CRKT 2020 Sting Fixed Blade Knife Review

 

CRKT says, “CRKT® (Columbia River Knife and Tool®) was founded in 1994. From day one, we put innovation and integrity first. We made a commitment to build knives and tools that would inspire and endure. We collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand®.”

This company was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. The company did not actually take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduced. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan was a success. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of the product was sold out. In fact, they sold at 4-5 times original production numbers which resulted in a tripling of production efforts.

The company produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has 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.

Today we will be talking about the CRKT 2020 Sting fixed blade.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is A.G. Russell, who is from Rogers, Arkansas. CRKT says, “Simply put, A.G. Russell eats, sleeps and breathes knives. He was the first member of the Knife Digest Cutlery Hall of Fame, a founding member of the Knifemakers’ Guild, founded the Knife Collectors Club™, and started the first mail order knife business. Even with a pedigree like that, if you ask him what he enjoys most, he’ll still tell you it’s designing custom knives.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 1050 steel that has been hardened to a 52-55 HRC. This is a carbon steel with only carbon and manganese added to the iron. This series is known as the 10xx series, because the second number, in this case 50, refers to the amount of carbon in the steel. This steel will have .50% carbon. This is one of the lower levels of this steel, but will work well in this fixed blade. This steel is also often found in swords.

CRKT Sting 2020
CRKT Sting 2020

The blade has been finished with a black powder coat. This powder coat is going to help prolong the life of the blade because it protects the blade by acting as a barrier in between the elements and the steel. Because of the coating, the wear resistance and the corrosion resistance of this blade are going to be significantly improved. Not only that, but this knife is designed for stabbing and this coating can help lessen the drag on the blade for quicker stabbing and faster withdrawal. Unfortunately, coatings also do have their drawbacks. For example, this coating is a lesser quality coating which means that it is going to chip or scratch off with use and time. While all coatings eventually do this, the powder coating is going to be more likely to scratch off as well as scratching off more quickly. Also, sometimes the coating is applied unevenly, which creates ridges and spots where the knife is not even. This can hinder how well you can stab or slice with the knife.

The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. A spear point is similar to the needle-point because they are both designed for piercing. However, the spear point does have a stronger point as well as a slight belly that can be used for slicing. The blade is made out of a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that liens up exactly with the equator of the blade. This blade is double edged, so you can pierce very well with it. The spear point also has a tip that is durable enough for piercing—ideal for this tactical blade. Spear points also do contain a belly that can be used for some cutting and slicing, although if you compare the belly to that of a drop point or clip point, it is going to seem extremely small. The spear point is known as a hybrid blade because it has a good balance between piercing and slicing. It also has the sharp point that you would find on a dagger with the strength that compares more to a drop point, while also having a belly that can be used.

The blade on this knife does have a dual plain edge. Both edges of the spear pint have been sharpened and both have a plain edge. The plain edge is going to provide you with cleaner cuts, while also being easier to sharpen, even if you are in the field. However, plain edges do need to be sharpened more often than serrated blades do. The plain edges are going to allow you to take on a wider variety of tasks as well, so if you ever need to use this knife for more than a tactical blade, you are going to be able to do that. The plain edge is not going to inflict as much damage as a serrated edge would, but it will be easier to push into your target and then pull it out as well.

 

The Handle:

The handle is also made out of 1050 steel, because it is a full tang knife. This is a durable steel that is going to get the job done. However, in its series, it is one of the lower end steels.

The handle is relatively simple for a tactical knife. The spine and the belly mirror each other, each with a large finger guard that will keep your fingers safe in the rare case that you slip when you are using this knife. Following the finger guard is a deep finger groove which will give you a solid and comfortable grip—even if you have to be using this knife for long periods of time. After the finger groove, the spine and the belly are straight and angle towards the butt of the handle. For texture on the handle there is a divot carved out near the blade as well as another divot carved out in the middle of the knife.

The butt of the knife does sport a wide lanyard hole, which will be able to fit almost any lanyard that you want to put in it. Having a lanyard on a tactical blade allows you to take on messier tasks, because it can provide texture.

 

The Mechanism:

This tactical knife is a fixed blade. The knife has been made out of one long piece of continuous steel. This means that it is not going to have any spots on the knife that are weaker than others. Because it has been made out of one piece of steel, the knife is going to be more durable and tougher—allowing you to take on harder and more complicated tasks without worrying if it is going to break your knife. This is ideal for a tactical blade; where you need it to not fail you in the heat of the moment.

A fixed blade is a type of knife that does not have a mechanism. Some people prefer their knives to be a folding knives, even their tactical knives, because they are more easy to conceal, more convenient, and can be almost as tough as a fixed blade. That being said there are plenty of benefits to having a fixed blade as your go to tactical knife. For starters, they are big and strong. This means that the blade is going to be longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside of a handle. The thicker the blade is, the tougher it is going to be. Plus, because the blades and handles are bigger and more durable, the knife is less likely to break. Another reasons that they are less likely to break is because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. This also makes them easier to maintain because you don’t have to worry about the innards rusting or not being able to get clean, thus destroying the knife. You also don’t have to worry about the hinge, which is extremely important for a folding knife. Along with maintenance is cleaning, which is ten times easier with a fixed blade. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and oil the blade occasionally. Lastly, fixed blades are the superior tactical tool because they can be brought into play faster than a folding knife. These situations are ones where every single second counts; the fixed blade is definitely the better option.

 

The Sheath:

            The knife comes with a nylon sheath. Nylon is a very common material when it comes to knife sheaths. They are often compared to leather, because those are some of the most common used materials. Just like leather, they are tough and strong. However, they are resistant to rot and mildew, which is something that leather is not. This means that a nylon sheath is also going to be tough to scuff or tear. As for its disadvantages, nylon sheaths don’t last as long as leather ones. Nylon is cheaper, which is great, but it also means that it is not going to last as long as a leather sheath. While leather sheaths fit your knife better as time goes on, nylon sheaths get stretched out over time which means that your knife won’t always fit securely inside it’s sheath. While the nylon sheath will continue to work after it is stretched out, it just won’t keep your knife as safe as it could.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.197 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.137 inches. The overall length of this fixed blade measures in at 6.85 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.9 ounces, which is a lighter weight for a fixed blade.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT is discussing this knife, they say, “This Blade Was Meant for Walking. A fixed blade tactical knife featuring two edges and one solid piece of hot forged steel, it knows its place—clipped to your boot.

Crafted by A.G. Russell of Rogers, AR, The Sting™ displays one of the inventors of the modern knife industry’s attention to detail. After all, despite all his awards and achievements, he is first and foremost a custom knife maker.

A virtually indestructible spear point blade begins life as an ordinary blank of 1050 carbon steel, similar to the alloy used in traditional Samurai swords. It’s then hot forged and precision ground into its final shape. Dual cutting edges give you twice the protection and double the attitude. We then apply a black non-reflective powder coat finish to resist corrosion in tactical environments that are as tough as you are.

Grab hold of the handle and feel how it’s perfectly contoured to fit your bare or gloved hand. Notice its heft, balance and thumb detents for grip. There’s even a large lanyard hole so you can use it with a wrist lanyard, or carry it as a neck knife. When it comes to defense, this blade means business.

The CRKT® Sting™ comes complete with a custom nylon-stitched sheath with a glass reinforced nylon insert and a strapping option for versatile gear attachments or a clip for attaching it to your belt, pack or boot. Wherever it sits on your gear, it won’t be sitting there for long.

Strap it down and take it into any situation. It’s ready to battle with any environment.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps and have yourself a new favorite tactical knife.

 

 

 

Kershaw Decimus Knife Review

From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing. Kershaw says that the real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Even their inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable.

Kershaw says, “You can always look to Kershaw for every day carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from tis plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactual knives that ensure you’re ready for anything.”

Kershaw was founded in 1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. Whether it’s a hardworking pocketknife, a hunting knife, or a special collector’s edition, Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high quality materials, and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw has a commitment to innovation and pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. Their SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. They introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in their Blade Traders. Recently, their Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels in to one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling Kershaw to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And they promise to keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.

Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd, a member of the Kai Group. For over 100 years, Kai has been Japan’s premier blade producer. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a popular budget brand of knife steel. This is a Chinese steel; if you were comparing it to another steel, the closest in composition is a Japanese AUS-8 steel. This steel demonstrates very worthy characteristics of cutting. With a suitable heat treatment of steel, the products made of 8Cr13MoV steel retain the sharpness for a long period of time. This steel also has a high corrosion resistance, which is surprising based on the quality of the steel. Because this is a softer steel, the blade will keep sharpening well and be easy to sharpen. Overall, this steel has a good balance of strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. The biggest advantage that this steel has to offer is how inexpensive it is. While this is a cheap steel, it can stand up to daily wear and tear. But, this steel is not going to compare to the newer super steels that are on the block.

The knife has been finished with a BlackWash, which is also known as an acid wash. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. An acid stonewashing or black stonewash finish is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blade is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches that can occur with use overtime.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a spear point blade shape. This is a similar blade style to the needle-point blade because they are both meant for piercing and piercing well. However, the spear point blade is stronger and does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. A spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. In contrast to the needle point blade, which has a very sharp but weak point, a spear point knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. Spear point blades contain a small belly which can be used for some cutting and slicing applications, but the belly is pretty small, especially when compared to drop point and clip point knives. The spear point knife is a really good hybrid knife, because it maintains a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while still maintaining some of the belly that you can be used for slicing. This is a very functional design.

The Decimus blade is plain edged, which is ideal for this everyday carry knife. The plain edge allows you to take on a wider variety of tasks. It will also give you cleaner cuts, be easier to sharpen, and will take a finer edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is stonewashed stainless steel with a glass-filled nylon overlay.

Stainless steel gives this knife high durability while being resistant to corrosion, but it is extremely heavy. Stainless steel handles tend to be slippery, which is where the glass-filled nylon comes in.

Glass-filled nylon is a thermoplastic material that is super strong, practically indestructible, and resistant to bending and abrasion. Plus, this is a cheaper material to produce. This material is so near to being indestructible because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This material is similar to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, except that those materials have their fibers arranged in a single direction. This is why glass-filled nylon is so much stronger. This is such an inexpensive material to make because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. One of the issues that people find with glass-filled nylon is that it does not have a lot of character and feels cheap.

The handle is one of the more unique parts of the knife. Each side of the handle has a large flipper/finger guard that protects your knife from slipping, while also giving this knife a medieval look. Right after the finger guards, on each side, there are two shallow finer grooves. The butt of the handle tapers to a flat end. Near the butt, on the spine and the belly of the handle, there is a short row of thick jimping. This jimping will allow you to have a better hold on your blade while you are cutting.

The stainless steel portions of the handle are rugged and give the knife a well-worn look. The glass-filled nylon provides enough grip that you won’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hands in most environments.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is finished satin and slightly skeletonized. The clip is kept in place by two black screws that match the handle, and some of the hardware. The rest of the hardware is silver. The pocket clip is reversible with right and left handed carrying. However, the clip can only be attached for tip up carry.

 

Kershaw 1559 Decimus
Kershaw 1559 Decimus

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that is equipped with SpeedSafe Assisted Opening mechanism, a flipper opening mechanism, and a frame lock locking mechanism.

Kershaw was the first to bring SpeedSafe assisted opening knives to market, launching a revolution in opening systems—and winning numerous industry awards along the way. Originally designed by hall of Fame knife maker, Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. Today, almost all knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife, but none matches the popularity or proven durability of the original. SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual pull back on the flipper. The heart of SpeedSafe is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into positon, ready for use. The SpeedSafe makes the knife very safe to use. When the user overcomes the resistance of the torsion bar, SpeedSafe assists in opening the knife. Once opened, a locking system secures the blade in position so that it does not close accidentally. When releasing the lock, the blade won’t snap shut due to resistance provided by the torsion bar. Since the torsion bar provides a bias towards the closed positon, it will normally hold the blade securely closed.

To open this knife, you will hold the knife handle vertically in one hand. Place your index finger on the top of the flipper and gently apply downward pressure on it. The Decimus will open quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place. The flipper is a small protrusion that extends out of the spine of the handle when it is closed.

In a frame lock knife, the knife handle consists of two plates of material on either side of the blade. To ensure a secure lock up, one or both of these plates is usually metal. When the knife is opened, the metal side of the frame, the lock bar, butts up against the backend of the blade and prevents the blade form closing. To close a frame lock knife, the user pushes the frame to the side, unblocking the blade, and folds the blade back into the handle. Like locking liner knives, frame locks are manufactured so that he locking side of the frame is angled toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias toward the locked positon. Both the blade tang and the lock bar are precisely angled so they fit together for a secure, reliable lockup. The thickness of the frame material blocking the blade open makes the frame lock extremely sturdy.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Decimus measures in at 3.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. When the knife is opened, it measures in at 7.5 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Based on Rick Hinderer’s Maximus, the new Kershaw Decimus offers a heroic look—and makes for a very distinctive EDC. The 8Cr13MoV blade is a single edge bayonet grid with BlackWash finish for a handsomely dangerous look. It opens quickly and easily with SpeedSafe assisted opening. The flipper itself is mirrored by a symmetrical protrusion on the back side of the knife, providing a short cross guard to keep your fingers safe. The handle is steel with a stonewashed finish and black, glass-filled-nylon overlays that have zigzag texturing inspired by the custom texture on the original Maximus and designed for both secure grip and good looks. As an additional detail, the handle also has a Hinderer-style filler tab with stonewashed finish. This new design from Kershaw and Rick Hinderer is sure to draw admiring glances every time you use it. The Kershaw Decimus will be your best friend throughout each of your days; able to take on almost any task that you throw at it. Pick up the brand new Kershaw Decimus today at BladeOps.

Benchmade 101BK Follow-Up Knife Review

The Benchmade Knife Company is a knife manufacturer run by Roberta and Les de Assis in Oregon City. Its products are geared toward many niche markets, such as outdoor sporting cutlery, rescue, law-enforcement, martial-arts, and military. The company has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers since its inception.

Benchmade started in California in 1979 as Bali-Song, changing its name in 1988 to the Pacific Cutlery Corporation. In 1990 the company moved to Clackamas, Oregon. In 1996, the company moved to a 144,000 square foot facility in Oregon City. Benchmade became known primarily as a manufacturer of butterfly, or Bali-song style knives, which it continues to manufacture. These knives have been so identified with the company that Benchmade has registered “Bali-Song” as a trademark and logo. Benchmade’s original Bali-Song design by Jody Sampson was awarded Blade Magazine’s knife of the Year Award in 1979.

As of February 2009, the company was employing approximately 150 people. Benchmade has had several years of growth and has expanded both the variety of knives it produces and the facility itself.

Blade steels such as 154CM, D2, CPM S30V steel, CPM S90V, CPM 20CV, N680 and M390 are used on many models. Benchmade is one of the few manufacturers to have offered high speed M2 and CPM M4 tool steels in a production knife.

Benchmade receives a significant amount of revenue from selling restricted-sales knives to the military and law enforcement. Benchmade produces a diverse selection of auto, or switchblade knives, along with a range of hunting, fishing, utility, and miscellaneous knives, however balisong’s remain a core product.

Benchmade has three different classes when it comes to their knives. The first class is the Blue Class, also known as the Recreation Class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for typical use by the everyday person. The next class is the Black Class, also known as the Professional class. This type of Benchmade knife is made for military, law enforcement, and public safety workers. They are knives made for more challenging work. The last class is the Gold Class, also known as the Collector Class. This class of Benchmade knife is made for collectors and are limited edition.

Benchmade also has a long tradition of incorporating knife design form noted custom cutlery makers into their production models. These include Jody Sampson, Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz, Mel Pardue, Bill McHenry, Mike Snody, Jason Williams, Warren Osborne, and Bob Lum. Several production Benchmade models based on the work of these designers have become influential within the industry.

Today we will be discussing their brand new knife, the 101BK Follow-Up.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Benchmade knife is made out of CMP S30V premium stainless steel. This steel hardness to a 58-60HRC level. This steel is made and designed by Crucible steel industries specifically for knives. This steel is a martensitic stainless steel that is designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Crucible says, “Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance.” CPM S30V also offers a higher improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels that are similar, such as 440C and D2. One of the biggest things that this steel can offer is its high corrosion resistance; it can resist rust with ease, which significantly cuts down on maintenance time. Crucible also explains the CPM process, “the CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.” CPM S30V steel is known for having the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. This is a tricky balance to get down, because normally the harder the steel is, the less tough it is. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that because of the high hardness, it does prove to be tricky to work with.

The steel of the blade has been finished with a black coating. There are a variety of benefits to having this blade coated, ranging from it prolonging the life of the blade to simply giving this knife an aesthetically pleasing look. First, a coating works to prevent corrosion. This is because the coating is an actual layer that lays between the steel and the environment. Because of this layer, it is harder for the effects of the environment, such as humidity, to reach the blade. Next, a coating also eliminates shiny surfaces, which can become a necessity if you are using this knife in the field or for tactical reasons. The coating also cuts down on wear, because anything that happens to the knife will happen to the coating before it gets the blade. That being said, one of the biggest drawbacks to a coated knife is that all coatings are going to scratch off eventually. This can be caused because of high amounts of use or just really heavy use. But as soon as the coating is scratched off, it has to be recoated to provide the same protective qualities.

This knife has been designed to be an everyday knife as well as a tactical knife; so the obvious choice for blade shape is the drop point—and that is exactly the one that Benchmade chose. The drop point blade shape is an all-purpose knife that is known for standing up to even the toughest of tasks; because of that, it is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. The shape of the knife 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 results in a lowered point. Lowered points add an element of control to the knife, which means you can perform fine detail work with the Follow-Up. The lowered tip is also very broad, which is where the drop point blade shape gets its characteristic strength. Because of the tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blade are commonly found on tactical knives. The drop point blade shape makes for a great every day carry blade because of the large belly, or cutting edge, that makes it a breeze to slice with this knife. There is really only one major drawback to the drop point blade shape and that is because the tip is so broad, you are not going to be able to pierce easily.

 

The Handle:

Benchmade 101 Back-Up
Benchmade 101 Back-Up

This is a fixed blade knife, so the handle is also made out of CPM S30V steel. The handle has also been coated just like the blade has. The coating is going to prolong the life of the handle just like it is going to prolong the life of the blade.

To cut down on weight, because stainless steel is going to make a heavier knife, the handle has been completely skeletonized. Not only does this cut down on weight, but it also makes it easier to hold and provides you with a more secure grip. Another characteristic that gives you a more secure grip is that there is thick jimping along all of the edges of the knife. This jimping is going to add texture and let you have more control when you are cutting with this knife. The last aspect that gives you a more secure grip is that the knife sports a very large finger groove. As an element of safety, there is also a very large finger guard, which will prevent you from cutting yourself if you do end up slipping.

As an added bonus to the 101BK Follow-Up, the butt of the handle has been skeletonized to give you a very large lanyard hole. You can use a lanyard on this knife to wear it as a neck knife throughout your day-to-day work. Or using it as a neck knife could come in handy when you are using it as a tactical knife and want to have quick access to the knife. A lanyard will also let you attach the knife (and sheath) to whatever you want.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a full tang fixed blade. For starters, not as many people like fixed blades as they do a regular folding knife. This is because a folding knife can be more discrete and easier to conceal, which means that not as many people will know that you have a knife. Plus, folding knives are convenient and ca be easily transported in your pocket. However, there are plenty of other advantages to having a fixed blade; many that even rival the advantages of a folding knife. For starters, fixed blades are stronger and bigger than many folding knives. This is because the blade does not have to fit in the handle, so the blade can be longer than the handle and thicker than most of the blades that you are going to find on a folding knife. Folding knives are also less likely to break because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. Because of the lack of moving parts, fixed blades are even easier to maintain. When it comes to cleaning it, you don’t have to worry about the hinge and cleaning is straightforward and simple. And, an advantage that is especially important when it comes to the Benchmade 1001 Follow-Up is that fixed blades have superior tactical use. Fixed blade knives can be brought into play faster than a folding knife during tactical situations.

A full tang knife means that the entire knife is made out of one piece of metal. This is a major advantage because there are no weaker parts of the blade or handle where it is going to break apart.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a Bolatron sheath. Bolatron is a fire retardant, extruded thermoplastic alloy that offers extreme durability, chemical resistance, while also exhibiting exceptional physical properties. The sheath is going to be extremely strong and you won’t have to worry about it warping. This sheath is also not going to absorb liquids, which is ideal for this tactical knife. If you are in the field, you don’t want to worry about your sheath breaking down and leaving your blade unprotected. The sheath is a classic black with the Benchmade logo stamped in the middle. Plus, the sheath has plenty of holes and strap grooves to attach it to anything. However, because it is a plastic, and a very hard plastic at that, with repeated drawing of the knife and re-sheathing of the knife, the blade edge can get a little bit dull.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.60 inches long, with a blade thickness of 0.140 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 5.99 inches long. The Follow-Up weighs in at 2.03 ounces and the Boltaron sheath weighs in at 0.62 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Benchmade says, “This small convenient fixed blade is at the top of the curriculum in Self Defense 101, hence the numeric designation. It is a first option for a wide variety of EDC activities and an excellent last resort option for back-up and self-defense applications. LE and Security personnel will tuck it behind other belt mounted gear, while EDC users may elect to wear it as a neck knife for a quick, convenient access.” The CPM S30V steel is tough, durable, and extremely resistant to corrosion. The blade has been coated, which prolongs the life of the blade. With the steel and the coating, this blade proves to be a very low maintenance blade. The handle of this knife has been skeletonized to cut down on weight and give you a more secure grip on the knife. This Benchmade knife comes with a super durable Boltaron sheath. Pick up this Benchmade knife today at BladeOps.

CRKT Carnufex 5480 Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool company was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed by Kershaw Knives. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years now, 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. Some of the designers that they have collaborated with are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steven Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending which include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, Lock Back safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

However, they didn’t always collaborate with the best designers and have their own patents. CRKT took almost three years before it truly took off. It was at the 1997 Shot Show when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple). This was a small folder, which was designed by Ed Halligan. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of product was sold out. Since then, they have continuously progressed, developing a fantastic reputation, and maintaining that reputation.

CRKT has recently released a brand new knife called the Carnufex. This is a simple folding knife that can perform much more than simple tasks.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This steel comes from a series of Chinese steels. There are a variety of formulas in this series of steel—the best is the 9Cr steel. 8Cr steel is the next best one in the series and is commonly compared to AUS 8 steel, however 8Cr steel is the inferior steel between the two. This steel is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust well. However, since it is a softer steel, you do have to keep on top of your maintenance. Make sure that you clean and oil this blade often. Since this is a softer steel, it is an easy steel to sharpen. In fact, most beginners will be able to pull this sharpening job off. You can also get an extremely fine edge on this blade and the sharp edge will last for long periods of time. The biggest advantage thatiop0- this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. With it, you get a good balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. But, you still do get what you pay for, so while this is an average steel that will be able to take on the majority of tasks, it will not excel at anything.

The finish on the Carnufex blade is a satin finish. The satin finish is created by sanding a steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material; the abrasive material is most commonly sandpaper. One of the main purposes of a satin finish is to showcase the lines in the steel. This is a classic finish that is also one of the most popular finishes on blades today. In terms of the look, the satin finish is a medium finish. The mirror finish is more reflective than a satin finish and a coated finish is going to be more matte. This look provides you with a very traditional look to your blade.

The blade on the Carnufex has been carved into a modified spear point blade shape. The spear point blade shape is very similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. But, they do differ because the spear point is stronger and it contains a small belly that can be used for some slicing. The spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. One of the most commonly found knife styles that sports a spear point blade shape is on throwing knives. One of the other differences between a needle point blade and a spear point blade is that the needle point blade has a very sharp but weak point whereas a spear point blade has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. Another one of the benefits to the spear point blade shape is that it has a lowered point that is easily controllable. This means that it is very useful for detail work and for fine tip work. One of the reasons that makes this style of knife versatile is that it has a small belly hat can be used to manage some cutting and slicing applications. However, if you do compare the belly to a knife with a large belly such as a drop point or a clip point knife, the belly is extremely small. This is considered a hybrid blade design that is extremely functional. The spear point design offers you a great balance between piercing capabilities and slicing abilities. It has the sharp point of a dagger or needle point knife and sports the strength that a drop point blade has behind the tip. Plus, it also has that belly that is used for slicing.

The blade sports a plain edge. The plain edge is the more traditional edge between plain edge, combo edge, and serrated edge. The plain edge is easiest to sharpen out of the three options because it doesn’t sport any teeth. The plain edge is the best type of edge for push cuts, slicing, peeling, and skinning.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 2Cr13 Stainless Steel. This is a newer steel that has ground breaking properties. This is a very stainless steel, because the alloy works to reduce how porous the steel is. The stainless steel is particle-reinforced for added strength and resilience. Immersion tests have revealed that this steel has a finer matrix structure resulting in an increased tinsel strength and the electrostag remelting process used in manufacturing it makes it highly versatile. The stainless steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. After the steel has been tumbled, it is smoothed out and polished. This creates a textured, rugged look. It is usually a dark, matte gray. One of the best benefits to a stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the handle for long periods of time.

CRKT 5480 Carnufex
CRKT 5480 Carnufex

The handle on this knife has inlays made out of Glass Reinforced Fiber, or GRF. This is a thermoplastic material. This is extremely strong, it is resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, it’s cheap. With this material, the fibers are all arranged haphazardly throughout, which is why it is such a strong material. In similar materials, such as G 10 or Carbon Fiber, the fibers are all arranged in a single direction, which means when it is stressed in a different way, it tends to become very brittle. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a variety of way in the production process. This leads to high volume manufacturing and low cost. One of the drawbacks to this material is that some people feel as if it has a cheap plastic feel to it.

The inlays on this knife do add enough texture to provide you with a very strong grip in almost any situation. This is a huge bonus because the stainless steel is slippery, like most stainless steels are.

The black GRF is designed to look like a dinosaur fossil, which contrasts nicely against the smooth silver of the stainless steel. To help add more grip, there are two finger grooves. The first one is the classic finger groove shape, with the second one being extremely shallow and elongated. There is also a finger guard to help protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Carnufex is a silver clip to match the handle. It is not skeletonized and has “CRKT” stamped on it. This is not a reversible pocket clip. The clip is kept in place by two, small, silver screws. These screws match the rest of the hardware on the knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a folding knife that is assisted by a flipper. The flipper is a shark’s fin shaped protrusion that is part of the blade. When the Carnufex is closed, the protrusion comes out of the spine of the blade. To deploy the blade, you pull back on the flipper and it puts enough pressure on the blade to flip it open and then lock it into place.

The Carnufex also sports the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot system. This system was designed by Flavio Ikoma and Rick Lala. The system uses lubed ball bearings that are set into the folding knife pivot. The result is a rapid blade deployment that is smooth and fast. CRKT says, “Go ahead, set a flipping land speed record.”

The Carnufex knife also features a frame lock. The frame locking mechanism is very similar to the liner locking mechanism except that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging 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.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Carnufex has a blade that is 3.975 inches long with a thickness of 0.148 inches. The overall length of the knife is 9.063 inches and sports a closed length of 5.098 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.8 ounces.

 

The Designer:

The Carnufex was designed by Flavio Ikoma. He says while some kids dream of being a ballplayer, Flavio always dreamed of being 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 and evolved the classic locking liner with the ILS safety.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT described this knife they said, “Make mincemeat of your daily tasks—dino style. The Carnufex™ everyday carry folder is modeled after a keystone dinosaur predator—and for good reason. The form influences function for this attractive, shapely folder, and tears apart anything that gets in its way. Flavio Ikoma of Presidente Prudente, Brazil designed the Carnufex™ to be an aggressive take on a general utility knife. This everyday carry folder’s unique look is modeled after the prehistoric ancestor of the crocodile, and the streamlined design and textured inlays look distinctly reptilian. The unique, eye-catching designs of the handle serve to set off the no-nonsense stainless steel blade. Flavio Ikoma is the inventor of the IKBS™ Ball Bearing Pivot System and puts it to work with the Carnufex™. After all, a knife named for a reptilian hunter should deploy swiftly and smoothly. The stainless steel stonewash handle features a glass-reinforced nylon textured inlay meant to replicate the prehistoric reptile for which it’s named. The Carnufex™, in Latin, translates to butcher. Put anything in its way, and watch it mow straight through.”

As you can see, this knife is truly a game changer. Flavio has provided us with a unique, sleek look. This is a high quality knife that will be the perfect addition to your collection. Pick yours up at BladeOps today.

Chris Reeve Cross Hatch Small Sebenza Knife Review

Chris Reeve Knives began operations on January 1, 1984 in a one car garage in Durban, South Africa, when Chris changed his life from full time Tool and Die Maker/part time knife maker to full time knife maker. For a couple years he was the only employee but gradually and steadily, the company has grown to reach its present position as a well-equipped manufacturing company and a note brand in the industry.

The road between 1984 and January 2016 has not always been smooth. For many years, the endeavor was under funded but with determination Chris and Anne put all they had into producing the best knives possible, within the resources available. In March 1989, they moved from their native South Africa and settled in Boise, Idaho. That move in itself was a major undertaking but vital for the future of the company.

Chris has always “pushed the envelope”. Whether on a motorcycle or behind a belt grinder, he dreamed of being a world champion. He did not win a motorcycle world championship but in many respects, the standing of CRK today represents one. His induction into the Cutlery Hall of Fame in June 2015 could be considered his championship trophy. The single though in Chris’ mind has always been to design every model with deliberation, taking into account how the knife works, its intended purpose and the most appropriate materials. On this foundation, CRK now enjoys a worldwide reputation for outstanding design, exceptional execution, and the closest tolerances in the industry—all backed by excellent customer service.

CRK is a vibrant business, has great staff of well-trained employees, and remains a company with a worldwide reputation for raising the standards bar—“pushing the envelope”—for the industry.

Here at BladeOps, we are proud to carry Chris Reeve knives and support his dream and championship. Today, we are going to be going over his Cross Hatch Small Sebenza.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Cross Hatch Small Sebenza has been made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve introduced an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel and named it S35VN. S30V had excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides is what brought extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, it is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. However, it was extremely hard to work with. In S35VN steel, they used a much finer grain structure and adding small quantities of niobium, which is where the N comes form in the name, they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while improving toughness and ability to sharpen. In the real world, however, you will find the two near-indistinguishable. Many would argue this is the ultimate in ‘mainstream’ knife steels and you would struggle to find any steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the money. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, if you love S30V steel, it would be hard to not love S35VN steel. They updated all of the problems that people encountered with S30V steel. S35VN steel is extremely easy to sharpen and work with.

This steel has been finished with a stonewashed finish. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. With this type of finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finish blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type o finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. Stonewashed finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finish. A very positive benefit of a stonewashed blade is that it is a low maintenance finish and preserves the look of the blade overtime.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a style of knife that slopes on the spine of the blade form the handle of the knife to the tip of the blade. This allows the spine of the blade, where the blade is thicker and thus stronger, to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating

Chris Reeve Crosshatch
Chris Reeve Crosshatch

any pitch momentum when stabbing. The curve on the top of a drop point blade is always convex, which is what distinguishes it from a clip point blade. This is one of the most common blade types, the drop point is most popular within the realm of hunting knives and larger pocket knife blades, but his blade style also works well as a tactical or survival knives. The slow curved manner, creates a lowered point which offers more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidently nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reasons that this blade shape is so popular and versatile is because drop point knives features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the only real disadvantages of the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. When you choose a knife with a drop point blade shape, you will be choosing a great all-purpose blade that can be used in many situations, expected or unexpected.

The Small Sebenza has a plain edge. Plain edge blades excel at push cuts, where you push the edge against the thing you’re trying to cut. Good examples of push cuts are when you’re shaving with a razor or whittling a piece of wood. Plain edge blades are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain edge blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, trimming your nails, or peeling an apple. The advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. With a plain edge blade, you directly affect its purpose by changing how you sharpen it. The plain edge is perfect for day to day needs as well as a wider variety of tasks.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of 6A14V Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It’s a little heavier than aluminum but is still considered a lightweight metal and much stronger. Alas, it’s more expensive to machine. Titanium is one of those rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. It is very sturdy, yet still springy. However, Titanium does suffer from being prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel. Titanium can be given a unique and attractive color through the anodization process and on the Cross Hatch Small Sebenza has a tan anodized front handle scale. The back handle scale is also titanium, but it is a dark sandblasted finish. This is when sand gets blasted at the handle scale at high pressure. A blasted finish reduces reflection and glare due to its even matte surface. The blasting creates an increased surface area and micro abrasions make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. This material is still far from indestructible and not all alloys are as strong as stainless steel. The special CGG, Computer Generated Graphic, Cross Hatch graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This texture is going to provide you with a very solid grip whenever you are using this knife.

The handle has a slight finger guard to protect your fingers from getting sliced. It also sports a finger groove carved out for you to rest your finger in and providing you with a comfortable grip. There is a black lanyard attached to the butt of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip matches the back handle scale and is attached by a small screw. The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only n the traditional side of the handle. This is a removable pocket clip.

 

The Mechanism:

The Small Sebenza features an integral lock. This was created by Chris Reeve and the first knife that it appeared on was the Sebenza. Chris Reeve calls it an Integral Lock, but the common name used in the industry now is simply “Frame Lock”. The Integral Lock is essentially a reworking of the Liner Lock to simplify and strengthen the design by removing the handle scales form the knife and using thicker liners that would serve as the handles, the liner, and the integrated locking bar. This locking mechanism is extremely popular with hard use folders because they are stronger than normal liner locks and give the perception of simplicity and strength. An additional advantage that the Integral Lock has over the liner lock is that when you are gripping the knife, you are also reinforcing the lock since it is integrated into the handle.

The opening mechanism is a single thumb lug. This is an easy and quite common operation that is used to open up a folding knife. The thumb lug sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. It makes for a comfortable way to use one hand to open the knife. One thing to consider is how close this puts your hand to the blade itself. There are many accounts of people actually cutting themselves while opening their blade. It is easy for your thumb to slip and get sliced.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Small Sebenza is 2.94 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 6.875 inches long and it has a closed length of 3.935 inches. The small Sebenza weighs in at 3 ounces. This knife was made in the USA.

 

The Conclusion:

The Small Sebenza 21 features sandblasted handles, a tumbled finish drop point blade, 303 stainless steel hardware, and exterior accents in the Reeve signature anodized blue titanium. Built with handcrafted care at a production level, the Sebenza 21 has earned a worldwide reputation for rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. Designed for lifetimes of use, the Sebenza 21 was carefully developed to improve upon its predecessors. With every iteration, we seek to improve strength and longevity, while still maintaining the sleek profile and simplicity of the iconic Sebenza. The Chris Reeve Sebenza has become synonymous world-wide with quality, rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. First developed in 1987, the Sebenza has gone through only some minor changes over the years and in 2008, the Sebenza 21 was released to celebrate 21 years of this flagship model. This model features an Integral Lock® frame lock design that was built to handle a lifetime of use and abuse and each premium stainless steel blade is deployed with the single thumb lug. The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Cross Hatch” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This smaller model boasts a tan front titanium handle, a dark sandblasted back titanium handle, a drop point style blade in a tumbled stonewash finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.  Find yours here.

The Bear and Son 115 Silver Vein Balisong Review

The Outdoor Wire put together a perfect history of Bear and Son Cutlery: “This company all began in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility, a sister plant to w. R. Case and Sons in Jacksonville, Alabama, to create Bear MGC Cutlery. A lot has happened since then to establish Bear and Son Cutlery as a rising force in the knife industry.

After a series of twists and turns, including a time when the firm actually as owned by Swiss Army Brands, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as president. His son Matt, who began working in the factory when he was 18, is vice president, as is Ken’s wife Sandy, who has played a key role as vice president of purchasing and premium department.

With their supervisors and management team, they bring a combined knife experience of more than 290 years, including positions with Gerber, Case, Buck, Parker Edwards and Schrade. They head a skilled team of 82 craftsmen.

As Americans become more and more concerned about jobs lost to overseas sources, they resent it when they see the words “Made in China” on a product. And they have less confidence in the quality and reliability—especially if it’s a knife.

Bear and Son Cutlery meets the test because 100% of their high quality knives are made in their state of the art Jacksonville, Alabama plant, where they do all their own tooling, pressing, heat treating, grinding, hafting, finishing and assembly.

‘Our fundamental positon is clear and absolute: we make high quality knives, and we make them all right here in the USA,’ said Ken Griffey. ‘And when we say Made in America, we mean everything—set steels, every component right down to the tiniest screws, and of course every step of manufacturing. We’re a family company and we are dedicated to keeping it exactly that way.’

With a wide range of knives—from big Bowies to popular Butterflies—Bear and Son covers almost every knife need. Bear and Son Cutler is a family business that insists on top quality knives and is dedicated to America.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 1095 Carbon Steel. This is the most popular 10 series standard carbon steel with low corrosion resistance and average edge retention properties. So why would you even want 1095 steel? The appeal here is 1095 is a tough steel that’s resistant to chipping, it’s easy to sharpen, takes a crazy sharp edge, and is inexpensive to produce. This makes it desirable for larger heavy duty fixe blades and survival knives which are going to be subject to more abuse than your typical EDC.

The finish on this knife is a coated black finish. This coating finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will then have to be recoated. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and do require less maintenance.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything, then you’ve come to the right place.  A drop point is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger blades in Swiss army knives. To from this blade shape, the back, or unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. There is really only one disadvantage of the drop point blade and that is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. It is this tip strength that is crucial in survival knives. When you are choosing a knife with a drop point blade, you are choosing a knife that is going to help you in a wide variety of situations, whether it is the expected situations or the unexpected.

The Bear and Son 115 Butterfly knife has a plain edge. The plain edge is one continuous sharp edge and is far more traditional. The plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge I superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge is going to work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those application involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. And, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a razor polished edge. Plain edges are going to serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another one of the key advantages of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly.

 

The Handle:

The knife handles on this Butterfly knife are a speckled black and grey casted zinc. Having zinc knife handles is one of the most unique aspects about this knife. Zinc is not commonly used in knife handles; however, zinc has been here for years. US architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries relied on the chemical substance for making sheet based roofs. Zinc is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to increasing demand for eco-friendly products. Zinc is known as spelter in commerce and is a silvery white metal that is mined from the earth. Long before zinc was used to manufacture alloys such as brass, which is a combination of zinc and cooper, and was used throughout the world for a variety of applications that included weapons buckets, and wall plaques. By the end of the 18th century, Europeans had begun smelting zinc and the process spread to the US by the mid-19th century. Some of zinc’s best qualities is its ability to keep away corrosion. In fact, because of the ability to keep away corrosion, zinc is used for coating iron and steel to inhibit corrosion. Another advantage of since is that it is one of the most durable metals out there. Thirdly, zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, so it makes sense to use it for everything we can. Plus, zinc is considered a “green” material. Zinc is known for being eco-friendly because it requires less energy for production than other metals because of its lower metal point and because zinc is completely recyclable.

Because this is a butterfly knife, there are actually two handles that unfold and attach together to form one larger handle. There are oval cut outs all the way down both of the handles.

 

The Mechanism:

Bear & Son 115 Butterfly
Bear & Son 115 Butterfly

The Bear and Son 115 is a butterfly knife, which is also known as a balisong, a fan knife, and sometimes even a Batangas knife. This type of knife was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. Hollow ground butterfly knives were also used as straight razors before conventail razors were available in the Philippines. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called “flipping”, are performed for art or amusement. Blunt versions of these knives, called “trainers”, are for sale to practice tricks without the risk of injury.

While the meaning of the term balisong is not entirely clear, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog words baling sungay (broken/folding horn) as they were originally made form carved caribou and stag horn.

This specific balisong is called a sandwich constructed balisong. This means that the knife is assembled in layers that are generally pinned or screwed together though may sometimes use a ball bearing system. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rest between the layers.

There are a couple of main parts on a balisong that we will go over. First, the bit handle. This is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade and will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. This is the handle that usually has the latch on it.

The second part is the choil. The second part is the kicker. This is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

The third part is the latch. This is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Magnets are occasionally used instead. It also keeps it from opening up when the user doesn’t want it to.

Fourth, the latch gate. This is a block inside the channel of the handles that stops the latch from impacting the blade.

Fifth, the tang pins. This pin(s) is meant to hold the blade away from the handle when closed to prevent dulling and in some cases, a second pin to keep the handles form excessively banging together while the butterfly knife is being manipulated.

Sixth, the safe handle. This is the handle, which generally is the handle without the latch, that closes on the non sharpened edge of the blade.

 

Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long. The knife has an overall length of 9 inches long with a handle length of 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The 115 series of butterfly knives are one of several new knives released by Bear & Son Cutlery this year. This line of knives has expanded off of the popular 114 and 113 series of knives by offering different handle colors with the same traditional blade finishes and options. Offered in a wide variety of sizes, colors and finishes, these butterfly knives showcase pin construction and the blade smoothly operates on bronze phosphorus washers and precision ball bearing surfaces. This model, 115, features speckled black and grey casted zinc handles, a closing latch with a double tang pin design and a drop point style blade in a black finish. The zinc handles are eco-friendly and one of the most durable materials that you are ever going to work with. The drop point style blade is going to help you work on a large variety of tasks, form the everyday tasks that you expect to the unexpected emergencies that tend to pop up. Pick up your new favorite butterfly knife today at BladeOps.

 

CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade Knife Review

Born in Oregon in 1994, Columbia River Knife and Tool is an American company 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. CRKT operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To do this, they have been collaborating with the best knife designer sin the world. Some of these designers are Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steven Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. Out of these collaborations have been born plenty of groundbreaking and innovative inventions. CRKT now owns fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these patents include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men had been formerly employed by Kershaw knives. And while they did found this company is 1994, it took until 1997 to truly take off. It was at the Shot Show of 97 that they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This was a small folder that Ed Halligan had designed and it was a massive success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of the product had sold out. They sold at 4-5 times the original production numbers, resulting in a tripling of production efforts. They now produce a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

CRKT has a fixed blade called the Strafe. This is the knife that we will be going over today.

 

The Designer:

The man behind the Strafe is Lucas Burnley. He is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When you ask Lucas what drew him to the knife world as a teenager, he’ll tell you it was stories of survival, off path adventures with his father, and a healthy dose of action movies. Over the years, he has experimented with a broad range of styles to artfully combine classical examples with modern materials and techniques, such as with his Obake knife. Luas believes knives are a personal expression of independence, and CRKT couldn’t agree more with him.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Strafe is made out of 8CR13MoV steel. This is Chinese steel that comes from the Cr series of steels. Out of all the formulas in the series, 9Cr steel is the highest quality, with 8Cr steel falling shortly behind it. If you were trying to compare a steel with 8Cr steel, the most similar would be AUS 8 steel. However, out of the two, AUS 8 is the higher quality steel. 8Cr steel is considered a stainless steel, but it is not as premium as some stainless steels. This means that while it will work to resist rusting or corroding, you will have to keep up on your maintenance after working with your knife. It is a softer steel, so it will be easy to sharpen. And, as a bonus, it does maintain an edge for long periods of time. The hardness level that this steel has is HRC 56-58.  The biggest advantage that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. Keep in mind that you do get what you pay for though, so while this steel is a tough steel that is going to be able to tackle many tasks, it is steel an average rated steel.

The finish on the Strafe’s blade is a stonewash finish. This finish is created by tumbling the steel around with an abrasive material, which is usually small stones. After the blade has been tumbled around, it is removed, smoothed out, and polished over. This finish creates a very textured, well-worn look. It gives you a classy style while still looking rugged. The biggest advantage about the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the blade over time. Because this finish looks so textured, it easily hides scratches and smudges that the blade will accumulate over time.

The blade on the Strafe has been carved into a drop point blade shape.

CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade
CRKT Strafe Fixed Blade

This is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today and for good reason: it is a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to almost anything. One of the most common places that you are going to find this style of blade is one a hunting knife, but you will also find it on many other types of knives, such as Swiss army knives. To form the shape of the knife, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered point is what gives you such great control over the knife and it helps to add strength to the tip. And while the tip on a drop point is definitely not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it does have exponential strength. Because of the tip strength and ability to hold up to heavy sue, drop point blades are a popular option on tactical and survival knives. The reason that drop point knives are so popular on hunting knives is because of how easily controlled the blade is. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the reasons that this blade shape is such a versatile blade shape is because of the large belly area that provides plenty of length for slicing.  There are almost no disadvantages to the drop point blade except for its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape—which is a similar shape. But, you do need to keep in mind that it is that point strength that allows it to stand up to such heavy duty tasks that the clip point blade shape would not be able to withstand. When you choose a knife with a drop point, you are choosing a knife that can be used in almost any situation, whether it is the expected or the unexpected that you are facing.

The edge on the Strafe is a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge style that you can get and it is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material which is super strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. And even more, it’s super cheap! This is such a strong material because in GRN the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. This is a similar material to G 10, carbon fiber, and Micarta, except that the fibers in those other materials are arranged in a single direction. This is the reason that those other materials are so brittle, when the fibers are stressed in any direction other than the one that they are arranged in, they break down and fall apart. You don’t have to worry about that problem with GRN. With the fibers arranged in all different directions, it won’t break down when it is stressed in any direction. However, many knife lovers did not warm up to this material because they felt like it was cheap and somewhat hollow. Another drawback to this material is that it is not as “grippy” as G 10. This is an inexpensive material to produce because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of way in the production process. All these characteristics lends well to high volume manufacturing and hence the low cost. One of the other major benefits about GRN is that it has almost zero maintenance.

The handle is black and has been textured with extreme grip. This grip will give you a secure hold even in the wetter environments. While there is not a big finger groove, there is a finger guard to protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut. The handle is not as curved as other handles that you can find, but it does have a small curve to fit well in your palm to provide you with a comfortable grip over long periods of time.

 

The Mechanism:

The Strafe is a fixed blade. There is a definite battle going on between whether a folding knife or a fixed blade is the correct way to go. In all honesty, it really does come down to preference and what tasks you are expecting to perform with your knife. And while a fixed blade comes with a wide array of advantages, let’s be candid about the disadvantages for just a second. For starters, they are harder to carry and conceal. Secondly, fixed blades are usually regarded as tools for violent causes instead of a tool to help get jobs done. Third, a well-constructed folding knife is just as tough as a fixed blade would be.

But now, let’s talk about all of the crazy benefits that you are going to gain when you choose to carry a fixed blade. For starters, they are strong and big. You can really find a fixed blade in any size that you are looking for—from a small, handy knife to a monster blade. No matter what size you choose though, the same strength is going to be behind the blade. The second advantage is that they don’t break down easily because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. Third, they are easier to maintain—cleaning is straightforward and simple. All you have to do with a fixed blade is wipe it down, because there is no moving, small, or inward parts on a fixed blade. Fourth, the blades on fixed blades are longer, but still stronger than on a folding knife. Fifth, they can be used for superior tactical use. Fixed blades can be brought into play much faster than a folding knife during tactical situations. Sixth, fixed blades make for a superior survival tool. This tool can perform much more than just cutting, they can dig, split, prepare food, be used in first aid, be used as a hunting weapon, hammering, and even as a prying tool.

While you might not be quite warmed up to the idea of having a fixed blade knife being your go-to, there are so many reasons to choose the Strafe as your favorite knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, just like the handle is. This will provide you with a very strong, durable sheath that will last as long as your knife. The sheath comes in black.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Strafe is 4.612 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.184 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 9.5 inches long and it weighs in at 6.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT was talking about the Strafe they said, “Stealth like a ninja, power like a .50 cal. The Strafe tactical fixed blade is born of both an admiration for sleek Japanese designs and a fascination with US military combat blades. The blade shape is influenced by a classic tanto style and the slight design makes this knife swift in motion and extremely lightweight to carry. The field is full of unsuspected variables; the Strafe is built to address every last one. Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico built the Strafe to be the ultimate modern filed knife with traditional, classic undertones. It’s first and foremost a field utility knife, but it’ll always be there to run sweep. The lean, angular blade shape is rooted in its Japanese tanto heritage and is finished with a sleek stonewash finish. When matched with diamond cross section grip and shadow boxed scales, it looks like a relic fit for a display case, but this is a powerful and capable beast that doesn’t belong in a cage. The tough polypropylene sheath features a j hook accessory so it remains poised and at the ready at all times. In a combat situation, every second counts. The sleek, swift Strafe eats milliseconds for breakfast.” Pick yours up today at BladeOps.

 

Buck Impact Auto Knife Review

A young Kansas blacksmith apprentice named Hoyt Buck was looking for a better way to temper steel so it would hold an edge longer. His unique approach produced the first Buck Knife in 1902. Hoyt made each knife by hand, using worn-out file blades as raw material. His handiwork was greatly appreciated during World War II. Hoyt’s eldest son Al relocated from the Pacific Northwest to San Diego California after finishing a stint in the navy a decade earlier. Hoyt, and his wife Daisy, moved in with Al and his young family in 1945 and set up shot as H.H. Buck and Son.

Following the death of his father, Al kept the fledgling custom knife business going until incorporating Buck Knives, Inc. in 1961. Al introduced his son, Chuck, to the knife business at an early age and Chuck and his wife, Lori, were both involved when the company was incorporated. In 1964, the knife industry was revolutionized with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter, making Buck Knives a leader in the field. A position we hold proudly today.

Chuck worked his way up through the company serving as President and CEO for many years before handing over the reins to his son, CJ, in 1999. Chuck remained active as Chairman of the Board until his passing in 2015. Lori now serves on the Board of Directors and is actively involved with buck promotional events throughout the US, continuing Chuck’s legacy.

CJ, the 4th generation family member to run Buck Knives and current CEO, President and Chairman, started out with the company on the production line in 1978. He has been quoted saying, “We have been helping people thrive with reliable and trustworthy edged products for over a century. Since our name is on the knife, our quality, focus, and attention to detail is very personal.”

Hoyt and Al Buck’s ingenuity may have put the company on the map. But it is their ongoing commitment to developing innovative new products and improving what they have by third and fourth generation Buck family members that have made Buck the successful knife maker it is today. Frankly, it is what their customers expect forma Buck.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of S30V Stainless Steel. This steel formula is made by US based Crucible. The full name is CPM S30V steel, but it so often referred to as S30V steel. It has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used of the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, harness, and toughness. However, S30V is a little bit tricky to work with or to sharpen, which is one of the only drawbacks that you are going to find in this steel. It used to be a more expensive steel, but since Crucible released CPM S30VN steel, the price has significantly released. S30V is a pretty common steel these days and it is one of my favorites for my knife’s blades.

A satin finish is the most typical knife finish. It is slightly less shiny than a polished finish, and it less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. It has decent corrosion resistance, but less than polish of mirror finished knives. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polish. The most popular finish on production knife blades, it shows fine buffing lines with two directional finishes that better display the bevels of a blade.

The blade on the Impact has a drop point blade shape. A drop point blade’s spine curves, or drops, slightly down toward its point. Its convex profile gives it strength and makes it easy to stow in a sheath, contributing to its popularity as a utility knife among pointed blade styles. Its handling characteristics resemble those of clipped point styles, but with greater thickness at the tip that produces a sharp, strong point less usable for piercing. It excels at cutting tasks and those that resemble carving techniques. The single edge blade profile has earned wide adoption as a general purpose EDC knife, and in hunting, tactical, and survival knives. You’ll also find this shape on chefs’ knives and the larger blades in Swiss Army pocket knives. The drop point blade profile creates a blade with a strong, robust tip that is easy to direct when cutting or piercing. This is ideal for everyday carry and simple chores, the drop point profile is very popular and sued on a variety of pocket knives and fixed blade knives. This is one of the most common blade types. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited for piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

Buck Impact Auto Knife
Buck Impact Auto Knife

The blade on this knife has a plain edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and are for more traditional. The plain edge is also best at what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. In general, the plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. Generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge becomes more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Impact Auto is made out of aluminum and rubber. Aluminum is aery durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. When it’s properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium, which tends to be found on the more premium knives. To help add grip to the handle, Buck has added a rubber inlay to the palm of the knife. The rubber will give you a secure grip in almost any environment.

The handle has a slow curve across the spine of the handle to fit comfortably in your palm. The butt of the handle is slightly flared out opt give you a better grip. At the top of the handle, there is also a flare, that works as a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a deep carry pocket clip that is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is a cured clip that has a cut out at the top of the clip. The deep carry pocket clip is perfect if you are trying to conceal this knife throughout everyday tasks. The deep carry pocket clip will also keep your knife safer, because it can rest deeper and more securely in your pocket without the worry about it slipping and falling out when you are going about your everyday tasks. However, with a deep carry pocket clip, it will take slightly longer to draw out of your pocket when you do need to use it. In the majority of situations, this time is miniscule and will not make a difference, but if you are planning on using this as a tactical knife, keep that in mind.

 

The Mechanism:

The Buck Impact is an automatic knife. But it does feature a thumb hole. The first company to use the thumb hole was Spyderco, but over the years, other knife makers have jumped on the bandwagon and there is good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole works. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, it is ambidextrous. And many knife lovers favor a hole because, unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade.

This is an automatic knife, which is also known as a switchblade or a pushbutton knife. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a lever on the handle is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends the blade to the fully opened position. The blade is unlocked by manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position.

Switchblade knives date from the mdi-18th century. The earliest known examples of spring loaded blades were constructed by craftsmen in Europe, who developed an automatic folding spike bayonet for use on flintlock pistol and coach guns. Examples of steel automatic folding knives from Sheffield England have crown markings that date to 1840.

However, in 1954, Democratic Representative James J Delaney of New York authored the first bill submitted to the US Congress banning the manufacture and sale of switchblades, beginning a wave of legal restrictions worldwide and a consequent decline in their popularity.

Because this is an automatic knife, you will need to know your local knife laws before purchasing or carrying this knife because it could very well be illegal where you live.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Impact is 3.125 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7.75 inches long with a handle length of 4.625 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.1 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Buck Impact Auto:

  • The steel has the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention.
  • The steel is stainless, so it does resist rust effortlessly.
  • This steel has good value for the qualities that you get out of it.
  • The satin finish is a very traditional finish.
  • The drop point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade shape.
  • The drop point blade shape is very versatile because of the strong tip.
  • The drop point blade shape has a large belly that is perfect for slicing.
  • The plain edge well suited for the widest variety of tasks.
  • The aluminum handle is durable.
  • The aluminum handle is rust resistant.
  • The rubber inlay on the handle gives you plenty of grip for almost any situation.
  • The pocket clip is deep carry.
  • This is an automatic knife, so it will open quickly and efficiently.

 

The Cons of the Buck Impact Auto:

  • The S30V steel is harder to sharpen than less quality steels.
  • The drop point blade shape does not have piercing capabilities.

 

Conclusion:

Introducing Buck’s first automatic, the 898 Impact. The Impact engages with the push of a button and includes a safety slide. Once the safety switch is moved to the red, you simply push the button. The button lock style keeps the knife locked open and closed to prevent accidental deployment. The handle features a textured inlay for added grip. Weighing only 4.1 oz., this automatic knife is lightweight and easy to carry. The blade and handle are made out of very durable materials and the blade has a very durable blade shape—all of this means that this knife is going to be able to take a beating. Pick up your Buck Impact Automatic Knife today at BladeOps.

 

The Chris Reeve Think Twice Code Knife Review

Chris Reeve Knives began operations on January 1, 1984 in a one car garage in Durban, South Africa, when Chris changed his life from full time Tool and Die Maker/part time knife maker to full time knife maker. For a couple years, he was the only employee but gradually and steadily, the company has grown to reach its present position as a well-equipped manufacturing company and noted brand in the industry. The road between 1984 and January 2016 has not always been smooth. For many years, the endeavor was under-funded but with determination Chris and Anne put all they had into producing the best knives possible, within the resources available. In March 1989, they moved from their native South Africa and settled in Boise, Idaho. That move in itself was a major undertaking but vital for the future of the company.

Chris has always pushed the envelope. Whether on a motorcycle or behind a belt grinder, he dreamed of being a world champion. He did not win a motorcycle world championship but in many respects, the standing of CRK today represents one. His induction into the Cutlery hall of Fame in June 2015 could be considered his championship trophy. The single thought in Chris’ mind has always been to design every model with deliberation, taking into account how the knife works, its intended purpose and the most appropriate materials. On this foundation, CRK now enjoys a worldwide reputation for outstanding design, exceptional execution, and the closest tolerances in the industry—all back by excellent customer service.

CRK is a vibrant business, has a great staff of well-trained employees, and remains a company with a worldwide reputation for raising the standards bar—pushing the envelope—for the industry.

2015 saw the withdrawal of Chris from daily operations into semi-retirement; he continues to contribute to design and consulting. Of writing, the staff at Chris Reeve Knives is 40 people strong—a talented and motivated group who ensures their worldwide reputation for quality, functional knives continue. They look confidently to the future where Chris reeve Knives will show that exceptional design and quality craftsmanship are always desired.

Today, we are talking about the Think Twice Code, which is a Large Sebenza. 2012 was the 25th year of the Sebenza.

 

The Blade:

Chris Reeve Think Twice
Chris Reeve Think Twice

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. In 2009, Crucible and Chris Reeve introduced an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel and named in S35VN. CPM S30V has an excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. However, it was extremely hard to sharpen, so Crucible revamped it and thus is S35VN steel. They used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium (which is where the N comes from in the name) they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while also improving toughness and ability to sharpen. In the real world, many people will find the two near-indistinguishable. But, you are going to struggle to find an y steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for the money. The S30V steel was considered one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness, so just imagine how amazing the S35VN steel is going to be for you and your blade.

This blade has a stonewashed finish. This finish is achieved just like the name says—the parts are literally put in a huge vibrating bin with pieces of stone that are literally making thousands and thousands of tiny scratches on the surface of the part. It results in a nice, smooth finish with a somewhat mottled appearance. Some of the advantages of the stonewashed finish is that it is pretty durable and does not show wear very much. In addition, the process tends to make the surface of the blade smoother which helps shed moisture and help to minimize corrosion issues. The stonewash finish also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade will not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes.

The blade on the Chris Reeve Think Twice Code has been carved into a drop point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can essentially stand up to anything—this is going to be a great knife for you. A drop point blade shape is also one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. This blade shape is a great blade shape for hunting knives for a variety of reasons, although you are going to find this blade shape on many other types of knives as well. To form the blade shape, the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. It is because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that makes drop point blades a popular option on tactical and survival knives. The reason that this blade style is so popular on hunting knives is because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable. It is this lowered, controllable point that makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking integral organs and ruing the meat. Drop point knives feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing, which is why this is such a great EDC option. The large belly makes slicing a breeze, which also means that the majority of your everyday tasks a breeze. The only real disadvantage of the drop point blade is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point blade shape. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. Clip point knives are one of the other most popular blade shapes that you are going to come across. Both make for great EDC knives, because they both have lowered tips and wide bellies. However, a clip point is better designed for piercing, because the point is thinner, finer, and sharper. But, because of this, the tip is going to be more prone to breaking. The drop point blade is not suited for piercing, but it does have strength that you aren’t going to be able to find on a clip point blade shape.

The Think Twice Code large Sebenza 21 features a plain edge because it is more suited for a wider variety of tasks. The plain edge is better suited for push cuts, slicing, skinning, and peeling. This is the more traditional blade edge and it is going to be easier to get a finer edge on it. In general, plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge is superior when extreme control accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge will work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All of those applications involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. Generally, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have e a “razor polished” edge. A knife edge will become more polished when you move to higher and higher grit stones.

 

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6A14V Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It’s a little heavier than aluminum but still consider a lightweight metal and much stronger. However, it is also going to be more expensive to machine. Titanium is one of those rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. It’s very sturdy and yet springy. However, titanium does suffer from being prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel. Titanium can be given a unique and attractive color through the anodization process which is particularly common on custom knives. However, you should beware of the Titanium marketing machine. You’ll often see titanium being given more credit than it deserves through effective marketing. It’s far from indestructible and not all alloys are as strong as stainless steel.

The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Think Twice Code” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. There is a lanyard attached to the butt of the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This clip is attached by a single screw on the back of the knife

 

The Mechanism:

This knife features an Integral Lock frame design. Chris Reeve originally designed the Integral Locking mechanism, but the common name for it is a frame lock. The frame lock is a beefed up version of the liner lock. They’re very similar to liner lock mechanisms, except instead of an internal spring bar moving into place, it’s part of the handle itself. Frame lock knives tend to be stronger than liner locks, as the piece of metal that slips into place is more substantial than that in a liner. Because of their similarity to liner locks, closing a frame lock knife is virtually the same—push down on the spring bar so it no longer blocks the butt of the blade, remove your thumb from the path, then fold the knife closed. This type of looking system puts a large portion of metal against the blade, ensuring a strong lockup for piercing, cutting, slicing, another heavy duty tasks. Frame locks are seen in lots of mid to upper range knives, typically rafted from titanium. Not only do they add a unique look to the knife, but they’re also easily operated with one hand.

The opening assist is a single thumb lug. This is arguably the most common one handed opening feature. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward, you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on the Think Twice Code is 3.625 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 8.335 inches long and the handle measure sin at 4.71 inches. The knife weighs in at 4.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Chris Reeve Sebenza has become synonymous world-wide with quality, rock solid performance and a “bank vault” feel. First developed in 1987, the Sebenza has gone through only some minor changes over the years and in 2008, the Sebenza 21 was released to celebrate 21 years of this flagship model. This model features an Integral Lock® frame lock design that was built to handle a lifetime of use and abuse and each premium stainless steel blade is deployed with the single thumb lug. The special CGG (Computer Generated Graphic) “Think Twice Code” graphic is achieved with CAD/CAM software and then transferred to a CNC machine for milling and finally is PVD coated. This larger model boasts a titanium handle, a drop point style blade in a tumbled stonewash finish and the titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your Think twice Code Large Sebenza 21 folder knife today at BladeOps.

 

CRKT Directive Flipper Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool, or CRKT, was founded in 1994. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over 20 years now, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. They operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this, they collaborate with the best designers in the world. Some of these designers are 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. They also own about fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of these patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer, both of whom used to work for Kershaw Knives. The company did not truly take off until 1997 at that years Shot Show. This was when they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This knife was a small folder that Ed Halligan designed and it was a raging success. Within the opening days of the show, the years’ worth of product was sold out. CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

They recently released a brand new folder called the Directive. There are two different versions of this knife, but both of them are game changers. Let’s begin.

 

The Blade:

The blade on both versions of this knife have been made out of 8Cr14MoV steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from a series of steel. In the series of steel, the highest quality is the 9Cr steel, however 8Cr is close behind. This steel is most often compared to AUS 8 steel, however AUS 8 is the superior steel by a little bit. The biggest feature that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. It is a softer steel which does have some drawbacks, but with this formula, it is an advantage. This steel is easy to sharpen, can get a very fine edge on it, and surprisingly, the edge does hold for long periods of time. This is a stainless steel, so it does resist rust well. While this steel is can stand up to many tasks, it is still considered an average steel. So while it does hold its own, it won’t excel at any of the tasks.

Both versions of the blade sport a black oxide finish. This finish is also sometimes known as a blackening finish and is used to add the sleek black look that you can expect from this blade. This coating is a conversion coating for ferrous materials that is used to add mild corrosion resistance and for an appealing black appearance. However, it is a coating finish which means that it will scratch or peel off over time.

Like I previously mentioned, the knife does come in two different versions. The first version has a drop point style blade. The drop point style is a shape that can stand up to almost any task, is a great all-purpose shape, and is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is used on the market today. One of the most common places that you are going to find this lade shape in use is on hunting knives; however, it is also used on many other knives. To form the shape of this knife, the back edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. This creates a lowered point and the lowered point provides more control over your cuts and slices—this is one of the reasons that it is so popular on hunting knives; the hunter does not have to worry about nicking any of the inner organs or damaging the quality of the meat. The lowered point also adds strength to the tip, which gives this blade shape the ability to hold up to heavy use. Because of that, this is a very popular blade shape on tactical and survival knives. One of the last reasons that this is such a popular blade shape is because it sports a large belly. This belly makes slicing a breeze, making this knife a fantastic option for your everyday carry knife. One of the only disadvantages to this blade shape is that it does have a very broad tip. The broad tip is what gives this blade shape so much strength, but it also reduces your stabbing abilities. If you are looking for a knife that can easily stab, I would recommend checking out the clip point style blade. When you choose the version of the Directive that has the drop point blade shape, you will be preparing yourself for not only all of your expected tasks, but also the unexpected challenges that accompany your adventures.

 

The other version of the Directive sports a tanto blade shape. Something funny about the two options that you have is that the drop point is designed to be able to take on almost any task, while the tanto has been designed to take on one task and one task only. The tanto has been designed for piercing tough materials. This blade shape was designed after the Japanese long and short swords and was popularized by Cold Steel in the early 1980’s. The original style was designed to pierce through armor, so you know that this knife is going to be able to get through some tough things. The tanto is formed with a high point and a flat grind, which leads to an extremely strong point. The thick point of the tanto has a lot of metal near the tip, which makes it able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause many other knives to break or snap off. Something else that is unique about this blade shape is that the front edge of it meets the back edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. Because of this, the tanto blade style does not sport a belly. In this case, you sacrifice the belly for a stronger tip. This lack of belly is the biggest reason that this knife has not been designed for everyday use or as a general utility knife. By choosing the version of the Directive that has a tanto blade shape, you will own a knife that has been designed and tailored to pierce through those tougher materials.

 

Both of the versions of the knife have a plain edge. The plain edge has been designed to take on a wider variety of needs. The plain edge is the more traditional edge that excels at push cuts such as slicing, peeling, or skinning. Another one of the major benefits to the plain edge is that it is easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it than if it were a serrated or combo edge.

 

The Handle:

The handles on both of these knives have been made out of Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This is a thermoplastic material that is crazy strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and also practically indestructible. As a total bonus, it’s pretty cheap. What makes this material so strong and durable is that the fibers are all arranged haphazardly, as opposed to in one direction like the similar materials G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta. Those other materials have the fibers arranged in one direction, which means that if the material is stressed in any other direction, it is going to be brittle and prone to breaking or snapping. With GRN’s fibers being arranged so haphazardly, it doesn’t matter which direction the handle is stressed—it is going to stand up to it all. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process, this leads to high volume manufacturing and low cost. Many knife lovers did not love this material at first because they felt like it felt cheap and almost hollow. One of the other drawbacks is that it is not as grippy as G 10 is.

To help add texture, there are four slashes going diagonally across the palm of this knife. Near the butt of the handle, there is a row of deep, thick jimping. Here is also jimping on the bottom of the handle, which allows for plenty of grip security in both the traditional as well as the reverse position. There is a finger groove as well as a finger guard to protect your fingers from sliding and getting cut.

On the butt of the handle, there is also a lanyard hole. This offers you a variety of benefits, from being able to fold your lanyard across the palm to provide you more texture to simply wanting a taste of your own style on this knife. The lanyard lets you easily attach this knife to your belt or pack strap; giving you easy access when you do need it, but keeping it out of the way when you don’t need it.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip, as well as the hardware is all black making this a completely black knife. On the middle of the pocket clip CRKT has stamped their logo. The pocket clip is kept in place by two small screws. This is a 4-way positional pocket clip, which means that you can carry it tip up or tip down as well as carrying it on either side of the handle. This is a huge benefit because you can carry it in whichever way feels the most comfortable to you.

 

The Mechanism:

CRKT Directive
CRKT Directive

This is a folding knife that sports a flipper opening as well as a locking liner mechanism. The flipper mechanism is a small triangular portion of the blade that juts out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. To deploy the blade, you pull back on this flipper which gives enough resistance to flip the blade open and lock it into place. This is an efficient way to open it quickly, and you don’t have to worry about your fingers getting sliced, because the flipper opening mechanism keeps them safe and out of the way during the whole process.

The liner lock is one of the most common mechanisms that is seen on folding knives. The key component to this mechanism is a side spring bar located on the same side as sharp edge of the blade, “lining” the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When fully opened, the tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, keeping it firmly in place and preventing it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb to push the spring bar down so that it clears contact form the butt of the blade. This lets you use your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb from the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife. One of the advantages to this mechanism is that it allows a knife to have two true handle sides.

 

The Specs:

Drop Point Version:

The blade on this knife is 3.624 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.136 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.438 inches and has a closed length of 4.828 inches. This version of the knife weighs in at 4.4 ounces.

Tanto Version:

The blade on this knife is 3.614 inches long with a thickness of 0.148 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.375 inches long and sports a closed length of 4.829 inches. This knife weighs in at 4.8 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

These knives were designed by Matthew Lerch. The blade will hold a very sharp edge for long periods of time and the handles are durable as well as completely ambidextrous. The locking system will guarantee that the blade doesn’t fold on your hand while in the middle of use and the 4 way positional pocket clip is the cherry on top of it all. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.