Do You Know Your Knife?

Throughout most of these articles on knives, we talk about blade shape and material as well as handle material and why those are the specific knives’ benefits. We have also briefly touched on the different parts of the knife, but that is usually thrown in to the article without a description. So while you probably do know what the basic parts of your knife are and what they do, there are a lot of little pieces that may be way over your head. So today, we will go over all of the basic pieces of a knife and what that pieces’ purpose is. Let’s begin.

 

Belly:

The belly of the blade is the curved section of the edge that leads up to the tip. The bigger the belly, the more surface area your blade will have, and the easier it will be for you to slice or cut. Blades with large curved edges, such as a fillet knife, have large bellies that are intended for strong slicing cuts.

 

Bolster:

The bolster is the spot on your knife where the handle and the blade merge into one. This piece of the knife is there purely for balance and to really help with the balancing, the blade becomes very thick at this point. This area can also be used for a little extra support when you are gripping the knife. And, as the multi-tasker that this piece is—it also provides your hand with a bit of safety form getting sliced.

Even though this metal piece is part of the blade, it is not sharpened and will not be able to be used for cutting. The bolster also provides the knife with a bit of weight, which comes in handy when you are taking on those tougher tasks. A good bolster is a sign that your knife is a quality, well-made knife. You can tell that a knife is a lower end knife if this piece is part of the handle instead of the blade. The bolster is going to be found on high quality fixed blades (this piece will not exist on a folding knife).

Sometimes, there are even two bolsters. In these cases, you will find them at the front by the blade and again at the rear around the butt of the handle. In another case, there will be two bolsters at the blade in a cross formation, and those get the name a quillon or crossguard.

 

Butt/Pommel:

The butt of the knife is the bottom end of the knife handle. When a knife is well made, the butt can be used as a tool. On survival or outdoors knives, the butt is usually designed flat, so that it can be used as a hammer. If you’re a chef and lacking a meat tenderizer, the butt of your knife can even be used in place of that. On a folding knife, the butt is usually smaller and it will be rarer to use a folding knife’s butt as a tool. The butt can be rounded, flat, curved, and even angular—many knife designers use the butt of the handle to really add a unique touch to the individual knife style.

In some cases, the pommel is the same as the butt of the knife. However, the butt is usually the generic term used for the end of the handle while the pommel is a specific piece that is place to reinforce the butt. Pommels usually exist when a knife has been designed for striking or hammering.

 

 

Cheek/Face:

The cheek or face of a blade is either side of the blade.

 

Cutting Edge:

This is the sharp part of your blade. The cutting edge is (obviously) the part of the blade that does all of the cutting work. Different edges have different purposes. A few types of edges are the straight/plain edge, the serrated edge, and the combo edge. A plain edge is the most traditional and simple edge; it is a continuous straight cutting edge. The serrated edge sport little teeth that are used for sawing through some of the thicker materials. And the combo edge is a combination of plain and serrated. Usually, the upper portion of the combo edge is a plain edge and the part closer to the handle is serrated. Some people feel that they get the best of both worlds with a combo edge and other people feel as if there isn’t enough of either style for it to be useful.

 

Grind/Bevel:

The grind or the bevel of the blade refers to the cross section of the blade, or the section that has been ground down to form the edge. Depending on how the bevel has been ground, your knife is going to be capable of very different tasks. Some of the most common grinds that you can expect to find is the flat grind, the convex grind, the hollow grind, the chisel grind, the compound bevel, and the asymmetrical bevel.

Each different style of bevel has different qualities that range from their strengths, weaknesses, preferred uses, and different maintenance needs.

 

Handle:

This is one of the more self-explanatory parts of the knife—the handle is the portion of the knife that you grip. A quality handle is a comfortable handle, even if you have been holding the handle for long periods of time.

On a full-tang blade, the handle is the portion of the knife that holds the tang. In these cases, the handle allows you to comfortably hold the tang to maneuver the blade.

 

Heel:

The heel is the very back portion of the blade edge, or the part opposite the point. On bigger knives, this can be up to about 2 inches of the blade. The smaller the knife, the smaller the heel gets accordingly. The heel is typically there for cutting through materials that need a little extra force to cut. For the same reason, this piece is the widest part of the spine. In a nutshell, the heel is what gives you the control over cutting the harder-to-cut items. The heel does encompass a small section of the grind and is part of the face of the blade.

 

Jimping:

Jimping is the pattern of notches that is made on the spine of a blade. This is usually on the blade portion that is closest to handle, but can be found on other spots on the knife as well. Jimping is sometimes used on the spine of the handle, instead of the spine of the blade, and can even be found on the bottom portion of the handle. Jimping is used to aid in grip when doing fine work and is sometimes also placed there for a decorative feature. The notches are placed to prevent your fingers form sliding when you are using the knife. Generally, the knives that have jimping are the ones that have been designed as survival, outdoors, or hunting knives.

 

Point/Tip:

This piece is also one of the more straightforward pieces that we are going to cover today. The point of the knife is where the knife edge and spine come together. The point is most often used for piercing.

The tip of the blade is the forward part of the knife and includes the knife point. The tip is what you are going to be suing for detailed or delicate cutting. The tip can be curved or flat and some are even pointed, depending on what they were designed to do.

Tip and point are often used interchangeably and can be correctly used interchangeably, but, they can also be used separately to describe two different pieces of the blade. To recap: the point is exactly the point where the spine and edge meet and the tip is the small section at the front of the blade that leads to the point.

 

Rivets:

The rivets are in fixed blades and are the metal pieces (such as nails or screws) that hold the tang in the handle, or to join the scales to the tang to form the handle. On some knives, they are completely visible, and on others, the designer has chosen to hide or camouflage them.

 

Scales:

The scales are the part of the knife that create the handle. Often times, scales are made of synthetic material such as carbon fiber or G 10. In a typical finding of scales on your knife, there are two scales that are attached to the tang with rivets to create the handle. One benefit of having handle scales on a survival knife is that even if they do break, you have the tang left to use. So while it won’t be as comfortable as the knife was with the scales—you still have almost full use of your blade.

 

Spine:

The spine of your knife is going to be wider than your blade and is the blunt, dull portion at the top of your knife, opposite the cutting edge of your blade. The spine allows you to put pressure on the knife and what you are cutting, without cutting your hand. The spine can also help you with your grip on the knife. Typically, the larger the knife is, the thicker the spine will be. Double edged blades, or daggers, do not have a spine, but you will find a spine on almost every other style of blade. You can tell when you have a high quality knife, because the spine will be thicker than the spine on lower quality knives.

 

Tang:

The tang is only going to be found on fixed blades. This is the portion of the blade that sits inside the handle. The tang is also the part of the blade that attaches to the handle and is what gives the handle or the handle scales their hefty-ness. On certain knives, you can see the edge of the tang running along the edge of the handle (look for a stripe of metal down the middle of the handle). A full tang blade is the better quality knife and has the tang run down the entire length of the handle. The lower quality knives are called half-tangs and have the tang only run down a portion of the handle. In those knives, you usually don’t see the edge of a shorter tang. If you are looking for a survival knife, you need to be looking for a knife with a fully tang that has roughly the same width and thickness. It is that full tang that will provide you with the qualities that you need in a survival knife.

 

Some Vocabulary About Tangs:

 

Encapsulated: The handle of the knife is molded around the tang. This means that there are no scales, and the handle is one full piece of material.

 

Extended:

This means that the tang extends beyond the handle at the butt, and is usually functioning as a special hammer surface. Because the tang is metal, this will give you a very solid hammering option.

 

Skeletonized:

The tang metal is hollowed out. This is to cut down on weight and sometimes even designed to make a storage compartment.

 

Stick:

When a tang is a stick tang it means that the tang is much narrower than the blade. This is done to cut down on weight of the overall knife.

 

Tapered:

This is when the tang is tapered from the blade to the butt to gradually reduce the size, thickness, and weight of the knife and handle.

 

As a general note, when the tang has been deliberately cut to reduce weight, you can lose the durability of a full tang if the cutting hasn’t been done correctly. I would not recommend these styles of tangs for a survival knife, but rather, for a skinning or fighting knife; where you need to use the knife quickly and not be weighed down.

 

Conclusion:

Now that you know what each of the pieces of your knife is and have a better idea of what the piece is used for, you can be looking for the best knife out there for you.

 

 

 

 

 

Finishes and Coatings

When looking for your new knife, it can be easy to overlook the finish or coating that has been used. The finish might seem like a purely aesthetic choice, choosing your finish based off of what it looks like. While this does play a role, each finish or coating offers different advantages and it would serve you well to know what those advantages are. Certain finishes can add strength or durability. Some help the knife resist corrosion. Some truly are just for aesthetic. There are eight different popular finishes and coatings. They include: bead blasted, brushed, coated, head treated, mirror polish, satin, stonewashed, and TiNi. These eights are the ones that we are going to go over today.

 

Bead Blasted Finish:

Bead blasting doesn’t necessarily always use beads. The finishing process is done by blasting abrasive materials, such as glass or ceramic beads or sand, against the knife’s metal at a high pressure.

If you use a sandblasting technique, it does a fantastic job of smoothing, shaping, and cleaning harder surfaces. It is a very similar process to using sandpaper on your knife, except that the overall finish is more even. The process of sandblasting also removes rust and imperfections in the steel. This is a great process to use before you apply a different finish on top of it.

If you are using the bead blasting technique, it creates a clean, bright, and uniform texture. This process can remove paint, rust, and corrosion. The smaller the beads that are used, the smoother your surface is going to be.

By doing this, it results in a matte gray finish that is even across all the metal. Some advantages to having a bead blasted finish is that light reflection properties are reduced because the finish is matte. This means that if you are trying to conceal yourself while using your knife, you don’t have to worry about the metal giving away your position. However, a disadvantage to having this type of finish is that while the high pressure blasting leaves micro abrasions in the metal. This means that your blade will be more likely to rust or corrode. Even if your blade steel is a stainless steel, if you happen to leave it in a wet area, you can expect rusting.

 

Brushed Finish:

This finish is created by using an abrasive wheel. This wheel produces a finish that is similar to the satin finish. But, this finish is cheaper than the costly satin finish. This is one finish that you can combine with another finish, such as a brushed finish and a hand satin finish. The abrasive wheel creates a pattern of fine parallel lines, it mutes the luster of the finish. It still has some reflective properties, but it is not undesirable. Unfortunately, this finish reduces the steel’s corrosion resistant properties, because the abrasive wheel does create micro abrasions that are more prone to rusting.

 

Coated Finish:

A coated finish is most commonly found in black, gray, or neutral colors. The coatings will reduce light reflection and glare. The coatings also help to reduce corrosion and wear. A drawback to having a coating finish is that they can and will scratch off after heavy use and over time. With these coated finishes, you are aiming to get the hardest coating possible because the harder the coating, the harder it will be to scratch off. But, the harder the coating, the more expensive it will be. The high quality finishes are bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally. This is different than the paint-on coatings, which just have to dry onto the blade. Before most coated finishes, the blade will be bead blasted, because it does create the micro abrasions. This helps the finish stick, because it can actually get into the blade. These coated finishes prolong the life of your knife because they help resist corrosion and rust. The higher quality coatings are more expensive, but they are also much easier to maintain. Some very popular coatings are:

Black Oxide is also called blackening. This is a coating that slightly boosts the corrosion resistant properties on the blade. It also adds a pleasing black color to the blade. This is sometimes used so that your blade will match the handle.

Black Paint is a powder coating. This is actually the lowest quality of coated finish. This helps reduce reflective properties well but it will chip and scratch very easily.

Powder Coating helps with corrosion protection, it looks great, and it reduces the glare on your knife. However, it is one of the least effective methods of coating your blade.

Teflon Coating helps with the blade’s corrosion resistant properties, it looks awesome, it reduces the glare on your blade, and it makes cleaning your blade very easy.

However, any knife that has a coating will be thicker and drag more than a knife that has not been coated.

 

Heat Treated Finish:

Out of the eight that we are going over today, this is definitely the black sheep. It actually isn’t a finish or coating that is put on the knife. This is a process that hardens the steel. The steel is heated and cooled to actually change the metal’s physical properties. Even though it does become harder, the steel retains most of its flexibility. But a heat treated knife can be very brittle as well. By doing this treatment, the blade can hold an edge better than it could before and the overall blade is more durable. The process is as follows: the steel is heated up to 1922-1994 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, the steel is quickly cooled, or quenched. The higher the temperature is while going through the process, the softer your material will be, but with higher toughness. The lower the temperature of the process is, the harder and more brittle your material will be afterwards.

As a guideline, camping and survival knives are usually heated to about 662 Fahrenheit so that it can take a beating but not break. These are the knives that are going to be going through the hardest tasks. But, if the user is looking for a knife that is going to stay sharp for very long periods of time, the steel will be heated to around 347 Fahrenheit.

 

Mirror Polish Finish:

This finish is actually done by hand. The metal is polished until it is highly reflective. Because it is all done by hand, this finish greatly increases the cost of knives with this finish. If you desire this look but don’t want the cost, you can have a tumbled finish that mimics the mirror polished. Of course, it isn’t going to be as reflective, or as high-quality, but it will give you the look that you are going after. This finish looks very pleasing. This is a very unique finish that you don’t commonly see and it is mostly a show finish. You will usually find this knife on high-end, custom, handmade, or collector’s knives. This finish also increases the corrosion resistant properties, because the metal is extremely smooth. Plus, because the finish is so smooth, whatever you are cutting is less likely to get stuck to the blade, making cleaning a breeze. Another bonus about this finish is that you can use it as a signaling mirror. However, because it is not usually on survival knives because of upkeep, it will probably be unlikely that you have a mirror polished finished blade with you at that time. Unfortunately, this finish requires lots of maintenance to upkeep its look. This is not a finish you are going to want on a tactical blade because the reflection of light will give your positon away. This finish is also very easily scratched, so you aren’t going to be able to complete most tasks with a mirror polished blade.

 

Satin Finish:

The satin finish is semi-shiny finish. It lies right in between the matte of a bead blasted finish and a mirror polish finish. This is probably the most popular and typical finish on knives. You can see the buffing lines with two directional finishes that help show of the bevels of your blade. This is because the blade is sanded in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive such as sandpaper. The finer the abrasive used and the more even the line; the cleaner the satin finish will look. This finish is done by hand and requires high skill levels. This finish also reduces its reflective properties, making it less likely to glare. This finish has pretty average corrosion resistant properties, but it is not as resistant as a mirror finished knife.  A satin finish is not always used solely for the blade of the knife; it can also be used on the handle or the fittings of your knife. Either of these will enrich your knife’s look. Because this finish is done by hand, it is a lengthy process. Because it is a lengthy process, knives with this finish are going to be more expensive.

 

Stonewashed Finish:

This finish is achieved by tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This is usually done by rolling the knife around with pebbles and then it is smoothed out. This finish makes the steel less reflective than a brushed or satin finish. A huge advantage to having this finish on your knife is that it easily hides scratches, making your knife very easy to maintain after it undergoes this process. This finish also hides finger prints better than the other finishes, so you do not have to continually polish your knife. Depending on which manufacturer you get your knife from, a stonewash finish can actually look like a satin finish from afar. There are many different varieties of a stonewash finish because there are many different materials that can be used, there are different tumbling motions, and knives can start off with different finishes before they are stonewashed. One of the popular stonewashed finish is an acid stonewash, sometimes known as a black stonewash. This is when there is an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it is actually stonewashed. Because the acid oxidizes, the blade has increased rust resistance because the acid places a barrier between the steel and whatever you are throwing at it. Like the satin finish, the stonewashed finish can be done on the knife handle.

 

TiNi Finish:

This is actually also a coated knife, but it is a unique coating for your blade, so it will get its own category in this article. The TiNi finish is short for Titanium Nitride. This is a crazy hard ceramic material. This has been considered to be the best coating for your blade’s steel. This is usually used on black finishes to increase the durability of it. This coating actually helps the blade hold its edge. A huge advantage of the TiNi finish is that it is by far the most resistant to scratches and peeling. This finish is applied to the steel by a process of plasma deposition. This type of finish is going to be commonly found on tactical, military, or survival knives because it improves the blade’s surface properties.

 

Conclusion:

There are many different advantages and disadvantages to each of these knife finishes and coatings. Many knife enthusiasts prefer to have a finish over a coating because coatings can cause drag and reduce some of the properties on your blade. However, there are quality coatings out there, such as the TiNi coating. Even though many prefer finishes, there are disadvantages and advantages to each finish. Some are going to make your blade rust easier than before, even if it is made out of a stainless steel. Overall finishes and coatings greatly enhance your blade and will work to prolong the life of your knife. Each coating and finish will provide a very different look for your knife and part of the choosing process is really just figuring out which look you prefer. Don’t overlook the finish or coating on your knife because these characteristics can drastically change the blade.

 

 

Zero Tolerance 0801TI Knife Review

Zero Tolerance is a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. For over 100 years now, Kai USA Ltd has been the leading producer of premium blades in Japan. Not only that, but they also are a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares. All in Japan. Kai is dedicated to innovation and quality products.

Zero Tolerance came about in 2006 when they saw a pale in the market for a Made in the USA line of knives that could take a hard beating. It was people like military and law enforcement and other professionals that needed this type of knife. Ever since the first knife was introduced to the market, they have been a big hit. The very first products were combat knives, but in the last decade, they have expanded their line to include a variety of general use and premium knives. They carry anything form the larger and heavier outdoor knives to the slimmer and lighter every day carry knives.

In the last decade, Zero Tolerance has built a reputation of being “overbuilt”. What does this even mean? It means that Zero Tolerance uses only premium materials like S30V or CTS 204P steel. For the handles, they use materials such as G 10 and carbon fiber. When they put these materials together, the operation is conspicuously smooth and the Zero Tolerance fit and finish is second to none.

Zero Tolerance knives are built in Tualatin, Oregon. They are proud to be an American company that uses only the most skilled workers to create an exceptional knife.

Zero Tolerance has recently introduced a brand new knife called the 0801TI Titanium. This knife fits into the regular Zero Tolerance reputation and will be an excellent addition to your knife collection.

 

Zero Tolerance 0810TI
Zero Tolerance 0810TI

The Blade:

The blade on 0801TI Titanium knife has been carved out of S35VN steel. This steel is produced by Crucible and Chris Reeve and was introduced to the market in 2009. Years before that, Crucible releases S30V steel. This first steel was designed specifically for use on knife blades. It gained the reputation of having the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This steel also resisted rust effortlessly and was used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The way that Crucible kept the hardness and toughness was by adding vanadium carbides into the steel. Even though this steel was phenomenal, it was hard to sharpen. So, Crucible and Chris Reeve designed to upgrade this original steel to meet the cries of their customers: the steel needed to be easier to sharpen. To do this, they used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium, which is where the N comes from in the S35VN. These two changes made the steel easier to sharpen while also improving toughness, but keeping the same hardness behind it. This steel also maintains its edge exceptionally while resisting rust effortlessly. If the first steel gained such a strong following, just imagine how fantastic S35VN steel is.

The blade is finished with a stonewash finish. To create this look, the steel is tumbled around with an abrasive material, normally small pebbles. Once the process is completed, the steel is smoothed over and polished. The resulting look is a textured, rugged, gray look. Some benefits of the stonewash finish is that the finish cuts down on reflections and glares. The biggest benefit to this finish is that it preserves the look of the blade overtime. Because the stones created a textured look, a stonewash finish helps to hide scratches and fingerprints that accumulate overtime. Having the scratches and fingerprints hidden significantly cuts down on maintenance time.

The steel has been cut into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most versatile blade shapes that you can find on the market. The shape is created by having the unsharpened edge slowly curve until it hits the sharpened edge the point. This creates a lowered point which presents you with a handful of benefits. The lowered point gives you more control over your cuts and slices which allow you to do delicate details or precision slicing. Because of the added control, the drop point blade shape is very popular among hunters: they don’t have to worry about nicking any of the organs or damaging the meat of their game. Another one of the benefits that the lowered point offers is that the lowered point makes it a broader point. This gives you more strength to perform almost any task without having to worry about your point snapping. The tip strength makes this a popular shape on tactical or survival knives. One of the other reasons that it is such a versatile blade shape is because the blade sports a large belly. This belly allows you to slice with ease. One of the only real disadvantages to the drop point blade shape is its broad tip. Because it is so broad, you don’t have many piercing or stabbing capabilities.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Titanium, just like the name states. There are so many benefits to having a titanium handle. For starters, titanium offers the best rust and corrosion resistance out of any metal. While this material is heavier than its brother aluminum, it is still considered a lightweight metal alloy and will not weigh down your knife. For the small amount of extra weight that you get with a titanium handle, you get much more strength. The added weight is completely worth it. But, because it is stronger, it is harder to machine, which means that it is more expensive to machine. One of the most unique characteristics about titanium is that it actually has a warm feel to it, so if you are using this knife in colder environments, the handle won’t bite into your hand like an aluminum handle would. One of the drawbacks to the titanium handle is that it is prone to scratches, especially when comparing it ot stainless steel.

While titanium is a slippery metal, it can be texturized with different finishes. The finish on this handle is bead blasted, which helps to add texture and provide you with a secure grip. The bead blasted finish is created by blasting small ceramic or glass beads at the titanium at high pressure. This creates an even, matte, gray handle. Because it is matte, there is almost no glares or reflections on this handle. However, one of the drawbacks to this finish is that it does create micro abrasions in the surface of the titanium. This makes it more prone to rusting. In fact, bead blasted metals have been known to rust overnight when in a humid or wet environment. To prevent any rusting, you just have to be sure that you oil your handle and never let it remain wet. Also, store it in a dry environment.

At one end of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole drilled into it. There are so many benefits to having a lanyard tied onto your handle. For starters, you can add a little bit of personal style based off of which lanyard you choose to tie onto it. Another benefit is that it can add extra grip to the titanium handle: when you are using it, if you fold the lanyard onto the palm side of the handle, it helps to give you a little extra grip. One of the last great reasons to tie a lanyard onto your knife is that it provides you with a little extra sight, in case you drop it in a tight or dark area. Lastly, you can easily tie your knife to your belt or pack to keep it secure against loss.

 

Zero Tolerance 0810TI
Zero Tolerance 0810TI

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is black to contrast against the gray handle. The black also matches the rest of the hardware on this knife. The pocket clip has you carry the knife tip up only, but can be reversed for either left or right hand carry. This helps to make the knife ambidextrous friendly. Another advantage of this pocket clip is that it is a deep carry clip, which helps to keep your knife safe and secure inside of your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife, which is a huge benefit because it does not have any of the strict laws surrounding them that an automatic knife would. This knife features the flipper manual opening mechanism. This is a shark’s fin shaped protrusion that extends out of the handle when the knife is closed. You push on this flipper and the pressure flips the blade out of the handle.

This knife also sports the KVT Ball Bearing Opening System. This system is designed to enable smooth and easy one handed opening, without the use of a spring or torsion bar. The system uses a series of ball bearings that surround the pivot point on this knife. When the user pulls back on the flipper, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use. The blade is secure against closing, even when you are using this knife for heavy duty tasks.

This knife sports a frame lock.

 

The Specs:

This knife is made in the USA. The blade on it is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.156 inches. When the knife is opened, it has an overall length of 8.2 inches long and measures in at 4.7 inches long when closed. The Zero Tolerance 0801TI Titanium knife weighs in at 5.6 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Zero Tolerance 0801TI Titanium Knife:

  • The premium steel used on the blade gives you the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention.
  • The steel on the blade is easy to sharpen.
  • The blade’s steel resists rust effortlessly.
  • The stonewash finish hides scratches and fingerprints.
  • The stonewash finish on the blade preserves the look of the blade overtime.
  • The drop point blade shape is extremely versatile.
  • The lowered point gives you more control and strength.
  • The blade sports a large belly that makes slicing a breeze.
  • Titanium is lightweight but still provides a large amount of strength.
  • Titanium actually feels warm to the touch, so using this knife in a cold environment won’t be painful.
  • Titanium is the most rust resistant metal out there.
  • The titanium has been finished with a bead blast to add texture.
  • The bead blasted finish cuts down on glares and reflections.
  • There is a lanyard hole drilled into the handle.
  • There are grooves cut into the edge of the handle to add extra texture.
  • The pocket clip is reversible.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip.
  • Manual flipper opening mechanism.
  • Sports a frame lock.
  • Sports a KVT Ball Bearing Opening System.
  • Made in the USA.

 

The Cons of the Zero tolerance 0801TI Titanium Knife:

  • The drop point blade shape inhibits you from having stabbing or piercing capabilities.
  • Titanium is prone to scratches.
  • Titanium is expensive to machine.
  • The Titanium handle has been finished by bead blasting it, which does make it more susceptible to rusting or corroding.
  • The pocket clip can only be carried tip up.
  • Because it is a manual knife, it will not open as quickly as an automatic knife would be able to.

 

Conclusion:

Zero Tolerance has been around for a little over a decade now. Since the first few combat knives to now, Zero Tolerance has gained the reputation of being proudly overbuilt. This means that they only use the highest quality materials and have a seamless manufacturing system. The final fit and finish is second to none. The 0801TI Titanium knife is just as fantastic as their others, you can pick one up here. They started with a premium steel and used high quality titanium for the handle. The versatile blade shape makes this knife the perfect option for your everyday carry knife. The details on this knife are all just bonuses.

A Review of the Six Best Chef Knives

The past couple of days we have been discussing the best hunting and fishing knives. Another big category of knives are culinary knives and so far I haven’t written one thing about them. A few things about kitchen knives: the three most popular edges for a culinary knife are straight edge, serrated edge, and Granton edge. When looking into buying kitchen knives, you should be looking for the edge, the handle, the bolster, the heel, the blade tip, the spine, and the tang. In this article, I will list the best kitchen knives on the market and why they are such a good option for you and your kitchen. We’ll be going over the advantages and disadvantages of each knife that I’m reviewing. Let’s get started.

 

The Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

The Wusthof brand is known for the high quality German steel that they use in all of their knives. Out of the Wusthof knives, the Classic Chef’s knife is the most popular.  This is an 8-inch blade made out of high-carbon stainless steel. The steel used in this knife makes this an extremely durable option for your kitchen. The edge of this blade is laser cut, ensuring a very sharp edge. However, you do have to make sure that you care for it exactly like instructed: only manual washing. If you stick this knife in the dishwasher, the edge will be dull before you know it. Also, by placing it in the dishwasher, the steel will get very scratched up. This knife has a full tang, which means that it is a very balanced knife, allowing you to cut evenly. Something that many chef’s knives covet that the Wusthof Classic chef knife has conquered is not putting too much weight on your wrist, meaning you won’t tire out and you can cut for as long as you desire. This is a more expensive option though, which does turn many people away from it.

Advantages of the Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

  • The full tang of the blade keeps this knife very well balanced, ensuring you with evenly cut ingredients.
  • The knife doesn’t put an excessive amount of weight on your wrist, helping you cut for hours on end.
  • This is the Wusthof brand’s most popular knife.
  • The blade is very durable.
  • The laser cut edge is crazy sharp.

Disadvantages of the Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

  • Must clean this knife manually or else the blade will dull extremely quickly.
  • Must clean this knife manually or else the steel will get pretty scratched up.
  • This is a very expensive option for your kitchen knives.

 

The Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

This is a great chef knife for a much cheaper price than the Wusthof Classic, plus this knife comes with a lifetime warranty. Just like the Wusthof Classic, this is also an 8-inch blade. The blade on this knife is 2 inches in width, which makes it easy to use and maneuver. This knife has a stamped blade, meaning you will not have to sharpen it for a good amount of time. This knife is a light knife, which worries some people, but it should not worry you, this is a heavy duty knife, ready to take on your kitchen’s challenges. The Victorinox 40520 sports an ergonomic handle that fits fantastically in your hand. For such a great knife, the price is truly surprising, making this an ideal option for chefs who are just testing the waters of the culinary world.

Advantages of the Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

  • This is a much cheaper option than other Chef Knives on the market.
  • This knife comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The blade is stamped, giving you a break from sharpening for a while.
  • The 8-inch blade is easy to use.
  • The knife is very light, yet still tough enough to take on a heavy duty task.
  • The handle fits great in your hand.

Disadvantages of the Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

  • Because it is a cheaper option, you do give up some of the premium benefits of having the more expensive option.
  • The knife doesn’t work to takeoff weight from your wrist, so you won’t be able to cut forever.

 

The Shun Classic Chef Knife:

This knife has been rated as the best Japanese Chef knife by many different bloggers and chefs. Like the previous two reviewed knives, this blade is also 8 inches long. However, this blade is made out of hard VG-10 Japanese steel. Because of this hard steel, this knife can easily cut through meat and poultry. Something surprising about this knife is how light it is, but do not let that turn you away from this knife, it can easily cut through thick things and it uses less force to do so. The knife comes extremely sharp and stays extremely sharp for long periods of time, helping you cut super thin slices. The handle of this knife is made out of Pakkawood handles, which is one of the major selling points of this specific knife. The Pakkawood is made out of resin soaked hardwood, like a traditional Japanese knife, but this is also NSE certified. This knife, along with other Chef Knives, is prone to breaking if it is used for the wrong task, such as breaking through bones.

Advantages of the Shun Classic Chef Knife:

  • Aesthetically pleasing with its Pakkawood handles.
  • The hard VG-10 Japanese steel makes this a very durable blade.
  • This is a very light option, yet still can stand up to heavy duty tasks.
  • The edge is crazy sharp and stays crazy sharp.

Disadvantages of the Shun Classic Chef Knife:

  • Is prone to breaking when used incorrectly.
  • It is a light option and some chefs feel more secure with a heftier choice.

 

The Henckels Professional S 8-Inch Chef Knife:

The brand Henckels has some of the highest quality culinary knives on the market today. This brand has been around for over 300 years, so you know that you can trust them with their products. The Henckels Professional S 8-Inch chef knife is no exception. You can purchase this knife with either an 8-inch blade or a 10-inch blade. They make this knife from one single piece of high carbon steel. This steel does not stain easily and can cut through almost any food with minimal effort. The blade stays sharp for very long periods of time. You would think that the handle is made out of wood, because it does look and feel like wood, however, it is not. The wood look makes the handle look like a classic, but because it is not actually wood, the handle lasts much longer. This knife feels solid in your hand and also balances very well, ensuring you have the best grip and can control the knife easily.

Advantages of the Henckels Professional S 8-inch Chef Knife:

  • The steel is very durable.
  • The edge is crazy sharp and lasts.
  • With this knife, you can cut through almost any food with very minimal effort.
  • The knife is aesthetically pleasing.
  • The handle looks like wood, but isn’t, giving you a much longer lasting knife.
  • Henckels is a very reliable brand, so you can trust the knives that they design.

Disadvantages of the Henckels Professional S 8-inch Chef Knife:

  • This is one of the costlier options on the market today.

 

The Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

While Messermeister is not as well-known of a brand as Henckels or Wusthof, their products are just as quality, maybe even better in a couple situations. This blade is 9 inches, which is larger than the previously mentioned ones, which all measured up at 8 inches. Many chefs consider this the perfect compromise between the classic 8 inches and 10 inches, because sometimes 10 feels too big, but sometimes you do want more than the typical 8 inches. Finding a 9-inch chef knife is not a common thing. However, because it is 9 inches, many people find it tricky to store. This knife is known for being crazy amounts of sharp, plus it has a partial bolster, which means that when this knife does need sharpening, it will be much easier to sharpen. This is definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum when searching for your perfect chef knife, but many people would agree that it is definitely worth the cost.

Advantages of the Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

  • This blade is a unique 9 inches long.
  • This knife is known for being crazy sharp.
  • This knife sports a partial bolster, making it easier to sharpen when needed.
  • Messermeister knives are high quality knives.

Disadvantages of the Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

  • This is not a name brand product, which some people want.
  • The 9-inch blade has proven tricky to store, because of the unique length.
  • This is definitely one of the costlier options for your chef knives that is on the market today.

 

The Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

Something interesting about the Mac brand is that professional chefs seem to know all about them, but if you ask a household chef the best knife brands, Mac would most likely not be on the list. Mac makes great quality knives, that incorporates the Japanese hard and thin blade, but with the Western shaped blade. They truly give the best of both worlds. The Mac Professional Hollow Edge knife is no exception to their brand. This knife is much lighter than many similar knives and we owe it all to the Pakkawood handle. Pakkawood is resin soaked hardwood to make it durable. The handle shape is also unique—it follows the traditional German style, but tapers slowly like the Japanese chef knife handles.  Something else that is unique about this handle is the bolster is actually welded onto the knife, which is how the handle can be thicker and have more weight, but have the blade also be the wanted thinness. The blade is made out of molybdenum steel, which keeps its sharp edge and is very easy to sharpen when needed. The blade on this knife measures in at 8 inches long, the perfect length for almost any task in the kitchen. The blade sports a hollow edge, which is also known as dimples. Those dimples may seem like they were added solely for look, but that is not the case. These dimples keep the edge cleaner by preventing food from sticking to it. This is a costlier knife to buy, but well worth the investment. For a high end Japanese chef’s knife, this is one of the best values that you can find on the market today.

Advantages of the Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

  • The bolster is actually welded onto the knife, allowing you a thick handle, yet a super thin blade.
  • The edge stays sharp for long periods of time.
  • This is a very easy knife to sharpen.
  • The hollow edge, or dimples, prevent food from sticking to the knife while chopping.
  • The handle is hefty, but tapers slowly, giving you the best of the German and Japanese style.
  • This is a lighter knife because of the Pakkawood handle.
  • The Mac brand produces very high quality knives.
  • This is a very unique knife overall, combining the best of both worlds on the handle characteristics and the blades characteristics.

Disadvantages of the Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

  • This knife is a costlier knife—but well worth the price tag.
  • This is not a common name brand knife, which some people do want in their knives.

 

There are so many different Chef’s knives being sold today, but of course, no two are the same. Some have better balance, some are lighter, some are heftier, some are a little bit longer, and some are completely unique in all the right ways. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to any kind of knife, but when your culinary career revolves around the quality of knife that you own, this choice seems a little more daunting than most knife purchases. I have compiled a list of the six best chef knives that you can purchase that I’m hoping helps you out. Happy shopping and happy chopping.

A Review of the Four Greatest Diving Knives

When you are diving, a good knife can make the difference between living or dying. They can get you out of all kinds of sticky situations if you choose the right one. Finding a perfect dive knife is a little bit different than hunting for other knives, because diving knives are going to be in conditions that your other knives do not have to tackle. First, you have to make sure that it is made out of the right materials. These knives are going to be submerged often and need to be able to stand up to salt water. Some good options of steel for your diving knife are titanium, stainless steel, or a specialty steel. Essentially you are trying to find the perfect balance between corrosion resistant properties, toughness of the blade, and how long it can keep an edge. You are also searching for the perfect size and style of knife. Many of the smaller blades can cut just as well as the larger blades, so you are not necessarily looking for blade size. However, you are going to want to have a secure grip on your knife at all times, so you should be looking for a chunkier handle. But, you also want a knife that doesn’t weigh you down and one that can be stored away. Today I have chosen four different fantastic diving knives.

 

The Cressi Skorpion Diving Knife:

For a diving knife, this a very versatile tool. The blade on this knife is 4.33 inches long. You can choose whether or not you want a sharp drop pint tip or a blunt tip. If you know that you are going to be fishing with this knife, you are going to want the drop point option. However, if you are primarily using this knife as a precautionary rescue knife, the blunt tip isn’t a bad option. With the blunt tip, you can get very close to whatever you are cutting without having to worry about stabbing it. But, if you do come across a situation where you need to stab something, you are going to be completely out of luck.

Not only do you have two tip options, this knife also comes with two different steel options. The first steel is Japanese 420 Stainless Steel. This is the steel that the blade will be made out of if you get the drop point. They chose this steel because it can get crazy sharp. On the other hand, if you chose the blunt tip blade, the blade will be made out of 304 Stainless Steel. This second option does have better corrosion resistance. Both of these steel options are easy to sharpen.

One side of the blade is straight edged, while the other side sports serrations and a notch cutter. Serrations are fantastic to have on a diving knife because they can cut through thicker materials easier. If you encounter any rope or thick weeds, these serrations could save your life. I really love how both sides are sharp, but one with straight edge and the other with serrations. That way, you have the full length of the blade to use while cutting, instead of trying to use a small portion of a combo blade. The notch cutter works great to cut through the thickest of lines.

The handle on this knife is made out of rubber, with a soft grip material. The handle also features anatomical grooves for your fingers. Both of these aspects give you amazing grip, so you don’t have to be worried about slipping. This handle also sports a lanyard hole.

The sheath for this knife is made out of hard plastic and has an easy-release mechanism. This mechanism makes it easy to release the knife with just one hand.

The overall length of this knife is 9.41 inches, so it is on the larger end of the spectrum. However, it is a very light knife for how long it is. The Skorpion weighs in at just under one pound.

 

The Promate Titanium Diving Knife:

This is the second knife that made my list of the four best diving knives. Promate has produced quite a few very quality diving knives. This one actually became popular because Bear Grylls used it on his show Man Vs Wild. This is also one of the best-selling knives on Amazon.

The blade on this knife is 4 3/8 inches long made out of titanium. One of the benefits of having a titanium blade is that it is extremely resistant to rust and corrosion. Of course, you are going to want to rinse this knife off after each use to prolong its life. Titanium is also more durable, stronger, and lighter than a stainless steel option. Half of this blade is serrated and just like the previous knife, this one does have a line cutter etched into the steel.  The other half is a straight edge blade. This is a very popular design for diving knives, and it makes sense. It really gives you the best of both worlds.

This blade also comes with the option of getting a pointed tip or a blunt tip. To make that decision, you just need to weigh the pros and cons and what you are going to be mainly using this knife for. If you are going to be spear fishing at all, definitely go with the pointed tip.

This knife is a full tang blade, so it does have the titanium steel going all the way through the knife. When your knife is a full tang knife, you know that it is going to be a sturdier knife, because it is harder to break than a partial tang. Another benefit of a full tang is that if the handle somehow breaks off, you still have the full knife shape to use.  At the butt end of this knife, there is a titanium hammer that peeks out of the grip material.  This hammer can come in handy in all sorts of situations.

The handle is made out of a rubber molded handle that helps provide you with excellent grip. This rubber will not slip around on the full tang, keeping everything very secure. The handle is big enough for almost anyone to use comfortably.

The sheath that is included in this knife comes with straps so that you can attach it to your arm or leg. However, if you prefer to keep it in you BC, these straps are removable.

This knife comes in a variety of different colors including blue, yellow, silver, green, and orange. These colors are very bright, so if you happen to drop your knife, you are going to be able to find it—even over a reef.

 

The U.S. Divers Titanium Knife:

This knife works just as well as a survival knife as it does a diving knife.

The blade on this knife is 5 inches long made out of titanium. Because it is titanium, it keeps the weight of this knife down. The pure titanium also stays shaper than a stainless steel options and is extremely resistant to corrosion. This is a full tang knife, so the blade is made out of one continuous piece of steel that extends all the way through the handle. On the butt of the knife is a stainless butt cap.

This blade is a plain edge on one side of the knife. This plain edge side is also the side that features the line cutting groove. Because the line cutter is on this side of the blade, you will have easier and quicker access to it. Plus, it will feel more natural than having to flip your blade over to get to it. A drawback to having the line cutter on this edge of the knife is that your blade could get caught more often.  The top side of the knife is a serrated edge. This is my favorite design for a knife, because you do want both of these edges, but if you were to have a combo edge, you wouldn’t have the full length to cut with. I think every good diving knife uses this design. The knife sports an aggressive drop point silhouette.

A unique aspect about this knife is that it can be disassembled for quick cleaning. This is a huge bonus, because salt water can really get into any crack or crevice and if you don’t rinse your steel off, no matter how corrosion resistant it is, it will eventually begin to rust.

The handle is a matte gray rubber with deep finger grooves to improve your grip. The handle also sports a lanyard hole. Unfortunately, this handle has been known to disintegrate over time.

The quick-release sheath of this knife holds it securely in place. It also comes with rubber leg straps.

The overall length of this knife is 9.5 inches long. This size does turn many people off. But, because the blade is made out of lightweight titanium, the entire knife only weighs in at 12 ounces.

 

The Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 Scuba Diving Knife:

Atomic Aquatics is a very reliable company that designs and produces high quality dive knives. They have been in the dive knife business for a while now and you can tell that they have been around the block a few times when you are using the Ti6. It’s that good of a knife.

The blade on this knife gives you a four inch cutting edge. It is made out of titanium, which means that you won’t have a ton of maintenance. This knife is crazy sharp; it will really slice through any material that you throw at it. This is a very easy knife to sharpen, when needed.

The Ti6 is a full tang knife, so you know that it is going to be very durable. Plus, with a full tang knife you don’t have to worry about your blade being wobbly.

The blade on this knife is a straight edge blade that elegantly curves. This is the side that features a large line cutter. The other side of the blade is a serrated edge.

Just like the previously mentioned knives, you have a pointed tip or a blunt tip option.

The molded handle features atomic finger grooves to provide you with a more secure grip. Over time, this handle does have the tendency to break down and rust. This process will take a very long time if you do take proper care of it and make sure that you clean it off after every use. To make cleaning easier, the titanium end cap can be removed and then you are able to dissemble the knife.

The sheath is lightweight and releases easily with a push-button release. The knife locks perfectly into place, keeping your blade securely in place. The sheath also comes with quick-adjusting sheath straps.

This knife weighs 12 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

A good diving knife is a key element in your diving gear. Finding the perfect diving knife for you and your needs can feel a little overwhelming and tricky. For every positive feature of a knife, it seems like another knife is saying those are the drawbacks. First, you should figure out what you are really going to be doing with your knife. Are you going to be fishing, or is it just going to act as a backup or safety knife? I chose these four knives because they have what I consider to be all the right features.

Titanium is an excellent option for your blade because it is a lighter weight than stainless steel, plus, it is much more resistant to corrosion. Having a double edged knife adds another touch of perfection because you get the full length of the knife to cut and you have a plain edged side and a serrated side. The line cutter is the perfect touch, because it is easy to get caught up in line. Plus, a few of these have a hammering butt end. Any of these four knives would be a fantastic addition to your diving needs and gear. Happy diving.

 

 

Benchmade Stryker II Axis Knife Review

Benchmade 908 Stryker II
Benchmade 908 Stryker II AXIS Knife

The Benchmade Drop Point Stryker II AXIS knife features black textured G10 handle scales and a 154CM stainless steel blade.  Even more notable is the addition of the AXIS® locking mechanism, taking a great knife to even greater heights.

The 908 series feature drop point blades of 154CM stainless steel.  Long coveted as a superior knife blade steel, 154CM is an American made premium grade stainless steel.  It was designed specifically for tough industrial applications.  It serves as one of the all time classic blade steels because it offers one of the best blends of the Big Three in blade steels–namely, corrosion resistance, toughness and edge quality.  Since 154CM gives such a great blend of these three characteristics, you will notice most of the top knife manufacturers use it in their heavy duty, all purpose knives.

The drop point tip of the Stryker II gives you the all time classic blade shape that excels at everyday cutting tasks.  Specifically, because the point is slightly below (dropped) from where you would find the tip of most other blade styles, you get greater tip control.  The large belly gives you serious slicing power.  

Back of Benchmade 908
Back of Benchmade 908 Stryker II Knife

The blade locks open with the AXIS® locking mechanism.  If you have never had the pleasure of using an AXIS knife, here are the basics of the system.  A patented system that only Benchmade offers, the AXIS® has at its core a small, hardened steel bar which rides along a slot that is machined into both steel liners.  The bar extends out just beyond the handle scales.  When you pull on the bar, you engage a pair of omega springs that are connected to the liners.  When the blade is fully opened, the steel bar engages and locks the blade right on the tang.  The tang is thus wedged between the AXIS® bar and a stop pin.  This makes the blade virtually fail proof–giving your knife blade the strength you need and demand in a heavy use everday carry knife.

The handle scales are black G-10.  With a heavy texture pattern, these scales give you serious grip.  A few decorative grooves run stylistically down the length of the handle.  The shallow grooves add visual appeal and a bit of texture for grip.  The handle features a shallow finger groove where the thumb studs rest when the knife blade is closed.  The finger groove has an extended groove up into the G-10 scales for forefinger positioning when holding the knife in a classic forward grip.  The rest of the inside edge of the handle is a very shallow curve for your middle two fingers.  At the end of the handle, the edge jogs down just a bit and there is a short 5/8″ flat spot for your pinkie finger to rest.  When the knife is held in a reverse grip, this flat spot becomes the perfect control point for your forefinger.

Stainless steel, reversible, tip up pocket clip.

Well designed for heavy daily use in an urban setting as well as tactical situations, the Stryker II offers you a solid, premium stainless steel blade, a comfortable, easy to control grip, and a price that works for all.  Throw in the limited lifetime warranty from Benchmade as well as their spectacular LifeSharp program and you have a knife worth investing in.  Get serious about your daily carry, get a Stryker II AXIS®.

SPECIFICATIONS: 

  • Blade Length: 3.57″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.124″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.470″
  • Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
  • Blade Style: Drop Point, Plain Edge
  • Weight: 4.38oz.
  • Pocket Clip: Reversible, Black, Tip-Up
  • Lock Mechanism: AXIS
  • Overall Length: 8.29″
  • Closed Length: 4.72″
  • Sheath Material: Sold Separately
  • Class: Black

Benchmade HK 14715BK AXIS Knife Review

The AXIS® is back.  Benchmade has put the AXIS® locking mechanism back into the Heckler and Koch® line with the impressive 14715BK knife.

Benchmade HK14715BK
Benchmade HK14715BK AXIS knife

The HK 14715BK continues in the tradition of practical design coupled with quality that has made HK an industry leader in manufacturing products for military and law enforcement.  For their edged tools, Heckler and Koch® has teamed up with Benchmade Knives to produce a line of knives that deliver strength and reliability to those whose lives depend on knives that perform.

Buy the HK AXIS Folder

The focal point of the 14715BK is the clip point D2 tool steel blade.  The blade opens with the dual thumb studs.  It locks open with the cutting edge AXIS® system.

Benchmade HK14715BK AXIS Lock
Benchmade HK14715BK AXIS Lock

Once the blade is locked open, it is nearly impossible to close.  This takes a manual folder and converts it into a near fixed blade knife, perfect for those who depend on their tool in situations where failure can result in serious complications.

The blade steel is D2.  D2 tool steel contains between 10% and 13% chromium.  Because of the high chromium content, it is often referred to as a semi-stainless steel.  Although it may be considered as a stainless by some, it is important to remember that D2 should be treated as a non stainless.  Each time you are finished with your D2 blade, make sure to wipe it dry and store it in dry location.  An air hardened tool steel, D2 really excels when it comes to wear resistance.  It is considered one of the best choices for hard use applications, once again making it perfect for urban tactical situations.

The blade has a black tactical BK coated blade.  This gives the steel a bit more corrosion protection as well as eliminating any blade glare if the knife is being used in night ops.  The BK coat from Benchmade is hardy and durable.  It rarely shows scratches and wears fairly even over time.

Benchmade HK14715BK Blade
Benchmade HK14715BK D2 Clip Point Blade

The clip point shape of the blade allows it to be used for heavy piercing cuts.  Benchmade has produced this blade with the full blade thickness running down the clip point to the last possible moment before narrowing to a point.  This gives the blade tip extra strength similar to what would be found in a tanto point blade while keeping the blade edge a traditional curve so as to maximize the length of the cutting edge.

Tip of Blade
Tip of Blade on Benchmade HK 14715BK–see how thick it nearly to the very tip.

The Heckler and Koch motto — No Compromise — is definitely well exhibited in the AXIS lock as well as in the choice of D2 tool steel for the blade.

The handle scales on this tactical folder are textured black G-10 scales on full stainless steel liners.  The full liners give the knife the rigidity and strength it needs to perform under the heavy demands of an urban tactical environment.  The G-10 has one of the most “grippy” textures I have ever seen on a knife.  It keeps bare hands on the handle even in wet and slippery conditions.

Benchmade HK14715BK
Benchmade HK14715BK

A classic finger groove with slight tapering into the blade handle gives your forefinger the perfect grip when you are holding this knife in the forward grip.  Jimping, notches cut into a blade spine or handle grip for control, is found both along the top edge of the spine through onto the blade spine as well as on both angled edges of the handle butt.  The jimping on the butt allows for a thumb control position if the knife is held in the reverse grip.

The pocket clip is right/left reversible and holds your knife in a tip up position.

This spectacular knife, found in the Benchmade HK lineup, is perfect for heavy duty combat, urban tactical as well as outdoor use.  Built with military users and LE in mind, this knife is tough enough to perform when all your chips are on the table and the hand you are dealt is the hand you must win with.  Find the 14715BK AXIS® on our website here.  Let me know how it performs for you down below.


SPECIFICATIONS: 

  • Blade Length: 3.69″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.146″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.510″
  • Blade Material: D2 Tool Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 60-62 HRC
  • Blade Style: Clip Point with Ambidextrous Thumb Studs
  • Weight: 4.96 oz.
  • Clip: Black, Reversible, Tip-Up
  • Lock Mechanism: AXIS
  • Overall Length: 8.34″
  • Closed Length: 4.64″
  • Class: Heckler & Koch

Kershaw Select Fire Knife Review — Quick Review

Kershaw Select Fire
Kershaw Select Fire

The Kershaw Select Fire features a big, bold blade and several useful bits that come in handy when you least expect it.  Designed by Grant and Gavin Hawk, this handy tool isn’t the run of the mill multi tool that gives you a bunch of finicky tools you will never use.

First and foremost, this is a knife.  The manual open classic style drop point blade opens smooth with the ambidextrous thumb studs.  The whopping 3 3/8″ blade is extra wide for serious cutting tasks.  A bead blast finish gives the stainless steel blade even more protection against corrosion and wear.  The 8Cr13MoV steel keeps an edge and is easy to sharpen when tune up time arrives.

The handle is wide and chunky.  The handle flares slightly wider as it moves toward the butt, which gives it an extra comfortable feel in your palm.  Dual finger grooves allow you to hold the knife in a more set back position for normal cutting chores or to choke up on the handle for precision cuts.  Made from glass reinforced nylon, the handle has a series of grooves across the face that add a nice texture to the grip as well as visual appeal.

On the top of the handle, there is a unique cutout that displays the bit driver head.  Grab the bit driver and swing it out towards the handle and you have a perfectly useful tool for those times when you most need a screwdriver and don’t have one.  In the middle of both handle scales you will find two bits in a swing out holder.  The spring set bit holders swing closed when you let go of them, ensuring the bit holders are always in the closed position.  Two included flat drivers and two hex drivers are what come with the knife, but you could easily switch these out for your favorite driver heads.

Most multi tools have one, two or three useful tools and then a bunch of fiddley tools that never get used and when they do, they seem to break or fail at the most inopportune times.  The Select Fire from Kershaw boils it all down to the basics.  You get a knife with a fantastic blade along with a bit driver to screw and unscrew whatever you want.  In my world, that gives me the ability to get nearly everything I need done without taking up any more Pocket Real Estate® than necessary.  Check this knife out on our website and let me know what you think down below.

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • 1/4-in. hex drive, 2 flathead, 2 crosshead bits
  • Ruler on bit drive shaft
  • Liner lock
  • Thumbstud
  • Single-position pocketclip
  • Steel: 8CR13MOV, bead-blasted finish
  • Handle: Glass-filled nylon
  • Blade length: 3.4 in. (8.6 cm)
  • Closed length: 4.25 in. (10.8 cm)
  • Overall length: 7.6 in. (19.4 cm)
  • Weight: 5 oz. (141.7 g)

Kershaw Ultra-Tek Sharpener Review

Kershaw Ultra-Tek
Kershaw Ultra-Tek Sharpener

The Kershaw Ultra-Tek Blade Sharpener is one of the most convenient touch up sharpening steels on the market.  I use the Spyderco Sharpmaker when I want to do a full sharpen job on my blade.  I also have a Ken Onion Sharp Maker which is a fantastic little belt sharpener.  But when I am outdoors, on the go, or just need to put a quick touch up on one of my blades, I go with the Ultra-Tek.

The handle is built from 6060-T6 anodized aluminum.  This means it is made from heavy duty aircraft aluminum and is going to take a beating.  This tool doesn’t mind if you throw it in your pack or gear bag and bang it around.  It is nearly indestructible.  The handle is 5″ long but the main usable part is 4″ long.  The other 1″ is actually attached to the sharpening stone and can screw onto the handle with the stone stored inside the handle or screw onto the handle with the stone out of the handle, ready for use.  At the top of the 4″ part, there is a band of diamond texture pattern for your fingers to get an extra grip.  The top 1″ of the handle has the same texture pattern on the whole of it.   The entire handle piece is simply a hollow tube, which makes it very easy to clean.

When you first open your new Ultra-Tek, the 600 grit, diamond coated oval shaft is stored inside the handle. This grit has been specially chosen for its superior ability to restore an edge.  When your blade is still in good shape, but is just a bit dull, pull out your Ultra-Tek and unscrew the oval shaft from the handle interior.  Flip it around and screw it on.  Now you have a 9″ tool ready to sharpen and realign your blade.

To use the Ultra Tek, you simply hold your blade at a 20° angle and slide your blade across the shaft.  You just pull the blade across the oval shaft in an arcing motion.  Slide and swipe your blade from the heel to the tip.  It works just like a steel or a hone–the kind you probably have in your kitchen for touching up your kitchen knives.  When you do this, you need to put quite a bit of pressure on the knife.  In fact, according to Bob Kramer, a master bladesmith, you should put between 4 and 6 lbs of pressure on your blade as you slide it across the sharpener.

If you do this regularly, you will quickly gain expertise at putting a razor sharp edge back on your knives.  The benefit to you is that your tools will be in better shape which means your cuts will be smoother and safer.

The Ultra-Tek doesn’t need water or oil which makes it a perfect field tool.  It weighs just 2.1 ounces, which means it isn’t going to weigh you down–exellent even for ultra light backpackers who want to keep their tools in tip top shape.  And the whole thing stores in a tiny space of just 5 inches by about 3/4″.

If you already have a nice sharpener for your knives, whether it is stones, a Spyderco Sharpmaker or even a nice electric sharpener, consider getting a Kershaw Ultra-Tek for quick blade touch ups.  You can find it here on our website.  Let me know what you think of yours below.

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The Ultra-Tek requires no water or oil. It’s lightweight and easy to use. And it stores compactly, making it easy to take with you.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Steel: 600-grit, diamond-coated, oval shaft
  • Handle: 6061-T6 anodized aluminum
  • Sharpening steel length: 4 in. (10.1 cm)
  • Overall Length: 9 in. (22.9 cm)
  • Stored length: 5 in. (12.7 cm)
  • Weight: 2.1 oz. (59.5 g)

Six Tests to Check a Liner Lock Knife

How do you know that your liner lock knife is going to withstand the pressure?  A solid liner lock is fantastic.  But if your liner lock fails, it is possible to suffer some serious damage to your fingers and or hand.  Before you get too cozy with your new liner lock knife, it is a good idea to test it so you know it will stand up to the situations your knife will face.  And remember, just because you paid a bunch for your knife doesn’t mean it has a great liner lock.  Some of the least expensive knives I have come across have well-built liner locks.  I conducted all of these tests on the Spyderco Military knife and was impressed.  It passed with flying colors.

Spyderco Military Liner Lock Knife
Spyderco Military Liner Lock Knife

Here are six basic tests you can conduct on your liner lock to verify if it is well made and durable. These tests will work for manual folder liner lock knives.  Some of the tests will not work on a spring assisted liner lock knife.  These six tests should be fine to conduct on any manual folder liner lock knife.  If the knife fails any of these tests, you shouldn’t have broken anything and you should be able to return the knife with no issues.

First, when the blade is open, try to wiggle it back and forth.  Here you are checking for blade movement.  If there is play in the blade it means the pivot screw isn’t tight enough.  Tighten the pivot screw until all the movement is gone when you conduct this test. If the pivot screw is loose, it may be that it just came loose, or it could be the sign of a dirty trick.   Some knifemakers will loosen the pivot screw enough that the liner lock operates smooth even though the blade isn’t tight.  By tightening the pivot screw to the proper tension, you can then test the liner lock under the proper conditions. Now, conduct the rest of the tests to see if you have a great liner lock knife.

Second, test the action.  A well-built liner lock will open smooth and lock up very strong.  You should be able to open and close it with just one hand–closing is a bit more tricky but after a few tries you should be able to get the job done.

Third, open your blade.  Then close it slowly.  As you close the knife, just before the blade is all the way back into the knife the blade should close all by itself.  To really test this, you have to close the blade very slowly.  What happens is the detent, if it is constructed properly, “grabs” the blade and seats it into the closed position.

Fourth, open your blade very slowly.  Get it all the way open with the least amount of effort you can put into it.  DO THIS NEXT STEP CAREFULLY! Now that the liner lock has the blade in the locked open position, press on the back of the spine with moderate pressure.  You are testing the liner lock to see if it seats into the locked position properly when the blade is opened very slowly.  A poorly built liner lock will give or fail with this pressure.  A well-built liner lock will seat properly when the blade is opened lightly.

Fifth, open the blade with as much snap as you can.  Now that the blade is locked open, try to close the blade (release the liner lock) with one hand.  If you can, it is a well-built liner lock.  Here you are testing to see if the liner lock face and the blade lock face seat the same whether you open the knife hard or soft.  If you can’t open it with one hand after opening the blade fast and hard, the two faces are seating deeper than they normally do and this is a good indication that the mechanism is not built properly.

Sixth, grab your knife in a gorilla grip.  This is where you have the blade open and you fist the whole handle like you are under serious duress.  ONCE AGAIN, BE VERY CAREFUL with this test. Now that you have the handle in a full hand grip, put some pressure on the blade.  Put some up and down pressure as well as some side to side pressure.  Here you are testing whether a full hand grip mixed with pressure on the blade will allow your hand to “accidentally” release the liner lock, the results of which would be very painful to the back of your fingers.

Check your knife before it matters.  That way, you know that you have a well-built liner lock knife that is not going to fail at the first sign of trouble.