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.



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.

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®.


  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


Blade Magazine March 2013

Just got the office copy of Blade magazine March 2013.  Really liking the look of the Border Heat by TOPS.  We’ll try and get that one in stock.  Also thinking the Camillus Bushcrafter might be a nice knife to bring into the shop.  Let me know if you have any experience with that particular knife.  I’d love to hear some feedback on it.  Nice review on the Leek series from Kershaw. Great knife.

Blast From The Past

Timberline WallStreet Tactical
Timberline WallStreet Tactical

Found a bunch of knives in the warehouse that had never been put into stock for whatever reason.  Just putting them up on the website.  A couple of Smith & Wesson knives, a cool Timberline folder, as well as a few CRKT button lock folders and a bunch of Boker Button Lock knives.  Check them out in the new arrivals–get one before they are gone for good.

What is special about Micarta-handled knives?

Immediately after graduating from high school, our son Michael spent four years active duty in the United States Marine Corps. He now works as a ranger with the National Parks Service. One byproduct of his years in service is a fondness for knives of all sorts. He wouldn’t call himself a collector, but I’d tend to disagree.

He owns several KA-BAR knives. I was intrigued by one particular knife – the handle was so red it looked as though it was illuminated from within. I knew it was a KA-BAR, but I’d never seen anything like it. The handle was glossy smooth, hefty enough to give some substance to the knife, and was well-balanced and comfortable to hold.

“What do we have here?” I asked.

“A KA-BAR,” Michael said. “Whaddya think about the handle?”

“What’s it made of?” I asked.

“That’s Micarta,” he answered. Frankly, that didn’t mean anything to me.

Michael – who tends to lose himself in minutiae – had obviously done his homework. He told me that this was a custom handle for that particular model knife.

Micarta handles are quite popular. I learned that Micarta had been around for over one hundred years. The material was trademarked by George Westinghouse and was originally used for electrical insulators.

We own an ancient RCA tube radio made from Bakelite. When it was first marketed, it was a wondrous material, a resin thought to be indestructible. Old school Micarta was made from this same resin and a variety of fibrous materials. Today, Micarta is made from resins layered with fiberglass, cork, linen cloth, cotton fibers, and other fabrics.

Clinical talk aside, what makes a Micarta handle special?

The nature of Micarta is such that it can be manufactured in virtually any color, depending on its formulization. It is strong and durable, and has become a favorite material for use in heavy-duty survival knives. It tolerates extremes of heat and cold, resists moisture, and doesn’t become brittle with age. Most Micarta-handled knives will outlast their owners’ lifespans. The handles simply don’t wear out. Durability can be determined by the type of epoxy used in the handle’s construction, but unless you plan on putting it between a hammer and anvil, sturdiness should not even be an issue. A Micarta handle should stand up to anything a knife should be used for.

Micarta is resistant to solvents, grease, and just about any caustic substance imaginable. Depending on the fibers used in its manufacture, it can be buffed to a fine sheen. However, if you prefer something “grippier,” then textured handles are available, too. Micarta handles made with linen have a canvas-like feel. They won’t escape your grip easily.

Michael feels that Micarta is an excellent material for a knife handle. While other similar materials are routinely used for handles – G10 is a comparable and perhaps more modern alternative – the charm and nostalgic appeal of Micarta is hard to beat.


Kershaw Vapor III Knife

Kershaw Vapor III Folder Knife

Kershaw makes a wide variety of knives.  Recently, they released the Vapor III Manual folder in an all black tactical version.  This heavy duty folder is built with a very thin profile handle that features a row of holes.  The drilled look gives your hand a bit of extra grip and also reduces the total weight of the knife.  The blade is 8CR13MoV stainless steel with a black tactical finish.  The drop point (could almost be called a clip point) blade is very large at 3.5″.  With this blade length you can just about cut anything your day will throw at you.  The blade opens very smooth and it is quite easy to open one handed.  This is a nice feature since often when cutting something, your non knife hand is occupied holding or stabilizing whatever it is that you are going to cut.  The framelock handle locks the blade up tight.  This is a great knife and at just $26.75 is a great knife to carry every day.  Get one for yourself and some of your friends.  The Vapor III by Kershaw is a keeper.


Steel:  8CR13MOV stainless steel Handle:  Stainless Steel Blade Length: 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm) Closed Length: 4 5/8 in. (14.3 cm) Overall Length: 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm) Weight:  4.2 oz.