Microtech Ultratech Hellhound OTF Knife Review

Microtech Ultratech Hellhound

 

 

Microtech Ultratech Hellhound
Microtech Ultratech Hellhound

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Extras:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Pros of the Ultratech:

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

 

The Cons of the Ultratech:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

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