Piranha just released their newest automatic knife, the Virus. This slim auto knife features lightning fast action, excellent quality materials and top notch US production quality.
The first thing that grabs your eye about the Virus is its slim profile. At just 7/8″ wide at the widest spot on the handle, the knife takes up nearly none of your valuable Pocket Real Estate™. The slim handle has fingernail grooves down the inner edge of both handle scales and slimmer, alternating grooves on the spine side. The spine of the handle has a dimple style texture. All these provide visual appeal and offer your hand plenty of solid grip points.
The handle is 6061 T6 Type 3 Hard Coat anodized aircraft alloy and is available in all the regular Piranha colors including black, blue, red, green, camo, plum, pink, silver, and orange. Piranha knives hold their color even with heavy use. I have a Fingerling that I have carried off and on for several years now. I have nicked and dinged the handle in several places and the color still shows strong.
The blade is CPM S30V with either a mirror or black finish. You can pick either finish up with a plain edge or a combo edge. Which means, there are 36 different variations of the Piranha Virus to choose from. The blade is a modified drop point with a full flat grind that makes it ideal for slicing tasks. The S30V is going to last for decades with proper care. For a full review of CPM S30V see our article here.
The button lock trigger is inset on the upper edge of the the front handle scale. The inset prevents accidental pocket firing yet allows easy access to the button when you press it with your thumb. The blade snaps out ridiculously fast–like every Piranha I have ever used. And the blade lock up is perfect.
A titanium, tip up pocket clip resides on the back handle scale for traditional right hand, tip up pocket carry. Sorry lefties, the knife is not reversible.
If you place a premium on precious Pocket Real Estate™ and you are looking for a high quality automatic knife that will perform to the highest standards, consider picking up a Piranha Virus.
An 808 can be used as a reference to a variety of things. Back in the 80’s, there was an analogue synthesiser called the Roland TR-808 which was used in many of the songs produced during that era. If you are accused of an 808 penal code violation, you are disturbing the peace. The 808 code is a reference to the sound of bass from stereos which are often the cause of the problem. 808 is also the area code for the entire state of Hawaii. So if I’m headed to the 808, I could be headed to the islands. And now, the 808 refers to the newest addition to the Benchmade premium line of knives.
The Benchmade 808 Loco is a heavy duty tactical folder tricked out with plenty of tricked out hardware and attitude. Built for the world you live in, the 808 Loco boasts the AXIS folder mechanism, custom styled hardware, and high quality materials that deliver strength, power, and durability.
The 808 Loco features a CPM-S30V premium stainless steel blade that comes with a satin silver or black coated finish. You can pick up either finish with a plain edge or combo edge. The S30V reverse tanto blade delivers the same cutting advantages that come from a drop point with the addition of a stronger tip for heavy piercing cuts. The S30V gives you high durability, high corrosion resistance and excellent edge retention. This means you get to spend more time cutting and less time sharpening your new Benchmade 808 Loco.
You open the blade by pulling on the oval hole that lies on the top edge of the blade. Or, with a bit of practice, you can pull the AXIS lock down and give the knife a flick of your wrist–if done right, the blade pops open easy and smooth. This makes it really easy to use the knife with just one hand, which is nice when your other hand is busy.
The AXIS lock mechanism, in my estimation, is one of the very best mechanisms currently available for a folder knife. It is unbelievably tough and gives you maximum blade security when you are making heavy cuts.
The 808 Loco grabs you visually with unique hardware. The pivot screw has three cuts that create a triangular shape at the top that tapers down to a full circle where the pivot enters the handle scale. The AXIS lock mechanism presents a similar triangular visual with three cuts that turn the circular shape into a tapered pyramid.
Add to that the visual the smooth black G10 handle scales that express heavy personality with smooth curves that allow you to keep a solid grip on the 808 whatever the environment throws at you–wet, slippery, cold, whatever; none of those things can pry this knife out of your hands. The deep finger groove keeps your forefinger at the point of control so you can make precise cuts as well. At the base of the handle lies a lanyard hole. The G10 handle scales are backed up with stainless steel liners that give the 808 serious strength.
The Benchmade 808 is the kind of knife that is built for tactical situations. Big, burly and substantial, the 808 will get your cutting chores done without breaking a sweat. You can pick one up here on our website. After you do, let us know what you think down below.
A few years back I began reading about the effectiveness of CPM3V steel on various forums. It seemed almost mythical in nature, like Wolverine’s adamantium, capable of performing amazing feats unheard of in other steels. As an avid knife collector, the CPM3V alloy appealed to me on many levels; its resilience, its incredible sharpness, it all fascinated me.
My interest hadn’t truly piqued, however, until I encountered Dan Keffeler’s work. Dan was already an accomplished maker whose quality of work was well known in the knife community. I was intrigued by his work from the start, particularly his Japanese-style blades made in CPM3V. I recall watching a video a while back of Dan testing one of his blades on various targets. As a longtime practitioner of the Japanese sword arts, I can attest how difficult it is perform proper tameshigiri, or test cutting with a live blade. There are a myriad of factors involved: grip, edge alignment, distance, all of which need to be taken into account when cutting. I was immediately enthralled by the CPM3V blade’s ability. It performed effortlessly, seeming to decimate anything in its path. I knew I had to have one. Thus began my journey to seek out a katana made from CPM3V.
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Dan Keffeler by a mutual friend a couple of years back. His work speaks for itself, but Dan is also a great guy and very pleasant to deal with. We spoke on the phone a few times and discussed the possibility of my commissioning a CPM3V blade, but as we were both incredibly busy, the project never really got off the ground unfortunately and we lost touch for a time. Still, I couldn’t get the idea of obtaining one of his CPM3V blades out of my head. It became like an obsession, as though some part of me would remain incomplete until I possessed one of his blades.
Nearly a year and a half passed until I took a shot in the dark and sent Dan an email to inquire about one of his CPM3V katana blades again. I was elated to hear that he happened to have one available. After seeing only a single photograph of it, I purchased the blade without another thought. I couldn’t have been more excited. Call it good fortune, an alignment of the planets, fate, whatever. I was finally going to fulfill my dream of owning a Keffeler blade.
While the blade itself was already made, a handle and scabbard still had to be crafted. Dan was also gracious enough to fabricate fittings out of titanium, which he anodized in a greyish tint and added a wood-like texture. Several months would pass before the sword was finally complete. The end result was nothing short of astonishing, the perfect amalgamation of an ancient craft and modern innovation.
It has often been said that to truly follow the way of the sword, it must become a part of one’s very soul. I can proudly declare that even in the short while it’s been in my possession, this sword has indeed become a part of me, and I am the better for it.
I am an independent man and I am drawn to the things that real men are drawn-to. When my wife lets me…. (wink), I spend my time in the man zone; the high testosterone zone. Among the things found in the zone are edged weapons. Channeling Will Rogers, ‘I never met a knife I didn’t like’… well, Mr. Rogers was referring to men, but to be honest I have met more than a few of those with whom I didn’t care to associate. I bet if Will were here today, he might feel the same; about knives that is…. but I digress.
The edged weapon is the quintessential tool for man in every society in every age. Before firearms, man used knives to do his bidding. Whether to dispatch his enemy or feed his family, the blade was his tool of choice. What of the club you say? Yes, the club played it’s part in the submission of food and foe. But when it came time deal with, say the buffalo, the edged weapon proved of infinitely greater value than the club. Did you ever try to dress out a buffalo with a stick? When you watch a naked survival show on the tube, is it a stick they pull out of their goody bag? Heck no, they go for the knife or some other edged weapon every time. And next time I’m having surgery, I am keeping one eye open to make sure the doc is using a scalpel. You get the picture. It is clear that mankind cannot exist without the knife. It is the consummate tool of choice.
Well, gotta go. I would share more, but my wife says we have to take Fluffy, our Pomeranian to the beauty shop for a toenail job and a bath…. I need a stick now.
In my work with carry knives, the folder has always held a sort of sexy appeal. Never willing to spend over a hundred fifty dollars can be a serious impediment to this attraction however, so the Emerson line has always been just out of my reach. Certain standards concerning how a weapon deploys prevents me from buying folders that do not automatically deploy one way or the other. Recently, there have been karambits on the market with this wave feature that meet my price point; so I considered it a happy coincidence when I came into a knife with a price worth a severe test run with no regrets.
Speaking in terms of aesthetics, they really hit the mark. This is a beautiful knife. The handle is the classic Kershaw shape: fits the hand like your refrigerators handle; effective enough that you haven’t replaced it yet and hauntingly reminiscent of times long past (if you maintain the same fridge, or have a lot of early Kershaw memories). The blade is aggressive in appearance and yet not so large that it cannot be used casually in sensitive company: it even has a thumb stud should you decline the more surprising means of deployment.
In total, it is extremely compact but offers a lot of the same functions one would want in a standard size combat/utility knife, which I would say is four inches in the civilian world. What I mean by this, is that the frame of the knife is thick enough that one could comfortably press into or stab a target without feeling too much recoil. I consider this knife the minimum standard for carry and since most people carry basically toy knives, this is a serious improvement.
At First Sight
First and foremost: a round of applause for Kershaw31. They’ve finally realized which end the pocket clip belongs on! The thing that really sent me away from folders as a teenager was exactly that issue: the process was long enough before I knew about wave-type features; they insisted that I flip the thing around mid deployment on top of it.
I was also taken aback when I noticed how normal the screws were. I half expected–because it happens often–that my first knife inspired mission would be to find the requisite screwdrivers to operate the thing. After cycling through all my mini phillips, I finally realized I would have to find that clunky old normal screw driver I keep in the back of a something somewhere. After spending a minute confused, this grew into genuine appriciation.
I expected it to come out of the box with nothing forgiving in it: thought it might take some breaking in. The Kershaw operated smooth and clean from the first moment and continues on the same trend. Even better, if you don’t like smooth and clean: Kershaw has finally made a fully serviceable knife. Ive worked on many of their knives in the past and though I may be missing something, I don’t believe I’ve ever found one that could be opened with just one screwdriver and no vice grips.
The hand guard–if I can get away with calling it that–is perfectly suited to this tools mission. If you aren’t one of those people that trains with motor oil and slippery knives, this blade may ensure that you never need to. This is a pitch or pack issue for me and I didn’t expect a Kershaw to come through this well.
Before anything, let me state that I haven’t destroyed this knife: I’m actually enjoying carrying it quite a bit. As a result, I have in no way attempted to stress the locking mechanism beyond angles of attack into wood. It probably wont tolerate being thrown and I’m always a little wary of all liner lock knives to begin with. That said, this one inspires enough confidence that I am carrying it.
A thing one may not know if they are new to these style of knives, is that all of them are just a little too short at this size. Not enough handle protrudes from the pocket to actually deploy without a chance of snagging a finger as the blade comes out. If you never deploy under stress, you may think “just a little nip in the finger, wont even cut you. Whats the issue?” It definitely wont cut you. But it definitely will activate every nerve on your index finger while your supposed to be paying attention to your knife and your problems.
To remedy this, I’ve attached a bit of paracord. Its just enough that I can get my thumb down onto the handle and have cord running across my whole palm, thus ensuring that even though I wont have a master grip on my weapon, at least when I transition my grip, its not just my thumb and indexfinger on the tool.
Then I stumbled across a thing that initially I took to just be cheap manufacturing: the checkered grips are only on one side. I cursed them for a moment, knowing Emerson would never do such a thing, then I remembered something. When I wasn’t asked to use my brain very often in my work history, it usually meant my knife was coming out at least twenty times an hour. I had shredded pants like nobody that isn’t homeless. The handguard being what it is, this is a reasonable sacrifice.
The Emerson Wave feature exceeds my already incredibly high expectations. It is exactly perfect where Cold Steel falls short in its “Ambidextrous Thumb Plate.” Cold Steel has a solution that translates well into four inch or larger folders. In my own experience, the Mini Ak was unable to dependably deploy and leaned heavily on the type of pants one is wearing. In its larger version, the screw snapped that held the thumb plate in place. Ill grant that I voided the warranty and then some, but I had been wishing to find Emerson’s solution ever since.
A fantastic aspect of the wave feature is its ability to catch clothing. In the event of a failure to deploy, its only a matter of swiping it against your jacket or theirs. I did have a complicated experience however: it doesn’t have much luck against light wool, which isn’t always easy to distinguish from heavy wool jackets. It seems like I wouldn’t want to count on my perception of my opponents outfit at this point. It could change with experience.
Now this issue may be a false one. There is no second pocket clip for a lefty. Maybe it was left out of my box–as there are holes where one could affix a clip–but insofar as first week of carry; that is not an option. This leaves us with two options: strong side standard or support side reverse. For the left handed, this means strong side reverse. The knife deploys well in reverse, with paracord attached. Again, without the cording, this isn’t a viable self defense option.
Before I attached the paracord, I did notice a severe and common defect: the checkered grips that are there, are so minimal that they are useless in the draw. Once deployed, they give you just enough but before hand, you will not dependably produce this knife. It is too small and too slippery to be carried out of the box. If you have a tool to cure this, fix immediately.
The pocket clip has a commonality with many on the market; too tight initially. If there were checkered grips on both sides, it would do quite a bit of damage to your pants just in the first day. Without addressing the grips with paracord or your favorite workbench sidekick, this thing will never come out of your pants when you want it to. I bend them all out just a little bit and address the presentation issues: this should retard future disasters by a lot.
Legality is an aspect that is always worth paying attention to. If your like me, you want something you can confidently travel with. Though you wont be getting by in England with this knife, it should do well in the continental United States. This knife should pass the test anywhere: it is as innocuous looking as a clown in a circus compared to many civillian tactical options today.
I like this knife because I come from a poor background–pretty much still coming from it–and the self defense knife is my passion. In the martial arts I’ve taught, I often wound up taking the student down a very long rabbit trail of knife training. I can get them to love it, train constantly and come back for more. But I cannot for the life of me get them to commit to buying a decent knife.
For me, this is the first real solution I’ve seen. I see Kershaw in Walmart and while I don’t particularly enjoy the latter, I know that it represents what is really available to people that don’t care about the data the way I wish they would. If they have the tools they will know they need the tactics: this is that tool. Lets hope it pops up everywher