Molon Labe Pro-Tech TR-3 Spartan Auto Knife Review

Molon Labe Pro-Tech TR-3 Spartan Auto Knife

Pro-Tech Knives, LLC is a family owned knife company that has been building high quality American Made knives since 1999. Each Pro-Tech knife is a blend of the finest materials available and a commitment to craftsmanship. Their knives are built with the most current high tech manufacturing processes that include CNC Machining, Wire EDM< Laser Cutting, and more. The high tech components are assembled and hand fit by dedicated and caring craftsmen right in their factory.

One of the things that makes Pro-Tech unique is that they manufacture small batches of knives so that they can take the time to individually hand fit and finish each knife to a level rarely seen in a factory knife.

Their production knife models offer the best design, function, and value that you can come by. Their custom art knives are unique pieces of art. Each of their custom, limited-edition knives is a showpiece of heirloom quality. They say, “No matter which of our knives you choose, we are confident that you will be very satisfied with your purchase. Our selection of knives is ever changing. New designs from collaboration partners, new variations of classic designs, inlay materials, Damascus blade choices, etc. Be sure to check with your favorite Pro-Tech dealer to see what the latest offerings look like. And thank you for your interest in our fine knives.”

Today we will be discussing the Pro-Tech Molon Labe Automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Molon Labe is made out of 154CM stainless steel. This is a high end steel that is made by Crucible Industries. Crucible Industries is known for making high quality knife steel as well as being based out of the United States. When they made this steel, they made it as an upgraded version of 440C. To upgrade 440C steel, they added Molybdenum to the matrix. The Molybdenum helps to achieve superior edge holding when being compared to the other steel as well as maintaining its levels of high corrosion resistance. This last characteristic is a little bit surprising because it does have less Chromium than 440C steel. Overall, this steel does have a decent toughness that is good enough for most uses. While this isn’t a super steel, it is a high end steel, so it is going to do more than just get the job done. Like I previously mentioned, this steel does hold an edge well. And, when it comes to sharpening, it is not going to be too difficult if you have the right equipment.

The blade has been finished with a DLC, which stands for a Diamond-Like Coating. This is the highest quality finish that you are going to find on a knife. Generally, it is applied through a PVD process, which means that it is going to be incredibly even across the blade. There will be no ridges, grooves, or runs of this coating, which allows the user to cut more smoothly. Some of the other characteristics of a DLC coating is that it is going to give high hardness to the blade, increase the corrosion resistance by a significant amount, and not wear down like other blade coatings would. Plus, because it is a deep black color, the user does not have to worry about the blade giving off too many reflections or glares. In fact, the blade probably won’t give off any when it is coated with this.

Molon Labe Pro-Tech TR-3 Spartan Auto Knife
Molon Labe Pro-Tech TR-3 Spartan Auto Knife

The blade on the Molon Labe has been carved into a drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is extremely popular in today’s cutlery industry. This is due to how tough and versatile the blade really is. The blade shape is formed by having the spine of the blade run from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slowly curving manner. This slow curve creates a lowered, or dropped, point, which is where the blade shape got its name. Not only is this how the shape was named, it also gives the user more control over their cuts. This means that you are going to be able to perform fine detail work with this knife with ease. It also means that you should be able to get the cleanest cuts possible, because there is a smaller chance that you slip. While the point is lowered, it is also broad. The broadness of this tip is what sets the drop point and the clip point apart from each other. The drop point is going to offer the user more strength, because it is less likely to chip or snap. That being said, it is also going to cut down on your ability to pierce or stab because it is not fine like the clip point is. While the drop points broad tip offers so much strength and is one of the biggest advantages of the drop point, it also is its biggest weakness because it does take away your ability to pierce or stab. Lastly, the large belly is what makes the drop point such a versatile knife. The larger the belly, the easier it is to slice. And the easier it is to slice, the more tasks you will be able to perform with this knife and the quicker you will be able to complete those tasks.

The combination of the 154CM steel, the DLC finish, and the drop point blade shape create a blade that is a force to be reckoned with.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. Aluminum is a low-density metal that is commonly used in knife making—usually just in the knife handles because it is a softer metal. Although it is a softer metal, it is extremely corrosion resistant which limits the amount of maintenance this handle is going to need.

The most common type of aluminum alloy that is used in knife making is the 6061-T6 alloy. All this name means is that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This aluminum alloy has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. This alloy is also often used in aircraft, so it is commonly referred to as “aircraft aluminum.” This name is more of a marketing ploy than anything else, because it is not any more useful or tough just because it is used in aircraft.

Aluminum is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, which is often considered aluminums older brother. Aluminum is also lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear than Titanium. And while these characteristics usually make it an inferior metal to Titanium, all of them become an advantage when the knife is more complex, and require a large amount of CNC machining, such as with this automatic knife. This is because it is cheaper to produce and the material is going to cost less.

This aluminum handle has been anodized black. According to thebalance.com, “Anodizing is a method increasing the corrosion resistance of a metal part by forming a layer of oxide on its surface. The part that is being treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear, and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal does.” They go on to explain how the process happens. “The process of creating this protective oxide coating is achieved electrolytically. The metal part to be treated-generally aluminum-is first submerged in an electrolytic solution bath along with a cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution hydrogen is released from the cathode and oxygen forms on the surface of an anode. This results in a metal oxide film growing on the surface of the part being treated.”

The spine of the handle goes straight towards the butt of the handle form the blade with two rows of jimping at the beginning and the end to help with grip. The belly of the handle is the same—it goes straight form the blade to the butt, only interrupted by an average sized finger groove. The groove will give a more comfortable grip for long periods of use.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for only tip up carry and only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a drawback because it does not create an ambidextrous knife. Every user is not going to be able to use it as comfortably as other users. This pocket clip is also not a deep carry clip, so it is not going to sit as low in your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This limited edition knife is an automatic knife. An automatic knife is also known as a switchblade. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade that is contained in the handle. The knife is opened automatically by a button on the handle. This knife includes a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

While automatic knives are definitely more efficient, because they can be brought into play much quicker and are easier to open than a manual knife, they are also more legally challenging than a manual knife. This is because there are a strict set of laws that surround an automatic knife. These laws make automatic knives illegal in many areas, cities, and states. Always know your local knife laws before purchasing, carrying, or using an automatic knife. BladeOps is not responsible for any of the consequences.

Automatic knives are also a little more complicated to clean and maintain because there are a lot of moving parts as well as little parts on the inside. Some of the more important and also more finicky parts are the hinge and the spring. If the spring on this knife wears down, the automatic operation is not going to work. The hinge is also a very important part to keep oiled and dried so that it does not break down. To keep this knife in good condition, make sure that the inside and all the mechanism’s parts are cleaned and dried after each use of this knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.5 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 8 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.9 ounces. This is a good weigh for a knife that you are going to have with you at all times. It will give you the weight that you need to take on your daily chores, but it won’t weigh you down when you aren’t using it. The Molon Labe was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to use this knife.

This is also a limited edition run with only 100 units. You can pick yours up today at BladeOps and be one of only 100 people to own this fantastic knife.

 

Conclusion:
             Join the legion of Sparta with this exclusive Tactical Response 3 model from Pro-Tech. Strong enough to fall into the phalanx, this Greek legend sports “Molon Labe” on the presentation side of the blade–which translates to “come and take them” and the Spartan helmet stare fear right in the face. This side open auto model opens with incredible speed and showcases a rock-solid lockup and the multiple jimping locations and pronounced finger groove promotes increased traction with any style grip. This limited model features a solid black anodized aircraft aluminum-grade handle complete with a Bruce Shaw designed Spartan helmet inlay, all-black hardware, a drop point style blade in a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) black finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

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