Microtech Bronze Sigil MK6 Knife Review

For over twenty years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves their facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus remains the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. Some of their most memorable moments include:

  • In 1994, the very first knife porotypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment.
  • The same year, they released the UDT which marked the official beginning of Microtech.
  • A year later (1995) they released the HALO, which earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
  • In 1999, the Ultratech hit the production and then became the most popular Microtech ever.
  • For the second year in a row, Microtech earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award.
  • In 2004, they released the Currahee, which was specifically designed for the U.S. Special Forces Boat Team 20.
  • In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
  • In 2012, two legends met as Anthony Marfione entered into collaboration with Mick Strider to create the DOC.
  • In 2014, the company celebrate their 20th anniversary with the launch of new packaging, a new Blade Show booth, and an anniversary coffee table book.
  • In 2015, the Ultratech underwent a major aesthetic revamp, with the introduction of the new tri-grip and thumb slide.

Today we will be talking about the Bronze Sigil MK6 Titanium Flipper Knife, with a black blade. Microtech is a reliable knife company that creates quality knives. These are the knives that you want to have with you when you are in an emergency situation, because they are dependable and have your back. If you take care of your Microtech knife, it will take care of you back.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. Elmax steel is produced by Bohler-Uddenholm and is considered a high chromium, vanadium, molybdenum alloyed steel. Elmax steel is an ultra-premium blade steel. Because it is a powdered steel, it has extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Because of the composition of the metal, the steel has a high wear resistance, high compressive strength, a superior corrosion resistance, and very good dimensional stability, which means that it has the ability to retain its size and from even after taking abuse. Elmax is a stainless steel but in many ways it does act like a carbon steel. With this steel you get a superb edge holding quality and a relatively easy sharpening ability while also maintaining a healthy resistance to rust. Often times, this steel is used in the higher end knives. When it was first introduced, it was quite pricey, but because of the market competition, the price has been driven down to reasonable levels. Elmax steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold using this powder-metallurgy process, a process that Bohler-Uddenholm uses for many of their premium stainless steels. Powder metallurgy is the method of blending fine powdered materials, pressing them into the desired shape, and then heating it to sinter, or bond, the material. Elmax steel is commonly used in many Microtech knives. Elmax knives can be used for multitudes of purposes, and can be found in knives in a wide range of categories. This steel is equipped with qualities that are ideal and crucial for outdoor and survival activates. For a knife that you want to be able to take a beating, this steel is the perfect choice.

The knife has been coated with a Diamond-Like-Coating, or DLC. On the Sigil, the DLC is a black. There are a variety of benefits to having a coated finish on a blade, but there are also a few drawbacks. A coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, all coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and at that time, the blade would have to be re-coated. In general, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. High quality finishes are bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint-like coatings. High end coatings, such as a DLC require that the blade go to a specialty coating facility for Physical Vapor Deposition application in a vacuum environment. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. And while quality coatings do add cost to a knife, they do add more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. In short, the DLC coating does add significant cost to the blade, but you get what you pay for, and the return on investment is high.

The Sigil has a Wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade is often confused with the sheepsfoot blade, but there are a variety of differences. This blade shape looks very much like a standard blade shape that is then turned upside down. This style of blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. All in all, the Wharncliffe style of knife is a very useful blade shape. This is an especially good option for people who work a lot in an office, because the flat edge excels at opening envelopes and box cutter type chores. On the flip side, it is not very good at preparing food or skinning, became of the lack of belly. It is generally accepted that a sheepsfoot blade has an abruptly curving spine at the tip of the knife, creating very little point, but a Wharncliffe has a more gradually tapering spine creating a pointier tip, and consequently more fragile.

This knife does sport a plain edge. The plain edge is capable of taking on a wider variety of tasks and will give you cleaner cuts. If you had a serrated edge, the cuts would look jagged, but you would be able to saw through some of the thicker materials. The plain edge is going to be multi-use, easier to sharpen, and you will be able to get a finer edge on your knife. If you are looking for a knife to fulfill a large purpose, this is the best direction to go.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of titanium. Titanium is al lightweight metal alloy, and it does offer the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It is similar to aluminum, although it is a little heavier but still considered a lightweight metal and much stronger. Because it is harder and heavier, it does mean that it is more expensive to machine, so that will add cost to this knife. Titanium has a unique quality that makes it have a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you hurt in the winter/colder months as aluminum would. Titanium is a very sturdy material, but it is prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel knife handles. Added durability, strength, and an attractive color can be added through an anodization process which is exactly what the Sigil has had done on it.

Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. The anodic oxide structure originates from the aluminum substrate and is compose entirely of aluminum oxide. This material is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. It has a highly ordered, porous structure that allows for secondary processes such as coloring and sealing. Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released form the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized. The Sigil has been anodized a bronze color.

Titanium is strong, which is perfect for high-end, high performance knives and gear because it is light and strong. Titanium is low weight and low density. Titanium is corrosion resistant and non-magnetic. Unfortunately, titanium is expensive.

To help with your grip on th

Microtech Bronze Sigil MK6
Microtech Bronze Sigil MK6

is knife, the handle has been carved with a pattern against the spine of the handle. There is a row of jimping on the spine, near the butt, to help with your control over the blade. The butt of the handle is carved with a lanyard hole. The handle has been curved to fit exceptionally well in your palm, giving you a comfortable grip, even after long periods of use. The butt of the handle has been pointed to be able to use as a weapon.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only. This clip is long, slightly curved to clip onto your pocket well. The clip has the same pattern as the handle carved into it.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a flipper knife. You can either use the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. In terms of opening mechanism, especially the one hand opening mechanism, the flipper is definitely one of the newest—at least in terms of popularity. While studs and holes enlist a thumb to open the knife, a flipper employs an index finger, and the feature is naturally ambidextrous. An essential element of a great flipper is a high quality pivot mechanism. And some of the phenomenal benefits to the flipper is that it keeps your fingers out of the way and safe during the entire opening and closing process. One of the other benefits to this knife employing a flipper mechanism is that the flipper protrusion locks into place and acts as a finger guard. This guard adds a second element of safety to using this Microtech knife.

The thumb window is a unique feature. Since the 1980s, the familiar round hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Over the years, numerous other knife makers have adopted/adapted the feature. And frankly, there is a good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole really does work. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, tis ambidextrous. And, many knife lovers favor a hole because unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade. A thumb window is just a larger thumb hole.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Sigil is 3.875 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.875 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 8.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.9 ounces. It was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Microtech Sigil and Sigil MK6 are some of the most sought-after folder/flipper knives on the market today. Once exclusively produced under the Microtech Custom category, these limited runs offered exotic materials, artistic finishes and a demand that seemed almost never-ending. At last, the production version of the Sigil MK6 is now in full swing–yet another once MCK turned production model. Knife maker Deryk Munroe, of Munroe Knives, had first collaborated with Microtech CEO Tony Marfione to bring about two exciting new future-forward designs–the Sigil and the Sigil MK6. The MK6 series is the larger of the two and boasts almost a 4″ blade while still providing all of the same stellar components and sleek styling. Every frame lock designed Sigil model rides seamlessly on a ceramic bearing system and can be operated with the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. This model, the 196-1BZ, features a distressed solid titanium handle in a bronze finish, standard bronze hardware coupled with a copper over-travel pivot plate, a Wharncliffe style blade in a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) black finish. Pick up your knife today at BladeOps.

 

Microtech Bounty Hunter Ultratech Knife Review

Microtech Knives is a knife manufacturing company that is famous for tis automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994 and operated there until relocating to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005 and then to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. IN 2007 the company began manufacturing an American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms research (MSAR).

This company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design, saying, “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for tis tactical automatic knives. The most popular designs among their collectors are the “Out the Front” and the “Double Action” automatics. Microtech along with Benchmade Knives were responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to a cheap import.
Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

While Microtech has been producing Ultratech knives since 1999, this special edition of it has been long awaited. Appearing briefly in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett, who is the son of Jango Fett, was the most feared bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe. Funnily enough, Boba Fett really only had a few liens throughout the entire series. But, he did become one of the iconic characters, because he wore a unique suit of armor that was definitely intimidating. And now Microtech has taken his iconic look and paired it with an already impressive automatic knife. This Ultratech is now the Bounty Hunter Ultratech—perfectly named and perfectly received. So whether you are a fan of Microtech and their Ultratech series, or you are a die-hard fan of Star Wars, this is the perfect companion for you to pick up. And it is now at BladeOps.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Ultratech is M390 stainless steel. This is an ultra-premium blade steel and is considered to be a super steel. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Udeholm and uses third generation powder metal technology. It was developed for knife blades that require excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote the steels sharpness and help it have outstanding edge retention. In this steel most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which leaves more “free chromium” to fight corrosion. M390 steel hardens to 60-62 HRC. The manufacturer actually calls this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel does tend to be relatively difficult to sharpen, so you might have to seek out an expert sharpener to get the finest edge on this blade. But, because it has such good edge retention and such a high resistance to wear and corrosion, this blade will be the ideal blade for your EDC knife, because it is so low maintenance. But, because of how tough this blade is, it’s uses do not need to be limited to EDC.

The Bounty Hunter has been finished with an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This finish is also known as a black stonewash or an acid stonewash. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is usually pebbles. The stonewash finish does not create a uniform look, meaning that one manufacturers stonewash compared to another manufacturer could be very different. This is due to the many factors that go into a stonewash finish. To create different looks you can switch up the shape of the abrasive, the motion of the tumbling, and the finish the blade already had. The apocalyptic stonewash finish is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches that can occur with use over time. The apocalyptic stonewash finish looks rugged, well-worn, and tough. Microtech chose the perfect finish to represent Boba Fett’s armor, because in the movies, his armor is well-worn and he is tough. The blade really does incorporate the Bounty Hunter’s look. The flats on this blade are satin finished, which provides a smoother look than the stonewashed look. The satin finish is designed to show off the fine lines of the blade and is created by sanding the blade in one direction with a very fine abrasive. The blood groove in this knife is finished black. For those of you who don’t know what a blood groove is, Merriam-Webster defines it as, “a longitudinal groove on the shaft of a blade of a knife said to have been introduced to cause increased bleeding of a wound produced and possibly actually facilitating withdrawal of the knife by preventing suction.”

Microtech Bounty Hunter Ultratech
Microtech Bounty Hunter Ultratech

The blade on this knife is a tanto style blade. This blade shape has been designed to pierce through tough materials, and pierce through them well. This blade shape is not supposed to be an all-purpose blade; it is just supposed to be able to do one task really well. Some people love this aspect of the tanto blade shape, some people hate it. The tanto blade shape was originally designed for armor piercing and was popularized by Cold Steel. This blade shape is similar in style to the Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a highpoint with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto k knife meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it lacks a belly for slicing, this shape is not as generally regarded as an all-purpose/general utility blade, but it can definitely still be used for your EDC needs.

The Microtech Bounty Hunter has a combo edge, which means that the upper two-thirds of the blade is a plain edge, perfect for slicing or tip work, while the lower one-third is thickly serrated, perfect for sawing through the thicker materials.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Bounty Hunter has been made out of anodized 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when used in knife handles. This is a low density metal that gives you the hefty feel that you crave without giving you the weight that weighs you down. The 6061-T6 aluminum alloy is the most common type of aluminum used in knife handles and it has extreme tensile strength. This alloy was developed in 1935. When an aluminum handle is correctly texturized, it can give you a pretty solid grip, but if it is not properly texturized, this handle is going to be extremely slippery. To combat the slickness of aluminum, Microtech has added plenty of grooves to the palm of the knife, while aloes adding jimping on the edges of this handle. This will be a comfortable knife to hold and you will have a secure grip on it when you are using it in the more stable environments.

Unfortunately, aluminum does have high conductive properties, so if you are using this knife in colder areas, it will feel be uncomfortably cold. This material will be prone to scratches and dings. But, because this knife has been anodized, it won’t be as susceptible to those scratches as it would have originally been. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion resistant, anodic oxide finish. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is actually fully integrated with the underlying aluminum, so it cannot chip or peel off. This knife has been anodized an army green, and it looks as if the handle has been scratched up. This is because in the Star Wars’ movies, Boba Fett’s armor has taken a beating.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has also been apocalyptic stonewashed. This is a wider clip with a yellow Mandalorian skull graphic stamped onto the upper portion of the pocket clip. Attached at the end of clip, stretching off the handle is an integrated glass breaker. The rest of the hardware on this version of the Ultratech is distressed red.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic out the front, or OTF, knife. This is a style of knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than the majority of other pocket knives, which have the standard folding blade. This is an automatic OTF knife, which means the blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But, the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer. This is also a double action OTF knife, which means that the blade is deployed and retracted with a multifunction button and spring design. Single action OTF knives are only deployed with the button and then manually retracted. Double action sliding automatic knives are usually spring-powered 10 to 12 millimeters and then afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open. This means that you probably won’t be able to push this blade against someone and then deploy the blade, stabbing them.

You do need to keep in mind that because this is an automatic blade, there are going to be strict laws and regulations surrounding it in most states, cities, and areas. Automatic knives are not legal in all areas of the United States, and you are the one responsible for researching your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife with you.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.375 inches long, with a handle length of 5 inches long. The overall length of the Bounty Hunter measures in at 8.375 inches long. This knife weighs 3.2 ounces and was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Ultratech without question has been Microtech’s flagship out the front auto knife since its induction in 1999. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. This special limited model, the 123-11BH, features a green distressed handle complete with unique red distressed hardware, a pocket clip with a yellow Mandalorian skull graphic and an integrated glass breaker function along with a tanto style blade, that is partly serrated, in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Furthermore, the blade also includes satin flats and a black finished blood groove. This knife is far from being just a novelty knife; it is durable, tough, strong, and ready to assist you in any of your daily challenges. Heck, this knife might be the coolest knife around, even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan—if you are a Star Wars fan, it for sure is the coolest knife around. Come pick up your limited edition Bounty Hunter Ultratech knife today from BladeOps.

 

Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company, famous for its automatic knives, that was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994, and operated there until relocating to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005 and to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. IN 2007 the company began manufacturing an American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms Research.

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances to within one thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives for used by the US Military such as the Halo, UDT, Socom, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. The most popular designs among collectors are the Out the Front and the Double Action automatics. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

And, once a Microtech HALO was featured on the television series 24.

Today, we will be discussing the Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed blade knife with the Apocalyptic Stonewash blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. This is a European powder metal steel that is used in the higher end knives. Elmax has an advanced formula and the result is a very good all-around steel, a generation ahead of formulations like 154CM. There has been some controversy on the Internet over the grinding and heat treat of this steel, but in most peoples’ experience, it has been nothing but great. A few years ago Elmax was really pricey, but competition has driven it down to a reasonable price, making it a decent value. This steel is made by European Bohler-Uddeholm and is a high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum allowed powdered steel which gives it extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax acts a lot like a stainless steel, but it is a carbon steel. With this steel, you get superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening, while still maintain a good resistance to rust.

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

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto blade shape. This blade shape does one thing and does that one thing really well. If you are looking for a knife that excels at piercing tough materials, then the tanto blade is what you’re looking for. This blade shape was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong pint that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it lacks a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, it’s extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is required. This blade is definitely tailored to piercing tough materials, and if such a situation arises—you are going to be prepared.

This tough knife features a plain edge. The plain edge is one long continuous edge and in general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. And generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge becomes more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones. Generally, 1200-grit is considered polished while a 6000+ grit water stone would even further polish the edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this blade is made out of G 10. G 10 is the common term for a grade of fiberglass composite laminate, which is a cloth material with a resin binder, that is used in a number of everyday carry and plenty of gear applications. Though they are made pretty differently, G 10 really is similar to carbon fiber when it comes to the properties. This material is immune to corrosion and rust, it is easily textured, and because of that, it offers phenomenal grip. Also like carbon fiber, G 10 tends to be on the more brittle side and because of this, it does not resist impact well at all. But, this material does not have the same aesthetic pleasure that many other materials do, because it resembles plastic in both its appearance and its feel.

On this Socom Alpha, the handle is relatively simple, with the unique portions being in the small details. The G 10 of this handle is just black, but there is thick, spaced out jimping down the entire spine and bottom portion of the handle. This jimping will give you a very secure grip on your handle at all times. The finger groove is a groove etched into the handle, which gives you a more comfortable portion to place your hand while using this knife on the harder tasks.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into the metal that is sticking out form the handle scales. This is a full tang knife, which means that the blade portion of the metal extends all the way down through the handle. Then, the G 10 handle scales are placed over this piece of metal, which results in a much stronger knife. This Microtech knife has been designed as a tactical knife, and for a tactical knife, you need to be searching for the strongest knife possible. A full tang knife is so strong because there are no weak portions where the handle and the blade are melded together.

Like I earlier mentioned, on the butt portion of the tang, there is a lanyard hole. If you tie a lanyard onto your tactical knife, you will be securing your knife against loss. If you loop the lanyard over your wrist, you never have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hand in crucial times. And, if you keep a lanyard tied to your knife, you can withdraw your knife quicker. Another benefit, although not a major benefit, is that the lanyard can provide greater visibility as well as adding a touch of personal style to your knife. Everyone has their own reason for using a lanyard on their fixed blade, but I promise you that there is no shortage of good reasons to tie a lanyard to this knife.

Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife
Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Kydex and Carbon Fiber. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride material that is often used in sheaths. This is a more modern material, especially when compared to the other common sheath materials. One of the greatest advantages about Kydex is its durability. This material can literally be submerged in salt water and not just survive, but thrive. Kydex is going to hold up very well to many different environments. Unfortunately, Kydex does feature a variety of major disadvantages. For starters, Kydex basically looks like a lump of plastic—it has no personality. And, Kydex sheaths are loud. There is no way to use a Kydex sheath and have it remain quiet. There is going to be noise when you draw your knife and again when you try to put the knife back in the sheath. Some people do like the satisfying click of Kydex, but you should be aware of it. I would say that the biggest disadvantage of this sheath material is that with repeated taking out and putting back a knife into a Kydex sheath will dull your blades edge.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade, which has plenty of benefits when it comes to your tactical knife. For starters, the blade can be longer and thicker than a folding knife because it doesn’t have to fit inside of the handle. Because of this added length and thickness, you get obvious bonus strength. Fixed blades are going to be tougher too, because they are so much thicker, and much less prone to breaking. And because this is the full tang blade, you don’t have to worry about any weak spots in the blade. In fact, even if the handle scales did crack or fall off, you would still have a full knife to work with. Plus, the fixed blade “mechanism” makes maintenance a breeze, because all you have to do is quickly wipe down your blade after each use and oil it every so often.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches long. The handle on this fixed blade is 5 inches long, making the overall length of the knife an even 10 inches long, with the blade and the handle being perfectly proportioned. This Microtech knife weighs in at 7.9 ounces, with the sheath weighing in at 4.4 ounces. This Socom Alpha was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Microtech Socom Alpha full tang fixed blade knife was originally designed after the folder version of the popular Microtech Socom Alpha. This is the first production model of the Socom Alpha fixed blade model as the original was recently exclusively produced as a Microtech Custom. This rugged tactical fixed blade features a longer blade than the folder design as well as a raised rib pattern around the exterior of the handle to assist with positive control and an enhanced grip in any position. This model, the 114-10AP, consists of a contoured black G-10 handle, standard hardware, and a tanto style blade in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Much like the custom version, the Socom Alpha comes with a heavy-duty Kydex sheath sporting a carbon fiber laminate overlay as well as a Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok attachment. Pick up your Microtech 114-10AP Socom Alpha T/E fixed blade knife with the Elmax apocalyptic stonewashed blade today at BladeOps.

 

Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show Strider Knife Review

In 1994, just a year after the first prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment, the release of the UDT marked the official beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent. Since then, Microtech has carved itself a place in history by building a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality that leaves an impression on its customers. Some of their memorable moments include:

  • 1995 brought the release of the HALO, which has become a prominent line throughout Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
  • In 1999, the Ultratech, the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production. Microtech also earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award for the second year in a row.
  • In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012. The Lightfoot Compact Combat was awarded Blade Magazine’s Knife Collaboration of the Year, and Anthony Marfione was also featured in “Le Chasseur a L’arc” for the uniquely designed Tomahawk.
  • In 2004, the MTX2 was awarded American Made Knife of the year by Blade Magazine, while the original, limited run of the Currahee was produced for testing by the United States Special Forces.
  • In 2005, after the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Microtech relocated from Vero Beach, Florida to their current factory in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
  • In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
  • IN 2009, with their recent expansion in the firearms industry, Microtech & MSAR set up a second shop in Fletcher, North Carolina to better meet the increased production demands.
  • In 2011, Microtech’s Select Fire won Most Innovative American Design at blade Show 2011.
  • In 2012, after a successful Blade Show, where the Socom Delta won American Made Knife of the Year, Anthony Marfione entered into a collaboration with Mick Strider to create the DOC. 2012 also marked the launch of the Siphon, Microtech’s first high end pen. Both of these pieces were originally only launched as Marfione Custom’s production.
  • In 2013, MSAR introduces the new line of XM Series magazines.

Today we will be going over the Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show 2017 Antique Green Strider MSG 3.5 Titanium Flipper Knife, with copper inlay and a bronzed satin blade.

Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show Strider
Marfione Custom Knives Blade Show Strider

The Blade:
The blade on this custom knife is made out of M390 stainless steel. This is an ultra-premium stainless steel. It is also considered one of the new super steels on the block. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm. This steel uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Added into the steel is chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. This steel actually has most of its carbides formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which leaves more “free chromium” to fight corrosion. M390 steel usually hardens to about a 60-62 HRC. The manufacturer calls this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel is relatively hard to sharpen, but as long as you have the right tools, you will be able to manage it.

The steel has been polished to a bronzed satin finish. A satin finish is created by sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This abrasive material is usually sandpaper. The satin finish is one of the most common blade finishes that you can find on a knife, but Marfione Custom Knives has switched up this classic finish to give you a unique finish that you aren’t going to normally find. With the bronzed finish, you get all of the benefits from having a satin finish, but the blade is more aesthetically pleasing than your average blade. The satin finish is a semi-shiny finish. This finish is not matte, such as a blasted finish, but it also is not reflective, such as a mirror finish. This finish does provide you with average corrosion resistance, cuts down on wear, and slightly cuts down on glares or reflections. This finish is added to knives to show off the bevels and fine buffing lines in the steel. This finish does create extreme hand skill to accomplish. This blade has been bronzed, which does help to make this knife more of a collector’s edition. Because let’s be real, how many quality knives have you seen with a bronzed blade?

The blade on this Marfione and Strider knife has been carved into a spear point blade shape. The spear point blade is relatively similar to the needle point blade because they are both designed to be good piercers. The spear point blade shape does prove to be superior though, because the point is stronger than the point on the needle point blade and it sport a small belly, that gives you the ability to slice with this blade. To describe the shape of a spear point: the spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of this shape of blade rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the benefits about a spear point blade shape is that it does have a lowered tip, which makes a blade controllable and able to perform fine tip work. All in all, the spear point blade shape has a phenomenal balance between its piercing and slicing ability. It does sport a belly that is usable—but when you compare it to the drop or clip point, the belly seems very small. And, it has the sharp point of a dagger style blade with the strength of the drop point blade. Overall, this is a very functional design because of how great the hybrid is. This custom knife does have plain edged blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of anodized titanium, with copper inlays. Titanium is a very popular knife handle material and for very good reason. For starters, titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. While it is a little heavier than aluminum (its younger brother), it is still a lightweight metal and it is much stronger than aluminum. So while it is a little heavier than aluminum and more expensive to machine, you get phenomenal return on investment: for a little bit of weight, you get a lot more strength. A fun fact about titanium is that it is one of the rare metals that has a warm feel to it. This comes in handy when you are working with your knife during the winter, because it won’t bite into your hands like aluminum would. Unfortunately, titanium is prone to scratches. The titanium handle is given its unique color through the anodization process.

Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. This process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. The anodization process increases the materials resistance to corrosion and wear. This process also changes the color of the metal. This custom knife has been anodized to an antique green finish.

The inlays on this knife handles are made out of copper. Interestingly enough, copper was one of the first metals that was ever extracted and used by humans and since then has been used for a very wide variety of uses. Some of the best benefits about copper in this knife is that it is very resistant to corrosion (copper can even be submerged in sweater and not corrode), it is very durable and strong, and it is also easy to work with.

The handle on this knife is one of the most unique aspects of the knife. The handle is almost triangular, with the butt of the handle flaring heavily. There is jimping near the butt of the handle, helping to provide you with grip and control over the knife. There is a large finger groove, keeping your fingers comfortable and safe during use. The spine of the handle is completely straight.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is also made out of titanium and is statically designed for tip up carry only. The clip is also anodized to an antique green and is completed with its own copper inlay. The clip on this knife is kept in place by a large copper screw. The clip also is triangular, with a circular end. All of the hardware on this knife is bronze.

 

The Mechanism:

There are two ways to open this knife: you can either open it with the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. This custom blade is outfitted with a frame lock.

Let’s start by talking about the thumb window—because that is the more traditional opening mechanism. What started out as a thumb hole mostly on Spyderco’s has developed into a new, very popular opening mechanism. And there is a big reason for so many knife companies jumping on the wagon—it works and it works well. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb window is just like using a thumb stud. And by its very design, it is ambidextrous. Plus, it is out of the way, unlike a thumb stud, because it is carved out of the knife instead of being screwed into the blade.

The other option for your opening mechanism is the flipper. This is a sharks’ fin shaped protrusion that juts out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To open a knife that is equipped with a flipper, you pull back on the flipper and it flips the blade out of the handle and then locks it securely into place. The flipper by design, is also naturally ambidextrous. And, if you are worried about the safety of your fingers, I would recommend that you use the flipper as opposed to the window, because it keeps your fingers out of the way during the whole process. As a total bonus, the flipper acts as a finger guard when the knife is opened.

The frame locking mechanism is basically the liner lock on steroids. Frame locks are stronger than liner locks, because instead of an internal spring bar moving into place, it is a metal piece of the handle that slips into place. To close a knife with this locking mechanism, you just push down on the spring bar so it no longer blocks the butt of the blade, remove your thumb form the pat, then fold the knife closed.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this custom knife is 3.5 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of this Marfione knife is 8.25 inches long. The knife weighs in at 5.9 ounces. This knife was made in the USA. This is a custom collector’s knife and BladeOps has the serial #008.

 

Conclusion:

Marfione Custom Knives (MCK) are well known for their high-end custom knives and products that feature exotic materials that turn mere tools into works of art. The MSG 3.5 is a collaborative effort between Tony Marfione and Mick Strider of Strider Knives that showcases an integral frame–meaning the handle was milled out of a single piece of titanium. Additionally, the Hinderer Lockbar Stabilizer™ that each model is outfitted with makes for a solid and consistent lock up without fail. Every frame lock designed MSG 3.5 model rides seamlessly on a ceramic bearing system and can be operated with the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. This Blade Show 2017 exclusive model features a titanium handle in an antique green finish, a copper inlay on both the front handle scale as well as the pocket clip, standard bronze hardware, a spear point style blade in a hand-rubbed bronzed satin finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only. Package comes complete with a presentation box, zipper pouch as well as a certificate of authenticity.

This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this knife, so contact BladeOps today to get 008!

 

Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech Knife Review

Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech Knife
Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech Knife

Marfione Custom Knives is the company of Microtech Knives founder Anthony Marfione. These knives are created by Marfione as one of a kind custom knives and custom variations of Microtech production. Except, he uses the highest quality materials and designs for this line of knives—no worries about what the cost is. Microtech knives on their own are already top of the line, so you know that when you get your hands on a Marfione Custom Knife, you have a true piece of art in your hands. If your custom knife has been stamped with a claw logo, it is semi-custom. If the knife has been stamped with a dagger logo, it is fully custom.

Today, we will be discussing the Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech knife that has a carbon fiber and alloy handles as well as a white blade. This is a double action out the front automatic knife.

Stormtroopers or Imperial Stormtroopers, are fictional soldiers in the Star Wars universe. The Stormtroopers are the main ground force of the Galactic empire, under the leadership of Emperor Palpatine and his commanders, most notably Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. These soldiers accompany the Imperial Navy and are able to be deployed swiftly and respond to states of civil unrest or insurrection, act as a planetary garrison, and police areas within the Galactic Empire. They are shown in collective groups of varying organizational sizes ranging from squads to legions and for some, their armor and training are modified for special operations and environments.

Stormtroopers were first introduced in Star Wars in 1977, these Imperial Stormtroopers serve as the army of the Galactic empire, establishing Imperial authority and putting down nay revolts. In Attack of the Clones, which is a prequel film, the firs clone troopers are cloned form bounty hunter Jango Fett, to be the Army of the Republic in the Clone wars. In Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor Palpatine orders them to slay their Jedi generals in the Great Jedi Purge. The Stormtrooper Corps swell in size after Palpatine completely replaced the clones with recruits and conscripts of the empire, though the replacement of clones with natural beings lowered the effectiveness of the Empire’s soldiers. With the Empire firmly stabilized and an Imperial Army/Imperial Navy established, the Stormtroopers are integrated into Palatine’s personal army and stationed on Imperial bases and cruises, as well as on the Death Star.
These soldiers are pretty hardcore and definitely get the job done, and the knife modeled after them is no different.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of the top quality M390 stainless steel. This steel was manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and is one of the new super steels on the block. It is a powder metallurgically produced corrosion resistant martensitic stainless steel. This steel has excellent abrasive wear resistance while almost maintaining good corrosion resistance. Bohler-Uddeholm call this steel a Microclean steel, which means that the technology that they used creates an extremely clean steel with high toughness and polish-ability. The chemistry of the steel is what makes this steel such a phenomenal option. The manufacturer has added Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. And unlike in ZDP-189, most carbides in this steel are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which leaves more “free chromium” to fight corrosion. This steel can harden to a 60-62 HRC. However, this steel is moderately difficult to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with an all-white coating. This is a CeraKote finish that is one of the most popular paint-like coatings for knife blades. And yes, it is a paint, but not like the paint that you are thinking of. If the CeraKote coating is applied correctly, they won’t peel off, almost no matter what. Unfortunately, they are relatively easy to scratch. This type of coating must be applied only by a trained person. Coatings are a good finish because they easily prevent corrosion because they add a barrier between the steel and the environment. Also, they can greatly reduce maintenance on the steel, because of how well they reduce wear and corrosion. Another benefit to a coated finish is that they eliminate shiny surfaces—which is vital if you choose to use this knife for a tactical purpose. But, like I said, the CeraKote finish does easily scratch off. The blade on this knife is all white to match the classic Stormtrooper armor. This armor is a white plastoid composite that is worn over a black body glove, this armor represented some of the best in the Empire and was dreaded by rebel freedom fighters. This white armor is perfectly captioned in a sleek white blade.

This custom knife has a dagger style blade. This is also known as a needle-point blade. This blade is all about the point. This blade shape is composed of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. This blade shape is a preferred blade shape for self-defense, especially when you are in a close combat situation. These blade shapes are very popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed. Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to the dagger blade design. This blade shape does lack a belly and does contain quickly-thickening edges, which means that it is not good for slicing or slashing. And, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is very weak and will have a tendency to break when it is used on hard targets. While this is not a very good hybrid shaped knife, it is the ultimate weapon for piercing. Just as the Stormtroopers were intimidating, this dagger style blade is used to provoke fear in the victims.

To enhance the dagger blade shape, this blade features a straight edge. The straight edge is equipped to take on a wider variety of tasks, and is easier to stab with than a serrated edge, because the serrations cause drag.

 

The Handle:

Like I earlier mentioned, the armor that Stormtroopers wear is white with a black body glove underneath. Marfione captured this well in the handle, just like in the blade. One of the chassis is a black carbon fiber and the other side is a white anodized alloy.

Carbon fiber is a pretty generic term that refers to the carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The thin strands of carbon are tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is crazy strong, yet still very lightweight. Unfortunately, it is also pretty expensive. Even though it is very strong, it is far from indestructible and does suffer from being brittle. This is because all of the strands are woven together in a single direction, so when the handle is stressed in that direction, it is crazy strong. But, when the handle is stressed in other directions, the handle starts to break apart. Because this material is brittle, this side of the handle can crack if it is subjected to sharp impacts. One of the other benefits of a carbon fiber knife handle is that the carbon is woven in a diagonal direction, so the light reflects off of it in a unique way. Another one of the cons to this material is that the production of carbon fiber handles is a labor intensive process, so it is usually only found on high end knives. This is the perfect option for the Stormtrooper Ultratech knife, because no expenses are spared and you get a high quality handle.

The opposite side of the handle is made out of an aluminum alloy. This is a low density metal that is able to give you a nice, hefty feel to the knife without actually weighing the knife down. This metal has extreme tensile strength. Unfortunately, aluminum is susceptible to scratches—less so when it has been anodized, but still prone. And, this material is a great conductor, which means that during the colder months, this knife will also feel very cold. This is a very durable material for knife handles, especially when it is anodized for color, hardness, and protection. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant anodic oxide finish. The anodic oxide structure originates form the aluminum substrate and is composed entirely of aluminum oxide. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. Anodized finishes have made aluminum one of the most respected and widely used materials today. Not only does this anodization process makes the aluminum handles stronger, it has given it a sleek, white color.

To help with grip on this rectangular knife handle, there are splotches of jimping across the two sides of the handle. The top of the handle is slightly flared.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip features a “Stormtrooper” on it and also comes with an attached black and white lanyard attached to a .925 silver Hiraeth Custom Stormtrooper helmet. The hardware on the knife is black. The lanyard attached is a mixture of black and white roped together.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is an automatic out-the-front, or OTF, knife. These knives are also known as telescoping knives. Basically, the knife is stored in the handle, but instead of coming out of the side of the handle when it is deployed, the blade pops out of a hole at the top of the handle when it is deployed. Instead of a button deployment, there is a lever on the side of the handle. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. Not only is this an OTF knife, this is an automatic OTF knife. This means that the blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual slider, but the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker and longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. This is also a double action OTF knife, which means that the blade is deployed and retracted with a multifunction button and spring design. In contrast, single action OTF knives deploy automatically, but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this custom Star Wars knife is 3.375 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 5 inches long. The overall length of this knife, when the blade is deployed, is 8.375 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.2 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Marfione Custom Knives (MCK) are well known for their high-end custom knives and products that feature exotic materials that turn mere tools into works of art. The Ultratech without question has been Microtech’s flagship out the front auto knife since its induction in 1999 and is regarded as the “crème de la crème” in the double- action out the front arena. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. Recently released, this model features a carbon fiber front chassis coupled with a white anodized alloy rear chassis, special ringed hardware and a dagger style blade in a white finish complete with black anodized blood grooves. This limited model also sports “Storm Trooper” on the pocket clip and comes with an attached black and white lanyard attached to a .925 silver Hiraeth Custom Storm Trooper helmet. Package comes complete with a presentation box, zipper pouch as well as a certificate of authenticity. And although this knife is designed to be solely a custom knife, the materials that are used are high quality, tough materials that will be able to take on challenges if you need it to. So whether you are a knife collector, a fan of Star Wars, or just looking for a phenomenal knife, this Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech knife is the one for you.

Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade Knife Review

Microtech began in 1994 in an apartment and then later continued in a storage shed in Vero Bach, Florida.

When the company was founded and throughout their history ever since, Microtech has been trying to accomplish one mission: to create the best knives possible. It has now been over two decades and they are headquartered in Western North Carolina. Microtech is still operating with that same mission with everything that they do. Their goal is to maintain the highest standards of quality possible.

Microtech utilizes exclusively American-Made manufacturing materials and labor. They say, “Every component we use is developed within the United States and more than 95% of all our components are manufactured in-house, by us directly. Because we use only the best quality materials, and to ensure our commitment to excellence, every Microtech knife is backed by our Lifetime Warranty.”

Every knife that they produce is sharpened by hand in their facility. The knives go through rigorous testing, research, and development to ensure that Microtech meets the impeccably close tolerances and extremely high standards of quality. They say, “We aim to continuously evolve and push the boundaries of expectation, delivering products that set the standard for precision cutlery. From all of us at the Microtech family, we thank each of our customers, as well as those who serve us and our country through the United States military, law enforcement and first responder services. Designed for exactly that reason, our Service Personnel Program aims to provide the best possible tools to those who rely on them the most.”

They know that it is because of their fans that makes it possible for Microtech to pursue their mission of creating the world’s best cutting tools and they want to thank you for that.

Today we will be discussing the Microtech Custom Apex fixed blade.

Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade
Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. This steel is produced by Bohler-Uddeholm and is a high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum-alloyed steel. Tis steel is going to have 1.7% carbon, 18% chromium, .3% manganese, 1% molybdenum, .8& silicon, and 3% vanadium. This combination of different materials gives the metal a high wear resistance, high compressive strength, superior corrosion resistance, and also the stability and ability to retain its size and form after taking abuse or taking on a harder task. High wear and high corrosion resistance is a hard combination to find on a steel, but this steel’s powder-metallurgy based production allows for its imperviousness to wear and corrosion. The steel is hardened to 57-59 HRC usually, although some companies do push that and harden it to around a 62 HRC. This steel does have good edge holding ability. Elmax steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold using a powder-metallurgy process, which Bohler-Uddeholm is known for using in a variety of their stainless steels. This process involves blending fine powdered materials, pressing them into the desired shape, and then heating it to bond the material.

The blade has been finished with a DLC Apocalyptic Stonewash. This means that the blade has undergone two finishes. The first is a DLC, which stands for diamond-like carbon coating. This coating is a deep black, which does give the knife a sleek, discrete look. The biggest advantage of a DLC coating is that it is the hardest coating that can be put on a blade’s surface. DLC is also a low friction finish, so it does help the knife to make better and easier cuts. However, this is a very expensive finish, sometimes even doubling the overall cost of the knife when it has this coating. The second finish on this knife is the stonewash finish, which is creating when the steel is tumbled in an abrasive material. The stonewash finish helps to hide scratches and smudges. The blade on the Apex does have an Apocalyptic Stonewash, or a black stonewash, which is when the blade has undergone an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation helps to enhance the blade’s ability to resist rust because it places a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. With the black stonewash and the DLC, this blade is going to be extremely durable and low maintenance.

The blade shape itself is very unique. It does have a spear point, but it also sharpened on the upper half of the blade as well as the traditional cutting edge. This is an extremely broad spear point, with a large belly or cutting area. The spear point is most often compared to the needle-point blade because it is good at piercing. However, the spear point blade also sports a belly that can be used for slicing, while the needle-point is solely for piercing. The spear point blade shape is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. It is so good at piercing because both sides of the knife (belly and spine) rise and fall equally, which creates a very centered point. The spear point has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. And because both sides of the blade are sharpened, it is going to be able to pierce even more efficiently. While the typical spear point blade does have a small belly, the spear point on the Apex has a very large belly that will be great for slicing through almost anything.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Apex is made out of G10. G10 is a fiberglass based laminate. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in resin before being compressed and baked. This process creates a material that is extremely hard and strong, while also being lightweight. This material is a great option for tactical, survival, and outdoors knives because it is rugged, can take a beating, is lightweight, and doesn’t require too much maintenance.

The G10 on this knife is black, which creates an all-black knife. This is sleek, but also cuts down on glares and reflections for when you are in the field and don’t want your position exposed. The hardware on this knife is bronzed, which does contrast nicely with the handle and give it some definition.

The spine of the handle curves inward first, which does give you a solid and comfortable grip. Following the first groove on the spine is a second, which goes until the butt of the handle. These grooves will help when you are using this knife for the heavier duty tasks. It will give you a comfortable grip, while also helping to provide you with a very secure grip. The belly of the handle is more unique. There is the finger guard, but it actually comes after a deep groove. The first groove and the finger guard are there to protect you from the wicked sharp and thick blade. There is a deep finger groove for you to really rest your finger in, giving you more spaces to really get a grip on this knife—which is what the handle is all about. After the finger groove, the knife curves inward until the butt of the handle. The G10 has also been textured, which will really give you a solid grip on the knife.

Each characteristic on the Apex’s handle is about giving you the most secure, comfortable, and safe grip on the knife. With such a large, thick, sharp blade, you are going to want all the safety features you can get on the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife, which means that there is no mechanism or moving part on it. There is a debate going on about whether fixed blades or folding knives are better. While folding knives do have their benefits such as being more discreet and a little more convenient, fixed blades have plenty of benefits to compete.

For starters, they are crazy strong and big. You can find fixed blades in almost any size, but no matter which size you choose, it is going to be extremely strong. Their blades are also usually longer and thicker than that on a folding knife, because the blade does not have to fit inside of the knife’s handle. Because of this, you can get more done and you don’t have to worry about your blade snapping. Next, because fixed blades don’t have a mechanism or moving parts, you don’t have to worry about them breaking or wearing out. On a folding knife, you have to worry about the spring and the hinge. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain and clean. Lastly, fixed blades like this Apex are going to be the superior tactical tool as well as being the superior survival tool.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a Kydex sheath with bronzed hardware as well as a Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride material that is most commonly used in creating holsters and sheaths. This is a modern material which means that it is going to have some advantages that only a modern material can have. Some of these are that it is has a Rockwell hardness rating of 90 which makes it almost scratch resistant. It is also waterproof and it is not going to stretch or shrink over time, so the knife is always going to have the same fit. Kydex sheaths are very durable and can remain unaffected when exposed to chemicals such as skin acids and other mild chemicals. Kydex is a great material for extreme environments and can even be submerged in salt water without having negative side effects. Overall, Kydex is mostly low maintenance. This is great for a tactical, survival, or outdoors knife, because you won’t have to worry about the sheath if you are ever out I the field for long periods of time.

Of course, the sheath is also going to have its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages that is complained about the most is how noisy it is. There is no way to pull your knife out of the Kydex sheath without making sound, which means that you aren’t going to be able to use this knife in a stealthy way. Also, because this material is not going to stretch or shrink over time, if the sheath doesn’t fit your knife exactly how you want it to, you are out of luck. Lastly, one of the biggest disadvantages is that you do risk dulling your blade’s edge when you keep pulling the knife out of the sheath and putting it back inside.

Overall, Kydex offers a very long-term, durable sheath. But it does come as is, so if you don’t like it when you first get it, you most likely aren’t going to like it later on.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.625 inches long with a blade thickness of a beasty 0.2 inches. The overall length of the Custom Apex measures in at a whopping 10 inches—big enough to get any job done. This is a heavier knife weighing in at 12.2 ounces. This Microtech knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Microtech Custom Apex fixed blade knife was designed by both Anthony Marfione and son Sean Marfione–the second collaboration between the two. This extremely wide-profiled Elmax blade features a spear point style so it’s actually sharpened on the upper half of the blade as well as the tradition cutting edge. The handle is comprised of a G-10 composite and is coupled with bronzed hardware for a truly custom look. The 3-D machined handle is expertly designed–offering appropriately placed finger guards and several choil locations for multiple grip options. Make no mistake about it–this knife is as comfortable as they come. The Custom Apex also includes a carbon fiber finished Kydex sheath, also complete with bronzed hardware, with Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok attachment. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade Knife Review

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

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

Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has also collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on Microtech exclusive designs.

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

Microtech Borka SBK
Microtech Borka SBK

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

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Sheath:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Conclusion:

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

 

Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Knives

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company that is famous for its automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994. It operated there until it relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005 and then to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. It was in 2007 that the company began manufacturing in American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms Research.

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within on thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives of ruse by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”
And although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. Microtech along with Benchmade Knives was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knave sin the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

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

Today we will be talking about the Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Wharncliffe series of knives.

 

The Blades:

The blades in this series of knives are all made out of M390 Stainless Steel. This is an ultra-premium knife steel. It is also one of the new super steels on the block, manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm. It uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. Unlike ZDP-189 most carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, leaving more “free Chromium” to fight corrosion. M390 hardness to 60-62 HRC. Bohler class this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel is moderately difficult to sharpen, but it won’t take you as long as with S90V.

In this series of knives, you can choose your blade with a variety of different blade finishes. The first option you can choose from is a stonewash finish. With a stonewash finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. There is actually a variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. However, the most common look that you are going to find is a very rugged, well-worn look. The pebbles make the steel look very textured. Many people like this finish because it hides scratches better than other finishes. It also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. This is a low maintenance finish because it works to preserve the look of the blade overtime.

One of the other finish options that you are presented with is an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is also an acid stonewash or a black stonewash finish. The blade actually has an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between eh steel and the environment. Other than that difference, it is just the same as a regular stonewashed finish.

The last finish that you can get is a bronze finish. This blade also has a very textured look to it, similar to the stonewash. But instead of being a dark silvery gray, it is bronze in color.

Microtech Borka Stitch Auto
Microtech Borka Stitch Auto

The blades on each of the knives in this series feature a wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade, which is not to be confused with the sheepsfoot blade, is very much like a standard blade shape turned upside down. This type of blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. There are a few stories as to how the name Wharncliffe came to be, with some people claiming that the pattern originated many years ago from some of the patterns used for Scandinavian Seax Knives and other claiming that tit came from a British Lord who commissioned the knife to be made. There is one thing that is for certain however according to the website of Ron Neep. There were server Lord Wharncliffes that the blade shape could have been named after, but the actual name “Wharncliffe” did not exist prior to 1822, which means it was named after that point in history. Regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. It is fantastic for office workers for opening boxes and envelopes and excels in box-cutter type chores. It is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult for cutting soft tissue and using on a cutting board.

There are three different versions of the blade edge that you can choose from out of this series. You can choose a plain edge, a combo edge, or a serrated edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and is the most traditional out of the three. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is a strong, steady pressure. Another one of the key advantages of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft, flexible or can be crushed easily with downward cutting. The downside to the serrated blade, though, especially ropes and fabrics, they can easily cause fraying. And when the blade dulls it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. A serrated blade ode not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. Often sharpening requires taking the blade to a professional sharpener, especially if the sharpening is long overdue. The combo edge is when half of the blade is a plain edge and the other half is a serrated edge. While some people believe that this gives you the best of both worlds, other people believe that you don’t get the benefits out of either one and it is a pointless edge. The major benefit about this knife series is that you can choose whichever blade shape most fits your comforts and the tasks that you are going to be performing with it.

 

The Handle:

Microtech Stitch Auto
Microtech Stitch Auto

The handles are all made out of an aluminum alloy Aluminum is a very low density metal used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Most knifes use a type of aluminum alloy called T6-6061, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 is used extensively in aircraft and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum” and sometimes this is seen as a gimmick, kind of like “surgical stainless steel.” Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less. Aluminum is a nonferrous metal. This material gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight that usually accompanies hefty materials. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing. The handles in this series of knife are black.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole attached. The ergonomics of the handle make this knife fit comfortably in your palm and provide you with a very solid grip. There has been a pattern added to the palm of the handle to give you a secure grip for almost any task.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is slightly curved and is held in place by two screws. The pocket clips on each version of this knife match the blade on each of the knives. The hardware is the same finish as the blade and pocket clip on each version of the clip.

 

The Mechanism:

These knives are all automatic side-open knives. This is also known as a switchblade and there are some pretty strict laws surrounding automatic knives. They are not legal to won or carry in all states, cities, or towns. This is a type of knife with a folding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring with a button on the handle or bolster is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends in the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

 

The Specs:

The blade on all of these knives are 3.75 inches long, with a handle length of 5 inches long. The overall length of the blades is 8.75 inches long. These knives weigh in at 6.3 ounces. These knives are made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:
The Stich side-open automatic knife is one of many knives produced between Tony Marfione of Microtech and Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades. The two have been collaborating on many models including the SB1, the SBT, the SBK and the SRambit to name a few. At last, the production version of the Stitch is now in full swing–yet another once MCK turned production model. Each model features a hollow ground premium stainless steel blade, a quasi tri-grip knurling pattern throughout the handle and a ribbed back spacer, finger choil and pronounced thumb ramp for increased control in any grip position. This series features a black alloy handle, standard hardware, a partly serrated wharncliffe style blade in a variety of different finishes and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your favorite version of the Microtech Borka Stitch Wharncliffe Automatic knife today at BladeOps. With this series of knives, you can truly get almost any combination that you could want.

 

Microtech Tachyon III Knife Review

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Handles:

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

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

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

 

Microtech LUDT Automatic Knife Review

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

  • In 1994, the very first knife prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment.
  • In 1994, the release of the UDT marked the official beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent.
  • In 1995, they released the HALO, which has become a prominent line through Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
  • In 1999, the Ultratech, the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production.
  • 1999 was also the second year in a row which Microtech earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Awards.
  • In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012.
  • In 2004, the initial run of the Currahe was limited, with the first few placed in the hands of those best suited to test the knife, the United States Special Forces.
  • In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
  • In 2015, they had significant collaborations with Heretic Knives, Sean Marfione, Kohi hara, Borka Blades, and Munroe Knives.
  • 2015 also saw the introduction of the thin Blue Line law enforcement special Ultratech.
  • In 2016 production porotypes of the SBK and kitchen knife collaborations with Borka Blades were released at Blade Show.

Microtech’s knives are amazing knives. All of them are durable and reliable. Today, we are going to be talking about the LUDT (Large Underwater Demolition Team) knife series. This series has a wide variety of different options to choose form, so we will be going over all the different options that you are presented with.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Microtech LUDT’s are made out of Bohler Elmax steel. This is a European powder metal steel that is used in higher end knives, Elmax has an advanced formula and the result is a very good all-around steel, a generation ahead of formulations like 154CM. When this steel first came out, it was pricey, but the competition has driven it down to reasonable levels, which makes it a decent value. This steel is a high chromium vanadium molybdenum alloyed powdered steel with extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax is stainless but acts in many ways like a carbon steel. You get superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening while maintain a healthy resistance to rust. Many of Microtech’s blades are made from Bohler’s Elmax. This is because they have found it to provide the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. This is a high performance knife stele, and is a third generation powder metal technology that is noted for its fine carbide distribution with extremely low inclusion content for virtually no chip out.

With the blade, you can get a very wide variety of blade finishes. The two most common ones that you are going to find on a LUDT knife is either a black coated finish, a bronze/bead blasted finish, or a satin finish. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually and at different rates, depending on the quality of the coating. One of the most common coating finish is the black coating that you are going to get on the LUDT knife. The black coating is matte.

A satin finish is the most typical knife finish. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It has decent corrosion resistance but less than polish or mirror finished blades.

The bronze/bead blasted finish is also one of the common finishes that you are going to find on this knife series. A bead blasted blade is dull and non-reflective and it is just what it sounds like—the steel is literally blasted with plastic beads to reach the desired finish. This type of finish also hides scratches pretty well, but the stonewash accomplishes this a little better. A bead blasted finish has a rougher texture and is therefore more susceptible to corrosion. These blades are covered with a bronze finish.

You can also get the LUDT with a custom finish. This is from their Star Wars series: The Jedi Knight, which has a blue and satin blade, the Sith Lord which has a red and satin blade, the Jedi Master which has a green and satin blade, and the Storm Trooper which has a white blade.

Microtech LUDT Auto Knife
Microtech LUDT Auto Knife

The LUDT has been designed as an everyday carry knife and the perfect blade shape for that is the drop point that they chose. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything. A drop point knife blade is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The most recognizable knife that feature a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger bales in Swiss army knives. To form this blade shape, the edge of the knife runs straight from eh handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on the drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. It is this large belly that makes the LUDT such a perfect everyday carry blade. The blade shape is ideal for everyday carry and simple chores, because the drop point profile is very popular and used on a variety of pocket knives and fixed blades. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited for piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

With the LUDT knife series, you have the option between either a plain edge or a serrated edge blade. A plain edge is a blade that is one continuous sharp edge and it is far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, however, it may simply slip. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw like edge ground into the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrate blades also work great on substances that are soft, such as bread or tomatoes. However, cutting with a serrated edge often causes fraying and when the blade is dull it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. It really comes down to what you are most likely going to be using your blade for and personal preferences.

 

The Handle:

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

The handles that are made out of the aluminum have been anodized for color, hardness, and protection. There is a very wide variety of different colors of anodized handles such as: black, tan, bronze, red, green, turquoise, burnt orange, purple, and silver.

The handle has four long grooves that go down the length of the knife. The handle has been contoured to fit your hand comfortably. There has been a lanyard hole carved out of the handle, which comes in use in many different situations.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is held in place by tree small screws.

 

Microtech LUDT, 135-1TQ
Microtech LUDT, 135-1TQ

The Mechanism:

This series of knives are all Automatic knives, or switchblades. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. Most switchable designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operation a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position. However, switchblades do have some strict laws surrounding them. This means that before purchasing your favorite LUDT knife, you need to be aware of what your local knife laws are. This knife might be illegal to purchase or carry in your area.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.375 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 8 inches long, with a closed length of 4.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.6 ounces. It was made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:

The LUDT is based on the U.D.T, Microtech’s original compact automatic folder.  Re-released for the first time in years, this larger, updated version features a milled handle, with lanyard hole, and recess for the firing button.  The latest model also features a revised blade profile and tri-angle hardware. Microtech’s L.U.D.T. auto knives are back–and we couldn’t be more excited. This premium automatic knife was first produced in the 1990’s and quickly established itself as one of Microtech’s fastest selling side open automatic knives. The L.U.D.T (Large Underwater Demolition Team) comes made out of Elmax steel that is strong, durable, and reliable. This steel has some of the highest corrosion resistance that you are going to find and is a premium grade steel that is going to give you good bang for your buck. The drop point blade shape is useful in a wide variety of circumstances and helps to make this a great EDC option. You have the option of a wide variety of different blade steels and you can choose between a combo edge or a plain edge. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is very durable and very resistant to corrosion and rusting. This material has been anodized in almost any color that you can picture. With so many options, this automatic knife is sure to please. Pick up your favorite version today at BladeOps.