was created and introduced. The tanto does not have a typical belly (such as that on a drop point), which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Its design makes it great for push cuts, rather than slicing, and piercing tougher materials because of its tip’s strength.

Steel

The 1095 Steel that the tanto blade is made from is a basic carbon steel. It has a carbon content of .95% which helps harden the steel, and reduce the wear that a blade will experience over time. Despite the reduction in wear, 1095 steel is not as tough as other types of steel because of the lack of manganese, which hardens steel. 1095 steel holds a great edge and is easy to sharpen. However, because of the high amount of carbon it has a tendency to easily rust if not taken care of. As long as the blade is properly cared for, rust should not be too great a problem for anyone.

Finish

Black coatings, like the one found on the Remington Butterfly Knife, can last for several years depending on how thick the coating is. Like any other blade finish, with time, it began to look used. The way it looks is a matte black finish. Notable benefits of it are its coolness factor, and its low reflectivity. This coating can be helpful in stealth situations that require a tactical knife with low reflectivity. When the knife needs protection from corrosion, a coating has got you covered. If you forget proper blade maintenance, the coating can resist corrosion for a longer time (when compared to a satin finish). Though not the fanciest of finishes, it gets the job done.

 

Handle

Material

Aluminum, as you know, is a non-ferrous metal (meaning it does not contain or consist of iron).  It is corrosive resistant and a durable material for knife handles. It is a low-density metal that provides a nice, solid feel to the knife without adding weight to the knife. It is strong because of its high strength to weight ratio. Aluminum is often considered to be inferior titanium, which tends to be found on more premium knives. Though inferior to titanium, it is still an excellent handle material. The biggest advantages to aluminum are its strength, its light weight, its durability, and its resistance to corrosion.

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

How to Use

Opening the Remington Butterfly is easy to do and fun. Below is a step-by-step guide to help those who do not know how to open the knife:

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Uses for a Butterfly Knife

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

Some other benefits of the owning a balisong include:

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

 

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

  1. Butterfly knives have a greater need for space when deploying than many other knives.
  2. They are not as discrete as other knives, especially when opening. They are most definitely a flashy knife.
  3. There is much practice required to effectively open a balisong. Those that struggle with fine motor skills in their hands may have a difficult time trying to use this knife.
  4. There are legal issues that several states/cities have against them.

 

Overall, having a butterfly knife is a great choice. The advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. This knife has been around for a long time, and for good reason too. It will continue to last forever.

 

Cutting Test

It’s great now that we all know about the Remington Butterfly knife, but we need to know how it performs. To show this performance, we have taken this knife and put it to the test. Nothing too serious. We don’t want to risk ruining the knife. But we still want to test its limits. So we have several tests to conduct. Those tests include cutting paper, cardboard, plastic, and finally rope. These are just a few of the basics that a knife cuts every day. If you want to find out more on how this knife works, you can always get one any try it out yourself. Let’s see how the knife did.

Paper

I was slightly let down when I conducted this test. An initial cut with the blade wasn’t the cleanest. This is due to the fact that a tanto blade has no “belly” for a nice clean cut. The tanto still got the job done when it came to cutting through layers of paper.

Cardboard

When I first started this test, the first thing I did was stab the cardboard to test the strength of the tanto’s tip. What I found was that the tip effortlessly entered into the material. Cutting with the tanto blade was a bit difficult. Again, the lack of a belly made caused me to use more force to cut through the cardboard.

Plastic

This is the best test that the Remington Butterfly knife excelled at. Here again is where the tip came in handy. Not only was it easily able to penetrate the plastic, it was also simple to control the blade. Having a tanto blade makes it easy to slice up the tough material. The grip was solid which made cutting much simpler.

Rope

Though the tanto blade has been tough up to this point, cutting the rope was slightly more difficult. The lack of a razor sharp edge made cutting this fibrous material a little more difficult. However, the steel is able to take a sharper edge. If this blade were to be sharpened professionally, then I am positive that this test would have different results.

 

Conclusion

The Remington Butterfly Knife is a great, inexpensive knife that is worth the cost. It makes for a high-quality beginner’s balisong to practice around with. Not only to practice but to use on a more regular basis. If treated right (sharpening it regularly, cleaning the blade, and not abusing the knife), then your Remington will last you for a very long time. You won’t regret getting one. Pick yours up today.

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Custom Kyle Vallotton Featherweight Butterflies

Kyle Vallotton Custom Butterly
Kyle Vallotton Custom Butterly

We just got a couple of Kyle Vallotton’s custome Featherweight Butterfly knives in stock. These fantastic beauties, that he refers to as the “Twins” are built with ATS34 stainless steel blades that come to a sharp point. With one sharp edge and one false edge, they have excellent movement and action. Two tang pins, one small and one large with a crosshatch pattern on top, keep the handles from banging against each other. The handles are blue and purple as well as turquoise 6AL4V titanium. The handles feature a diamond pattern when closed that switches to an X pattern when the handles are open. The grooves in the handle offer extra grip and serious visual attraction. These fantastic, custom made knives are available in extremely limited numbers. Each one is personally made by Kyle and comes in a presentation box with an included Certificate of Authenticity.  Find them here on our website.

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Bayonet Point Butterfly

Bayonet Butterfly
Bayonet Butterfly

There are several butterfly knives in the sub $50.00 range that I really like.  If I am going with pin construction–my favorite is the Thug series or any of the Bear & Son butterfly knives.  If I am going with torx screw construction, one of my favorites is the Bayonet Point Butterfly series.  These knives are built with an extra wide bayonet style blade.  Built with torsion screws, this is the style of butterfly knife that you can adjust to your preferred tightness.  Some people prefer this style, some prefer the pin style construction.  I can’t tell you which you may like best, but I can explain the advantages of each.  The torsion screw construction will allow you to tighten and loosen the tension between the handles and the blade on your butterfly knife.  This is good if you have certain expectations about the blade movement.  The torsion screw construction has one major drawback–because they are screws and because the blade and handles are moving a whole lot with the butterfly action, they begin to loosen.  No big deal as long as you check them before you use them and tighten the screws up when they get too loose.  If you don’t, there is a chance the handle and blades will all fly apart in the middle of a trick.  So if you are the type of person that prefers not to make adjustments–get a pin construction butterfly knife.  These are built with pins that hold the blade and handles together.  They are not adjustable.  Over time, they may loosen a bit, but it is nearly impossible to tighten them back up.
The Bayonet Point butterfly knife has solid action and it comes with a pocket clip.  Is it the right butterfly for you?  Not sure, but I like it.  Here is a quick YouTube video that shows several other butterfly knives we carry.

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Great Starter Butterfly Knives

Looking for a great starter butterfly knife?  Check out the Bear & Son line of butterfly knives.  The 114 series and the smaller 113 series are perfect starter butterfly knives.  Each one is pin construction.  This means the pin which connects the handles to the blade is not a torx screw-it is an actual pin.  This means the handles cannot be detached from the blade.  This is especially good for beginners because it means you don’t have to worry about managing the tightness of the swing.  The other thing I especially like about these two series is that they are relatively inexpensive.  At under $35.00 for most of them, they are a great knife to start with.

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Lots of New Butterfly Knives

Black Hole Butterfly Knife
Black Hole Butterfly Knife

The last few days we have received several new styles of butterfly knives.  There are five different styles and a couple of colors on three of the styles.  These low cost butterfly knives are torx construction mid weight knives with good action.  I especially like the Silver Hole and Black Hole.  They are classic butterfly styles at an unbelievable price.  Check them out in our Value Butterfly section.

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Microtech Metalmark Balisong Knives

Microtech Metalmark, MT170-1

Microtech recently released their new Metalmark Balisong knives.  These knives features a uniquely shaped handle with some spectacular machining on them that gives you a nice solid grip.  It is built Torx adjustment screws so you can make the blade as tight or as loose as you want.  The blade comes in a variety of finishes including black tactical, satin, bead blast, or stonewash.  You can also get it with a plain edge or partial serrations.  Each knife bears the Microtech logo on the blade as well as the build date and a serial number.  The latch is on the bite handle and has a spring so with a gentle squeeze of the handles you can get the latch loose for rapid deployment of your blade.  The Metalmark stands out in the crowded field of balisong knives for several reasons.  First, as with nearly every Microtech knife, the Metalmark is built with quality components and first class production techniques that combine to create a high quality knife that performs and is collectible.  Second, the unique style and shape of the Metalmark is sure to make it popular with many knife collectors because it stands out from your everyday average butterfly knife. Finally this knife is going to be popular because as of right now, it is limited in production–and first runs as well as early serial numbers are always more collectible. Whether you are a balisong expert, a butterfly enthusiast or a fan of everything Microtech, the Metalmark is sure to please.

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