Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade Knife Review

Microtech began in 1994 in an apartment and then later continued in a storage shed in Vero Bach, Florida.

When the company was founded and throughout their history ever since, Microtech has been trying to accomplish one mission: to create the best knives possible. It has now been over two decades and they are headquartered in Western North Carolina. Microtech is still operating with that same mission with everything that they do. Their goal is to maintain the highest standards of quality possible.

Microtech utilizes exclusively American-Made manufacturing materials and labor. They say, “Every component we use is developed within the United States and more than 95% of all our components are manufactured in-house, by us directly. Because we use only the best quality materials, and to ensure our commitment to excellence, every Microtech knife is backed by our Lifetime Warranty.”

Every knife that they produce is sharpened by hand in their facility. The knives go through rigorous testing, research, and development to ensure that Microtech meets the impeccably close tolerances and extremely high standards of quality. They say, “We aim to continuously evolve and push the boundaries of expectation, delivering products that set the standard for precision cutlery. From all of us at the Microtech family, we thank each of our customers, as well as those who serve us and our country through the United States military, law enforcement and first responder services. Designed for exactly that reason, our Service Personnel Program aims to provide the best possible tools to those who rely on them the most.”

They know that it is because of their fans that makes it possible for Microtech to pursue their mission of creating the world’s best cutting tools and they want to thank you for that.

Today we will be discussing the Microtech Custom Apex fixed blade.

Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade
Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. This steel is produced by Bohler-Uddeholm and is a high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum-alloyed steel. Tis steel is going to have 1.7% carbon, 18% chromium, .3% manganese, 1% molybdenum, .8& silicon, and 3% vanadium. This combination of different materials gives the metal a high wear resistance, high compressive strength, superior corrosion resistance, and also the stability and ability to retain its size and form after taking abuse or taking on a harder task. High wear and high corrosion resistance is a hard combination to find on a steel, but this steel’s powder-metallurgy based production allows for its imperviousness to wear and corrosion. The steel is hardened to 57-59 HRC usually, although some companies do push that and harden it to around a 62 HRC. This steel does have good edge holding ability. Elmax steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold using a powder-metallurgy process, which Bohler-Uddeholm is known for using in a variety of their stainless steels. This process involves blending fine powdered materials, pressing them into the desired shape, and then heating it to bond the material.

The blade has been finished with a DLC Apocalyptic Stonewash. This means that the blade has undergone two finishes. The first is a DLC, which stands for diamond-like carbon coating. This coating is a deep black, which does give the knife a sleek, discrete look. The biggest advantage of a DLC coating is that it is the hardest coating that can be put on a blade’s surface. DLC is also a low friction finish, so it does help the knife to make better and easier cuts. However, this is a very expensive finish, sometimes even doubling the overall cost of the knife when it has this coating. The second finish on this knife is the stonewash finish, which is creating when the steel is tumbled in an abrasive material. The stonewash finish helps to hide scratches and smudges. The blade on the Apex does have an Apocalyptic Stonewash, or a black stonewash, which is when the blade has undergone an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation helps to enhance the blade’s ability to resist rust because it places a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. With the black stonewash and the DLC, this blade is going to be extremely durable and low maintenance.

The blade shape itself is very unique. It does have a spear point, but it also sharpened on the upper half of the blade as well as the traditional cutting edge. This is an extremely broad spear point, with a large belly or cutting area. The spear point is most often compared to the needle-point blade because it is good at piercing. However, the spear point blade also sports a belly that can be used for slicing, while the needle-point is solely for piercing. The spear point blade shape is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. It is so good at piercing because both sides of the knife (belly and spine) rise and fall equally, which creates a very centered point. The spear point has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. And because both sides of the blade are sharpened, it is going to be able to pierce even more efficiently. While the typical spear point blade does have a small belly, the spear point on the Apex has a very large belly that will be great for slicing through almost anything.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Apex is made out of G10. G10 is a fiberglass based laminate. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in resin before being compressed and baked. This process creates a material that is extremely hard and strong, while also being lightweight. This material is a great option for tactical, survival, and outdoors knives because it is rugged, can take a beating, is lightweight, and doesn’t require too much maintenance.

The G10 on this knife is black, which creates an all-black knife. This is sleek, but also cuts down on glares and reflections for when you are in the field and don’t want your position exposed. The hardware on this knife is bronzed, which does contrast nicely with the handle and give it some definition.

The spine of the handle curves inward first, which does give you a solid and comfortable grip. Following the first groove on the spine is a second, which goes until the butt of the handle. These grooves will help when you are using this knife for the heavier duty tasks. It will give you a comfortable grip, while also helping to provide you with a very secure grip. The belly of the handle is more unique. There is the finger guard, but it actually comes after a deep groove. The first groove and the finger guard are there to protect you from the wicked sharp and thick blade. There is a deep finger groove for you to really rest your finger in, giving you more spaces to really get a grip on this knife—which is what the handle is all about. After the finger groove, the knife curves inward until the butt of the handle. The G10 has also been textured, which will really give you a solid grip on the knife.

Each characteristic on the Apex’s handle is about giving you the most secure, comfortable, and safe grip on the knife. With such a large, thick, sharp blade, you are going to want all the safety features you can get on the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife, which means that there is no mechanism or moving part on it. There is a debate going on about whether fixed blades or folding knives are better. While folding knives do have their benefits such as being more discreet and a little more convenient, fixed blades have plenty of benefits to compete.

For starters, they are crazy strong and big. You can find fixed blades in almost any size, but no matter which size you choose, it is going to be extremely strong. Their blades are also usually longer and thicker than that on a folding knife, because the blade does not have to fit inside of the knife’s handle. Because of this, you can get more done and you don’t have to worry about your blade snapping. Next, because fixed blades don’t have a mechanism or moving parts, you don’t have to worry about them breaking or wearing out. On a folding knife, you have to worry about the spring and the hinge. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain and clean. Lastly, fixed blades like this Apex are going to be the superior tactical tool as well as being the superior survival tool.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a Kydex sheath with bronzed hardware as well as a Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride material that is most commonly used in creating holsters and sheaths. This is a modern material which means that it is going to have some advantages that only a modern material can have. Some of these are that it is has a Rockwell hardness rating of 90 which makes it almost scratch resistant. It is also waterproof and it is not going to stretch or shrink over time, so the knife is always going to have the same fit. Kydex sheaths are very durable and can remain unaffected when exposed to chemicals such as skin acids and other mild chemicals. Kydex is a great material for extreme environments and can even be submerged in salt water without having negative side effects. Overall, Kydex is mostly low maintenance. This is great for a tactical, survival, or outdoors knife, because you won’t have to worry about the sheath if you are ever out I the field for long periods of time.

Of course, the sheath is also going to have its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages that is complained about the most is how noisy it is. There is no way to pull your knife out of the Kydex sheath without making sound, which means that you aren’t going to be able to use this knife in a stealthy way. Also, because this material is not going to stretch or shrink over time, if the sheath doesn’t fit your knife exactly how you want it to, you are out of luck. Lastly, one of the biggest disadvantages is that you do risk dulling your blade’s edge when you keep pulling the knife out of the sheath and putting it back inside.

Overall, Kydex offers a very long-term, durable sheath. But it does come as is, so if you don’t like it when you first get it, you most likely aren’t going to like it later on.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.625 inches long with a blade thickness of a beasty 0.2 inches. The overall length of the Custom Apex measures in at a whopping 10 inches—big enough to get any job done. This is a heavier knife weighing in at 12.2 ounces. This Microtech knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Microtech Custom Apex fixed blade knife was designed by both Anthony Marfione and son Sean Marfione–the second collaboration between the two. This extremely wide-profiled Elmax blade features a spear point style so it’s actually sharpened on the upper half of the blade as well as the tradition cutting edge. The handle is comprised of a G-10 composite and is coupled with bronzed hardware for a truly custom look. The 3-D machined handle is expertly designed–offering appropriately placed finger guards and several choil locations for multiple grip options. Make no mistake about it–this knife is as comfortable as they come. The Custom Apex also includes a carbon fiber finished Kydex sheath, also complete with bronzed hardware, with Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok attachment. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.