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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SOG Banner Assist Knife Review

While many knife company stories begin with one person and their love of knives, this company begins years before that. It actually begins in Vietnam. This is where members of a highly classified US special ops unit known as MACV-SOG were fighting. These members needed special tools because they were working in the jungle on covert missions. So, they carried a unique combat knife. It was years later, in 1986, where that knife inspired a young designer, named Spencer Frazer, to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tool are field proven by US Special Forces, and has even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. These tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is cut out of CPM S35VN steel. This steel was made by Crucible and Chris Reeve. Years before, Crucible release the CPM S30V steel. This steel had excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This was designed in the US and was typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Because Crucible added vanadium carbides into the steel, it brought out the extreme hardness. This steel was considered to have the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. However, this was a tricky steel to sharpen, and that was the biggest complaint from knife lovers. That is why Chris Reeve and Crucible set out to improve it and improve it they did. In the S35VN steel, they added small quantities of niobium, which is where the N in the name comes from. They also chose to use a much finer grain structure. Because of these two changes, they were able to make the steel much easier to machine while also improving the toughness and the ability to sharpen this steel. This steel also resists rust effortlessly. When the first steel was so perfect, just imagine how excellent this improved version is.

The steel on the Banner was finished with a black TiNi finish. TiNi is short for Titanium Nitride. This is one of the best coatings that can be applied to a steel. Not only does it create a sleek, black look, it also works to increase durability of the steel. The TiNi finish is known to be both extremely scratch resistant as well as peel resistant. This finish is applied to the steel in a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air-sealed vacuum. This means that the coating is applied as evenly as you will find; there are no spots where the finish will be uneven or where it ran, like a painted finish can get.

The steel on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose blade shape because of how versatile the blade shape is. It is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. This blade shape is most commonly found on Bowie Knives, but it is also a popular blade shape on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. The back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut out, or clipped out, which is where the knife gets its name from. This clipped out portion can be curved or straight, but on the Banner, it is a straight clipped out portion. The point on this blade shape is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control over your slices and while you are using the knife. Because the tip is controllable, and sharper and thinner at the spine, the clip point blade shape lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. While the drop point and the clip point blade shapes are often confused, the biggest difference between the two is the point. On the drop point blade shape, the point is much broader and provides you with a lot more strength. However, because it is broader, you do not have any stabbing capabilities. The clip point blade shape features a much thinner blade point. So while you do possess stabbing capabilities with this blade shape, it is much weaker and more prone to breaking or snapping. With a drop point blade shape, you are able to perform harder or heavier duty tasks than with a clip point blade shape. One of the other reasons that this is such a versatile blade shape is that it features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the biggest features that you should look for in an everyday knife is one that can be used for slicing. The clip point blade shape helps make the Banner a perfect option for your everyday carry knife.

This blade features a plain edge. This means that it will be easier to sharpen and you will be able to get a finer edge on this knife. Plain edged blades are the perfect option if the tasks that you are looking to perform include a lot of push cuts. The Banner will also be able to skin, peel, and slice because of its plain edge. The Banner has truly been designed to make your everyday tasks much easier.

On the back of the knife blade, near the handle, there is a series of jimping.

 

The Handle:

SOG Banner Knife
SOG Banner Knife

The handle on this knife is made out of aluminum. Aluminum is anodized for a handful of reasons. One of the most obvious reasons that aluminum is anodized is to add a color to the metal. In the Banner’s case, SOG chose to anodize the handle black. A few of the other reasons that it has been anodize is to add hardness and protection. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when it is used of knife handles. Plus, this material is a low density metal. This means that you will have a nice, hefty feel to your knife without your knife actually weighing too much. When Aluminum is properly texturized, you can have a secure grip on your knife. Aluminum is also a comfortable material to use for extended use. One of the biggest drawbacks to aluminum is that it is a very cold material. So, if you are working in the winter months or a cold environment, this handle might feel like it is biting into your hand. It can be very uncomfortable because of its conductive properties. One of the other reasons that aluminum is such a good knife handle material is that it is extremely resistant to rusting or corroding. The last drawback to an aluminum handle is that it is very susceptible to scratches and dings.

To add texture to this handle, SOG has carved in three grooves into the palm portion of the handle. They have also carved “SOG” into the handle. To help keep your fingers safe and your hand comfortable, they have carved out a deep finger groove. This is the perfect place to rest your finger as you grip the handle. One of the other safety features that SOG has added is a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is skeletonized. In the middle of the pocket clip, SOG has added their logo, which is also skeletonized. The pocket clip on this knife is a low carry pocket clip, but it is a reversible pocket clip. This helps to make the Banner a little more ambidextrous friendly.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife. The assisted mechanism that supports you is a thumb stud. This is arguably the most common one hand opening feature. The thumb stud is employed by many companies and designers. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward. You grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to wing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives with a thumb stud usually incorporate a locking mechanism of some sort. If the stud extends through the blade, the knife can be opened with either hand.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7.1 inches long, with a closed length of 4.6 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.6 ounces. This knife was designed and made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Banner:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is excellent at holding an edge.
  • The steel chosen for the blade resists rust effortlessly.
  • The steel chosen for the blade is very durable.
  • The blade’s steel is easy to machine and sharpen.
  • The steel is very tough, yet still durable.
  • The steel is hard, yet not brittle, which is a rarer combination to find.
  • The coating is applied in a vacuum, so you don’t get buildup of painted on coating.
  • Because the coating is applied in a vacuum setting, the coating is extremely even.
  • The coating is one of the most quality coating finishes, and will take much more to scratch off the coating.
  • The aluminum handle is extremely durable.
  • The aluminum handle is very resistant to rusting or corroding.
  • The aluminum handle makes maintenance a breeze.
  • The pocket clip is reversible.
  • The aluminum handle has plenty of texture added to it, to provide you with a very secure grip.
  • The aluminum handle provides you with a very hefty feel, but it is actually a very lightweight handle material.
  • The handle has a finger groove and a finger guard to keep you safe.
  • The clip point blade shape is versatile.
  • The clip point blade shape provides you with stabbing capabilities.
  • The clip point blade shape gives you a large belly that is perfect for slicing.
  • The thumb stud makes it a breeze to open your knife one handedly.

 

The Cons of the Banner:

  • Because it is a coating finish, the black will eventually scratch off.
  • The pocket clip is a low carry pocket clip.
  • The aluminum handle is a very cold material, so if you are trying to use this knife in a cold environment, it will feel like its biting into your hand.
  • The clip point blade shape has a weak tip that is prone to breaking or snapping.

 

Conclusion:

SOG’s story begins in Vietnam with a group of special ops that had to carry a special knife. Years later, Spencer Frazer found that knife and wanted to recreate it. At the beginning of SOG, there was only one knife and it was the tribute knife. But as they became a more popular company, they began to design and sell many other types of knives. Now, when you purchase a SOG knife, you know you are getting your money’s worth because these knives have been field tested for you.

For this perfect knife, SOG started out with a premium steel that has the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. Plus, it resists rust effortlessly and maintenance is a piece of cake. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is an incredibly durable material that also requires very little maintenance. The thumb stud allows you to open your knife with only one hand and the pocket clip is reversible. The reversible pocket clip helps to make this knife ambidextrous friendly. This everyday carry knife is truly a game changer. Get yours today at BladeOps.

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CRKT Rakkasan Fixed Blade Knife Review

Columbia River Knife & Tool Company, or CRKT, was founded in 1994. This is an American company that is known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. To do this, CRKT collaborates with the best designers in the world and operates on a simple principle: “that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand”.

CRKT did not truly take off as a company until around 1997, at the Shot Show, when they introduced the K.I.S.S knife. During this shot show, the year’s supply of this knife sold out within only the opening days. Now, CRKT owns fifteen patents and even has some patents pending. Some of these patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges.

CRKT has recently released a brand new knife and they called it eh Rakkasan.

 

The Designer:

Austin McGlaun is the designer behind this new knife. He is from Columbus, Georgia. Austin served in the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq and also as a street cop in Columbus, Georgia. Because of these two careers, he knows that a knife has to work as both a weapon and a tool. As part of the Forged by War program, he applied his skills as both a combat vet and a knife maker to develop the Clever Girl. Ne says that a knife is ugly but effective, it’s not ugly. It’s perfect.

 

The Blade:

The steel that this blade is made out of is made from SK5 Carbon Steel. This is the Japanese equivalent of American 1080. This steel is a high carbon steel that has a carbon level between 0.75% and 0.85%. Because of the high levels of carbon in this steel, the steel has increased abrasion resistance and also allows the steel to achieve an ideal balance of very good blade toughness with superior edge holding ability. This steel is commonly found on a variety of hand tools, because it has stood the test of time and use over many years in a handful of different countries. This steel is a hard steel that has the ability to make high quality blades. Because of the level of hardness, knives made out of this stele has the ability to cut through almost anything and is a very tough steel.

The steel has been finished with a black powder coating. This coating is applied as a free flowing, dry powder. Because it is applied as a poser coating, it can actually produce thicker coatings than a conventional liquid coating. Plus, it doesn’t run, so there will be no thicker or uneven sections. This coating is usually applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a layer or a skin on the blade. It creates a harder finish than a traditional paint would. This type of coating helps to resist scratches that the blade would have accumulated over time.

The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. To form the shape of this blade, the back, or the unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and stops about hallway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be “cut-out” or “clipped out”, which is where the blade shape gets its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped out. This clipped out area can be curved or straight, but on this specific knife, it is curved. This blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market and makes for a fantastic all-purpose blade. The most common place that you are going to find this blade shape is on a bowie knife, but it is also a popular blade shape on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. Because the point on this blade shape is lowered, the user will have more control over all of their cuts and slices. And, because the tip is so controllable, and because it is sharp and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. While clip point and drop point blade shapes get confused often because they are similar and both very useful, the biggest difference in the two is that the clip point has a sharper and thinner tip than the broad tip of the drop point blade shape. While that is a big benefit in a lot of situations, the tip is also going to be more prone to breaking or snapping during heavier use. One of the other reasons that a clip point blade shape is so versatile is because it sports such a large belly. This belly provides you with enough length to make slicing a breeze. This blade shape will prepare you for all of the expected situations that you might come across, and still prepare you for all of the unexpected ones that you come across.

The edge on this blade is a plain edge. In general, a plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Plus, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary. The plain edge is best for applications like shaving, skinning, or peeling. A serrated edge is best for thicker and tougher materials, however, when a plain edge is sharp enough, it can manage cutting the thicker or tougher materials. The last benefit of a plain edge is that it is much easier to sharpen than a serrated edge. With a plain edge, you can sharpen your blade with a  file or extra coarse stone.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Rakkasan is made out of G10. G10 is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it can be made for almost a fraction of the cost. To make the G10, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is crazy tough, very hard, extremely lightweight, and still strong. G10 is actually considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger than Micarta. To add texture to the handle, the manufacturer will add checkering or other patterns to the handle. On this knife, the texture that they have added is a very small checkered pattern. This handle material is very popular on tactical folders and fixed blade because it is so durable and also very lightweight, yet still nonporous. Even though this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN handles. The G10 handle on this knife is black.

There three shallow grooves carved across the spine of the handle as well as three more shallow grooves on the bottom of the handle. This is to help provide you with a secure grip in even the toughest of situations. CRKT has also added a finger guard to help protect your finger from slipping and slicing yourself. The hardware on this handle is silver.

 

The Mechanism:

CRKT Rakkasan
CRKT Rakkasan

This is a fixed blade knife. While many people love folding knives for a variety of reasons, such as them being more discrete or easy to conceal, fixed blades have so many benefits to them. For starters, fixed blades are bigger, which tends to make them stronger. Secondly, fixed blades are much harder to break than a folding knife. On a folding knife, there are a variety of moving parts that can rust, get dirty, or break. Because fixed blades have none of these small moving parts, there is nothing that can break. And, because you don’t have to worry about all of the small mechanisms, you can take on harder tasks without having to worry about breaking your knife. Thirdly, fixed blades are easier knives to maintain. This advantage also has to do with the lack of small and moving parts. Really all you have to do with a fixed blade is a quick wipe down and sometimes oil the blade. This ease significantly cuts down on the maintenance time that you have to schedule to maintain the high quality of your knife. Fourthly, you can bring a fixed blade into play quicker than you would be able to with a folding knife. With a fixed blade, you have to unsheathe it and that is it. It’s a one step process. With a folding knife, you have to pull it out and then deploy it before you can use it. Lastly, a fixed blade is a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers you more versatility for tasks than a folding knife would. With a fixed knife, you can cut, dig, split wood, prepare food, use it as a hunting weapon, hammer, and even pry. This is because of the larger size and extra strength that you receive with a fixed blade.

 

The Sheath:
The sheath that comes with this knife is a black Kydex sheath. This is a more modern sheath material, made out of thermoplastic. This was originally used to make holsters. The biggest advantage to Kydex is how durable it is. This sheath can survive in a variety of different environments, including being submerged in salt water. However, there are a variety of disadvantages to having a sheath made out of Kydex. It does not have much personality, in fact, it seems to look like a hard lump of plastic that lacks character. But, some people do like the dark color because it blends in well in stealth or hunting. One of the other drawbacks to having a Kydex sheath is that it is very loud when you are drawing out your knife or putting it back in. There’s a noisy click when doing either of those tasks. The last drawback to having a Kydex sheath is that with repeated drawing and putting back of your knife, the Kydex sheath will dull its edge.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Rakkasan is 4.894 inches long, with a thickness of 0.147 inches. The overall length of this knife is 10.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at 9.2 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

CRKT started their company with a single purpose: to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to today’s market. To achieve that purpose, they have been collaborating with some of the most well-known, most advanced, and most popular knife designers and makers in the world.

The Rakkasan is one of many new models that CRKT has released this year and this specific one is one of several knives that are part of their Forged by War series of knives. This knife was designed by war veteran Austin McGlaun and the Japanese translation of “umbrella for falling” after the World War II Paratroopers from the 187th regiment. Each of these models sports a rugged and textured handle design complete with finger groove cutouts for a secure grip as well as a full bellied blade to handle a plethora of tactical and utility scenarios.

To start the design of this knife, they chose to use SK5 high carbon stainless steel. This steel is finished with a powder coating. The powder coating helps to increase the hardness of the steel and helps to reduce scratches and other abrasives that the blade would accumulate over time. The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is one of the most popular and versatile blade shapes because of its thin, lowered tip and its large belly. The handle is a black G10 handle that is lightweight, durable, and very strong. This fixed blade comes with a Kydex sheath. The Rakkasan would be the perfect edition to your knife collection–go ahead and get yours here.

 

 

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The Benchmade Infidel Knives Reviewed

For over twenty-five years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world class products for world class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected. Whether you are using a Griptilian for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like their LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence. They live it and breath it, and they know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.

Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, form special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grand handle materials to create premium grade knives and tools that provide great value for their customers.

The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. Is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most? These are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.

The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry—often to tolerances half the width of a human hair. Our commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.

Benchmade knives are all supported through a team of skilled technicians.

Benchmade Infidel
Benchmade Infidel

Their only function is to ensure your Benchmade is in optimal working condition for your entire life. This service is called LifeSharp, which is a name that speaks for itself. When you send your knife to the Benchmade LifeSharp team, the knife is completely disassembled and all worn part are tuned and replaced. The knife is then lubricated and reassembled, a sharpener applies a factory edge to the blade and the knife is shipped back to you. This is all at no cost to you.

Benchmade has a rich history that dates back over 30 years. Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never quite demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation. To this day, Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

Over here at BladeOps, we are some of Benchmade’s biggest fans. So we decided to celebrate this May as Benchmade month. We are hoping that you will celebrate with us.

 

The Blade:

The Infidel family has its blades made out of D2 steel. This is a high end tool steel that is often referred to as a “semi-stainless” steel. This is because it falls just short of the required amount of chromium to qualify as full stainless yet it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion. On the other side, D2 steel is much harder than other steels in this category such as 154CM or ATS-34 steel and as a result holds its edge a little better. That said, this still is not as tough as many other steels and exponentially tougher to sharpen. In fact, you will really need to be a master sharpener to get a fine edge on this steel formula.

With this family of knives, you can choose between two different steel finishes. The first finish that you have the option of is a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This abrasive material is usually a sandpaper. The main characteristic that you get with this blade finish is that it shows the bevels of the blade very well and it also showcases the lines of the steel. The satin finish is going to give you one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across. The satin finish works to cut down on glares and reflections, but is also nowhere near matte.

The second option of a blade finish that you get with the Infidel family of knives is a coated finish. The coated finish is black and reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. However, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade would have to be recoated at that point. With a coating finish, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

Benchmade Mini Infidel
Benchmade Mini Infidel

The blades on this family of knives has been carved into a double edge dagger shape. The dagger blade shape is all about the point. This shape is also known as a needle point blade. It is a double edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing. This blade shape 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 in on both sides equally. This makes them a favorite blade design for self-defense in close combat situations. Dagger blades are popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed. However, there are also disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because 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. This blade shape is the perfect option for knife owners who are looking for a blade design known for piercing.

Because it is built to be a stabbing knife, both edges of the blade have a plain edge. The plain edge provides you with cleaner cuts than if you had a serrated edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this family of knives is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. This is the most common type of aluminum that is used today and it has tremendous tensile strength. This is a very durable material for knife handles. It has a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. When an aluminum handle is properly texturized, and aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the premium knives. The aluminum handle has been anodized black for hardness and protection.

The handle has a wide flare and the top and butt of the handle. This helps with grip and to protect your hand from slipping. In the palm of the hand there are tight grooves going across the width of the knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip that is attached to the Infidel family of knives is dark sliver, deep carry pocket clip. It has “the Infidel” stamped across the length of the clip. This is a MALICE CLIP, which means that it is MOLLE compatible. This knife has been designed to attach the pocket clip tip down only.

 

The Mechanism:

The Infidel is an Automatic opening Out the Front knife. This style of knife is also known as an OTF, sliding, or telescoping knife. This is a style of pocket knife 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 sheath 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 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 Infidel is a double action out the front knife. Double action OTF knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design. Although movie magic often shows double action OTF automatic knives being powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the butt, in reality, they are not strong enough to do that. You can chalk that idea up to movie magic. Double action sliding autos are only spring powered 10 to 12 millimeters; afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open.

The firing button sits toward the top handle. It is slightly oversized for easy access. When you push the button, the blade snaps out quickly like you would expect forma Benchmade. When you slide the button back down, the blade closes tight and quick. This double action OTF knife is built tough and ready for action.

 

The Purpose:

The family of Infidels has been designed as a series of tactical knives. This is also considered a fighting knife which is a knife with a blade designed to inflict injury in a physical confrontation or between two or more individuals at very short range. Fighting knives were traditionally designed as special purpose weapons, intended primarily if not solely for use in personal or hand to hand combat. This singularity of purpose originally distinguished the fighting knife form the field knife, fighting utility knife, or in modern usage, the tactical knife. The tactical knife is a knife with one or more military features designed for use in extreme situations, which may or may not include a design capability as a fighting or combat weapon.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.91 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.118 inches. The open length of this family of knives is 8.91 inches long and it has a closed length of 5 inches long. The handle thickness on this knife is 0.59 inches. The Infidels weigh in at 4.9 ounces. These knife has been made in the United States of America and is MOLLE compatible. The sheath type of this knife is Cordura.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade describes this knife they say, “In addition to the incredibly stable, fast action and the rugged, pure tactical nature of the knife, the Infidel has a cool factor that is hard to describe without physically experiencing it.” The Benchmade 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 almost 4″ 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 model features a black aluminum chassis, a dual-edged dagger style blade in a black finish and the deep carry pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only. Due to the size, this knife comes with a MOLLE compatible nylon sheath and malice clip for multiple carry options.
Come celebrate Benchmade month today at BladeOps and pick up your favorite Infidel today.

 

 

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CRKT Noma Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool Company was founded in Oregon in 1994. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. CRKT also operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this, they collaborate with the best knife designers and makers in the world. Some of these collaborations have been with Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. Out of these collaborations have been born some of the most innovative inventions in the knife community. CRKT now owns fifteen patents and patents pending, some of their more well-known patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer are the men behind the company. And while their company is excelling right now, it wasn’t always that way. CRKT did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show. This was the year and place that they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This is a small folder hat was designed by Ed Halligan and it was a raging success. Within the opening days of the Shot Show, CRKT had sold out the years’ worth of products. Now, CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades, folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

CRKT has recently just released two brand new knives and they call them the Noma and the Noma Compact.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this burly knife is Jesper Voxnaes. He is from Loegstrup, Denmark and because of this, when he needs to test a design, he only has to step into his own backyard. The harsh elements and conditions of the fjords and forests in his native Denmark do the rest. When he was starting out, no one was making the kind of knives he wanted to design so he learned by trial and error. Apparently his efforts paid off given his IF Award in 2013 for one of the Top European Designs. Now he creates and uses knives like the Amicus as he sails, camps, and drives off road, which just so happens to be more often than not.

 

The Blades:

The blades on these knives are made out 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel formula comes from a Chinese series of steel. Out of this series, the 9Cr steel is the top quality, but 8Cr steel does fall shortly behind it. If you are looking for a comparison with a similar steel, I would say AUS 8 steel. However, AUS 8 steel is the slightly superior steel. 8Cr steel is a stainless steel, so it will resist rusting and corroding to an extent. However, it is an average grade steel, so there are higher quality stainless steels on the market. The hardness of this steel is an HRC 58-60. This steel is a breeze to sharpen and you can give the blade a very sharp edge. The edge on this blade will also last for long periods of time. The biggest advantage that 8Cr13MoV steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. This steel can take on the majority of jobs that you throw at it and you get it for a very inexpensive cost. However, keep in mind that it is considered an average grade steel and it won’t excel at anything.

The finish on these two knives is a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive material, which is usually a sandpaper. The main purpose of this finish is to showcase the lines of the steel.  This finish will provide you with an extremely traditional look. The satin finish is a medium finish, meaning that there are definitely finishes that are more reflective than it, such as the mirror finish, but there are also finishes that are much more matte than this finish, such as a stonewash or coated finish.

The steel on both of these knives have been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most popular blade shapes and for good reason: this is a great all-purpose blade shape that is extremely versatile. To form the shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered tip is broad, and that is what provides the user with such great strength. The clip point blade shape is often confused with the drop point blade shape, but it is the point strength that is a difference between the two. The clip point blade shape has a much thinner, finer, and sharper tip. While this tip does allow you to have stabbing capabilities, it does create a much weaker tip, which results in it being prone to snapping or breaking when performing some of those heavier duty tasks. One of the only drawbacks to the drop point blade shape is that it is broader, so you can’t really stab or pierce with it. However, because of the strength behind the tip and because it can hold up to heavy use, drop point blade shapes are popular on tactical and survival knives. The lowered tip also makes this blade more easily controllable, which makes them very popular on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Another reason that this blade shape is so versatile is because it features a large belly area that provides plenty of length for slicing. When you choose to own a knife with a drop point blade, you will be preparing yourself for almost any situation that you encounter, whether it is the expected or unexpected situations.

The edge on these knives is a plain edge. Since the Noma and the Noma Compact have been designed for hunting, the plain edge is the perfect choice. Plain edges are more traditional and they excel at push cuts, skinning, peeling, and slicing. The plain edge will give your cuts a clean cut, keeping your meat at the highest quality.

 

The Handle:

The handles on the Noma’s have been made out of Glass Reinforced Fiber polyamide. This material is a thermoplastic which is super strong, resistant to bending and abrasion, and is practically indestructible. As an added bonus, it is super cheap. This is an inexpensive material to produce because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. These characteristics leads to high volume manufacturing and thus the low price. GRN is such a strong material because all of the nylon fibers have been arranged haphazardly throughout. This means that the handle can be stressed in any direction without breaking down because there are really no weak spots. With similar materials such as G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta the strands have been aligned in a single direction. This is why those materials are also so brittle: once you start to stress them in the opposing directions, they can easily break down and the handle will fall apart. And because those materials are so brittle, you have to be careful with what you do with them, because they can crack if subjected to hard hits on sharp or hard objects. GRN is not that way and has been designed to take a heavy beating. Many people did not warm up to this material because they thought that it felt cheap and almost hollow. Another complaint about GRN is that it is not quite as grippy as G 10 is. To add texture, CRKT has added dashes and circles into the palm portion of both of the handles. This will provide you with plenty of grip to hang on to your knife in the slipperiest of situations. Another thing that CRKT added to give you better control was a row of jimping on the spine of the knife. To keep your fingers comfortable for periods of long use, CRKT has added two elongated finger grooves to the bottom of the handle as well as a flared butt and a finger guard to keep your fingers safe from getting sliced.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into it. If you tie a lanyard onto your hunting knife, it will provide you with extra length, protect against loss, and even give you extra grip when you are performing those tougher and messier jobs. Attaching a lanyard onto your hunting knife is an excellent idea.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is skeletonized and kept in place by two small screws. This pocket clip is eligible for tip up or tip down carry, but the handle has only been carved to attach it on the traditional side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

CRKT Noma Knife
CRKT Noma Knife

This is a folding knife that uses a nail nick opening. The nail nick is exactly what it sounds like: a small indent on the blade that extends past the handle when the knife is closed. This nick gives you enough traction to then flip the knife open.

The Noma’s also sport a lock back safety mechanism. This mechanism is what you are going to find on many classic American folding knives. It is made of a spine on a spring. When the knife is opened, the spine locks into a notch on the back of the blade. To close the knife, push down on the exposed part of the spine to pop up the part of the spine in contact with the blade. This disengages the lock, which allows you to swing the blade to a closed positon. The benefits of a lock back include reliable strength and safety. The unlock button is also out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blades path when closing, minimizing the risk of cutting yourself. One of the disadvantages to this type of locking mechanism is that you have to use both hands to close a lock back so it can be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. Although it’s possible to close a lock back with one hand, it isn’t easy.

 

The Specs of the Noma:

The blade on this knife is 3.317 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The overall length of the knife is 7.875 inches long with a closed length of 4.497 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.6 ounces.

 

The Specs of the Noma Compact:

The blade on this knife is 2.760 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.104 inches. The overall length of the knife is 6.563 inches long with a closed length of 3.757 inches long. The Noma Compact weighs in at 3.2 ounces.  You can find the Noma Compact here.

 

Conclusion:

“This backwoods field dresser doesn’t come with a butcher block. The Noma is a folding knife rooted in its Scandinavian hunting heritage and is the envy of butchers everywhere. Its big-belly blade design and ergonomic shape makes it a go-to if you’re going after wild game. Jesper Voxnaes of Loegstrup, Denmark channeled inspiration from his expansive Nordic backyard while designing the Noma™. The clean lines are notably Scandinavian but the blade shape and all-weather handle make it unmistakably a hunting knife. The blade itself is crafted with a deep belly design and features a satin finish. The lock back safety ensures your protection and locks into place after the blade is deployed with a subtle nail nick opening. Finally, the handle is made with glass-reinforced nylon for optimal grip and excellent durability. ‘Noma’ translates to fate in Old Norse, and you can bet that their hunting ancestors wouldn’t have left it up to anything but the Noma™ folding knife.” Pick yours up at BladeOps today.

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Buck 101 Hunter Fixed Blade Knife Review

A young Kansas blacksmith apprentice named Hoyt Buck was looking for a better way to temper steel so it would hold an edge longer. His unique approach produced the first Buck Knife in 1902. Hoyt made each knife by hand, suing worn out file blades as raw material. His handiwork was greatly appreciated during World War II. Hoyt’s eldest son Al had relocated from the Pacific Northwest to San Diego California after finishing a stint in the navy a decade earlier. Hoyt, and his wife Daisy, moved in with Al and his young family in 1945 and set up shop as H.H. Buck and Son.

Following the death of his father, Al kept the fledgling custom knife business going until incorporating Buck Knives, Inc. in 1961. Al introduced his son, Chuck, to the knife business at an early age and Chuck and his wife, Lori, were both involved when the company was incorporated. In 1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A positon they proudly hold today.

Chuck worked his way up through the company serving as President and CEO for many years before handing over the reins to his son, CJ, in 1999. Chuck remained active as Chairman of the Board until his passing in 2015. Lori now serves on the Board of Directors and is actively involved with Buck promotional events throughout the US, continuing Chuck’s legacy.

CJ, the 4th generation family member to run Buck Knives and current CEO, President and Chairman, started out with the company on the production line in 1978. He has been quoted saying, “We have been helping people thrive with reliable and trustworthy edged products for over a century. Since our own name is on the knife, our quality, focus and attention to detail is very personal.”

Hoyt and Al Buck’s ingenuity may have put the company on the map. But it is their ongoing commitment to developing innovative new products and improving what they have by third and fourth generation Buck family members that have made Buck the successful knife maker it is today. Frankly, it is what their customers expect from a Buck.

Buck has a forever warranty which means that they warranty each and every Buck knife to be free of defects in material and workmanship for the life of the knife, and they will repair or replace with a new Buck knife, at their option, any Buck knife that is defective.

Today, we will be going over the Buck 101 Hunter knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 420HC steel. This steel is considered a lower mid-range steel. Generally considered the king of the 420 steels, 420HC is similar to 420 steel but with increased levels of carbon (HC stand for High Carbon) which makes the steel harder. While it still is considered a lower mid-range steel, but the more competent manufactures, especially Buck, can really bring out the best in this affordable steel using quality heat treatments. The quality heat treatment results in better edge retention and resistance to corrosion. In fact, this is one of the most corrosion resistant steels out there, despite its low cost. You are going to find this steel mostly on budge blade and multi tools.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, usually a sandpaper. The key characteristic of this blade finish is that it shows off the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the lines in the steel. This is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across. This blade finish does work to cut down on glares and reflections, but it is a medium level finish in terms of how reflective it is. A mirror finish is going to be much more reflective and a matte finish is going to be much less reflective. The satin finish does cut down on rust and corroding to a point.

The Buck 101 Hunter has a blade that has been carved into a clip point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose blade, then this is the right blade shape for you. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. One of the most recognizable knife that features a clip point is the Bowie knife, but it is also very popular on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. To form the shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight from the handle and stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut out” area is curved on the 101. This cut out area is also referred to as the clip, which is how the shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if the part of the knife from the spine to the point has literally been clipped off. The point that is created by this clip is lowered, which provides more control when using the knife. Because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. This lowered tip helps on this hunting knife because the easily controllable tip helps to not slip and ruin the meat of the game that you are dressing, or slipping and piercing one of the inner organs of the game that you are dressing. Clip point blade also make for a great hunting knife because they feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, skinning, and dressing game. The only real disadvantage of the clip point blade is its relatively narrow tip. Because it is so sharp and narrow, it does have a tendency to be weak and break fairly easily. The clip point blade shape is going to prepare you for almost any situation.

Because this is a hunting knife, it sports a plain edge. The plain edge will work for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, and skinning a deer. All of these applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. The plain edge is also the more traditional edge that you are going to come across and is well equipped for a wider variety of tasks.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Macassar Ebony Dymondwood and Brass. Wood has been used as a knife handle since knives came into existence.  A good quality wood handle can be durable and attractive, making wood a relatively inexpensive material for heavy duty knives. Wood also adds a lot of beauty to a knife, making wood handled knives popular among collectors. Dymondwood is a type of stabilized wood, which means that the wood is injected with plastic. Manufacturers inject polymer resin and then compress under high pressure to create a very dense and durable material that still exhibits natural beauty. This material is very similar to Micarta, G10, and Carbon Fiber, except that the base material is wood, instead of unnatural materials. Dymondwood is a very affordable material and is commonly used on budget knives. The combination of Dymondwood and brass gives you a very traditional, gentleman’s knife style. The look of this knife is a classic that is never going to go out of style.

The handle has a continuous curve on the bottom side to provide you with a comfortable grip all the way down. The butt of the knife has a flared handle to help with grip and control.

 

The Mechanism:

Buck 101 Fixed Blade
Buck 101 Fixed Blade

The Buck 101 Hunter is a fixed blade. When someone is a fan of a folding knife, they think that folding knives are more discrete and easier to conceal, which also means that people don’t know that you have a knife. Folding blade fans also are convenient and can be easily transported in your pocket. However, there are such a wide variety of fixed blades, especially when you are using it as a hunting knife that make a fixed blade the right option for you. For starters, they are stronger and bigger. A fixed blade comes in whatever size you need, form very small to massive. No matter which size you choose, you are going to find the same strength in all. Fixed blades also don’t break, because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. This advantage comes especially in handy when you are field dressing your game, because you need your knife to be reliable. Fixed blades are also much easier to maintain. You do not have to worry about the hinge as you do with a folding knife, plus cleaning is straightforward and simple. This is one of the biggest advantages of having a fixed blade for your hunting knife. After you work with your game, your knife is going to be bloody and messy—so the easier it is to clean, the better your life is going to be. The next advantage to having a fixed blade as a hunting knife is the blade length. Fixed blades are usually twice as long as the blade on a folding knife. They also make for a superior tactical use. This is because fixed blades can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife is going to be able to in a tactical situation. Lastly, a fixed blade is going to make for a superior survival tool. A fixed blade offers more versatility for any number of tasks associated with so-called survival knives, including but not limited to cutting, digging, splitting, first aid tool, food preparation, a hunting knife, hammering, and a prying tool.

Because the Buck 101 Hunter is a fixed blade, you are going to be able to use this knife as much more than just your go to hunting knife.

This is a full tang blade, which means that the blade extends all the way through the handle. This adds exceptional amounts of strength to the knife, because there is no weak spot where the blade meets the handle.

 

The Sheath:

This knife comes with a black leather sheath that provides a convenient belt carry option. Leather is a very traditional material that is used to make sheaths, and it’s still one of the best types of sheath material to have. There are many good things about leather, but one of the main advantages is the aesthetics. Leather is a well-known material that looks exceptional, feels nice in your hands, and even smells good. Leather is the kind of stuff that hearkens back to the days of cowboys and ruggedness. Leather is also very quiet when you’re putting a knife in and out of the sheath. However, since leather is made up of natural material, it will eventually become unusable., but it also depends on how well you take care of your sheath. If you’re jumping into rivers and going into situation with extreme heat, the oils in the lather could dry out and cause the sheath to crack pretty quickly. If you take care of the leather by oiling it occasionally, it could last longer than the knife itself.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on this hunting knife is 3.75 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.5 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.1 ounces.

 

The Conclusion:

Full-tang, fixed version of the classic 110 Folding Hunter. One of America’s best-selling knives is now available in a fixed version. The full tang, 420HC blade creates a sturdy option for those hunters looking for a clip point, fixed blade knife. Featuring the same classic Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handle with brass bolster and built with the same attention to detail, high quality and craftsmanship. Made in the USA

 

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Microtech LUDT Automatic Knife Review

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves their facility. In a world of ever changing technology, we strive to ensure their customer have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus remains the same: delivery revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They appreciate their customers, for the years of loyalty and support, and for motivating them to better themselves so that they may continue to rise above your expectations. Some memorable moments from Microtech’s history:

  • In 1994, the very first knife prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment.
  • In 1994, the release of the UDT marked the official beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent.
  • In 1995, they released the HALO, which has become a prominent line through Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
  • In 1999, the Ultratech, the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production.
  • 1999 was also the second year in a row which Microtech earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Awards.
  • In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012.
  • In 2004, the initial run of the Currahe was limited, with the first few placed in the hands of those best suited to test the knife, the United States Special Forces.
  • In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
  • In 2015, they had significant collaborations with Heretic Knives, Sean Marfione, Kohi hara, Borka Blades, and Munroe Knives.
  • 2015 also saw the introduction of the thin Blue Line law enforcement special Ultratech.
  • In 2016 production porotypes of the SBK and kitchen knife collaborations with Borka Blades were released at Blade Show.

Microtech’s knives are amazing knives. All of them are durable and reliable. Today, we are going to be talking about the LUDT (Large Underwater Demolition Team) knife series. This series has a wide variety of different options to choose form, so we will be going over all the different options that you are presented with.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Microtech LUDT’s are made out of Bohler Elmax steel. This is a European powder metal steel that is used in higher end knives, Elmax has an advanced formula and the result is a very good all-around steel, a generation ahead of formulations like 154CM. When this steel first came out, it was pricey, but the competition has driven it down to reasonable levels, which makes it a decent value. This steel is a high chromium vanadium molybdenum alloyed powdered steel with extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax is stainless but acts in many ways like a carbon steel. You get superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening while maintain a healthy resistance to rust. Many of Microtech’s blades are made from Bohler’s Elmax. This is because they have found it to provide the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. This is a high performance knife stele, and is a third generation powder metal technology that is noted for its fine carbide distribution with extremely low inclusion content for virtually no chip out.

With the blade, you can get a very wide variety of blade finishes. The two most common ones that you are going to find on a LUDT knife is either a black coated finish, a bronze/bead blasted finish, or a satin finish. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually and at different rates, depending on the quality of the coating. One of the most common coating finish is the black coating that you are going to get on the LUDT knife. The black coating is matte.

A satin finish is the most typical knife finish. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It has decent corrosion resistance but less than polish or mirror finished blades.

The bronze/bead blasted finish is also one of the common finishes that you are going to find on this knife series. A bead blasted blade is dull and non-reflective and it is just what it sounds like—the steel is literally blasted with plastic beads to reach the desired finish. This type of finish also hides scratches pretty well, but the stonewash accomplishes this a little better. A bead blasted finish has a rougher texture and is therefore more susceptible to corrosion. These blades are covered with a bronze finish.

You can also get the LUDT with a custom finish. This is from their Star Wars series: The Jedi Knight, which has a blue and satin blade, the Sith Lord which has a red and satin blade, the Jedi Master which has a green and satin blade, and the Storm Trooper which has a white blade.

Microtech LUDT Auto Knife
Microtech LUDT Auto Knife

The LUDT has been designed as an everyday carry knife and the perfect blade shape for that is the drop point that they chose. This is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything. A drop point knife blade is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The most recognizable knife that feature a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger bales in Swiss army knives. To form this blade shape, the edge of the knife runs straight from eh handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on the drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. It is this large belly that makes the LUDT such a perfect everyday carry blade. The blade shape is ideal for everyday carry and simple chores, because the drop point profile is very popular and used on a variety of pocket knives and fixed blades. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited for piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

With the LUDT knife series, you have the option between either a plain edge or a serrated edge blade. A plain edge is a blade that is one continuous sharp edge and it is far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, however, it may simply slip. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw like edge ground into the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrate blades also work great on substances that are soft, such as bread or tomatoes. However, cutting with a serrated edge often causes fraying and when the blade is dull it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. It really comes down to what you are most likely going to be using your blade for and personal preferences.

 

The Handle:

The LUDT knife series is mostly made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. There are a couple of other options for the handle material, but the majority of the knives in this series are made out of the aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. The most common type of aluminum that is used today is the 6061-T6 aluminum alloy which has tremendous tensile strength. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives.

The handles that are made out of the aluminum have been anodized for color, hardness, and protection. There is a very wide variety of different colors of anodized handles such as: black, tan, bronze, red, green, turquoise, burnt orange, purple, and silver.

The handle has four long grooves that go down the length of the knife. The handle has been contoured to fit your hand comfortably. There has been a lanyard hole carved out of the handle, which comes in use in many different situations.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is held in place by tree small screws.

 

Microtech LUDT, 135-1TQ
Microtech LUDT, 135-1TQ

The Mechanism:

This series of knives are all Automatic knives, or switchblades. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button on the handle is activated. Most switchable designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened positon. The blade is unlocked by manually operation a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position. However, switchblades do have some strict laws surrounding them. This means that before purchasing your favorite LUDT knife, you need to be aware of what your local knife laws are. This knife might be illegal to purchase or carry in your area.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.375 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 8 inches long, with a closed length of 4.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.6 ounces. It was made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:

The LUDT is based on the U.D.T, Microtech’s original compact automatic folder.  Re-released for the first time in years, this larger, updated version features a milled handle, with lanyard hole, and recess for the firing button.  The latest model also features a revised blade profile and tri-angle hardware. Microtech’s L.U.D.T. auto knives are back–and we couldn’t be more excited. This premium automatic knife was first produced in the 1990’s and quickly established itself as one of Microtech’s fastest selling side open automatic knives. The L.U.D.T (Large Underwater Demolition Team) comes made out of Elmax steel that is strong, durable, and reliable. This steel has some of the highest corrosion resistance that you are going to find and is a premium grade steel that is going to give you good bang for your buck. The drop point blade shape is useful in a wide variety of circumstances and helps to make this a great EDC option. You have the option of a wide variety of different blade steels and you can choose between a combo edge or a plain edge. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is very durable and very resistant to corrosion and rusting. This material has been anodized in almost any color that you can picture. With so many options, this automatic knife is sure to please. Pick up your favorite version today at BladeOps.

 

 

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Spectacular SOG Knives

Something interesting about SOG knives is that they actually began in Vietnam. There were members of a highly classified US special ops unit who all carried a special combat knife for their jungle missions. It wasn’t until 1986 when Spencer Frazer founded SOG Specialty Knives, he wanted to reproduce and design this original knife. He commemorated that bowie knife model and then went on to produce a full line of knives and tools. Lots of these knives have been field-proved by US Special Forces. Some have received the Navy SEAL choice knife. These knives are reliable, durable, and trusted. They can be used from hunting, self-protecting, or even just your everyday knife and you know that your knife will stand up to the challenges that you throw at it.

 

SOG Trident
SOG Trident

The Trident:

The blade on this knife is 3.75 inches made out of AUS-8 steel. This steel has a coating that helps resist rust. SOG has produced many variations of this knife, so you can get the coating in a few different options: A Black Tini or a satin finish if that is what you want. This steel is a perfect hardness, because it holds an edge for quite a while and then is easy to re-sharpen when needed. The hardness of this knife can stand up to safety missions or work as a utility knife. You can get this blade in a full straight edge or a combo edge, whichever you prefer. Some bonuses about having serrations on your blade is that they can help cut through materials such as rope or branches. Plus, if you are using this knife as your everyday carry knife, serrations making cutting through cardboard a breeze. The thickness of the blade is .13 inches, which can seem to be on the thinner side. However, because it is a folding knife, if you added any thickness, you add weight and bulkiness, neither are ideal for a perfect folding knife. The blade sports a clip point silhouette and has a spring assisted opening mechanism. On the blade is an ambidextrous thumb stud which helps opening the blade easy and quickly.

The handle on this knife is made out of glass-reinforced nylon scales with a rubber over mold and you can get these in many different colors. Some of those colors being black, digital desert camo, tiger stripe camo, and a few other camo patters/colors. The locking system on this knife is a Piston Lock, which is similar to Benchmade’s locking system. Something about this knife that many people don’t like is the pocket clip; it isn’t reversible, it isn’t as long as many people would want, and it does have an awkward flair at the bottom. However, this is really the only complaint that people have, so don’t get turned away because of the pocket clip.

The overall length of this knife is 8.5 inches and the closed length is 4.75 inches long. The knife weighs 3.6 ounces. Something unique about this knife is that if the spring breaks, the knife can still open and close. If this does happen, you will end up with a manual folder, but that is a huge bonus.  Find all our Trident SOG knife models here.

Pros of the Trident:

  • The coating on this knife helps resist rust, even if the knife ends up being submerged in water for long periods of time.
  • You can get the blade coated in two different coatings, depending on your preference.
  • The edge on this knife is held for long periods of time and is easy to sharpen.
  • You can get a straight edge blade or a combo edge blade.
  • You can get the handle in many different colors.
  • If the spring on this knife breaks, the knife will still open and close, you will just have a manual folding knife.

Cons of the Trident:

  • Many people have complaints about the pocket clip.
  • The blade is a little on the thin side.

 

The Twitch II:

SOG Twitch II
SOG Twitch II

The blade on this knife is 2.65 inches long made out of AUS-8 steel. The steel is then treated with a “cryogenic heat treatment” which is done by slowly reducing the blade temperature to -300 degrees Fahrenheit and then slowly bringing it back up again. This treatment improves the strength and the sharpness of the steel. This blade is crazy sharp, which makes cutting a very easy task. Just like the Trident, you can get this knife in either a plain edge or a combo edge. The blade also will come in gray, black, or rosewood. Because of the lock back mechanism, the blade can be held securely in either the open or the closed positon. The knife is an assisted opening knife, which makes it easy to open with only one hand. To close the knife, you push the lock bar and then fold the blade down, which is usually a two-handed operation. But, with lots of practice, it is possible to achieve this maneuver one-handed, making life a little easier.

The handle on this knife is made out of Anodized Aluminum 6061-T6. SOG has created many different designs for this knife, and you can get the handle in a variety of different colors. Some of these colors are gray, black, digital camo, and a unique wood handle. This handle material gives you enough grip for lighter tasks and work, but the material might make heavy duty tasks a little bit trickier. The handle features a very strong pocket clip. The sturdiness of this pocket clip actually requires a firm push onto your pocket or a firm pull off of it. However, the pocket clip is not reversible, which does turn off some people.

SOG outdid themselves when they re-designed the Twitch to get this updated version. This knife is an extremely high-quality knife.  The overall length of this knife is 6.2 inches long and the closed length of this knife is 3.55 inches long. It isn’t too expensive, but it isn’t cheap. The price is worth the quality that you get, especially if you are using this knife for your everyday carry.  Find the entire line of SOG Twitch II knives on our website here.

Pros of the Twitch II:

  • The steel has a cryogenic heat treatment, which improves the strength and sharpness of the steel.
  • The blade is crazy sharp.
  • You can get a straight edge or a combo edge.
  • You can get a variety of different handle colors.
  • The pocket clip is very strong.
  • Not too expensive, especially for the quality that you get.

Cons of the Twitch II:

  • The pocket clip is not reversible.
  • To close the knife, you will have to use two hands until you get practice in.

 

The Flash II:

SOG Flash II Rescue Knife
SOG Flash II Rescue Knife

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long made out of AUS-8 steel which is a good quality Japanese steel. Like I said, this steel is good, it does hold its edge well, it is easy to re-sharpen, but it isn’t great. To make up for the quality that it is missing, some of the Flash II versions are coated in a Titanium Nitride. You can get this blade in a partially serrated version or a straight edge version. Like the two previously mentioned knives, this is also a spring assisted opener; it boasts SOG’s Assisted Technology which is just a very fast spring assisted opening mechanism. The blade sports a drop point shape.

The handle on this knife is Zytel, which is a fiberglass-reinforced nylon. This material is a little easier to understand if I call it a reinforced plastic, because that’s really what it is. The handle comes in a ton of different color options. The Zytel material is a light material, so you don’t have to worry about your knife weighing you down. But, it doesn’t feel like a cheap material, it feels sturdy. This handle is frameless, which makes the weight of the knife go down quite a bit. Plus, without the metal frames, when you are carrying this weight in cold temperatures you won’t have to worry about the metal freezing your hand. The handle sports a deep carry pocket clip and SOG’s deep carry pocket clips are at the top of deep carry pocket clips. Some people think that this clip is a little bit too tight, but it does loosen up as you use it. This handle is a comfortable shape to hold, so you can use it for long periods, but it isn’t the most comfortable handle that you’d be able to find.

The overall length of this knife is 8 inches long and when the knife is folded, it is 4.5 inches long. The knife weighs 3.1 ounces. This knife has a poor reputation of being just for beginners and not something that most knife connoisseurs would want, but this is a fantastic knife. The reputation is wrong. This is a durable, reliable knife that won’t let you down when you need it. Don’t overlook this knife–find all the Flash II SOG knives here, in stock and ready to ship.

Pros of the Flash II:

  • The blade has a coating to help improve the hardness and durability of the steel.
  • Comes in a straight edge or a combo edge blade.
  • The Zytel handle is a lightweight material yet it still feels sturdy.
  • The handle is frameless, so you don’t have to worry about excess weight or freezing metal on your hand.
  • The handle comes in a variety of colors.
  • Has a deep carry pocket clip.

Cons of the Flash II:

  • Because the handle is frameless, it does lose some of its durability.
  • Is known for being just for beginners.
  • The AUS-8 steel is not the highest steel choice.

 

The SEAL Pup:

SOG Seal Pup
SOG Seal Pup

This is a fixed blade knife with a blade that is 4.75 inches long. It is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel that is powder coated adding more corrosion resistance than it would have originally had. At the broadest point it is 1.125 inches wide and the thickness of the blade is .19 inches. You can get this knife in either a plain edge blade or a combo edge blade. If you get the combo version, it has 1.5 inches of serrations and the rest of the edge is a plain edge. This blade is crazy sharp, even right out of the package.

The handle on this knife is a glass-reinforced nylon. It sports finger grooves and has a small guard. This guard is important because of how sharp the blade actually is. The handle has extreme texture all around it except for the front of the handle and the finger grooves. You will have extreme grip even when it is wet or dirty. You’ll have grip in almost any situation. Another unique thing about this handle is that it doesn’t retain heat or cold, so you can use it in any weather.

The sheath of this knife is made out of reinforced Nylon that has a Kydex insert to hold the blade. The sheath sports a pocket that seal with Velcro, so you can keep any small survival instruments in it, such as a fire starter.

Overall, this knife is 9 inches long and weighs 5.4 ounces. If you are looking for a fixed blade, this one is going to meet all of your expectations and then some.  Find all the SOG Seal Pup variations here.

Pros of the SEAL Pup:

  • The steel has a powder coating that adds to its corrosion resistance properties.
  • You can get this in a straight edge or a combo edge blade.
  • The blade is extremely sharp.
  • The handle has perfectly designed finger grooves.
  • The handle has a finger guard, which you do need because of how sharp the blade is.
  • The handle has great grip.
  • The handle doesn’t retain heat or cold.
  • The sheath has a pocket to keep a small item in.

Cons of the SEAL Pup:

  • The steel on the blade doesn’t hold an edge as well as other steels would.
  • The choil is very small and can injure your finger if you put your finger there.

 

Conclusion:

SOG is a fantastic option for any of your knife needs, but they excel at tactical knives because the original knife was designed from a knife that a Special Ops group used. With so many spectacular knives from this brand, it can be hard to choose the best one for you. I compiled this list of the four best SOG knives out there–you can find all the SOG knives on our website here–in stock and ready to ship.

 

 

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The Zero Tolerance 0460 Knife Review

Kai USA, Ltd is a major player in the knife industry that operates Kershaw Knives, Shun knives and Zero Tolerance Knives. Kai is a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares in Japan. For over 100 years, Kai has been the leading manufacturer of premium blades in Japan. They strive to be innovative and produce ground breaking new technology.

Zero Tolerance first hit the markets in 2006 when Kai saw a place in the market for made in the United States of America knives that could endure heavy and hard use. These knives were built to meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, first responders, and fire fighters and emergency medical personnel.

The first products that Zero Tolerance released were combat knives, but in the past decade, they have expanded to include a variety of general use and premium knives. They carry anything from larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter every day knives. All of these knives are built to meet Zero Tolerance’s high performance standards and have been built with the top of the line quality.

Zero Tolerance has developed a reputation of being proudly “overbuilt”. What does that even mean? It means that Zero Tolerance will only use premium materials for their blades and handles. Some of these materials include S30V, S35VN, and CTS 204P steel, along with titanium and carbon fiber for the handles. The operation of these knives are conspicuously smooth and Zero Tolerance’s final fit and finish is second to none. All of Zero Tolerance knives are built in Tualatin, Oregon, USA. The knives are designed, created, and put together by the most skilled workers.

One of Zero Tolerance’s newest knives is called the 0460 and will be a showstopper.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S35VN steel. This type of steel has a long history behind it that proves how excellent it really is. Crucible manufacturing released a S30V steel years ago. This steel was a fantastic steel that had been designed for knives. This means that they were able to take all of the traits people look for in a blade steel and make the perfect steel. It gained the reputation of having the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This is a tricky thing to perfect because in most cases, the harder the steel is, the less tough it is, and vice versa. But with the addition of vanadium carbides into the steel, they were able to draw out the extreme hardness without damaging the toughness of the steel. This was a masterpiece. However, customers did complain because of how tricky it was to sharpen. Not many beginners were able to accomplish this and many people had to resort to a sharpening professional. So Crucible and Chris Reeve decided to set out and redo this steel. They started out by using a finer grain stricter and also added small quantities of niobium, which is where the N comes from in the name. Because of these two characteristics, they were able to improve the toughness of the steel and they improved the ability to sharpen the steel by tons. This steel is just as hard, holds an edge just as well, resists rust effortlessly, is tougher, and is easier to sharpen. How phenomenal is that? S35VN steel is considered a premium steel and you definitely get your dollars’ worth when you purchase a knife with this steel.

The steel has been finished with a stonewash finish and then a machine satin finish on top of that. The stonewash finish has a variety of benefits and is actually one of my favorite finishes. The steel is tumbled around with small pebbles to create a textured look. After it has finished tumbling, the steel is smoothed out and polished over. The stonewash finish easily preserves the look of the blade for long periods of time and works effortlessly to hide nay fingerprints or scratches that the blade will accumulate over time. Because of these characteristics, it cuts down on maintenance time. After the S35VN steel has been through the stonewash finish, Zero Tolerance put a second machine satin finish on top. A satin finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive; normally sandpaper. The stain finish shows off the lines of the knife, while also reducing tis reflections and glares. Because a satin finish takes time, it usually does increase the cost of the knife overall. By combining these two finishes, you get a very classy look. While it is textured from the stonewash finish, the satin finish truly shows off the lines in the steel and you get an excellent dark gray, matte look to your blade.

The shape of the blade on the 0460 is a unique one. It is considered a drop point, but it has a more upswept tip than you would normally find. You still get many of the benefits that a drop point style blade offers you. The tip is lowered because the unsharpened edge slowly curves down wards until it meets the sharpened edge at the point. Because this knife features more of an upswept look, it is not as dropped as you would normally find. You still will have plenty of control over your cuts as you utilize the tip of your knife. One of the other differences between this blade shape and the normal drop point blade shape is that the upsweeping motion of the blade creates a less broad tip. This is a benefit and a disadvantage. For starters, you will have more stabbing capabilities because the tip does come to a finer tip than on average. However, because it comes to a finer tip, it is not as strong as the average drop point blade. On the flip side, it is still considered a broad tip and you will have plenty of strength backing all of your cuts. This is still a very versatile blade shape because it also sports a large belly area that helps make slices and cuts a breeze.

 

The Handle:

To match the blade on the 0460 knife, the handle is also very unique in an elegant manner. The front handle scale is made out of carbon fiber and the back scale is made out of stonewashed titanium.

Carbon fiber is a generic term that encompasses the materials that have been made out of strands of carbon that have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. Carbon fiber is a reinforced polymer. This is an extremely strong material that is lightweight and won’t weigh your knife down. However, it is also more expensive than many of the other handle materials. Even though it is so extremely strong, it is a brittle material. This is because all of the fibers in the material have been woven together in one direction. So when they are being stressed in that one direction, the material is almost unbreakable. However, when the fibers are stressed in other directions, they become weak and are prone to breaking or cracking. This means that if this handle scale is bumped against a sharp or hard object, it might crack. One of the major benefits about carbon fiber is that you can switch up that pattern based off of how the fibers have been woven. The pattern on this handle scale is a diagonal checkered pattern. And Zero Tolerance has manipulated the carbon fiber to be a bronze color. This handle scale looks very elegant and modern.

The other handle scale has been made out of titanium. Titanium is also an excellent material for your knife handle. Often times, the titanium is compared to aluminum and while they do have many similar properties, titanium is the superior of the two. Titanium is heavier than aluminum, but it also is a lightweight metal alloy and won’t weigh your knife down. With the extra weight that you get, you get much more strength. Titanium also is one of the metal alloys that has a warm feel to it, so if you are working in a cold environment, this is an excellent handle choice of you. Titanium is expensive to machine and is prone to scratches. To finish off the titanium to help protect it, Zero Tolerance finished it with a stonewash finish, matching the blade.

The handle has an elongated finger groove carved into it to provide you with fantastic grip. There is also shallow jimping across the top half end section of the handle that will also help you with grip.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is black to match the other hardware on the knife. The pocket clip is connected to the titanium handle scale, so the black adds a nice, industrial contrast. The clip is a single position clip meaning that it can only be right hand carried with the tip of the knife up.

 

Zero Tolerance 0460
Zero Tolerance 046002

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that uses a flipper to assist you. The flipper on this knife is more triangular than you would normally find, helping to give it the modern look. To deploy the blade on this knife, you push down on the flipper that protrudes from the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. This puts enough pressure on the blade and flips it into place and is then locked and ready to use. To lock the blade into use, Zero Tolerance used a titanium frame lock and a hardened steel lock bar insert. With these two pieces, you won’t have to worry about the knife coming unlocked in the middle of use.

The 0460 knife also sports Zero Tolerance’s KVT ball bearing manual opening system. When explaining the KVT system, ZT has said, “The KVT opening system is a manual opening system that enables smooth, easy blade opening without the use of a spring or torsion bar to ‘assist’ the blade out of the handle. Instead, the KVT system uses a series of ball bearings that surround the pivot point of this folding knife. As a knife user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion or pushes outward on the thumb stud, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use.” This technology is innovative and groundbreaking, making manual opening smooth. Plus, with the use of this system, you can easily open this knife with only one hand.

 

The Specs:

This knife is made in the United States of America. The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long with a thickness of 0.121 inches. When the 0460 knife is opened, it measures in at 7.5 inches long and sports a closed length of 4.4 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.3 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Over the past decade, Zero Tolerance has earned a reputation of being proudly overbuilt. This is because Zero Tolerance only uses the finest of materials and their operation is smooth. Their final fit and finish is second to none. With the combination of these three characteristics, your Zero Tolerance knife is able to last through the ages with you. Your Zero Tolerance knife will be able to assist you in all of your adventures, even the heavier duty ones, because they have been designed to take a beating.

This knife is Sinkevich designed and has been modeled after the original 0450 knife. This time, they added more overall length and more curve to the normally traditional blade and handle. Because of the flipper mechanism, this knife can be opened ambidextrously and the KVT ball bearing system makes the opening smooth. The different handle scales add a touch of modern to the classic knife. The stonewashed blade will have its look preserved overtime. And knowing that this knife was made in the USA is just the cherry on top. This is a fantastic option for your knife collection.  Find the 0460 and all the Zero Tolerance knives here on our website–in stock and ready to ship.

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The Gerber Center Drive Multi Tool Review

Gerber Gear started out as Gerber Legendary Blades, which actually started out as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts. The founder of Gerber is Joseph R. Gerber. When speaking about Gerber Legendary Blades, he has said that it was, “the birth of an enterprise that grew into a big business”. This is a very true statement, but also quite the understatement. Like previously mentioned, it was 1939 and he designed and made a small batch of handmade cutlery sets. Less than 30 years later, in 1960, Gerber had become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives.

It was over 70 years ago that Gerber was founded and to this day, the company is still growing. They are grounded on the same principles that the company began on: they are dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. At this point in time, Gerber doesn’t just make knives. They design and make axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, digging implements, and multi tools. In fact, they recently released a brand new multi tool called the Center Drive. And that is what we will be discussing today.

 

The Steel:

The steel used on this multi tool is 420HC steel. This is a mid-range steel and is actually considered the king of the 420 steel series. 420HC steel is most similar to 420 steel, except that it has a much higher content of carbon, which is where the HC comes from in the name (High Carbon). The higher the carbon content in the steel, the harder the steel will be, so with this steel you do end up with a very hard steel. This is an inexpensive steel option, so it is surprising when you find out that this steel is one of the most corrosion resistant steels on the market. The most common place that you will find this steel is on budget blades. This steel usually undergoes a heat treatment and the better the heat treatment, the better the steel will be. With a good heat treatment, the manufacturer can bring out better edge retention and better corrosion resistant properties. This steel struggles to keep its edge for long periods of time and for heavy duty use. But, since this steel is used on a multi tool where you aren’t looking for a razor sharp blade, this steel will definitely get the job done.

Gerber Center Drive MultiTool
Gerber Center Drive MultiTool

The Look:

The 420HC steel is used all over this multi tool, meaning that the handles and the tools have been made out of this steel. However, to add depth and a unique look, the different features have been finished in two different ways. The handles of this multi tool have been finished with a matte gray look. All of the tools that fold out of this multi tool have been finished with a black finish. The contrast helps to add depth and provides this multi tool with a very modern look.

On the gray handle, there are a variety of etchings and cut outs. The company name is etched into one side of the handle, along with small triangular etchings. One the other side of the handle, there are triangular cut outs. On the side of the handle with just the etchings, one of the triangles is actually cut out to form a lanyard hold. This is a huge benefit, because being able to tie a lanyard onto your tool is a real game changer. Some of the most obvious benefits to having a lanyard on your knife include that you can add a touch of personal style to the tool depending on which lanyard you choose. Another benefit is that if you are using this tool in a dark or cramped space with limited sight, and you happen to drop it, a bright lanyard will help you find the tool quicker. One of the biggest benefits to having a lanyard hole in your multi tool handle is that you can secure your tool against loss. This is a multi-tool that you are going to want with you at all times. It has almost every single tool that can help you get out of a sticky situation, whether it is the expected or unexpected. Since you are going to want it with you at all times, the lanyard hole helps quite a bit. This way, you can easily tie the tool to your belt or to your bag or backpack strap.

 

The Tools:

The Gerber Center Drive has been outfitted with thirteen different tools. This means that your multi tool with offer you uncompromising performance through almost any situation. The Center Drive has been designed for real challenges and works perfectly. When talking about their new product, Gerber has said, “Second best is nothing to strive for. To trump the multi-tools that preceded it, the Center Drive had to be real, tough, innovative—and it is. In the inevitable tool to tool showdown, there is not contest.” I would say that Gerber has hit the nail right on the head. This brand new multi tool is truly a game changer.

  1. The Pliers.

On the Center Drive multi tool, the pliers are located at the top of the tool in the middle of the two handles. These are spring loaded needle nose pliers, that sport an X-Channel rail system. Needle nose pliers are also known as long nose pliers. This type of pliers is used for cutting and holding. Many jewelry designers, electricians, and network engineers use this type of pliers to reposition and snip wire.

  1. The Bolt and Nut Grippers.

This is located on the inner side of the pliers. This will give you a secure grasp on any of your nuts or bolts.

  1. The Rotatable Carbide Wire Cutters.

The wire cutter and stripper can easily be used to strip the electrical insulation from the electric wires. The wire cutter will quickly and easily slice through the wire.

  1. Magnetic Axis Bit Driver.

The bit driver is a magnetic center that measures in at 3.2 inches. The simple version of this multi tool comes with a Phillips head bit. This type of head has a small cross in the center and the ability to self-center.

  1. The Extra Bit Holder.

You have the option to purchase the version of this multi tool that comes with extra bits. These bits include multiple sized Phillips heads as well as a flathead drill bit. All of the drill bits are magnetic. These bits are stored in a small container where each bit has its own little slot.

  1. The Ruler.
  2. The Bottle Opener.

The Bottle opener is located on the left side, near the file. This will easily allow you to open any bottles, making this multi tool a great tool for emergencies or just everyday life.

  1. The Pry Bar and Nail Puller.

This tool is a metal bar that has both ends flattened and a curve on one end. This tool has a small fissure in the end that is the perfect tool to use when you are trying to remove a nail.

  1. The Awl.

The awl is a long point spike. This tool can be used for making holes in wood or used for making markings on the wood.

  1. The Tool Lock.
  2. The File.

The file folds out of the butt of the left handle. This file has a fine side and a coarse side. This file can easily be used to remove fine amounts of material from a workpiece.

  1. The Blade.

The serrated blade folds out of the left side of the handle, and is arranged right next to the file. Because it is a serrated edge, you will easily be able to saw through some of the rougher or thicker materials that you encounter throughout your day.

  1. The Other Blade.

This blade folds out of the right side of the handle and has a fine grind. It is a plain edge blade that makes up for all of the slicing tasks that you will need to perform that the serrated edged blade will not be able to accomplish.

 

The Different Versions:

There are four different “versions” you can get when it comes to the Center Drive. While the tools in all of the versions are the same, it is the accessories that change. You can get the simplest version of the multi tool, which is just the multi tool and a fabric sheath. The second version of this tool that you can purchase is the multi tool along with an included bit set. The third version of this multi tool that is offered is the multi tool along with a MOLLE compatible sheath. The last option that is available for purchase is one where the multi tool comes with the included bit set and the MOLLE Compatible Sheath.

 

The Sheaths:

There are two different sheath options. On the simplest versions of this multi tool, it does come with a sheath. This sheath is a simple, black fabric sheath. The fabric sheath is an inexpensive option for your tool sheath. With a tool sheath, you really get what you pay for. So while this fabric sheath is adequate, it will wear out quicker than other sheath materials. The fabric sheath is prone to getting stretched out, so it will still work, but your tool will not be quite as snug as it once was. A fabric sheath will get the job done, but does not offer you any extra anything.

The second sheath option is an upgraded sheath. This sheath is a MOLLE compatible sheath that comes in a light tan color. This is also a fabric sheath, but carries a handful of benefits along with it. MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. This equipment is used by a large number of NATO armed forces, including the United States Army. The system’s modularity is derived from the use of PALS webbing as rows of heavy duty nylon stitched onto the vest to allow for the attachment of various MOLLE compatible pouches and accessories. This means that this sheath will work on any other MOLLE compatible products. The nylon that they use is tough, durable, and hard to scratch.

 

The Specs:

The closed length of this multi tool is 4.7 inches long, with the open length of it being 6.6 inches long. This is a little bit heavier of a tool weighing in at 9.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Ever since Gerber came to be, they have been creating exceptionally quality knives. They have built a reputation over the past seventy years of being reliable, innovative, and long lasting. One of Gerber’s main goals and drives is to create tools that will last a lifetime. And I would say that they have definitely accomplished that.

The Center Drive is the newest of their multi tool series and comes with four different versions. Each of the versions comes with separate accessories. Each tool, even the simplest version comes with a fabric sheath. However, you can upgrade and get a version with a MOLLE Compatible sheath. And you can get an add on with a case that carries extra bit heads. To make up the exceptional multi tool, they started with a steel that is extremely stain resistant and very hard. When speaking about their new tool, Gerber has said, “Our new multi tool offers uncompromising performance through revolutionary design. The innovative center axis driver opens to align like a real screw driver, yielding maximum torque and rotation. No productivity is sacrificed with the addition of a 30% longer outboard blade and one-thumb opening sliding jaws. Full size, real tools—the multi tool just got a reality check.”

With thirteen different tools on this multi tool, you know that you will be equipped whether in the expected or the unexpected situations. Grab your Center Drive multi tool right here.

 

 

 

 

 

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