Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

Microtech Borka SBK
Microtech Borka SBK

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

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Sheath:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Conclusion:

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

 

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Microtech Cypher OTF Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company that is famous, but especially famous for their automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida and 1994 in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment. They operated in Florida until 2005, when they relocated to Bradford Pennsylvania. Then, in 2009 they opened another manufacturing building in North Carolina, to speed up production.

Although they are most famous for their tactical automatic knives, they do produce many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives. The most popular designs among collectors are their Out the Front and Double Action automatic knives. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives, were responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. Before this knife, these knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

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 use by the US Military, such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. 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. Greg Lightfoot, along with other custom knife makers, has remarked that it is the tolerances that Microtech sticks with that makes the factory knives so close to the custom design.

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves our facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, Microtech strives to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still maintaining a humanize element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They always appreciate their customers, for not only the loyalty and support, but also for motivating Microtech to better themselves so that they can continue to rise above your expectations.

Today, we will be going over the Microtech Cypher blade, which is Out the Front automatic knife. This knife is a collaboration between Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe. This knife features Microtech’s trademark exceptional detailing and their perfect craftsmanship. This knife is unique, featuring a build that is not only durable, but also stylish.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Cypher has been made out of M390 stainless steel. This is a super steel, so it is definitely an ultra-premium steel. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm, which is a merger of Austrian Bohler and Swedish Uddeholm. This steel uses third generation powder metal technology and this steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades. Because of this, the manufacturer developed the steel with excellent corrosion resistance and with a very high hardness as well as excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote the sharpness and outstanding edge retention. In this steel, most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which does leave more “free chromium” to help fight corrosion.  M390 steel hardens to a 60-62 HRC. This stainless steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, but it won’t require a master sharpener to get a fine edge on it.

The blade on the Cypher has been finished with a stonewashing. With this finish style, the blade is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. This finish is rugged, manly, and looks well-worn. When the blade is rolled in pebbles, it creates a very textured look which helps to hide scratches and smudges better than other finish styles. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. The stonewash finish works to preserve the look of the blade overtime and even hides fingerprints on the blade, which means that you will have to polish it less than other finish styles. This is one of the lowest maintenance blade finishes that you can come across.

This OTF blade is a drop point style blade. The drop point is a blade shape that is used on so many knives, especially in today’s market. This blade shape is going to be found most on hunting knives. The blade on this knife slopes on the spine of the blade form the handle of the knife to the tip of the blade. This allows the spine of the blade to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way, the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating any pitch momentum when you are stabbing. The curve on the top of the drop point blade is always convex, which is what distinguishes it from the clip point blade. The drop point and the clip point blades are often confused with each other, but there are a variety of differences. For starters, the drop point blade has a lowered point, but the tip is broad. This broad tip is what provides you with the strength that you get with a drop point blade, however, because it is so broad, it does take away from your stabbing capabilities almost completely. A clip point blade also has a lowered tip, but on this blade shape, the tip is very fine and sharp. This gives you full capabilities of stabbing, but unfortunately, it does take away the strength of the tip. The clip point is weak and very prone to snapping. They are both very popular knife blade shapes and are both very versatile. The drop point blade shape is the stronger blade shape though, which makes it the perfect option or the Microtech Cypher. The Cypher does not have as big of a belly as most drop points, but it is still very capable of slicing, because it does still have a slight belly, instead of a straight edge.

This blade is a plain edge, which gives it the ability to take on a wider variety of tasks than a serrated edged blade. The plain edge does provide you with much cleaner cuts than you would get with a serrated blade. The grind on this knife is a hollow grind. This is a common grind where a convex hollow is removed from both sides of the edge. It produces a very sharp edge but being so thin the edge is more prone to rolling or damage than other grinds. It is unsuited for heavy chopping or cutting hard materials.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum that has been

Microtech Cypher
Microtech Cypher

anodized black. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making and is also very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is actually the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. This alloy of aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”.  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.
Hard anodized aluminum is an anodizing technique that creates an oxidation layer on the aluminum that is up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. Anodizing aluminum involves placing the aluminum in a bath of acid and passing electrical charges through the material. This builds up a layer of aluminum oxide on the outside of the aluminum. This anodization process makes the aluminum more durable, corrosion resistant, and wear resistant. This anodization process helps to make the aluminum act a little more like titanium.

The handle is mostly rectangular, but there are some curves to make this a more comfortable handle to hold. There are a series of ridges carved down the length of the knife. There is a shallow finger groove at the top to give you a secure place to rest your finger. The butt of the handle is triangular, which means there is a slight point that you could use as a hammer if the situation arises.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This knife does have standard tri-winged hardware. All of the hardware is silver, with the cli being a matte grey. The pocket clip has the same grooves carved into the length as the handle does.

 

The Mechanism:

This Microtech knife is an automatic out-the-front knife, or OTF. This is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is very different than the majority of knives that have the blade fold out of 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. But then, OTF knives can be even further divided into either a manual knife or an automatic knife. The Cypher is an automatic knife, which means the blade travels within an internal channel in the same manner as a manual slider knife. But, the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar sized gravity OTF knife. Then, automatic OTF knives can be even further subdivided into either a single action or a double action. This knife is a double action automatic OTF knife. This means that the blade will deploy and retract with a multifunction handle slide. If it were a single action automatic OTF, the knife would deploy automatically, but it must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 5.625 inches long. The overall length of the Cypher is 9.625 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Cypher finally found its way from the custom factory of MCK to the production side to add to the army of double action out-the-front models that Microtech has been manufacturing for over 20 years. Like the Sigil, this automatic is a collaboration with Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe and features a “stepped” milling pattern that is both futuristic and functional. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. This model, the 241-10, features a black anodized aluminum handle, standard tri-winged hardware, a drop point style blade in a stonewash finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The M390 steel is very resistant to corrosion as well as being very tough, which means that this knife is going to be able to take on those tougher tasks. However, this is a collector’s knife, so you probably won’t be using it for a wide variety of tasks. The aluminum handle is durable and also very corrosion resistant. The anodization process makes this knife even more durable, and the color cannot be scratched off, because it becomes part of the metal. The materials and manufacturing processes used make this collector knife a sleek, unique, and tough knife. Pick up your Microtech 241-10 Cypher S/E OTF Automatic knife with the stonewashed blade today at BladeOps. You won’t regret it.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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Microtech Ultratech Hellhound OTF Knife Review

 

 

Microtech Ultratech Hellhound
Microtech Ultratech Hellhound

Microtech has been around for over twenty years now. Anthony Marfione founded Microtech and built the very first knife prototype in his garage. This was way back in 1994. Microtech understands that technology is changing every single year, so they work to guarantee that their products are made with the latest advancements in the knife community. Microtech’s focus is to “deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas.” Over the past twenty years, Microtech has designed and produced knives for the military. Microtech has also collaborated with many famous knife makers over the years, including Ernest Emerson, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, and Greg Lightfoot. Greg Lightfoot, when talking about Microtech’s knives has said, “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Microtech has many popular knives, some of their most famous are the HALO, the UDT, and the Ultratech. The Ultratech first hit production in 1999, gained some speed, and really never slowed down. Since it is so popular, Microtech is still releasing new versions of this knife, and a brand new version was just released.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Ultratech Hellhound is carved out of Damascus steel. This steel is attractive, yet a little bit of a mystery. There is a history behind the Damascus steel; the word Damascus actually dates back to medieval western cultures and is similar to a style of craftsmanship that was first recorded in India around 300 B.C. The Syrian city of Damascus would import different types of steel and would make a hybrid steel out of them, this new hybrid steel was known for its toughness. This steel was used to make swords that were known to be tough, resistant to shattering, and had the capabilities to get a fine, sharp edge. This is where Damascus comes from. Some unique about modern day Damascus steel is that it is not a pure steel. You can recognize this type of steel by its bands, mottling, and different designs that show through the steel. To make these different designs, the steel maker will choose 2-5 metal alloys that go well together and make new and interesting patterns. Then, you basically “fold” the different metals together. Once the steel has been folded together, it goes through an acid etching treatment. This acid etching is where the pattern comes out, because the different types of steel alloys react different to the acid etching. After the blade shape is carved out, you can enhance the cutting ability by putting it through a heat treatment process. The design that appears through the metal of the Ultratech is a very wavy pattern. The wavy pattern is on the majority of the blade, but there are parts that have an almost wooden look to them. Damascus steel is one of the highest qualities of steel. The color of the steel is a dark grey. Damascus steel is considered a precious metal, because it is hard to make, and is usually only used on expensive and custom knife blades.

 

This Damascus steel has been carved into a hellhound tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is a knife that has a high point with a flat grind. The unsharpened edge meets the sharpened edge at an angle, instead of the better known curve. The tanto blade shape has a rich history. The shape has evolved from the ancient Japanese Samurai swords. However, in the 1980’s, Cold Steel modernized the shape and popularized the American tanto blade shape. This style of knife is interesting because it is not versatile in any way. This blade is not going to be your all purpose, every day knife. However, it does one thing, and it does it better than any other knife will be able to do that. It has a crazy strong tip because of the amount of metal that is near the tip. Because of this, it can pierce through hard and tough materials easily. This blade shape can also endure repeated stabbing, without breaking, snapping, or chipping, like other blade shapes would. Not only that, but you will actually be able to hammer, dig, or pry with this blade shape. Because the two edges meet at an angle, instead of the regular curve, the tanto blade shape has no belly. And while the ancient Samurai swords could produce some long slicing movements, a belly is going to give you the best slicing ability. So while you will be able to manage some slices with the Ultratech Hellhound, it is not going to act like a drop point blade shape. The tanto blade is one of the strongest blade shapes, so this knife makes for an excellent tactical, fighting, or survival knife. One of the drawbacks to the tanto blade is that even though the point is strong, it is hard to control. This means that it will not be a great option for delicate detail or tasks like skinning or peeling. While this knife is not going to be able to manage performing all of your tasks, it is going to excel at the tasks that it is designed to do.

 

The blade has another unique characteristic about it. The back of the blade has some deep teeth cut into it. Under these teeth are small circles cut out of the steel. This adds a very unique look that you aren’t going to find on other blades.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this Ultratech is one of the most unique parts about this knife. There is a carbon fiber front scale, but the back scale is made out of aluminum. Carbon fiber is when thin strands of carbon are woven tightly together and then set in a resin. The resulting material is a crazy strong, but still lightweight material. The unique look to carbon fiber is that depending on which way the carbon has been woven, the light reflects in different ways. This shows of the different woven patterns. The pattern that the Ultratech carbon fiber scale features is a diagonal checkered pattern. The color of the carbon fiber used on this knife is black. Unfortunately, because carbon fiber takes a lot of time and labor to produce, it is a more expensive product. In fact, it is usually one found on higher end knives. One of the other drawbacks to carbon fiber is that while it is extremely strong, it is also brittle. This is because the fibers are woven in one direction—so they are basically unbreakable in that direction—but when the fibers are stressed in other directions, the handle is prone to cracking. This handle scale can also crack if it hit on hard or sharp objects.

The back scale is made aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially for knife handles. It gives you the heftiness that many knife lovers crave, but it is actually a very light weight material, so it doesn’t weigh the knife down at all. Aluminum is a very cold material, so if you are using this knife in a cold environment or during the colder months, it will probably bite into your hand. Aluminum is prone to getting scratched, so to counter that, Microtech has anodized the aluminum. Anodizing the aluminum provides strength and durability, plus it can add a color to the aluminum. In the Ultratech Hellhound’s case, the aluminum has been anodized to black.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This knife has been outfitted with a pocket clip. This pocket clip is black to match the handle. The handle has been drilled to carry the knife right handedly and tip down.

 

The Extras:

On the bottom of the handle, there is a glass breaker. This glass breaker now includes a press fitted ball bearing for a more comfortable, but still functional, user experience. The tri-angle hardware is blue accented ringed titanium.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an Out the Front, Automatic knife. Because it is an automatic knife, you need to keep in mind that automatic knives are not legal in all states are areas. Because of this, you need to be aware of your local knife laws before purchasing and definitely before carrying the Ultratech. An out the front knife is sometimes also known as a sliding knife or a telescoping knife. Basically, it is a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle instead of the usual way of folding out of the side of the knife. The blade travels on a track inside of the handle. When the redesigned thumb slide is pushed, it pushes the blade out of the handle. This is a double action out the front knife, which means that not only is it an automatic opening knife, it also closes automatically. Instead of pushing the thumb slide towards the opening, you pull the thumb slide back and it sucks the blade back into the handle.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Ultratech is 3.375 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at 8.375 inches, with a closed length of an even 5 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.1 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Ultratech:

  • Damascus steel is a strong and tough steel.
  • Damascus steel is a beautiful steel with unique patterns in the steel.
  • Damascus steel is actually considered a precious metal, because it is so hard to make, and one of the rarer steels. This is a super high quality steels.
  • The blade has been carved into a tanto blade shape, which has a crazy strong tip.
  • This tip is strong enough to pierce through hard and tough materials that other blades would not be able to.
  • The tip is durable enough to go through repeated stabbing, hammering, prying, and sometimes digging.
  • The blade makes an excellent fighting, tactical, or survival blade.
  • The carbon fiber scale is strong, tough, and lightweight.
  • The aluminum scale is durable, strong, and very lightweight.
  • There is a glass breaker on the bottom of the handle.
  • This is an automatic OTF knife, so you can quickly deploy your blade.
  • This is a double action OTF knife, so you can easily close the blade.

 

The Cons of the Ultratech:

  • Because the steel is considered a precious metal, and is so hard to make, it is going to be a very expensive steel.
  • The tanto blade shape has been made to do one thing and one thing only; it is not versatile, and it is not designed to be your everyday knife.
  • The tanto blade has no belly, so slicing is going to be especially difficult.
  • Carbon fiber has a tendency to chip, break, or snap, because it is a brittle material.
  • Aluminum is a cold material, so using this during the winter is going to hurt your hand.
  • The pocket clip is not reversible and can only be carried tip down.
  • This knife is going to be on the more expensive side of the spectrum.

 

Conclusion:

Microtech has a fantastic reputation for designing and producing exceptional knives. One of their all-time most popular is the Ultratech. Since the release of the Ultratech in 1999, Microtech has designed multiple variations of this knife. Microtech just barely released another version of the Ultratech. With this new version, Microtech actually stripped the handle back down to its original roots. They channeled the original version of the Ultratech to inspire this new version.

This version of the Ultratech has the quality that a custom knife would. Microtech used only the highest quality materials that they could find. They started with a steel that is actually considered precious metal. The tanto blade shape ensures that this blade is very strong, especially towards the tip. Because of this extra strength, this knife will be able to perform tasks that a regular knife would not be able to. The handle is unique and sports two different materials for the handle scales. Both carbon fiber and aluminum are lightweight materials with lots of strength and durability behind it. They added a glass breaker to the butt of the handle as an extra bonus. This knife is made in the United States of America. This knife has a super elegant look to it, with fantastic aesthetics. This new version of the Ultratech will be one of the best additions to your knife collection and you can find it here on our website.

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A Week with a Microtech Ultratech

Molon Labe Ultratech
Molon Labe Ultratech from Microtech

Microtech has always fascinated me with their automatic knives. Especially their Out the Fronts. With that being said, I recently picked up a new Ultratech. The Ultratech, for those of you who don’t know, is one of the most popular knives offered by Microtech. It has always had a generally positive reputation. But I had to test it out for myself to see. This is what I have found with the Ultratech.

 

Day 1- Today I made the purchase of the Ultratech. The specific one I got was the new Molon Labe Ultratech. The design of this knife is what really pushed me to purchase it. With a Spartan helmet on the front handle and the Greek letters spelling Molon Labe were huge factors of getting this knife. Plus, it’s a convenient automatic knife. It can be used with only one hand. It was a great choice.

One of the first things I wanted to do with the knife was to show my family how awesome it is. They are always excited to see new fun “toys” that I bring home. When I showed it to them, they were in awe. I was right there with them. Every time either I or one of my family members fired off the knife, I got more excited to own the knife. I didn’t do much cutting that day, but it was good to carry with me.

 

Day 2- This was my first full day carrying the knife. My biggest observation from today was how unnoticeable the knife was in my pocket. My phone and other items were able to fit in my pocket with my knife, and there was room to spare. The one thing that I did keep on noticing was the glass breaker that was found on the butt of the knife. The pointed metal end would prick me if I wasn’t careful. Other than that, the Ultratech was great to have equipped. Today required me to use my knife quite a bit. Working around the house doing some chores needed a knife for some projects. Having a knife ready in the blink of an eye was a huge help when I had so much to get done. Though it didn’t save a ton of time, it was still more than having to use a folder, scissors, or some other cutting tool.

 

Day 3- On this day I found another disadvantage of the knife. I was at worship today and saw a loose string on my pants. Out of habit I pulled out my knife and cut it off. The people around me seemed to not like that. You see, the knife has a loud snap when opening. This could be good in a lot of cases (such as intimidation when in a self-defense situation) but at church, it wasn’t such a good thing. If this kind of situation doesn’t apply to you, then it isn’t a problem at all. Where I could see it being a problem is at the office or at a library. Some of those quite places where people don’t expect a loud snap out of the middle of nowhere.

 

Day 4- Mondays tend to be awful. The weekend has just ended and now it’s time to get back to reality. One of the good things about today is that I still own a Ultratech. Although it didn’t see too much usage, it was fun to show around the office.

 

Day 5- My knife came in handy all throughout the day, especially when working in the kitchen. Although the knife wasn’t used in food preparation, it was helpful in pre-preparation. Cutting was a breeze when it came time to open up boxes and packaged food. The Ultratech cut through the cardboard with ease, as well as the plastic that was sealing up my food. Dinner was on the table a whole lot quicker. If you’re still using scissors to open up your food, you might want to invest in a knife, especially a quick auto like the Ultratech. It was so simple to use. Literally, it is as easy as flipping a switch. Being able to use an Out the Front knife with one hand makes cutting simple and quick.

 

Day 6- There wasn’t much use for my knife today. It was just running around doing errands and working. I have been better at not poking myself with the glass breaker on the end of the knife. My grip on the knife has adjusted to fit even better. I think that over time that the knife will continue to feel more secure as my muscle memory in my hand improves. The Ultratech hasn’t given me any problems when it came to pocket real estate. There have been many pairs of pants worn over the past few days. Each one has been able to hold my knife and all the other items I keep in my pocket. With its discreet look, the knife hides well inside my pocket. No one has pointed it out or acted strangely since I have been carrying it. It makes for a great everyday carry knife in that department.

 

Day 7- Well, today is the last day of my one-week trial of owning a Microtech Ultratech. It has been a great choice in a knife. My overall biggest concern about purchasing the knife was the price. The Ultratech is not cheap. Not in its price, but it also isn’t a cheap knife. From already owning it a week, I know that this knife will last me a long time. At this time, I can confidently say that purchasing this knife was well worth the cost. Although in a week (as you have read) the knife hasn’t seen a lot of use, I am confident that it will be able to handle any cutting task that might come up. Who knows, the knife could be a lifesaver someday. Only time will tell.

 

Now that you have read into a little bit of my experience with my Ultratech, it is your turn to get one. Only then will you truly know what it is like to own a knife like this one. There is a vast variety of Ultratech knives to choose from. All you need to do is go to BladeOps.com to learn more.

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Microtech Tri-Grip Ultratech Review

Microtech has always been held as a great name in the knife industry. Established in 1994 near Vero Beach, Florida, Microtech has been a powerhouse in the industry. Their mission, “To make the best possible knives.” Anthony Marfione, the founder of Microtech, has an objective to ensure that each customer will receive the best quality knife. Constantly creating durable, quality knives, Microtech has made many knives that will get any job done. Recently, in 2015, the Microtech Ultratech underwent a major upgrade to become what it is today. Initially released in 1999, this knife has been one of the most popular knives offered by Microtech. The Microtech Ultratech is a wonderful knife, and I cannot wait to share all about it.

 

Specs

Before going into the specific details of the Ultratech, listed below is a general overview of what the Ultratech has to offer.

  • Product Type: Automatic Double-Action Out The Front
  • Overall Length: 8.30″
  • Weight: 3.30 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.84″
  • Blade Length: 3.46″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.125″
  • Blade Material: ELMAX
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Duel Edge Dagger
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Down
  • Glass Breaker Included
  • Made in the USA

 

Now for the details of the knife.

 

Blade Steel

The Microtech Ultratech blade is made up of the stainless steel ELMAX made by Bohler-Uddenholm. This is a fairly new steel here in the United States. After arriving in 2009, this steel has grown to be a popular steel that is used by many different companies. A comparable steel to ELMAX would be S30V. Both are powder-made stainless steels. When these two go up against each other, S30V falls short of what ELMAX is capable of doing. With its carbon and chromium composition, it is better able to resist corrosion while being able to hold a good edge as well as being able to sharpen easier. Even when compared to the improved version of S30V, S35VN stainless steel, it still holds superior to it. This steel is a phenomenal steel when compared to any other steel. Most of Microtech’s blades are made of ELMAX. They find it to provide the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. It is a high chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum alloyed steel with the following characteristics: high wear resistance, high compressive strength, corrosion resistant, good dimensional stability.

 

Handle

One of the main things that stick out on the Ultratech is the new textured handle scales. The Tri-Grip was introduced in 2015 and many have fallen in love with it. This new grip is both practical and pleasing to the eye. The texture is comprised of offsetting little triangular pieces with tiny gaps in between them. Holding the Ultratech with the Tri-Grip reassures me that the knife will not fall out of my hand. The other changes that came along in 2015 include changes with the thumb slide, the edges of the handle, the hardware, and the glass breaker (we will talk more about the glass breaker later).  The thumb slide now features an “X” pattern to improve the gripping ability when firing off the knife. Now instead of the three-holed screws on the older Ultratech, the screws are now similar looking to the Tri-Grip triangular pattern. Lastly, the knife features several sections of jimping on the handle for an even more improved grip on the handle.

 

Automatic Out The Front

Automatic knives are a popular choice of knife to purchase and use. They offer many advantages that a typical folder, fixed blade, or even a spring assisted knife do not offer. One benefit to owning an auto is its deployment speed. Some may argue that a spring assisted knife is just as fast as an automatic knife. This is true in many cases, but what makes an automatic knife a better option is the easiness factor to it. With the press of a button or a flick of a switch, the blade will flash open in a blink of an eye. Not only is it quick, but it can be fired off with one hand. Plus, firing off an auto is fun to do. These features come in handy during many circumstances. If one of your hands in a bind or holding an object in need of cutting, an auto can be opened right away with one hand and do its job. Emergency response teams, law enforcement, and military personnel are all constantly faced with tribulation that requires the use of a decent knife. In many high-stress situations, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye using only one hand can help someone else live for one more day. They are different than a traditional knife and bring a new element to the knife industry.

The Microtech Ultratech is an Out the Front (OTF) knife, which has several advantages to it. A practical and safety advantage of owning an OTF is that the blade cannot close on your own fingers. You do not have to interact with the blade while closing it up. Besides that, they can be closed by switching the slide the other direction. Another benefit to using this type of knife is being able to keep the same solid grip from opening the knife to closing it. This is extremely useful if you are cutting something while holding it in one hand. You will not have to set either the object being cut, or the knife down. One of the last advantages of owning an Out the Front is being able to properly operate the knife with gloves on. Some other auto knives have more concealed buttons or other opening mechanisms that make it difficult to open with a glove on. There aren’t too many knives like an Out the Front.

The action on the automatic Ultratech is smooth and quick. There are many different OTF autos on the market that barely meet the standards and characteristics of an OTF knife. All OTF autos have some form of blade movement from side to side. The blades are not as solidly locked into place like a spring assist or typical automatic knife. But with the Ultratech, there is the minimal amount of play. It has a solid lockup for a more secure feel. Microtech has always been known for their quality automatic OTF knives.

 

Blade Style

The dagger blade on the Ultratech is double-edged and is best used for stabbing or thrusting. It has two sharp edges which allows the knife cut in on both sides. The main use for dagger blades is in self-defense close combat situations. However, it is not the strongest of blades and can break against hard surfaces. An advantage of the dagger blade style is that it is thin and has a sharp point which provides a piercing ability. Some disadvantages of the dagger are that its tip is fragile, and there is no real “belly” on the blade for slicing.

 

Glass Breaker

Many knives do not include a glass breaker. This sets this knife apart from many other knives, making it more special. It is just another tool in your pocket for your convenience. It may not be used every day like the blade, but there are those situations that arise that need this feature. Situations such as: helping someone trapped in a car, a fire in a home or office building, or escaping from a locked vehicle, would benefit from a glass breaker. Some argue that the blade will suffice in breaking glass. This isn’t always the case. Glass breakers are thick, and pack a punch to penetrate the glass.

The old glass breaker on the Ultratech was a fine pointed tip. Now the tip on the newer model is broader and has a ball bearing for the tip. Having a broader tip is said to be better when breaking glass.

 

Field Test

To help demonstrate to you as a potential owner of this awesome Ultratech, there were a series of tests that this knife underwent to demonstrate its power and usefulness as a tool. Some common things that are cut using a knife are paper, cardboard, paracord, and plastic.

Paper, being generally thin, was cut easily with the Ultratech. It was smooth as butter, as they say. The paper was in shreds when I was done. However, the test continued by stacking multiple layers of paper on top of another to be cut. Even then the paper was cut easily. Letters won’t stand a chance up against the Ultratech.

Up next was the cardboard test. The Ultratech faced a little more opposition when trying to cut the cardboard. See, the blade style makes the knife a great penetrating tool, but not so much a slicing tool. The knife was easily able to penetrate the cardboard, but when it came to slicing it, it had a more difficult time. But it still cut well. The cuts were clean and it got the job done.

Paracord was next to test the ability of the Ultratech. Normally serrated edges cut rope and paracord much easier than a plain edge. But the Ultratech has a razor sharp edge that was able to cut through the paracord easily. I foresee no problems using the Ultratech to cut through anything similar to rope or paracord.

The last test is cutting plastic. There are all sorts of plastic materials that get cut daily. You have tape that is sealing up your package containing your new knife. There is the bothersome oyster packaging that is impossible to open without a knife. And you have your typical food packages that are sealed in a plastic container or bag. The Ultratech has no problem when it comes to cutting these different plastics. The easiest, of course, was cutting through the tape. The most difficult to cut through was the oyster packaging. It was very similar to the cardboard test. It penetrated well, but it took more effort to slice through the rest of the thicker plastic.

From the tests conducted, the Ultratech is able to cut through many materials with ease. It is ready to face any obstacle that comes when carrying the knife every day.

 

Everyday Carry

When looking to get a new knife, there are a few items to look at to confirm it will be a good everyday carry. Those items include the following: its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The Ultratech is comfortable to carry, both in your hand and in your pocket. When closed, the knife is close to 5 inches long. A typically comfortable carry knife is anywhere between three and a half to 5 inches long when closed. The Ultratech barely fits within that range. The biggest things I ask myself are will the knife fit in my pant pocket, and will it fall out of my pocket? The Ultratech is deep enough that it shouldn’t fall out of your pocket.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. It is the worst feeling to have to carry heavy objects in your pocket, no matter what it is. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The Ultratech fits right into the beginning of this range. It weighs 3.30 ounces. It is quite small for its size. When holding it, it feels decently well.

Thickness and Width

When carrying a knife around all the time in your pocket, there is a limited amount of space available in your pocket. A good everyday carry knife should be comfortable to carry and easy to handle. The Ultratech is an inch wide at its thickest point. This knife is very thin in term of width. Its thickness, however, is thicker than many other knives.  We’re talking over half an inch thick. In theory, the Ultratech won’t take up too much pocket real-estate.

Appearance

I wouldn’t worry too much about how it looks. Sure it’s got to look tough, but what really matters is if it will do the job. But really, though, it looks impressive. You and others will love to look at, and use the Ultratech.

 

Conclusion

The Ultratech is one of the most popular knives out there. And for good reason too. The knife is solid, and it is intended to work hard. The new and improved Ultratech will for sure impress. You will not be disappointed with this knife. I love this Microtech knife. Grab yours today.

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Microtech Makora II OTF Knife

The automatic out the front knife known as the Makora II from Microtech stands tall above the competition–and not just because it is the biggest OTF auto currently in production in the US.  The Makora II features stunning carbon fiber inlays on both sides of the handle and a long, narrow blade built for heavy use.

The current iteration is available in OD Green, Red and of course–traditional black anodized aluminum.  The blade is a whopping 4.45″ long and the knife measures 10.5″ long when open.  This fantastic knife has fast double action.

If you are looking for a serious OTF contender–check out the Microtech Makora II knife.  You can find them here on our website.

Microtech Makora II
Microtech Makora II OTF automatic knife

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Overall: 10.5″
  • Blade: 4.45″
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Blade Edge:Both Combo Edges
  • Handle Material: 6061 T6 Aircraft Aluminum,OD Green Anodized
  • Weight: 4.3 oz
  • Made in the USA.
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Microtech Custom Combat Troodon OTF Knife

Looking for an extra special knife for you collection?  Now is the time to move.  We just picked up this Marfione Custom from the Blade Show 2015.  First and foremost, this knife is serial number 001.  It boasts a unique mirror polish DLC Elmax blade that has such a spectacular look it is very hard to describe.  Check out this picture–which hardly does it justice.

Custom Microtech Combat Troodon
Custom Microtech Combat Troodon

The handle is hand sculpted aluminum with ringed trillium copper hardware. The hardware is unbelievably cool–it adds a steampunk attitude to an already amazing knife.

The front of the handle bears the Marfione Dagger logo and the pocket clip has the dagger logo with the S/N 001 above and Combat Troodon, A. Marfione 05/2015 below. It comes in a zipper pouch and includes a certificate of authenticity. New from Marfione at the 2015 Blade Show. Date of Birth: 05/2015.

If you want it–move quick, this unique knife won’t sit long.

Specifications:

  • Blade: 3.5″
  • Overall: 9.0″
  • Blade Finish: Mirror Polish DLC Elmax
  • Handle: 5.25″
  • Lock: OTF Double Action
  • Clip: Tip Down
  • Serial Number 001
  • Birth Date: 05/2015
  • Nylon Zipper Storage Pouch
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