Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade Knife Review

It’s been two decades since Microtech began working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each and every knife that leaves their facility. They recognize that the knife world is a world with ever-changing technology, so they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making. But, they also recognize how important it is to keep a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. Even while their company is growing and growing fast, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas.

Microtech was founded in 1994 in Vero Beach, Florida. They operated there until 2005 when they relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania. Then, just four short years later, they moved opened another factory in Fletcher, North Carolina to expand production capabilities. This knife company is famous for its automatic knives specifically. To create such phenomenal automatic knives, the company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances—to within one thousandth of an inch! Famous custom knife maker, Greg Lightfoot has said that it is these tight tolerances that gives their knives the same quality as a custom handmade knife. And although they are most famous for producing their tactical automatic knives, they do produce a variety of other blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and even balisong knives.

Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has also 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 Microtech exclusive designs.

A fun fact about Microtech knives is that once on the TV series “24” one of their HALO knives was featured. This knife has become a prominent lien through Microtech’s history and also earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives Magazine.

Today we are going to be discussing the brand new Microtech Borka SBK fixed blade. The production prototypes for this knife was released at the 2016 Blade Show. This knife is a result of a collaboration with Sebastijan Berenji from Borka Blades. These are custom knives that Sebastijan Berenji is behind. These knives are made with premium steel and designed for a variety of reasons ranging from tactical use to everyday carry. His knives have a way of hitting it big with knife connoisseurs, so you know that this collaboration has resulted in an exceptional blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of M390 stainless steel. This is an ultra-premium steel and is regarded as a super steel. This steel has been manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and uses third generation powder metal technology. This steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades, so it gives you all of the characteristics that you could want out of your blade. This steel provides you with excellent corrosion resistance and has very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and its outstanding edge retention. Bohler-Uddeholm calls this steel Micro-clean. This steel will be relatively difficult to sharpen, but with an experienced sharpener, you shouldn’t encounter any issues. M390 steel hardens to a HRC 60-62. This knife has been designed to get the job done—whatever that job may be for you. And thanks to this super steel, the knife is going to be able to accomplish just that.

The blade has been finished with an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is one of my favorite finishes because of how convenient it is and because of the look. It gives you the same well-worn, rugged look that you could get from a classic stonewash finish, but it does give off a little bit of a more threatening vibe. An apocalyptic stonewash finish is created by the same process that a classic stonewash finish is, except for the very first step. With an apocalyptic finish, also known as an acid stonewash, or black stonewash, the blade undergoes an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it goes through the stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. Then the steel is tumbled in an abrasive material, which is usually pebbles. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. This finish is very low maintenance because it works to preserve the original look of the blade throughout time. This finish hides scratches and smudges that naturally occur over time, so you won’t have to polish the Borka SBK blade as often.

This blade is a unique blade shape that you don’t see as often as others: an upswept, trailing point. This blade shape got its name because the point actually trails higher than the generalized axis of the spine of the knife blade. The back edge of the knife curves upward. Because of this shape, you will have a large curved cutting area, or belly, so this style of blade is optimized for slicing or skinning. This blade shape also gives you one of the sharpest points for fine, delicate, and small work, such as skinning game. However, you are also going to come across several disadvantages to the trialing point blade, with the main one being that it has such a weak point. Because this knife style was designed for fine work, it will unfortunately end or break easily when used on tougher materials. This knife will also prove to be slightly trickier to place in its sheath because you will have to carefully guide the tip in.

This knife is a combo edge, which means that the upper two thirds of the blade is a plain edge, with the lower portion being a serrated blade. The plain edge is going to excel at all of the push cuts such as skinning, slicing, and fin work. The serrated edge is there so that you can saw through the tougher materials that you come in contact with. The plain edged portion is going to give you clean cuts while the serrated will give you jagged cuts. Some haters of the combo edge complain that because you have split the blade, you actually can’t use either of the edge styles effectively. But, because this knife has a longer blade, I can assure you that you really are going to get the best of both worlds with this blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle scales are made out of G-10. G-10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material does have similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it is slightly inferior, and because of that, you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them

Microtech Borka SBK
Microtech Borka SBK

in resin, then compresses the layers and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material form this process is extremely tough, very hard, still lightweight, and super strong. G-10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta, although it is more brittle. To add texture to the handle, Microtech has made a very small checkered pattern, which gives you a very solid, yet still comfortable grip. Fixed blades definitely benefit from the qualities of G-10 because it is durable, lightweight, and non-porous. This means that no matter how messy the environment you put this blade it, it is going to be easy to clean because the handle is not going to absorb any of the fluids it comes in contact with. While this this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN, so it does still have a cost to it. Some pros of this material is that it is tough, light, and durable. However, this material is brittle and it does lack elegance.

Although the handle is pretty straight, but it is still very comfortable because of the handle scales. There is jimping on both sides of the handle near the blade and around the curved butt, to give you the most secure grip while you are using it. There is a very large finger guard to keep your fingers from being sliced by this monster and there is a large lanyard hole carved into the butt of the handle. This lanyard hole is large enough for leather twine, a thick lanyard, or basically anything else that you want to tie through this hole.

 

The Mechanism:

The Microtech Borka SBK is a fixed blade. This has a wide variety of benefits, but one of the biggest is that there are no legal issues surrounding a fixed blade. Fixed blades are legal in all areas that a knife is legal in. Some of the other pros surrounding fixed blades is that they are super strong. No matter how great your folder blade is, it is not going to be as strong as a fixed blade. This is because there are no moving parts inside of the knife to break and there are no small pieces that could break. Also, the blade is longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside the handle, so the blade is going to be able to do many things that a folder knife could not such as twisting, hammering, and prying. The next major benefit is that it is extremely easy to clean. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and then oil the blade at times. With a folding knife, to really get it clean, you have to dismantle your knife before you can really clean it. And, this is a big benefit, because you are going to be doing a lot messier work with a fixed blade versus a folding blade.

 

The Sheath:

This tough knife comes with a carbon fiber and Kydex sheath. Carbon fiber is a material made out of thin strands of carbon being tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is a crazy strong and still lightweight material, but it is expensive. While it is strong, it is not indestructible and is brittle. Kydex is a thermoplastic that is used to make holsters and other items. The greatest advantage to Kydex is how durable it is. This material can even be submerged in salt water and maintain its integrity. However, Kydex will dull your blade after repeated drawing and retracting.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 5.1 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches. The handle measures in at 4.625 inches long, with this Microtech and Borka Blades knife overall length being 9.65 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.3 ounces and the sheath weighs in at 3.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The team at Microtech knives teamed up with Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades to bring you the SBK fixed blade knife. Once made solely as a custom knife, the SBK production model features a full tang design and the jimping on the thumb ramp, base of the knife and also near the finger guard translates to multiple effective gripping options. This particular model, the 200-11AP, features black G-10 handle scales as well as a partially serrated trailing point upswept style blade in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Finally, each SBK includes a Kydex sheath finished with carbon fiber integrated with a Tek-Lok carry system which provides multiple carry options. This is a very durable knife that is going to easily assist you throughout your life. Come pick up your Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade knife with an apocalyptic stonewash combo blade today at BladeOps.

 

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ESEE 4 Survival Knife Review

Randall Adventure Training has been around since 1997 as a military training school in the art of jungle survival. They also trained law enforcement and civilians in jungle survival. Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin realized that there weren’t any knives best suited for what they were teaching. So they developed their own line. The very first knife design that they developed was the RTAK. For them to be able to produce this knife, they signed a five-year contract with Ontario Knives. Jeff and Mike then wanted to, “build a higher quality line of knives outside of the mass production capabilities of Ontario”, so they began their own company which they named RAT Cutlery. However, they later changed their name to ESEE to avoid confusion. They currently make fixed blades and survival gear in the United States of America. ESEE focuses on making survival knives that can take heavy use and a hard beating. They have a very loyal following because of how reliable their knives are and because the knives are always backed by a warranty; one of the best warranties in the knife industry. Today I decided to focus on one of their knives in particular—the ESEE 4.

 

The ESEE 4 is what they call the “wilderness” model of the ESEE 3. Some of the main differences in the two knives are that the ESEE 4 has a thicker blade. It is a stronger, heavier duty version of the ESEE 3, but it is not as tough as the ESEE 5. The ESEE 4 is mainly designed to be a heavier duty camping knife—a knife that can stand up to the adventures of the woods. Many people carry this knife as their everyday carry knife, because it is a dependable knife that can stand up to almost any task. Yet, it is not a huge knife like the ESEE 5.

 

The blade on this knife is a 4.5-inch blade. Of this length, you can cut with 4.1 inches of it. The thickness of the blade is .188 inches. You can get this blade in either a partially serrated version or a plain edge option. This blade is shorter than the ESEE 6 blade, and really it is shorter than most outdoor or survival knife’s blade, but having the shorter blade makes this knife a better candidate for a survival situation. With the smaller blade, you have more control over it. This means that you can skin, cut, and even use the knife for sewing. The knife has a full tang, which means that the steel of the blade extends all the way through to the butt of the handle. Having a full tang gives you a more durable knife that can take on the heavier duty tasks that you throw at it. If you are using this knife for a survival situation, you are going to be very grateful that you have a full tang. Another huge benefit of having a full tang knife is that if your handle breaks, which it never should, but if it does, you still have a handle on your blade. You can wrap almost anything around the bottom half of the steel and you still have a full knife.

 

The blade is flat ground and has a drop point silhouette. The drop point design makes this a great candidate for using on almost any purpose. It has a large belly, which helps slice things. The drop point style gets its name because the point of the blade is low compared to the spine. Some pros of the drop point design are that the energy of cutting starts to disappear as it approaches the tip, which gives you more control. A drop point makes for a great hunting knife because it excels at skinning. The shape of the blade also works very well for pushing strokes, which is what you do when you are shaving wood to make tinder. It also is fantastic for survival situations, because you do have a strong, controlled tip. The spine of the knife is a thicker spine, and that along with the drop point make the knife fantastic for batoning. However, because of the thick spine and the drop point this is not a good knife for piercing and stabbing.

 

The blade on this knife has a large choil, which is the unsharpened part of the blade that connects to the handle. Because of the size of the choil, it makes the blade easier to sharpen than a knife without a choil. This blade on this knife is a crazy sharp blade that can hold an edge adequately.

 

On the spine of the blade, there is jimping. Jimping is serrations that are on the back of the blade. These serrations give your thumb a place to sit and add texture so that you can have a better grip while performing intricate cutting details.

 

ESEE 4S MB
ESEE 4S MB

The steel of this blade is 1095 high carbon steel. This steel is tough, but it is not a stainless steel. This means that the knife is going to be prone to rusting, staining, and corrosion. To prevent the staining, rusting, and corrosion, ESEE powder coats the knife. You still need to make sure the blade stays as dry as you can. Another thing you can do to extend the life of the steel is to lubricate it. By lubricating it after use, you can prevent stains and rusts. The powder coating on this blade is a thicker coating, which cuts down on your slicing abilities.  Unfortunately, this steel is also more prone to chipping than some other steels that you could find. But a pro of the 1095 steel is that it makes the blade very easy to sharpen, even in the field or on the go.

ESEE noticed its users distress over the poor quality steel on the original version, so they have recently released a new version of the 4. This new blade is made out of 440C stainless steel. This steel is very resistant to corrosion. This is a high strength steel with moderate corrosion resistance. It has good hardness and wear resistance.  This is a better choice of steel if you are going to be using it for your outdoor adventures and tasks. But, the 1095 steel is a tougher steel. This steel is also uncoated, which makes it a more suitable knife for slicing.

Because the 1095 steel is tougher than the 440C steel, you will get ESEE’s lifetime warranty with the 1095. You do not get the lifetime warranty if you choose the 440C steel. One of the most commonly heard complaints about the ESSE 4 is the two options of steel you are presented with. But, if ESEE were to truly upgrade the type and quality of steel, you would have to pay a much higher price for the knife.

 

ESEE 4S OD
ESEE 4S OD

The handle on this knife is made out of linen Micarta scales. Linen Micarta is one of the most common forms of Micarta that you are going to find. It is made similarly to G-10. To build linen Micarta, you take layers of linen cloths and soak them in phenolic resin. The finished material is lightweight, strong, and it looks classier than G10. Micarta really has no surface texture because it is so smooth to touch. But, because this handle is made out of scales, you will have a very good grip on your handle. This grip remains whether the handle is wet or dry. Another big bonus about having such a large choil is that when you need to choke up on the knife, this choil will work as a finger groove.

 

ESEE has been known for how well they design their handles. This specific knife is definitely not exempt from that reputation. The handle on this knife is the same handle of the ESEE 3, except it does not have the same thickness. They keep using this handle because it is trusted and well liked. This handle has been tested when it was put on the ESEE 3 and it had fantastic reactions. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This handle fits fantastically in almost any hand. On the butt of the handle there is a rounded pommel with a convenient lanyard hole.

 

The sheath on this blade is truly a fantastic sheath. This is surprising because a lot of companies just try to make an adequate sheath. Something to cover and store your blade in. This sheath is designed to be fantastic. It was thought out and designed perfectly. The sheath is friction-fit molded so that the knife can lock firmly into place. There is also an attachment clip plate that can be mounted or attached to either side. Because you can attach it to either side, it makes this an ambidextrous carry knife. When ESEE first designed this knife, it came with a Kydex sheath. Which is a moderate sheath. The Kydex sheath is more than adequate. But it now comes with an injection molded sheath. While this is a more expensive process and it does add to the cost of the knife, the sheath can now stand up to hotter temperatures. The sheath has eyelets that you can use to thread a cord through and attach the sheath to your backpack.

 

Included with the sheath is a stretch of 550 cord and a cord lock. This cord can be used to attach the sheath/knife onto your backpack or belt. This cord is also perfect for using as a lanyard. If you want to purchase a MOLLE backing which is made out of ballistic black nylon, that is an option, but it is not included in your original purchase. This backing can be attached to any MOLLE gear or used as a leg sheath.

 

The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long and the width of the blade is 1.25 inches. This knife weighs 8 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America. This knife comes in many different color options—the blade and the handle. Some of the options that BladeOps carries for the handle are: desert tan, orange, canvas, and gray. Some of the options that BladeOps carries for the blade are: desert tan, black, olive drab, plain stainless steel, and a special venom green.

 

Conclusion:

This is an amazing knife, especially if you are looking for a survival knife. If you, or anyone you know, is going to be spending time in the woods, you/they need this knife. This is also a great option to put in your emergency kit. This knife is durable, reliable, quality, and the perfect option for you. There are hundreds of different hunting, camping, and survival knives out on the market today. Deciding which one to pick can be a battle, because each one is going to excel at something that another option lacks in. The ESEE 4 is a knife that will work for any task that you throw at it. It is a knife that has many pros and hardly and cons.  Some things that people love in this knife are the different options that you are presented with. There are two different types of steels, many different blade colors, you can choose whether you want a partially serrated blade or a plain edged blade, you can also choose between many different handle color options. This knife is also an affordable knife, BladeOps offers this knife for between $92 and $127, depending on which version, materials, and options that you choose. ESEE offers a lifetime warranty on this knife, as long as you get the version with the 1095 carbon steel. This means that if it breaks, ESEE will replace it. Another thing that many people love about this knife is that it was made in the US, this means that you can trust the quality of the craftsmanship. This knife should definitely be on your radar. It is a great knife to add to your collection.  You can find the entire line of ESEE 4 knives here on our website.

 

 

 

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Hoback Knives Kwaiback Fixed Blade Knife Review

This knife is made by Jake Hoback Knives. In 1990, Jake started making knives in his back yard. He would pound out the knives on a huge chunk of steel with a framing hammer and fence post nails. His next step was working a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop with his best friend. At this point in his life, he was hooked. He loved making knives. In 2003, he started professionally making and selling knives and the company has only grown.

Jake Hoback knives has been producing the Kwaiback flipper knife, which has become a huge hit over the years. Because the Kwaiback flipper was so popular, Jake decided to use many of the same characteristics of this knife, but make it into a fixed blade. This brand new knife is sure to be a hit.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is carved out of M390 steel. This type of steel is one of the newer steels around. It is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and is considered a super steel. Bohler-Uddeholm uses third generation powder metal technology that has been devolved specifically for knife blades to produce a steel with fantastic corrosion resistant properties. This powder metal technology also keeps the steel very hard and gives it great wear resistance properties. Bohler-Uddeholm has added chromium, vanadium, tungsten, and molybdenum to the steel which assists the blade in getting crazy sharp and having superior edge retention abilities. Sharpening this steel is pretty difficult, so you might want to get the assistance of a sharpening professional to avoid ruining your blade. A unique aspect about M390 steel is that it has been called “MicroClean”, which means that it can be polished to a true mirror finish. This steel has been finished with a black Diamond Like Coating. The DLC is one of the hardest coatings that a knife can have. This coating reduces glares and reflections and helps to reduce wear and corrosion on the blade. The DLC is actually bonded chemically to the surface, so while most coatings have a tendency to scratch off, the DLC will last longer. Hoback Knives has actually finished this blade twice. After the DLC is added, the blade on the Kwaiback also goes through a stonewashed finishing process. This process is completed by tumbling the blade around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. This finish helps to hide scratches and also gives it a less reflective nature. The stonewashed finish adds a textured, or mottled, look to the blade. Because of both finishes, the resulting color is a light black, or charcoal colored blade.

 

The M390 steel has been carved into a tanto blade shape. Tanto blades have a rich history behind them; the shape is the same as the traditional Japanese short sword. But in the 80’s, Cold Steel revamped the traditional shape and popularized the new American tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is popular with military personnel and law enforcement groups because of the strength and ability to cut through almost anything. The thing about the tanto blade shape is that it doesn’t excel at everything, it is not an all-purpose knife, and it is not versatile. But it does one thing and it does that one thing better than any other knife shape. The tanto can stab through tough materials better than any other blade shape. The tanto blade shape was designed to be an excellent fighting knife, but the tanto is also a great option for outdoor purposes and survival situations. The tanto gets its shape from a high point with a flat grind, because of these two things, the point is incredibly strong. The shape a good amount of metal near the tip, so the point can actually absorb the impact from piercing tough materials, while other blade shapes would snap under the pressure. Because the tip is so strong, this blade shape is a suitable option if you need to pry with your blade. Because the blade is thick and the point is strong, this blade will also do well at chopping. The sharpened edge of the tanto blade shape meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. Because there is no curve, there is no belly, which also means slicing is going to be trickier. However, because the blade is slightly upswept, you can manage some slicing with it. Because you cannot slice, this blade is not going to be good for your everyday knife. Because there are two primary bevels to the blade, sharpening it will take time, patience, and practice. However, once you get it down, it is relatively easy. In fact, once you have it down, you can even sharpen it on a stone. People usually have a love/hate relationship with tanto blades. While they are not the traditional blade shape that can accomplish a variety of tasks; what they are good at, they excel at. If you are looking for a super strong blade that can pierce through almost anything, and would make a decent survival knife, look no further than the tanto blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a vague term that is used to refer to thin strands of carbon that have been woven tightly and then set in resin. This material is extremely strong, yet lightweight. Unfortunately, this material is also brittle. The carbon fibers are woven together in one direction, so they are crazy strong (stronger

Hoback Fixed Kwaiback
Hoback Fixed Kwaiback

than many types of steel) in that specific direction, but will start to break apart when pulled or stressed in the other directions. Carbon fiber has a tendency to break, chip, or crack when hit on sharp or hard objects. Another thing about carbon fiber is that it takes a lot of work to make, so it is on the expensive end of the spectrum. Because of the labor and cost put into carbon fiber, this material is usually saved for the higher end knives. The carbon fiber on the Kwaiback fixed blade is black. There are two deep grooves carved going down the middle of the knife to cut down on weight and add a little bit of grip. When talking about the handle on the Kwaiback fixed blade, Jake Hoback Knives has said, “The carbon fiber handle gives that touch of modern to an ancient design, while being comfortable for hard use.”

 

The Mechanism:

This version of the Kwaiback knife is a fixed blade. Fixed blades have many advantages to them. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how great a fixed blade really can be. Many people get caught up in the advantages of folding knives and the disadvantages of fixed blades. But both styles of knives have their own advantages and their own set of disadvantages. So let’s start with the negative. Fixed blades are not as discreet or easy to conceal as a folding knife, it’s possible, but you can’t just shove it in your pocket. But, a fixed blade is a stronger knife that is more durable. There is not a plethora of moving parts that can rust, break, or stop working. And since fixed blades are usually thicker and longer, they have more power behind them; more strength behind them. Fixed blades are also much easier to maintain, because there are no innards that are open to getting dirty or wet. For the quick clean, all you have to do is wipe down the blade/handle. When you want to really clean your knife, all you have to do is oil the blade. Fixed blades are also the best for survival tools. Because they have so much strength and durability behind them, they can cut, dig, hammer, and even pry. Fixed blades are also great for using as a tactical tool, because you can get it out and into action quicker than a folding knife.

 

The Sheath:

The Kwaiback fixed blade comes with a black kydex sheath. Kydex is a thermoplastic material that was original used to make holsters. Kydex is one of the most durable sheath materials that you are going to find. Kydex can go in many environments, including salt water, without its quality being compromised. However, many people don’t like this sheath material because it has no personality to it. Basically, it is a lump of plastic. Another bummer about kydex is that it is a loud material. When you are unsheathing your knife and replacing it, it is going to make a lot of noise. In fact, if you are trying to be discreet, this sheath is going to give you away. The last bummer about the kydex sheath is that if you are continually drawing your knife and replacing it, it will dull the edge of your blade. So while the sheath is crazy durable, you do have to weigh the cons and see if that sheath is worth it for you.

 

The Specs:

The overall length of this knife is 9.64 inches. The blade on this knife is 5 inches long with a thickness of 0.19 inches. The handle on this knife is 4.64 inches long. This knife weighs 5.7 ounces, without the sheath.

 

Pro of the Kwaiback Fixed Blade:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is a super steel.
  • The steel is very hard and has great corrosion resistance properties.
  • The edge retention on this steel is excellent.
  • The steel has been finished with two different finishes, so the steel is more durable, more resistant to rust and wear, and the stonewash finish hides scratches.
  • The blade has a tanto shape, which is absolutely exceptional for piercing through hard materials.
  • The tanto shape is also great for tactical and survival purposes.
  • The carbon fiber handle is super strong.
  • The fixed blade is exceptionally strong.
  • The fixed blade gives it the ability to do tasks such as digging and cutting.
  • The fixed blade is easy to maintain.
  • The fixed blade is not likely to break, because there are no little parts that can break or stop working.
  • The kydex sheath is durable and strong.

 

Cons of the Kwaiback Fixed Blade:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is hard to sharpen.
  • Fixed blades are larger than folding knives, so they are harder to have with you at all times.
  • Kydex sheaths have the tendency to dull your blade edge over time.

 

Conclusion:

Jake Hoback, of Jake Hoback Knives, has loved making knives since 1990, when he would make knives in his backyard. He eventually got a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop and was immediately hooked. He started making and producing knives professionally in the early 2000’s and we are so glad that he did. Jake has produced a variety of exceptional knives that are loved in the knife community. One of those knives was the Kwaiback flipper, that had such a following, Jake decided to produce a new version but this time, a fixed blade.

To perfect this fixed blade, he started with a super steel that has great edge retention and fantastic corrosion and wear resistance. This steel is tough and strong. Next, he carved the super steel into a tanto blade shape, which is the perfect option for survival and tactical knives. This is a strong blade shape that is going to be able to pierce through almost any hard material. To add a little bit of modern to the traditional blade shape, the handle is made out of carbon fiber. As a cherry on top, the Kwaiback fixed blade comes with a kydex sheath. This new knife is going to become your new favorite if you give it the chance.

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CRKT Humdinger Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in Oregon in 1994. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They also operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this, they collaborate with the best designers in the world. Some of these knife makers and designers are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. Out of these collaborations, CRKT has racked up quite a few ground breaking and innovative inventions. With these, CRKT now owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these patents include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff Serrated edges.

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. While they now collaborate with the top knife designers and makers in the world, it wasn’t always this way. The company did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show. It was here that they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This is a small folder that was designed by Ed Halligan. It was a total success and CRKT actually sold out the years’ worth of product within the opening days of the Shot Show. They now produce a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They have just released a brand new hunting knife called the Humdinger.

 

The Designer:

The Humdinger is designed by the one and only Ken Onion. He lives in Kaneohe, Hawaii and is the real deal. He was the youngest ever inductee into the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame in 2008 and he is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful knife designers of all time. In 1996 he created the first commercially successful assisted opening mechanism, and 20 years later unveiled his award winning Field Strip Technology. As the designer of the successful Eros folder series, as well as the award winning Hi Jinx, it seems as if Ken never seems to be at a loss for ideas.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this steel has been made out of 65Mn Carbon steel. This is a readily available Chinese steel that is formulated to provide good wear resistance and hardness. This steel has a medium high carbon content that makes for a high degree of toughness and resilience, while the manganese, in addition to improving these properties, improves the hot working characteristics of the steel, making it an excellent candidate for forged swords blades and other larger blades that have to take on harder tasks. This steel has the element of toughness without the brittleness, which is paramount when developing extreme use tools. The steel has a hardness level of 50-53.

The blade has been finished with a black corrosion resistant finish. This finish not only provides a sleek, black look to the blade, but it also cuts down on glares and reflections. It also cuts down on how likely the blade is to rust or corrode.

The steel has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most popular blade shapes that you are going to find on the market. It is so popular because it is a fantastic all-purpose blade shape that can take a beating while also remaining extremely versatile. 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. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. The drop point blade shape has often been miss-associated with the clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is the other most popular blade shapes and is also very versatile. However, the two shapes are different and the biggest difference between the two are the points. The clip point blade shape has a thinner, finer, and sharper blade shape that provides you with plenty of stabbing and piercing capabilities, but it is much weaker. If you try to perform some of the heavier duty tasks with the clip point blade shape, it will be prone to breaking. The drop point blade shape has a lowered, broader blade shape. This is one of the drawbacks because it does take away from your stabbing capabilities. But, it is a major advantage because it you are able to take on all the tougher tasks without snapping. And because the tip is so strong and is so able to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are very popular on tactical and survival knives.

The lowered tip on this style of blade makes your cuts and slices easily controlled. Because of this, the drop point blade shape is very popular on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the other reasons that a drop point blade shape is the perfect option for the Humdinger is because of the large belly that makes it extremely versatile. The belly is perfect for slicing or skinning. When you choose a drop point blade shape, you are preparing yourself for all of the tasks that you will encounter, whether the situation is expected or unexpected.

The edge on this knife is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that you can find on a knife and is ideal for push cuts. This includes slicing, skinning, and peeling. The plain edge is the easiest to sharpen and it is very easy to get a very fine edge.

 

The Handle:

CRKT Humdinger
CRKT Humdinger

The handle is made out of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU). This is a class of polyurethane plastics that has many properties, which includes elasticity, transparency, and resistance to oil, grease and abrasion. This material has high abrasion resistance, low temperature performance, and high shear strength. The handle is black and very grippy, which provides a secure grip in the messiest, or bloodiest, of situations. On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole. The lanyard can be easily tied to your belt or back pack strap to keep it out of the way until you need to use it. The lanyard will also easily secure your knife against loss. Since the Humdinger is a hunting knife, you are going to be adventuring and in the wild in rough conditions at many times, so having a lanyard will really be a benefit. Another benefit to having a lanyard tied to your knife is that it provides safety when processing a large animal. While filed dressing a large game animal, there comes a time when you’ll reach inside the cavity to cut the esophagus sot eh intestines can be pulled out. This is a messy, bloody situation, which makes a knife handle slippery. You really don’t want your hand to slip down the handle onto the blade. Or if you have a lengthy fish cleaning session, you knife will dull, and the handle will most likely get a little slippery form the slime, scales, blood and guts. A lanyard around your wrist or hand can easily prevent this. One of the last benefits is that it provides greater visibility. If you put your knife down while doing some task, you may lose it or forget where you put it. A great solution to this conundrum is to tie on a brightly colored lanyard to flagging.

To keep your fingers safe from getting cut fi you do slip, the handle on the Humdinger has a thick finger guard.

 

The Mechanism:

The Humdinger is a fixed blade. There are a so many benefits to having a fixed blade, especially for your hunting knife. The first is that they are strong and big. You can really get a fixed blade in any size that you desire from a small fixed blade that is still very powerful, to a ginormous knife that can take on almost any task or cut any material that you throw at it. Another benefit is that they don’t break. This is because there are no small, moving, or inward parts on a fixed blade, so there is really nothing to break. Another reason that they don’t break is because of their size, the blade is thicker and tougher. The next benefit ties in to the last benefit and it is that they are easier to maintain. This is also because they don’t have any of the small, moving, or inward parts. The maintenance with a fixed blade is extremely simple and straightforward, all you have to do is wipe down the blade and oil it on occasion. The next benefit to having a fixed blade is that they have longer blade lengths. This is because they do not have to fit inside of the handle, and because they are built thicker When the blade is long but thin, it is prone to breaking or snapping, but with such sturdily built knives, you don’t have to worry about that problem. The next benefit is that a fixed blade offers you superior tactical use. Fixed blades can be brought into play in a tactical situation faster than a folding knife can be. With a folding knife, you have to take it out of your pocket, then deploy it, and then it will be ready for use. With the fixed blade, you just have to draw it and it is ready to be used. The last, and for the Humdinger, probably the most important benefit that you gain from having it be a fixed blade is that it is a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers more versatility for any number of tasks associated with so called survival knives, including but not limited to cutting most materials, digging, splitting wood, using it as a first aid tool, using it for food preparation, using it as a hunting knife, using it to hammer, and you can even use it as a prying tool.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of black polypropylene with black weaved polyester fabric that allows you to attach it to basically whatever you want.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 5.973 inches long with a thickness of 0.180 inches. The overall length of this knife is 11.438 inches long and it weighs in at 9.4 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

“As imperative as your rifle, as useful as your compass. World-class knife designer Ken Onion is at it again, and this time with a no-frills, fixed-blade hunting companion. Its big-belly, carbon steel construction is as burly as the Alaskan back-country, and as impressive as the grizzly you’ll be skinning. Ken Onion has turned out countless flawless knife designs from his shop in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and the Humdinger™ is a worthy addition. Inspired by an experience on an Alaskan bear hunt expedition, it’s well-equipped for the rigors of hard, backwoods use. The blade is constructed of 65 Mn carbon steel and paired with a tough textured glass-reinforced nylon handle for optimal grip and control even when your elbow-deep. It neatly tucks away into an injection-molded sheath that is wrapped with woven polyester to provide you with multiple carry options. Out in bear country, you can’t afford to go without an out-standing knife—on that account, the Humdinger™ delivers.” The drop pint style blade with the black finish is sleek but also manly. This Humdinger knife is the perfect hunting companion to meet all of your needs, even the ones that are not immediately correlated to hunting. This hunting knife is going to change your mind on what a hunting knife should be. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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CRKT Rakkasan Fixed Blade Knife Review

Columbia River Knife & Tool Company, or CRKT, was founded in 1994. This is an American company that is known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. To do this, CRKT collaborates with the best designers in the world and operates on a simple principle: “that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand”.

CRKT did not truly take off as a company until around 1997, at the Shot Show, when they introduced the K.I.S.S knife. During this shot show, the year’s supply of this knife sold out within only the opening days. Now, CRKT owns fifteen patents and even has some patents pending. Some of these patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges.

CRKT has recently released a brand new knife and they called it eh Rakkasan.

 

The Designer:

Austin McGlaun is the designer behind this new knife. He is from Columbus, Georgia. Austin served in the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq and also as a street cop in Columbus, Georgia. Because of these two careers, he knows that a knife has to work as both a weapon and a tool. As part of the Forged by War program, he applied his skills as both a combat vet and a knife maker to develop the Clever Girl. Ne says that a knife is ugly but effective, it’s not ugly. It’s perfect.

 

The Blade:

The steel that this blade is made out of is made from SK5 Carbon Steel. This is the Japanese equivalent of American 1080. This steel is a high carbon steel that has a carbon level between 0.75% and 0.85%. Because of the high levels of carbon in this steel, the steel has increased abrasion resistance and also allows the steel to achieve an ideal balance of very good blade toughness with superior edge holding ability. This steel is commonly found on a variety of hand tools, because it has stood the test of time and use over many years in a handful of different countries. This steel is a hard steel that has the ability to make high quality blades. Because of the level of hardness, knives made out of this stele has the ability to cut through almost anything and is a very tough steel.

The steel has been finished with a black powder coating. This coating is applied as a free flowing, dry powder. Because it is applied as a poser coating, it can actually produce thicker coatings than a conventional liquid coating. Plus, it doesn’t run, so there will be no thicker or uneven sections. This coating is usually applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a layer or a skin on the blade. It creates a harder finish than a traditional paint would. This type of coating helps to resist scratches that the blade would have accumulated over time.

The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. To form the shape of this blade, the back, or the unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about hallway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be “cut-out” or “clipped out”, which is where the blade shape gets its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped out. This clipped out area can be curved or straight, but on this specific knife, it is curved. This blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market and makes for a fantastic all-purpose blade. The most common place that you are going to find this blade shape is on a bowie knife, but it is also a popular blade shape on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. Because the point on this blade shape is lowered, the user will have more control over all of their cuts and slices. And, because the tip is so controllable, and because it is sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. While clip point and drop point blade shapes get confused often because they are similar and both very useful, the biggest difference in the two is that the clip point has a sharper and thinner tip than the broad tip of the drop point blade shape. While that is a big benefit in a lot of situations, the tip is also going to be more prone to breaking or snapping during heavier use. One of the other reasons that a clip point blade shape is so versatile is because it sports such a large belly. This belly provides you with enough length to make slicing a breeze. This blade shape will prepare you for all of the expected situations that you might come across, and still prepare you for all of the unexpected ones that you come across.

The edge on this blade is a plain edge. In general, a plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Plus, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary. The plain edge is best for applications like shaving, skinning, or peeling. A serrated edge is best for thicker and tougher materials, however, when a plain edge is sharp enough, it can manage cutting the thicker or tougher materials. The last benefit of a plain edge is that it is much easier to sharpen than a serrated edge. With a plain edge, you can sharpen your blade with a  file or extra coarse stone.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Rakkasan is made out of G10. G10 is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it can be made for almost a fraction of the cost. To make the G10, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is crazy tough, very hard, extremely lightweight, and still strong. G10 is actually considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. To add texture to the handle, the manufacturer will add checkering or other patterns to the handle. On this knife, the texture that they have added is a very small checkered pattern. This handle material is very popular on tactical folders and fixed blade because it is so durable and also very lightweight, yet still nonporous. Even though this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles. The G10 handle on this knife is black.

There three shallow grooves carved across the spine of the handle as well as three more shallow grooves on the bottom of the handle. This is to help provide you with a secure grip in even the toughest of situations. CRKT has also added a finger guard to help protect your finger from slipping and slicing yourself. The hardware on this handle is silver.

 

The Mechanism:

CRKT Rakkasan
CRKT Rakkasan

This is a fixed blade knife. While many people love folding knives for a variety of reasons, such as them being more discrete or easy to conceal, fixed blades have so many benefits to them. For starters, fixed blades are bigger, which tends to make them stronger. Secondly, fixed blades are much harder to break than a folding knife. On a folding knife, there are a variety of moving parts that can rust, get dirty, or break. Because fixed blades have none of these small moving parts, there is nothing that can break. And, because you don’t have to worry about all of the small mechanisms, you can take on harder tasks without having to worry about breaking your knife. Thirdly, fixed blades are easier knives to maintain. This advantage also has to do with the lack of small and moving parts. Really all you have to do with a fixed blade is a quick wipe down and sometimes oil the blade. This ease significantly cuts down on the maintenance time that you have to schedule to maintain the high quality of your knife. Fourthly, you can bring a fixed blade into play quicker than you would be able to with a folding knife. With a fixed blade, you have to unsheathe it and that is it. It’s a one step process. With a folding knife, you have to pull it out and then deploy it before you can use it. Lastly, a fixed blade is a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers you more versatility for tasks than a folding knife would. With a fixed knife, you can cut, dig, split wood, prepare food, use it as a hunting weapon, hammer, and even pry. This is because of the larger size and extra strength that you receive with a fixed blade.

 

The Sheath:
The sheath that comes with this knife is a black Kydex sheath. This is a more modern sheath material, made out of thermoplastic. This was originally used to make holsters. The biggest advantage to Kydex is how durable it is. This sheath can survive in a variety of different environments, including being submerged in salt water. However, there are a variety of disadvantages to having a sheath made out of Kydex. It does not have much personality, in fact, it seems to look like a hard lump of plastic that lacks character. But, some people do like the dark color because it blends in well in stealth or hunting. One of the other drawbacks to having a Kydex sheath is that it is very loud when you are drawing out your knife or putting it back in. There’s a noisy click when doing either of those tasks. The last drawback to having a Kydex sheath is that with repeated drawing and putting back of your knife, the Kydex sheath will dull its edge.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Rakkasan is 4.894 inches long, with a thickness of 0.147 inches. The overall length of this knife is 10.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at 9.2 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

CRKT started their company with a single purpose: to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to today’s market. To achieve that purpose, they have been collaborating with some of the most well-known, most advanced, and most popular knife designers and makers in the world.

The Rakkasan is one of many new models that CRKT has released this year and this specific one is one of several knives that are part of their Forged by War series of knives. This knife was designed by war veteran Austin McGlaun and the Japanese translation of “umbrella for falling” after the World War II Paratroopers from the 187th regiment. Each of these models sports a rugged and textured handle design complete with finger groove cutouts for a secure grip as well as a full bellied blade to handle a plethora of tactical and utility scenarios.

To start the design of this knife, they chose to use SK5 high carbon stainless steel. This steel is finished with a powder coating. The powder coating helps to increase the hardness of the steel and helps to reduce scratches and other abrasives that the blade would accumulate over time. The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is one of the most popular and versatile blade shapes because of its thin, lowered tip and its large belly. The handle is a black G10 handle that is lightweight, durable, and very strong. This fixed blade comes with a Kydex sheath. The Rakkasan would be the perfect edition to your knife collection–go ahead and get yours here.

 

 

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Buck 101 Hunter Fixed Blade Knife Review

A young Kansas 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, suing 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 1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A positon they proudly hold today.

Chuck worked his way up through the company serving as President and CEO for many years before handing over the reins to his son, 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 US, 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 their ongoing commitment to developing innovative new products and improving what they have by third and fourth generation Buck family members that have made Buck the successful knife maker it is today. Frankly, it is what their customers expect from a Buck.

Buck has a forever warranty which means that they warranty each and every Buck knife to be free of defects in material and workmanship for the life of the knife, and they will repair or replace with a new Buck knife, at their option, any Buck knife that is defective.

Today, we will be going over the Buck 101 Hunter knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 420HC steel. This steel is considered a lower mid-range steel. Generally considered the king of the 420 steels, 420HC is similar to 420 steel but with increased levels of carbon (HC stand for High Carbon) which makes the steel harder. While it still is considered a lower mid-range steel, but the more competent manufactures, especially Buck, can really bring out the best in this affordable steel using quality heat treatments. The quality heat treatment results in better edge retention and resistance to corrosion. In fact, this is one of the most corrosion resistant steels out there, despite its low cost. You are going to find this steel mostly on budge blade and multi tools.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, usually a sandpaper. The key characteristic of this blade finish is that it shows off the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the lines in the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across. This blade finish does work to cut down on glares and reflections, but it is a medium level finish in terms of how reflective it is. A mirror finish is going to be much more reflective and a matte finish is going to be much less reflective. The satin finish does cut down on rust and corroding to a point.

The Buck 101 Hunter has a blade that has been carved into a clip point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose blade, then this is the right blade shape for you. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. One of the most recognizable knife that features a clip point is the Bowie knife, but it is also very popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. To form the shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight from the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut out” area is curved on the 101. This cut out area is also referred to as the clip, which is how the shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped off. The point that is created by this clip is lowered, which provides more control when using the knife. Because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. This lowered tip helps on this hunting knife because the easily controllable tip helps to not slip and ruin the meat of the game that you are dressing, or slipping and piercing one of the inner organs of the game that you are dressing. Clip point blade also make for a great hunting knife because they feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, skinning, and dressing game. The only real disadvantage of the clip point blade is its relatively narrow tip. Because it is so sharp and narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and break fairly easily. The clip point blade shape is going to prepare you for almost any situation.

Because this is a hunting knife, it sports a plain edge. The plain edge will work for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, and skinning a deer. All of these applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. The plain edge is also the more traditional edge that you are going to come across and is well equipped for a wider variety of tasks.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Macassar Ebony Dymondwood and Brass. Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence.  A good quality wood handle can be durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. Wood also adds a lot of beauty to a knife, making wood handled knives popular among collectors. Dymondwood is a type of stabilized wood, which means that the wood is injected with plastic. Manufacturers inject polymer resin and then compress under high pressure to create a very dense and durable material that still exhibits natural beauty. This material is very similar to Micarta, G10, and Carbon Fiber, except that the base material is wood, instead of unnatural materials. Dymondwood is a very affordable material and is commonly used on budget knives. The combination of Dymondwood and brass gives you a very traditional, gentleman’s knife style. The look of this knife is a classic that is never going to go out of style.

The handle has a continuous curve on the bottom side to provide you with a comfortable grip all the way down. The butt of the knife has a flared handle to help with grip and control.

 

The Mechanism:

Buck 101 Fixed Blade
Buck 101 Fixed Blade

The Buck 101 Hunter is a fixed blade. When someone is a fan of a folding knife, they think that folding knives are more discrete and easier to conceal, which also means that people don’t know that you have a knife. Folding blade fans also are convenient and can be easily transported in your pocket. However, there are such a wide variety of fixed blades, especially when you are using it as a hunting knife that make a fixed blade the right option for you. For starters, they are stronger and bigger. A fixed blade comes in whatever size you need, form very small to massive. No matter which size you choose, you are going to find the same strength in all. Fixed blades also don’t break, because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. This advantage comes especially in handy when you are field dressing your game, because you need your knife to be reliable. Fixed blades are also much easier to maintain. You do not have to worry about the hinge as you do with a folding knife, plus cleaning is straightforward and simple. This is one of the biggest advantages of having a fixed blade for your hunting knife. After you work with your game, your knife is going to be bloody and messy—so the easier it is to clean, the better your life is going to be. The next advantage to having a fixed blade as a hunting knife is the blade length. Fixed blades are usually twice as long as the blade on a folding knife. They also make for a superior tactical use. This is because fixed blades can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife is going to be able to in a tactical situation. Lastly, a fixed blade is going to make for a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers more versatility for any number of tasks associated with so-called survival knives, including but not limited to cutting, digging, splitting, first aid tool, food preparation, a hunting knife, hammering, and a prying tool.

Because the Buck 101 Hunter is a fixed blade, you are going to be able to use this knife as much more than just your go to hunting knife.

This is a full tang blade, which means that the blade extends all the way through the handle. This adds exceptional amounts of strength to the knife, because there is no weak spot where the blade meets the handle.

 

The Sheath:

This knife comes with a black leather sheath that provides a convenient belt carry option. Leather is a very traditional material that is used to make sheaths, and it’s still one of the best types of sheath material to have. There are many good things about leather, but one of the main advantages is the aesthetics. Leather is a well-known material that looks exceptional, feels nice in your hands, and even smells good. Leather is the kind of stuff that hearkens back to the days of cowboys and ruggedness. Leather is also very quiet when you’re putting a knife in and out of the sheath. However, since leather is made up of natural material, it will eventually become unusable., but it also depends on how well you take care of your sheath. If you’re jumping into rivers and going into situation with extreme heat, the oils in the lather could dry out and cause the sheath to crack pretty quickly. If you take care of the leather by oiling it occasionally, it could last longer than the knife itself.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on this hunting knife is 3.75 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.5 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.1 ounces.

 

The Conclusion:

Full-tang, fixed version of the classic 110 Folding Hunter. One of America’s best-selling knives is now available in a fixed version. The full tang, 420HC blade creates a sturdy option for those hunters looking for a clip point, fixed blade knife. Featuring the same classic Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handle with brass bolster and built with the same attention to detail, high quality and craftsmanship. Made in the USA

 

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Fantastic Fixed Blade Knives

The most common style for an everyday carry knife is definitely a folder. However, you should not let a fixed blade everyday carry slip past your radar; fixed blade knives have many benefits. For starters, a fixed blade will always, always, always be a stronger knife than a folder will—fixed blades can pierce, they can pull, they can pry, and they can twist. These are all things that you might be able to do with a folder, but probably not without some nerves. Many people also brush off carrying a fixed blade because of the size. However, many fixed blades are smaller than large folding knives. And you really don’t need that large of a blade, around 3 inches, to accomplish the majority of your tasks. Another fantastic reason to carry a fixed blade as your everyday carry knife of choice is because they are much easier to maintain. You can do many dirty tasks with them, such as gardening, hunting, or fishing, and not have to worry about cleaning out all the nooks and crannies once you finish your work. With a fixed blade, you really only have to wipe everything down. Now that we’ve been over why you should carry a fixed blade, the next question is what fixed blade you should be carrying. To make the research easier for you, I have compiled a list of the three best fixed blades on the market.

 

The SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife:

SOG Seal Pup Elite
SOG Seal Pup Elite

This knife was designed to mimic the knife that the Navy SEALS use, so you know that this knife is going to be able to stand up to lots of heavy duty tasks.

The blade on this knife is 4.75 inches long made out of a high-quality AUS-8 hardened stainless steel. This steel has been powder coated for protection, corrosion resistance, and to defeat any glare. The lowered glare makes this knife a fantastic option for tactical missions because you won’t be alerting anyone of your position. The steel holds its edge well and has pretty good hardness. The thing that most people notice about the steel on this blade is how well it resists corrosion and rust. People use this knife for five plus years and their blades have no spots on it. The knife has a thick blade that measures .185 inches thick with a contoured spine. This thickness allows you to take on the rougher tasks without worrying about snapping your blade. There is a rasp on the blade’s spine, so you can have a place to set your thumb. Setting your thumb in this rasp will give you more control over your cutting, which makes it a perfect for smaller, more intricate tasks. The blade is partially serrated and has a clip point silhouette.

The handle on this knife is made out of Zytel, which is a super tough glass reinforced nylon. This material feels like a ceramic material, but it isn’t brittle so you don’t have to worry about your handle shattering. The handle is a black. It also has a nice finger profile which provides for fantastic grip even if the knife is wet. Another feature that gives you great grip is the textured scales. The handle also boasts a lanyard hole that is made for running paracord though.

Many people consider the sheath on this knife to be the best aspect of the knife. It is made out of quality abrasion resistant Cordura nylon webbing. The knife fits perfectly and has a button closure strap for the handle. On the front of the sheath is a small pocket that closes with Velcro, so you can carry a small item, such as fire steel in it.

Overall, this knife is 9.5 inches long. It can be carried don the right or left side, which is a very convenient aspect. No matter what you are doing, this knife will be able to stand up to the task.

Pros of the SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife:

  • The blade has a powdered coating to improve hardness, corrosion resistance, and to not reflect light.
  • The steel holds an edge well.
  • This knife is crazy rust resistant.
  • The thicker spine allows you to do heavier duty tasks.
  • The handle gives you amazing grip, even while in the water.
  • The sheath is the king of all sheaths.
  • Can be carried on the left or right side.

Cons of the SOG Seal Pup Elite Knife:

  • Some people consider the blade too thick to go about many tasks, such as filleting.
  • The plastic handle is a drawback to some.

 You can find all the SOG Seal Pup Elite options here.

The Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife:

KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife
KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife

Something that Ka-Bar is known for is how they make their blades. They have a unique steel tempering, treating, and grinding process that help perfect their blades. Ka-Bar blades are known for being tough, light, and maintaining their edges extremely well. Something that makes this specific blade unique is that it is constructed of a single piece of steel that runs clear through the handle, which is called a full tang build. Because it runs through the handle instead of being attached, you can expect higher strength and durability. The blade on this knife is 7 inches long made out of 1095 Cro-Van steel. This steels holds an edge better than most stainless steels and is also a lot easier to sharpen than most stainless steels. The original shape and straight edge of this knife have been relied upon by thousands of people over the past sixty years. Some being Marines, hunters, campers, and military men. This knife actually follows the original design which was designed for Marines during the second World War in 1942. The curve that is on this blade is ideal for slicing, skinning, and dressing, which makes this a perfect hunting knife. And, the straight edge on this knife is ideal for slashing, chopping, and really any other task that you might need to throw at it. Something unique about this knife is that it comes unsharpened. This is a great option because it allows the user to choose their own angles on the edge and you don’t have to live with the factory edges. The most common people who enjoy that characteristic are hardcore hunters or military personnel. This partially serrated blade will require more maintenance than many other blades will. The blade is stamped with USMC.

You can get this handle in either a synthetic rubber Kraton G or a stacked leather washer handle, the latter being the more traditional style. Both of these options have a flat pommel that holds a pin that extends through the tang. Some people don’t love the size of the knife and I’ve heard people complain that it was too big and different people complain that it is too small. Really, the size of your ideal knife handle depends on the size of your hands. But, in all actuality, this is a comfortable knife that works for many different hand sizes. Another complaint is that people don’t have as good of a grip on the knife as they would prefer, epically in survival situations. A good fix to that problem is adding a little bit of grip tape to the handle.  A bonus about using the Kraton G handle is that it won’t rot over time, which can be a concern when choosing the leather handle. If you do choose the leather handle, you can expect a better grip.

The sheath that goes with this knife is also a stellar sheath. It is a natural leather sheath that is easy to repair yourself if you need to. The knife locks into the sheath securely and you don’t have to worry about it coming out unexpectedly. But, when you try to pull it out, it will pop out easily. A bonus about this sheath is that it makes the knife easy to access whether you are left or right handed. There are holes in the sheath that make it very easy to attach the sheath to your backpack.

Overall, the knife is 11.75 inches long and weighs 10.5 ounces, which is .65 pounds.

Pros of the Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife:

  • The knife has a full tang blade.
  • The steel holds an edge better than most stainless steel and is easy to sharpen.
  • The knife comes unsharpened, so you get to choose the angle of the edge.
  • You can get the handle in either a Kraton or a leather.
  • The sheath is fantastic and is easy to repair if needed.
  • Holes in the sheath are ideal for attaching to your backpack.

Cons of the Ka-Bar USMC Fighting Knife:

  • The blade will need more maintenance than other knives.
  • The knife comes unsharpened, so you won’t be able to use it immediately and you will have to have easy access to a sharpener.
  • The handle doesn’t have the best grip.
  • This is a giant knife.

You can order yours here.

The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife:

Gerrber LMF II Infantry Knife
Gerrber LMF II Infantry Knife

This knife comes in three different models: the LMF II Infantry, the LMF II Survival, and the LMF II ASEK. All of these knives are the same exact knife, the only things that differ are the handle and sheath colors and then the accessories that come with each model.

The LMF II Infantry comes with either a black, brown, or green handle. The sheath that comes with this version matches the handle color of your choice.

The LMF II Survival only comes with a brown handle and sheath, but it does come with a safety knife and strap cutter.

The LMF II ASEK comes with a green handle and sheath plus a matching safety knife and strap cutter.

The blade on this knife is 4.84 inches long and the thickness of the blade is 3/16’s of an inch. This knife is a drop point silhouette, which means that your blade will be stronger across the entire blade than a different shaped knife. This means that it is also stronger on the point of the knife. Because of the strength of the blade, this knife is an ideal candidate for cutting, slicing, and bushcraft tasks. The steel on this blade is a 420HC stainless steel. This is an all-around good steel that is very resistant to rust. To add to its corrosion resistant properties, the steel is coated in a black oxide. The steel is also an extremely tough steel, which makes it ideal for chopping, slicing, and even hammering, prying and digging. This steel is not great at maintaining its edge when faced with heavy use. This blade is a partially serrated edge.

The handle on the LMF II Survival is made out of glass-filled nylon that has a TPV over mold grip. This over mold adds a lot of grip and helps to channel water, so the handle remains grippy even while wet. This handle is actually wider than the average handle, plus it is on the flatter side. These two characteristics help add grip surface and it makes it easier to lash this knife to a stick, if needed. There are also three holes in the handle that also help to lash this knife to a stick. At the bottom of the handle, there is a flair that helps you chop things comfortably. The butt cap at the bottom is designed to break, crush, and hammer.

The sheath of this knife is color coordinated to your handle and it is made out of ballistic nylon. It also has a fire retardant coating. The knife is held securely in place by a friction locking system. This sheath can also be a left or right hand carry. A unique aspect of this sheath is that it has an integrated sharpener, which makes sharpening your knife on the go a breeze.

Pros of the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife:

  • Comes in a variety of different colors.
  • Comes with a variety of different accessories, depending on which version you purchase.
  • The drop point silhouette makes the blade stronger across the whole thing.
  • The steel is very resistant to rust.
  • You can pry, dig, and hammer with this knife.
  • The handle is wider and flatter, making it easier to hold.
  • This handle provides great grip, even when wet.
  • You can hammer with the butt cap.
  • Sheath is fire retardant.
  • Integrated sharpener.
  • It is easy to lash the knife to a stick.

Cons of the Gerber LMF II Survival Knife:

  • This is not a full tang knife.
  • Partially serrated knives are harder to sharpen.
  • The blade steel does lose its edge quicker than other steels would.

You can order a Gerber LMF II Knife here.

Conclusion:

Many people don’t even consider a fixed blade for their everyday carry knife, but there are many reasons why you should be considering a fixed blade. This list is to help you transition from carrying a folder knife to a fixed blade; these are the three best fixed blades that you will be able to find on the market.

 

 

 

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CRKT 2261 Tecpatl Knife Review

The CRKT 2261 Tecpatl

 

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, was established in Oregon in 1994. Their purpose since the beginning was to bring the useful technological advancements to create brand new product concepts for the knife community. During these past two decades, CRKT has followed that purpose and brought many new ground breaking and innovative knives to the world. Their knives are built for everyday carry, for tactical purposes, for hunting and fishing, and even for survival scenarios. Their products are high quality and will be able to meet the demands that you throw at it. CRKT believes that if the knife doesn’t meet the user’s standards, it doesn’t meet their own standards. CRKT uses the most advanced equipment and production systems to manufacture their knifes with efficiency. CRKT believes that everyone should be able to afford to carry the highest quality knives and tools.

During the past two decades, CRKT has collaborated with many famous knife designers and makers. Resulting from these collaborations are not only superior knives, but also innovative features. Some of these features include the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, the OutBurst assist opening mechanism, and the Automated Liner Safety System. When you purchase a CRKT knife, you can know that you are getting an exceptional knife that is ahead of its time. You can be certain that if there is a game changing innovative feature, your knife will probably be rocking it. You are guaranteed that your knife will stand up to the test of time. Any CRKT knife would be a fantastic addition to your collection, and the brand new Tecpatl is no different.

 

CRKT Tecpatl Knife
CRKT Tecpatl Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Tecpatl is made out of SK5 high carbon steel. SK5 high carbon steels originated in Japan, where they would make a variety of hand tools with it. Some of these hand tools that they have produced with SK5 are chisels and wood cutting saws. This type of steel is one of the highest quality steels for knife blades. This steel is a hard and tough steel. Because there are extra carbides in the metal, the steel has increased abrasion resistance and lets the steel attain an ideal balance of good blade toughness. Because it has such a good balance between hardness and toughness, this type of steel has endured through time in many different cultures. This blade also sports a plain edge, which is easier to sharpen, is better at skinning or peeling, and is great for detail work. Some people are bummed with a plain edge because they feel like a serrated edge would be able to cut through thicker materials, such as rope or thick branches, which is mostly true. However, when you get a plain edge sharp enough, it can almost match what a serrated edge can do.

 

The SK5 steel has been finished with a black powder coating. Coating finishes help to reduce the reflection and glare off of the blade, while also working to recue wear and corrosion. However, all coatings will eventually scratch off, and they will scratch off quicker with lots of use or with heavy use. The powder coating is actually one of the lowest quality blade coatings, so it does have a higher chance of chipping or scratching off sooner than a different coating would.

 

The blade on this knife is an interesting shape. I would probably describe it as a mix between a modified Wharncliffe and a modified Tanto. Both of those blade shapes have a very straight sharpened edge with no curve, but the blade on the Tecpatl does sport a slightly curved belly. The back, or the unsharpened edge of the knife, goes pretty straight and then angles downward sharply to meet the curve to make a tip. With this unique blade you get some of the benefits from a few different types of blade shapes. One of the pros to this blade is that the back is relatively wide and thick. This gives you more strength throughout the knife than you would have with a thinner, less wide blade. Because it is so thick towards the handle, this knife is going to be able to take on heavier tasks and cut through thicker materials. Another benefit of this unique blade shape is that you do have a slight belly. This belly is nothing if you compare it to a drop or clip point blade shape, but compared to Wharncliffe’s or Tanto’s, this knife definitely does have a belly. With the belly, slicing is easier and it makes this knife a good option for everyday tasks. The point on this blade is also going to be tough, because it is a broader tip than you would find, especially when being compared to a clip point blade. While stabbing is going to be a little more challenging, because it is broad, you will be able to stab through harder things, because of the strength behind the tip.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Tecpatl is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel has fantastic durability. It is also very resistant to corrosion. However, stainless steel is also a heavier material. You are going to feel this knife when it is put away. Because stainless steel is such a heavy material, knives that are designed to be an everyday carry knife, or even a heavy duty knife, will usually not be made with stainless steel. There is just too much added weight. Another problem with stainless steel is that it is very slippery. To combat the slipperiness, CRKT has added laser markings/etchings, to provide you with the needed friction. These etchings tell a story told through a way inspired by sugar skulls. Another thing that CRKT did to reduce the level of slipperiness was to create a deep finger groove for when you are using it. There is also a pretty big circular hole cut out to put a different finger through. This handle has been designed to be a sugar skull. When you are holding this knife in front of you, with the blade pointed down, this finger holes actually end up looking like eye sockets in a skull. There is a much smaller hole cut out to look like the nose area of a skull.  Since this is a single piece knife, the handle has also been through a black powder coated finish. Because it is perfect for holding in a closed fist, this knife is the perfect knife for slashing or pushing.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a fixed blade, which has many advantages to it. For starters, fixed blades are stronger and more durable than folding knives because there are no small or moving parts that can break or rust over. And because of this added strength and durability, fixed blades are the perfect survival tool. Not only can they cut, they can also dig, hammer, and pry if needed. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain. This is because while folding knives have many small parts that are prone to rusting, a fixed blade is what you see. All you have to do is wipe it down and you are good to go. Fixed blades are also excellent for tactical use because they can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a kydex sheath including a spring loaded MOLLE compatible gear clip. Kydex is a modern thermoplastic material that was originally used to make holsters, among other items. Kydex’s biggest advantages is how durable it is. It can stand up to a variety of extreme environments, and even be submerged in salt water and still hold up well. However, there are some disadvantages to having a kydex sheath. One of these is that it has no personality, it is basically just a lump of plastic. Another bummer about kydex is that it is pretty loud when you are unsheathing and putting away your knife. If this doesn’t bother you, then by all means, enjoy the benefits of it. However, if you are trying to conceal yourself, this sheath will give you away; it is that loud. The last drawback to having a kydex sheath is that with repeated drawing of your knife and putting it away, it will start to dull the edge of your knife.

 

The History:

This knife was designed by Michael R. Rodriguez. He designed this knife to be part of the CRKT Forged by War program. He says, “a good combat fighter relies on instinct; a great fighter understands the importance of an ergonomically flawless weapon.” Michael is a veteran, having served 21 years in the United States Army and retiring as a Green Beret. The laser markings are that of a sugar skull to reflect Michaels heritage and his own personal stories and history. On it, there are horns, the Crusader’s Cross, and the Office of Strategic Services Symbol. Michael also served in the 7th Special Forces group, and to commemorate that, he has engraved a 7 just above the blade. The arrow engraving is reminiscent of the crossed arrows of the Special Forces. And lastly, he has had three lightning bolts engraved into the knife, these are two represent the Green Berets and their shoulder patch. Michael believes that even in a world full of sophisticate missiles, there is no reason to skimp on your hand-to-hand combat companion. The Tecpatl should be your first choice for your last resort weapon.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.375 inches long, with a thickness of 0.203 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 5.813 inches long. The handle on the Tecpatl is 2.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.6 ounces.

 

The Pros of the CRKT Tecpatl:

  • The steel chosen for this knife is a great balance between hardness and toughness.
  • The straight edge makes sharpening a breeze.
  • The black powder coating helps reduce reflection and glare, and works to prevent rusting or corrosion.
  • The blade has enough of a belly to be able to slice.
  • The blade is wide and thick, providing you with plenty of strength.
  • The tip is broad, so you do have strength behind it, but it is still sharp, so you can still stab.
  • The stainless steel handle sports plenty of durability and is resistant to corrosion.
  • This is a fixed blade, so it has plenty of strength and is very capable of slashing or pushing.
  • There is a rich history that surrounds this knife, and you can see this history directly on the knife.
  • The kydex sheath is strong, durable, and very resistant to wear.
  • This sheath can survive in a variety of extreme environments, including being immersed in salt water.

 

Cons of the CRKT Tecpatl:

  • The black powder coating on the blade and handle is the most prone out of any coatings finishes to scratch or chip off.
  • The stainless steel handle is going to be slick, even when it is properly texturized.
  • The stainless steel handle does add quite a bit of weight to the knife.
  • This is a fixed blade, so it is harder to conceal than a folding knife.
  • The kydex sheath is noisy, has no personality, and will dull your blade after time.

 

Conclusion:

As a writer, I love a good story. I love the history behind the knives that are on the market. I love knowing why they are the way they are and what the different characteristics mean to the designer. The CRKT Tecpatl has one of the most symbolic and rich histories of any knife that I have reviewed.  You can buy yours here.

CRKT started off with a heavy duty steel that has been used for years as a tool steel in different cultures. The shape that they ground that steel into gives you a variety of different advantages. And the durable handle just helps with the tactical aspect of this knife. This is a durable knife that you will hopefully not have to use, but it should be your first choice for your last resort weapon.

 

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Just In — Fodale Knives Hale Fixed Blade Knife

We just got a shipment of the Hale fixed blade knife from Fodale Knives.  This is a new brand to BladeOps and we are really excited about the knives that Cody is producing over at Fodale Knives.

Fodale Knives Hale Fixed Blade
Fodale Knives Hale Fixed Blade

The Hale boasts a D2 blade with a variety of finishes available including stonewash, acid stonewash, or beadblasted.  The handle scales are G10 and also come in a variety of colors including classic black, coyote brown (as pictured above) or even a unique jade green color which I think is pretty fantastic because you don’t see it often on knives.

The Hale is specifically designed as an all purpose survival knife that can get serious heavy work don.  The D2 blade is a whopping .187″ thick which makes it eligible for batoning when you need to cut through really thick wood.  It has a 13 degree bevel and a razor sharp edge.

The handle is attached to the full tang blade with six hardened screws.  You can rest assured that the scales aren’t going anywhere without the rest of the knife.  I especially like the horizontal grooves on the handle.  These give your hand plenty of purchase for a nice, secure grip and they are nicely machined so they feel smooth and comfortable even during long cutting sessions.

The knife comes with a fantastic Kydex sheath that also has a pair of IWB loops so you can attach it to your belt or bag nearly any way you want to.

Fodale Knives Hale Knife
Fodale Knives Hale Knife with Jade Green G10 Handle Scales

As you can see, the sheath is perfect for tactical use as well as hunting, camping or especially for your survival bag.  (Like how I took that shot of the sheath with the Jade Green handle so you could see how cool that color is?)

If you are looking for a great all around survival knife, the Hale will definitely get the job done. Find it on our website Fodale Hale Knife.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Knife Category: Fixed Blade
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Length: 3 3/4″
  • Blade Height: 1″
  • Blade Thickness: .187″
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash
  • Overall Length: 8″
  • Weight: 179 grams, 6.31 oz
  • Handle Material: Coyote Brown G-10 scales
  • Nylon Sheath
  • Made in the USA
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