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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Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel OTF Knife Review

Benchmade knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum, and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. They carefully measure every part at every step in the process. They sue the best materials and equipment. They make world-class knives for world class users.

All of their blades begin as a sheet of steel. A laser cutting technicians programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. The blanks are measured to make sure they meet specifications. Measurements are taken every step of the manufacturing process to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline production. If a part isn’t “up-to-spec”, it doesn’t become a Benchmade. The next step in the process is surface grinding. This is the step where the blank is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. Tolerances are within the width of a human hair. They knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness. The third step in the process is milling. Blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high speed mills. One of the holes that is cut here is the blade pivot, which is crucial to he folding mechanism. The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip. The fourth step is beveling. Now the blade really starts to take shape. Up to this point, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function. Some of the last steps are back sanding and finishing. Back sanding is where the back of the blade gets special attention. The finishing is when the blade gets a more refined look. The finishing technician stone-washes the blades in a ceramic medium to remove any burrs and give the blades a clean, polished appearance. The very last step in the Benchmade process is assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, which helps to set them apart. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is only sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. At that point, and only at that part, is it truly a Benchmade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of D2 tool steel. This is a high end steel that is often referred to as “semi-stainless” as it falls just short of the require amount of chromium to qualify as full stainless yet it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion. On the flip side, D2 steel is much harder than other steels in this category such as 154CM or ATS-34 and as a result holds its edge a litter better. That said, it’s not as tough as many other steels and exponentially tougher to sharpen. In fact, you are probably going to need to be a master-sharpener to get a find edge on D2. This steel has a high hardness and relatively high toughness to make it an excellent choice there and in cutlery.

The blade has been finished with a black coated finish. There are some big

Benchmade Mini Infidel
Benchmade Mini Infidel

benefits to having a coated finish such as it reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Also, coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. And while quality coatings do add cost to eh knife, they also provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. Unfortunately, all coatings will be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will have to be re-coated at that point. The coatings are also prone to chipping and scratching. And, sometimes the coating is painted unevenly, which does cut down on how quality the blade is.

The blade on this Mini Infidel is a dagger point style blade. The dagger style, also known as a needle point blade, is designed to have an excellent point. This is opposite of the sheepsfoot blade, which has no point. A dagger point blade is a double edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing. It is composed of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut on both sides equally. This makes them a favorite blade design for self-defense in close combat situations. Dagger style blades are popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed and easily withdrawn. However, there are also a handful of disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because of the geometry of the blade lacks a belly and contains quickly thickening edges, it is not good for slicing or slashing. Also, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is weak and has a tendency to break when used on hard targets. If you are looking for a good balance between stabbing and cutting, a better choice is the clip point blade. However, if you’re looking for the perfect blade that is designed for piercing, the dagger point is exactly what you’re looking for.

The blade on this knife has a plain edge. 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, skinning a deer. It is because all of these tasks involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. Aluminum is a very low density metal that is used in knife making and it is extremely 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. And even though it is a soft and low density metal, it provides you with plenty of heft, without the weight of a stainless steel knife. This is a huge benefit because it has the heft to take on all of the tough tasks, without the weight to make it a hassle to carry with you at all times. Fun fact about aluminum: it is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. 60601-T6 aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. This type of aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. This alloy of aluminum is also used commonly in aircraft, which is why it got the nickname of being aircraft aluminum. This is a nonferrous metal and the most common finish for this steel is anodizing, which is an electrochemical process which adds color the aluminum. This is especially conducive to this coloring process. Depending on eh voltage used in the anodization process, colors can vary. If you have a high voltage, you will get a dark color. If you have a low voltage, you will get a lighter color. The handle on the Mini Infidel is black, so they used a high voltage to provide the color. When aluminum is properly texturized, it can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the flip side, if you are planning on using your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle to be extremely cold because of its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considering inferior to its stronger brother Titanium, which is most often used on the higher end knives. One of the other drawbacks to an aluminum handle is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

To help with your grip, there is ribbing that goes down the center of the handle. The handle has curves to fit your palm perfectly. In the top center of the handle, there is a light gray lever to deploy the blade. This handle will be comfortable to use even after long periods of time.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. It is a dark gray pocket clip that has “Infidel” stamped across the center. Because it is a deep carry clip, it is going to fit comfortably in your pocket without you needing to worry about it jostling out when you go about your daily activates. Another one of the benefits of a deep carry clip is that it is easier to conceal if you are trying to keep your knife out of the public’s eye.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a double action out the front automatic knife. An out the front knife is a pocket knife that has a blade that deploys and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than the majority of folding knives that one out of the side of the handle. Out the front only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. Then, out the front knives can be divided into whether it is an automatic or manual knife. An automatic out the front knife blade travels within an internal track 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 than a similar size gravity or sliding knife.

Then, in the division of automatic knives, it can be divided into whether it is double action or single action. This specific knife is a double action out the front knife. This means that the knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design, whereas single action knives deploy automatically but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

And despite popular movie magic, double action out the front knives are actually not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. In all actuality, double action sliding automatics are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters and then afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.1 inches long, with a handle length of 4 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 7.1 inches long, with the knife weighing in at 3.4 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that is included with this knife is made out of nylon. Nylon is a material that is commonly used in knife sheaths. Just like a leather sheath, nylon is also tough and strong. However, nylon is resistant to rot and mildew. And, they are not as vulnerable to water as leather sheaths would be. Another great aspect is that nylon sheaths aren’t easily scuffed or torn.

 

Conclusion:

The Benchmade 3350BK Mini Infidel double action out the front automatic knife, designed by McHenry & Williams, is a favorite amongst law enforcement and military professionals around the globe and is praised for its rugged construction, solid durability and an “X” factor of pure awesomeness that one can only experience when owning one. The design of the black anodized 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum handle boasts a milled “step” design that transitions seamlessly into the design of the slide trigger. On the black dagger style blade, you will find a blood groove that runs the length of the blade on both sides that further enhances the already aggressive nature of this black class model. Furthermore, the enlarged slide trigger is housed on the broad side of the handle scale allowing for better accessibility, even while wearing gloves. This knife also comes with a MOLLE compatible nylon sheath and malice clip for multiple carry options. You can pick yours up here.

 

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The Joker’s Wild BlackOut Cupid Clone Knife Review

The Joker’s Wild OTF knife is patterned after the classic Cupid Clone knife that the Joker uses in the Dark Knight movie.  This single action Out the Front automatic has classic looks and rapid fire action.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 440C stainless steel. There are three different types of 440 steel. This is an upper mid-range steel that was once considered high-end in US knife steels. This steel is a good all-around steel that has now been overshadowed by many of the newer super steels that are everywhere. But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good steel. This is a stainless steel that is a solid choice for most knives. This steel is reasonably tough and wear resistant, but it excels at stain resistance. This steel does hold a better edge than its sister steels, yet it still has the same corrosion resistance. Knives that are made out of this steel can be sharpened easily. And, out of the 440 steels, this formula does have the highest levels of carbon and chromium. The level of carbon is between .95-1.20%. It is this content that makes this steel a higher end stainless steel. This alloy of steel is one of the most common in knives because it is such a good all-around steel.

The blade has been finished with a black, coated finish. A coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion. One of the drawbacks to a coated blade though is that ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will have to be recoated at that point if you wish for it to have the same qualities. As a guideline, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but they also provide much better corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. Many times, people do see the better quality coatings as a smart investment. Coatings are one of the few matte finishes.

The Joker’s Wild Blackout Cupid Clone knife has a dagger style blade. This type of blade shape is also known as a needle point blade. This style is basically the opposite of a sheepsfoot blade, which lacks a point. The dagger has been designed for the point. This shape of blade is a double edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing. The blade is composed of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pieces easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut in on both sides equally. This is one of the reasons that makes them a favorite blade design for self-defense, especially in close combat situations. Dagger blades are very popular among military and police because of their ability to be easily concealed (think in a boot) and easily withdrawn from them sheathes. Of course, with all blade shapes, there are some disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because of the geometry, the blade lacks any belly and contains quickly thickening edges. These two features means that this blade is not going to be good for slicing or slashing. One of the other disadvantages is that because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is weak and does have a tendency to break when used on hard targets. If you are searching for a good balance between stabbing and cutting, the best choice for you is probably the clip point blade. But, if you are looking for the ultimate blade designed specifically for piercing or stabbing, look no further, because you have found your best option.

The blade on this knife is plain edged. A plain blade is one continuous sharp edge and they are the most traditional option. Plain blades 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. One of the other huge advantages to owning a plain edge is that it won’t snag or fray when cutting though some ropes, although with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. In short, a plain edge will cut cleanly, while a serrated blade will give you jagged cuts.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Cupid Clone is made out of aluminum. This is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal but it does provide a nice, hefty feel to the knife without actually weighing the knife down. This is a huge benefit because you want your knife to be able to have the weight behind it to take on life’s challenges, but you also don’t want the knife weighing you down. The most common type of aluminum that is used today is the T6-6061 alloy, which does have tremendous tensile strength. When an aluminum handle is properly texturized, it can provide you with a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the flip side, 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 aluminum on this knife handle has been anodized black. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion resistant, anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing, although other nonferrous metals can also be anodized. Because this knife has an anodized handle, the color is black, the handle is harder, and more protected. This is an ideal finish for the Cupid Clone knife.

The handle is rectangular with an arrow shaped top. The butt of the handle does flare out, which gives you a slight hammer, and helps with grip. To help you with your grip, there are deep grooves cut down the idle of the handle in a rectangular shape and also at the very top of the handle, in three arrows.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has been statically designed for tip down carry only. It is a black pocket clip that is held in place by two small, black screws. These screws match the rest of the knives hardware, giving it the name Blackout. The pocket clip is straight and long, which will fit snugly and safely in your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is an out the front, or OTF, knife. An OTF knife is also known as a sliding knife or a telescoping knife. This is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This contrasts with the majority of other knives, which are either standard folding knives or fixed blade knives. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. OTF knives are also further subdivided into two groups: automatic or manual OTF knives. The Joker’s Wild Blackout Cupid Clone knife is an automatic OTF knife. An automatic OTF knife 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 than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. The term “slider” is usually not applied.

Once you get into the automatic OTF knife category, it is actually divided into two other categories. There are the single action and the double action. This knife is a single action which means that the knife will deploy automatically, but it must be manually cocked or retracted to close. This knife is deployed by the button in the middle of the knife handle.

Because this is an automatic knife, there are a variety of strict laws surrounding this knife. Automatic knives are not legal in all states, cities, or areas, so be aware of your local laws before purchasing and carrying this knife.

OTF knives have actually been around for a while. The first known patent, although for a manual one, was in 1860. The first spring powered OTF knife followed shortly the year after. These knives were originally designed to be light-duty knives designed for people who may have to hold on to something while opening a folding knife. Now, there is a myth that an OTF can be placed against someone and opened, piercing the victim. The spring in this style of knives I much too weak and really only propels the blade about a quarter of the way open, with inertia doing the rest. So while it might poke the person, it is highly unlikely that they would be stabbed.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.3 inches long, with the blade sporting an overall length of 8.4 inches The handle on this knife is 5.1 inches. This is a lightweight knife that weighs in at only 4 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The Joker’s wild Cupid Clone automatic knife is a single-action out the front knife that closely resembles that of the Dalton cupid model which The Joker was seen weilding in the iconic Batman movie. A single action out the front knife by definition means that the blade is automatically deployed with the push of a button and then is manually retracted with a lever feature—in this case found on the side of the handle. This wildly popular knife showcases amazing construction and a lockup that is as solid as knives even 10 times the price. This exclusive blackout model features a black aluminum handle, all-black hardware, a dagger style blade in a black finish and a pocket clip that is statically designed for tip down carry only. The 440 stainless steel is tough, hard, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. The aluminum handle is very durable, especially with the anodization process on it, however, it will feel cold in the winter months. The dagger style blade is ideal for piercing and stabbing, but does have a weak tip that is prone to snapping. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

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Hogue 34002 OTF Knife Review

Hogue Inc. is home to a proud family tradition of American quality and innovation since 1968. Every Hogue product—from handgun grips to long gun stocks to AR components to specialty knives to gear and accessories—is built in the spirt of fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and complete dedication to the legacy of founder Guy Hogue, carried into the next generation by his sons Aaron and Patrick, by Hogue Tool and Machine Company president Jim Burhns, by his grandson Neil, and by each and every employee at Hogue, Inc.

Fit, function, superior performance and world class design are hallmarks of the Hogue name. When you purchase a Hogue product, you’re carrying piece of their family history, designed from the ground up to enhance and improve your sporting experience. Their brightest ideas, the finest materials, and the world’s best manufacturing practices are united under the Hogue name, under the direct supervision of the best and brightest hope they can find to carry the Hogue legacy. They’re proud to be the first choice of law enforcement, handgun manufacturers, competitive shooters, and firearm enthusiasts worldwide for products that reflect their passion, their proud history, and their commitment to bringing you a full range of products designed and manufactured to enhance your sporting experience for years to come.

They call themselves “team Hogue” which includes Jerry Miculek, Max Michel, Lena Miculek, and B.J. Norris. Jerry is a speed shooter and competition shooting instructor, he is also experienced in nearly every type of firearm made. He is renowned as the fastest revolver shooter on the planet, emptying a five-shot revolver in 0.57 seconds, in a group the size of a playing card. Jerry currently holds five world records in exhibition revolver shooting. Max is a legend within the world of competitive shooting. He is the current International Practical Shooting Confederation World Champion. He was born and raised in New Orleans, La, Max began shooting when he was just 5 years old. In 1999 Max joined the famed USAMU’s Action Pistol Team and served in the U.S. Army for 10 years as an Army shooter and trainer. Max is also the current captain of the Team SIG SAUER shooting team. Today, Max is recognized worldwide as a top tier athlete and instructor. Lena began competition shooting at the young age of eight. The daughter of professional shooter Jerry Miculek and semiprofessional shooter Kay Miculek, Lena began her serious journey in 2011 winning 4 high lady revolver events. Since then she has expanded into 3Gun competition with similar results, completely domination the ladies’ tactical ops division. B.J. began shooting competitively in USPSA in late 2000, at age 11 in the Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia. 2005 was the year he really got serious about shooting. That year consisted of hard practice, traveling to almost every USPSA Area Championship, the IPSC World Shoot in Ecuador and his first Steel Challenge. Since then, it has been one Championship after another.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of CPM 154 stainless steel. This high end steel is a relatively hard steel which is considered an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This achieves superior edge holding compared to 440C while retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance despite having less Chromium. It has decent toughness good enough for most uses and holds an edge well. This steel is not too difficult to sharpen if you have the right equipment. You will find a lot of quality pocket knives form top manufacturers using this steel for their blades. This is a powder version of the same alloy produced by Crucible Particle Metallurgy. This Particle Metallurgy process makes finer carbide particles resulting in a slightly superior steel that’s tougher and with better edge retention.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a Stonewash finish. With this type of finis, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the lade has before it enters the tumbler. Many people like this type of finish because it hides scratches better than other finishes. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin forma distance. Stonewash also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. This finish also provides a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. This finish provides you with a very rugged, well-worn, textured look.

The Hogue 34002 knife has a tanto blade shape. This blade shape is great for when you don’t want an all-purpose knife, but instead you want a knife that does one thing and does that one thing really ell. If you’re looking for a knife that excels at piercing through tough materials, then the tanto blade is what you are looking for. This 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 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 knife meets the back edge at an angel, 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 from 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 pricing hard materials is required. By choosing a tanto point, you will be among the few knife lovers who own a blade that is specifically tailored to piercing tough materials. If the situation arises, expected or unexpected, you’ll be ready.

This knife does sport a plain edged blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this OTF knife are made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It’s a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty eel to the knife without weighing the knife down. The most common type of aluminum used today is the 6061-T6 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 considering inferior to tis stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives. These handle scales have been anodized gray for hardness and protection of the handles.

The handle has three finger grooves carved out of the sides of the handle for a comfortable, secure grip. The aluminum has a honeycomb pattern etched into the palm portion to provide exceptional grip on the handle during any situation or environment.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The deep carry pocket clip has been statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

Hogue 34002 OTF Knife
Hogue 34002 OTF Knife

This is a double action out the front automatic knife. Because it is an automatic knife, it can also be known as a switchblade, a pushbutton knife, or ejector knife. Automatic knives do have strict laws surrounding them in many states and cities, so make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing and carrying the 34002 knife. Out the front knives are also known as OTF knives, sliding knives, and even telescoping knives. It is a pocketknife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. Contrast this with the majority of knives, which are either standard folding knives or are fixed blade knives. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. An automatic OTF knife blade travels within an internal tack 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 o be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. There are actually two different types of OTF automatic knives: single or double action. Double action OTF knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design. Despite popular belief and movie magic, double action OTF automatic knives are not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. Double action sliding autos are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters; afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open. This is possibly a misbelief based on confusion with the ballistic knife which has a secondary handle tube with a robust coil spring for launching a fixe blade knife. However, some single action autos do have enough power to penetrate a human target.

The trigger to deploy the blade is placed on the side of the knife which gives you easy access to deploy and retract the blade with power.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. The overall length of the Hogue 34002 knife is 8.5 inches long. When the knife is closed, it sports a length of 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.3 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Pros of the Hogue 34002:

  • The steel that is chosen is a high end steel.
  • The steel that is chosen is a hard, tough steel.
  • This steel is easy to sharpen, with the right tools.
  • This steel has fantastic edge retention.
  • The tanto blade shape excels at piercing through tough materials.
  • The tanto blade shape is extremely strong near the tip, because that is where a lot of the metal resides.
  • The stonewash finish hides scratches and smudges—preserving the look of the blade overtime.
  • The stonewash finish is low maintenance.
  • The stonewash finish gives you a well-worn and rugged look to your blade.
  • The aluminum handle is durable and comfortable to use over long periods of time.
  • The aluminum handle has extreme strength and has been anodized to add even more strength, durability, and protection.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry clip.
  • This knife is made in the USA.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.
  • Because it is a double action OTF knife, you can deploy and retract your blade with the trigger.

 

Cons of the Hogue 34002:

  • This is an automatic knife, so it is not going to be legal in all areas of the US.
  • The tanto blade shape does not excel at anything except piercing through those tough materials.
  • The pocket clip can only be attached tip down on the traditional side of the handle.
  • The aluminum handle is going to be very chilly in the colder months.

 

Conclusion:

Hogue’s new line of tactical double action OTF auto knives represents the same vision of all of their other knife lines by combining the best of old world craftsmanship with a product designed for real-world applications. Hogue initially began in 1968 with the production of handgun grips, long gun stocks and accessories but quickly saw the value in incorporating the same hallmarks to the knife industry. Offered in different blade styles and handle colors, each Allen Elishewitz designed model features honeycomb texturing in addition to shallow finger grooves for plenty of hold and the side-mounted trigger helps to both deploy and retract the blade with plenty of power. This model, the 34002, features grey anodized aircraft aluminum handle scales, a tanto style blade in a stonewash finish and the deep carry pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

 

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Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife Review

Heckler and Koch, or H&K, is the leading company of firearms today. They have a rich history that started with turmoil but a dynasty was quickly built. They have been producing many firearms for decades now. While they have the machinery and necessities to build great firearms, they wanted to broaden their supplies. They formed a collaboration with Benchmade because Benchmade has been creating fantastic knife designs for years. With these two leading companies, they created many innovative knives. Their collaboration contract stated that Benchmade could keep the designs that came out of it, but H&K got to put their brand name on it. This would widen their audience but provide an excellent knife. These knives were designed to be high quality, yet affordable knives for first responders, police, military, and the common citizen. These knives have gained a wide following.

Recently this partnership came to a conclusion.  Benchmade doesn’t follow the common quote, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”, because the H&K Turmoil definitely wasn’t in need of fixing, but Benchmade decided to improve and upgrade18 it anyways. And I am so pleased that they did. The Turmoil was already an excellent knife that could meet the demands thrown at it. They switched up the blade and the handle and created a masterpiece. This new knife is called the PHAETON.

Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife
Benchmade Phaeton OTF Knife

The Blade:

The steel of the Turmoil is D2 steel. D2 is a suitable steel. D2 can stand up to tasks. D2 is a semi stainless steel that is hard and tough. D2 is a great steel, especially if money is one of your biggest concerns when searching for a knife. The PHAETON has an upgraded steel of S30V steel. S30V is a premium steel used on high end knives. S30V is a hard and tough knife. It has actually been known to be tough on grinders, which means that it is going to hold a better edge than D2 will and it will hold its edge for longer than D2 would have. S30V steel was produced by Chris Reeve and Crucible Steel, which is a New York based steel manufacturer. This kind of steel as actually specifically produced for use on knives and is most commonly used in high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. This means that it is going to have high corrosion and rust resistant properties, making it an excellent steel for tactical and survival knives, because you never know what environment you are going to be in during these scenarios. This is a hard and tough steel that can definitely take a beating. This is a more expensive steel than the D2 is, so the PHAETON knife is going to be more expensive than the Turmoil is. However, this upgrade is worth every single dollar because S30V offers higher quality characteristics than D2 could ever give you. This new knife will be able to stand up to harder beatings, longer periods between sharpening, and more extreme scenarios than the Turmoil ever could have.

The blade is cut into a drop point shape. This is the most versatile knife shape around. Many people think that a drop point and clip point are very similar, however, a drop point blade is usually thicker, especially near the tip. A drop point blade has a very broad tip, so it isn’t going to be a great knife for piercing and stabbing. But, that is basically the shapes only drawback, so it’s a pretty great shape. But, even though the broad tip does not offer good stabbing abilities, it offers fantastic strength to the tip and knife. Because of this strength, the blade makes for fantastic tactical or survival knife. The shape sports a pretty solid belly, so slicing is going to be an easy task. The easy slicing makes for a great every day carry knife, because much of your typical tasks include quick slicing. This shape is often times found on hunting knives, because the lowered tip gives control, so it is hard to nick any of the organs. This shape is the perfect shape for all purpose knives, hunting knives, tactical knives, survival knives, and everyday carry knives. It can take a beating and can perform almost any task that you throw at it.

The blade on the Turmoil was a good blade, it could take on most tasks and was relatively durable. D2 was a softer steel, so there was more maintenance required. Benchmade kept the fantastic blade shape and upgraded the steel to give you a truly premium blade. This is a blade that is going to take on the tasks that are thrown at it and last you a lifetime.

 

The Handle:

The PHAETON handle is still made out of T6-6061 anodized aluminum. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that works to add color to aluminum. If the process uses higher voltage, the process gives you a darker color. If the process uses lower voltage, the aluminum will result in being a lighter color. Aluminum is commonly anodized to provide color to the aluminum. The PHAETON has been anodized in either a black or dark earth colored handle. Aluminum is also anodized to add for hardness and protection. This is a light knife, but it looks hefty, not cheap or plastic-y. The aluminum will give you the feel of being study without requiring all of the extra weight. This specific kind of aluminum is one of the strongest aluminums that you can purchase. However, if not properly textured, this knife is going to be extremely slippery. On the Turmoil. There were a couple of deep grooves on the top and bottom part of the palm section of the handle. For the PHAETON, Benchmade decided to switch this up and instead do a checkered texture pattern at the portion of the handle nearest to the blade. Aluminum is very resistant to corrosion, so this handle is going to take less maintenance than others. There are a few drawbacks to having an aluminum handle though. For starters, this is going to be a cold material. That means if you are usually working in colder environments, this handle can start to feel like it is biting into your hand. Another drawback is that even when it is properly texturized, it is not going to give you as solid a grip as some of the other knife handle materials. Lastly, while it is a strong material, it is not going to be as strong as a Titanium handle, which would be more expensive.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a double-action out-the-front automatic knife. Like always, this is an automatic knife, or a switchblade. These aren’t legal in all states or areas in the United States. Before purchasing and most definitely before carrying, make sure you know your local laws. An out the front opening knife is a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than many knives where the blade folds out from the side of the handle. An automatic OTF knife has a blade that travels within an internal track, but it is released by a spring and button mechanism. A double action just means that the knife opens and closes with the button instead of a single action that just opens with it.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the PHAETON is 3.45 inches long. The blade is 0.112 inches thick. The overall length of this knife is 8.08 inches long, but when it is closed it is 4.63 inches long. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.47 inches. While this knife is pretty large, because of the aluminum handle, it only weighs 3.01 ounces.

 

The Extras:

This knife comes with a reversible deep-carry pocket clip. This means that you can carry your knife either left or right handedly. However, this is only a tip down carry. The deep carry means that it is going to be an easy knife to conceal in your pocket. It also means that it is going to be secure and snug in your pocket; you don’t have to worry about the clip slipping off and losing your knife. But, the deep carry also means that it is going to take a smidge longer to draw out of your pocket.

 

Pros of the Benchmade PHAETON:

  • The steel on this knife is extremely durable and will hold a fantastic edge for long periods of time.
  • The steel on this knife is very resistant to rust and corrosion, so it is going to take less maintenance.
  • This is a full stainless steel, instead of the Turmoil’s semi stainless steel.
  • The steel can take a heavier beating than most knives.
  • The shape of the blade is one of the most versatile blades.
  • The tip on the blade is broad, so it is stronger and can take a beating.
  • The tip on the blade is broad and lowered, so it is easily controlled.
  • The blade shape has large amounts of room for slicing.
  • This is a great knife for tactical, survival, and every day carrying.
  • The aluminum is a light material, keeping the weight of the knife down.
  • Can get the handle in black or dark earth color.
  • Aluminum is resistant to corrosion.
  • The handle is strong and tough.
  • Comes with a reversible, deep carry pocket clip—making it an ambidextrous carry knife.
  • Automatic knife, so it is going to open quickly.
  • Double action knife, so it opens and closes with the button.

Cons of the Benchmade PHAETON:

  • The steel is harder to sharpen than a softer steel.
  • Automatic knives aren’t legal in all areas, so this might not be a legal knife for you to carry.
  • This is not a tip up carry pocket knife.

 

Conclusion:

While the Heckler and Koch Turmoil was a great knife, the Benchmade PHAETON is an exceptional knife. What started out as a great design got even greater when Benchmade decided to revamp this knife and make it a higher quality knife. The Turmoil was a good knife, but it was designed to be an affordable knife to reach the biggest group of people. The PHAETON is designed to be the best. Benchmade started by upgrading the steel from D2 to S30V. This makes it stronger, tougher, and more durable. The edge will last longer and the blade is going to be able to take a bigger beating than previously. Benchmade decided to keep the same blade shape, and I’m glad they did, because a drop point is one of the most versatile shapes you can find. The broad tip is strong and is not prone to easy breakage. There is enough room to make slicing a breeze. The whole blade is extremely strong because of the shape. The handle comes in two color options. Benchmade decided to revamp the texturing and changed it from deep grooves to a smaller checkered pattern. This provides you with a more secure grip. The deep carry pocket clip allows you to safely and securely keep your knife in your pocket. While the Turmoil did its job and would have been a good option for your everyday carry knife, the PHAETON is an exceptional knife that can be your tactical, survival, or everyday carry knife choice.  You can find each of the different PHAETON OTF automatic knives available on our site, right here.

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ProTech Dark Angel OTF Knife Review

The Pro-Tech Dark Angel OTF Knife

 

ProTech Dark Angel
ProTech Dark Angel OTF Knife

Pro-Tech is a family owned company based out of Sante Fe Springs California. Pro-Tech has made its name by producing fantastic automatic knives. They have been building these high quality knives for over 17 years now. This company was founded by Dave Wattenberg in 2001. Since then they have collaborated with knife makers such as Ernest Emerson, Walter Brend, and Allen Elishewitz. Some of the most famous and most popular knives that Pro-Tech has made have been the Godfather, Godson, and the Runt J4.

The company’s mission is to produce high quality knives made out of the finest materials that they can get ahold of. Pro-Tech makes smaller batches of knives than most companies so that they can hand fit and finish each knife to produce higher quality knives than you could find if it was factory made. Because of these smaller batches, they make around 12,000 knives a year.

The fantastic knife that Pro-Tech has developed that we are going to discuss today is the Pro-Tech Dark Angel Out-The-Front knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM steel. 154CM is a high end stainless steel that has been made by Crucible. This is a relatively hard steel. 154CM steel is considered to be an upgrade from 440C steel, because 154CM steel has Molybdenum is added. Because of the added Molybdenum, this type of steel can hold a fantastic edge while it also holds on to its corrosion resistance properties. However, even though this type of steel is a stainless steel, it will rust if it is left in wet or damp environments. To prevent this happening to your knife blade, especially if you live in a humid environment, you should always remember to keep your blade clean and oil it often. You shouldn’t be turned off from this steel just because it might rust—any stainless steel will rust if left in damp environments and neglected. You just need a little extra maintenance with 154CM stainless steel. This steel is also fairly easy to sharpen.  This steel type has pretty good toughness; it has high enough levels of toughness to stand up to most tasks—including the heavier duty tasks that you will throw at this blade. This steel is found commonly in quality pocket knives. In fact, Emerson Knife Company uses this type of steel exclusively. This type of steel maintains lots of good, durable properties, but it is less expensive than a premium steel such as S30V. This steel has a good balance between being hard, tough, and resistant to corrosion. This specific knife design comes in a variety of different blade colors, some being: black, silver, and even a custom Damascus blade. All of these knives have plain edges.

The shape of this blade is a dagger style. This style of knife has also been known as a needle point blade. This shape of blade is a double-edge blade designed to be able to thrust and stab. The blade comes to a very thin, sharp point, providing you with maximum ability to pierce into your target. However, because it has such a fine point, the tip is more prone to breaking, especially if you are stabbing a hard target. The double edge means that instead of a normal knife only being sharpened on one edge and having the back, or spine, unsharpened; this blade does not have an unsharpened side. Both edges on this blade have been sharpened. Because it is able to cut on both sides, this blade shape is a fantastic option for a self-defense weapon. Especially if you are in tight quarters. One disadvantage to having a dagger style blade is that it has no belly and the edges get thick quicker than most styles of knives. These two characteristics make it a poor choice if you want to slice anything. In the center of this blade, there is a thin cut out. This cut out cuts down on weight that the blade would have had otherwise. This blade cut out also offers a unique look that you won’t find on many knives.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061T6 hard anodized aluminum. A hard anodized aluminum creates an oxidation layer on the aluminum that can make your handle up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. When an aluminum is anodized, it provides the aluminum with color. This knife comes in a variety of different colors. Some of your options are silver—with two finishes: satin and stonewash, black, desert sand, or dark desert sand. Anodizing the aluminum also offers extra harness and protection. This is the most common form of finishing aluminum and it makes your aluminum handle very durable. Because aluminum has such a low density for a metal, it offers you a heftier feel without the added weight. Aluminum can be slippery, especially in wet environments, unless properly texturized. When it is properly texturized, your grip on it will be reasonable, but still not fantastic. Another drawback to having an aluminum handle is that it is going to feel so cold in a cold environment and can start to feel very uncomfortable in your hand. Other than feeling cold, aluminum is a comfortable material that is easy to use, even for long periods of time. Aluminum is very resistant to corrosion. However, it can be easy to scratch the surface or ding it up a bit. The handle will still work perfectly after this, but it won’t look as aesthetically pleasing. If you are going for a truly superb handle material, you might want to check out aluminums brother, titanium.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is newly designed from Pro-Tech. This is a customized part of this knife. This clip actually folds over itself helping allow a deep “hidden” in the pocket look. The benefit of a deep carry pocket clip is that it is not going to slip out of your pocket. With a deep carry clip, you know that your knife is safe and secure in your pocket. This specific pocket clip allows you to conceal your knife better than other pocket clips.

 

The Mechanism:

The Pro-Tech Dark Angel is an automatic out-the-front knife. Like always, automatic knives are not legal in all states or areas. Before you purchase and/or carry this knife, make sure you know your local knife carrying laws. An out the front knife is a unique style of automatic knife. Instead of the blade folding or flipping out of the side of the handle, there is a hole in one end of the handle where the blade pops out of. The blade of an OTF knife travels on an internal channel, at the bottom of this channel, there is a spring that launches the blade out, when the button or trigger is pushed. This is only a single action OTF automatic knife. This means that to deploy the knife, you push the button and the blade will pop out, but to put the blade back in, it takes a little more work. To close this knife, you push the button down and at the same time, you slide the charging bar back along the side. Because there is more of a mechanism that has to lay inside of an automatic OTF knife, the handle has to be thicker or longer than a manual OTF knife.

 

The Sheath:

This knife comes with a nylon sheath. Nylon is a very common material used for knife sheaths. This is a relatively inexpensive material, especially compared to kydex or leather sheaths. However, you do get what you pay for. And while nylon is a cheaper material, it will be more prone to wearing out quicker than these two previous materials. Nylon also has the tendency to stretch out over time, and while the sheath will still work adequately at that point, your knife won’t be held as securely or snugly. However, I shouldn’t be focusing on the negative. There are many fantastic characteristics that nylon sheaths have. For starters, nylon is resistant to rot and mildew. They are not as vulnerable to water as a leather sheath would be. This means that your sheath will need a lot less maintenance than other sheath materials would need. Plus, nylon is not easily scuffed or torn. Another big bonus about nylon sheaths is that the nylon is relatively quiet. If you are trying to be stealthy or conceal yourself, nylon won’t give you away. Nylon is not as silent as leather would be, but it’s not loud, especially when compared to a plastic or kydex sheath. This nylon sheath will get the job done for you and last quite a while.

 

The Specs:

The Pro-Tech Dark Angel’s blade is 3.75 inches long with a blade thickness of .125 inches. When this knife is open, it measures at 8.9 inches long. When this knife is closed, it measures up at 4.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.4 ounces. This size and weight are the perfect size and weight for an everyday carry knife.

 

Pros of the Pro-Tech Dark Angel:

  • The steel is a high end stainless steel.
  • Holds a fantastic edge and is still easy to sharpen.
  • The blade has high corrosion resistance abilities.
  • The blade has high toughness that can take on even the heavier tasks.
  • This steel has good properties and is still cheaper than S30V or other premium knives.
  • The blade comes in multiple different colors.
  • Has a very fine tip, perfect for stabbing.
  • Both edges are sharpened, so it is a perfect weapon for self-defense.
  • Anodized to add color, hardness, and protection.
  • Aluminum handle is durable, but not with the added weight.
  • Aluminum is very corrosion resistant.
  • Aluminum is a very comfortable material to hold.
  • Pocket clip is custom, deep carry.
  • Automatic knife, so it will deploy very quickly.
  • Included nylon sheath has many fantastic properties for a lower cost.

 

Cons of the Pro-Tech Dark Angel:

  • The dagger style has a fine point; it is prone to breaking if used incorrectly.
  • Aluminum handles will feel extremely cold in cold environments.
  • Aluminum can be very slippery, especially when not texturized properly.
  • Automatic knives are not legal in all states or areas, so you have to be careful when purchasing and carrying this knife.
  • Nylon sheaths will not last forever; they will break down eventually.

 

Conclusion:

Pro-Tech is a unique company. They have a hybrid of mass producing knives and building each one custom. They make their knives in small batches, only around 12,000 knives a year. They keep them small so that they have the ability to hand finish each and every knife. They use the highest quality materials to produce the highest quality knives that you can stumble across. Each one has taken time, and care, and they are truly remarkable. Pro-Tech has been around for over 17 years and they have been producing fantastic knives ever since. They have collaborated with knife makers such as Ernest Emerson and Walter Brend. Pro-Tech knows what they are doing when they design, build, and finish all of their knives.

The Dark Angel has been no exception. They started out with a high quality steel that can take on almost any task that you throw at it. This steel can get a fine point and they enhanced this by giving the blade a dagger style shape to it. By giving the knife this shape, they have created an excellent self-defense weapon. They designed a custom pocket clip to top the whole automatic knife off. And with this fantastic knife comes a great nylon sheath. This is a remarkable knife that has been exceptionally produced. The Pro-Tech Dark Angel would be a fantastic addition to your knife collection and it would make a perfect everyday carry knife for you.

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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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