Kershaw 5520 Malt Assist Knife Review

Kershaw was established in 1974 and has been designing and creating fantastic knives ever since. When they founded the company, they had the drive to create and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. To satisfy their drive, Kershaw is sure to use appropriate, high quality materials and they are dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Something that Kershaw has accomplished is that when you purchase one of their knives or tools, you will be able to own that product for a lifetime, because Kershaw products last decades.

One of Kershaw’s goals is a commitment to innovation. Kershaw has actually pioneered many of the technologies and advanced materials that are now the standard in the knife community. Some of these innovative technologies include the SpeedSafe assisted opening knives, the knives that have interchangeable blades because of their Blade Traders, and one of their newer technologies is the Composite Blade Technology. This last one is where they combine two different steel types to give you the best of both worlds. Kershaw explains that they can use a steel known for edge retention on the edge, but then use a steel known for strength on the spine of the knife. This way, you don’t have to compromise with strength or with edge retention on your blade.

Kershaw is actually a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai is also strongly committed to innovation while designing, creating, and manufacturing their knives. For more than 100 years, Kai has even been Japan’s leading blade producer.

Kershaw knows that if this is the first of their knives that you have purchased, you will be back. And if this is not your first, you already understand how quality, durable, and innovative their knives are. One of Kershaw’s newest releases is called the Malt.

Kershaw Malt
Kershaw Malt

The Blade:

The blade on the Malt is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese produced steel that actually comes from a series of steels. All of the steels in this series are known as Cr steels. The best in the series is the 9Cr steel, with 8Cr falling close behind. There are Cr steels less than 8, but it would be a waste of money and your time. 8Cr steel is comparable to AUS 8 steel. However, it is more prone to rusting or corroding than AUS 8 steel is. The 8Cr steel is also softer than AUS 8 steel. Because it is a softer steel, this steel is easily sharpened. Almost any beginner sharpener would be excellent at sharpening the 8Cr steel. It is a good thing that this steel is easily sharpened, because 8Cr steel does not retain its edge as well as a high quality steel would. One of the biggest advantages to having your blade made out of 8Cr13MoV steel is that it is an extremely inexpensive steel, which helps to keep the cost of the overall knife lower. While this steel is not the best steel that you can find, it does make a great option if you are on a tight budget. And, the better that the steel is heat treated, the higher quality this type of steel will be.

The steel on this knife is finished with a PVD coating. This is a Physical Vapor Deposition. This process is done by introducing the steel to a material vapor that can be reacted with different gases to form a thin coating. This process is completed in a vacuum environment. Some of the advantages to this type of coating is that because of how it is applied, you won’t get a buildup of your coating around the corners or edges, like some of the other types of coatings. Because the coating provides a barrier between the steel and the environment and air, this type of finish with prolong the life of the blade by preventing corrosion and rust. The higher the quality of the coating (PVD is a high quality coating) the more expensive it will be. However, the higher the quality of the coating, the more corrosion resistant the blade will be and it will have a better chance at lowering reflection. Because of this coating, maintenance type will be significantly cut down. The coating on the Malt creates a dark grey color. The blade is actually two toned, with part of it being dark grey and another part looking much more reflective and silver. The two tone look creates a very distinctive look to the Malt.

The steel on this knife has been carved into a modified tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape has no curves and is instead made up of straight lines and sharp angles. Tanto’s aren’t meant to be used for everyday knives, but this modified tanto is going to be able to get the job done. Because the tip is thicker and carries more steel towards the tip, the point is very strong. It can dig, pry, and hammer while also being able to cut. Tanto’s also excel at piercing, even through some of the hardest materials. There are a couple of drawbacks to the tanto shape, one is that the tip is hard to control, so you aren’t going to want to perform detail work with this blade. Another drawback is that there is a lack of belly, making slicing a little bit trickier. However, on this modified tanto, while there is no curved belly, the angle towards the tip starts further back and will allow you to slice enough. The Malt has been designed as a great everyday knife and the modified tanto blade shape will help you get all your daily tasks done.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Malt is made out of steel. This is a durable material that has great corrosion resistant properties. However, it is one of the heavier knife handle materials, and it will weigh the knife down considerably. A steel blade is also known for being pretty slick, so Kershaw had to get creative with how they added texture. The handle of this knife is also two toned, with the silver part being raised above the dark grey part. Because of this, you get more grip than you would have. The silver part also has grooves going down the length of the handle, which also work to add grip. There is light jimping on the bottom edge of the handle towards the butt. Kershaw has also added a deep finger groove into the handle, to provide you with a solid grip during harder tasks.

The handle has also been finished with a PVD coating. This is what has created the dark grey color to the handle. It also ensures that your handle will be a little more resistant to corroding or rusting, while also cutting down on the reflective properties that steel normally features.

Kershaw Malt, Back View
Kershaw Malt, Back View

The Pocket Clip:

The clip on the Malt is black, adding contrast against the two toned handle. There are pre-drilled holes in the handle that slows the user to reverse the pocket clip in four different directions. You can carry your knife tip up or tip down and also carry it left or right handed, helping to make this knife an ambidextrous option. This pocket clip is held in place by two small, black screws.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a flipper knife. The flipper is a protrusion on the back of the blade that the user can pull back on, which then flips the blade out of the handle in a quick and easy manner. The Malt features Kershaw’s classic SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism. This mechanism allows you to open your knife quickly and safely. One of the many benefits of a flipper knife is that it keeps your fingers safe and out of the way during the entire process.

The Malt also sports a Frame Lock, which is a portion of the handle that moves behind the blade to lock it into position during use. This is a safety feature of the knife, because with it, you won’t have to worry about your knife folding shut, onto your hand, in the middle of use.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Malt is 3 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures sin at 7.1 inches long, with a closed length of 4.3 inches long. This knife weighs 4.6 ounces. This knife was designed by one of the most sought after custom knife makers: Gustavo Cecchini. He is known for his innovative knife technologies as well as the striking lines of his custom designs, which you can clearly see in the unique look of the Malt. The Malt features Gustavo’s classic sculpted style, but does sport a little something extra.

 

The Extras:

This knife actually doubles as a bottle opener. The flipper protrusion on this knife isn’t the typical sharks fin shape. It actually looks just like any bottle opener would. Because of this unique bottle opener shape, the flipper is able to open any bottle. Kershaw has said that this knife, “also has an interesting feature that (we admit) just may have been inspired by the fine brew we were sharing with Gus at the time”.

 

The Pros of the Kershaw Malt:

  • The steel chosen for this blade is extremely inexpensive, helping to make this knife affordable.
  • The steel on the blade is a breeze to sharpen.
  • The PVD coating helps to prevent rusting and corrosion.
  • The PVD coating helps to cut down on reflections and glares.
  • The PVD coating won’t build up around the corners and edges of your blade and handle, because of the unique way that it is applied to the steel.
  • The modified tanto blade shape provides you with a very durable and strong tip, that can also dig, pry, and hammer.
  • The modified tanto blade shape also provides you with a partial belly that isn’t normally found on a tanto blade.
  • The steel handle is durable and strong.
  • The handle is also very resistant to rusting and corroding.
  • The pocket clip is reversible in four different directions, helping to make this knife ambidextrous friendly.
  • The flipper mechanism is efficient while keeping your hand safe during opening.
  • The flipper mechanism allows you to open your knife with just one hand.
  • The Malt sports Kershaw’s SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism
  • The Malt features a Frame Lock, which is a great safety feature.
  • The flipper “fin” is actually a bottle opener, so this knife not only can complete all of your daily tasks, but also help you celebrate with a cold one.

 

The Cons to the Kershaw Malt:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is not a high quality steel.
  • The steel is very soft, so it does not hold an edge for long periods of time.
  • The steel chosen for the blade is not super resistant to corrosion.
  • Because the finish on the blade and handle is a coating finish, it will eventually scratch off.
  • The modified tanto blade shape will allow you to slice some, but it is not going to excel at slicing like a drop or clip point shape would.
  • The steel handle will add significant weight to the Malt.
  • The steel handle is not super grip-y.

 

Conclusion:

Kershaw has been known to break the mold and think outside of the box. They have thought up plenty of innovative ideas that have since become the classic standard in the knife world. Because of this, you know that when you purchase a Kershaw knife, you are getting the most modern ideas and your knife will be able to last a lifetime.

The Malt has been designed as a great everyday knife, with a great blade coating to add corrosion and rust resistant properties. You can get your Malt here. The modified tanto blade shape will help you get almost any job done, and as an extremely strong tip. The steel handle is strong and durable, not likely to rust or corrode any time soon. But one of the best aspects of the Malt is that the flipper “fin” actually doubles as a bottle opener. This knife is truly going to help you with almost any task.

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CRKT Fossil Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company, or CRKT, is an American company that is known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For more than 20 years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. This company was founded in 1994 and is currently based in Tualatin, Oregon. This company was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer.

CRKT did not truly take off until the Shot Show in 1997. This was when they introduced their knife the K.I.S.S. This was a small folder that had been designed by Ed Halligan and it was a success. Within the opening days of the Shot Show, the years’ worth of the knife had sold out.

CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. They have collaborated with custom knife makers such as Ken Onion, Harold Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers.

As of right now, CRKT owns fifteen different patents and they have multiple patents pending. Some of the patents that they currently own is the Outburst Assist opening mechanism, Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated Edges.

CRKT knives are durable, reliable, and will last a lifetime with you. They are committed to innovation, so you know that when you purchase a CRKT knife, you are purchasing a knife with the newest technology on the market. One of their newest releases is the Fossil, and it is a game changer.

 

The Designer:

This knife was designed by Flavio Ikoma, who is from Presidente Prudente, Brazil. He says that ever since he was a young kid, he has wanted to be a knife maker. In his adolescence, he worked on knives of the Japanese sword variety in his father’s shop. He has gone on to learn metallurgy, to work with Ken Onion, and to become a force for innovation. Flavio brought to market the revolutionary IKBS ball bearing pivot system, along with Rick Lala. He has also evolved the classic locking liner with the ILS safety, which is exclusively available from CRKT in the No Time Off knives.

CRKT Fossil Knife
CRKT Fossil Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Fossil is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that actually belongs in a series of different Cr formulas. The most quality out of the Cr steels is 9Cr, however, 8Cr is close behind. This steel is most commonly compared to AUS 8 steel. AUS 8 steel is the superior steel out of the two though. 8Cr steel is softer, less durable, and more prone to rusting and corrosion. But don’t let yourself be turned away from this steel because of that. Just because this steel doesn’t resist rust and corrosion as well as AUS 8, it is still considered to be a stainless steel and will resist rust and corrosion with the help of good maintenance and the proper environment. And because this steel is a little bit softer, it is a breeze to sharpen. Many knife sharpeners could sharpen 8Cr steel in their sleep. This steel also holds an edge very well and you can get a very fine edge on this steel. One of the biggest advantages that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. But, with steel, you do get what you pay for, so while this is an average steel that can get the job done, it will not excel at anything.

The finish on the 8Cr13MoV steel is a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the steel in one direction with increasing levels of an abrasive material. This material is usually sandpaper. This finish is usually considered to be in the middle of all of the finishes. It does help to resist rust, but there are finishes that resist rust easier. And while it does cut down on glares and reflections, it is nowhere near matte. However, it is also not a super shiny finish like a mirror finish. This is a classic finish that will provide you with an elegant look. The biggest characteristic that the satin finish has it how it showcases the lines of the steel.

This steel has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This blade shape is created by having the unsharpened edge of the blade, or the back of the blade, slowly curve until it reaches the sharpened edge of the blade, forming a lowered point. The lowered, or dropped, point, is where this blade shape gets its name from. This dropped point provides the user with a variety of different advantages. One of these advantages is that with a lowered point, you have more control over your cuts and slices. This is open of the reasons that it is such a popular blade shape among hunters. They don’t have to worry about slipping or nicking any of the organs or damaging the game’s meat. One of the other advantages that the lowered point provides is that it makes it a broader point. Because of this, the knife has much more strength behind the tip, so you can take on the heavier duty tasks without worrying about snapping the point of your blade. This shape of blade is known as one of the most versatile blade shapes on the market. While the strong tip is one of the reasons it is so versatile, the biggest reason why it is so versatile is because of the large belly. This blade has a big belly with plenty of length to make slices a breeze. Most of your everyday tasks involve some form of slicing, so having a blade that can easily slice is a big feature that you should be looking for in an everyday carry blade.

On back end of the blade, near the handle, there is a cut out portion of the blade. This cut out portion adds a unique look to the blade, but you can also use it to flip the knife open if you prefer.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Fossil is made out of stainless steel with a G10 overlay. Stainless steel is one of the most durable handle materials that you are going to find. It is also extremely resistant to corrosion, which does cut down on maintenance time. However, this material is not lightweight at all; it adds quite a bit of heftiness to your knife. One of the other drawbacks to a stainless steel knife handle is that it can be rather slippery. To combat this, the manufacturer has to add some sort of texture to the handle. In the Fossil’s case, CRKT has carved out dimples in the stainless steel and the G10 overlay to make it look like an aged fossil.

The stainless steel portion of the handle has a G10 overlay. G10 is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. This material has similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it is much cheaper to produce. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is crazy tough, hard, very lightweight, yet still strong. Because it is such a lightweight material, it helps to keep down the weight, because the stainless steel is so heavy. G10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates. To make for a solid and comfortable grip, the manufacturer will add texture to the G10. Like I mentioned, this G10 has had dimpling added to make it look like an actual fossil. The G10 overlay on the Fossil is a dark brown color, which adds a nice contrast to the silver stainless steel. Where the dimples have been formed, the G10 has more of a black color to it.

On this handle, there is a deep finger groove to provide you with a secure grip no matter what the environment is. CRKT has also added a finger guard to keep your fingers safe from slipping and cutting yourself on the sharp blade. On the butt of the handle, there is some shallow, thick jimping.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is kept in place by three small, silver screws. The silver screws and pocket clip match the rest of the hardware on this knife. This is a tip up pocket clip that can be carried on the right hand side.

 

The Mechanism:

This is folding knife with that sports a frame lock. The frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engage the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure on the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness.

This knife uses a flipper mechanism to deploy the blade. The flipper is a triangular, sharks fin shaped protrusion that juts out of the back of the handle when the blade is closed. To deploy the knife, you pull back on the flipper, which puts enough of pressure on the blade to “flip” it open. Once the blade is opened, it locks into place because of the frame lock. The flipper protrusion is also the piece of the blade that turns into the finger guard when the blade is opened.

The Fossil also sports the IKBS ball bearing opening mechanism. This mechanism was invented by the designers Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. This is a system that sets lube ball bearings into the folding knife pivot. The result is a rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast.

Even though this is a manual opening knife, it won’t feel old fashioned at all. This knife opens quickly, smoothly, and efficiently. Because it is a manual opening knife, there won’t be any of the pesky knife laws that come with having a switchblade.

 

The Specs:

The Fossil comes with a lifetime warranty. The blade on this folding knife is 3.96 inches long, with a thickness of 0.15 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 8.88 inches long, and has a closed length of 4.95 inches long. This knife weighs in at 6.1 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Even though Columbia River Knife and Tool company took around three years to truly take off, they haven’t really slowed down since. They have developed a reputation of designing and making quality knives that stand the test of time. They have a commitment to innovation, so they are always trying to collaborate with the best knife makers and designers in the world. Because of this, they can provide you with some of the newest, most innovative, and ground breaking technology that is around. When you purchase one of CRKT’s knives, you know that it will be able to take a beating and survive with you throughout your adventures.

The Fossil was designed by Flavio Ikoma. This knife will really be able to take on anything that you throw at it. To start off, Flavio chose 8Cr13MoV steel, which is a durable steel that can get a crazy fine and sharp edge. This steel is able to get the job done. The blade sports a pain edge and a satin finish that effectively shows off the lines in this blade. To match a great blade, Flavio chose to make the handle out of a stainless steel that sports G10 overlays. The dimpling in the handle provides you with an exceptional grip, while also making it look like an actual fossil. This is a manual opening knife that sports a flipper, a frame lock, and the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System. This knife will be a fantastic addition to your knife collection. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

 

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Kershaw Fraxion Knife Review

Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai has been the leading producer of premier knives for over 100 years in Japan. Kai also produces razor blades, housewares, and other products in Japan. Kai tries to take an innovative approach to every aspect of their production chain, starting at research and development, moving to production, marketing, and even ends at the distribution functions.

Kershaw Fraxion
Kershaw Fraxion

Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation; pioneering many of the current technologies and advanced materials that are now the standard in the knife industry. To name a few of these, Kershaw has their Speed Safe assisted opening knives. One of their newer of these innovative technologies is the Blade Traders. These are the knives that actually have interchangeable blades. For a last example, Kershaw has recently released a Composite Blade technology, which is where they have combined two steels into one blade. This works to give knife users the best of both worlds. Kershaw can use a steel that has been known for its strength and use it on the spine of the blade, while using a steel that retains an edge well for that feature of the knife.
When Kershaw was founded in 1974, they had a founding mission. This was to make their users proud to own, carry, and use Kershaw knives. This means that Kershaw will only use the highest quality materials on their knives. Kershaw vows to choose appropriate, high quality materials and use intensive craftsmanship. Because of those commitments and their extremely tight tolerances and state of the art manufacturing techniques, your Kershaw product will truly last a lifetime.
Kershaw knows how fantastic their knives are and has said, “if this is your first Kershaw, be prepared. You just may be back for more. If it’s not your first Kershaw, welcome back.” Kershaw just released a new knife called the Fraxion. And because of Kershaw’s continuous commitment to innovation, the Fraxion is going to be just as great as the last ones.

The Blade:
The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from the Cr steel series. There are a variety of different formulas in this series, and the 9Cr is the highest of quality. The 8Cr steel comes next and is an average steel. Most people recommend not purchasing a knife that has anything lower than a 6Cr steel, because it is going to be too soft. 8Cr13MoV steel is most commonly compared to AUS 8 steel. However, AUS 8 steel is superior when compared to this steel. 8Cr13MoV steel is a soft steel. Because of this, it doesn’t keep its edge for long periods of time. However, this steel is extremely easy to sharpen. It has good resistance to corrosion and rusting. The biggest benefits of this steel is the price. It is an excellent budget steel that will get the job done for you. However, this steel doesn’t excel at anything.
The finish on the Fraxion blade is a black oxide Black Wash finish. This finish gives you a well-worn look and it actually also enhances the corrosion resistant properties on the blade. The finish makes the steel of the blade an even black color.
The steel on this knife has been carved into a clip point shape. This shape, along with the drop point shape, is one of the most versatile blade shapes on the market. This is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. While this blade shape is most commonly found on the popular Bowie knife, you will also find it on many pocket and fixed blade knives. The shape of this blade is formed by having the back or unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This section looks to be “cut out” or “clipped off”, which is where the shape gets its name. The point on this knife is lowered, which provides you with more control over your cuts. The difference between clip points and drop points is the thickness of the point. While the drop point shape provides you with a broader tip, the clip point is sharper and thinner, which provides you with excellent stabbing capabilities as well as less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. Another thing that makes this blade shape such a versatile one is that it features a large belly that makes it perfect for slicing. The Fraxion’s clip point features a top swedge and a slight recurve to enhance your slicing capabilities. While the thin tip is an advantage, because of the capabilities that it provides you with, it is also one of the only drawbacks to this shape of knife. The thin tip is relatively narrow, so it is weak and does have the tendency to break fairly easily. When you carry a knife that features such a versatile blade shape, you will be prepared to take on any of the challenges that you encounter, whether they are expected or totally unexpected.

The Handle:
The handle on the Fraxion is made out of G-10 with carbon fiber overlays. G-10 is a grade of Garolite, which is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material has similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it can be made and produced at a fraction of the cost. To make this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material is a super tough, super hard, super lightweight, and super strong material. G-10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and is even stronger than Micarta. However, G-10 is a pretty brittle material. To add texture and style, the manufacturer can add checkering and other patterns. This provides the user with a solid, comfortable grip. Even though this material is cheaper than carbon fiber, it still has to be cut and machined, so it still is on the pricier side.
The overlays on this knife handle is made out of carbon fiber. This is when thin strands of carbon have been tightly woven together and then set in a resin. This material is super strong, yet still very lightweight. However, it is on the more expensive side. Because Kershaw only used carbon fiber for the overlays, they did keep the price down compared to if they had used the carbon fiber for the whole handle. Even though carbon fiber is a super strong material, it has the tendency to be brittle. This is because the fibers have all been woven in the same direction. When the strands get stressed in the other directions, carbon fiber tends to break or crack. The manufacturer of carbon fiber can add different patterns depending on how they choose to weave the fibers.
The obvious texturing on this handle comes from the carbon fiber overlays and not the G-10 base. This is an all-black handle, which gives the knife a very sleek look. This handle has more angles than curves, but is still comfortable to use for long periods of time. Instead of a finger groove, they added a finger guard, which is in line with the other angles on the handle.

The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip and hardware is also black; because this is a completely black knife. This pocket clip is straight down. This clip has been drilled so that you can carry it on the left or right side, making this an ambidextrous friendly carry knife. However, you can only carry this knife tip up.

The Mechanism:
This is a manual opening knife that uses a flipper as the opening mechanism. When talking about how manual this knife is, Kershaw said, “There is no mechanical assists, such as Speed Safe, used to open the folding knife. It opens the classic, old school way.” The flipper mechanism is a small protrusion that juts out the back of the handle when the knife is closed. The flipper on this particular knife looks like a bike ramp; it is all angles, but it is a slow angle. The user pushes down on this protrusion, which then puts enough pressure on the blade to “flip” it open. This helps the blade move easily out of the handle.
The Fraxion also features an inset liner lock. This is a strip of stainless steel that has been riveted inside the knife’s handle. This enables Kershaw to create a slimmer, lighter knife, but still providing the strength and security of a locking liner.
The last mechanism that this knife sports is the KVT ball bearing opening system. This is a Kershaw mechanism. It helps to make one handed opening of your knife faster and easier, without even needing a mechanical assist. The Speed Safe assisted opening uses a torsion bar to help move the knife blade out of the handle, however KVT relies only on a ring of caged ball bearings that surround the knife’s pivot. This means that the ball bearings are secured within a ring that surrounds the pivot. It keeps the ball bearings in place, while allowing them to still rotate freely. When the user of the Fraxion pulls back on the built in flipper, the blade rotates out of the handle as the ball bearings roll into place.
When a Kershaw knife sports the KVT ball bearing system, it also has an additional detent. This is a design feature that helps hold the blade safely in the handle when the knife is closed. When you open the knife, you might notice a little bit of stickiness, just as you pull back on the flipper and before the blade rolls out of the handle on the KVT ball bearings. You just have to power through and add a little extra pressure on the flipper will be able to overcome the detent and the knife will open with ease.
Because this is a manual opening knife, there are no strict laws that surround this knife. But, even though this knife opens smoothly and efficiently, some people still prefer an automatic knife, because of the milliseconds that it saves you.

The Specs:
This knife is made in the United States of America. The blade on the Fraxion is 2.75 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 6.75 inches long. When this knife is closed, it measures in at 4 inches long. Because this knife has been designed to be so slim and sleek, the knife only weighs in at 1.9 ounces. In fact, it only weighs in at a “Fraxion” of the weight that similar knives have.

Conclusion:
Kershaw has been around for almost five decades now. In that time, they have pioneered many of the technologies and materials that are now considered the standard on the knife market. They have a commitment to innovation and want their users to be proud to carry and use a Kershaw knife. Because of this, they have a seamless manufacturing system and always use the appropriate high quality materials. When Kershaw builds a knife, they build it to last a lifetime. They know that if you take care of your knife, your knife will be able to take care of you, in almost any situation.
One of their newest knives is the Fraxion. This is a durable knife that is going to get the job done. The steel that they chose is easy to sharpen and can take on most tasks. Plus, it comes at an unbeatable price–grab yours right now here. The handle is made out of strong materials that are designed to take a heavy beating. This is a manual opening knife that will open smoothly and efficiently because of the KVT ball bearing opening mechanism that has been built into it. This is a great knife at an even better cost.

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Microtech Ultratech Hellhound OTF Knife Review

 

 

Microtech Ultratech Hellhound
Microtech Ultratech Hellhound

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

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

 

The Blade:

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

 

The Pocket Clip:

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

 

The Extras:

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

The Pros of the Ultratech:

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

 

The Cons of the Ultratech:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

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

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Sheath Materials

Many people have the tendencies to overlook the sheath of your knife. However, this is something that you should be paying more attention to because the sheath is where you store your knife and how you are going to carry your knife. Knives really play an important role in keeping your knife protected, safe, and in good quality. There are many different types of sheath materials. Each one comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Hoback Knives Kwaiback

Leather Sheath

A leather material is a very traditional material for your knife sheaths. This is a very classic option for your sheath that looks and smells great. Many people consider this to be one of the best materials for their sheaths. One of the biggest advantages to having a leather sheath is its aesthetic. Because it is a softer material, you can easily decorate your sheath, customizing it to whatever your heart desires. Leather has been known to be rugged, manly, and strong. Leather is a very strong material because it won’t break like a plastic sheath would. It is also strong because it is relatively easy to resew if the stitches happen to come loose. A second big advantage to having a leather sheath is that the material is going to be very quiet while putting your knife in the sheath and taking it out. This is a great characteristic if you are hunting or in a tactical situation where you don’t want to make any noise. Thirdly, leather ages well, which means that it will just get better over time (as long as you take care of it). The leather is going to break in overtime and your knife will fit perfectly in your sheath. Another sweet thing about a leather sheath is that it is relatively easy to make your own.

However, leather is not waterproof or weather proof. If exposed to water or extreme heat, the oils in the leather dry out which lead to cracking. Oiling the leather will help to put this off, but nothing will save it. You can also have your leather sheath treated to become water repellent, but again, it isn’t going to last forever.  Leather also has the tendency to get scuffed, scratched, and stained. None of those things actually effect the capabilities of the sheath, but it doesn’t look great. And, leather is a natural material so it will eventually become unusable.

Although leather eventually breaks down, this is truly one of the best materials for your knife sheath. One knife that comes with a leather sheath is the ESEE-4 Modified Handle, with a black blade and a black leather sheath.

Pros:

  • Great aesthetic—looks great, smells great, rugged, manly.
  • You can decorate leather into almost whatever design that you want.
  • Leather doesn’t break down quickly.
  • Can easily resew the seam if it comes undone.
  • Silent material while putting away your knife and taking it out.
  • Leather ages well and will slowly break in.
  • You can make your own leather sheath with a few instructions.
  • The best material for your sheath.

Cons:

  • Not water or weather proof.
  • Easily scuffed, scratched, and stained.
  • Because it is a natural material, the leather is eventually going to become unusable.

 

Kydex Sheath

TOPS Hazen Legion 6.0
TOPS Hazen Legion 6.0

A Kydex sheath is definitely more modern than a leather sheath. Kydex is a thermoplastic that was designed to be used for holsters and other items. Because it is more modern, there are benefits that you couldn’t get from a traditional material such as leather. For starters, it is extremely durable. It is actually waterproof, scratch resistant, and will not stretch or shrink after long periods of time. Kydex can survive in almost any environment, even the most extreme ones. Kydex can be submerged in salt water and even come in contact with skin acids and remain intact. Another big benefit of a Kydex sheath is that they do not require very much maintenance. Kydex is an extremely hard material, so you don’t have to worry about it scratching or breaking. Another big bonus about having a Kydex sheath is that it doesn’t need a strap to secure your knife, so it is going to be quick to draw your knife when needed. Kydex is a great material if you are looking for a diving sheath.

But, there are still drawbacks to choosing a Kydex sheath. A major drawback is that it is super noisy. If you are in a situation where you have to be quiet, this is not the sheath for you. If you so much as brush your sheath against something, it is going to make noise. Plus, drawing your knife out of the sheath is going to make a snap and putting your knife back into your sheath is going to make a snap. Some people say that there is a satisfaction that comes from the snap into the sheath, but it isn’t going to be quiet, no matter what you do. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are repeatedly pulling your knife in and out of your sheath, your knife edge can have a tendency to dull.

One knife that comes with a Kydex sheath sit he ESEE Junglas Survival Fixed Blade.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable material.
  • Scratch Resistant.
  • Will not stretch or shrink, even after long periods of time.
  • Can be soaked with salt water and still maintain its high quality.
  • Can even come in contact with skin acids and remain intact.
  • Very low maintenance material.
  • Very hard, so no scratching or breaking.
  • Doesn’t require a strap to secure your knife.
  • Great for diving knives.

Cons:

  • VERY noisy.
  • The material will start to dull your knife if it is repeatedly drawn and then put back.

 

Nylon Sheath

Nylon is another one of the common materials used to make sheaths. Nylon sheaths are known for being tough and strong, in similar ways to leather. Unlike leather though, nylon is resistant to rot and mildew. Plus, they are not as vulnerable to water like leather sheaths are. Nylon is a very tough material, so it is going to take a lot of force to tear them. Because they are a material, they are harder to scuff. A huge bonus about nylon is that it is MOLLE compatible. This means that it is compatible to the military gear; you can strap this on to your gear and it will fit perfectly. Nylon sheaths are also relatively inexpensive, especially compared to leather and kydex. Nylon is a relatively quiet material, so your nylon sheath is going to keep you concealed in a tactical situation. But, if you are going strictly for quiet, I would recommend a leather sheath.

But, because they are cheaper, a nylon sheath is going to break down and wear out faster than most other materials. Nylon also gets stretched out over time, so eventually, your knife isn’t going to fit as snugly and safely as it once did.

A great example of a tool that comes with a nylon sheath is the SOG PowerPlay Hex Multi-Tool.

 

Pros:

  • Tough and strong.
  • Resistant to rot and mildew.
  • Not vulnerable to water.
  • Hard to scuff.
  • MOLLE compatible.
  • Pretty inexpensive, especially compared to leather and kydex.
  • Relatively quiet, you can stay concealed, but if you are going for a noiseless sheath, try a leather one.

Cons:

  • Nylon will break down faster than most other materials.
  • It will get stretched out over time.

 

Plastic Sheath

Although Kydex is a type of plastic, the plastic sheath genre does not encompass Kydex. Plastic sheaths are most likely going to be the cheapest sheath that you can find on the market. With plastic sheaths, you get exactly what you pay for, so don’t be surprised when your sheath falls apart quickly; they are truly the cheapest quality. Another negative aspect about plastic sheaths is that they are the worst for your blade to be housed in. They have been said to dull your blade while being pulled in and out. And they really give no breathing ability to your blade. If your knife happens to come with a plastic sheath, replace it as soon as you possibly can.

Pros:

Cons:

  • This sheath material has horrible quality—they will break down the fastest out of any of the materials.
  • With plastic there is no breathing ability for your blade.
  • Dulls your blade over time.
  • Really you should just try to replace your plastic sheath earlier on, before it can cause any harm to your knife. While it does start out being a cheap option, it will cost you in the end because it will harm your knife.

 

Special Characteristics to Look for on Sheaths

The three things to look for mostly apply to survival and tactical knives, but you might decide to look for these three things in all of your sheaths.

First, you should be searching for a lower attachment. This is a type of hole or attachment piece that sits at the tip end of your sheath. This hole is primarily used for strapping your knife to your leg or onto a backpack strap.

Second, you should be looking for a belt and lanyard attachment. You want a belt loop on your sheath so that you can carry your knife hands free. And, you want there to be a hole for your lanyard. There are many different reasons to use a lanyard on your sheath. First off, it helps secure it against losing it. Another great reason to use a lanyard is to help with finding it. If you choose a brightly colored lanyard, it is going to stand out better against the surroundings than your neutral colored sheath would.

Thirdly, you should be searching for a strap. There are a few different varieties of straps but one of the great ones is having your strap at the base of the handle. That way, your knife can easily slide out.

 

Conclusion:

Each sheath material comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. When searching for the perfect sheath for you and your knife, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons depending on what tasks you want to be able to complete with your sheath. If you are looking for the most custom sheath possible or if you are looking to be as silent as you possibly can, go for leather. Leather also looks great for custom knives because it is so gentle on the blade and looks traditional. However, if you know that you are going to be getting wet often, either while diving or in other scenarios you are going to want to look for a Kydex sheath. Another reason to look into getting a Kydex sheath is if you know that your sheath is going to have to endure a beating, Kydex is one of the most durable sheath materials that you are going to come across. One of the biggest advantages to Nylon sheaths is that they are MOLLE compatible, meaning this type of sheath is going to work great with your military gear. Nylon is an inexpensive option that is still going to give you high quality results. If you are looking for a budget sheath, you are probably going to lean towards buying a plastic sheath. Just know that while you do save money in the first place, you are going to have to replace the sheath pretty soon and the plastic can actually harm your blade.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never store your knife in its sheath for long periods of time. Moisture will collect, no matter which material you choose, and that moisture leads to dimples in your blade. Many people have the tendency to overlook the sheath when purchasing a knife, because they don’t understand the full importance of a sheath. However, sheaths make quite the difference. You are going to be carrying and storing your knife in whatever sheath you choose, so you should choose a good one. When you treat your blade well, your blade is going to treat you well.

 

 

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CRKT 2261 Tecpatl Knife Review

The CRKT 2261 Tecpatl

 

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, was established in Oregon in 1994. Their purpose since the beginning was to bring the useful technological advancements to create brand new product concepts for the knife community. During these past two decades, CRKT has followed that purpose and brought many new ground breaking and innovative knives to the world. Their knives are built for everyday carry, for tactical purposes, for hunting and fishing, and even for survival scenarios. Their products are high quality and will be able to meet the demands that you throw at it. CRKT believes that if the knife doesn’t meet the user’s standards, it doesn’t meet their own standards. CRKT uses the most advanced equipment and production systems to manufacture their knifes with efficiency. CRKT believes that everyone should be able to afford to carry the highest quality knives and tools.

During the past two decades, CRKT has collaborated with many famous knife designers and makers. Resulting from these collaborations are not only superior knives, but also innovative features. Some of these features include the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, the OutBurst assist opening mechanism, and the Automated Liner Safety System. When you purchase a CRKT knife, you can know that you are getting an exceptional knife that is ahead of its time. You can be certain that if there is a game changing innovative feature, your knife will probably be rocking it. You are guaranteed that your knife will stand up to the test of time. Any CRKT knife would be a fantastic addition to your collection, and the brand new Tecpatl is no different.

 

CRKT Tecpatl Knife
CRKT Tecpatl Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Tecpatl is made out of SK5 high carbon steel. SK5 high carbon steels originated in Japan, where they would make a variety of hand tools with it. Some of these hand tools that they have produced with SK5 are chisels and wood cutting saws. This type of steel is one of the highest quality steels for knife blades. This steel is a hard and tough steel. Because there are extra carbides in the metal, the steel has increased abrasion resistance and lets the steel attain an ideal balance of good blade toughness. Because it has such a good balance between hardness and toughness, this type of steel has endured through time in many different cultures. This blade also sports a plain edge, which is easier to sharpen, is better at skinning or peeling, and is great for detail work. Some people are bummed with a plain edge because they feel like a serrated edge would be able to cut through thicker materials, such as rope or thick branches, which is mostly true. However, when you get a plain edge sharp enough, it can almost match what a serrated edge can do.

 

The SK5 steel has been finished with a black powder coating. Coating finishes help to reduce the reflection and glare off of the blade, while also working to recue wear and corrosion. However, all coatings will eventually scratch off, and they will scratch off quicker with lots of use or with heavy use. The powder coating is actually one of the lowest quality blade coatings, so it does have a higher chance of chipping or scratching off sooner than a different coating would.

 

The blade on this knife is an interesting shape. I would probably describe it as a mix between a modified Wharncliffe and a modified Tanto. Both of those blade shapes have a very straight sharpened edge with no curve, but the blade on the Tecpatl does sport a slightly curved belly. The back, or the unsharpened edge of the knife, goes pretty straight and then angles downward sharply to meet the curve to make a tip. With this unique blade you get some of the benefits from a few different types of blade shapes. One of the pros to this blade is that the back is relatively wide and thick. This gives you more strength throughout the knife than you would have with a thinner, less wide blade. Because it is so thick towards the handle, this knife is going to be able to take on heavier tasks and cut through thicker materials. Another benefit of this unique blade shape is that you do have a slight belly. This belly is nothing if you compare it to a drop or clip point blade shape, but compared to Wharncliffe’s or Tanto’s, this knife definitely does have a belly. With the belly, slicing is easier and it makes this knife a good option for everyday tasks. The point on this blade is also going to be tough, because it is a broader tip than you would find, especially when being compared to a clip point blade. While stabbing is going to be a little more challenging, because it is broad, you will be able to stab through harder things, because of the strength behind the tip.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Tecpatl is made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel has fantastic durability. It is also very resistant to corrosion. However, stainless steel is also a heavier material. You are going to feel this knife when it is put away. Because stainless steel is such a heavy material, knives that are designed to be an everyday carry knife, or even a heavy duty knife, will usually not be made with stainless steel. There is just too much added weight. Another problem with stainless steel is that it is very slippery. To combat the slipperiness, CRKT has added laser markings/etchings, to provide you with the needed friction. These etchings tell a story told through a way inspired by sugar skulls. Another thing that CRKT did to reduce the level of slipperiness was to create a deep finger groove for when you are using it. There is also a pretty big circular hole cut out to put a different finger through. This handle has been designed to be a sugar skull. When you are holding this knife in front of you, with the blade pointed down, this finger holes actually end up looking like eye sockets in a skull. There is a much smaller hole cut out to look like the nose area of a skull.  Since this is a single piece knife, the handle has also been through a black powder coated finish. Because it is perfect for holding in a closed fist, this knife is the perfect knife for slashing or pushing.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a fixed blade, which has many advantages to it. For starters, fixed blades are stronger and more durable than folding knives because there are no small or moving parts that can break or rust over. And because of this added strength and durability, fixed blades are the perfect survival tool. Not only can they cut, they can also dig, hammer, and pry if needed. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain. This is because while folding knives have many small parts that are prone to rusting, a fixed blade is what you see. All you have to do is wipe it down and you are good to go. Fixed blades are also excellent for tactical use because they can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a kydex sheath including a spring loaded MOLLE compatible gear clip. Kydex is a modern thermoplastic material that was originally used to make holsters, among other items. Kydex’s biggest advantages is how durable it is. It can stand up to a variety of extreme environments, and even be submerged in salt water and still hold up well. However, there are some disadvantages to having a kydex sheath. One of these is that it has no personality, it is basically just a lump of plastic. Another bummer about kydex is that it is pretty loud when you are unsheathing and putting away your knife. If this doesn’t bother you, then by all means, enjoy the benefits of it. However, if you are trying to conceal yourself, this sheath will give you away; it is that loud. The last drawback to having a kydex sheath is that with repeated drawing of your knife and putting it away, it will start to dull the edge of your knife.

 

The History:

This knife was designed by Michael R. Rodriguez. He designed this knife to be part of the CRKT Forged by War program. He says, “a good combat fighter relies on instinct; a great fighter understands the importance of an ergonomically flawless weapon.” Michael is a veteran, having served 21 years in the United States Army and retiring as a Green Beret. The laser markings are that of a sugar skull to reflect Michaels heritage and his own personal stories and history. On it, there are horns, the Crusader’s Cross, and the Office of Strategic Services Symbol. Michael also served in the 7th Special Forces group, and to commemorate that, he has engraved a 7 just above the blade. The arrow engraving is reminiscent of the crossed arrows of the Special Forces. And lastly, he has had three lightning bolts engraved into the knife, these are two represent the Green Berets and their shoulder patch. Michael believes that even in a world full of sophisticate missiles, there is no reason to skimp on your hand-to-hand combat companion. The Tecpatl should be your first choice for your last resort weapon.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.375 inches long, with a thickness of 0.203 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 5.813 inches long. The handle on the Tecpatl is 2.438 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.6 ounces.

 

The Pros of the CRKT Tecpatl:

  • The steel chosen for this knife is a great balance between hardness and toughness.
  • The straight edge makes sharpening a breeze.
  • The black powder coating helps reduce reflection and glare, and works to prevent rusting or corrosion.
  • The blade has enough of a belly to be able to slice.
  • The blade is wide and thick, providing you with plenty of strength.
  • The tip is broad, so you do have strength behind it, but it is still sharp, so you can still stab.
  • The stainless steel handle sports plenty of durability and is resistant to corrosion.
  • This is a fixed blade, so it has plenty of strength and is very capable of slashing or pushing.
  • There is a rich history that surrounds this knife, and you can see this history directly on the knife.
  • The kydex sheath is strong, durable, and very resistant to wear.
  • This sheath can survive in a variety of extreme environments, including being immersed in salt water.

 

Cons of the CRKT Tecpatl:

  • The black powder coating on the blade and handle is the most prone out of any coatings finishes to scratch or chip off.
  • The stainless steel handle is going to be slick, even when it is properly texturized.
  • The stainless steel handle does add quite a bit of weight to the knife.
  • This is a fixed blade, so it is harder to conceal than a folding knife.
  • The kydex sheath is noisy, has no personality, and will dull your blade after time.

 

Conclusion:

As a writer, I love a good story. I love the history behind the knives that are on the market. I love knowing why they are the way they are and what the different characteristics mean to the designer. The CRKT Tecpatl has one of the most symbolic and rich histories of any knife that I have reviewed.  You can buy yours here.

CRKT started off with a heavy duty steel that has been used for years as a tool steel in different cultures. The shape that they ground that steel into gives you a variety of different advantages. And the durable handle just helps with the tactical aspect of this knife. This is a durable knife that you will hopefully not have to use, but it should be your first choice for your last resort weapon.

 

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CRKT ChanceinHell Knives Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company or CRKT was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. This American company is known for distinction in design, selection, and quality. For more than 20 years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand.

CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. They have even collaborated with custom knife makers such as Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these patents include the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and the Veff Serrated Edges.

CRKT didn’t truly take off as a company until the Shot Show in 1997. This is when they introduced the K.I.S.S knife (Keep It Super Simple). This knife is a small folder that has been designed by Ed Halligan. Within the opening days of the Shot Show, the entire years’ worth of product was sold out.

 

The Designer:

The Chanceinhell knives were designed by Ken Onion. Ken is considered to be the real deal. He was the youngest ever inductee in the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame in 2008. He is also recognized as one of the most innovative and successful knife designers of all time. In 1996 he created the first commercially successful assisted opening mechanism and 20 years later he unveiled his award winning Field Strip Technology. He is also the designer of the successful Eros folder series as well as the award winning Hi Jinx. It seems to me as if Ken Onion is never at a loss for ideas.

CRKT Hi Jinx
CRKT Hi Jinx

 

The Steel:

The steel that is used on all three of the machetes in this series is 65MN carbon steel. This type of steel was released in the early 2010’s. The steel is a Chinese steel that has been formulated to provide good wear resistance and hardness. The medium high content makes for a high degree of toughness and resilience. The manganese that has been added also works to improve the toughness and resilience as well as improving the hot working characteristics of the steel, making this an excellent candidate for forged sword blades, or machetes. Something unique about this type of steel is that it offers you all of the toughness without the brittleness. Because of this factor, it is one of the top choices of steels for extreme use edged tools, such as multi tools or machetes. The steel on the Chanceinhell series of knives ranks about a 52-56 on the HRC scale.

On all three of the different sized blades, they all have a plain edge. The plain edge is definitely the more traditional edge. It is much easier to sharpen than a serrated edge and you can get a much finer edge on your blade when you do sharpen it. The plain edge excels when there are large slices needed or any push cuts. The serrated edge is mostly used when you are needing to saw through a thicker or tougher material, such as branches or rope. However, when your plain edge is sharp enough, it too can cut through those thicker materials.

 

The Handles:

All three different knives in this series sport the same type of handle. It has a polypropylene core with a thermoplastic rubber over mold. The polypropylene, or PP, is a thermoplastic polymer that can be used in a wide variety of applications. PP has a relatively slippery low energy surface, which means that many common glues will not form adequate joints. To join two portions of PP together, a welding process is usually required. PP was first polymerized in 1951 by a pair of Philips petroleum scientists named Paul Hogan and Robert Banks and later by Italian and German scientists Natta and Rehn. This became prominent extremely fast, as commercial production began barely three years after Italian chemist, Professor Giulio Natta, first polymerized it. Today, it is one of the most commonly used and most versatile plastics in the world.

The over mold on these handles are made out of a thermoplastic rubber. Thermoplastic rubber is a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers, usually plastic and rubber. This material consists of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. This material shows advantages typical of both rubbery materials and plastic materials. The handles all have the texture of a football, to provide you with a secure grip on your knife in any situation.

There is a deep finger groove as well as a few shallower finger grooves to keep your hand in positon and comfortable. You will be able to use these machetes for long periods of time without getting uncomfortable. For added protection, there is also a large finger guard.

 

The Mechanism:

These are all fixed blade knives, because they are machetes. There is a variety of different benefits to having a fixed blade knife as opposed to a folding blade. For starters, fixed blades can be much larger, which means that they are able to tackle larger tasks. Fixed blades are much easier to maintain, because there are no inner mechanisms that can rust or need maintenance. For the most part, all you have to do is a quick wipe down of the blade and the handle and call it good. And, fixed blades are much less likely to break. This is also due to the fact that there are no inner mechanisms that can break or rust. Plus, everything is beefier on a fixed blade, so there are no fragile spots where the knife meets the handle.

 

The Chanceinhell Machete:

CRKT Chanceinhell Machete
CRKT Chanceinhell Machete

The Finish:

The 65Mn Carbon Steel has been finished with a Bead Blasted finish as well as a powder coating on this knife. The bead blast finish is created by blasting small glass bead at the steel at high pressures. This results in an even gray finish. The blasted finish reduces reflections and glares due to its even matte surface. The blasting creates an increased surface area and micro abrasions on the steel. Because of this, the steel is more prone to rusting and corroding, so you do have to make sure that you are taking the correct precautions and maintaining your blade well.

The powder coating is black on this knife. So this finish also works to reduce the reflections and glares while also protecting the steel from rusting, corroding, and scratches. However, this is a painted on coating, so it is the lowest quality blade coating. This type of coating is the most likely to chip or scratch off.

In the upper corner of the blade, near the handle, CRKT and their logo has been applied.

 

The Specs:

This knife has a blade length of 12 inches long. The Chanceinhell has a blade thickness of 0.1 inches. The overall length of this knife is a whopping 17.88 inches. This is definitely on the beefier side of things and weighs in at 1 pound 4 ounces.

 

The Sheath:

This knife comes with a nylon sheath. This is a more inexpensive option for sheath materials, but they also get worn out quicker. Nylon sheaths are most prone to getting stretched out, so they will continue to work, but the fitting won’t be as snug.  You can order the Ken Onion Chanceinhell Machete here.

 

The Chanceinhell Machete 16”:

CRKT Chanceinhell 16" Machete
CRKT Chanceinhell 16″ Machete

The Finish:

This blade has the black powder coating that the other version does, however, this one does not have the bead blasted finish. Like I previously mentioned, this is one of the least quality coating finishes that you can find, because it will eventually scratch off. However, it does cut down on glares and reflections and does add a nice black color. The black color gives the knife a sleek look and matches the black handle perfectly.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on this knife is 16.063 inches long, with a thickness of 0.102 inches. The overall length of this knife is a 21.813 inches long. The knife weighs in at 1 pound and 4.6 ounces.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that accompanies the 16” long machete is made out of woven polyester. The sheath has a polypropylene black insert as well as a nylon cord, which is also black.  You can find the 16″ Chanceinhell Machete here.

 

The Chanceinhell Machete 18”:

Chanceinhell Machete
Chanceinhell Machete

The Finish:

This version of the knife also has the black powder coating. Because the entire knife is blackened, this is a great option to choose if you are trying to blend in to the surroundings or conceal yourself. It effectively cuts down on any glares and reflections that might accompany the steel, because it masks it. However, since it is painted on, it will scratch off at some point, and it might also run and not be even. Out of all coatings, this specific type is at the bottom of the barrel.

 

The Specs:

The length of this blade is 18 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.106 inches. The overall length of this knife tops in at 23.625 inches, which is almost an entire two feet long. This is also the heaviest out of the series of Chanceinhell, weighing in at 1 pound 5.6 ounces.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is the same as the 16” version. The sheath is made out of woven polyester in a black color. It sports an insert of black polypropylene and has a black nylon cord.  You can pick up the 18″ Chanceinhell Machete here.

 

The Chanceinhell Survival Kit:

This is the last option that you have to purchase in the Chanceinhell series. This series comes with five different pieces. The Chanceinhell machete, the RSK MK6, the Para Saw, the Spark’N Sharp, and the Nylon CRKT Bag.

 

The RSK MK6:

This is a small pocket knife. The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel, which is a softer Chinese steel. You can get a very fine edge on this type of steel and it maintains an edge for long periods of time. However, it is an average steel that does not excel at anything. This steel has a plain edge that has a stonewashed finish. This blade is one piece, with a skeletonized handle that has been wrapped in orange paracord. This knife does come with a sheath.

 

The Para-Saw:

This piece that comes with the survival kit is a braided paracord bracelet. However, inside of the bracelet, there is a stainless steel tungsten carbide coated wire saw. This is a Ken Onion design and can work to save your bacon in emergency situations.

 

The Spark’N Sharp:

This tool comes with a lanyard to keep each of the pieces together. This, as the name implies, is a fire starter as well as a field sharpener. The lanyard is a quick release lanyard. This is a multi-tool.

 

The CRKT Nylon Bag:

Not only is this bag the perfect place to keep all of your items that you get with the survival kit, it is also the perfect place to keep your other survival necessities.

 

Conclusion:

CRKT is a fantastic company that has earned a reputation over the past twenty years. You know that when you purchase a knife from this company, you know that you are purchasing a product that will last with you through the ages.

The Chanceinhell series sports three different versions of a machete. These are quality, durable machetes that started out with a very durable steel. The steel that was chosen is used on knives and tools that have to undergo heavy usage. The handles on these machetes are just as durable, and because it is a fixed blade, maintenance is a breeze. You can get a 12-inch-long version, a 16-inch-long version, or an 18-inch-long version. You have a final option in the series, which is the survival kit, which includes one of the machetes as well as a variety of other tools. Get yours today at BladeOps.

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Seven Fantastic Hunting Knives

When searching for a hunting knife, the options are expansive. Every knife claims to be the best option for you and your hunting trip. So how do you make the call on which one will work perfectly for you? Today I’ve compiled a list of the seven best hunting knives that you can buy. I’ll go over what makes them unique and great, but I’ll also talk about the cons to the knife. By the end of this list you should have a great idea on which knife you will actually want to buy. Let’s get started.

 

The CRKT Onion Skinner:

This knife actually made my list of the 8 best fishing knives as well, that’s how great this knife is. Ken Onion, who designed this knife, created it at and sent it with some hunters into the Alaskan wilderness. After they came back and reported what they liked and didn’t like about this knife, he redesigned it to create the best possible knife that he can offer. This knife is a very unique knife, especially when compared to other hunting knives: it has a spear point, it has a hump on the dorsal side, and the blade is 3.75 inches long. The hump works to make skinning your animal easier than ever before. The blade is made out of Bohler K110 stainless steel, which helps the knife stand up to challenges for a very long time. The handle is built with a glass-field nylon core covered with a soft textured grip. The handle sports a deep finger choil; this helps to keep your grip strong even when things get wet or messy.

Advantages of the CRKT Onion Skinner:

  • Deep finger choil helps keep your grip strong.
  • The Bohler K110 stainless steel is very durable.
  • Went through an extreme field test before it was redesigned and released to the public.
  • The hump that the blade sports makes skinning your animal easier than ever.
  • The 3.75-inch blade is perfect for almost any game.

Disadvantages of the CRKT Onion Skinner:

  • The included sheath is less than quality.
  • It is an un-traditional hunting knife, so it might take some getting used to.

 

The Buck Model 110 Hunting Knife

This style of knife has been made since 1962 and has sold over 15 million copies. This blade is also 3.75 inches, but the Model 110 is made out of 420HC stainless steel. This steel keeps its edge for a very long time. The blade sports a clip point silhouette. Because it is made by Buck, you also get a lifetime warranty with purchase of your knife. The look of this knife is more aesthetically pleasing than some of your other options, with the handle made out of Dymonwood wood with brass bolsters. However, because of this, you do lose some of your handle grip. While this is a folding knife, it boasts a lockback mechanism to ensure your safety. However, this knife can be considered a little bit on the heavier side, weighing in at 7.2 ounces and being 8.63 inches overall.

Advantages of the Buck Model 110 Hunting Knife:

  • The 3.75-inch blade is the perfect size for a hunting knife.
  • The 420HC stainless steel keeps its edge for a long time without too much maintenance.
  • Comes with the standard Buck Lifetime Warranty.
  • Has a lockback mechanism to keep you and your fingers safe.
  • Aesthetically pleasing with a classic look.
  • Has been in production since 1962 and sold over 15 million copies—it has to be a tried and trusted knife.

Disadvantages of the Buck Model 110 Hunting Knife:

  • There isn’t as much handle grip as you would find on a different hunting knife.
  • This knife is a little bit bulkier than most weighing 7.2 ounces and measuring 8.63 inches overall.

 

The Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point Hunting Knife:

This knife’s blade is a little bit longer than the previous two, measuring at 3.88 inches. The blade is a drop point blade that is made out of VG-10 stainless steel. The blade has a flat grind, with only a single bevel. This single bevel/flat grind combo work to reduce weight, but adding to the knives cutting ability. It also adds strength to the blade, giving it the needed durability to cut through meat and skin an animal easily. However, this knife is not a full tang knife, so while it is a durable knife, it isn’t ideal for the heavy duty tasks thrown its way. The oversized handle is made out of an FRN and Kraton combination. The size of the handle works to give you the best grip by feeling the knife handle was specifically made for you. While this was designed to be a hunting knife, many people carry this knife as their every-day-carry knife, because it’s just that good.

Advantages of the Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point Hunting Knife:

  • Sports an oversized handle to give you the best grip offered.
  • It has a flat grind and a single bevel reduce weight but add to the knives cutting ability.
  • Has the durability to cut through raw meat and skin an animal easily.
  • Ideal for hunting, great for every-day-carrying.

Disadvantages of the Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point Hunting Knife:

  • Not strong enough to stand up to the heavy duty tasks.
  • Not a full tang knife.

 

The Puma Skinner Stag Handle:

This blade is the longest one on the list yet, measuring at 4.7 inches of 440A German manufactured steel. This steel is heavy duty steel, but still is a lighter steel, getting you the best of both worlds. It also has a fantastic balance of toughness, durability, and hardness, which is a hard balance to achieve. The scaled handle is made out of stag handles with brass finger guards to help protect you against cuts. The knife comes with a leather sheath that has a brass lanyard hole. However, the handle has been considered a thicker handle, so it’s ideal for people with bigger hands, while smaller hands can lose some of their grip while using this knife. The knife has a classier/rugged look to it. Along with the knife, you get the Puma limited time guarantee.

Advantages of the Puma Skinner Stag Handle:

  • The knife has a great balance of toughness, durability, and hardness.
  • Has a longer blade than other options on the market.
  • Looks classy, yet still rugged.
  • The handle has finger guards to help protect you against cuts.
  • Comes with a limited time guarantee.

Disadvantages of the Puma Skinner Stag Handle:

  • The handle is considered to be too thick at times, making it better for people with larger hands.
  • Not as much grip as some of the other hunting knives offered.

 

The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife:

This is a fixed blade that measures up with a 5.5-inch blade and 10.5 inches overall. The blade is a drop point made out of 1095 cro-van steel. The blade is very sturdy and extremely sharp, perfect for skinning. The blade is much thicker than expected, which while it adds to the knife’s weight, it does help it stand up to hunting and heavy duty use for longer periods of time. This knife has been used by many not just for hunting, but also a fantastic survival and camping knife. The handle of this knife is made out of Grivory, which provides a solid grip. This knife weighs in at a hefty 1.5 pounds, much heavier than the average hunting knife. This knife is one of the more versatile hunting knives on the market and definitely gets my stamp of approval.

Advantages of the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade:

  • Extremely thick blade, making it durable and long lasting.
  • Very sharp, perfect for skinning.
  • The Grivory handle provides a solid grip.
  • This knife is great for hunting, camping, survival, and almost any other task that you can think of.

Disadvantages of the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade:

  • This is a much heavier knife at a solid 1.5 pounds.

 

The Fallkniven H1z:

Fallkniven is a fantastic brand all around and the H1z does not break that mold. This is hefty knife at 8.1 inches long. The blade of this knife is 4 inches long, made out of laminated VG-10 steel. This steel is practically made for hunting and can cut through any meat that you require of it. The knife is truly designed just for hunting and excels at skinning and dressing. A unique aspect of this knife is that the blade is made from two different steels: the inner steel is a sturdier steel that is coated in a softer steel. This sounds like a strange thing to do, but it balances the blade’s hardness and its flexibility. The handle is built out of Thermorun that is textured to provide stellar grip even when things get wet or messy. The “z” in the name stands for the Zytel sheath that is included with your purchase of this knife.

Advantages of the Fallkniven H1z:

  • This is a hefty knife.
  • Designed strictly for a hunting knife, excelling at skinning and dressing your game.
  • The blade is made out of two different types of steel—creating the perfect balance between hardness and flexibility.
  • The textured handle provides fantastic grip.

Disadvantages of the Fallkniven H1z:

  • This knife does not have finger guards, which can be dangerous at times.
  • Really does not do well at anything other than hunting purposes

 

The Havalon Piranta Edge Folding Knife:

This knife sports a flat ground clip point blade that measure as 2.75 inches. The blade is made out of surgical stainless steel and this knife comes with 12 replaceable blades. This is so that if you are out in the field and trying to work quickly, you won’t have to waste time sharpening your blade, you can just switch it out with another super sharp blade. This knife is made by a company that is actually known for making surgical instruments, so you can trust the sharpness of the blade and the ability to cut. The blade is designed for skinning and will give you clean cuts, no jagged edges, ensuring you with higher quality meat. However, this knife is really only made for skinning and doesn’t do well breaking through bones, if you twist it, or if you torque it. The handle of this knife is made out of ABS plastic in either hunter-orange or a camo design. The handle is extremely grippy, making sure you have a steady hand to make the best cuts possible. The knife is crazy light, weighing in at only 2 ounces overall. This is a great knife to have with you during all your hunting escapades and it won’t weigh you down.

Advantages of the Havalon Piranta Edge Folding Knife:

  • This knife comes with 12 replaceable blades, guaranteeing you with an always sharp knife.
  • These replacement blades are extremely sharp blades.
  • Excels at cutting, giving you extremely clean cuts.
  • The handle is super grippy, guaranteeing you with a solid grip at all times.
  • This knife is extremely light, weighing only 2 ounces.

Disadvantages of the Havalon Piranta Edge Folding Knife:

  • This knife is only made for skinning.
  • This knife will not hold up to breaking through bones, twisting, whittling, prying, or torqueing.

 

Conclusion:

There are an insane number of hunting knives on the market today and they all claim to be the best hunting knife for you. But no knife can be the best knife for everyone. Each knife excels at something and falls short in a category. To make the shopping and researching process easier for you, I compiled a list of the seven best hunting knives; I tried to find knives that excelled at the most amount of things and fell short in the fewest things. Now that you have taken a look at this list, you will be able to go out and figure out which hunting knife will compliment you and your hunting task in the best possible way. Happy shopping and happier hunting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 7 Knives Every Kitchen Needs

A little while back I compiled a list of the best chef’s knives, but today I thought I would go over what styles of knives I think every kitchen should have, a brief description of each, and what they are good for. In my opinion, I think every home kitchen should have these basic 7 knives: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a serrated knife, a boning knife, a cleaver, a utility knife, and a honing steel. With these options you will be able to do and create any food masterpiece with ease.

Spyderco Santuko
Spyderco Santuko

The Chef’s or Cooks Knife:

For starters, every single kitchen should have a chef’s knife. These are some of the most versatile knives in the kitchen and can really stand up to most tasks. If you could only have one style of knife in your kitchen, I would recommend that you choose this style. The best size for a chef’s knife is usually between 8 to 10 inches long, which does seem a little bit long especially to newbies in the kitchen. However, with the extra length comes extra efficiency and more versatility. Plus, the longer the blade is, the faster you can cut with it. However, chef’s knives also come in 6 and 12 inches, the smaller the blade is the more control you can have over it. Chef’s with smaller hands should go for one of the smaller sized blades. Commonly found on chef’s knives is a broad blade that has a gentle curve upward toward the tip, because this allows it to rock which helps for mincing. A spine on the perfect chef’s knife should be thick because the thicker the spine, the more durable the blade is. Another great thing to look for on your chef’s knife is a bolster, which is the metal collar that sits between the blade and the handle. Not all chef’s knives have a bolster, but a bolster prevents the knife from slipping. Chef’s knives can seem expensive at first look, however, when purchasing a quality chef’s knife, they will last for years and years. Chef’s knives pay themselves off in the long run.

Best for:

  • Slicing
  • Dicing
  • Chopping
  • Mincing
  • Great for using on vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish.

Not to be used for:

  • Skinning large vegetables.
  • Butchering or carving meats.
  • The length and broadness of the chef’s knife does not make it ideal for cramped tasks, where you’re better off with a smaller style of knife.

 

The Paring Knife:

Paring knives are designed for intricate tasks because they have a thin blade of 3 to 4 inches that tapers to a point. They can be used for these more intricate tasks because the user has much more control over them than they would by using a larger knife. However, paring knives can be used for many of the basic utility tasks in the kitchen, just as the chef’s knife can be. These are ideal for cutting garlic and small berries, for peeling fruits and vegetables, and for slicing smaller food items. Unlike the chef’s knife, the paring knife comes in many different styles, so we’ll go over the most common styles of paring knives.

The Boning Paring:

This style is mainly used to remove meat from the bones of what you are working with. Plus, it is great for other detailed cutting jobs.

The Wavy Edge:

This type of paring knife works great to cut things that have an outer layer and then are soft on the inside, such as tomatoes.

The Clip Point or Granny:

This style of paring knife excels at removing eyes from potatoes, pits from olives, and are great for peeling fruit and vegetables.

The Chef’s:

This is really just a tiny chef’s knife and can be used for the same things that a chef’s knife can be used for.

The Bird’s Beak:

I would say this is the most unique style of paring knife, because instead of the regular tip, it has an extreme trailing point tip. This style is great for peeling round fruit and for precise carving.

The Sheep’s Foot:

Lastly, this style has a straight cutting blade. This one is perfect for peeling or paring food.

 

Really a simple paring knife would be able to complete most of these tasks just as well as the special paring knives. I would only get one of the special styles if I was a trained chef. But there they are just in case. You can find a good paring knife for much less than a chef’s knife, so there is no need to splurge on this style.

Best for:

  • Peeling
  • Trimming
  • Slicing, especially the smaller fruits and vegetables, such as garlic and berries.
  • Food that needs intricate detail.
  • Coring foods

Not to be used for:

  • Harder vegetables, because the knife doesn’t carry enough weight behind it to actually slice the food without applying too pressure.

 

The Serrated or Bread Knife:

The serrated knife is most commonly known as the bread knife, because it does excel at cutting bread. However, limiting this knife to only bread does it a great injustice. Because the serrations can grip surfaces so well instead of squishing them or digging in, this style of knife is great for slippery and waxy foods, such as tomatoes, peppers, and citrus. When using a serrated knife, use a sawing motion instead of a chopping motion. This style of knife is best on larger food, because the blade is longer than a paring knife, it is not ideal for berries, herbs, and garlic. You can find serrated blades between 5 and 10 inches long, but one of the most common is a 6-inch-long serrated knife. Because serrations make the knife harder to sharpen than a straight edge, many chefs’ will choose to spend less on each serrated knife and just buy new ones more often. But, serrated knives should stay sharp for years if you treat them right.

Best for:

  • Bread
  • Waxy or slippery foods such as tomatoes, peppers, and citrus.
  • Larger food sizes.

Not to be used for:

  • Smaller foods, because the long blade does not give you the control you need.
  • Never use a chopping motion, always saw with this knife.

 

The Boning Knife:

This knife is ideal for boning fish, poultry, and meat. It also excels at cutting up those meats. A good boning knife should be able to perform on truly any size of meat. This is a unique knife because it has a narrow blade that curves inward that allows you to control the knife perfectly while removing meat from the bones. The blade should be around 5 or 6 inches. While most knives are made to cut in straight lines, bones are not always straight and you have to have a knife that can accommodate those bones. A boning knife is a little more flexible than a regular knife so that it does give and flex when needed. The smaller the meat, the more flexible the knife can be, but the larger the meat cut, the less flexible you are going to want you blade. But, a boning knife is not meant to cut through a bone and will not be able to accomplish that unscathed. It can cut through joints and cartilage. Just like the paring knife, there are a few different options when purchasing a boning knife.

Narrow Boning Knife:

This is best used for rips or chops because it can easily cut around bone and through the cartilage.

Wide Boning Knife:

This style excels at meats such as chicken and pork.

Curved Boning Knife:

This style of boning knife is extra curved and works best for when you need to cut at an angle or super close to the bone.

Boning knives aren’t generally too expensive, but if you know that you are going to be using your boning knife often and for heavier duty meats, then I would recommend spending a bit more to get a high quality boning knife that will stand up to the challenge and last longer.

Best for:

  • Removing the bones out of any slab of meat.
  • Cutting through tendons and cartilage.
  • Any task that needs precision cutting and a more flexible blade.

Not to be used for:

  • Actually cutting directly through the bone.

 

The Cleaver:

The typical size for a cleaver is around 6 inches long, but it always has a wide, rigid blade. The blade is usually heavy to provide the weight and balance needed for the cleavers tasks. The cleaver is ideal for cutting through tough food, such as firm vegetables or meat bones, with a chopping motion. The blade is not meant for slicing because of its size. Also, the flat part of the blade can be used for smashing ingredients such as garlic, or pulverizing the meat that you are working with. There are meat cleavers and vegetable cleavers. The vegetable cleavers will usually have a finer blade because the food that it is chopping through is not as tough. Often times, there will be a hole at the top of the blade that is for hanging up the knife to store it.

Best for:

  • Chopping through meat bones.
  • Chopping through meats.
  • Chopping through firmer vegetables.
  • Smashing garlic or seeds.
  • Pulverizing meat.

Not to be used for:

  • Slicing your ingredients.
  • Tasks that need a delicate hand or intricate cuts.

 

The Utility Knife:

This knife is sometimes known as a Sandwich Knife, because it is perfect for slicing sandwich meats. This knife is slightly smaller than the chef’s knife, ranging from 4 to 7 inches long, but it is just as versatile as a chef’s knife. It falls right in between the chef’s knife and the paring knife and really gives you the best of both worlds. It is large enough to use on most things that the chef’s knife can be used for such as apples and squashes. But, it is small enough that it can still be used for garlic, small fruits and vegetables, and herbs. You can find utility knives with either straight or serrate edges. A straight edge blade can typically do more; however, you will have to sharpen it more often. The serrated edge won’t be able to do as many tasks, but it will stay sharper for longer. These knives are really great for all the everyday kitchen tasks, but if you have a chef’s knife and a paring knife, the utility knife is not a necessary purchase.

Best for:

  • Medium sized vegetables and fruits.
  • Smaller food such as herbs or garlic.
  • Ideal for sandwich meats, which is why it is sometimes known as a Sandwich Knife.
  • Can be used for everyday kitchen tasks.

Not to be used for:

  • Larger or heavy duty tasks.
  • Super small tasks, such as berries.

 

The Honing Steel:

This is the only item on my list that isn’t actually a knife. However, the honing steel is really an essential tool for every home chef. What a honing steel does is works to smoothen and realign the teeth on the blade. This keeps your knives at their sharpest for the longest time possible. When a knife is sharper, you are going to get cleaner cuts than if you were working with a dull knife. It is recommended that knives should be honed after every single use, so having a honing steel close by is truly essential. However, honing a knife doesn’t actually sharpen it, so you will still need to get your knives sharpened every so often. A honing steel should not be used on any serrated edged knife, because the serrated edge won’t allow you to glide across this tool. Often times, if you purchase a knife set, a honing steel will come with it. On the off chance that yours did not include a honing steel, or you have lost yours, you can buy them separately.

Best for:

  • Using after every knife use.
  • Straight edged blades.

Not to be used for:

  • Any serrated edged blade, because the serrations won’t glide smoothly across the honing steel.

 

Conclusion:

While there are tons of different styles of kitchen knives, a solid kitchen really only needs these seven. If you have all seven of these knives, you should be able to accomplish any kitchen task. Happy cooking.

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Eight Great Fishing Knives

When choosing a great fishing knife, the amount of options can feel overwhelming. Many knives claim to be the best fishing knife on the market, so how can you decipher which one is actually the best? I’ve compiled a list of the best fishing knives on the market to make your shopping experience easier for you. I’ll go through the top eight best fishing knives and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

 

Wusthof Grand Prix II 7-Inch Fillet Knife:

This one makes my list because of many characteristics that it has. For starters, the Grand Prix II sports a narrow blade that makes it a fantastic option for any precision cutting that you will have to do. The blade is designed specifically for de-boning. It is made out of high-carbon stainless steel, which is great for fishing because you are going to be around water and other fluids often. The high-carbon stainless steel has superior strength. The blade comes extremely sharp and is very durable, meaning that you will be able to use this blade on thicker, tougher materials and it will keep its sharp edge for longer. Plus, the handle has a pebbled texture, which works to give you great grip when filleting larger fish and for when it gets wet. When purchasing this knife, it comes with a manufacturer lifetime warranty. The knife also comes with a sheath, which is a quality sheath, but hasn’t stood up to everything that the blade can.

Pros of the Grand Prix II 7-Inch:

  • This blade is extremely sharp and durable, meaning you won’t have to constantly maintain it.
  • The handle sports a pebbled texture, providing stellar grip.
  • The blade has crazy strength and can be used on any meat, not just fish.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty when purchased.
  • The narrow blade makes precision cutting easy.
  • Under 100 dollars, making it a great product and not hard on the wallet.

Cons of the Grand Prix II 7-Inch:

  • The included sheath isn’t as quality as the knife is.

 

SOG Tomcat 3.0 Specialty Knife S95-N

The Tomcat 3.0 won the overall knife of the year in 1988, this wasn’t for nothing. This knife has been around for years and it has been pleasing people throughout all these years. The tomcat has a straight edge that ends in a clip point. It is a 3.75 inch folding blade. Because of the clip point, it is an ideal option for fishing because you can easily pierce into the flesh of the fish. The blade is finished in satin, which works to create a more durable blade for you. The handle is made out of kraton, which is a synthetic substitute for rubber. This means that it has fantastic grip, even when in the messiness of gutting a fish. Something unique about the Tomcat is that it has a safety feature called the Arc-lock, which means it can be locked open. The knife also comes with a black nylon sheath that sports a hook and loop for safety. This knife is on the more expensive side of things.

Pros of the SOG Tomcat:

  • Has a satin finish that adds to the durability of the blade.
  • The handle is kraton, giving you great grip during the whole process.
  • Sports the Arc-lock for safety.
  • Comes with a nylon sheath.
  • Won the overall knife of the year in 1988.

Cons of the SOG Tomcat:

  • Is a more expensive option for your fishing knife.

 

Camillus Cuda Bolt:

The Camillus Cuda Bolt is an 8.75-inch blade that is treated in carbonitride titanium. This is a stainless steel titanium blade, so you can use this knife for all your fishing needs without having to worry about it rusting or corroding. The carbonitride will not flake, blister, chip, or peel. And Camillus says that with this treatment, the blade is 10x harder than the untreated blade would be. This also means that the blade will stay sharper for longer periods of time. This knife has a liner lock. The handle of The Camillus Cuda Bolt is a TPR Rubber handle, which ensures that you will have a fantastic grip throughout your entire experience with the knife. With the purchase of this knife, you also get a lifetime warranty.

Pros of the Camillus Cuda Bolt:

  • With the carbonitride titanium treatment, the blade is 10x stronger.
  • The treatment will not flake, blister, chip, peel, rust, or corrode.
  • The blade stays sharp for long periods of time.
  • The handle is a rubber handle, guaranteeing you a great grip.
  • The knife features a liner lock.
  • Lifetime warranty with purchase of the knife.

Cons of the Camillus Cuda Bolt:

  • This knife does not have a very modern look.

 

CRKT Ken Onion Skinner:

This is one of the smaller options for your fishing knife; the blade is 3.75 inches long. The Ken Onion Skinner only weighs 3.7 ounces, so it is very light, easy to use, and easy to carry with you everywhere you go. The steel is made from K110, which is considered to be a high quality steel. The blades edge is extremely sharp, making it easy to skin your fish, while the blade is a spear point, which makes it easy to slice into any of your meats. What makes this knife unique is the thick spine that it sports and the large belly that it has, both of those features making it a more durable and easy to use knife. The handle is a softer, textured handle made out of TPR over a Zytel center, giving you a fantastic grip.

Pros of the CRKT Ken Onion Skinner:

  • This is a very light knife, making it easy to have with you wherever you go.
  • This knife sports a big belly, making it easy to slice.
  • The Ken Onion Skinner has a thick spine, providing extra durability.
  • The handle is softer than most, but still provides an excellent grip.
  • The blade is made out of a high quality steel.
  • The spear point silhouette makes it easy to slice into any of your meats.
  • The blade can be super sharp.

Cons of the CRKT Ken Onion Skinner:

  • This is a smaller option, so you don’t have as much blade to work with.
  • This knife does lean towards the expensive side of the chart.

 

Buck Clearwater Fillet Knife:

This knife comes with either a 6-inch or 9-inch blade. The blade is made out of 12C27MOD Sandvik steel. The blade is actually pretty flexible, which is an important component of a good fillet knife. The pointed tip is designed to make for easier entry cuts. This blade is extremely sharp and if you aren’t careful, it can actually be dangerous to yourself. But, the handle is heavily textured and rubberized which provides a superior grip, even while wet and/or covered in other fluids or guts. On the back end of the handle there is backside edging so that you can break down fish or other meats. The Buck Clearwater Fillet Knife is designed to excel in both fresh water and salt water.

Pros of the Buck Clearwater Fillet Knife:

  • The blade’s pointed tip is designed for easier entry cuts.
  • The heavily textured handle provides excellent grip.
  • This knife boasts backside edging, to break down fish if needed.
  • This knife excels in both salt water and fresh water, making it very versatile.
  • The Clearwater Fillet knife comes in two different lengths.
  • The blade is very flexible.
  • The blade is very sharp and durable, staying sharp for longer periods of time.

Cons of the Buck Clearwater Fillet Knife:

  • The knife can be considered dangerously sharp at times.

 

Buck Silver Creek Knife:
This fillet knife is a folding knife, with a titanium coated blade that measures 6.5 inches. Because of the titanium coating, the blade is extra durable and is designed with added flexibility in mind. The titanium coating also helps with anti-corrosion properties. The blade is extra slim to help it go through the meat and bones that you need it to. The Silver Creek knife is designed to stay extra sharp through long periods of use; many people will attest to the fact that it does stay sharper for longer than most other fishing and fillet knives. This knife is considered to be a medium sized fillet knife. The handle of this blade is soft with a rubberized anti-slip grip. Because it is a folding knife and fillet knife, which is a hard combination to nail, Buck has added a mid-lock back design to make sure that the blade doesn’t accidentally close while you are in the middle of using it. This knife comes with a lifetime guarantee. However, this knife has not been known to excel in salt water.

Pros of the Buck Silver Creek Knife:

  • This knife stays sharper for longer than other fishing and fillet knives.
  • The Silver Creek comes with a lifetime guarantee.
  • Buck has mastered the combination of folding and fillet knives.
  • The folding joint never gets loose.
  • The blade’s titanium coating adds an anti-corrosion element to the blade.
  • The blade is extra slim and flexible.
  • The handle has a rubberized grip to help you not slip during the messiest of jobs.

Cons of the Buck Silver Creek Knife:

  • This knife is not recommended for salt water jobs.

 

Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife:

The Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife can come in 4, 6, or 7-inches of Swedish stainless steel. This blade is very attractive, yet still boasts all of the greater characteristics that you are looking for when searching for a fishing knife. The knife sports a very slender blade, which is able to do precision work when filleting your fish. This blade also has high properties of corrosion resistance. The edge of Fish’n Fillet knife can hold an extremely sharp edge. The handle of this knife is made out of reinforced birch varnished handle; looking aesthetically pleasing, yet still giving the user a great grip to be able to get the dirty work done. Unfortunately, the handle of this knife is on the shorter side.

Pros of the Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife:

  • The blade of this knife is very slender, making precision work easier.
  • The blade sports an extremely sharp edge.
  • The blade has anti-corrosion properties.
  • The knife is one of the classier looking fishing knives on the market today.
  • The handle is birch, which looks fantastic, yet still gives a good grip.

Cons of the Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife:

  • The knife has a much shorter handle than other options on the market.

 

Dexter-Russell 8 Inch Fillet Knife:
The blade of the Dexter-Russel 8 Inch Fillet Knife is made out of high-carbon stainless steel. This straight edge blade is a little bit stiffer than your other fillet knife options though. The blade is very easy to sharpen and features corrosion resistant properties. The whole knife measures at 13.25 inches. The handle is a soft grip handle with a Grip-Text seal where the handle and the blade meet. This seal helps make it easier to keep clean. This knife comes with a poly sheath to keep it safely until the next time you need to use it. This knife is a great option for a low cost.

Pros of the Dexter-Russel 8 Inch Fillet Knife:

  • The blade is corrosion resistant.
  • The blade is very easy to sharpen.
  • There is a seal where the handle and the blade meet to help keep your knife clean.
  • The handle has great grip.
  • This knife comes with a poly sheath.
  • This is a cheap option.

Cons of the Dexter-Russel 8 Inch Fillet Knife:

  • The blade is stiffer than some of your other fillet knife options.

 

Conclusion:

While there are so many different options on the market for your next fishing knife, some are definitely better than others. This article compiles the 8 best fishing knives out there to help make your purchase and decision easier. Each of these 8 have their own advantages and disadvantages, so before purchasing, make sure you know what your task will require of your knife.

 

 

 

 

 

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