Curtin Iovito and Mark Carey, Co-Founders of Spartan Blades, LLC, possess over 40 years of combined military service and experience. Since their retirement from US Army Special forces they have been involved in the development, marketing, and program management of tactical gear and ballistic armor products. For years Curtis had designed and made custom knives for his friends in Special Forces and for other companies. Mark and Curtis combined their shared love of knife making, military experience and knowledge of the tactical equipment market to form Spartan Blades, LLLC; in 2008, with a singular mission: To manufacture finely crafted tactical and field knives and to make knives with intent.
It is the intent of Spartan Blades to provide the modern warrior and outdoorsman with knives that will serve them in a variety of missions and environments. Their intent is not to provide a cool knife, but rather produce a knife that is highly functional, made from only premium materials and techniques, that looks great too.
All Spartan knives are made by them in North Carolina with only US origin materials in small batches with attention to detail in every step. Their sheaths are made by US/US veteran owned businesses using only the best US Origin/Berry Amendment compliant materials. Both Mark and Cutis have spent a lifetime in the service of, and working to advance the interests of the United States. Spartan Blades will do the same by only manufacturing in the USA with the highest quality domestically produced materials. Additionally, Spartan Blades utilizes other veteran owned small businesses in meeting their mission.
Today we will be going over the Spartan Blades Akribis folding knives.
The blade is made out of S35VN steel. This steel was made in 2009 by Crucible and Chris Reeve. They wanted to upgrade their S30V steel because of some complaints about how hard it was to sharpen and work with. Other than that, S30V steel was known as the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. For S355VN steel, Crucible and Chris Reeve decided to use a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium, which is where the steel got the “N” in its name. By changing these two features about the steel, they were able to improve the steel’s toughness and ability to sharpen. Honestly, these two steels are so similar that to the normal eye, it would be hard to tell a difference other than when sharpening. However, many knife enthusiasts would argue that this is the all-time best steel that you are going to find in the cutlery business in terms of edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the cost.
The blade has been coated in a tungsten DLC PVD coating in flat black. A PVD is the way that the coating is applied; standing for Physical Vapor Deposition. This type of application provides excellent resistance from wear and corrosion. The coating material is vaporized at a high temperature and then coated on the blade in the process of condensation. This is applied in a vacuum, so the coating is applied extremely smoothly. Because of this process, there are no thicker portions that sometimes happens with a painted on coating.
The DLC coating is a Diamond Like Coating. This is one of the highest quality coatings and is bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint-like coatings. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.
This blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. Drop points are known for their versatility, their strength, and their ability to stand up to almost anything. The most common place that you are going to find the drop point blade shape is on a hunting knife, although you are going to be able to find this blade shape on almost any type of knife: from EDC to tactical to a survival knife. This popular blade shape is formed by having the back or unsharpened edge of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is the lowered point that provides the control and strength to the tip. The blade also has a large belly that is perfect for slicing. Drop points do have the disadvantage of not being able to pierce super well—this is because the tip is broad to add the strength. But, the tip is rarely going to break, so having decreased piercing capabilities seems worth it to most people.
The handle is made out of carbon fiber. The term carbon fiber is actually a very generic term that refers to the thin strands of carbon hat have been tightly woven and then set in a resin. This material is very strong but still lightweight. Unfortunately, due to the time consuming process of making the carbon fiber, it does tend to be on the more expensive side of things. And while it is a very strong material, it is nowhere near being indestructible because it does suffer considerably from being brittle. This is because all of the fibers are woven in a single direction. When the fibers are being stressed in that direction—the knife handle is extremely strong, but as soon as the fibers are stressed in any other direction, they will start to break apart. And because it is on the more brittle side of things, it probably will crack or break if it is hit on anything hard. This knife handle material is unique because the weave can be switched up depending on the manufacturer. The weave determines how the light is going to reflect off of the knife and will determine how the handle actually looks in terms of character.
The other portion of the handle is made out of G-10. This material has extremely similar characteristics to carbon fiber, except that it is much cheaper because it is slightly inferior. 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 very hard, very lightweight, very tough, and strong. A fun fact about G-10 is that it is regarded as the toughest of the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta. The G-10 that is used on this knife is a matte black.
This Spartan blade features a carbon fiber overlay with a plain black G-10 underneath. The carbon fiber has been woven together in a typical, basket like weave. The overlays are kept in place by three small screws. The ergonomics of this knife help it to fit in your hand more comfortably: there is a slight curve to the spine and bottom of the knife. There is also a shallow finger groove that extends onto the carbon fiber overlay. The butt of the handle is pretty diagonal. And there is a lanyard hole drilled into the butt of the handle. To help with control over the knife when slicing, there is a very short row of jimping on the spine of the blade right before the handle begins.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clop on this knife matches the G-10 part of the handle. This pocket clip is only a tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. While it is not a skeletonized clip, there has been an arrow-shaped hole carved into it. The clip matches the rest of the hardware on this Spartan Blades knife.
This is a folding knife that sports a thumb stud to assist you in opening it with a lockbar locking mechanism.
The thumb stud is one of the older mechanisms designed to open a knife and is in place of the nail nick that is found on more traditional pocket knives. This mechanism makes for a very easy and simple opening—the stud sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. You use your thumb to push against this stud and the blade will flip open and lock into place. One of the only drawbacks to opening this knife is that it puts your hand very close to the blade itself when you are opening the knife. And, as a side not, some of the Akribis pivots are stiff when you first get them. This will go away if you open and close your knife a couple of times.
The blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long with a thickness of 1/8-.1250 inches. The hardness of the blade is from 58-60HRC. The handle on this knife measures in at five inches long. The overall length when the Akribis is opened is 8.5 inches. This knife weighs in at 5.248 ounces.
The designers of this knife are Mark Carey and Curtis V. Iovito.
Carey is the Co-founder and co-owner of Spartan Blades. He entered the military service in the U.S. Army in 1984 and completed his first tour of duty as a light infantry soldier in Ulm, Germany. He was then assigned to a mechanized unit at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He volunteered, was selected and trained as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant. He specialized in all aspects of medicine, unconventional warfare with an emphasis on counter terrorism and sniping. While serving in Special Forces he developed an interest in business, logistics and entrepreneurial development. He completed a career of over 21 years with numerous sensitive deployments and missions throughout Asia. Upon his retirement from the Army, Mark worked as the Director of Overseas Operations—Kuwait, for a local armor development corporation, planning and managing a multi-million-dollar contract. He quickly realized that he could combine skills developed by working with foreign governments and the business world. Mark teamed up with Curtis, a former Special forces teammate with a prove reputation of awesome knife designs to form Spartan Blades, LLC.
Iovito is a native of Bolingbrook, Illinois where he spent most of his childhood hunting and camping along the Dupage River. Cutis entered military service as a U.S. Marine and at the completion of his first tour as a nuclear security guard, reenlisted in the U.S. Army. He was then assigned to the rangers where he participated in the combat airborne assault of Rio Hato, Panama during Operation “Just Cause”. He volunteered, was selected and trained as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. He specialized in all aspects of unconventional warfare with an emphasis on counter terrorism and sniping. While serving in Special Forces he developed an interest in knife making which he advances by making custom knives for his buddies in 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). He completed his 20 + year career after numerous sensitive deployments and missions throughout Asia and the Middle East After his retirement from the Army, Curtis worked as the Marketing Director for a large armor development corporation. He quickly realized that he could combine his rapport building skills developed by working with foreign governments with the business world. It only made sense to combine these skills with his love of knives to form Spartan Blades, LLC. Curtis teamed up with Carey, a former Special Forces teammate.
The Spartan Blades Akribis folder is a finely crafted folding knife that boasts a double deep cryogenically treated S35VN blade with a flat black PVD coat. Akribis means Sharp and Precise–a fitting name for this folder. This liner lock knife uses meteorite grey finished titanium in the frame and has ceramic bearings in the locking bar that ensure a positive closing bias. The handle has carbon fiber inlays. The lock bar is a Rick Hinderer design. This knife has a tip up carry clip. This knife breaks conventions by offering you a tactical knife that can be carried on the battlefield, in the boardroom or on your daily adventures. Pick up your new knife at BladeOps today.