Spartan Blades Akribis Folding Knife

Curtin Iovito and Mark Carey, Co-Founders of Spartan Blades, LLC, possess over 40 years of combined military service and experience. Since their retirement from US Army Special forces they have been involved in the development, marketing, and program management of tactical gear and ballistic armor products. For years Curtis had designed and made custom knives for his friends in Special Forces and for other companies. Mark and Curtis combined their shared love of knife making, military experience and knowledge of the tactical equipment market to form Spartan Blades, LLLC; in 2008, with a singular mission: To manufacture finely crafted tactical and field knives and to make knives with intent.

It is the intent of Spartan Blades to provide the modern warrior and outdoorsman with knives that will serve them in a variety of missions and environments. Their intent is not to provide a cool knife, but rather produce a knife that is highly functional, made from only premium materials and techniques, that looks great too.

All Spartan knives are made by them in North Carolina with only US origin materials in small batches with attention to detail in every step. Their sheaths are made by US/US veteran owned businesses using only the best US Origin/Berry Amendment compliant materials. Both Mark and Cutis have spent a lifetime in the service of, and working to advance the interests of the United States. Spartan Blades will do the same by only manufacturing in the USA with the highest quality domestically produced materials. Additionally, Spartan Blades utilizes other veteran owned small businesses in meeting their mission.

Today we will be going over the Spartan Blades Akribis folding knives.

 

Spartan Blades Akribis Folding Knife
Spartan Blades Akribis Folding Knife

The Blade:

The blade is made out of S35VN steel. This steel was made in 2009 by Crucible and Chris Reeve. They wanted to upgrade their S30V steel because of some complaints about how hard it was to sharpen and work with. Other than that, S30V steel was known as the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. For S355VN steel, Crucible and Chris Reeve decided to use a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium, which is where the steel got the “N” in its name. By changing these two features about the steel, they were able to improve the steel’s toughness and ability to sharpen. Honestly, these two steels are so similar that to the normal eye, it would be hard to tell a difference other than when sharpening. However, many knife enthusiasts would argue that this is the all-time best steel that you are going to find in the cutlery business in terms of edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the cost.

The blade has been coated in a tungsten DLC PVD coating in flat black. A PVD is the way that the coating is applied; standing for Physical Vapor Deposition. This type of application provides excellent resistance from wear and corrosion. The coating material is vaporized at a high temperature and then coated on the blade in the process of condensation. This is applied in a vacuum, so the coating is applied extremely smoothly. Because of this process, there are no thicker portions that sometimes happens with a painted on coating.

The DLC coating is a Diamond Like Coating. This is one of the highest quality coatings and is bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint-like coatings. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

This blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. Drop points are known for their versatility, their strength, and their ability to stand up to almost anything. The most common place that you are going to find the drop point blade shape is on a hunting knife, although you are going to be able to find this blade shape on almost any type of knife: from EDC to tactical to a survival knife. This popular blade shape is formed by having the back or unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is the lowered point that provides the control and strength to the tip. The blade also has a large belly that is perfect for slicing. Drop points do have the disadvantage of not being able to pierce super well—this is because the tip is broad to add the strength. But, the tip is rarely going to break, so having decreased piercing capabilities seems worth it to most people.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of carbon fiber. The term carbon fiber is actually a very generic term that refers to the thin strands of carbon hat have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. This material is very strong but still lightweight. Unfortunately, due to the time consuming process of making the carbon fiber, it does tend to be on the more expensive side of things. And while it is a very strong material, it is nowhere near being indestructible because it does suffer considerably from being brittle. This is because all of the fibers are woven in a single direction. When the fibers are being stressed in that direction—the knife handle is extremely strong, but as soon as the fibers are stressed in any other direction, they will start to break apart. And because it is on the more brittle side of things, it probably will crack or break if it is hit on anything hard. This knife handle material is unique because the weave can be switched up depending on the manufacturer. The weave determines how the light is going to reflect off of the knife and will determine how the handle actually looks in terms of character.

The other portion of the handle is made out of G-10. This material has extremely similar characteristics to carbon fiber, except that it is much cheaper because it is slightly inferior. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is very hard, very lightweight, very tough, and strong. A fun fact about G-10 is that it is regarded as the toughest of the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta. The G-10 that is used on this knife is a matte black.

This Spartan blade features a carbon fiber overlay with a plain black G-10 underneath. The carbon fiber has been woven together in a typical, basket like weave. The overlays are kept in place by three small screws. The ergonomics of this knife help it to fit in your hand more comfortably: there is a slight curve to the spine and bottom of the knife. There is also a shallow finger groove that extends onto the carbon fiber overlay. The butt of the handle is pretty diagonal. And there is a lanyard hole drilled into the butt of the handle. To help with control over the knife when slicing, there is a very short row of jimping on the spine of the blade right before the handle begins.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clop on this knife matches the G-10 part of the handle. This pocket clip is only a tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. While it is not a skeletonized clip, there has been an arrow-shaped hole carved into it. The clip matches the rest of the hardware on this Spartan Blades knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that sports a thumb stud to assist you in opening it with a lockbar locking mechanism.

The thumb stud is one of the older mechanisms designed to open a knife and is in place of the nail nick that is found on more traditional pocket knives. This mechanism makes for a very easy and simple opening—the stud sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. You use your thumb to push against this stud and the blade will flip open and lock into place. One of the only drawbacks to opening this knife is that it puts your hand very close to the blade itself when you are opening the knife. And, as a side not, some of the Akribis pivots are stiff when you first get them. This will go away if you open and close your knife a couple of times.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long with a thickness of 1/8-.1250 inches. The hardness of the blade is from 58-60HRC. The handle on this knife measures in at five inches long. The overall length when the Akribis is opened is 8.5 inches. This knife weighs in at 5.248 ounces.

 

The Designers:         

The designers of this knife are Mark Carey and Curtis V. Iovito.

Carey is the Co-founder and co-owner of Spartan Blades. He entered the military service in the U.S. Army in 1984 and completed his first tour of duty as a light infantry soldier in Ulm, Germany. He was then assigned to a mechanized unit at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He volunteered, was selected and trained as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant. He specialized in all aspects of medicine, unconventional warfare with an emphasis on counter terrorism and sniping. While serving in Special Forces he developed an interest in business, logistics and entrepreneurial development. He completed a career of over 21 years with numerous sensitive deployments and missions throughout Asia.  Upon his retirement from the Army, Mark worked as the Director of Overseas Operations—Kuwait, for a local armor development corporation, planning and managing a multi-million-dollar contract. He quickly realized that he could combine skills developed by working with foreign governments and the business world. Mark teamed up with Curtis, a former Special forces teammate with a prove reputation of awesome knife designs to form Spartan Blades, LLC.

Iovito is a native of Bolingbrook, Illinois where he spent most of his childhood hunting and camping along the Dupage River. Cutis entered military service as a U.S. Marine and at the completion of his first tour as a nuclear security guard, reenlisted in the U.S. Army. He was then assigned to the rangers where he participated in the combat airborne assault of Rio Hato, Panama during Operation “Just Cause”. He volunteered, was selected and trained as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. He specialized in all aspects of unconventional warfare with an emphasis on counter terrorism and sniping. While serving in Special Forces he developed an interest in knife making which he advances by making custom knives for his buddies in 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). He completed his 20 + year career after numerous sensitive deployments and missions throughout Asia and the Middle East After his retirement from the Army, Curtis worked as the Marketing Director for a large armor development corporation. He quickly realized that he could combine his rapport building skills developed by working with foreign governments with the business world. It only made sense to combine these skills with his love of knives to form Spartan Blades, LLC. Curtis teamed up with Carey, a former Special Forces teammate.

Conclusion:

The Spartan Blades Akribis folder is a finely crafted folding knife that boasts a double deep cryogenically treated S35VN blade with a flat black PVD coat.  Akribis means Sharp and Precise–a fitting name for this folder.   This liner lock knife uses meteorite grey finished titanium in the frame and has ceramic bearings in the locking bar that ensure a positive closing bias. The handle has carbon fiber inlays. The lock bar is a Rick Hinderer design. This knife has a tip up carry clip. This knife breaks conventions by offering you a tactical knife that can be carried on the battlefield, in the boardroom or on your daily adventures. Pick up your new knife at BladeOps today.

 

Kershaw Junkyard Dog 2.2, Composite Blade, KS1725CB Knife Review

Kershaw Junkyard Dog
Kershaw Junkyard Dog

The Kershaw Junkyard Dog II Flipper knife, model 1725CB, features a composite blade made of two steels to give you high performance cutting and a strong spine.  The high performance Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel on the spine has an increased amount of nitrogen in the mix to give it maximum corrosion resistance as well as high hardness for durability.  The cutting edge is high carbon high chomium D2 steel.  The best of two worlds combined into one blade with attitude.

This USA made knife also has two black G-10 scales with tons of texture to give you a solid, secure grip whatever the circumstances. Built for speed, performance and reliability, you snap this blade out by pressing the flipper and then giving the knife a slight flick of the wrist.  The blade locks into the open position nice and tight via the liner lock.
With an overall length of 8 1/2″, the Junkyard Dog is a rough and tumble knife built for heavy daily use.  Get one in your hand and you’ll instantly see why they call it the Junkyard Dog.

Lion STEEL and BladeOps

Lion STEEL TiSpine Knife
Lion STEEL TiSpine Knife

The SHOT Show was fantastic and as part of our visit there, we are very excited to announce that within a few weeks, we will have Lion STEEL products in stock and available.   We will start by carrying a large selection of the SR-1 series as well as the TiSpine knives.  Let us know if there are additional knives from Lion STEEL that you would like us to bring in as soon as possible.  Looking forward to having these knives in stock and ready for shipment.

Benefits of G10 Knife Handles

Gerber 06 Knife

G10 is quite simply a thermoset plastic laminate.  It is built using high pressure on layers of fiberglass mesh cloth that are impregnated with an epoxy resin binder.  The resulting material is called G10 or sometimes G-10.  Often used in Printed Circuit Boards, it is also used extensively on knife and gun handles.

It is used for knife handles because of a few very specific advantages.  First, G10 has amazing dimensional stability.  It doesn’t shrink or swell when exposed to high or low temperatures.  It has temperature ratings of 180 degrees Celsius.  Second, G10 also has very high mechanical strength.  It is difficult to break.  Third, it is relatively lightweight which allows for less carry weight on knives. And finally, when being manufactured, the G-10 can be layered in a variety of ways to create many different looks and colors.

Because of these specific properties, knife makers love to use G-10.  Why, as a knife user, should you love it?  For some of the same reasons as well as a couple more.  Here is a quick list of why I love G-10

  1. Shapeable which means more comfortable and grippable handle shapes
  2. Similar traction whether wet or dry–better grip in rough conditions
  3. Different texture finishes which allow for higher or lower grip handles–depending on expected use conditions.
  4. Lower weight — lighter knife
  5. Colors are infinite which allow for some very custom looks–there is even a glow in the dark G-10

If you haven’t tried G-10, get a knife that has some and let me know what you think.  If you already have a knife with a G-10 handle–let me know what else you like about it.

 

Browning Knives

We have a full selection of Browning Knives here at BladeOps.com.  Just this year, Browning came out with their line of Black Label knives.  This line focuses specifically on combat and urban tactical style knives as well as some high end office worthy knives with just a touch of tactical to them.  Within the Black Label knife line there is a good mix of fixed blade and folder knives as well as a tomahawk and a set of throwing knives and even a very nice push dagger.  I especially like the Flash Folders.  At under $25, these folders are a steal of a deal.  Check out the Black Label line of knives at BladeOps and let us know what you think.

SOG Fielder Knife, Manual Folder

The SOG Fielder is an amazingly well built folder with high luster bolsters and vertical grain wood inlays.  The visual appeal of the wood and the bolsters makes this manual folder knife stand out in a very crowded field.  This fairly inexpensive knife is great for every day carry.  It has a touch of class, so it will look great in the boardroom.  But at the same time, the reliable and well built SOG Fielder also performs in the outdoors.  This is a great pocket knife.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Length: 7.8”
Blade: 3.5” x .089”
Steel: 7Cr13 Stainless – Rc. 56-57
Finish: Polished
Edge: Straight
Weight: 4.4 oz
Handle: Stainless Steel/ Wood
Comes With: Pocket Clip
MSRP: $30.00

Benchmade H&K Snody Axis Knife

Benchmade makes fantastic knives.  Their H&K line of knives are built in their factory with the HK logo.  Each one of these knives carry the legendary craftmanship as well as the warranty of a Benchmade knife.
One of the extremely popular styles of knives they build are the AXIS knives.  These knives have a pull slide in the handle that allows you to either unlock the blade (from the locked open position) or to open the knife.  This particular knife the 14255, is a manual folder that can be opened by pushing on the thumb stud.  The blade glides open easily.  The 14255 sports a tanto point blade with a plain (unserrated) edge.
One of the very nice things about this particular model is the G10 handles are built flat.  This means the 14255 has an extremely thin profile for very comfortable carry in your pocket.  The pocket clip is reversible for right or left handed users (tip up).

SPECIFICATIONS:

Blade Length: 3.40″
Blade Thickness: 0.150″
Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
Blade Hardness: 58-61HRC
Blade Style: Modified Tanto; Ambidextrous Thumb-Studs
Weight: 4.96oz.
Clip: Tip Up, Reversible, Black
Lock Mechanism: AXIS
Overall Length: 8.19″
Closed Length: 4.50″
Sheath Material: Sold Separately

Benchmade HK Monochrome Steirer Eisen Manual Folder Knife

Benchmade recently released their first H&K knife designed by Steirer Eisen.  This knife, the Monochrome Folder Knife, is built strong and durable for whatever circumstances you may find yourself in.  The drop point blade is made of N690 stainless steel (RH of 58-60) and has a length of 3.04″.  This all black blade looks and cuts good.  The blade is opened with either of the ambidextrous thumb studs.  As you slide it open, the blade opens smooth.  As the blade opens, there is no feeling of looseness or wobble that you sometimes find with some folder knives.  The blade locks in place with a monolock.  A monolock is similar in nature and function to a framelock with a slightly different look.  At a full 7.37″ when open, the Monochrome is a big enough knife to get nearly any job done.
The handle features some jimping at the top on both the spine and the belly of the handle.  The jimping makes for a solid grip.  The skeletonized handle reduces weight and gives the Monochrome a great look.  Available in either a standard plain edge blade (Model 14320BK) or in a part serrated blade (Model 14320SBK), the Monochrome is a nice, affordable folder knife built by a company you can trust. 

SPECIFICATIONS:
Manual Folder, Side Open
Drop Point Blade
N690 Stainless Steel Blade
Clip: Black, removable, Tip Down
Lock: Monolock System
Handle Material: 420J Stainles Steel
Blade Length: 3.04″
Blade Thickness: .115″
Handle Thickness: .35″
Open: 7.37″
Closed: 4.345″
Weight: 3.84 ounces