Microtech Tachyon III Knife Review

Microtech Tachyon 173-1FL

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.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *