ProTech Rockeye Auto Knife Review

Specs ProTech with a Les George Design

ProTech Knives is a family owned knife company that has been in the knife making industry since 1999. Ever since day one, this fine group has been producing knives that people everywhere enjoy. Les George began making knives in 1992 and a few short years later enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1997. Having traveled all around the world and his experience in the military has given him the knowledge needed for a good hard working knife. He knows what is helpful in most situations and what is useless. Together, with over many decades of experience, ProTech, and Les George have united to create the Rockeye automatic knife. This knife will blow you away, just wait and see.

 

ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto

Specs

One of the interesting things about the Rockeye is that it shares its name with a bomb used to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles. It’s no coincidence that the Rockeye knife shares this powerful name. Listed below are the different specs for the knife.

  • Product Type: Automatic
  • Locking Mechanism: Plunge Lock
  • Overall Length: 8.38″
  • Weight:  4.53 oz.
  • Handle Length: 5.00”
  • Blade Length: 3.38″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.130″
  • Blade Steel: D2
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Finish: Various Available
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Various Available
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Lanyard Hole Included: Yes
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up
  • Made in the USA

 

Now if that didn’t do enough damage, let’s dive a little deeper into what this explosive knife is all about.

Hard Quick Auto

Automatic knives have always been a popular choice. They offer many advantages that typical folders, fixed blades, and even a spring assisted knives do not offer. One benefit to owning an auto is its deployment speed, especially with the Rockeye. Not only is it quick, but it can be fired off with one hand. The Rockeye is abnormally quick and like its explosive counterpart, it packs a hard punch. Its kickback recoil is almost comparable to that of a gun. It’s that hard of a kick.

An automatic knife is a better option because of the ease of opening the knife. Literally, by pressing the button, the blade will flash open in a blink of an eye. Until this little button is pressed on the handle, this blade is not going anywhere.

Having these features come in handy during many instances. Is a hand of yours in a bind or holding an object that is in need of cutting? An automatic knife can be opened instantly with one hand to perform its job. In many high-stress conditions, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye can preserve a life for one more day. It is different than a traditional knife and brings something new to the knife industry.

 

Blade

Steel

The steel you will find on the Rockeye is the extremely durable D2 blade steel. The steel was first developed around the time of World War II. D2 steel is a wear-resistant steel used for various rigorous tasks and can be found on cutting tools such as shears and planers. It contains 1.5% carbon and 11.0 – 12.0% chromium; additionally it is composed of 0.45% manganese, 0.030% max phosphorus, 0.030% max sulfur, 1.0% vanadium, 0.7% molybdenum, and 0.30% silicon. It is a popular knife steel due to its edge retention. One setback the steel has is that when it becomes dull, it is harder to sharpen. Due to its chromium and carbon content, it is often considered a semi-stainless steel. D2 is a high carbon tool steel. Compared to a steel like 1095 it is not nearly as tough but it is capable of holding an edge for a long time. D2 is also much more resistant to corrosion than 1095. Being a tool steel, this knife is able to accomplish heavy duty tasks.

Style

Your standard blade, the drop point, is the blade featured on the Rockeye. It is one of the more common blade shapes in use today. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slowly curved manner. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. Another advantage that the drop point has is its tip. The point on the blade is sharp and is thicker than other styles, thus allowing for a stronger tip. The point is also great when it comes to controlling the blade. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have equipped a knife and is popular on knives because of the controllable point and large slicing area.

Finish

Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) is a special finish. Like all other finishings on knives, the DLC is going to get scratched over time. But it will take a lot of time. DLC coatings can last years, depending on how thick the coating is. I’ve had several knives with a black blade. Like any other blade, with time, it began to look used. Personally, if a knife doesn’t look used, why have one? (It’s still important to take care of it.) It is a type of material that displays some of the typical properties of diamond. From a hardness point of view, it is said that DLC is harder than diamond. The way it looks is a matte black finish. Notable benefits of it are its coolness factor, and its low reflectivity. This coating can be helpful in stealth operations that require a tactical knife with low reflectivity. When someone needs protection from corrosion, a DLC coating has some advantages. If one tends to forget proper blade maintenance, the coating can resist corrosion for a longer time. It lowers friction, offers high wear resistance, and enhances hardness. The Rockeye DLC blade coating is not all about looks, it’s about performance. The benefits are obviously important when it comes to knives.

 

ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto

Handle

Material

The handle on the Rockeye is made of an aluminum alloy. Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal (meaning it does not contain or consist of iron) that is corrosive resistant. It is a very durable material for knife handles. It’s a low-density metal that provides a nice, solid feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. It is strong because of its high strength to weight ratio. Aluminum is often considered to be inferior titanium, which tends to be found on more premium knives. Though inferior to titanium, it is still an excellent handle material.

One downside to aluminum is that if you use your knife during cooler weather, you might find the handle to be slightly uncomfortable.  If left uncared for, aluminum will oxidize. This oxidation appears as white residue and pitting on the surface. Some other things to watch out for with an aluminum handle is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings if you are not careful. Though it may seem to have significant disadvantages, there are many good qualities to this material. The biggest advantages to aluminum are its strength, its light weight, its durability, and its resistance to corrosion.

Design

Though the only real texture on the handle of the Rockeye is a honeycomb hexagonal design, this isn’t some wimpy bug of a knife. The Rockwell’s texture provides a better grip and gives variety to the rest of the smooth handle. Only the front face of the handle has this texturing on it, and it only covers three-fourths of that side. The rest of the handle is smooth to the touch. When the blade is opened, there is a finger groove that adds extra grip. Not only that, but it serves as an extra bit of protection as well. Though not a part of the handle per say, there is jimping on the blade. This jimping extends well into the handle for additional gripping ability. Some other features of the knife include a lanyard hole for your convenience. The pocket clip, only equipped tip up on the backside of the handle, allows the carrier a near discrete carry while in a pocket.

 

Variations

There are many variations available for the Rockeye. Those variations include everything from blade edge, to handle finish. And from blade finish to a completely different knife product. It would be much simpler to go to the website to learn more about it. Go to BladeOps.com for more variation information.

 

Everyday Carry or Tactical Knife

The ProTech Rockeye is a viable tool for everyone. Whether it is for everyday tasks or for the tactical situation, the Rockeye is ready to blow.

Carry Depth

It is never comfortable to carry a large knife in your pocket every day. There is only a small limited size pocket space available. With that being said, the Rockeye is a great knife to carry around daily. The total length of the knife, when closed, is 5.00″ long. For those of you with smartphones, the Rockeye is about the same size as the average phone. If you have room in your pocket for your iPhone or Android device, you definitely have room for the Rockeye. If by some chance you have a small pocket, this knife will easily fit into another pocket; such as that on your backpack. There is no need to worry about the length of this knife.

Weight

Now the Rockeye is pretty dense for its size. Weighing in at 4.40 ounces, the Rockeye is sure to pack a serious punch. As a more heavy-duty knife, its weight is perfect just the way it is. If it were any heavier, then it would be uncomfortable to carry around. And if it were any lighter, the knife would not be able to make as big of an impact when used or it could go unnoticed while in a pocket and fly out unknowingly. I’d say that the perfect weight range for any everyday carry is 3.5 to 5 ounces. The Rockeye easily fits into that range.

Thickness and Width

As far as the thickness and the width go on the Rockeye, it is your average size knife (perhaps leaning towards the larger side). The thickness of the knife is just over half an inch, including the pocket clip. Without the pocket clip, the knife’s thickness would be half an inch. The width of the knife anywhere between an inch and a quarter and an inch and a half. The dimensions of the knife are pretty normal. It will not take up much pocket space although it is slightly thicker than the average smartphone (when in a protective case).

Tactical

If carrying the knife every day isn’t enough for you, there is no need to fret. The Rockeye can be used as a tactical knife. The term “Tactical Knife” often gets thrown around the industry for a variety of reasons. Whether it is a publicity tactic or an actual description of the knife’s purpose, there is a need for a filtering lens to see what the knife is really made for. In the case of the Rockeye, it has many tools equipped on it to make it useful for several different jobs. This is what makes a knife a tactical one.

A tactical knife is a knife with one or more features designed for use in extreme situations. A tactical knife is principally designed to be used as a utility tool, not as a weapon. Folding knives are rarely, if ever, designed primarily for fighting or combat. However, several military organizations have issued folding “utility” knives that were not intended to be used as weapons, but which had tactical features that appealed to military personnel as well as civilians. A knife with aggressive looks such as having a blackened blade and grips do not make a knife “tactical.”

 

Conclusion

This knife is the bomb. ProTech is always coming up with brilliant knives to arm people with. The ProTech Rockeye is a practical tool that you can use anytime and anywhere. Being capable of working as an everyday carry and as a tactical knife makes it great to use every day. The design and construction of this knife allow you to own a knife that is made to last you a lifetime. It will not let you down.

 

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CRKT Burnley Squid Knife Review

The Squid is not your typical everyday carry folding knife. From knife designer Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico comes this compact knife with great potential. He has based this knife on the concept of a compact pistol, meaning it can still fully function without the extra fluff. It is a tactically inspired knife that can stand up to any opposition.

 

CRKT Squid
CRKT Squid

Specs

As a compact knife, the Squid might be small in size, but not in stature. Listed below are the specs for this mighty knife.

  • Product Type: Folder
  • Locking Mechanism: Frame Lock
  • Overall Length: 5.70″
  • Weight:  3.50 oz.
  • Handle Length: 3.40”
  • Blade Length: 2.10″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.110″
  • Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Back
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash
  • Handle Material: 2Cr13
  • Handle Color: Gray
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Lanyard Hole Included: Yes
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up

 

As you can see, the knife isn’t that large. Both in weight and in length it is small, but there is potential in the squid. In the wild, squids are pretty average in size (around 24 inches in length). However, there are those giant squids that always seem to wreak havoc in horror or action films. Although the CRKT Squid will not break into a rampage, the knife will still put up a good fight and be a great everyday tool.

 

Burnley Design

Burnley Knives was founded in 2003 by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their mission is to “create custom knives with a superlative level of design and function utilizing ever evolving techniques and materials.” Much of Burnley’s inspiration comes from spending time with his father, time out among Mother Nature, and action packed survival stories and films. Over the years, he has experimented with a range of styles to combine classical knife designs with modern materials and techniques. His goal in creating the Squid was to make a great quality knife, which is readily available to a broader spectrum of people to own and use. Even though the Burnley design is compact, it is still able to function at 100%.

 

Folder

While there are other opening mechanisms out in the market (spring assist, fixed, automatic, etc.) there is a reason why a folder knife is a viable tool, especially as an everyday carry. One reason a folder knife is beneficial to own is because of how quiet it opens. Another point to note is that in some places, having a spring assisted or automatic knife can get you into legal trouble whereas a folder knife will not. This isn’t true is all cases, but something to point out. One more thing to make mention of is that the more parts that move in the knife, can mean a greater potential to wear out and break down over time. Also, when compared to fixed blades, a folder can be more discrete when carrying it every day. It doesn’t draw as much attention to it compared to the attitude people have about the serious nature of fixed blades. It simply is much easier to carry around in the city. Plus a folder tends to be more compact than a fixed blade. This is especially true with the tiny size of the Squid.

 

Locking Mechanism

The frame lock on the CRKT Squid is a type of locking system that was first introduced with the Sebenza Folder. The Frame or Integral Lock was created by Chris Reeve of Chris Reeve Knives and first appeared on the Sebenza. Chris Reeve calls it an Integral Lock, but the common name used in the industry now is simply “Frame Lock”. The original Integral Lock was developed in 1987. It is used when a portion of the back handle is slotted in a groove on the knife to lock the knife into place. This groove is in place behind the blade to refrain it from closing. Many suggest that this is one of the best locking mechanisms for its life-long durability and its reliability. The locking system makes the Squid more reliable during use because of its ability to resist slipping while retaining its strength.

The Frame Lock is a modification of the Liner Lock created by Michael Walker to simplify and strengthen the design. This is done by removing the handle scales and thin liners from the knife and using thicker liners to serve as both the handles, and the integrated locking bar. Frame locks are stronger than normal liner locks and are simpler in design. While holding the knife, the lock is being reinforced since it is integrated into the handle. Having this type of lock improves the overall quality of the knife.

 

Blade Style

The drop point on the Squid is an all-purpose blade that is able to stand up to anything that it comes across. Its blade is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. Another advantage that the drop point has is its tip. The point on the blade is sharp and is thicker than other styles, thus allowing for a stronger tip. The point is also great when it comes to controlling the blade. Accuracy is key, especially when it comes to fine tune cutting. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have on a knife and is popular on knives because of the controllable point and large slicing area.

 

Blade Steel

The steel used in the blade on the CRKT Squid is 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. For a knife that is very inexpensive, 8Cr13MoV is a tough steel to compete with. It is a Chinese steel with similar qualities to the Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel. 8Cr13Mov and its variations are excellent steels considering how little it costs to produce. Similar to AUS-8, 8Cr13MoV lacks the edge retention of the higher end steels. This is considerable based on the cost of making the steel. It can, however, take a sharp edge. It is considerably tough, and corrosion resistant. Owning a stainless steel knife does not require too much attention. Even though they are a little harder to sharpen, stainless steel blades are a popular choice because of the environment where the knife will be used; i.e. working in less than ideal weather conditions, dealing with corrosive liquids, etc.

 

Blade Finish

One of my all-time favorite finishes is a nice stonewash blade. It is the finish on the CRKT Squid. The process of getting a blade to look this way begins when the blade is rolled and tumbled with pebbles and an acid of sorts, then smoothed. In theory, it can hide scratches or other abrasions to the blade. This is a favorable characteristic that many knife owners desire. Because of the tumbling process to create this finish, it looks as if there are already hundreds of markings on it. Yet, the markings are done in a natural way to form a work of art. Similar to a snowflake, no two stonewashes are the same. The finish has a different look to it. It is able to reflect direct light off the surface blade. With all of the noticeable artistic markings on the knife, there is no need to worry about other markings that may come with using the knife. The knife can be used for its intended purpose of cutting and doing any other type of work while taking on any marking. Some suggest that because of the process, a stonewashed knife can become more resistant to rust as well. The acid oxidation it goes through in the process enhances a blade’s rust resistance with a stable oxide barrier between the steel and its surrounding. Another benefit of stonewashing a blade is their low maintenance and their ability to preserve their original look overtime. I am in love with this blade. It is amazing to look at, and it comes with benefits.

 

Handle

Stainless steel handles, such as that on the Squid, contain a minimum of 10-13% chromium. The chromium in the steel alloy helps to make the knife corrosive resistant. Chromium creates a barrier to oxygen and moisture which makes is rust resistant, but not rust proof. While it does provide excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, it is not particularly lightweight. Stainless steel handles can also be rather slick. The main advantages to having a stainless steel handle is that it is strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. The Squid is practically made solely from stainless steel. This will help extend the life of the knife. The pocket clip on the Squid runs half the length of the handle. Though not quite a discreet carry, it is pretty close. Though the clip is only available in one position, it still works great for any knife user out there.

 

Small Everyday Carry

As an everyday carry knife, it is important to know how the CRKT Squid feels when being carried around all the time. Especially as a small carry knife. Those criteria include its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The CRKT Squid is comfortable to carry in your pocket. The slim design takes up minimal pocket real-estate. Because of its smaller size, it sacrifices the potential for a really secure and comfortable grip.  When closed, the knife is 3.40 inches long. You’ll find that most comfortable carry knives are anywhere between 3.5 to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests just near the edge that range. Frequently, before any knife purchase, I ask myself, “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” The knife isn’t too deep when resting in the pocket. However, the pocket clip allows the majority of the knife to fit within my pocket.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. One of the worst feelings that can happen on a day to day basis is carrying something heavy in your pocket. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The CRKT Squid barely fits right into this range. Weighing in at 3.50 ounces, this knife is fairly lightweight. For the size of the knife, it is a good idea to take precaution when carrying it around. Because of its lack of weight, the knife has a greater potential to fly out of your pocket.

Thickness and Width

Like we mentioned before, the knife is very slim. At most, the knife is just about an inch thick. And the knife is just about a quarter of an inch wide from handle scale to handle scale. There is hardly anything to the CRKT Squid.

Appearance

The goal for the CRKT Squid is a simple look, nothing to extreme. It isn’t too dull, or to flamboyant. The conservative look is one of the advantages that this knife has. One other goal for this knife was to make it legal to carry all over the place. Though you are still responsible in keeping the law, it’s nice to know that there are some people out there trying to help you to have a decent knife that is legal, and useful.

 

The Test

The CRKT Squid is a tough knife that can the job done. To best show you how it gets the job done, there are certain tests that the blade undergoes to demonstrate its skill. Below are the results of these tests.

Paper- The Squid was easily able to cut through multiple layers of paper. But because of the tip on the blade, penetration wasn’t as good as other blade styles (such as a dagger or tanto). Shredding all of that unwanted mail will be easy with the Squid.

Cardboard- This is probably where the Squid excelled the most. The cuts were much simpler than those of the other tests. I was worried that the size of the Squid would prevent me from using the knife to its full capacity. Nevertheless, I was taken back.

Plastic- Again, the penetration problem persisted primarily in cutting the plastic. But once it had pushed through the tough material, it was easily able to slice through the rest of the plastic.

Rope/Paracord- Cutting the rope was pretty normal when compared to other knives. It got the job done, but nothing too impressive.

 

Conclusion

CRKT and Lucas Burnley did an excellent job at creating an inexpensive knife that is highly functional. I would be surprised if anyone couldn’t own this knife. It is supposedly legal everywhere, it is inexpensive, the size is small and comfortable, and it is good quality for what it is worth. I highly recommend this knife. Pick up the CRKT Squid today!

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Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken Knife Review

Kwaiken History

Anciently, Japanese women and men of the samurai class once carried the kwaiken blade. Primarily used for self-defense in indoor spaces, the kwaiken had an advantage over the long blade katana and intermediate sword wakizashi in smaller spaces. Women carried them in their kimono, either in a pocket-like space (futokoro) or in the sleeve pouch (tamoto), for self-defense purposes.

Today, the modern kwaiken also serves as a great self-defense tool for men and women everywhere. Its slim profile, and durable design are perfect in this realm.

 

Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken
Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken

Specs

As a smaller version of the katana or even the wakizashi, the Boker Kwaiken is still an impressive knife. Below is a list of all the specifications you need to know before getting a modern twist on an ancient classic.

  • Product Type: Flipper
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock
  • Overall Length: 8.38″
  • Weight: 4.45 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.88”
  • Blade Length: 3.50″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.130″
  • Blade Steel: VG-10
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Straight Back
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up

 

Even though this blade has been around for many generations, it is best to cover the basics of the knife and the new modernized additions to the Kwaiken.

 

Burnley Design

Burnley Knives was founded in 2003 by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their mission is to “create custom knives with a superlative level of design and function utilizing ever evolving techniques and materials.” Much of Burnley’s inspiration comes from spending time with his father, time out among Mother Nature, and action packed survival stories and films. Over the years, he has experimented with a range of styles to combine classical knife designs with modern materials and techniques.

 

Flipper

The Boker Kwaiken opens with a “flipper.” The flipper is that part of the blade that protrudes near the knife spine when the blade is closed. One advantage to having a flipper is when the blade is opened, it acts as an additional finger support when gripping the handle. It also, depending on the size, can serve as an extra way to protect your fingers when cutting. When proficiently skilled, a user can open a flipper knife in the blink of an eye. As the user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use. Without the use of a spring or torsion bar to assist the blade out of the handle, the IKBS opening system is a manual opening system that provides a smooth, easy blade opening.

 

IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System

One of the new twists to the Boker Kwaiken is the IKBS System. The Ikoma Korth Bearing System (IKBS) is a ball bearing pivot system for folding knives. The IKBS gives an exceptionally fast and smooth opening and closing action without much friction. The pivot requires very little maintenance and has a long service life. It works is by using uncaged ball bearings at the pivot which are held in grooves machined into the folder frame and blade. The IKBS was originally designed to fit in balisong knives, but because of its versatility it can be used in most kinds of folding knives (mainly liner locks and frame locks).
The IKBS system is highly favorable because of its simplicity.
An ordinary bearing is designed to rotate at high-speed for a long period of time and usually with some load applied on it. This required additional hardware such as bearing races and cages. With a simple flipper knife, such as the Boker Kwaiken, it was possible to eliminate those bulky and complex pieces, leaving just the steel balls to rotate the blade. Instead of external races, there are recesses made in the liners to hold the steel balls. And the pivot pin is used as the internal race. The steel balls that make up the IKBS are inexpensive and can be easily replaced without the need of any adjustment, making maintenance quite simple. The IKBS system is slightly adjustable. If any blade play occurs after time, tightening the pivot screw can easily eliminate it.
Blade Style

If you want a knife with a relatively narrow point and yet a curved belly, a straight back blade is the one for you. It is well suited for both thrusting and cutting. There isn’t too much of difference between a straight back and a dropped point. However, a straight back blade is the simplest of blade shapes. The sharp edge starts near the handle and curves towards the tip of the blade. The unsharpened edge continues straight from the handle to the tip. Simple, no? Having a straight back on your knife blade helps improve the strength of the blade. It also makes it ideal for adding thumb pressure when slicing and chopping. The straight dull back won’t hurt your thumb when adding a lot of pressure.

 

Blade Steel

VG-10 Steel isn’t a common steel you hear about. Though it is not used much, the blade steel is still excellent in quality. Sticking with the Japanese theme on the Boker Kwaiken, VG-10 is a cutlery grade stainless steel was originally designed and produced by Takefu Special Steel Co. Ltd., in Japan. It is a high carbon stainless steel containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, 1.5% Cobalt, and 0.5% Manganese. Even though carbon only makes up a relatively small amount of the total material of the blade, it is still a significant amount for stainless steel. The G in the name stands for “gold,” referring to the “gold standard” that this stainless steel is considered to have met. One of the original uses of this steel was in the horticultural industry. This is because of its ability to make clean, grafting cuts. Thus it would not fray or destroy the vessels of the plant. VG-10 was originally aimed at Japanese chefs, but also found its way into sports cutlery. VG-10 is quite capable of retaining an edge, while still being rust resistant. It is preferred by many professional chefs. With VG-10, you also get the hardness of a carbon steel. It is more expensive when compared to other steels such as 440 steels, but is well worth it. All of these qualities of this steel make this knife great for everyday use, plus its ability to take abuse.

 

Liner Lock

The liner lock is one of the most prevalent locking systems used in the knife industry and is the locking mechanism on the Boker Kwaiken. It was invented and patented in 1980 by Michael Walker. A liner lock works by having a section of the liner spring inwards and wedge itself beneath the tang of the blade when it is opened all the way. This locks the blade open between the stop pin and the liner locking mechanism. The liner lock is easy to manufacture and reliable to use. The biggest advantage of the liner lock is the easy one-handed opening and closing. Most other locking methods are not as easy to close one-handed. This type of locking mechanism, in conjunction with the flipper, makes this knife perfect for one-handed use. Not only for right handed people, but for left handed people as well.

 

Handle

The handle on the Boker Kwaiken is full of mysteries, like its origin, that are waiting to be unlocked. Do not let its appearance deceive you. There is a lot more than meets the eye. The handle is quite slim. In fact, it is three quarters of an inch thick in its thinnest spot and grows to just under an inch thick near the pivot area. Though it is slender, its weight is very dense. In total, the knife weighs around four and a half pounds. For such a small knife, the Kwaiken has quite the hefty feel to it.

In addition to the slimness and weight of the Kwaiken, the handle also includes the specially fabricated handle scales. Made from a single G-10 piece, the lower part has a milled, wood-like texture for a neat design and a secure grip. The portion near the pivot is made without this texture to provide a contrasting look from the scales. This special look gives the knife a unique appeal while retaining a natural look.

G-10 or G10 is similar to Micarta and Carbon Fiber and is often used in handles because of its moisture imperviousness. G-10 is a fiberglass based laminate made by layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in an epoxy resin, are compressed, and then baked. The result is a material that is hard, lightweight, and strong. The surface of the G-10 is a checkering texture that is added for additional grip support. A unique property of the material is that the grip improves when wet. This material is difficult to break. It is also an ideal handle material because it does not shrink or swell in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Many knife companies prefer to use G-10 because of these properties, but also prefer to use it because it is easy to shape into different designs and has a possibility for an unlimited number of colors. This handle is recommended for knives that are to be used in survival situations. G-10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger (though more brittle) than Micarta. Its main advantages include its toughness, its light weight, it is strong and durable, impervious to water, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive. Though it can be brittle, and occasionally have a cheap plastic feel, G-10 is a fantastic handle material.

 

Everyday Carry

As an everyday carry knife, it is important to know how the Boker Kwaiken feels when being carried around all the time. Those criteria include its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The Boker Kwaiken is comfortable to carry in your pocket. The slim design takes up minimal pocket real-estate. Because of its smaller size, it sacrifices the potential for a really secure and comfortable grip.  When closed, the knife is 4.88 inches long. You’ll find that most comfortable carry knives are anywhere between 3.5 to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests just near the edge that range. Frequently, before any knife purchase, I ask myself, “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” The knife is a deep carry knife. The pocket clip allows the majority of the knife to fit within my pocket.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. One of the worst feelings that can happen on a day to day basis is carrying something heavy in your pocket. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The Kwaiken barely fits right into this range. It weighs 4.45 ounces. For the size of the knife, I would be careful about getting it if you are sensitive to your pocket weight. But again, it is within this range of comfortable weight. The knife is just dense.

Thickness and Width

Like we mentioned before, the knife is very slim. At most, the knife is just under an inch thick. And the knife is just under half an inch wide from handle scale to handle scale. There is hardly anything to the Kwaiken.

Appearance

When the knife is closed, it looks pretty conservative, especially with its “wood grain” finish. But when the knife is unleashed, it does have that ancient samurai intimidation to it. It’s as if it says “Be careful, this knife will come after you.”

 

Conclusion

Boker is constantly coming up with knifes that work well for a decent price. At $135, you will be happy with this purchase. There are many creative minds going into this blade. From the creators of the IKBS System to Lucas Burnley, and from the people over at Boker to the ancient Japanese creators of the kwaiken, the Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken is a huge hit. You will want this in your armory.

 

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Boker Magnum 018 Auto Knife Review

One of Boker’s fantastic automatic knives is their Magnum 018. Boker has a great history of making durable knives that are affordable, effective, and good looking. The Magnum is nothing short of the Boker Standard.

Boker 018 Magnum Auto
Boker 018 Magnum Auto

Specs

Below is the specs list for the Magnum 018. This is somewhat similar to another popular Boker auto knife. The Boker Kalashnikov 74 is just slightly smaller than the Magnum 018. Here is the list:

  • Product Type: Automatic Knife
  • Overall Length: 8.0″
  • Weight: 4.50 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.75”
  • Blade Length: 3.25″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.120″
  • Blade Material: AUS-8 Stainless
  • Blade Edge: Combo
  • Blade Style: Tanto
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Down
  • Made in Taiwan

 

Handle Material

The handle on the Magnum 018 is Aluminum is usually treated by anodizing the metal to obtain its color, hardness, and protection. It is a durable metal for knife handles. Its low density provides for a nice, light feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. The most common type of aluminum used today a T6-6061 alloy. When aluminum is properly texturized, the handle can provide a considerably secure grip that is both comfortable and easy to hold. Despite its smooth appearance, it also provides excellent grip and is especially suitable for knives that will be used in harsh weather conditions or even in just very wet conditions. Another property that aluminum possesses is a high corrosion resistance. One possible negative effect that an aluminum handle can have is its conductive property. When it is cold out, the knife’s metal will cool down too. This can be potentially uncomfortable for some people, but others may take favor to this property.

 

Blade Steel

The steel that is used on the Magnum 018 is the Japanese manufactured AUS-8 Stainless Steel. AUS-8 is said to be compared to steels such as 440C, CM-154, and even D2. This steel is exceptionally hard, and is quite capable of achieving and retaining a sharp edge. This well-rounded knife has high quality in its hardness, toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. While this metal is still far from being perfect, it is a quality steel for what it costs to produce.

 

Blade Style

The blade on the Magnum 018 is a tanto part serrated blade. The tanto blade has a somewhat chisel-like point that is thick towards the point (being close to the spine) and is thus quite strong. The tanto knife was inspired by ancient Japanese swords. The Westernized tanto is often straight but may also be gently curved. This style of blade became popular during the ‘80s shortly after the blade was created and introduced. The tanto does not have a typical belly (such as that on a drop point), which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Its design makes it great for push cuts, rather than slicing, and piercing tougher materials because of its tip’s strength.

 

Serrations

In comparison with a sharp plain edge, the serrated edge on the Magnum 018 tends to do better in cutting hard material. Whether it be thick rope, hard plastics, bones, or any other fibrous material, a serrated blade is capable of cutting through it. A serrated cut works because of several key reasons. When beginning to cut, the tiny points on the serrations touch the object being cut. This allows for a centralized pressure on the cut. After applying this pressure, the dozens of little serrations act like hooks. Each tug and pull at the material until it is cut deep. The penetrating points and scallops greatly assist in cutting with their low-edge, sharp angle. Many question the usage of a serrated blade. They ask if it is even worth it to have as a tool when they have a sharp plain edge. However, it is difficult to ever really know when you will be needing a serrated blade. It is essential though to be prepared for whenever that situation arises. This is more truth in this statement because of the line of work that tactical knives find themselves in. For some people, having a combination of a plain edge and a serrated edge is important. You never know when it can come in handy. The nice thing about serrated edges is that they can still cut when dull, while a dull plain edge has a difficult time cutting.

 

Handle Design

Because of the way the Magnum handle is finished, with its discrete looking finger holds and its parallel grooves on the handle’s surface, it provides a solid grip to hold while using the knife. Most of the time, an aluminum handle is smooth and lacks any kind of texture. The Magnum 018 has a slight texturing to the handle that helps improve the grip slightly. The handle, along with the rest of the blade, have a curving arch that runs the full length of the knife.

 

Similar to 007

The Magnum 018 is related to its similarly built Magnum 007. It is as if the 018 is the darker side of the Magnum, while the 007 is lighter. The fierce looking 018 has a more tactical look to it while the 007 is more gentlemanly. For more info on the 007, check out its review.

 

Automatic Knife

Automatic knives are a popular choice of knife to own. They offer many advantages that typical folders, fixed blades, or even a spring assisted knives do not offer. One benefit to owning an auto is its deployment speed. Some may argue that a spring assisted knife is just as fast as an automatic knife. This is true in many cases. However, what makes an automatic knife a better option is the ease in opening the knife. With the press of a button, or a flick of a switch, the blade will flash open in a blink of an eye. Not only is it quick, but it can be fired off with one hand. Plus, firing off an auto is fun to do. The firing and locking mechanism on the Magnum 018 is a plunge lock that utilizes a button. Until this little button is pressed on the handle, this blade is not going anywhere.

Having these features come in handy during many instances. For example, if one of your hands in a bind or holding an object in need of cutting, an auto can be opened right away with one hand and do its job. Emergency response teams, law enforcement, and military personnel are all constantly faced with tribulation that requires the use of a decent knife. In many high stress situations, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye using only one hand can help someone else live for one more day. They are different than a traditional knife and bring a new element to the knife industry.

 

Test

To give you a better idea on how this knife works in the “real world”, below are the results of several tests. These will inform you of what you can expect with the Magnum 018. The normal tests include cutting paper, cardboard, plastic, and rope. This testing also includes a fruit and vegetable test.

Paper- The paper was easy to cut, but it took some effort to get it started. Because of the blade style with a combo edge, there isn’t a lot of cutting edge to use. The serrated part of the blade got in the way of slicing through the paper. The tanto, with its two different edges, made it difficult to have a nice sweeping motion to cut the paper.

Cardboard- Cutting the cardboard was relatively simple, only because of the combination of the serrated edge and a sawing motion. Pushing through was slightly more difficult than pulling back when sawing through.

Plastic- All types of synthetic material were able to be cut; from tape to shopping bags, and from thicker bottles to heavy packaging plastics. The thicker stuff was easily cut with the help of the serrations. The tanto’s tip was perfect at penetrating the plastic packaging that we see around all the time.

Rope/Paracord- Here, cutting rope, is where the Magnum 018 performs well. The serrations on the tanto blade are designed to cut rope and other fibrous materials with ease. The serrated design did what it is intended to do. The rope snapped in half in a split second after taking the serrated blade to it. Of course I had to try using the non-serrated portion of the blade on the rope. The plain edge near the tip of the tanto blade cut the rope with ease.

Fruit/Vegetable- Only to be fair when talking about the tanto serrated blade, there had to be a test to see where the blade’s potential could truly shine forth. Where I imagined this type of blade to excel at is in culinary uses. The perfect foods to test the cutting ability of the Magnum 018 are apples and carrots. Most people, at one time or another, imagines slicing of a piece of apple and eating it directly from the blade (just like in the movies). The plain edge portion of the blade performed just as you would see in the movies. The apple is small enough that the small plain blade could cut right through the fruit. Carrots, denser than an apple, require a different cutting technique. Cutting carrots, especially raw carrots, takes great effort and force to cut. Luckily, there is the serrated blade that saws right through. It is similar to cutting a thin tree branch.

 

Carrying the Knife

It is very important to know how the knife feels when being carried around all the time. There are a few things to consider when looking to get a new knife. Those items include the following: its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The Magnum 018 is comfortable to carry. Not only in your hand, but it is decently comfortable in your pocket. When closed, the knife is 4.75 inches long. A typically comfortable carry knife is anywhere between three and a half to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests on the edge that range. A question I ask myself before getting a knife is “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” Ever since I lost my own knife, I check to see if the knife has the potential to fall out.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. It is the worst feeling to have to carry heavy objects in your pocket, no matter what it is. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The Magnum 018 fits right into this range. It weighs 4.50 ounces. It is about average in size. However, when holding the knife, it feels lighter than what you think.

Thickness and Width

When carrying a knife around all the time in your pocket, there is a limited amount of space available in your pocket. A good everyday carry knife should be comfortable to carry and easy to handle. The Magnum 018 is about an inch and a half wide at its thickest point from the top of the blade to the back of the handle. Its thickness from the left of the handle to the opposite side is between a half an inch and three quarters of an inch. The Magnum 018 is going to take up some room in your pocket, but not a ton of space.

Appearance

The Magnum’s appearance is significantly different than its counterpart the Magnum 007. The 018 has a dark look that comes off intimidating at a first glance. The serrations add to the intimidation factor. But all of this intimidation is contained inside the conservative looking handle. Once unleashed, the Magnum is unstoppable.

 

Conclusion

The Boker Magnum 018 Auto Knife is a good, inexpensive, automatic knife that will satisfy your basic needs. There is no need to worry about beating up this knife. Pick your Magnum up today.

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Benchmade 67 Bali-Song Review

History of the Balisong

The Benchmade history, and their Bali-Song knife, began in 1979 when Les de Asis wanted a knife that had the best quality to replace the cheap balisongs, or butterfly knives, he played with as a kid. Les used his high-school experience to develop and make his dream knife a reality. He created his first balisong in his own garage. From there he took the knife he had created, the model 68 Bali-Song, to a gun store where he was asked to make more of them. From this knife came the famous Benchmade Butterfly Logo that millions recognize everywhere.

A balisong’s peculiarity is its two handles counter-rotating around the tang of the blade. When closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. The balisong knife is the traditional name. There are other names it has. Benchmade has it named Bali-Song (with a hyphen in-between). Another name for the knife is a butterfly knife. It is also referred to as a Batangas knife, after the Province of Batangas, Philippines where it is traditionally made. The balisong was commonly used by the Filipino people for self-defense and as a utility knife. While the meaning of the term balisong is foggy, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog words “bali” and “sungay” which means broken and horn in English. They were originally made from carved caribou and stag horn. Balisong is also the name of a small area in the Batangas Province, which became famous for crafting these knives.

Benchmade 67 Bali
Benchmade 67 Bali

 

Specs

The Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is another addition to the collection of Benchmade’s balisong archive. Here are the specs for this additional balisong knife.

  • Product Type: Balisong (Butterfly) Knife
  • Overall Length: 9.20″
  • Weight: 6.39 oz.
  • Handle Length: 5.27”
  • Blade Length: 4.25″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.127″
  • Blade Material: D2
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Recurve Tanto
  • Blade Finish: Satin
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Color: Silver
  • Pocket Clip: Not Included
  • Sheath Included
  • Made in USA

 

The Blade

The blade on the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is not a common blade. There are some common characteristics that it possesses, but for the most part it is a rare blade.

Blade Style

The blade on the 67 Bali-Song is a recurve tanto blade. When talking about this blade, it is best to look at it as two separate blade styles that are mashed together.

Starting with the tanto blade, the tanto is similar to a wharncliff or a drop point, except it has a second diagonal edge and it isn’t as easy to sharpen as the other two blades. It offers a good, strong point that excels at penetration and is less likely to break when penetrating the same material versus a drop point or spear point.

Next is to examine the recurved portion of the blade. Recurved blades offer a great cutting leverage when it comes to draw cuts. Another benefit of a recurve is that it lengthens the cutting edge longer than the actual length of the blade. The design also gives the edge multiple angles to work with. Recurves excel at slicing, whether it’s for food prep or cutting rope. Slicing isn’t the only cutting task that can benefit from a recurve’s contour. Other cuts, such as chopping and slashing, are best done with the use of a recurve blade. That is why you will find recurves on blades used for clearing vegetation, large choppers, and even certain defensive blades.

There are a couple of disadvantages to a recurve edge. Sharpening the blade involves a different technique when compared to sharpening more conventional blades such as a drop point. It can be difficult, and will be frustrating at first. If you are more accustomed to a traditional blade style, the recurve may take a while to adjust to. The ways these blades cut are quite different.

The Recurve Tanto is a sick looking blade. It has a high intimidation factor to it, yet at the same time it is extremely cool looking.

 

Blade Steel

Besides having a great blade style, the Benchmade 67 blade steel is the durable D2 steel.  First developed around the time of World War II, D2 steel is a wear resistant steel used for various rigorous cutting tools such as shears and planers. It contains 1.5% carbon and 11.0 – 12.0% chromium; additionally it is composed of 0.45% manganese, 0.030% max phosphorus, 0.030% max sulfur, 1.0% vanadium, 0.7% molybdenum, and 0.30% silicon. It is a popular knife steel due to its edge retention. One setback the steel has is that when it becomes dull, it is harder to sharpen. Due to its high chromium content it is often considered a semi-stainless steel. D2 is a high carbon tool steel. Compared to a steel like 1095 it is not nearly as tough but it is capable of holding an edge for a long time. D2 is also much more resistant to corrosion than 1095. Being a tool steel, this knife is able to accomplish heavy duty tasks.

Blade Finish

The satin blade surface is covered with small linear strokes that form a uniform pattern. The blade reflects direct light for a nice shine. One benefit to a satin finish is that many minor wear and scratch marks from regular usage go unnoticed. This particular satin finish shines brighter than many other satin finishes. It complements the rest of the knife with its shine. A satin finish is similar to how a blade is sharpened. The surface is repeatedly sanded down for a smooth, reflective finish.

 

The Handle

The handle on the Bali-Song 67 is not similar to any I have felt before. It is confusing because the handles are thin as a pencil but are as heavy as a NHL hockey puck. The majority of the weigh for the entire handle comes from the two balisong handles. This isn’t to say it is a bad thing. The weight is perfect for flipping the knife around, both to simply open it and to perform fancy tricks.

The look that the handle has is phenomenal. The milled out holes in the handle are flawless. They help lighten the weight of the overall knife. Air is able to flow through to keep your hands cool in those high intense situations.

 

Parts of the Balisong Knife

To better understand what a balisong is all about and how to properly use it, it is best to understand some of the basic parts. The balisong’s handle is comprised of is basically two parts; one fixed handle in one hand and one that rotates on an axis. The axis of butterfly knives is usually made of a rivet or from hex screw. The following covers more detail about the knife components.

Bite handle

The bite handle is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade. It will cut the user if this handle is being held when they go to close it. Stereotypically located on the bite handle is the latch for the knife.

Latch

The standard locking system on a balisong knife is the latch. This holds the knife in a stationary position, whether if the blade is open or closed. The latch typically is found on the bite handle. Some latches are spring loaded for a quicker release. The Benchmade 67 has a traditional latch on it.

Pivot joint

A pivot joint is a pin about which the tang, the blade, and the handles rotate about. On all balisong knives, there are two pivot joints. A regular folder knife has one pivot joint. The two pivot joints allow the knife to open in its unique “flipping” way.

Safe handle

The safe handle is the handle that that closes on the non-sharpened edge (swedge) of the blade. Generally speaking, this is the handle that does not have the latch attached to it.

Swedge

The swedge is the unsharpened spine of the blade. Some balisongs are also sharpened on this side of the blade to make it into a double edged blade.

These are but a few of all the parts that go into a balisong, but these are the key parts of the knife. Knowing these will help with operating the knife.

 

How to Open

Opening the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song is quite simple, and fun! Below is a step-by-step guide to help lead those who do not know how to open the knife:

  1. Start by holding the closed knife in your dominate hand.
  2. Unlock the knife. Do this by moving the latch that is being held stationary to disengage the blade.
  3. Grab the safe handle on the knife (you don’t want to cut yourself with the blade).
  4. Flip open the handle over your hand exposing the blade.
  5. Rotate loosely in front of your hand 180 degrees.
  6. Flip the blade against back of hand
  7. Flip back and grab rest of handle

This is just a simple list of steps on how to open the knife. There are several different ways to open up the knife. Once you play around with the knife for a while, it becomes easier to open. And given time, you could probably start performing tricks.

Now how to close the knife. It is very similar to how the knife is opened. You could almost take the same steps and just go through them backwards. Here are the steps on how to close the knife:

  1. Again, start with holding the open knife in your dominate hand.
  2. Unlock the knife if you locked it into the opening position. Unlike opening the knife, the lock has to be manually disengaged. A squeeze on the handle will not unlock it.
  3. Flip over the handle that normally conceals the blade edge when closed.
  4. Rotate the knife loosely in your hand, around the front side of your hand, 180 degrees
  5. Flip the same handle against the back of your hand. Your hand will be in-between both of the handles at this point.
  6. Flip it back over your hand and grab the rest of the handle.

It will take time getting used to, but operating the Bali-Song 67 can be done. It is different than opening a traditional folder, or auto knife. However with some practice, these knives can open much more quickly than the fastest of autos.

 

Why get a Bali-Song

Why would anyone want to get a knife like the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song? There are many different laws and regulations, and the populous reputation that connote a negative feeling to them. One reason is that they are so much fun to play around with. Secondly, they are a safe knife once opened. Unless a pin breaks or some other freak accident, they will not close on your hand. Another reason to get one is the fact that they can be opened one handed faster than many spring assisted knives. They are also slim, lightweight, and easy to carry. It is very difficult to open one accidentally when locked, including in a pocket. They are often stronger and more secure because of their two pins. Another benefit to having a butterfly knife is for their use with those that wear gloves when working. Such as yard work or working in the shop. This is because they are large and easy to operate with gloved hands.

Some other benefits of the owning a balisong include:

  1. The shocking appearance it gives off. The balisong is impressive when revealed and wielded in a dramatic fashion. With all the tricks that can be done with a balisong, the action alone can plant fear in any opponent’s mind. Helpful for those dark alley ways at night.
  2. The Bali-Song has one of the strongest locking mechanisms. There is little chance of it opening up accidentally. It can be used with no fear of the blade bending onto the hand or even closing on the hand of those that use the knife.
  3. Balisongs typically can give you a long reach. This is more so true than folders that have to be more bulky and clunky to reach the same length. Having a long knife can be useful in any number of ways.
  4. The handles of the balisong can provide to be a blunt impact self-defense tool without the blade ever being deployed.

With any knife, there are limitations to them. Some of those limitations include:

  1. Balisongs have a greater need for space when deploying than many other knives.
  2. They are not as discrete as other knives, especially when opening. They are most definitely a flashy knife.
  3. There is much practice required to effectively open a balisong. Those that struggle with fine motor skills in their hands may have a difficult time trying to use this knife.
  4. There are the obvious legal issues that many places have. I’m not even going to go there for various reasons. The biggest takeaway from this point though is that it is all one big hassle to deal with. Nobody has time for that.

 

Field Test

For a better understanding of how the 67 Bali-Song actually works, below are the results of several tests to assess the strength and ability to work as a knife. Normally, these tests are conducted by cutting different materials such as paper, cardboard, rope/paracord, and plastic. (These are common items that are cut from a day to day basis, and test the capability of the knife.) In addition to those, to test the strength of the tanto, a piercing test was conducted.

Piercing- The piercing test was only conducted on cardboard (no one or anything was harmed in the testing of this knife). With an initial thrust, the blade was stopped at the thickest point of the blade, meaning only a quarter of the entire blade went into the cardboard. After a couple of more tries, the entire blade was able to pass through the box. If you can give enough thrust to pass the tanto portion of the blade, the thin recurve portion of the blade will pass through without touching the cardboard. Basically, if you give it enough thrust, the rest will follow.

Paper- Cutting though the paper was a breeze. Envelopes stand no chance against the Benchmade 67 Bali-Song.

Cardboard- It was simple to cut through the cardboard, especially when doing so in a sawing motion. The recurve blade is created just for that reason. A rocking back and forth motion was able to slice through the cardboard with ease.

Plastic-

All types of synthetic material were able to be cut; from tape to shopping bags, and from thicker bottles to heavy packaging plastics. The 67 Bali-Song was easily able to cut through them all.

Rope-

Clean as a whistle! The cut was easy to make and no threads went uncut. It almost took one sweeping motion to cut right on through. Benchmade has always been good at providing a good blade to cut with. One that is sharp, durable, and always ready to work for you.

Conclusion

The Bali-Song 67 from Benchmade is a hit. Flipping these knives around is a lot of fun. The recurve tanto introduced me to a whole new world of possibilities for this blade style. I might have to ditch my drop point for a while and see if the recurve is better. This knife would make a great addition to any knife collection.

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ProTech Tactical Response 2 Automatic Knife Review

Pro-Tech Knives, LLC is a family owned company that was established in 1999. Pro-Tech strives to make high quality American made knives. Pro-Tech chooses only the best materials that are available and they have a commitment to craftsmanship. Pro-Tech uses the most current high tech manufacturing process that are around to produce an exceptional knife that tis going to last through the years. To keep quality high and satisfaction levels higher, they actually produce their knives in small batches (around 12,000 knives a year) so that they can take the time to individually hand fit and finish each knife. Because they give each knife special attention, you get a level of quality that isn’t normally found on factory knives. Pro-Tech has worked with knife makers such as Ernest Emerson, Walter Brend, and Allen Elishewitz to produce some of the most innovative knives today. Some of Pro-Tech’s most popular knives are the Godson and Godfather. Pro-Tech has designed models for the U.S. Military and several police departments over the years. One of their popular knives is the Tactical Response 2 Auto Knife, which is what we will be discussing today.

Exclusive ProTech TR2 Auto
Exclusive ProTech TR2 Auto

 

 

The Blade:

 

The blade on the Tactical Response 2 is carved out of 154 CM stainless steel. This is a high end stainless steel that is produced by Crucible. Essentially, they took 440C steel and added Molybdenum to upgrade the quality of it. Because of the added Molybdenum, the steel has fantastic ability to hold an edge while maintain excellent levels of corrosion resistance. This is a relatively hard steel that has decent toughness—enough toughness to complete most of your tasks without worry. This steel is not difficult to sharpen, if you have the correct machinery or equipment. 154 CM stainless steel has fair corrosion resistance abilities, but, you will need to make sure to oil your knife periodically. This steel gives you many of the same qualities that S30V steel does, just at a slightly lower level, for a cheaper cost. All in all, this is a good steel. It is not the best steel around, but it will get the job done. It has a good balance between being hard, tough, and corrosion resistant. There are two different options of blade finishes. One blade is the traditional silver and has been bead blasted. The other option is a black blade that has a Diamond Like Coating on it. A bead blast finish is where the manufacturer uses glass or ceramic beads and blasts them at the blade at a high pressure. This process will result in a very even, gray finish. Some pros to having a bead blast finish is that the reflection and glare will be diminished, because it produces a matte finish. However, because the beads create micro-abrasions in the surface of the knife, your blade is going to be more prone to rusting or corroding. If you choose the bead blasted blade, just be aware that you are going to have to put more maintenance into the blade. The second option is the black Diamond Like Coating. This option will also reduce the reflection and glare, because it is dark and matte. The DLC also reduces wear and corrosion, because the blade is literally coated in a material. However, coatings will also be scratched off if you are constantly performing heavy duty tasks with it. Also, the harder the coating, the more expensive it is going to cost. And since a DLC is one of the hardest coatings on the market, the cost of your knife will go up.

The Tactical Response 2 sports a spear point blade shape. This style of blade is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both of the edges on the blade rise and fall equally to create a point that is directly center in the blade. This shape of blade is very similar to a needle point blade, but it does have a few advantages over the needle point shape. First, the point on the spear point is stronger, so you won’t have to be as concerned over your tip snapping. Second, the spear point blade shape does sport a small belly that will help you when you are slicing. Another advantage to a spear point blade shape is that there is a lowered tip, which provides you with greater control over your blade helping you perform detail or delicate work with the tip. The spear point blade shape is an excellent balance between piercing and slicing. With this style of knife, you really get the best of both worlds: the tip is sharp enough to stab or pierce things and strong enough for you not to worry about it, and the belly is big enough to allow you to slice things, without getting in the way of your other tasks. This is a great hybrid type blade that is going to be versatile and functional.

There are two different options for the blades edge. You can either get a plain edge or a combo edge, meaning that half of it is serrated and half of it is plain. A plain edge grind will give you better control and accuracy while also providing you with cleaner cuts. With a plain edge, it is easier to skin, peel, or shave. Another benefit to having a plain edge is that they are easier to sharpen. On the other hand, serrations are going to be able to perform the harder cutting tasks. Serrations excel at cutting through rope or wood, because the serrations will bite through it. Before deciding, I would figure out what you want your knife to accomplish and then figure out which edge will give you the best benefits. Another thing to consider is that some people love serrations while some people hate them. Getting a combo edge really just comes down to personal preference.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle on the Tactical Response 2 is made out of T6-6061 aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially for knife handles. It has some definite benefits, one being that it is a very lightweight knife, but feels hefty. Many people prefer the heftiness behind it to support them during the heavy duty tasks, and aluminum will give you that. Aluminum is also very resistant to corrosion, cutting down on maintenance time. Unfortunately, aluminum has its drawbacks. One is that it is a cold material; aluminum can actually feel like it is biting into your hand when it gets really cold outside. The second one is that it is prone to scratches and dings. The last one is that aluminum is slippery unless properly texturized. Pro-Tech combats the slickness by adding several areas of engraving. These areas of engraving provide you with fantastic gripping power, so you won’t have to worry about your knife slipping right in the middle of using it. The ergonomics on this handle are also perfect. The curves of the handle fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. There are a few different colors of handles on the Tactical Response 2. The most common color is a simple black handle. But, you can also get your handle in grey.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

This knife comes with a convenient pocket clip to keep your knife secure in your pocket. The pocket clip matches the handle, so it will either be black or grey. This clip is held in place by three screws that have been drilled into the handle. This pocket clip has been designed to carry your knife tip up.

 

 

The Mechanism:

 

The Tactical Response 2 is an automatic knife, or a switchblade. Keep in mind that automatic knives have strict laws in most areas. Make sure you know your local laws before purchasing or carrying this knife. This knife has a button that you push in to activate the opening mechanism. The blade is contained inside of the handle and when you push the button, it will open automatically. To close the knife, you hold down the button and then push on the back, or unsharpened edge, on the knife and then click it into place.

 

 

The Specs:

 

The blade on the Tactical Response 2 is 3 inches long and 0.120 inches thick. When the blade is opened, it measures at 7.5 inches long, with a closed length of 4.5 inches. The handle has a thickness of 0.44 inches. This knife weighs 3.4 ounces.

 

 

The Pros of the Tactical Response 2:

 

  • The steel is a high end stainless steel.
  • The steel has a great balance between toughness, hardness, and corrosion resistance.
  • The steel has two different options for finishes.
  • The bead blasted finish creates a matte look, cutting down on reflection and glare.
  • The bead blasted finish helps scratches to appear not as obvious.
  • The DLC is hard and helps add corrosion resistance to the blade.
  • The DLC also cuts down on reflection and glare.
  • Can get a black or a grey blade.
  • The steel is not difficult to sharpen.
  • The spear point shape has a great balance between being able to pierce and being able to slice.
  • You have the option to choose a plain edge blade or a combo edge blade.
  • The aluminum handle is durable, strong, and very resistant to corrosion.
  • The aluminum handle gives you the feel of a heavier knife without actually being a heavier knife.
  • You can get the handle in black or grey.
  • The ergonomics of the handle help it to fit perfectly in your hand.
  • Pro-Tech has engraved areas on the handle to provide you with great grip.
  • Pocket clip is sturdy and reliable.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.

 

 

The Cons of the Tactical Response 2:

 

  • The steel choice is decent at all of its properties, but doesn’t really excel at any of its properties.
  • The spear point blade shape has a great balance between piercing and slicing, but doesn’t excel at either.
  • The pocket clip is not reversible and can only carry your knife tip up.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it is not going to be legal in all areas or states.
ProTech TR2 Auto Knife
ProTech TR2 Auto Knife

 

Conclusion:

 

Pro-Tech is an exceptional knife company that gives each and every knife special attention by hand fitting and finishing the knife. They have collaborated with many top notch knife makers and have produced knives for the military and a few different police departments. When you purchase a Pro-Tech knife, you can be sure that it is going to be a high quality knife that has some of the finest materials and newest technology used to create it. Pro-Tech did just that when they designed and produced the Tactical Response 2.

They started out with a good, high end steel. When the blade on a knife is made out of a good steel, the knife is going to be able to complete most tasks. This steel is hard, tough, has fair resistance to corrosion, and maintains an edge well. They provide the user with two different finishes to give you the blade that you want. This knife has been designed to be an all-purpose knife, so they provided you with a fantastically shaped blade. Pro-Tech chose to use a spear point blade because it can pierce and stab and also slice things. You can really do it all with a spear point blade. To complement a great blade, they needed a great handle to go with it, so they chose to use aluminum. This is a lightweight, yet durable material that is very resistant to corrosion. This knife fits perfectly in your hand and gives you exceptional grip. This knife really is a must for your collection or to carry for everyday use.

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Benchmade 10 Year Anniversary Infidel Knife Review

The Benchmade 10 Year Anniversary Infidel

 

For over three decades, Benchmade has been producing exceptional knives. Benchmade began by a man named Les, who wanted a butterfly knife that used higher quality materials, while using the newer technology to create a great knife. He had taken a shop class in high school, so he put those skills to use and blueprinted his dream butterfly knife. He later met Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever Bali-Song prototype. Les himself finished it in his home garage and promptly took it to a local gun shop and asked if they could produce 100 more. For the first few years, this company focused on only making butterfly knives. Within the next seven years, they expanded their products to encompass fixed blades and the traditional folding knives.

The Infidel is one of the knives that Benchmade has produced. And to celebrate the Infidel’s 10th birthday, Benchmade decided to revamp this blade. This celebration is a great opportunity for you to get your hands on an exceptional knife that will help you throughout your life–the 10th Anniversary Infidel OTF Auto.

BEN3300BK-1701
10 Year Anniversary Infidel OTF Auto Knife. BEN3300BK-1701

 

The Blade:

 

The originally Infidel rocked D2 steel, which is a good steel. D2 is a semi-stainless steel, because it provides you a good amount of resistance to corrosion, but it isn’t quite completely stainless. D2 is also not as tough as many of the steels that you are going to come across and is actually very hard to sharpen. In almost every single case, you will need a master sharpener to actually get a fine edge on a D2 blade. However, this steel is very hard and holds an edge pretty well because of that fact. To really celebrate this knife, Benchmade decided to upgrade the steel into CPM S30V premium stainless steel. This new steel really gives us something to celebrate. CPM S30V steel is made by Crucible and they designed this steel to be especially for knives. CPM S30V steel is mainly used for high end premium pocket knives or expensive kitchen cutlery. That gives you an idea of how great this steel is and how great your knife will be, now that it has this newer steel option. Crucible added vanadium carbides to help bring extreme amounts of hardness to the steel. Usually, when you get a crazy hard steel, it will lack on toughness, because the harder a steel is, the more brittle it will be. That is not the case with S30V steel. In fact, this steel is considered to be the perfect balance between hardness and toughness. The Infidel’s blade will be able to take on the toughest of tasks and you will not need to be worrying about whether it can take it or not, because it can. S30V steel has exceptional edge retention and resists rust very well. These two characteristics help cut down on maintenance. And, your blade will come out of the box razor sharp. Plus, you won’t be counting down the days until you need to sharpen your blade again, because it stays sharp for longer than you’ll believe. The steel on this blade has been finished with a black color.

The blade on the Infidel is a double edged dagger shape. This has also been called a needle point blade. This blade shape has been designed around it’s point. Its main purpose is to be able to stab or pierce. It is built by 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point. The Infidel has been designed to be a tactical knife, which is a knife that is to be used in extreme situations. One of these extreme situations is that this knife can be used as a great fighting knife. And because of the two sharpened edges, this knife excels at fighting in close combat scenarios. Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to this type of knife shape. First of all, the tip on this knife is very thin, it is going to be more prone to breaking, especially if you are using it on harder targets. Another one of the drawbacks is that there is absolutely no belly. This means that slicing is not going to be easy at all; it will actually be a challenge. A dagger point blade is going to be found the most on military and tactical knives. Since it is a flat grind, the blade might seem duller than it actually is sometimes and with the flat grind. To keep the edge razor sharp, you are going to have to take off a little extra steel while grinding it. Because of this, you will lose some of the durability that the blade once had.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle on this knife has been carved out of 6061-T6 billet aluminum. A piece of billet aluminum just means that the entire handle has been carved out of a single piece of aluminum. This benefits you because there are going to be no weak spots where two pieces of aluminum have been welded together. The 6061-T6 alloy is one of the most common aluminum alloys used today and it has incredible tensile strength. Aluminum has a low density, especially for metal, so while it provides you with a hefty feel, it is actually an extremely light material. Aluminum can be very slippery, unless it has been properly texturized. To help provide you with better grip, Benchmade has added grooves going down the center of the handle on the palm side. The first Infidel had its handle finished by an anodization process. This is one of the most common finishers for an aluminum handle. The original Infidel’s handle was black. This is where the handle gets switched up for this version. Instead of an anodized handle, they decided to dip the handle. This means that there is a coating instead of a chemical change. And instead of being black, like the first one was, this version is bright silver.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

The knife is outfitted with a deep carry, tip down pocket clip. I prefer having a deep carry pocket clip because of two reasons. First of all, I feel like my knife is more secure in my pocket when it is carried this way. The knife lies further down in my pocket, so I know that in my everyday movements, I am not going to lose my knife. There is almost no way that it is going to slip out of my pocket. The second reason that I love having a deep carry pocket clip is because you can conceal your knife more easily. This especially comes in handy for my tactical knives, which this is. The handle has been drilled so that you can carry your knife tip down.

 

 

The Mechanism:

 

The Infidel 10 Year Anniversary Knife is an automatic knife. It has a double action, out the front mechanism. Like always, automatic knives are not legal in every state or area. Make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing and especially before carrying this knife. An out the front knife is also known as a sliding knife or a telescoping knife. Basically, it is a pocket knife that has the blade open and close through a hole in one end of the handle, instead of folding out of the side of the handle. There are two different types of automatic OTF knives: single action and double action. The Infidel 10 Year Anniversary knife is a double action OTF knife. This means that when you slide the button forward, the blade will be ejected automatically. And, when you slide the knife backwards, the blade will retract automatically. If it were a single action, the knife would only eject automatically, so having this be a double action is a bonus. The trigger on the original Infidel was silver, contrasting against the black handle. On the Infidel 10 Year Anniversary knife, the trigger is black, contrasting against the silver handle.

 

 

Extras:

 

This knife comes with a Commemorative Challenge Coin. On the front of this coin, there is the shape of the Infidel in the center. On the top, it reads “10th ANNIVERSARY”. On the bottom it reads, “THE INFIDEL”. On the left side, there is an engraved “2007” and on the right, “2017”. The back of this coin features the Benchmade Butterfly logo in the center. The top of the coin reads, “BENCHMADE KNIFE CO. The bottom of the coin reads, “USA PROUD”.

 

 

Limited Edition:

 

This version of the Infidel is a limited edition knife that has been individually numbered for 2017 only. Get it while you can. You won’t regret it.

 

 

The Specs:

 

The blade on this knife measures at 3.91 inches long, with a thickness of 0.118 inches. When the knife is open, it measures in at 8.91 inches long, with a closed length of an even 5 inches long. The handle on the Infidel is 0.59 inches thick. The knife weighs 4.90 ounces. This is a rather large knife that is going to get the job done when you are utilizing it.

 

 

The Pros of the Infidel 10 Year Anniversary Knife:

 

  • Benchmade upgraded the steel, so now it is a fully stainless steel blade, instead of semi-stainless.
  • The new choice of steel is easier to sharpen and holds a fantastic edge.
  • The steel is very hard and still very tough, which is not an easy combination to come by.
  • The steel resists corrosion very well.
  • This knife comes razor sharp.
  • The double edged dagger shape helps the Infidel excel at being a self-defense knife.
  • The point is super sharp and thin, so it will work great at stabbing your target.
  • The handle has been made out of billet aluminum, so there will be no weak spots where two pieces have been welded together.
  • Aluminum gives you a good, hefty feel, but is actually very light.
  • There are grooves running down the center of the handle to help with your grip on the knife.
  • Has a double action OTF mechanism.
  • Comes with a deep carry pocket clip.
  • Comes with an Infidel Challenge Coin.
  • This is a limited edition knife which makes it a fantastic knife for your collection.

 

 

The Cons of the Infidel 10 Year Anniversary Knife:

 

  • Because of the upgraded steel, the cost is going to be higher.
  • The new steel choice is easier to sharpen than D2, but still not easy to sharpen.
  • A dagger point has no belly, so you aren’t going to be able to slice.
  • A dagger point has a weak tip, which is prone to breaking when stabbing harder targets.
  • While the dagger point excels at one thing, it can really only do that one thing—this is not a versatile knife.
  • The pocket clip is not reversible, so it is not an ambidextrous knife.
  • The pocket clip has only been drilled to carry your knife tip down.
  • The aluminum handle is going to be cold if you live in a cold environment.
  • Because the handle has been dipped instead of anodized, it is going to be more prone to scratches and those scratches showing up.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

The Infidel has been around for 10 years now. During that decade, it has earned a fantastic reputation of being a reliable and trusty tactical knife. To celebrate the Infidel turning 10 years old, Benchmade created a limited edition revamped version. This version looks sleeker and uses higher quality materials. They started off by switching out the steel used on this knife. They chose to make it out of CPM S30V premium stainless steel. This steel is tougher, harder, and maintains an edge better than the previous steel choice. Plus, it’s fully stainless steel, which does cut down on some maintenance time. They kept the double edged dagger shape, because that is as good as it could get. They kept the handle material as billet aluminum, but decided to switch up the finish and color. They did a bright dip in a silver, instead of anodizing the aluminum to be black. They kept the pocket clip and double action OTF. They will include an Infidel Challenge Coin when you purchase this knife. This is a limited edition knife, so run, don’t walk to get your own.

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Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class Knife Review

Benchmade started over 30 years ago, and like any good story, it did not start off as the knife dynasty that it is today. In 1979, Les de Asis wanted a knife that used the newest materials and manufacturing technology to create a fantastic butterfly knife. Every butterfly knife that he had previously owned and played with was not a high quality knife. Les had been to a high school shop class, so he blueprinted what his dream knife would be. Eventually, he met Victor Anselmo who helped him work to grind this first ever prototype of a Benchmade knife. Les finished the very first knife in his garage. Les was proud of this new knife, so he took it to a local gun store and asked the owner if he could build 100 more. This was the birth of Bali-Song, the first company that would later transform into Benchmade.

By the time that Benchmade came to be Benchmade, they were producing knives other than the traditional Bali-song style that they had begun with. Les chose the name Benchmade because there were “handmade knives” and “factory-made knives”. The knives that this company was producing was different than both of these. The factory would make the precision parts, but the products were finished by hand.

While Benchmade is known to have the top butterfly knives, their other knives have the same high quality and attention to detail. Recently, the Valet has been revamped and reborn in an exclusive, limited unlimited, Titanium Gold Class knife.  The limited, unlimited designation means it will be produced to demand for all of 2017, after the end of the year, no more units will be produced.

Benchmade Valet
Benchmade Gold Class Valet

 

The Blade:

 

The steel on this blade is made out of Ladder Pattern Damasteel. This type of steel is often compared to Damascus steel, but there are differences between them. Damasteel is also the name of the company that produces this steel; they are located in Sweden and have a history of forging Damascus steel. The process to create Damasteel is a patented manufacturing method. The blade starts out with a billet, which is one single piece of solid steel. They actually create their own billet with a very unique process. They pour stainless steel into a tall tower, while the liquid passes through a nozzle, it is dispersed into droplets with blasts of gas. By the time that the droplets get to the bottom of the tower, they will have solidified into a powder. After the powder is collected, it is compacted with a cold press which allows for the subsequent HIP at high temperature and high pressure. After this whole process is done, there is a solid piece of steel with the perfect structure left over. Each pattern on a Damasteel blade is handmade by Damasteel’s blacksmiths. They take special care to guarantee the highest quality and perfect receptiveness of this pattern. Damasteel is a true work of art. Damascus steel is famous for the strength, durability, and artistry that it possesses. However, Damasteel is a more quality option if you want a high performing, stainless quality to it. Another difference between Damascus and Damasteel is the patterns. Damasteel goes through the HIP process, creating a totally different set of patterns. Damasteel is a fantastic steel option with a great aesthetic that you aren’t going to be able to find anywhere else.

The shape of this blade is a drop point style. A drop point style blade is one of the best shapes for an all-purpose knife. This style of knife can stand up to almost anything and is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today. The back, or unsharpened, edge of the blade runs from the handle to the tip in a slow curve, which creates a lowered point. Having this lowered point allows you to have more control when using the tip, so you will be able to do delicate work. The lowered tip also adds strength to the point. The tip on this blade shape is also stronger than a clip point, but a clip point shape would be sharper. Because this shape has such a strong tip, you can use this knife for heavy duty, tactical, or survival use. Another excellent characteristic of a drop point style is that it sports a large belly—making it perfect for slicing. While it seems like there are no drawbacks to this shape of a blade, there is one: it has a pretty broad tip, so it is not going to excel at piercing or stabbing. Some people consider this to be a pro though, because you can work with it and not worry about nicking any sensitive areas, especially when skinning something. A drop point blade shape gives you great balance, control, and strength. This is truly one of the most versatile knife shapes, which is why it is such a great option for your everyday carry knife of choice. This is a blade that will be able to do it all.

 

 

The Handle:

 

The handle is made out of billet anodized titanium. This means that the titanium was carved out of only one piece. Titanium is a lightweight metal, but it is heavier than aluminum. However, it is so much stronger than aluminum, so the extra weight is definitely worth it. Titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of any metal. Something that is unique to titanium is that it actually has a warm feel to it. This means that if you are working in cold environments often, the metal isn’t going to bite into your hand like aluminum would. The titanium on this handle has been anodized. One of the most obvious benefits of anodizing the titanium is that it adds color the material. On this specific handle, a blue violet color has been added. The anodizing creates this color naturally, so you don’t have to worry about a dye running off or it bleeding. Because it is natural, the titanium is able to retain its high corrosion resistance and its ability to withstand high temperature environments. Unfortunately, titanium does have its drawbacks. First of all, this is a relatively expensive material. The cost of this knife will be higher than a knife without a titanium handle. Most people think that the extra cost is worth it, but if you are on a strict budget for purchasing your knife, this might not be the best option for you. Another drawback to titanium is that it is prone to scratches. While the anodizing does help prevent some scratches because it adds strength and durability, it cannot protect the handle from all of its scratches. And, because of the color, these scratches will show up. One last thing to keep in mind is that even though the titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of the metals, it is not going to be completely stainless. This handle will still need maintenance.

The liners on this handle are stainless steel, with a Diamond Like Coating. The stainless steel liners are a great addition because they will need a little less maintenance. Especially after they have a Diamond Like Coating, to add strength and durability.

 

 

The Mechanism:

This knife sports the Benchmade AXIS lock. This locking mechanism was introduced in 1988. This system works by using a small, hardened spring loaded bar that moves back and forth in a slot that has been etched into both of the stainless steel liners. This bar is positioned towards the butt of the blade and it extends onto both sides of the knife, crossing the liners. This locking mechanism was innovative and allows for an ambidextrous operation. There is a common weak link found in many folders and the AXIS locking system works to strengthen this link. The AXIS locking mechanism increases the safety and integrity of a folding lock up mechanism.

 

 

The Pocket Clip:

 

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry, reversible, tip up clip. Its reversible, so you can carry it left or right handedly. But, the knife has only been drilled to carry it tip up. It’s a deep carry pocket clip, so you know that this knife will be secure in your pocket. A deep carry clip also helps you conceal your knife better than a regular clip. The pocket clip has also been treated with a Diamond Like Coating. This coating helps protect the steel and adds strength to it.

 

 

The Extras:

 

The Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class knife has a few extras on it. For starters, it has a Damasteel back spacer. Second, it sports a matching anodized titanium thumb stud that sits near the rear of the blade.

 

 

Pros of the Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class:

 

  • Benchmade is a fantastic company with an excellent reputation.
  • The steel is made out of Damasteel—a unique steel.
  • The blade is made out of a single piece of titanium, so there are no weak spots on it.
  • Damasteel is strong, durable, and a true masterpiece.
  • Damasteel is a work of art, with a unique pattern that you will only be able to find on Damasteel.
  • The drop point blade shape is one of the most versatile blade shapes.
  • The lowered tip gives you better control and a stronger tip.
  • The drop point shape sports a big belly with ample cutting room, so you have plenty of room for slicing.
  • The handle is made out of a single piece of titanium, so there are no weak spots in it.
  • Titanium is a lightweight material, but extremely strong.
  • Titanium has the highest corrosion resistance out of the metals.
  • Titanium actually feels warm to the touch, so you can have this knife with you in cold environments and not have to worry about it biting into your skin.
  • The handle has been anodized to add a blue violet color.
  • Sports the AXIS lock.
  • Comes with a reversible, deep carry pocket clip.

 

 

Cons of the Benchmade Valet Titanium Gold Class:

 

  • Because Damasteel is such a time consuming, skill needed task, this is going to be a more expensive blade.
  • The drop point blade has a broad tip, so it is not going to excel at stabbing or piercing.
  • Titanium is prone to scratches.
  • Titanium is a more expensive material, so the cost of the knife is going to be upped because of this.
  • The pocket clip has only been drilled to carry it tip up.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Benchmade has a great reputation for creating excellent knives. Even though they started out making solely butterfly knives, when they branched out to creating regular folding knives, they promptly created some of the best. They recently made a limited addition of the Valet. This is the Valet Titanium Gold Class edition.

To create such a fantastic knife, they started out with some of the best knife steel that there is. They chose the Damasteel, which is similar to Damascus except purer and perfect. Another difference between the two, is that Damasteel will have different patterns than a Damascus steel. For this knife, they chose a Ladder Pattern Damasteel. To finish off the perfect blade, Benchmade decided to carve it into a drop point shape. This is one of the most versatile shapes that can stand up to almost anything. This is such a beautiful blade, so it might pain some people to use it as their everyday knife, but this knife has been designed as the perfect everyday carry knife. To carry on with this perfect knife, they chose the handle to be made out of anodized titanium. The anodization process on this particular knife created a blue violet color. The anodization process will also limit the amount of scratches that the titanium will develop, even though titanium has been prone to scratching. They also added a deep carry, reversible, tip up pocket clip. As a cherry on top, they incorporated a Damasteel back spacer and an anodized titanium thumb stud that matches the color of the handle.

Benchmade Knives chose to use the highest quality materials to create a perfect special edition knife. With the anodization process and the Damasteel pattern, this knife looks like a piece of art.

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Boker Knives and Two Boker Plus Knives

Böker Knives began in Germany during the 17th century. The company originally focused on swords and didn’t move on to design blades until the 1800’s. If you go back and look at the company’s books, they will tell you that by 1839 Böker was producing around 2000 Sabres a week for various wars. In the 1960’s, the company had migrated into North America; however, they were just sub brands at the time. During World War II, the main Germany factory was destroyed, so Boker USA took control. Since then, the company has traded hands several times, but in 1986 Boker USA was started for good for US production. The symbol of this company is a giant chestnut tree, which is the perfect symbol because over the 150 years that it has existed, the company has reached out, or “branched out”, and become planted across the world.

Boker USA is the in charge of the production of Boker knives, but they carry five brand names underneath them which are Boker, Boker Arbolito, Boker Plus, Magnum by Boker, and Cinch by Boker.

 

Boker is sometimes known as the Tree Brand, so any knives that are labeled with this are usually purely Boker.

 

Boker Arbolito means little tree in Spanish. If you see a knife labeled with this name, it means that it was manufactured in Argentina and typically are only household or work knives.

 

Boker Plus knives are manufactured in Taiwan and China. These knives are typically not as high quality as Boker, but they are more quality than Magnum by Boker. In this line, you will find tactical and outdoor knives.

 

Magnum by Boker knives are also manufactured in Taiwan and China. This line of knives focus on value, so out of the five sub brands, these are going to be the least expensive of them. Don’t worry about sacrificing quality though, because these knives are still made from quality materials.

 

Cinch by Boker are knives designed to fit the Western lifestyle. They are targeted towards ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts. This is actually a collaboration between Boker and Cinch Jeans. This is a classy line that have an authentic feel to them.

Boker produces great knives and because of the five different sub brands, you will find a large variety of different styles, values, and designs of knives. Today I am going over two great and popular Boker Knives.

 

 

The Boker Plus Subcom:

 

Just like the name implies, this is part of the Boker Plus brand. The drop point blade on this knife is 1.875 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 4.625 inches long and has been known as the “money clip knife”. This knife has been used for a defensive tool and a backup knife. The blade has a big belly that makes it perfect for utility purposes and the tip is chubby so it isn’t meant for stabbing. Even though it is so small, because of the blade shape and the tip shape it can cut just as well as a larger knife.

The knife weighs 2.5 ounces, which seems small at first, but when you realize that the blade is smaller than 2 inches long, it starts to seem like a hefty knife. It weighs what it does because the knife has a stainless steel frame lock and a full steel liner.

The ergonomics on this knife is as good as you are going to get on such a small knife, because really, there is no way that you can fit your whole hand on this. A bonus about the handle on this knife is all the jimping, which provides grip and traction just where you need it. Unfortunately, because of all this jimping, it can be an uncomfortable knife to use for long periods of time.

This knife was such a hit that Boker made a few different versions to satisfy everyone, these versions are:

 

The Subcom F: This version has AUS-8 steel with a black or silver blade. It is partially serrated and has an FRN handle that comes in either black or gray. The locking system is a frame lock. This was the original Subcom knife and the other versions are just copycats. Along with the silver, black, and gray versions, there is a special camo version.

 

The Subcom Titan: When Boker designed this version, they designed it to be an elite version of the F. This version sports a satin 440-C stainless steel, which is a higher quality steel than the other versions. The edge is plain. The handle is made out of titanium and because of that it only weighs 1.9 ounces. Because of the titanium handle and silver blade, it looks more elegant than the other versions. It has either a frame lock or a slip joint locking mechanism.

 

The Subcom 42: This blade is made out of AUS-8 steel that is finished with a bead blast. The blade has a plain edge. The handle is made out of pink FRN material and it sports a frame lock mechanism.

 

The Subcom Dusk: This version also has AUS-8 steel, but this one has a black finish. It is partially serrated. The Zytel handle is orange and this version boasts a framelock mechanism.

 

The Subcom Dawn: This also has a satin AUS-8 blade that has a plain edge. The Orange Zytel handle has either a frame lock or a slip joint locking mechanism.

 

The Subcom Z: Just like most of the versions, the Z has AUS-8 steel, but with a black finish. It is partially serrated. The green Zytel handle sports a frame lock system.

 

The Subclaw: This version is very similar to the Subcom F but the main difference is the blade shape. This version has a Hawkbill blade. This blade shape is great for slicing, but not for a lot of other things. Many people only see this as a defensive or collectors blade.

 

The WharCom: This is also similar to the Subcom F, but again, it has a different blade shape. This style of blade has a Wharncliffe blade that is perfectly straight from the handle to the tip. The shape is very similar to a razor blade. This is a great blade shape for slicing, but it is a perfect blade shape for scraping.

 

The ResCom: This is the most unique out of all the Subcom versions that were previously mentioned. This one is designed for safety and rescue situations. It is also similar to the Subcom F. The ResCom has an almost hook shaped blade, but the outside of the hook is not sharp in any places. There is another portion of the blade that is a saw. This is so that you can cut materials that are too large to get through the hook. This is not going to be an everyday knife, but it is a great candidate for your emergency, safety, or rescue knife. It does dull relatively quickly, so using it for everyday tasks would not be ideal. You can get the ResCom in two different versions: all black—black blade, black handle, and black thumb studs, or a red version—silver blade, red frame and red thumb studs.

 

Pros of the Plus Subcom:

  • This is a very small knife, so it won’t weigh you down and is easy to have with you at all times.
  • The knife sports a large belly, so it is easy to cut with and can actually cut as well as larger knives.
  • The knife comes in a large variety of handle colors and materials.
  • The knife also comes in a large variety of steel and steel colors.
  • The extra jimping allows for great grip.

 

Cons of the Plus Subcom:

  • This is a tiny knife, so it can’t stand up to large, heavy duty tasks.
  • The extra jimping can get uncomfortable quickly.
  • There is no way that you are going to be able to use your hold hand to hold this knife.

 

 

The Boker Plus Kwaiken Flipper:

 

This knife is also manufactured from Boker in their Boker Plus line. This knife was originally called the Boker Kwaiken, and it was a flop. People were disappointed in how hard the knife was to open and they were disappointed because the tip of the blade peeked out of the handle when it was supposed to be closed. But Boker redesigned this knife in a flipper version. When the flipper version was first released, many collectors were after it to see if Boker had actually fixed the problems.

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long and made out of either AUS-8 steel or VG-10. The shape of the knife is a modified drop point silhouette that looks sleek and tucks into the handle perfectly. The tip on this knife is very fine, which makes it perfect for stabbing things. The AUS-8 steel is easy to sharpen. However, there were still many complaints about the steel because it isn’t the highest quality steel. That was when Boker released the upgraded version with the VG-10 steel. However, VG-10 steel is a little bit weaker than the AUS-8. Neither of the options hold their edge super well, but they both are durable enough.

The handle on this knife is unique. It sports full steel liners and has 3D machined pieces of titanium. Both of these materials are supports by a solid titanium back spacer. The handle was designed to have a minimalist look to it and is monochromatic. Some pros about the simple design is that it will work for almost any hand size. Some of the cons to the simple design is that there is really no texture to it, meaning the grip is lacking a little bit. The titanium keeps the knife sturdy and durable. However, because of all the titanium, this is a heavy knife. The handle features a pocket clip; it is a right side tip-up pocket clip. The flipper knife works because of the IKBS bearing pivot system, which helps flip well and open with a snap.

The overall length of the knife is 8 3/8 inches long and weighs 5.4 ounces. The blade thickness is 0.1 inches.

 

Pros of the Kwaiken Flipper:

 

  • The fine tip is ideal for piercing cuts
  • You can get the blade in either AUS-8 or VG-10 steel.
  • The steel is easy to sharpen.
  • The simple design helps to fit in any size hand.
  • Very sturdy knife.
  • Opens and flips well.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Boker has a rich history that slowly got them to where they needed to be. Today, there are five different Sub Brands that Boker USA owns, each of which specialize in their own categories. Boker Plus produces good quality knives, that aren’t quite as high quality as Boker, but they still are made with high quality materials so you know that you are getting a reliable knife. Boker Plus focuses on making tactical and outdoors knives. Today I chose two different Boker Plus knives to really focus on: The Plus Subcom and the Kwaiken Flipper.

The Subcom is a small knife that isn’t meant to do big tasks, but is great for having with you as a backup knife, a defensive knife, or for doing the smaller everyday tasks. The Subcom is great because there are so many different variations of it, so you really will get exactly what you are looking for. It’s a small knife, but it’s a good knife. The Subcom will be an old friend, not something you see every day, but will stand up for you when you need it to.

The Kwaiken Flipper has a history. The original Kwaiken was not an instant hit, in fact it was a disappointment. But Boker heard the complaints and re-designed it. It’s a sturdy, reliable knife, but it is a heavy knife. It will be able to stand up to the tasks that you throw at it.

These two knives are popular knives for a reason and it’s not a bad idea to try them out.

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Five Fantastic Automatic Knives

An automatic knife makes for the perfect every day carry knife, really one of the only drawbacks to carrying an automatic is how strict the laws are. Before purchasing an automatic knife, or a switchblade as they are commonly known, double check to guarantee what your state’s laws are. There are thousands of automatic knives on the market, making it hard to narrow down what knife you want to buy. Today I have compiled a list of some of the absolute best automatic knives on the market. I’ve chosen different styles of automatic knives from different popular brands to show and explain to you. Let’s begin.

 

The Pro-Tech Tactical Response 4:

 

ProTech TR 4.70
ProTech TR 4.70

The first knife that I have chosen to describe is the Pro-Tech Tactical Response 4. Something that is cool about the brand Pro-Tech is that they are a family owned business and they do specialize in switchblades. You know that you can trust an automatic knife from Pro-Tech. This blade is in their TR-4 series, which just means that it is the fourth generation for their tactical automatic knife series. The blade on this knife is a four-inch-long drop point. The Tactical Response 4 blade can come in many different variations, but one of the most popular is with a 154-CM stainless steel, which can come in different finishes. All of the different options come with a Diamond-like Carbon coating. This coating just works to help protect the blade from corroding, adding a ton of durability. The handle of this blade really sets this blade apart from the pack. The handle boasts many finger grooves which helps provide you with excellent grip. The pommel of this knife handle sports a steel glass breaker. When closed, this knife is only 5.25 inches long and it weighs 5.4 ounces, making this knife a perfect option for your EDC.

 

Advantages of the Pro-Tech Tactical Response 4:

 

  • The blade has a diamond-like carbon coating, adding durability.
  • The knife is only 5.25 inches long closed, perfect for storing in your pocket.
  • The blade of this handle can come in a variety of different options.
  • The handle features many finger grips, giving you fantastic grip.
  • The handle of this knife has a built in steel glass breaker.

 

Disadvantages of the Pro-Tech Tactical Response 4:

 

  • With the pearl insert on the push button, the stonewash finish, and the Damascus blade, some people consider this knife over the top.  Easy to fix by picking up a different TR4 model.

 

 

The Boker Kalashnikov:

 

Boker XL Kalashnikov Auto
Boker XL Kalashnikov Auto

This automatic knife is on the cheaper side of the spectrum, which is what sells many people. But, you do not sacrifice any of the quality for the cheaper cost; the Kalashnikov can stand up to the same tasks that the more expensive knives can. The blade of this knife is 3.25 inches made out of AUS-8 steel. The blade is finished with a plain edge. Something unique about this knife is that the deployment button is mounted flush with the rest of the handle, which helps prevent against an accidently deployment. Plus, the locking system on this knife is a little stiffer than most, which ensures a secure lock when the knife is open. The handle is made out of a powder coated aluminum with molded finger grips. The handle also has a lanyard hole built right into it, providing you with a secure spot to tie in your lanyard. The handle is one feature of this knife that sets it apart from the rest of the pack. This knife was designed to look like an AK-47 magazine and that is how it got its name; trust me, it works the name perfectly and definitely does it justice. Overall, the length of the knife is 7.5 inches long. Unfortunately, this knife is not made in the United States of America, which can be a deal breaker to some knife collectors and users.

 

Advantages of the Boker Kalashnikov:

 

  • This is a much cheaper option than most of the high quality automatic knives, but you do not lose any quality with the lower cost.
  • The deployment button is flush with the handle, so no accidental discharges can happen.
  • The locking system is stiffer, so the knife will remain securely locked in open position.
  • The molded finger grips set this knife apart from the pack.
  • Has a built in lanyard.

 

Disadvantages of the Boker Kalashnikov:

 

  • This knife is not made in the USA.

 

 

The Kershaw Launch 1:

 

Kershaw 7100 Launch 1 Knife
Kershaw 7100 Launch 1 Automatic Knife

Kershaw is one of the most popular knife companies and has been renowned for their quality knives and this specific one is definitely not the exception to their stellar track record. One thing that many people love about the Kershaw Launch 1 is that it is made in the United States, which supports US businesses and gives you the quality that you deserve. The blade is 3.375 inches long and made out of CPM-154. This blade has a Blackwash keeps the blade from reflecting light making it the perfect option for tactical situations, especially at night. The handle on this knife is made out of black aluminum. The aluminum keeps the weight off of this knife, helping you move it in quicker motions. The handle is also contoured to fit perfectly in your hand, giving you fantastic grip. This knife features a reversible pocket clip, making it an ambidextrous knife. The overall length of this knife is 8-inches, making it a perfect size for your everyday carry needs. The Kershaw Launch 1 sits at about average cost for an automatic knife.

 

Advantages of the Kershaw Launch 1:

 

  • The blade has a Blackwash coating, keeping the knife from reflecting light.
  • The handle is contoured to fit perfectly in your hand, giving you great grip.
  • The pocket clip on this knife is reversible, making this an ambidextrous knife.
  • This is a perfect size for an everyday carry knife.
  • Not an expensive option.
  • Made in the United States of America

 

Disadvantages of the Kershaw Launch 1:

 

  • Not the least expensive option.

 

 

The SOG-TAC Series

 

Exclusive Desert Tan SOG-TAC
Exclusive Desert Tan SOG-TAC

This knife is a cheaper option and a simpler option than some of the previous options we have discussed. But, just because it is simple, doesn’t mean that it isn’t super reliable. This is a bigger knife option, measuring in at 8 inches overall, with a 3.5-inch blade. The blade is made out of AUS-8 stainless steel, which has a drop point silhouette. The blade has been ground into a straight edge, which can be sharpened into a razor sharp edge. However, the knife has been known to lose the crazy sharp edge a little quicker than other knives. The handle is made out of aluminum which comes in black or red. The handle looks a little bare compared to previous options, but it can take a beating. Something unique about the handle is that the crosshair that sits in the middle glows in the dark, so you can find it easily no matter what the situation is like. For how big this knife is, the profile is actually pretty slim. The SOG-TAC features a special double lock to keep the blade securely locked into an open or closed position. For the low price, you really do get a lot out of this knife.

 

Advantages of the SOG-TAC:

 

  • The blade can be sharpened into a razor sharp edge.
  • The crosshair in the middle of the handle actually glows in the dark, so you can always find it.
  • The knife features a double lock, securing your knife in an open or closed position.
  • This is a cheap option.
  • This knife can take a beating.
  • Larger knife with a slim profile.

 

Disadvantages of the SOG-TAC:

 

  • This is a simple knife, with no extras built in.
  • The blade doesn’t always stay sharp for long periods of time.
  • You do lose a little bit of quality with the budget option.

 

 

The Spyderco Autonomy Automatic Knife:

 

Spyderco Autonomy Auto
Spyderco Autonomy Auto

This knife was first made for the United States Coast Guard. It is designed to be a rescue knife, and because it was made for the Coast Guard, it is designed to resist corrosion even in salt water. Because this knife was made for the rescue swimmers, Spyderco had to design the deploying button with the ability to open it one handed and with the user wearing heavy gloves. The button is an oversized button and the public version features a safety lock that prevents the user from an accidental opening. The original knife was made in orange G-10, but Spyderco designed the black version for the public. The steel that this blade is made out of is H-1 steel and this knife was actually the first American knife to use this type of steel. Another unique aspect about this knife is that it is a serrated edge, which is not commonly found on automatic knives. This serrated edge is perfect for sawing through thicker materials such as ropes. The blade on the Autonomy is 3.75 inches long and coated in a Diamond Like Carbon to reduce the reflective tendencies of knife blades. The handle features a G10 black handle that has deep finger grooves to help secure your grip. When Spyderco released the public version, they added an all-black pocket clip. In all honesty, this knife is one of my favorites. I love the history of it and I love how quality it is.

 

Advantages of the Spyderco Autonomy Automatic Knife:

 

  • Will not erode when wet, even in salt water.
  • Has an oversized firing button.
  • Features a safety lock to prevent an accidental opening.
  • Serrated edge is great for sawing through rope.
  • The Diamond Like Carbon coating reduces reflective tendencies.
  • The handle has deep finger grooves to help secure your grip in any situation.
  • Has an all-black pocket clip.
  • Made exclusively from rust proof materials.

 

Disadvantages of the Spyderco Autonomy Automatic Knife:

 

  • You can only get this knife in a full serrated blade, which some users dislike.

 

 

Conclusion:

There are plenty of fantastic automatic knives on the market today and each of them offer up a different purpose. Today I went over the six best automatic knives that you can buy and what makes them unique, what makes them a great option, and a couple of downfalls for each of the different options. Hopefully this list will help you when you are looking for a great automatic knife whether it is for your everyday carrying purposes or for something else. Just remember, automatic knife laws are strict, so make sure you know your local laws before purchasing any automatic knife.

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