A Review of Four Exceptional CRKT Knives.

Columbia River Knife and Tool Inc., or CRKT, is a knife company that was born in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. They weren’t noticed at first, but when they released the K.I.S.S. knife in 1997, they began to gain ground. CRKT produces a wide range of tools including fixed blades, folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has also collaborated with custom knife makers such as Ken Onion, Pat Crawford, Greg Lightfoot, and the Graham Brothers. Today I have chosen four of the most popular CRKT knives. I’ll go over the pros and cons of each one as well as what makes it a unique knife.

 

The Folts Minimalist Knife:

Folts Minimalist Knife
Folts Minimalist Knife

This knife was a collaboration between CRKT and Allan Folts, who is an acclaimed custom knife maker. He is truly an artist, who looks at both form and function to give you the perfect balance. Folts says that this knife design took over two years to design. Folts took this knife to many different knife shows and took the feedback from hundreds of people to see what they liked and didn’t like about this knife. He would tweak the knife in small ways every time and what resulted was an amazing design and knife.

This knife has a 2 1/8-inch-long blade. This fixed blade is a full tang knife and the steel used is 5Cr13MoV. This is a softer steel than you would find if you were using a high end steel. And because of that, the edge is going to dull a faster than a high end steel; however, this knife is easy to sharpen and you can get a crazy sharp edge on it. Even when you get it right out of the box, this knife is going to be sharp. The Folts Minimalist actually comes in three different blade shapes. When it was originally designed, it had a wharncliffe blade. It wasn’t long before a bowie blade and then a tanto blade followed. The finish on this knife is a stonewash finish. The grind is a hollow grind and this begins around ¾ up the blade.

The handle on the Minimalist is made out of linen micarta scales which are a forest green. This material is actually a better material than you would usually find with a knife this price. The handle is an extremely comfortable handle that will fit well in almost any hand. But, because of the small size, you will probably only be able to fit three fingers on it. But, there are finger grooves in this handle, which help you have a more secure grip. There is a small lanyard at the butt of the handle to allow you to get a better grip on the handle.

The sheath for this knife is made out of Zytel, which is a hard plastic. The blade locks into this sheath very securely. On the sheath, there are six eyelets, which are perfect for attaching things if needed.

The overall length of this knife is just over five inches long and it weighs about 1.6 ounces. This is definitely on the smaller end of the knife spectrum.

Pros of the Folts Minimalist Knife:

  • You can get the edge extremely sharp.
  • This steel is easy to sharpen.
  • You have an option of three different blade shapes.
  • The handle fits perfectly in almost any hand.
  • There are eyelets on the sheath for attaching things.

Cons of the Folts Minimalist Knife:

  • The steel is a softer steel, so it will lose its edge quicker than other steels.
  • You will really only be able to fit three fingers on the handle of this knife.

 

The Hissatsu Tactical Folding Knife:

Hissatsu Tactical Folding Knife
Hissatsu Tactical Folding Knife

This knife got its name because Hissatsu can be translated to “final blow” and this knife is designed to be more of a self-defensive tool than a utility knife. The very first version of this knife was a fixed blade and it was an instant hit. However, the blade on that version was 7 inches long, so it wasn’t an easy knife to conceal or have with you at all times. When CRKT released the folder version, they shrunk the knife down so that it would be easier to have as your everyday carry option.

The blade on this knife is 3.8 inches long and 4mm thick. This is a skinnier blade than you would normally find and it is also on the thicker end of the spectrum. This blade shape was chosen to be able to stab first, and then slash. The shape is a classical samurai design made out of AUS-8 steel that has a non-reflective black coating. This coating is perfect for situations when you don’t want to give away your position and you are worried about the light reflecting off of it. The AUS-8 steel holds its edge very well and stays sharp. AUS-8 is known for its cutting ability. This knife has two flat grinds that each make up around half of the blade. The spine slowly sweeps upward.

The handle on the Hissatsu is five inches long. The handle is a plain handle that has an almost coffin like shape to it. There is a small choil at the cutout that is next to the thumb opening. The knife has a flatter handle than you would normally find. The flatness of the handle is so that you can control the orientation of the knife better than with a rounder handle. When the main purpose of this knife is to stab, you are going to want to have the blade up, so that you can get a better penetration. The handle is made out of Zytel scales which are black and pebbled to give you a better grip. The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible clip, so you can carry the knife on the left or right.

The opening mechanism on this knife is CRKT’s OutBurst assisted opening mechanism. You can also get a non-assisted version if that is what you prefer.

The overall length of this knife is 8.75 inches with a folded length of 5 inches. This knife weighs 4.8 ounces, so while this knife won’t weigh you down, it is sturdy enough to take on your tasks. This knife also has a lifetime warranty.

Pros of the Hissatsu Tactical Folding Knife:

  • The sole purpose of this knife is for self-defense and it can definitely defend you.
  • AUS-8 steel is known for its cutting ability and it holds an edge extremely well.
  • The flatter handle gives you fantastic control of your knife orientation.
  • Ambidextrous pocket clip.
  • This knife can be deeply carried.

Cons of the Hissatsu Tactical Folding Knife:

  • The only purpose of this knife is for self-defense/stabbing, and it won’t be able to do much else for you.

 

The No Time Off Knife:

The No Time Off Knife
The No Time Off Knife

This knife is a collaboration between CRKT and Flavio Ikoma. This is also the first folding knife by CRKT to sport the locking mechanism Ikoma Locking System, or ILS.

This knife has a wide blade that is 2.99 inches and 0.15 inches thick. The steel used in this blade is CTS BD1, which was a newer material for CRKT. This steel has a high carbon content, which means that it is a pretty hard steel. This steel also has good edge retention properties and it has high wear resistance properties. The CTS BD1 steel is also an easy steel to sharpen. The tip of this blade is very strong and can even stab or pry on harder materials. Because most of the curvature of the blade is closer to the tip, it is harder to stab or penetrate, but it is still able to accomplish most tasks that you throw at it.

The handle on this knife is made out of fiber glass reinforced nylon scales that are colored black. The scales also have a waffle iron pattern to add texture and grip. There are two sturdy liners made out of 420J2 steel and also a large spacer. This spacer is there to accommodate the larger blade. There is a pocket clip on this handle which is a tip down clip. It is placed specifically so that it does not affect the grip that you have on the handle.

One of the most unique aspects of this knife is the Ikoma Lock Safety mechanism. This is a steel spring that is automatically placed between the liner and the scale, which doesn’t allow the blade to unlock if you squeeze the handle harder than you normally would. Also, with this system, the knife no longer needs to have a spring protruding into the liner to allow blade closure. It will take a little bit of time and practice to become accustomed to this new locking system, but once you do, it’s almost impossible to no appreciate it.

The overall length of this knife is 7.25 inches with a closed length of 4.28 inches. The No Time Off weighs 5.9 ounces. This is a perfect size for an everyday carry knife.

Pros of the No Time Off Knife:

  • This knife is a perfect size for an everyday carry knife.
  • This knife sports the Ikoma Locking System which is a new and innovative locking mechanism.
  • The steel holds its edge for long periods of time and is easy to sharpen.
  • The tip of the blade is very strong which means you can stab or pry with it.

Cons of the No Time Off Knife:

  • Because of the blade shape, this is not an ideal knife for stabbing or penetrating.

 

The M21 Aluminum Folder:

M21 Aluminum Folder
M21 Aluminum Folder

When this knife was being designed, it was designed to be a variation of the highly popular Kit Carson Big Dog Deep Bellied. However, this knife has a simpler look to it.

The blade on this knife is 3.99 inches long made out of AUS-8 stainless steel. This is a high quality steel that holds an edge for long periods of time and is low maintenance. There are several different blade shapes for you to choose from. Some of these options are a spear tip edge, deep bellied, serrated, or recurve. You can also get razor sharp, semi razor sharp, combined, or triple point. The blade on this knife is 0.14 inches long. The blade is crazy sharp.

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061T6 anodized aluminum. You can get this handle in many different color options. The knife got its name because of the handle material. The locking system on this knife is the AutoLAWKS mechanism. This is a patented system, that ensures when the knife is open that it will stay open. The blade will not close accidently or by force. The knife uses the “Carson Flipper” blade extension which is a small protrusion in the blade that allows for easy opening. Plus, this protrusion doubles as a hand guard. You can open or close this knife easily with one hand.

The overall length of this knife is 9.25 inches long.

Pros of the M21 Aluminum Folder:

  • The steel is a high quality steel that will hold an edge for long periods of time.
  • The steel is a very low maintenance steel.
  • There are many options to choose from for the blade.
  • The blade on this knife is crazy sharp.
  • The handle comes in a variety of different color options.
  • The knife features the AutoLAWKS mechanism.

Cons of the M21 Aluminum Flipper:

  • The pocket clip position is awkward and it ends up being pretty annoying.

 

Conclusion:

CRKT makes a variety of different knives and tools. The four different knives that are in this article: The Folts Minimalist, the Hissatsu, the No Time Off, and the M21 Aluminum Folder are some of CRKT’s best knives. Two of these are fixed blades and the other two are folding knives. These four knives will be reliable and trustworthy for you. They will get the job done. CRKT’s has many unique and patented systems such as the ILS and the AutoLAWKS mechanism that everyone will love. These would be great knives to add to your collection.

 

 

 

Benchmade Precinct Knife Review

The Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song® in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song® into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

Les incorporated as Bali-Song®, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song®: The model 68.

Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name from Bali-song®, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

Due to its inability to control quality, price and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.

While there was “handmade” and “factory-made,” it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market- even to this day.

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.

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Precinct.

Benchmade Precinct
Benchmade Precinct

The Designer:

Butch Ball developed a passion for knives at a very early age. After building a few fixed blades in the early ’90s he decided in 2000 to begin a true custom shop. Butch starts each knife as a prototype, which he then tests, recreates and tests again. At each stage in this development process, he is thinking of ways to improve the design, whether mechanical or ergonomic. The results of this process are designs that are as robust as they are innovative.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM steel. This is a high end knife steel that is relatively hard. This steel is usually considered an upgraded version of 440C because of the added molybdenum. The molybdenum helps the steel to have superior edge holding, especially when compared to 440C while also retaining similar excellent levels of corrosion resistance. This steel has a good toughness that will get you by when it comes to most uses. The steel is also capable of holding an edge well. Speaking of edges, with the right equipment, this steel shouldn’t be too tricky to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with a satin coating. The satin coating is the most popular blade finish that you are going to find on the market to date. The finish is classic, giving any knife a very traditional look. The finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. For reference, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect your satin finish to look extremely clean. The satin finish is used to cut down on glares and reflections slightly, while also increasing the corrosion resistance levels of the blade.

The blade on the Precinct has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is the most popular blade shape that is used in the cutlery industry today because of its high durability as well as the wide variety of tasks that it is capable of taking on. The shape of the drop point blade is formed by having the spine of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curving manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and even helps to add strength the to the tip. What adds the most strength to this knife is how broad the tip is. It is because of the tip strength and the ability to hold up to the heavier tasks that makes a drop point blade a great option for tactical or even survival knives. The lowered tip is also more easily controlled, which means that you are going to be able to perform fine detail work when using this knife. One of the biggest advantages to this knife style is how big the belly is. The large belly is also what makes this knife super versatile, because the larger the belly, the more capable the knife is going to be at slicing. The drop point blade does have one major disadvantage, which is the broad tip. This is because it makes it less capable of piercing than the clip pint is. You do need to keep in mind that it is this broad tip that gives you the strength that so many people look for in their blades. By having a drop point blade, you are going to be equipped for almost anything that comes flying your direction.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of black textured G-10. G-10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. This material is similar to carbon fiber, in design and in properties, but it is slightly inferior. Because it is slightly inferior, it can be made for an almost a fraction of the cost. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin. The next step is to compress them and bake them under pressure. The material that you end up with is tough, hard, lightweight, and strong. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G-10 is considered to be the toughest of all and even stronger than Micarta.

Tactical folders really benefit from this material because it is durable and lightweight, while also being non-porous which means that it won’t wear down easily. It also means that it won’t soak up any liquids that you happen to be working with. The overall pros to a G-10 handle is that it is going to be tough, light, and durable. The overall cons are that it will be brittle and it might lack elegance.

The handle tapers towards the butt. The handle is mostly straight, but does curve towards the butt slightly. The belly of the knife has two large finger grooves with the second one being more elongated. The knife does feature a lanyard hole.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is positioned for only tip up carry. However, it is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which helps to make this a more versatile knife. Not only is it reversible, but it is also a deep carry clip, which means it is going to stay more snugly in your pocket. If you are suing this as an everyday carry knife, which is one of its designs, you won’t have to worry about going about your daily tasks and having this knife fall out of your pocket. On the flip side, if you are using this knife as a tactical knife, which is its other design, you can count on the deep carry pocket clip to better conceal your knife deep inside of your pocket.

The pocket clip is black, which matches the handle well. It is mostly rectangular and is kept in place by two black screws that match the rest of the hardware. Near the top of the pocket clip there is Benchmade’s Butterfly stamped into the metal.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife, which means that it is going to be legal in more places than an automatic knife would be. That being said, you should always know your local knife laws to see if this is a knife that you can have on you at all times. BladeOps is not responsible for any consequences that come from the law.

The Precinct does use a flipper mechanism to assist the user in opening their knife. The flipper is a piece of the blade metal that extends out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. The user can pull back on this extension, which will help flip the knife out of the handle and lock into place. The flipper on this knife is skinnier than your average flipper as well as being larger. Once the knife is opened, the flipper is set into place to work as a finger guard. Many people are fans of the flipper because it does not get in the way once the knife is opened, because it does protrude out of the blade, like a thumb stud does. People also love the flipper because it is an ambidextrous opening mechanism. The flipper paired with the reversible pocket clip helps to make this a fully ambidextrous knife. The last reason that people love the flipper mechanism is for safety reasons. Unlike a thumb stud, the flipper keeps your fingers out of the path of the blade when you are opening and closing this knife. This means that you won’t have to worry about slicing your fingers when you are opening your knife. However, the flipper does take a few practices to get used to using this mechanism.

The knife is also equipped with a liner lock. The liner locks are one of the more common mechanism seen on folding knives. The mechanism’s key component is a side spring bar that is located on the same side as the sharp edge of the blade, which lines the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When the knife is fully opened, the same tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, keeping it firmly in place and preventing it from closing. Liner locks are a great option because they allow a knife to have two true handle sides. This means that you can close the knife with one hand without switching your grip, making it an ideal knife for when you are using both of your hands for the job. That being said, liner locks are not as strong as other locking systems. The liner lock should be able to stand up to your basic tasks, but be careful when performing some of the heavier duty tasks that might come your way.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.30 inches long, with a blade thickness that measures in at 0.124 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.48 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.48 inches. The overall length of the opening Precinct measures in at 7.78 inches long. This is a pretty average weighted knife, weighing in at 3.42 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use this knife.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is discussing this knife, they say, “A compact flipper that marks the second designer collaboration with Butch Ball. The Precinct features thrust bearing washers and textured G10 combined with the finger relief handle design Butch incorporates to provide exceptional grip.” You can pick up this great every-day-carry knife at BladeOps today.

 

 

 

Benchmade 495 Vector Knife Review

Benchmade 495 Vector
Benchmade 495 Vector

The Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song in his own garage. Proud of his creation, eh took this first Bali-Song into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

In 1980 Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased form the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Bali’s spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song: The model 68. Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolved its name from Bali-song, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

In 1987, due to its inability to control quality, price, and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; this time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality, and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.

While there was “handmade” and “factory-made,” it was “Benchmade” that describe the quality of Les’ product. HE was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufacture and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market—even to this day.

In 1990, Benchmade moved from California to a facility in Clackamas, Oregon and began producing knives there under the name Benchmade, Inc. This was a major turning point, as the company was now located in the epicenter for knife manufacturing. Many technological advancements were now possible and Benchmade became the first company to own and employ a high-power laser cutter, allowing for work with steels too hard to stamp. The company also became the world leader in automatic knife manufacturing and began to supply military units.

To respond to growing customer demand, Benchmade moved from Clackamas to the current location in Oregon City in 1996. With its first ten years of manufacturing experience behind it, and by working with world-class custom knife makers like Mel Pardue and Warren Osborne, Benchmade perfected a business model that involve manufacturing processes to custom knife designs; affording a level of innovation and quality to the larger market that was previously unavailable. This eventually led to Bill McHenry and Jason Williams approaching Benchmade with the AXIS lock… which meant that the future of cutlery was born.

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.

Today we will be talking about the 495 Vector.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM-S30V steel. This steel is made by United States based Crucible, CPM S30V steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and is typically used for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the biggest, and only, drawbacks to this steel is that because of the high hardness, it does prove to be tricky to work with. This shouldn’t be too big of an issue, but if you are a beginner sharpener, I would not recommend starting with this blade.

The blade itself has been stain finished. The satin finish is one of the most popular finishes in the cutlery industry to date. A big reason for this is how traditional it is. It is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, normally sandpaper. The finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect one of the cleanest satin finishes that you can find. The satin finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. In terms of luster, the satin finish lies right in the middle, cutting down on glares and reflections. As an added bonus, the satin finish cuts down on rusting and corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. The spear point blade is similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. However, while the needle point blade has been designed for piercing and only piercing, the spear point blade is stronger and does contain a slight belly that can be used for slicing. The shape of the spear point blade is made up of a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the differences between a needle point blade and the spear point is that while the needle point blade has a very sharp but weak point, a spear point knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. The spear point blade design does sport a small belly that can be used for some cutting and slicing applications. However, when you are comparing the belly with a drop point or clip point blade shape, the belly is tiny. The spear point blade has been known as a hybrid blade design because it has a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. Plus, it combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while also maintaining some of the belly that is used for slicing. All in all, the spear point blade is one of the more functional blade designs that you are going to find.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of black contoured G10. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, but because it is slightly inferior, you can make it for a very small price, which means that the overall knife cost is going to be lowered. Although hat it 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 or Zytel handles. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The material that results is extremely tough, hard, lightweight, and strong. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G10 is known to be the toughest.

Checkering and other patterns add a texture to the handle, which allows you to have a solid, comfortable grip on the knife. Every knife, even tactical knives, benefit from the qualities of G10, because it is durable and lightweight, non-porous and available in a variety of colors. This is a good attribute for your everyday carry knife because you will never know what life is going to throw at you throughout your days. Because it does not absorb any liquids, maintenance will be a breeze. Overall, G10 is tough, light, and durable. Unfortunately, it is going to be brittle and it can lack elegance or character.

The handle is pretty straightforward. The spine of the handle curves from the blade to the butt, which will give you a very comfortable grip. There is a large finger guard, so that even if you do slip, your fingers will be protected. There is one large, but shallow finger groove and then afterwards, it bulges out slightly. These ergonomics are different than your typical ones, but it will still be very comfortable to hold. Plus, you will have a secure hold on the handle at all times.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip can only be attached on the traditional side of the handle and only tip up carry. This is a drawback to left-handed people because it is not ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an AXIS Assist flipper knife.

A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.

The AXIS Assist is easily opened, even with one hand. This evolution of the AXIS includes a spring that helps to fire the blade into the open positon one the user pushes it beyond a certain point manually. The AXIS lock also has the added benefit of “suck-back,” which encourages the blade to stay in the closed position. AXIS Assist knives also feature integrated safety lock systems.

The flipper is a small protrusion that extends out of the spine off the handle when the knife is closed. To open a knife with a flipper mechanism, rest your thumb on the handle and manually push back on the flipper, which will spring the knife opened. Not only does the flipper keep your thumb and hand out of the way when you are opening and closing the knife, it also increases the size of the finger guard, which adds an extra element of protection to this knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.6 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.82 inches long, with a handle thickness of 0.60 inches. The open length of this knife measures in at 8.42 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.11 ounces. The Benchmade Vector was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

G10, stainless liners and expressive styling take the AXIS Assist flipper in a new direction. The CPM-S30V steel is going to be strong, durable, and corrosion resistant which means that the maintenance time you have to put into it is significantly lowered. The satin finish is traditional, giving this knife a very classic look. The spear point blade shape is functional and a great hybrid, which is going to allow you to take on a wider variety of daily tasks. The G10 handle is durable and tough, which means that you can take on even the toughest of your daily tasks. The G10 handle is textured so that you will have a secure grip on the handle even throughout the more extreme daily environments. The AXIS Assist makes this knife easy to open and safe to use, locking the blade into place to safely use it. You can pick up this brand new Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.

Kershaw Fringe Knife Review

Kershaw Knives designs and manufactures a wide range of knives, that ranges from pocket knives to sporting knives to kitchen cutlery.

Kershaw Knives was started in Portland, Oregon in 1974 when knife salesman Pete Kershaw left Gerber Legendary Blades to form his own cutlery company based on his own designs. The early manufacturing was mostly done in Japan. In 1977, Kershaw became a wholly owned subsidiary of the KAI Group. In 1997 the U.S. production facility was opened in Wilsonville Oregon. Due to an expanding market, the facilities were moved to a larger production site in 2003. Currently, Kai USA manufacturing facilities are located in Tualatin, Oregon with some goods coming from their Japanese and Chinese factories. For over 100 years, Kai has been Japan’s premier blade producer. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

Kershaw has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers over the years to produce ground-breaking knives. Collaborations include working with Hall of Fame Knife Maker, Ken Onion on Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives, Ernest Emerson, Grant and Gavin Hawk, Frank Centofante, Rick Hinderer, RJ Martin, and plenty others.

Kershaw has a commitment to innovation and has actually pioneered many of the technologies that are now standard in the knife industry. They promise to keep on innovating, bring new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife using public.

Today we will be discussing the brand new Kershaw Fringe.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel has been known to be the equivalent of AUS8A—and it is true. To someone who just likes having a knife with them for their convenience and even to a knife enthusiast, it would be tricky to tell the difference between a well-made 8Cr13moV blade and a well-made AUS8A blade. However, there are differences to the two formulas. While most other components are relatively equal, 8Cr13MoV has slightly more carbon for hardness and wear resistance and slightly less nickel. The key to blade performance for both of these steels is manufacturing quality. Of course, when it comes to a Kershaw knife, you can expect the best quality. Kershaw precision heat-treats 8Cr13MoV steel to bring out its best high-performance characteristics: the ability to take and hold an edges, strength, and hardness. 8Cr13MoV is high quality Chinese steel and Kershaw knows that they can make it work for their customers. One of the biggest advantages to this steel is how inexpensive it is, which keeps the overall cost of the knife down considerably.

The blade has been finished with a titanium carbo-nitride coating. Kershaw uses this coating to produce an attractive dark grey blade coating. It also increases the blade’s hardness, helps maintain the edge, and increases the overall lifetime of the blade. The coating helps to make an already good steel even better.

The blade on this knife is a drop point blade style. This is one of the most popular blade shapes in the cutlery industry and for good reason: it is tough and versatile. The spine of the blade runs from the handle to the tip in a slow curving manner. Because it curves toward the tip, it creates a lowered tip, which gives the user more control and allows them to work on fine tip work. The tip on the drop point style is broad, which is where the bulk of the strength comes from. It is this strength that sets the drop point style apart from similar styles such as the clip point. The strength allows the user to take on almost any task without worrying about the tip snapping. This blade shape is very versatile because of the large belly that it boasts. The belly makes slicing easier which is vital in an everyday knife.

This knife does have a plain edge, which allows you to take on a wider variety of tasks.

 

The Handle:

             The handle is made out of stainless steel that has been coated with the same titanium carbo-nitride. The front of the handle has a carbon fiber insert.

Stainless steel already has high durability, but the titanium carbo-nitride makes it even more durable. Stainless steel also has the benefit of having a high resistance to corrosion. Unfortunately, stainless steel is rather heavy and can be pretty slippery. Kershaw combats these two issues by having the back of the handle full stainless steel, but the front has a carbon fiber inlay, which is very low weight. The carbon fiber inlay is extremely textured to give you enough grip to not notice the slickness of the stainless steel like you normally would.

Carbon fiber is a material that has thin strands of carbon that have been tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is very strong, very lightweight, but unfortunately, it is expensive. While carbon fiber is very strong, it is not indestructible and does suffer from being brittle. This is because all of the carbon fibers have been woven together going in the same direction. In that specific direction, carbon fiber is going to be extremely strong. Once its stressed in any other direction, it will start to break apart or crack. The carbon fiber inlay looks to be woven like a traditional basket weave. Underneath the inlay, the stainless steel has been etched with arrow shapes to add additional texture and grip.

The handle of the Fringe is very curvy. There is a large finger groove that gives you a comfortable and safe place to rest your fingers and have a secure grip. In the finger groove, there is jimping, which secures your finger further from slipping. After the finger groove, there is a slow curve towards the butt. The spine of the handle has ergonomics that fit perfectly in your palm, even if it is for long periods of time. The butt of the handle is triangular.

To add a little more control, the portion of the blade near the handle has a short row of thick jimping to help you better control when doing fine detail work.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved in. It is rectangular oval and will fit any lanyard.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

The Kershaw Fringe
The Kershaw Fringe

The pocket clip on this knife is black, which is darker than the dark grey handle, so it does contrast with it a little bit. This is a deep carry pocket clip, which means that it will sit in your pocket deeper, helping to conceal the knife, while also keeping it very secure inside your pocket. Unfortunately, this is a single-positon pocket clip, which means that the pocket clip is in a fixed position on the knife handle. On the Fringe knife, it has been attached for left hand, tip-down carry. The clip is kept in place by two small, black screws, that match the rest of the hardware.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife, which is a type of folder that uses an internal mechanism to finish opening the blade once the user has partially opened it using the flipper. Because it is not fully automatic, it does not fall under the same strict laws that a fully automatic knife would.

The Kershaw Fringe uses a flipper to help with the opening of this knife. The flipper is a protrusion on the back of the blade that the user can pull back on, or flip, in order to move the blade easily out of the handle. The flipper on this Kershaw knife is triangular with a flat top. Some of the bigger benefits to having a flipper instead of a thumb stud is that the flipper is not going to get in the way because it does not extend out of the blade. Second, when the knife is opened, the flipper acts as a finger guard, adding an extra element of safety. Third, because of the very design of a flipper, it is an ambidextrous opening system. And fourth, when you are using the flipper to open this knife, it keeps your fingers out of the blades path—making it a very safe mechanism to use.

This knife is also equipped with Kershaw’s SpeedSafe Assisted Opening Mechanism. Kershaw was the first company to bring SpeedSafe assisted opening knives to market, which in turn, launched a revolution in opening systems. This system was originally designed by Hall of Fame knife maker, Ken Onion. Kershaw says, “SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade’s thumb stud or pull back on the flipper.” On the Fringe, that is going to be a pull back on the flipper. They go on to say, “The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion ar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the thumb stud or flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into positon, ready for use.”

The Fringe is also equipped with a frame lock mechanism. In a frame lock, the knife handle, or its frame, consist of two plates on either side of the blade. To ensure the most secure lock up, one of these sides is going to be made out of metal. When the knife is opened, the metal side of the frame, the lock bar, butts up against eh backend of the blade and prevents the blade from closing. To close a frame lock knife, the user pushes the frame to the side, unblocking the blade, and folds the blade back into the handle. Like locking liner knives, frame locks are manufactured so that the locking side of the frame is angled toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias toward the locked positon. Both the blade tang and the lock bar are precisely angled so they fit together for a secure, reliable lockup. The thickness of the frame material blocking the blade open makes the frame lock extremely sturdy.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.1 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7 inches long. This is a lighter knife, because of the handle material, weighing in at a mere 3.5 ounces. This weight makes it an exceptional option for your everyday carry knife, because you will hardly be able to tell when it’s in your pocket.


Conclusion:

When Kershaw is talking about this knife, they say, “The new Kershaw Fringe is out of the mainstream and anything but boring. With its gray titanium carbo-nitride coating on both blade and handle, as well as an attention-getting carbon-fiber insert, the Fringe is already a very attractive EDC. But it’s the things you don’t see at first glance that make it even better.

To ensure a comfortable carry, Kershaw has thinned the back handle, making the Fringe lighter than you’d expect for an all-steel pocketknife. A deep-carry clip enables you to carry it securely in the pocket, yet access is easy when you need it. The blade is 8Cr13MoV, a top-quality steel, precision heat-treated by Kershaw to bring out its high-performance qualities. It takes and holds an edge well, then resharpens easily. The gray coating further protects the blade from corrosion and gives it a sophisticated look. The blade opens quickly and easily with SpeedSafe assisted opening and the flipper or built-in thumb stud.

The Fringe’s handle is titanium carbo-nitride coated in gray with a large carbon-fiber insert that catches the light—and catches the eye. The blade locks securely in place during use thanks to a sturdy frame lock. Black hardware completes the classy look.”

You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

Benchmade HUNT North Fork Folder Knife Review

With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation. This is the story of Benchmade.

In 1979, the Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song® in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song® into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song®, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song®: The model 68.
Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name from Bali-song®, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

In 1987 due to its inability to control quality, price and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.

While there was “handmade” and “factory-made,” it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market- even to this day.

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.

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade HUNT North Fork.

Benchmade HUNT North Fork Folder Knife
Benchmade HUNT North Fork Folder Knife

The Class:

This knife falls into the Benchmade HUNT series. When Benchmade is discussing this series, they say, “Research projects, R&D lab tests and many miles of field research provided the foundation for the design and development of Benchmade HUNT. Built from advanced materials usually reserved for spaceships and surgical equipment, these technologically advanced hunting knives provide refined performance and rugged durability.” There are a few things that set their HUNT class apart, the first is the edge retention. They believe that edge retention is one of the most important features while field dressing an animal, and CPM S30V blade steel delivers.

The second is durability. They use CPM S30V in all these knives, which is a powdered metal steel, this steel outperforms other blade steels thanks to its uniform grain structure.

The third part that sets this series apart is the corrosion resistance. CPM S30V steel is a true stainless steel that requires little maintenance and out performs other steels like D2 by 619%.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of CPM S30V steel that has been hardened to a 58-60 HRC. This steel is made by Crucible Industries, which is a US based steel company. This steel is known for being a premium steel that was specifically designed for high end pocket knives as well as kitchen cutlery.

This means that the steel is going to have the best qualities that you could ask for from a knife. When Crucible is explaining this knife, they say, “CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environment.” One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of how hard it is, it does prove to be a little difficult to sharpen or work with. This shouldn’t be too big of a drawback, except if you are a beginner sharpener. Crucible explains the CPM process by saying, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.”

The blade has been finished with a satin coating, which is the most common blade finish that you are going to find on the market to this day. It is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The satin finish is used to showcase the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine liens of the steel. The satin finish does reduce corrosion slightly, although not in a way that would make a significant difference for the maintenance of this knife. This is a very traditional finish, which pairs perfectly with a very traditional knife.
The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. The drop point is a great all-purpose knife that really can stand up to anything. This is one of the most popular blade styles today, especially on hunting knives. The blade is formed by having the spine of the knife run straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curved manner, which will give you a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. And although the tip is not going to be as sharp as it would on a clip point, it is so much stronger. It is this tip strength that makes drop point blades a great option for tactical and survival knives as well as hunting knives. And because the point is lowered, it is going to be more easily controlled, which is ideal for a hunting knife. A lowered, controllable point is going to make it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. The drop point blade style also has a very large belly that is ideal for slicing or even skinning. All in all, the drop point blade shape is the perfect blade shape for your hunting knife. One of the only disadvantages to the drop point is that because the tip is relatively broad, you are not going to have as many piercing or stabbing capabilities.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Dymondwood, which is a type of stabilized wood. Wood has been used on knife handles since the time that knives really came into existence. When a wood handle is a quality wood handle, it is going to be durable and look great. Wood is also a relatively inexpensive material, even for heavy duty knives. Wood has the ability to add class and beauty to a knife, which is why it is a popular option on traditional and collectors’ knives alike.

When it comes to choosing which wood is best for your knife handle, it is best to first look at what your knife is going to be doing. If it is going to be getting wet, like this hunting knife is going to be, you should look to a stabilized wood, which means that the wood has been injected with plastic. Manufacturers inject polymer resin and then compress under a high pressure, which creates a very dense and durable material. However, this does not take away from its natural beauty, because it still looks like the wood that it was originally made out of.

The handle, like the rest of the North Fork knife, is extremely simple, yet very classy. The spine curves down from the blade to the butt in a slight curve. This will be comfortable in your hand because there is nothing extreme about it. The belly of the handle is also very simple. There is a large finger guard, which will protect your fingers from getting sliced. This is an important feature of a hunting knife, because it is likely to get extremely slippery at times. There is a medium sized finger groove. After that groove, the handle goes straight to the butt. As a complete bonus, there is a lanyard hole.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket on this knife is a standard pocket clip, which means that it isn’t a deep carry clip. This is a little bit of a drawback, especially in a hunting knife because you want it to be the most secure it can be in your pocket. The pocket clip can only be attached for a tip up carry; however, it is reversible for either left or right handed carry. This helps to make the knife ambidextrous, which is a huge advantage. With a reversible pocket clip, the knife can be as comfortable as possible.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife. In terms of efficiency, this knife is not going to be as efficient as a fixed blade or an automatic knife. In terms of legality, a manual opening knife is going to be legal in more states, cities, or areas than an automatic knife.

The blade has been equipped with a thumb stud. The thumb stud is one of the most common mechanism that is used for one-handed opening mechanisms. The thumb stud sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. This makes for a comfortable way to open the knife with one hand without having to switch which hand you are holding it with. One of the drawbacks to the thumb stud is that it does put your hand very close tot eh blade itself. There are plenty of stories of people actually cutting themselves while opening the blade. If your thumb does slip, it might get sliced. Keep this in mind when you are quickly opening the knife. Also keep it in mind when you are first getting used to using this knife.

This knife has been equipped with Benchmade’s AXIS lock. A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this steel measures in at 2.97 inches long with a thickness of 0.114 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 3.90 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.53 inches. The overall length of this open knife measures in at 6.97 inches long. The knife weighs in at 3.16 ounces. The North Fork was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade describes this knife, they say, “A compact AXIS® folding hunting knife with a recurved blade to assist with processing duties. Keep one in your pocket and a fixed blade in your pack.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

A Review of Four Zealous Zero Tolerance Knives.

Zero Tolerance is a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. The first time a zero tolerance knife was released was in 2006. Kai USA started the brand because they saw a need for knives that were made in the USA that could be used for heavy duty use. Especially by professionals in the military, law enforcement, and rescuers. The very first knives were combat knives, but since then Zero Tolerance has produces general use and premium knives. The company strives to achieve “overbuilt” knives, which means they always use premium materials and finish the knives impeccably.

 

The 0801 Flipper:

The 0801 Flipper
The 0801 Flipper

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. It has a spear point silhouette that sports a high flat grind. The blade has a swedge that ends well before the tip, to make sure the tip is still strong and supported. This is not a fancy looking blade, but it definitely stands up to everyday cutting tasks. The blade on this knife is thin, so the edge can get very sharp and does come sharp. The steel on this blade is ELMAX, which is a superior steel and makes this knife a higher end knife. ELMAX steel has fantastic edge retention and is still very easy to sharpen. ELMAX also has high corrosion and rust resistance properties.

The handle on this knife is made out of titanium slaps. These slabs are separated by three black standoffs. Titanium has the tendency to get machining marks, but the 0801 has no visible machining marks and all of the handle parts have lined up perfectly. The hardware in the handle is black, which adds a very nice contrast to the silver titanium. On the handle, you can find an engraved “ZERO TOLERANCE” and milled groves to add texture and grip to the otherwise slippery titanium. The handle has enough room to provide a good grip, even if you are wearing gloves. However, if you have super big hands it might be hard to get your whole hand on this handle. There is no jimping on this knife, so you don’t have to worry about your thumb. But, no jimping is a turn off to some people. The handle shape is very straightforward shape so it works well for almost everyone. There is a pocket clip on the handle. This pocket clip is not ground breaking or unique, but it is very practical. There is also a stainless steel lockbar insert in the framelock; the steel on steel helps keep everything very secure and not sticking together.

The overall length of this knife is 8.2 inches while open. This knife weighs 5.85 ounces. This is definitely a heftier knife than most everyday carry knives, so it might take some time getting used to. However, it will feel sturdy when performing harder tasks.

Pros of the 0801 Flipper:

  • The tip on this blade is strong and supported.
  • The edge is extremely sharp, holds the edge, and is easy to sharpen.
  • The steel has very high corrosion and rust resistance properties.
  • The titanium handle has milled grooves.
  • The pocket clip is very sturdy and can hold up the heavy knife.
  • Feels sturdy while performing hard tasks.

Cons of the 0801 Flipper:

  • This knife is definitely on the heavier and longer side of the spectrum.
  • There is no jimping on this knife.

 

The 0562CF Hinderer:

The 0562CF Hinderer
The 0562CF Hinderer

Rick Hinderer and Zero Tolerance has collaborated multiple times before, but this one may be their best collaboration yet. The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long, which many people consider to be the best size for an everyday carry blade. The blade on this knife is a drop point silhouette that is similar to the other knives in the XM series. A unique part of this blade is that it has been given Rick Hinderer’s “slicer” grind, which is a slanting high flat grind. The slicer grind takes more material off than Rick’s standard “spanto” grind. The slicer grind makes slicing a breeze; it can easily cut through thicker materials such as cardboard and rope. The thumb studs on this knife are actually designed to be a blade stop and trying to use them to open the knife probably won’t succeed.

The handle on this knife is made out of carbon fiber/G-10 slabs that are placed over a full stainless steel liner and then a titanium frame lock. This is a cheaper option than the 0560 because on the 0562 there isn’t extreme 3D machining. The barrel spacers on this knife are blackened and the knife boasts an oversized decorative pivot. This handle is slimmer than other handle, which does make it more comfortable. There is also no sharp jimping on the handle, which also works to make it more comfortable in your hand. There is a short row of thumb jimping on the spine. Other than that, the knife is very smooth. The knife has finger choils in the handle. The locking mechanism is a framelock that sports a stainless steel lockbar insert.

The pocket clip on this knife helps you carry this knife very deeply and discreetly. It is a stainless steel ambidextrous knife. There is a spring action on the pocket clip that holds the knife firmly in place.

The overall length of this knife is 8.25 inches long and it weighs about 5.5 ounces. This knife is also on the heavier side of things, but it isn’t uncomfortably heavy. It is a long knife while opened, but like I previously said, the blade is a great length.

Pros of the 0562CF Hinderer:

  • The blade is a great length for an everyday carry knife.
  • The blade sports a slicer grind which makes cutting through thicker materials a breeze.
  • This is a cheaper option than some of the other knives in this series, but you don’t lose quality.
  • The pocket clip is a deep carry, ambidextrous clip.
  • Feel sturdy while working on heavier tasks.

Cons of the 0562CF Hinderer:

  • This is definitely on the heavier side of your options.
  • The thumb studs are actually blade stops instead of an opening mechanism.
  • The handle is very smooth.

 

The 0888MAX:

The 0888MAX
The 0888MAX

This is a rarer knife because it was a limited edition knife. It has been considered more of a collectible than an everyday knife. However, this is still a fantastic knife for you to use all the time.

The blade on this knife is 3.75 inches long. Half of these limited edition knives are made from Maxamet steel and the other half are made out of M390 steel. Either way, the steel is coated with a Diamond Like Coating. This knife has a drop point silhouette. The Maxamet steel is one of the hardest steels out there, which makes it hard to grind. It also left some warping after the heat treatment, which is why Zero Tolerance switched to the other steel for the second half of the limited edition run. Maxamet is a great steel, but it would be extremely hard to sharpen when the time arises. If you are looking for this knife in a purely collectable stand point, I would recommend looking for one with a Maxamet steel; however, if you are looking for this knife to actually use as a knife, I would look for the second steel.

The handle on this knife makes it a very unique knife. It has 3 pieces in the titanium handle and you cannot see any of the hardware, except of the custom pivot. The handle looks more elegant than many other handles that you are going to find. Not being able to see the hardware gives for a cleaner look. The full titanium back spacer is engraved with “Zero Tolerance”. This knife is all black. This knife is larger, but it is still comfortable. It has a very simple shape, so you can hold onto this knife very well. There is no jimping whatsoever on this knife.

The pocket clip is a tip up, ambidextrous clip. It is 3D machined from one single piece of titanium. This is a flipper knife that has a very smooth action. While using this knife, you do need to keep your finger off of the lock bar when you are using the flipper.

The overall length of this knife is 9.125 inches and it weighs 7.56 ounces. This is a large, heavy knife. You are going to feel it if it is in your pocket.

Pros of the 0888MAX:

  • This is a limited edition knife.
  • The blade is coated in a Diamond Like Coating.
  • The handle is extremely sleek; you cannot see any of the hardware except for the pivot.
  • It is an all-black knife, which looks very sleek and clean.
  • The simple shape of the pocket makes it comfortable in your hand.
  • The pocket clip is ambidextrous.

Cons of the 0888MAX:

  • This is a large and heavy knife.
  • The Maxamet steel is not going to be easy to sharpen.
  • The Maxamet steel is prone to warping.
  • This is more of a collector’s knife than an everyday use knife.

 

The 0900 by Les George:

The 0900 by Les George
The 0900 by Les George

Almost every knife built by Zero Tolerance have been large, overly large. Until very recently, there were no small knives. This knife breaks the record for the smallest knife ever made by Zero Tolerance. The size of the blade is 2.7 inches. However, don’t be turned off by the tiny size, this is definitely a little-big knife, meaning that even though it is small, it packs a punch. The blade is a drop point that has a big belly with a spine that stops at a row of thick cut traction. The thick jimping is a signature of Les George’s designs. The blade is made out of Crucible S35VN. This steel is a powdered steel that works great for everyday carry knives. The edge of the knife is thick, with a thick tip. This means that it can take on heavy duty tasks, but it won’t be a great knife to do intricate detail work.

The handle on this knife is made out of two titanium slabs. This handle is larger than the blade, which allows you to get a solid grip on the knife. On the slabs, there is a small amount of milling, which adds a little bit of finesse. “ZERO TOLERANCE” is engraved on the show side of the handle. The pivot on this handle is a satin finish, along with the other hardware on the knife. A pro to having a satin finish is that it wears better over time as opposed to the black coated parts. This is a flipper knife that is extremely smooth.

The overall length of this knife is 6.6 inches long with a closed length of 3.9 inches. The knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

Pros of the 0900 by Les George:

  • This is a small knife, but it packs a punch.
  • The blade is very thick, so it can stand up to heavy duty tasks.
  • The satin finish wears or ages much better than a black finish.
  • The steel is perfect for everyday use.
  • The handle is small, but you can still get a solid grip on the knife.
  • It is a lightweight knife, so it won’t wear you down.
  • Made in the United States of America.

Cons of the 0900 by Les George:

  • Because of the thicker blade, you cannot do fine or intricate work.
  • This is still a very small knife and some people prefer size.

 

Conclusion:

Zero Tolerance knives are known for being high quality or “overbuilt”. They use premium steel and other materials on all of their knives to ensure you with the best possible knife. This is a list of the four best Zero Tolerance knives for you and your purposes. Any of these knives would be a fantastic addition to your collection. They will be reliable, sturdy, and efficient. You will not regret buying and using any of these knives.

Benchmade 595 Mini Boost Knife Review

Benchmade says, “Our knives are made of many things: steel, aluminum and titanium, to name a few. But perhaps the most important part of a Benchmade knife is expertise. We carefully measure every part at every step in the process. We use the best materials and equipment. WE make world-class knives for world-class users and this is how.”

There are a few steps that go into each of the Benchmade knives that help to make a Benchmade knife truly fantastic. The very first step is the laser cutting, because every blade begins as a sheet of steel. A Benchmade laser cutting technician programs the laser to cut the steel into blanks, giving the blade its basic profile. The blanks are hammered out of the sheet by hand, and for the first time, the steel begins to look like a knife. Of course, like with each step of the process, measurements are taken to guarantee an impeccable knife and streamline the production. If one of the blanks isn’t up-to-spec, it won’t become a Benchmade knife.

The second step in the birth of a Benchmade knife is the surface grinding. The blank from the first step is ground to its precise width. A surface grind technician places each blank in its rack by hand, and each side is ground to its specified thickness. After grinding, the surface grinding technician checks the thickness of each set of blanks. At this step, tolerances are within the width of a human hair. At this step, Benchmade says, “Our knives have no room for error, and neither does a blank’s thickness.”

The third step is milling. This is the step where blade holes, handles, and grooves are cut on high-speed mills. For each job, the blade milling technician programs the mill and measures the blade or handle to make sure it meets their precise tolerances. One of the holes that is cut at this step is the blade pivot, which is vital to the folding mechanism. Benchmade says, “The pivot tolerance is .0005 inches, because the slightest deviation there becomes exponential at the blade’s tip.”

The next step is beveling, which is the step when the blade really starts to take its shape. Up to this point in the process, the two sides of the blade are essentially flat. A Blade Beveling Technician bevels the knife blank one side at a time, and one of the most critical tasks here is to make sure the sides match perfectly. Benchmade says, “Once again, the technician measures the blade to verify that it meets the specified tolerances. An imprecise bevel can hamper the blade’s balance, sharpness, strength, and mechanism function.

The last few steps in the process is back-sanding and finishing. These steps are when the back of the blade gets special attention and finishing gives the blade a more refined look. Lastly, there is assembly and sharpening. Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand. With the sharpening, a knife is sharp enough only when it can cut through ultra-thin phonebook paper effortlessly without tearing. The knife is now a Benchmade.

Today, we will be talking about one of Benchmade’s newest knives, the 595 Mini Boost.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V stainless steel, which hardness to a 58-60HRC. This steel is a martensitic stainless steel which is a specific type of stainless steel alloy. Stainless steels may be classified by their crystalline structure into three main types: austenitic, ferritic, and martensitic. A martensitic stainless steel can be hardened by heat treatment and gives high hardness and toughness. The steel is made by Crucible Steel Industries, which is based in the United States. This steel has very high edge retention qualities as well as resisting rust effortlessly. CPM S30V steel was designed in the US specifically for high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. One of the things that sets this steel about is that Crucible has added vanadium carbides, which work to bring hardness into the steel alloy matrix. This steel is commonly viewed as one of the finest blade steels because for how much you pay for it, you get a perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of how hard the steel is, it does prove hard to work with and sharpen.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is usually a very fine sandpaper. As a key, the more even the lines and the finer the sandpaper, the cleaner the satin finish is going to look. Because this is Benchmade and Benchmade is a high quality knife company, the satin finish is going to look very clean. The satin finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade and showcase the fine lines of the steel. This finish also works to cut down on glares and reflections while also cutting down on corrosion. The satin finish is the most commonly found finish in the cutlery industry today and is extremely traditional. It gives the Mini Boost a classic look that will never go out of style.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. Just like how this knife has the most common blade finish, it also has the most common blade shape. The drop point blade shape is tough and versatile, which is what makes it such a popular choice in today’s world. The shape is formed by having the blade run from the handle to the point in a lose curving manner. Because of the slow curve of the spine, the tip on this knife is a lowered tip, which will provide the user with plenty of control over their cuts. The tip is also a broad tip, which is where the primary strength of this blade comes from. One of the reason that this blade is such a versatile blade shape is because of the large belly that it features. This knife has been designed as an everyday carry knife as well as an outdoor knife. The tough tip is the biggest advantage if you are using this as an outdoor knife, because you won’t have to worry about what you may come across, because this knife is going to be able to take on almost anything. The belly is the main advantage if you are using this knife as an everyday carry knife, because of how easily it makes slicing. The only main disadvantage to this knife is because of the broad tip, the Mini Boost is not going to have the piercing and stabbing capabilities that a finer or sharper tip will, such as the tip on a clip point. However, when it comes to EDC or your outdoor knife, you shouldn’t be too worried about not having that capability.

 

Benchmade 595 Mini Boost
Benchmade 595 Mini Boost

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Grivory and Versaflex. Grivory is an amorphous nylon copolymer with exceptional dimensional stability. With a Benchmade Grivory, it has 50% or more glass fill. Grivory has been known as the proven material for metal replacement. Some of the benefits of Grivory is that it has high levels of stiffness and strength, resists absorbing moisture, and has good chemical resistance. All of these characteristics make the material durable, strong, and has a long lifetime.

The handle on the Mini Boost has plenty of curves. The spine of the handle has a curved bulge, that makes for a comfortable grip on the knife. The belly of the handle curves inward, which also allows for a secure and comfortable grip. There is a slight finger groove and a finger guard. These two features make for a safe hold, because it protects your fingers from getting sliced if you do accidentally slip. The finger groove will also allow for a more secure grip because it adds a sort of texture to the belly of the handle. On the spine of the handle, there is a short layer of jimping close to the butt of the handle, that adds texture and control when you are slicing. On the dark grey grivory, there is a Versaflex overlay to give you enough texture and grip that you can easily use this knife as an outdoors knife without worrying about the environment.

This handle also features a lanyard hole that has been carved into the butt.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a Mini Deep-Carry clip. It is a mini clip, because the knife is a mini knife. However, when it is still going to allow you to carry this knife deep inside your pocket. Having a deep carry knife on your EDC knife is a big advantage because you won’t notice this knife as you go about your day-to-day tasks. The deep carry knife will also conceal your knife better, in case you are uncomfortable with people knowing that you are carrying a knife. The deep carry clip is a big advantage when it comes to your outdoor knife because when you are outdoors, you don’t want to worry about your knife flying out of your pocket. With this Mini Deep-Carry clip, you won’t have to worry about that happening. The clip can only carry the knife tip-up; however, it can be reversed for either left or right handed carry.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted-opening knife that uses a thumb stud to assist you as well as being equipped with the AXIS Assisted opening mechanism.

An assisted opening knife is a type of folding knife that uses an internal mechanism to finish the opening of the blade once the user has partially opened it using the thumb stud. Because it is not considered an automatic knife, it does not fall under the same laws that an automatic knife does.

The thumb stud is one of the most common one-hand-opening features in the cutlery industry. A thumb stud replaces the nail nick that is found on more traditional knives. To open this knife, you hold the folded knife, then place the tip of your thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade until it is fully opened.

The AXIS is a patented Benchmade exclusive. This is a 100 percent ambidextrous design that gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that resides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself. The AXIS Assist is easily opened, even with just one hand. This evolution of the AXIS includes a spring that helps to fire the blade into the open positon once the user pushes it beyond a certain point manually. The AXIS lock also has the added benefit of “suck-back,” which encourages the blade to stay in the closed positon. AXIS Assist knives also feature integrated safety lock systems.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.11 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.1000/ the handle measures in at 4.07 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.63 inches. The overall length of the knife measures in at 7.18 inches long. The 595 Mini Boost weighs in at 3.31 ounces. This Benchmade knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

This is the mini version of the popular Boost. This knife features the same dual durometer handles the greatly increase grip performance while maintaining strength, mini deep-carry pocket clip, and the reliable, fast-action AXIS Assist mechanism. You can pick up this new knife today at BladeOps.

Kershaw Brawler Pack (Brawler Knife & Flashlight) Review

There is really nothing like a Kershaw. From award winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing. And the real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even their inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, and reliable. That’s why they can back each of their knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with their famous Limited Lifetime Warranty.

And yes, people do own their Kershaw knives for a lifetime. The point is, you can always look to Kershaw for every day carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from its plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactical knives that ensure you’re ready for everything.

Kershaw was founded in 1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. Whether it’s a hardworking pocket knife, a hunting knife, or a special collectors’ edition, Kershaw always choosing appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. Their SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. They introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in their Blade Traders. Recently, their Composite Blade Technology, which combines two steels into one blade, giving knife users the best of both worlds by enabling us to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And they will keep on innovating, bring new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.

Kershaw Knives is a brand of Kai USA Ltd, a member of the Kai Group. For over 100 years, Kai has been Japan’s premier blade producer. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions. While many of Kershaw’s quality products are made in their 55,000 sq. ft. facility in Tualatin, Oregon, they also draw on Kai’s resources to provide the very best for the customer.

They say, “If this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back. We’ve got some cool new blades to sow you—along with a wide selection of your favorites.”

For design, innovation, quality, and genuine pride of ownership, Kershaw is the one.

Today we will be talking about the Kershaw Brawler Pack, which includes the Brawler knife and a flashlight.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a popular budget brand of knife steel, which is made in China. This steel is an average steel that will stand up to most everyday tasks. 8Cr13MoV steel is well balanced with regard to strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. This steel has the ability to retain its edge and sharpness for a long period of time. The range of this steel hardness is 56-58HRC. Knives made of this steel keep sharpening well and at the same tie they are easy to sharpen, and have highly aggressive cuts on soft materials. However, its biggest selling point is that it is inexpensive, so it will not stand up to harder tasks as well as not comparing to some of the super steels.

The blade has been coated with a black oxide coating. This is a chemical bath converts the surface of the steel to magnetite. Kershaw uses this coating on some blades, mainly for appearance, though it does add some corrosion resistance.

The blade has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is not an all-purpose blade style, it is designed to do one thing and one thing really well. This knife style 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 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 angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. It is because there is no belly that this knife will not make a good all-purpose blade. With this blade style, you will not be prepared for all situations, but you will be able to take on any hard materials.
This knife does have a plain edge.

Overall, the tanto is an ideal shape for these piercing tasks because there is plenty of metal to support the point, making it stronger than many other blade shapes. You’ll notice that the top of the Brawler’s blade has a grind, too. This is called a swedge it helps narrow the blade, adding to its piercing power. At the same time, the Brawler’s straight belly offers excellent cutting capacity, is perfect for bearing down on a task, and is easy to re-sharpen.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of glass-filled nylon, or GFN. This is a thermoplastic material that is notable both for the fact that it is relatively cheap and practically indestructible. It can also be molded into just about any shape and textured in any number of ways. All in all, GFN is an excellent handle material across the board but it, like G10, does not pack the same allure due to its resemblance in both appearance and feel to plastic. That being said, unless you are overall concerned with the look of your knife, this is an all-around superb handle material that requires essentially no maintenance whatsoever. The benefits of having a knife with this material is that it is strong, tough, requires zero maintenance, and is inexpensive. The cons to this knife handle material is that it does have a cheap plastic feel and does tend to give less grip than G-10.

The Brawler’s handle is just as functional. The angled handle curves into the palm of the user’s hand. Jimping on the back of the blade offers additional traction. With the blade deployed, the flipper doubles as a finger guard and provides additional hand protection during knife sue.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a four position pocket clip, which means that you can carry this knife tip up or tip down as well as on the right or left handed side of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

The Brawler knife features a flipper along with a SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism. The locking mechanism is a liner lock.

This knife also features a flipper, which enables fast and easy one-handed opening, as well as being fully ambidextrous, which means that it works for left and right handed options. To open a Kershaw SpeedSafe flipper knife, you hold the knife handle vertically in one hand. Then place your index finger on the top of the flipper. Gently apply downward pressure on the flipper. SpeedSafe opens the knife quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place. Remember to keep your fingers away from the blade edge while you are closing it.

This Brawler knife is equipped with the Kershaw SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism. Kershaw were the first to bring SpeedSafe assisted opening knives to market, launching a revolution in opening systems—and winning numerous industry awards along the way. Originally designed by Hall of Fame knife maker, Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. Today, almost all knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife, but none matches the popularity or proven durability of the original. The SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade’s pull back on the flipper. The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife form being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. TO open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the thumb stud or flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade smoothly and locks into positon, ready for use. The SpeedSafe was specifically designed for sporting, work, or everyday situations where one-handed opening is preferable and safer. It’s safe, efficient opening has made it a popular choice for hunters, fishermen, and those who require the one-hand opening function on the job site. And no, a SpeedSafe knife is not a switchblade. There are many unique features of SpeedSafe knives that make them quite different than knives that are considered switchblade. Unlike a switchblade, SpeedSafe blade DO NOT deploy with the push of a button in the handle or by gravity alone. Instead, the user must overcome the torsion bar’s resistance in order to engage the SpeedSafe system. Because of this, SpeedSafe knives fall fully outside the Federal definition of a switchblade. However, due to the complexity and constantly changing nature of these laws and regulations, it is impossible for Kershaw and BladeOps to be aware of every restriction in every location. It is the responsibility of the buyer to investigate and comply with the laws and regulations that apply in his or her specific area.

The liner lock is the most common of today’s blade-locking systems. In knives with locking liners, the handle consists of two metal plates on either side of the blade. Handle scales, which can be made from a variety of materials, such as aluminum, cover the plates. When the knife is opened, one side of the knife’s liner, often called the lock bar, butts up against the back end of the blade and prevents the blade form closing. The lock bar is manufactured so that it angles toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias for the locked positon. To close the knife, the knife user applies manual force to move the lock bar to the side so that the blade is unlocked and can be folded back into the handle. The liner lock provides a secure and convenient way to make using a Kershaw folding knife even safer.

 

Kershaw Brawler Pack (Brawler Knife & Flashlight)
Kershaw Brawler Pack (Brawler Knife & Flashlight)

The Specs:

The blade measures in at 3 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.1 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at 7.1 inches long. The Brawler knife weighs in at 3.9 ounces.

 

The Flashlight:

The flashlight that comes in this Brawler pack is constructed of aluminum with a knurled black finish. This is an LED flashlight that is powered by AAA batteries. The flashlight comes with a lanyard and a pocket clip so that you can have it with you at all times.

 

Conclusion:

The Kershaw Brawler Pack is an excellent way to get two quality pieces for one low price. Featuring a Brawler knife for larger tasks and an LED flashlight, this package deal is an excellent value on two quality tools. The knife features stainless steel with black oxide finish, plain edge blade and textured grip handles. Also featuring assisted opening and a reversible pocket clip for discreet EDC options. Pick up one of the Kershaw Brawler Packs to cover all your bases today at BladeOps.

 

A Review of Four Manly Microtech Knives.

Microtech has been around for over 20 years. Throughout those 20 years, they have been working to design ground breaking, innovative, reliable, and quality knives. Microtech began in 1994, when Anthony and Susan Marfione created the first knife prototypes in their apartment. They released UDT the same year and began to gain ground in the knife world. The next year the company was the cover of the 1995 Fighting Knives magazine. Throughout the next years they have earned many awards and have produced some of the most popular knives on the market. Truly any of their knives would be a fantastic investment for you; I have chosen four different knives today, some of their most popular, best-selling, and most innovative knives.

 

The Ultratech

The Ultratech
The Ultratech

This is Microtech’s most popular knife ever and it first hit production in 1999. This is a Double Action Out the Front knife that has a 3.4-inch-long blade. The blade thickness is .13 inches, which is actually pretty thick for an OTF knife. The tip of this blade is strong and can stand up to your heavier duty everyday tasks. The blade steel is ELMAX, which is a newer steel type. ELMAX is considered a super steel; it has fantastic edge retention properties, it is very tough, and is very resistant to rust. You can get the blade in three different silhouettes: The tanto, the drop point, and the dagger. The blade is sharpened on both sides.

The handle is made out of 6061-T6 Aircraft-grade Aluminum. In 2015, Microtech redid the look of the Ultratech, the dimensions remained the same, but they added a tri-grip pattern onto the contoured handle. This tri-grip provides excellent grip and it makes the knife a little bit lighter and ergonomic. A few other things that changed in 2015 were the thumb slide and the handle edges. The thumb slide now has an “X” pattern that helps improve the grip and traction when firing the knife. Something unique about the Ultratech is that it includes a glass breaker, which does set this knife apart from the pack. The glass breaker on this knife is broader than it used to be and has a ball bearing for the tip. The broader tip is designed to be able to break glass better.

Overall, this knife is 8.48 inches long and 5 inches long when closed. This does make it a little long for an everyday carry, but it isn’t uncomfortably long just yet. The Ultratech weighs 3.2 ounces. This is a perfect weight for everyday carry knives because you don’t want something extremely heavy in your pocket, but you do want your knife to feel sturdy.

Pros of the Ultratech:

  • The blade is thicker than most OTF knives.
  • The tip of the blade is strong enough to endure harder tasks.
  • ELMAX holds its edge very well, is tough, and very resistant to rust.
  • Microtech added the tri-grip to provide fantastic grip.
  • This is the perfect weight for an everyday carry.
  • The knife sports a glass breaker at the tip of the handle.

Cons of the Ultratech:

  • This knife is on the longer end for an everyday carry knife.

 

The UTX-85:

The UTX-85
The UTX-85

The UTX-85 knife is a model of the Ultratech, but it has been reduced to 85% of the size, which solves the problem of people thinking it is too long. The UTX is actually a series of smaller Ultratech knives and the UTX-85 is the largest version of the series. The 85 features a fast and reliable dual action automatic mechanism that works to fire and open the blade.  The blade is 3.125 inches long made out of Bohler ELMAX steel. ELMAX steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold that uses a powder-metallurgy process. Because of this process, the steel has crazy edge retention and is very easy to sharpen. The blade is then finished in either stonewash, bead blast, satin, black, or black tactical.

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aircraft-grade Aluminum. This is a high grade aluminum that is tough, smooth, and very lightweight. Because of the handle material, the knifes overall weight is very low. On the handle, there is a firing or retracting trigger. This trigger is made out of 303 stainless steel. This trigger works by pushing it forward when you want to fire the blade and then pulling the trigger back when you want to close it. Just like the Ultratech, the UTX-85 sports a glass breaker at the tip of the handle. Plus, the handle has a pocket clip made out of 301 stainless steel. A fantastic feature of this knife handle is that it comes in a wide range of colors. Some of these colors are gray, black, green, and even an aqua.

This knife has an overall length of 7.5 inches long and weighs 3.1 inches. The length is the perfect size for an everyday carry knife, because it still is a big knife, but it doesn’t feel too big in your pocket. The weight of 3.1 ounces is the perfect weight for an everyday carry knife because it doesn’t weigh you down but it still feels sturdy. This is an affordable knife and you get fantastic value for what you pay. If you are looking for a personal knife, an everyday knife, or an outdoors knife, this is the perfect option for you. Plus, when you purchase this knife, you get a lifetime warranty along with it.

Pros of the UTX-85:

  • You get what you like about the Ultratech, but it is a smaller knife, so it doesn’t feel too long or heavy in your pocket.
  • The ELMAX steel is very sturdy, very resistant to corrosion, and has crazy edge retention.
  • The ELMAX steel is an easy steel to sharpen.
  • You can get a variety of finishes for your blade.
  • The handle material is tough, lightweight, and smooth.
  • The handle sports a glass breaker.
  • You can get the handle in a variety of colors.
  • This is an affordable option and you get great quality with it.

Cons of the UTX-85:

  • The handle is very lightweight while some people prefer a sturdier feel to it.
  • The trigger can feel stiff when you first get it, but it should loosen up as you use it.

 

The Scarab:

The Scarab
The Scarab

This knife is also a double action Out the Front knife, this just means that the firing button fires it and closes it. It is a similar size to the Ultratech, but it is actually a little bit wider. The blade is made out of ELMAX, but depending on availability, Microtech will change that. This knife has also been commonly produced with S30V steel. Both of these options are fantastic that hold their edges fantastically. When looking for a stainless steel, ELMAX and S30V steel are both fantastic options. Many OTF knives have quite a bit of blade play, but Microtech has outdone themselves with this design; you will get hardly any or no blade play. You can get this knife with or without serrations.

The handle is does have more of a square shape than you would usually find, but it is surprisingly still comfortable. The handle is made out of aluminum and has sandpaper-like grip tape inlayed on both sides of the knife. This is to provide you with excellent grip and it definitely does its job; you won’t have to worry about this knife slipping out of your hand. The handle is also coated—the most common color for this coating is black, but you can get it in other colors. The handle is put together with Microtech’s anti-tamper fastener screws, which prevents the user from disassembling this knife. On the top end of the handle is the firing button. This button is oversized and there are some complaints about it being too big; however, with it being so oversized, you can open it with gloves on. There is almost no way that you could accidently deploy this knife. The pocket clip is reversible, so you can carry it lefty or righty. The clip has been bead blasted and then the Scarab logo is on it.

The overall length of this knife is 8.38 inches long. When this knife is closed, it is 4.63 inches long, which is a great everyday carry size because it doesn’t feel too big when it is closed.

Pros of the Scarab:

  • It is an ideal everyday carry knife.
  • The oversized firing button means that you can open it even with gloves on.
  • This is a hard knife to accidently deploy.
  • The steel on the blade is high quality steel.
  • Has a double action out the front system.
  • The blade has very little play to it.
  • The grip tape provides you with fantastic grip.

Cons of the Scarab:

  • Some people do not like the oversized firing button.
  • This is a very large knife.
  • The anti-tamper fastener screws turn away some knife enthusiasts.

 

The Combat Troodon:

The Combat Troodon
The Combat Troodon

The Combat Troodon was Microtech’s flagship knife of 2006. This blade is 3.75 inches long made out of ELMAX steel. This is a super sharp knife that holds its edge for very long periods of time. It is a double edged dagger blade. Just like the previously mentioned knives this is also a double action out the front knife. You can get this knife with a plain edged blade or a partially serrated edge blade.

The handle of the Combat Troodon is made out of aluminum. It has machined grooves on it that adds grip. Something interesting about this knife is that the trigger is actually on the spine of the handle which makes it easier to fire the blade and then transition to using the knife. Out of most out the front knives, this one locks up tighter and more secure than most. Usually, out the front knives are pretty thick because of the mechanisms that they have to hold inside; however, the Combat Troodon is a lot slimmer and lighter, especially for the size of the knife. At the bottom of the handle, the knife sports a sturdy glass breaker spike.

The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long and the closed length of this knife is 4.25 inches long. This is a great length for an everyday carry knife because it is not too long or bulky to keep in your pocket.  The weight of this knife is 5.5 ounces. This is a heavier knife than most everyday carry knives.

Pros of the Combat Troodon:

  • The blade holds an edge for long periods of time and is super sharp.
  • You can get the blade in a plain edge or a partially serrated edge.
  • The OTF mechanism is a double action.
  • The handle has grooves to give you better grip.
  • The trigger is on the spine of the handle, so it is easier to fire the knife and then go straight to using it without too much hand adjustment.
  • This OTF is slimmer and lighter than many OTF’s.
  • The blade locks up tighter and more securely than most OTF’s.

Cons of the Combat Troodon:

  • This is a heavier everyday carry knife.

 

Conclusion:

Microtech knives are known for the high quality materials that they use, which of course gives you a very high quality knife. Microtech’s focus is “to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas”. They have definitely succeeded at achieving their focus. Today I went over four popular knives: The Ultratech is Microtech’s most popular knife ever, the UTX-85 the same as the Ultratech just shrunk down to 85% of its size, the Scarab is also similar to the Ultratech except that it’s a little bit wider, and lastly the Combat Troodon is a slimmer out the front knife than you would normally find. All four of these options are fantastic. When you are looking for a new everyday knife, a new tactical knife, or a new outdoors knife, these four options would meet and then excel all of your expectations.

 

 

A Review of the Six Best Tactical Knives

When looking for a tactical knife, there are so many different things to consider: brand, serrated edge vs. straight edge, folding knife vs. fixed knife, and size of the blade. Each of these characteristics change up what the knife is ideal for. Today I’ve compiled a list of the best tactical knives that you can buy today. Let’s get started.

 

The Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife:

Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife
Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife

This blade measures at 3 3/8 inches long and the knife weighs only 4 ounces, which is light enough to be a fantastic option for an everyday carry knife. The handle is made out of anodized aluminum, with Trac-Tec grip tape inserts that provide a crazy good grip while handling this knife. The knife has a Sandvik crafted recurve blade that is partially serrated; the serrations on this blade come in handy when you need to cut something such as rope. This blade is crazy sharp. Something truly unique about this knife is that it has a built in glass breaker The glass breaker is made out of carbide and is directly attached to the end of the handle. This glass breaker is able to break through almost any glass type, including reinforced car glass. This knife is easy to open, even one handed, because it has a SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism. A bonus with this blade is that it comes with a lifetime warranty from Kershaw. Plus, this specific Kershaw knife is made in the United States of America, something that many knife owners want and are looking for in their knives.

Advantages of the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker knife:

  • Made fully in the USA.
  • Comes with a Kershaw lifetime warranty.
  • Has a built in carbide glass breaker.
  • Only weighs four ounces, making it the perfect everyday carry knife.
  • Boasts Trac-Tec grip tape inserts to provide the perfect grip.
  • Has a partially serrated blade.
  • The blade is crazy sharp.
  • Easy to open one handed because it has the SpeedSafe mechanism.

Disadvantages of the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker knife:

  • The opening stud isn’t designed perfectly.

 

The Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife
Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife

This knife is ready to take on almost any challenge with its four-inch blade made out of Japanese Aus 8A stainless steel. This steel is vacuum heat treated and sub-zero quenched supplying the knife with fantastic durability. Then, the blade is coated in a black Tuff-Ex layer that works to resist anything. This coating fights against rust, it doesn’t let light reflect off of it—making it a perfect option for your tactical operations, and the coating works to provide a lubrication. The handle sports G10 handle scales that work to provide you with an amazing grip, almost like your hand is sticking to the handle. Another unique aspect of this knife is its reversible, stainless steel pocket clip. The pocket clip and the fact that the knife only weighs 5.2 ounces makes this an amazing everyday carry knife because it’s just that easy to constantly have with you. The knife boasts a Tri Ad locking system, which is a locking mechanism specific to Cold Steel. This locking system locks the blade into an open position with it’s tough lever that is on the back of the handle. This knife also comes in micro, mini, and extra-large versions.

Advantages of the Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

  • G10 handle scales give stellar grip.
  • Has Cold Steel’s Tri Ad locking system, guaranteeing you with a sturdy lock.
  • Only weighs 5.2 ounces.
  • Comes in different sized versions of itself.
  • Has a Tuff-Ex black coating that resists everything from rust to reflecting light.
  • Reasonable price.

Disadvantages of the Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

  • This knife has been reported to roughing up people’s pockets.

 

The Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife
Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife

A lot of tactical knives also have one or two other purposes, such as hunting, self-defense, maybe even fishing. What sets the Border Guard 2 apart from these knives is that the Border Guard 2 is truly designed to be a complete and total tactical knife. Some unique aspects of the Border Guard 2 are a safety belt cutter that is built into the handle. The handle already sports a glass breaking pommel. These two unique aspects make this knife an ideal candidate for safety and rescue workers, and so far they haven’t even had to open the blade. The tanto blade is 4.4 inches of 440C stainless steel. The blade is partially serrated, which makes it perfect for slicing and also sawing through rope. The blade is locked into place using its liner lock. The handle of this knife is made out of aircraft aluminum that has been textured to provide the user with an impeccable grip. The handle also sports an aluminum pocket clip. This knife is also one of the more inexpensive options, but it has just as much quality to it as the more expensive options, it might even be better. While this blade has been designed to serve almost any tactical purpose under the sun, this knife makes a fantastic every day carry blade as well. You never know when you are going to need the extras that call this knife home.

Advantages of the Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

  • Has a built in safety belt cutter.
  • Has a built in glass breaker.
  • This is an ideal option for rescue workers to own.
  • This is an ideal candidate for your every-day carry knife.
  • The handle has fantastic grip.
  • The liner lock keeps the blade securely locked into place.
  • This is one of the more inexpensive options that you can buy, but it definitely doesn’t seem like a cheap option.

Disadvantages of the Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

  • While the liner lock does work well, it can feel stiff, especially when the knife is first purchased.

 

The Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

Spyderco Assist Black Blade
Spyderco Assist Black Blade

This knife stands out from the pack because of its truly unique shape of blade. The blade of this knife is blunt-tipped, which helps make it unbreakable. But, because this is blunt-tipped, you cannot stab anyone. Why would anyone buy a blunt-tipped knife? This makes it a fantastic option for firefighters, EMT’s, and anyone else who is going to be working in a cramped area that doesn’t want to harm anyone or anything. The blade is serrated and on the unsharpened edge of the blade, it has finger grooves. This is another unique aspect that other knives do not have. This finger grooves are very shallow and make that edge of the blade look wavy. You can hold on to the backside of the knife to add grip and then saw through things more quickly. The blade is made out of VG-10, making this a very durable blade and knife. Adding to the list of unique characteristics, this knife sports a patented Cobra Hood grip, that helps to guide your finger to the deployment button so that even in the dark or without looking, you do not have to fumble for the deployment button. But wait, there’s more. The Spyderco Assist also features a retractable carbide tip that is designed to break glass. It also has a survival whistle that is built directly into the handle. This is a truly unique and remarkable knife that I would recommend to anyone looking for the perfect rescue knife. I couldn’t think of anything else that I would want to add, because it already has everything.

Advantages of the Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

  • Features a glass breaker.
  • Features a rescue/alert whistle.
  • The patented Cobra Hood grip guides your finger to the deployment button so that there is no searching and wasting time.
  • The knife has a blunt tip blade, making it the perfect rescue knife, because you can be in cramped spaces and not have to worry about harming anyone or anything.
  • The blade is very durable.
  • The serrated edge is perfect for sawing through rope.
  • The unsharpened edge of the blade has shallow finger grooves, giving you extra grip when sawing.

Disadvantages of the Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

  • This knife is designed for rescue, so many of its characteristics make it pointless in other situations.
  • Would be an awful option for self-defense.
  • It is almost 8 and a half inches long, which does make it a little bit large.

 

The Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

Benchmade Contego Folding Knife
Benchmade Contego Folding Knife

The four-inch blade on this knife is made out of CPM-M4 steel, that you can get in gray or black. This steel is high quality steel that won’t dull, nick, or chip. The thickness of this blade is 0.156, which is actually thinner than most tactical knives, however, because it is thinner, you can get it way sharper. The steel on this blade holds an incredible edge for long periods of time and who has time to sharpen their knife in survival situations? Having the extra sharpness means that you can cut through tougher things such as rope. The blade is a combo blade, meaning half of it is straight edge and the other is serrated. The serrations come in when the sharpness won’t cut it, because you can get a sawing motion going, such as cutting a tree branch. However, you can get this knife without the serrations, if that is what you prefer. The handle of this knife includes a carbide tip that is made to break through glass. The handle is made out of G-10 that has been textured to provide you with a fantastic no-slip grip. A unique thing that the Benchmade Contego has is the AXIS locking mechanism. This lock is extremely tough and hard to break, in fact, it can withstand up to 800 pounds of pressure before it breaks. However, after time, this locking mechanism will begin to work a little bit less. A bummer about this knife is how expensive it is.

Advantages of the Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

  • Can get it with a combo blade or just a plain straight edge blade.
  • The blade is a little thinner than most tactical knives, but what you give up in thickness, you definitely gain in sharpness.
  • The steel is high quality, durable steel.
  • The knife has a built in glass breaker, perfect for survival or rescue purposes.
  • The handle has amazing no-slip grip.
  • The AXIS locking mechanism can withstand 800 pounds of pressure before it fails.

Disadvantages of the Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

  • This is a pretty expensive knife.
  • The AXIS locking system has its perks, but it definitely isn’t the best locking mechanism out there.
  • Over time, the AXIS locking mechanism will slowly start to break down and not work as quality as it did before.

 

The Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife
Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife

This knife has been considered one of the most famous fixed blade knives in the world. This knife has been around since World War Two when it was designed for the US troops. It has been changed a little bit since World War Two, but it is still made in the USA, which some knife owners search for when purchasing. The blade is made out of 1095 Cro-Van steel, which is a tough and durable steel. The thickness of the blade is 0.165 inches and the length of the blade is 7-inches long. This blade is a straight edge blade, giving you perfectly clean cuts every time. One of the unique characteristics of this knife is that the handle is made with genuine leather, adding a very aesthetically pleasing aspect to the knife. The sheath that comes with this knife is also made out of leather. This is a simple design that gets the job done.

Advantages of the Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

  • The handle is genuine leather, helping the knife look very classy.
  • This knife has been around since World War 2, so you know you can trust it.
  • Made in the USA.
  • This is the most famous fixed blade knives in the world.
  • Very durable and very sharp blade.
  • Comes with a leather sheath.
  • Simple, straightforward design.

Disadvantages of the Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

  • The simple design doesn’t have any special add-ons.

 

Conclusion:

Tactical knives come in many different shapes and sizes and have all kinds of characteristics that make them unique. While the large variety is a blessing, it can also be a curse when you aren’t sure what you are looking for or what you want in your knife. Hopefully this list of the six best tactical knives will help narrow down your search and get you exactly what you want and need.