A Review of Four Manly Microtech Knives.

Microtech has been around for over 20 years. Throughout those 20 years, they have been working to design ground breaking, innovative, reliable, and quality knives. Microtech began in 1994, when Anthony and Susan Marfione created the first knife prototypes in their apartment. They released UDT the same year and began to gain ground in the knife world. The next year the company was the cover of the 1995 Fighting Knives magazine. Throughout the next years they have earned many awards and have produced some of the most popular knives on the market. Truly any of their knives would be a fantastic investment for you; I have chosen four different knives today, some of their most popular, best-selling, and most innovative knives.

 

The Ultratech

The Ultratech
The Ultratech

This is Microtech’s most popular knife ever and it first hit production in 1999. This is a Double Action Out the Front knife that has a 3.4-inch-long blade. The blade thickness is .13 inches, which is actually pretty thick for an OTF knife. The tip of this blade is strong and can stand up to your heavier duty everyday tasks. The blade steel is ELMAX, which is a newer steel type. ELMAX is considered a super steel; it has fantastic edge retention properties, it is very tough, and is very resistant to rust. You can get the blade in three different silhouettes: The tanto, the drop point, and the dagger. The blade is sharpened on both sides.

The handle is made out of 6061-T6 Aircraft-grade Aluminum. In 2015, Microtech redid the look of the Ultratech, the dimensions remained the same, but they added a tri-grip pattern onto the contoured handle. This tri-grip provides excellent grip and it makes the knife a little bit lighter and ergonomic. A few other things that changed in 2015 were the thumb slide and the handle edges. The thumb slide now has an “X” pattern that helps improve the grip and traction when firing the knife. Something unique about the Ultratech is that it includes a glass breaker, which does set this knife apart from the pack. The glass breaker on this knife is broader than it used to be and has a ball bearing for the tip. The broader tip is designed to be able to break glass better.

Overall, this knife is 8.48 inches long and 5 inches long when closed. This does make it a little long for an everyday carry, but it isn’t uncomfortably long just yet. The Ultratech weighs 3.2 ounces. This is a perfect weight for everyday carry knives because you don’t want something extremely heavy in your pocket, but you do want your knife to feel sturdy.

Pros of the Ultratech:

  • The blade is thicker than most OTF knives.
  • The tip of the blade is strong enough to endure harder tasks.
  • ELMAX holds its edge very well, is tough, and very resistant to rust.
  • Microtech added the tri-grip to provide fantastic grip.
  • This is the perfect weight for an everyday carry.
  • The knife sports a glass breaker at the tip of the handle.

Cons of the Ultratech:

  • This knife is on the longer end for an everyday carry knife.

 

The UTX-85:

The UTX-85
The UTX-85

The UTX-85 knife is a model of the Ultratech, but it has been reduced to 85% of the size, which solves the problem of people thinking it is too long. The UTX is actually a series of smaller Ultratech knives and the UTX-85 is the largest version of the series. The 85 features a fast and reliable dual action automatic mechanism that works to fire and open the blade.  The blade is 3.125 inches long made out of Bohler ELMAX steel. ELMAX steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold that uses a powder-metallurgy process. Because of this process, the steel has crazy edge retention and is very easy to sharpen. The blade is then finished in either stonewash, bead blast, satin, black, or black tactical.

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aircraft-grade Aluminum. This is a high grade aluminum that is tough, smooth, and very lightweight. Because of the handle material, the knifes overall weight is very low. On the handle, there is a firing or retracting trigger. This trigger is made out of 303 stainless steel. This trigger works by pushing it forward when you want to fire the blade and then pulling the trigger back when you want to close it. Just like the Ultratech, the UTX-85 sports a glass breaker at the tip of the handle. Plus, the handle has a pocket clip made out of 301 stainless steel. A fantastic feature of this knife handle is that it comes in a wide range of colors. Some of these colors are gray, black, green, and even an aqua.

This knife has an overall length of 7.5 inches long and weighs 3.1 inches. The length is the perfect size for an everyday carry knife, because it still is a big knife, but it doesn’t feel too big in your pocket. The weight of 3.1 ounces is the perfect weight for an everyday carry knife because it doesn’t weigh you down but it still feels sturdy. This is an affordable knife and you get fantastic value for what you pay. If you are looking for a personal knife, an everyday knife, or an outdoors knife, this is the perfect option for you. Plus, when you purchase this knife, you get a lifetime warranty along with it.

Pros of the UTX-85:

  • You get what you like about the Ultratech, but it is a smaller knife, so it doesn’t feel too long or heavy in your pocket.
  • The ELMAX steel is very sturdy, very resistant to corrosion, and has crazy edge retention.
  • The ELMAX steel is an easy steel to sharpen.
  • You can get a variety of finishes for your blade.
  • The handle material is tough, lightweight, and smooth.
  • The handle sports a glass breaker.
  • You can get the handle in a variety of colors.
  • This is an affordable option and you get great quality with it.

Cons of the UTX-85:

  • The handle is very lightweight while some people prefer a sturdier feel to it.
  • The trigger can feel stiff when you first get it, but it should loosen up as you use it.

 

The Scarab:

The Scarab
The Scarab

This knife is also a double action Out the Front knife, this just means that the firing button fires it and closes it. It is a similar size to the Ultratech, but it is actually a little bit wider. The blade is made out of ELMAX, but depending on availability, Microtech will change that. This knife has also been commonly produced with S30V steel. Both of these options are fantastic that hold their edges fantastically. When looking for a stainless steel, ELMAX and S30V steel are both fantastic options. Many OTF knives have quite a bit of blade play, but Microtech has outdone themselves with this design; you will get hardly any or no blade play. You can get this knife with or without serrations.

The handle is does have more of a square shape than you would usually find, but it is surprisingly still comfortable. The handle is made out of aluminum and has sandpaper-like grip tape inlayed on both sides of the knife. This is to provide you with excellent grip and it definitely does its job; you won’t have to worry about this knife slipping out of your hand. The handle is also coated—the most common color for this coating is black, but you can get it in other colors. The handle is put together with Microtech’s anti-tamper fastener screws, which prevents the user from disassembling this knife. On the top end of the handle is the firing button. This button is oversized and there are some complaints about it being too big; however, with it being so oversized, you can open it with gloves on. There is almost no way that you could accidently deploy this knife. The pocket clip is reversible, so you can carry it lefty or righty. The clip has been bead blasted and then the Scarab logo is on it.

The overall length of this knife is 8.38 inches long. When this knife is closed, it is 4.63 inches long, which is a great everyday carry size because it doesn’t feel too big when it is closed.

Pros of the Scarab:

  • It is an ideal everyday carry knife.
  • The oversized firing button means that you can open it even with gloves on.
  • This is a hard knife to accidently deploy.
  • The steel on the blade is high quality steel.
  • Has a double action out the front system.
  • The blade has very little play to it.
  • The grip tape provides you with fantastic grip.

Cons of the Scarab:

  • Some people do not like the oversized firing button.
  • This is a very large knife.
  • The anti-tamper fastener screws turn away some knife enthusiasts.

 

The Combat Troodon:

The Combat Troodon
The Combat Troodon

The Combat Troodon was Microtech’s flagship knife of 2006. This blade is 3.75 inches long made out of ELMAX steel. This is a super sharp knife that holds its edge for very long periods of time. It is a double edged dagger blade. Just like the previously mentioned knives this is also a double action out the front knife. You can get this knife with a plain edged blade or a partially serrated edge blade.

The handle of the Combat Troodon is made out of aluminum. It has machined grooves on it that adds grip. Something interesting about this knife is that the trigger is actually on the spine of the handle which makes it easier to fire the blade and then transition to using the knife. Out of most out the front knives, this one locks up tighter and more secure than most. Usually, out the front knives are pretty thick because of the mechanisms that they have to hold inside; however, the Combat Troodon is a lot slimmer and lighter, especially for the size of the knife. At the bottom of the handle, the knife sports a sturdy glass breaker spike.

The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long and the closed length of this knife is 4.25 inches long. This is a great length for an everyday carry knife because it is not too long or bulky to keep in your pocket.  The weight of this knife is 5.5 ounces. This is a heavier knife than most everyday carry knives.

Pros of the Combat Troodon:

  • The blade holds an edge for long periods of time and is super sharp.
  • You can get the blade in a plain edge or a partially serrated edge.
  • The OTF mechanism is a double action.
  • The handle has grooves to give you better grip.
  • The trigger is on the spine of the handle, so it is easier to fire the knife and then go straight to using it without too much hand adjustment.
  • This OTF is slimmer and lighter than many OTF’s.
  • The blade locks up tighter and more securely than most OTF’s.

Cons of the Combat Troodon:

  • This is a heavier everyday carry knife.

 

Conclusion:

Microtech knives are known for the high quality materials that they use, which of course gives you a very high quality knife. Microtech’s focus is “to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas”. They have definitely succeeded at achieving their focus. Today I went over four popular knives: The Ultratech is Microtech’s most popular knife ever, the UTX-85 the same as the Ultratech just shrunk down to 85% of its size, the Scarab is also similar to the Ultratech except that it’s a little bit wider, and lastly the Combat Troodon is a slimmer out the front knife than you would normally find. All four of these options are fantastic. When you are looking for a new everyday knife, a new tactical knife, or a new outdoors knife, these four options would meet and then excel all of your expectations.

 

 

Microtech UTX-85 OTF Auto Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company, famous for its automatic knives. It was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994, and operated there until relocating to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005, and to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. In 2007 the company began manufacturing an American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms Research (MSAR).

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models.

Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot, have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close to the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. The most popular designs among collectors are the “Out The Front” and the “Double Action” automatics. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives, was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful spring and high grade bushing as opposed to a cheap import.

Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

In terms of media coverage, there was an episode of the TV series “24” that featured a Microtech HALO.

Microtech says, “For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves our facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, we strive to ensure our customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, our focus remains the same: deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. Thank you to our customers, for the years of loyalty and support, and for motivating us to better ourselves so that we may continue to rise above your expectations.”

Today we will be talking about the Microtech UTX-85 OTF automatic knife.

Microtech UTX-85 OTF Auto Knife
Microtech UTX-85 OTF Auto Knife

The Knives:

The blade on this knife is made out of M390 Stainless Steel. M390 is one of the new super steels on the block, manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm. It uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. Unlike ZDP-189 most carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, leaving more ‘free chromium’ to fight corrosion. M390 hardness to 60-62 HRC. Bohler calls this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel is relatively difficult to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The abrasive that is normally used is a fine sandpaper. The finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the satin finish looks. This is the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to find in the cutlery industry today. In terms of luster, the finish is right in the middle.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade style. This is the most popular blade style in the cutlery industry today and is a perfect all-purpose knife that really and stand up to almost anything. You are going to be able to find this style of blade on any knife ranging from a hunting knife to a Swiss army knife. The blade shape is formed by having the back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates 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. And because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, this blade shape is a great option on tactical and survival knives. And because the tip of a drop point is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. One of the biggest reasons that this blade shape is an all-purpose blade shape is because it features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. There is only one disadvantage to the drop point blade, and it is the relatively broad tip. This tip means that you are less capable for piercing than the clip point blade style. But, it is also the tip broadness that gives you the strength that you will not find on clip point style blades.

The blade on this Microtech knife is a plain edge, which better allows you to give clean cuts. The plain edge is also more capable of taking on a wider variety of tasks than a serrated edge would be able to. And, because there are no teeth, it is easier to sharpen this knife as well as getting a finer edge on this knife.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Most knives use a type of Aluminum Alloy called 6061-T6 aluminum, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum,” and sometimes this is seen as a gimmick, kind of like “surgical stainless steel.” Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large among of CNC machining, such as this knife, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

The handle on this knife has been anodized black. The anodization is created by submerging the aluminum in an electrolytic solution bath along with a cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution hydrogen is released from the cathode and oxygen forms on the surface of an anode. This results in a metal oxide film growing on the surface of the handle. The anodization creates a protective layer between the steel and the aluminum, as well as adding durability, toughness, strength, and a sleek black color.

The handle is very rectangular, with a couple of row of jimping across the edges of the handle in random places to assist with your ability to grip this knife.

On one side of the knife is the slide that will release the blade.

 

The Extras:

This knife has an attached integrated glass breaker function that rests on the butt of the knife. This means that this knife is going to be capable of helping you in emergency situations or in survival situations. This glass breaker is a bonus because when it comes to a knife, it is always a good idea to have it also be a multi-tool. The handle has standard hardware that is sliver.

 

The Mechanism:

This UTX is an automatic knife, but only is it an automatic knife, it is also an Out the Front knife. An OTF knife is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different from the other majority of knives, which are either standard folding knives or are fixed blade sheath knives that have no mechanical operation.
OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. OTF knives may be further subdivided into manual knives or automatic knives.

This Microtech knife is an automatic knife. This means that the blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. Then, within automatic out the front knives, there are two styles. There is either the double action out the front knife or the single action out the front knife.
The UTX-85 knife is a dual action automatic knife, which means that the blade deploys and retracts with a multifunction button and spring design. Wikipedia says, “Despite popular belief and movie magic, double-action OTF automatic knives are not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. Double-action sliding autos are only spring-powered 10 to 12 millimeters; afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open. This is possibly a misbelief based on confusion with the ballistic knife which has a secondary handle tube with a robust coil spring for launching a fixed blade knife. However, some single-action autos, such as the Microtech Halo V, have enough power to penetrate a human target.”

 

The Specs:

The blade on this UTX-85 measures in at 3.125 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.5 inches long. The overall length of the knife when opened measures in at 7.625 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.1 ounces. The Microtech UTX-85 was made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Microtech UTX-85:

  • The steel on this blade is a super steel, which means it has excellent toughness, durability, and reflectiveness.
  • The satin finish is one of the more traditional knife finishes that you can find.
  • The satin finish reduces glares and reflections slightly as well as increasing the corrosion resistance slightly.
  • The satin finish will never go out of style.
  • The drop point blade shape is tough, durable, and all-purpose.
  • The drop point blade has a large belly that is perfect for slicing.
  • The drop point blade is very strong and controllable.
  • The aluminum handle is durable.
  • The aluminum handle is very corrosion resistant.
  • The anodization process has made the handle tougher, stronger, and more corrosion resistant.
  • The knife has an integrated glass-breaker.
  • This is an automatic, double action OTF knife, which means that it will open quickly and efficiently.

 

The Cons of the Microtech UTX-85:

  • The blade steel proves to be difficult to sharpen.
  • The satin finish does not have as much character as some of the finishes that you can find in the industry.
  • The drop point blade is not capable of piercing.
  • The aluminum handle is prone to scratches and dings.
  • The aluminum handle will feel very cold during the colder months because it does have high conductive properties.
  • The automatic knife is not legal in all states, areas, or cities.

 

 

Conclusion:

The radically redesigned Microtech UTX-85 out the front knife now features a new contoured handle, updated tri-angle hardware, a redesigned thumb slide and the glass breaker that now includes a press fitted ball bearing for a more comfortable, but still functional, user experience. This fantastic dual action knife is the ideal size and as the name exhibits, the UTX-85 is 85% the size of the flagship Ultratech knife but with 100% of the capability. This model, the 231-4, boasts a black handle complete with standard hardware and an integrated glass breaker function along with a drop point style blade in a satin finish. You can pick up this Microtech OTF knife at BladeOps.

 

 

Microtech Bronze Sigil MK6 Knife Review

For over twenty years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves their facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus remains the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. Some of their most memorable moments include:

  • In 1994, the very first knife porotypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment.
  • The same year, they released the UDT which marked the official beginning of Microtech.
  • A year later (1995) they released the HALO, which earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
  • In 1999, the Ultratech hit the production and then became the most popular Microtech ever.
  • For the second year in a row, Microtech earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award.
  • In 2004, they released the Currahee, which was specifically designed for the U.S. Special Forces Boat Team 20.
  • In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
  • In 2012, two legends met as Anthony Marfione entered into collaboration with Mick Strider to create the DOC.
  • In 2014, the company celebrate their 20th anniversary with the launch of new packaging, a new Blade Show booth, and an anniversary coffee table book.
  • In 2015, the Ultratech underwent a major aesthetic revamp, with the introduction of the new tri-grip and thumb slide.

Today we will be talking about the Bronze Sigil MK6 Titanium Flipper Knife, with a black blade. Microtech is a reliable knife company that creates quality knives. These are the knives that you want to have with you when you are in an emergency situation, because they are dependable and have your back. If you take care of your Microtech knife, it will take care of you back.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. Elmax steel is produced by Bohler-Uddenholm and is considered a high chromium, vanadium, molybdenum alloyed steel. Elmax steel is an ultra-premium blade steel. Because it is a powdered steel, it has extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Because of the composition of the metal, the steel has a high wear resistance, high compressive strength, a superior corrosion resistance, and very good dimensional stability, which means that it has the ability to retain its size and from even after taking abuse. Elmax is a stainless steel but in many ways it does act like a carbon steel. With this steel you get a superb edge holding quality and a relatively easy sharpening ability while also maintaining a healthy resistance to rust. Often times, this steel is used in the higher end knives. When it was first introduced, it was quite pricey, but because of the market competition, the price has been driven down to reasonable levels. Elmax steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold using this powder-metallurgy process, a process that Bohler-Uddenholm uses for many of their premium stainless steels. Powder metallurgy is the method of blending fine powdered materials, pressing them into the desired shape, and then heating it to sinter, or bond, the material. Elmax steel is commonly used in many Microtech knives. Elmax knives can be used for multitudes of purposes, and can be found in knives in a wide range of categories. This steel is equipped with qualities that are ideal and crucial for outdoor and survival activates. For a knife that you want to be able to take a beating, this steel is the perfect choice.

The knife has been coated with a Diamond-Like-Coating, or DLC. On the Sigil, the DLC is a black. There are a variety of benefits to having a coated finish on a blade, but there are also a few drawbacks. A coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, all coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and at that time, the blade would have to be re-coated. In general, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. High quality finishes are bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint-like coatings. High end coatings, such as a DLC require that the blade go to a specialty coating facility for Physical Vapor Deposition application in a vacuum environment. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. And while quality coatings do add cost to a knife, they do add more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. In short, the DLC coating does add significant cost to the blade, but you get what you pay for, and the return on investment is high.

The Sigil has a Wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade is often confused with the sheepsfoot blade, but there are a variety of differences. This blade shape looks very much like a standard blade shape that is then turned upside down. This style of blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. All in all, the Wharncliffe style of knife is a very useful blade shape. This is an especially good option for people who work a lot in an office, because the flat edge excels at opening envelopes and box cutter type chores. On the flip side, it is not very good at preparing food or skinning, became of the lack of belly. It is generally accepted that a sheepsfoot blade has an abruptly curving spine at the tip of the knife, creating very little point, but a Wharncliffe has a more gradually tapering spine creating a pointier tip, and consequently more fragile.

This knife does sport a plain edge. The plain edge is capable of taking on a wider variety of tasks and will give you cleaner cuts. If you had a serrated edge, the cuts would look jagged, but you would be able to saw through some of the thicker materials. The plain edge is going to be multi-use, easier to sharpen, and you will be able to get a finer edge on your knife. If you are looking for a knife to fulfill a large purpose, this is the best direction to go.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of titanium. Titanium is al lightweight metal alloy, and it does offer the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It is similar to aluminum, although it is a little heavier but still considered a lightweight metal and much stronger. Because it is harder and heavier, it does mean that it is more expensive to machine, so that will add cost to this knife. Titanium has a unique quality that makes it have a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you hurt in the winter/colder months as aluminum would. Titanium is a very sturdy material, but it is prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel knife handles. Added durability, strength, and an attractive color can be added through an anodization process which is exactly what the Sigil has had done on it.

Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. The anodic oxide structure originates from the aluminum substrate and is compose entirely of aluminum oxide. This material is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. It has a highly ordered, porous structure that allows for secondary processes such as coloring and sealing. Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released form the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized. The Sigil has been anodized a bronze color.

Titanium is strong, which is perfect for high-end, high performance knives and gear because it is light and strong. Titanium is low weight and low density. Titanium is corrosion resistant and non-magnetic. Unfortunately, titanium is expensive.

To help with your grip on th

Microtech Bronze Sigil MK6
Microtech Bronze Sigil MK6

is knife, the handle has been carved with a pattern against the spine of the handle. There is a row of jimping on the spine, near the butt, to help with your control over the blade. The butt of the handle is carved with a lanyard hole. The handle has been curved to fit exceptionally well in your palm, giving you a comfortable grip, even after long periods of use. The butt of the handle has been pointed to be able to use as a weapon.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only. This clip is long, slightly curved to clip onto your pocket well. The clip has the same pattern as the handle carved into it.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a flipper knife. You can either use the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. In terms of opening mechanism, especially the one hand opening mechanism, the flipper is definitely one of the newest—at least in terms of popularity. While studs and holes enlist a thumb to open the knife, a flipper employs an index finger, and the feature is naturally ambidextrous. An essential element of a great flipper is a high quality pivot mechanism. And some of the phenomenal benefits to the flipper is that it keeps your fingers out of the way and safe during the entire opening and closing process. One of the other benefits to this knife employing a flipper mechanism is that the flipper protrusion locks into place and acts as a finger guard. This guard adds a second element of safety to using this Microtech knife.

The thumb window is a unique feature. Since the 1980s, the familiar round hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Over the years, numerous other knife makers have adopted/adapted the feature. And frankly, there is a good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole really does work. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, tis ambidextrous. And, many knife lovers favor a hole because unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade. A thumb window is just a larger thumb hole.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Sigil is 3.875 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.875 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 8.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.9 ounces. It was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Microtech Sigil and Sigil MK6 are some of the most sought-after folder/flipper knives on the market today. Once exclusively produced under the Microtech Custom category, these limited runs offered exotic materials, artistic finishes and a demand that seemed almost never-ending. At last, the production version of the Sigil MK6 is now in full swing–yet another once MCK turned production model. Knife maker Deryk Munroe, of Munroe Knives, had first collaborated with Microtech CEO Tony Marfione to bring about two exciting new future-forward designs–the Sigil and the Sigil MK6. The MK6 series is the larger of the two and boasts almost a 4″ blade while still providing all of the same stellar components and sleek styling. Every frame lock designed Sigil model rides seamlessly on a ceramic bearing system and can be operated with the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. This model, the 196-1BZ, features a distressed solid titanium handle in a bronze finish, standard bronze hardware coupled with a copper over-travel pivot plate, a Wharncliffe style blade in a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) black finish. Pick up your knife today at BladeOps.

 

Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company, famous for its automatic knives, that was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994, and operated there until relocating to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005 and to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. IN 2007 the company began manufacturing an American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms Research.

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances to within one thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives for used by the US Military such as the Halo, UDT, Socom, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. The most popular designs among collectors are the Out the Front and the Double Action automatics. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

And, once a Microtech HALO was featured on the television series 24.

Today, we will be discussing the Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed blade knife with the Apocalyptic Stonewash blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. This is a European powder metal steel that is used in the higher end knives. Elmax has an advanced formula and the result is a very good all-around steel, a generation ahead of formulations like 154CM. There has been some controversy on the Internet over the grinding and heat treat of this steel, but in most peoples’ experience, it has been nothing but great. A few years ago Elmax was really pricey, but competition has driven it down to a reasonable price, making it a decent value. This steel is made by European Bohler-Uddeholm and is a high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum allowed powdered steel which gives it extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax acts a lot like a stainless steel, but it is a carbon steel. With this steel, you get superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening, while still maintain a good resistance to rust.

The blade has been coated with an apocalyptic stonewash finish. 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. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion and the type of finish eh blade has before it enters the tumbler. An apocalyptic or acid stonewashed, also a 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 blades 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 tanto blade shape. This blade shape does one thing and does that one thing really well. If you are looking for a knife that excels at piercing tough materials, then the tanto blade is what you’re looking for. This blade shape was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was popularized by Cold Steel and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong pint that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to break. The front edge of the tanto knife meets the back edge at an angle, rather than a curve. As a result, the tanto blade does not have a belly, which is sacrificed in exchange for a stronger tip. Because it lacks a belly for slicing, it is not useful as a general utility knife. However, it’s extremely strong point allows it to be used in tough situations where piercing hard materials is required. This blade is definitely tailored to piercing tough materials, and if such a situation arises—you are going to be prepared.

This tough knife features a plain edge. The plain edge is one long continuous edge and 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. And 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. Generally, 1200-grit is considered polished while a 6000+ grit water stone would even further polish the edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this blade is made out of G 10. G 10 is the common term for a grade of fiberglass composite laminate, which is a cloth material with a resin binder, that is used in a number of everyday carry and plenty of gear applications. Though they are made pretty differently, G 10 really is similar to carbon fiber when it comes to the properties. This material is immune to corrosion and rust, it is easily textured, and because of that, it offers phenomenal grip. Also like carbon fiber, G 10 tends to be on the more brittle side and because of this, it does not resist impact well at all. But, this material does not have the same aesthetic pleasure that many other materials do, because it resembles plastic in both its appearance and its feel.

On this Socom Alpha, the handle is relatively simple, with the unique portions being in the small details. The G 10 of this handle is just black, but there is thick, spaced out jimping down the entire spine and bottom portion of the handle. This jimping will give you a very secure grip on your handle at all times. The finger groove is a groove etched into the handle, which gives you a more comfortable portion to place your hand while using this knife on the harder tasks.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into the metal that is sticking out form the handle scales. This is a full tang knife, which means that the blade portion of the metal extends all the way down through the handle. Then, the G 10 handle scales are placed over this piece of metal, which results in a much stronger knife. This Microtech knife has been designed as a tactical knife, and for a tactical knife, you need to be searching for the strongest knife possible. A full tang knife is so strong because there are no weak portions where the handle and the blade are melded together.

Like I earlier mentioned, on the butt portion of the tang, there is a lanyard hole. If you tie a lanyard onto your tactical knife, you will be securing your knife against loss. If you loop the lanyard over your wrist, you never have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hand in crucial times. And, if you keep a lanyard tied to your knife, you can withdraw your knife quicker. Another benefit, although not a major benefit, is that the lanyard can provide greater visibility as well as adding a touch of personal style to your knife. Everyone has their own reason for using a lanyard on their fixed blade, but I promise you that there is no shortage of good reasons to tie a lanyard to this knife.

Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife
Microtech Socom Alpha Fixed Blade Knife

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of Kydex and Carbon Fiber. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride material that is often used in sheaths. This is a more modern material, especially when compared to the other common sheath materials. One of the greatest advantages about Kydex is its durability. This material can literally be submerged in salt water and not just survive, but thrive. Kydex is going to hold up very well to many different environments. Unfortunately, Kydex does feature a variety of major disadvantages. For starters, Kydex basically looks like a lump of plastic—it has no personality. And, Kydex sheaths are loud. There is no way to use a Kydex sheath and have it remain quiet. There is going to be noise when you draw your knife and again when you try to put the knife back in the sheath. Some people do like the satisfying click of Kydex, but you should be aware of it. I would say that the biggest disadvantage of this sheath material is that with repeated taking out and putting back a knife into a Kydex sheath will dull your blades edge.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade, which has plenty of benefits when it comes to your tactical knife. For starters, the blade can be longer and thicker than a folding knife because it doesn’t have to fit inside of the handle. Because of this added length and thickness, you get obvious bonus strength. Fixed blades are going to be tougher too, because they are so much thicker, and much less prone to breaking. And because this is the full tang blade, you don’t have to worry about any weak spots in the blade. In fact, even if the handle scales did crack or fall off, you would still have a full knife to work with. Plus, the fixed blade “mechanism” makes maintenance a breeze, because all you have to do is quickly wipe down your blade after each use and oil it every so often.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches long. The handle on this fixed blade is 5 inches long, making the overall length of the knife an even 10 inches long, with the blade and the handle being perfectly proportioned. This Microtech knife weighs in at 7.9 ounces, with the sheath weighing in at 4.4 ounces. This Socom Alpha was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Microtech Socom Alpha full tang fixed blade knife was originally designed after the folder version of the popular Microtech Socom Alpha. This is the first production model of the Socom Alpha fixed blade model as the original was recently exclusively produced as a Microtech Custom. This rugged tactical fixed blade features a longer blade than the folder design as well as a raised rib pattern around the exterior of the handle to assist with positive control and an enhanced grip in any position. This model, the 114-10AP, consists of a contoured black G-10 handle, standard hardware, and a tanto style blade in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Much like the custom version, the Socom Alpha comes with a heavy-duty Kydex sheath sporting a carbon fiber laminate overlay as well as a Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok attachment. Pick up your Microtech 114-10AP Socom Alpha T/E fixed blade knife with the Elmax apocalyptic stonewashed blade today at BladeOps.

 

Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech Knife Review

Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech Knife
Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech Knife

Marfione Custom Knives is the company of Microtech Knives founder Anthony Marfione. These knives are created by Marfione as one of a kind custom knives and custom variations of Microtech production. Except, he uses the highest quality materials and designs for this line of knives—no worries about what the cost is. Microtech knives on their own are already top of the line, so you know that when you get your hands on a Marfione Custom Knife, you have a true piece of art in your hands. If your custom knife has been stamped with a claw logo, it is semi-custom. If the knife has been stamped with a dagger logo, it is fully custom.

Today, we will be discussing the Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech knife that has a carbon fiber and alloy handles as well as a white blade. This is a double action out the front automatic knife.

Stormtroopers or Imperial Stormtroopers, are fictional soldiers in the Star Wars universe. The Stormtroopers are the main ground force of the Galactic empire, under the leadership of Emperor Palpatine and his commanders, most notably Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. These soldiers accompany the Imperial Navy and are able to be deployed swiftly and respond to states of civil unrest or insurrection, act as a planetary garrison, and police areas within the Galactic Empire. They are shown in collective groups of varying organizational sizes ranging from squads to legions and for some, their armor and training are modified for special operations and environments.

Stormtroopers were first introduced in Star Wars in 1977, these Imperial Stormtroopers serve as the army of the Galactic empire, establishing Imperial authority and putting down nay revolts. In Attack of the Clones, which is a prequel film, the firs clone troopers are cloned form bounty hunter Jango Fett, to be the Army of the Republic in the Clone wars. In Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor Palpatine orders them to slay their Jedi generals in the Great Jedi Purge. The Stormtrooper Corps swell in size after Palpatine completely replaced the clones with recruits and conscripts of the empire, though the replacement of clones with natural beings lowered the effectiveness of the Empire’s soldiers. With the Empire firmly stabilized and an Imperial Army/Imperial Navy established, the Stormtroopers are integrated into Palatine’s personal army and stationed on Imperial bases and cruises, as well as on the Death Star.
These soldiers are pretty hardcore and definitely get the job done, and the knife modeled after them is no different.

 

The Blade:

The blade is made out of the top quality M390 stainless steel. This steel was manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and is one of the new super steels on the block. It is a powder metallurgically produced corrosion resistant martensitic stainless steel. This steel has excellent abrasive wear resistance while almost maintaining good corrosion resistance. Bohler-Uddeholm call this steel a Microclean steel, which means that the technology that they used creates an extremely clean steel with high toughness and polish-ability. The chemistry of the steel is what makes this steel such a phenomenal option. The manufacturer has added Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. And unlike in ZDP-189, most carbides in this steel are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which leaves more “free chromium” to fight corrosion. This steel can harden to a 60-62 HRC. However, this steel is moderately difficult to sharpen.

The blade has been finished with an all-white coating. This is a CeraKote finish that is one of the most popular paint-like coatings for knife blades. And yes, it is a paint, but not like the paint that you are thinking of. If the CeraKote coating is applied correctly, they won’t peel off, almost no matter what. Unfortunately, they are relatively easy to scratch. This type of coating must be applied only by a trained person. Coatings are a good finish because they easily prevent corrosion because they add a barrier between the steel and the environment. Also, they can greatly reduce maintenance on the steel, because of how well they reduce wear and corrosion. Another benefit to a coated finish is that they eliminate shiny surfaces—which is vital if you choose to use this knife for a tactical purpose. But, like I said, the CeraKote finish does easily scratch off. The blade on this knife is all white to match the classic Stormtrooper armor. This armor is a white plastoid composite that is worn over a black body glove, this armor represented some of the best in the Empire and was dreaded by rebel freedom fighters. This white armor is perfectly captioned in a sleek white blade.

This custom knife has a dagger style blade. This is also known as a needle-point blade. This blade is all about the point. This blade shape is composed of 2 symmetrical sharpened blades that taper to a very thin sharp point, which pierces easily into soft targets. This blade shape is a preferred blade shape for self-defense, especially when you are in a close combat situation. These blade shapes are very popular among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed. Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to the dagger blade design. This blade shape does lack a belly and does contain quickly-thickening edges, which means that it is not good for slicing or slashing. And, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is very weak and will have a tendency to break when it is used on hard targets. While this is not a very good hybrid shaped knife, it is the ultimate weapon for piercing. Just as the Stormtroopers were intimidating, this dagger style blade is used to provoke fear in the victims.

To enhance the dagger blade shape, this blade features a straight edge. The straight edge is equipped to take on a wider variety of tasks, and is easier to stab with than a serrated edge, because the serrations cause drag.

 

The Handle:

Like I earlier mentioned, the armor that Stormtroopers wear is white with a black body glove underneath. Marfione captured this well in the handle, just like in the blade. One of the chassis is a black carbon fiber and the other side is a white anodized alloy.

Carbon fiber is a pretty generic term that refers to the carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The thin strands of carbon are tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is crazy strong, yet still very lightweight. Unfortunately, it is also pretty expensive. Even though it is very strong, it is far from indestructible and does suffer from being brittle. This is because all of the strands are woven together in a single direction, so when the handle is stressed in that direction, it is crazy strong. But, when the handle is stressed in other directions, the handle starts to break apart. Because this material is brittle, this side of the handle can crack if it is subjected to sharp impacts. One of the other benefits of a carbon fiber knife handle is that the carbon is woven in a diagonal direction, so the light reflects off of it in a unique way. Another one of the cons to this material is that the production of carbon fiber handles is a labor intensive process, so it is usually only found on high end knives. This is the perfect option for the Stormtrooper Ultratech knife, because no expenses are spared and you get a high quality handle.

The opposite side of the handle is made out of an aluminum alloy. This is a low density metal that is able to give you a nice, hefty feel to the knife without actually weighing the knife down. This metal has extreme tensile strength. Unfortunately, aluminum is susceptible to scratches—less so when it has been anodized, but still prone. And, this material is a great conductor, which means that during the colder months, this knife will also feel very cold. This is a very durable material for knife handles, especially when it is anodized for color, hardness, and protection. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant anodic oxide finish. The anodic oxide structure originates form the aluminum substrate and is composed entirely of aluminum oxide. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. Anodized finishes have made aluminum one of the most respected and widely used materials today. Not only does this anodization process makes the aluminum handles stronger, it has given it a sleek, white color.

To help with grip on this rectangular knife handle, there are splotches of jimping across the two sides of the handle. The top of the handle is slightly flared.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip features a “Stormtrooper” on it and also comes with an attached black and white lanyard attached to a .925 silver Hiraeth Custom Stormtrooper helmet. The hardware on the knife is black. The lanyard attached is a mixture of black and white roped together.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is an automatic out-the-front, or OTF, knife. These knives are also known as telescoping knives. Basically, the knife is stored in the handle, but instead of coming out of the side of the handle when it is deployed, the blade pops out of a hole at the top of the handle when it is deployed. Instead of a button deployment, there is a lever on the side of the handle. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. Not only is this an OTF knife, this is an automatic OTF knife. This means that the blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual slider, but the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker and longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. This is also a double action OTF knife, which means that the blade is deployed and retracted with a multifunction button and spring design. In contrast, single action OTF knives deploy automatically, but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this custom Star Wars knife is 3.375 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 5 inches long. The overall length of this knife, when the blade is deployed, is 8.375 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.2 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Marfione Custom Knives (MCK) are well known for their high-end custom knives and products that feature exotic materials that turn mere tools into works of art. The Ultratech without question has been Microtech’s flagship out the front auto knife since its induction in 1999 and is regarded as the “crème de la crème” in the double- action out the front arena. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. Recently released, this model features a carbon fiber front chassis coupled with a white anodized alloy rear chassis, special ringed hardware and a dagger style blade in a white finish complete with black anodized blood grooves. This limited model also sports “Storm Trooper” on the pocket clip and comes with an attached black and white lanyard attached to a .925 silver Hiraeth Custom Storm Trooper helmet. Package comes complete with a presentation box, zipper pouch as well as a certificate of authenticity. And although this knife is designed to be solely a custom knife, the materials that are used are high quality, tough materials that will be able to take on challenges if you need it to. So whether you are a knife collector, a fan of Star Wars, or just looking for a phenomenal knife, this Marfione Custom Knives Stormtrooper Ultratech knife is the one for you.

Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade Knife Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade
Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade

 

The Blade:

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

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

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

 

The Handle:

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

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

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

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

 

The Mechanism:

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

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

 

The Sheath:

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

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

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

 

The Specs:

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

 

Conclusion:

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

 

 

Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade Knife Review

It’s been two decades since Microtech began working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each and every knife that leaves their facility. They recognize that the knife world is a world with ever-changing technology, so they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making. But, they also recognize how important it is to keep a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. Even while their company is growing and growing fast, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas.

Microtech was founded in 1994 in Vero Beach, Florida. They operated there until 2005 when they relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania. Then, just four short years later, they moved opened another factory in Fletcher, North Carolina to expand production capabilities. This knife company is famous for its automatic knives specifically. To create such phenomenal automatic knives, the company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances—to within one thousandth of an inch! Famous custom knife maker, Greg Lightfoot has said that it is these tight tolerances that gives their knives the same quality as a custom handmade knife. And although they are most famous for producing their tactical automatic knives, they do produce a variety of other blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and even balisong knives.

Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has also collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on Microtech exclusive designs.

A fun fact about Microtech knives is that once on the TV series “24” one of their HALO knives was featured. This knife has become a prominent lien through Microtech’s history and also earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives Magazine.

Today we are going to be discussing the brand new Microtech Borka SBK fixed blade. The production prototypes for this knife was released at the 2016 Blade Show. This knife is a result of a collaboration with Sebastijan Berenji from Borka Blades. These are custom knives that Sebastijan Berenji is behind. These knives are made with premium steel and designed for a variety of reasons ranging from tactical use to everyday carry. His knives have a way of hitting it big with knife connoisseurs, so you know that this collaboration has resulted in an exceptional blade.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of M390 stainless steel. This is an ultra-premium steel and is regarded as a super steel. This steel has been manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and uses third generation powder metal technology. This steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades, so it gives you all of the characteristics that you could want out of your blade. This steel provides you with excellent corrosion resistance and has very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote sharpness and its outstanding edge retention. Bohler-Uddeholm calls this steel Micro-clean. This steel will be relatively difficult to sharpen, but with an experienced sharpener, you shouldn’t encounter any issues. M390 steel hardens to a HRC 60-62. This knife has been designed to get the job done—whatever that job may be for you. And thanks to this super steel, the knife is going to be able to accomplish just that.

The blade has been finished with an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is one of my favorite finishes because of how convenient it is and because of the look. It gives you the same well-worn, rugged look that you could get from a classic stonewash finish, but it does give off a little bit of a more threatening vibe. An apocalyptic stonewash finish is created by the same process that a classic stonewash finish is, except for the very first step. With an apocalyptic finish, also known as an acid stonewash, or black stonewash, the blade undergoes an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it goes through the stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. Then the steel is tumbled in an abrasive material, which is usually pebbles. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. This finish is very low maintenance because it works to preserve the original look of the blade throughout time. This finish hides scratches and smudges that naturally occur over time, so you won’t have to polish the Borka SBK blade as often.

This blade is a unique blade shape that you don’t see as often as others: an upswept, trailing point. This blade shape got its name because the point actually trails higher than the generalized axis of the spine of the knife blade. The back edge of the knife curves upward. Because of this shape, you will have a large curved cutting area, or belly, so this style of blade is optimized for slicing or skinning. This blade shape also gives you one of the sharpest points for fine, delicate, and small work, such as skinning game. However, you are also going to come across several disadvantages to the trialing point blade, with the main one being that it has such a weak point. Because this knife style was designed for fine work, it will unfortunately end or break easily when used on tougher materials. This knife will also prove to be slightly trickier to place in its sheath because you will have to carefully guide the tip in.

This knife is a combo edge, which means that the upper two thirds of the blade is a plain edge, with the lower portion being a serrated blade. The plain edge is going to excel at all of the push cuts such as skinning, slicing, and fin work. The serrated edge is there so that you can saw through the tougher materials that you come in contact with. The plain edged portion is going to give you clean cuts while the serrated will give you jagged cuts. Some haters of the combo edge complain that because you have split the blade, you actually can’t use either of the edge styles effectively. But, because this knife has a longer blade, I can assure you that you really are going to get the best of both worlds with this blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle scales are made out of G-10. G-10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. This material does have similar properties to carbon fiber, except that it is slightly inferior, and because of that, you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them

Microtech Borka SBK
Microtech Borka SBK

in resin, then compresses the layers and bakes them under pressure. The resulting material form this process is extremely tough, very hard, still lightweight, and super strong. G-10 is actually considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta, although it is more brittle. To add texture to the handle, Microtech has made a very small checkered pattern, which gives you a very solid, yet still comfortable grip. Fixed blades definitely benefit from the qualities of G-10 because it is durable, lightweight, and non-porous. This means that no matter how messy the environment you put this blade it, it is going to be easy to clean because the handle is not going to absorb any of the fluids it comes in contact with. While this this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it does still have to be cut and machined into shape which is not as economical as the injection molding process that is used in FRN, so it does still have a cost to it. Some pros of this material is that it is tough, light, and durable. However, this material is brittle and it does lack elegance.

Although the handle is pretty straight, but it is still very comfortable because of the handle scales. There is jimping on both sides of the handle near the blade and around the curved butt, to give you the most secure grip while you are using it. There is a very large finger guard to keep your fingers from being sliced by this monster and there is a large lanyard hole carved into the butt of the handle. This lanyard hole is large enough for leather twine, a thick lanyard, or basically anything else that you want to tie through this hole.

 

The Mechanism:

The Microtech Borka SBK is a fixed blade. This has a wide variety of benefits, but one of the biggest is that there are no legal issues surrounding a fixed blade. Fixed blades are legal in all areas that a knife is legal in. Some of the other pros surrounding fixed blades is that they are super strong. No matter how great your folder blade is, it is not going to be as strong as a fixed blade. This is because there are no moving parts inside of the knife to break and there are no small pieces that could break. Also, the blade is longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside the handle, so the blade is going to be able to do many things that a folder knife could not such as twisting, hammering, and prying. The next major benefit is that it is extremely easy to clean. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle and then oil the blade at times. With a folding knife, to really get it clean, you have to dismantle your knife before you can really clean it. And, this is a big benefit, because you are going to be doing a lot messier work with a fixed blade versus a folding blade.

 

The Sheath:

This tough knife comes with a carbon fiber and Kydex sheath. Carbon fiber is a material made out of thin strands of carbon being tightly woven and then set in resin. This material is a crazy strong and still lightweight material, but it is expensive. While it is strong, it is not indestructible and is brittle. Kydex is a thermoplastic that is used to make holsters and other items. The greatest advantage to Kydex is how durable it is. This material can even be submerged in salt water and maintain its integrity. However, Kydex will dull your blade after repeated drawing and retracting.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 5.1 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches. The handle measures in at 4.625 inches long, with this Microtech and Borka Blades knife overall length being 9.65 inches long. This knife weighs in at 7.3 ounces and the sheath weighs in at 3.7 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The team at Microtech knives teamed up with Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades to bring you the SBK fixed blade knife. Once made solely as a custom knife, the SBK production model features a full tang design and the jimping on the thumb ramp, base of the knife and also near the finger guard translates to multiple effective gripping options. This particular model, the 200-11AP, features black G-10 handle scales as well as a partially serrated trailing point upswept style blade in an apocalyptic stonewash finish. Finally, each SBK includes a Kydex sheath finished with carbon fiber integrated with a Tek-Lok carry system which provides multiple carry options. This is a very durable knife that is going to easily assist you throughout your life. Come pick up your Microtech Borka SBK Fixed Blade knife with an apocalyptic stonewash combo blade today at BladeOps.

 

Microtech Cypher OTF Knife Review

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company that is famous, but especially famous for their automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida and 1994 in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment. They operated in Florida until 2005, when they relocated to Bradford Pennsylvania. Then, in 2009 they opened another manufacturing building in North Carolina, to speed up production.

Although they are most famous for their tactical automatic knives, they do produce many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives. The most popular designs among collectors are their Out the Front and Double Action automatic knives. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives, were responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. Before this knife, these knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military, such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs. Greg Lightfoot, along with other custom knife makers, has remarked that it is the tolerances that Microtech sticks with that makes the factory knives so close to the custom design.

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves our facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, Microtech strives to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still maintaining a humanize element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus has remained the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They always appreciate their customers, for not only the loyalty and support, but also for motivating Microtech to better themselves so that they can continue to rise above your expectations.

Today, we will be going over the Microtech Cypher blade, which is Out the Front automatic knife. This knife is a collaboration between Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe. This knife features Microtech’s trademark exceptional detailing and their perfect craftsmanship. This knife is unique, featuring a build that is not only durable, but also stylish.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Cypher has been made out of M390 stainless steel. This is a super steel, so it is definitely an ultra-premium steel. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm, which is a merger of Austrian Bohler and Swedish Uddeholm. This steel uses third generation powder metal technology and this steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades. Because of this, the manufacturer developed the steel with excellent corrosion resistance and with a very high hardness as well as excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote the sharpness and outstanding edge retention. In this steel, most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which does leave more “free chromium” to help fight corrosion.  M390 steel hardens to a 60-62 HRC. This stainless steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, but it won’t require a master sharpener to get a fine edge on it.

The blade on the Cypher has been finished with a stonewashing. With this finish style, the blade is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. This finish is rugged, manly, and looks well-worn. When the blade is rolled in pebbles, it creates a very textured look which helps to hide scratches and smudges better than other finish styles. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. The stonewash finish works to preserve the look of the blade overtime and even hides fingerprints on the blade, which means that you will have to polish it less than other finish styles. This is one of the lowest maintenance blade finishes that you can come across.

This OTF blade is a drop point style blade. The drop point is a blade shape that is used on so many knives, especially in today’s market. This blade shape is going to be found most on hunting knives. The blade on this knife 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 to continue forward to the tip of the blade. This way, the point is also aligned with the center axis of the knife, eliminating any pitch momentum when you are stabbing. The curve on the top of the drop point blade is always convex, which is what distinguishes it from the clip point blade. The drop point and the clip point blades are often confused with each other, but there are a variety of differences. For starters, the drop point blade has a lowered point, but the tip is broad. This broad tip is what provides you with the strength that you get with a drop point blade, however, because it is so broad, it does take away from your stabbing capabilities almost completely. A clip point blade also has a lowered tip, but on this blade shape, the tip is very fine and sharp. This gives you full capabilities of stabbing, but unfortunately, it does take away the strength of the tip. The clip point is weak and very prone to snapping. They are both very popular knife blade shapes and are both very versatile. The drop point blade shape is the stronger blade shape though, which makes it the perfect option or the Microtech Cypher. The Cypher does not have as big of a belly as most drop points, but it is still very capable of slicing, because it does still have a slight belly, instead of a straight edge.

This blade is a plain edge, which gives it the ability to take on a wider variety of tasks than a serrated edged blade. The plain edge does provide you with much cleaner cuts than you would get with a serrated blade. The grind on this knife is a hollow grind. This is a common grind where a convex hollow is removed from both sides of the edge. It produces a very sharp edge but being so thin the edge is more prone to rolling or damage than other grinds. It is unsuited for heavy chopping or cutting hard materials.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum that has been

Microtech Cypher
Microtech Cypher

anodized black. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making and is also very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is actually the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. This alloy of aluminum means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”.  Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.
Hard anodized aluminum is an anodizing technique that creates an oxidation layer on the aluminum that is up to 30% harder than some stainless steels. Anodizing aluminum involves placing the aluminum in a bath of acid and passing electrical charges through the material. This builds up a layer of aluminum oxide on the outside of the aluminum. This anodization process makes the aluminum more durable, corrosion resistant, and wear resistant. This anodization process helps to make the aluminum act a little more like titanium.

The handle is mostly rectangular, but there are some curves to make this a more comfortable handle to hold. There are a series of ridges carved down the length of the knife. There is a shallow finger groove at the top to give you a secure place to rest your finger. The butt of the handle is triangular, which means there is a slight point that you could use as a hammer if the situation arises.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This knife does have standard tri-winged hardware. All of the hardware is silver, with the cli being a matte grey. The pocket clip has the same grooves carved into the length as the handle does.

 

The Mechanism:

This Microtech knife is an automatic out-the-front knife, or OTF. This is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is very different than the majority of knives that have the blade fold out of the side of the handle. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. But then, OTF knives can be even further divided into either a manual knife or an automatic knife. The Cypher is an automatic knife, which means the blade travels within an internal channel in the same manner as a manual slider knife. But, the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar sized gravity OTF knife. Then, automatic OTF knives can be even further subdivided into either a single action or a double action. This knife is a double action automatic OTF knife. This means that the blade will deploy and retract with a multifunction handle slide. If it were a single action automatic OTF, the knife would deploy automatically, but it must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long, with the handle measuring in at 5.625 inches long. The overall length of the Cypher is 9.625 inches long. The knife weighs in at 4 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Conclusion:

The Cypher finally found its way from the custom factory of MCK to the production side to add to the army of double action out-the-front models that Microtech has been manufacturing for over 20 years. Like the Sigil, this automatic is a collaboration with Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe and features a “stepped” milling pattern that is both futuristic and functional. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. This model, the 241-10, features a black anodized aluminum handle, standard tri-winged hardware, a drop point style blade in a stonewash finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The M390 steel is very resistant to corrosion as well as being very tough, which means that this knife is going to be able to take on those tougher tasks. However, this is a collector’s knife, so you probably won’t be using it for a wide variety of tasks. The aluminum handle is durable and also very corrosion resistant. The anodization process makes this knife even more durable, and the color cannot be scratched off, because it becomes part of the metal. The materials and manufacturing processes used make this collector knife a sleek, unique, and tough knife. Pick up your Microtech 241-10 Cypher S/E OTF Automatic knife with the stonewashed blade today at BladeOps. You won’t regret it.

 

Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Knives

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company that is famous for its automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994. It operated there until it relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005 and then to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. It was in 2007 that the company began manufacturing in American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms Research.

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within on thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives of ruse by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”
And although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. Microtech along with Benchmade Knives was responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knave sin the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision made tool utilizing powerful springs and high grade bushings as opposed to cheap import.

Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves their facility. In a world of every changeling technology, they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus remains the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They appreciated their customers or the years of loyalty and support and for motivating them to better themselves so that they may continue to rise above your expectations.

Today we will be talking about the Microtech Borka Blades Stitch Wharncliffe series of knives.

 

The Blades:

The blades in this series of knives are all made out of M390 Stainless Steel. This is an ultra-premium knife steel. It is also one of the new super steels on the block, manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm. It uses third generation powder metal technology and developed for knife blades requiring excellent corrosion resistance and very high hardness for excellent wear resistance. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten are added to promote sharpness and outstanding edge retention. Unlike ZDP-189 most carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, leaving more “free Chromium” to fight corrosion. M390 hardness to 60-62 HRC. Bohler class this steel “Microclean” and it can be polished to achieve a true mirror. This steel is moderately difficult to sharpen, but it won’t take you as long as with S90V.

In this series of knives, you can choose your blade with a variety of different blade finishes. The first option you can choose from is a stonewash finish. With a stonewash finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed out. There is actually a variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. Depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. However, the most common look that you are going to find is a very rugged, well-worn look. The pebbles make the steel look very textured. Many people like this finish because it hides scratches better than other finishes. It also hides fingerprints pretty well, so the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes. This is a low maintenance finish because it works to preserve the look of the blade overtime.

One of the other finish options that you are presented with is an apocalyptic stonewash finish. This is also an acid stonewash or a black stonewash finish. The blade actually has 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 eh steel and the environment. Other than that difference, it is just the same as a regular stonewashed finish.

The last finish that you can get is a bronze finish. This blade also has a very textured look to it, similar to the stonewash. But instead of being a dark silvery gray, it is bronze in color.

Microtech Borka Stitch Auto
Microtech Borka Stitch Auto

The blades on each of the knives in this series feature a wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade, which is not to be confused with the sheepsfoot blade, is very much like a standard blade shape turned upside down. This type of blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. There are a few stories as to how the name Wharncliffe came to be, with some people claiming that the pattern originated many years ago from some of the patterns used for Scandinavian Seax Knives and other claiming that tit came from a British Lord who commissioned the knife to be made. There is one thing that is for certain however according to the website of Ron Neep. There were server Lord Wharncliffes that the blade shape could have been named after, but the actual name “Wharncliffe” did not exist prior to 1822, which means it was named after that point in history. Regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape. It is fantastic for office workers for opening boxes and envelopes and excels in box-cutter type chores. It is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult for cutting soft tissue and using on a cutting board.

There are three different versions of the blade edge that you can choose from out of this series. You can choose a plain edge, a combo edge, or a serrated edge. Plain blades are one continuous sharp edge and is the most traditional out of the three. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is 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. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft, flexible or can be crushed easily with downward cutting. The downside to the serrated blade, though, especially ropes and fabrics, they can easily cause fraying. And when the blade dulls it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. A serrated blade ode not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. Often sharpening requires taking the blade to a professional sharpener, especially if the sharpening is long overdue. The combo edge is when half of the blade is a plain edge and the other half is a serrated edge. While some people believe that this gives you the best of both worlds, other people believe that you don’t get the benefits out of either one and it is a pointless edge. The major benefit about this knife series is that you can choose whichever blade shape most fits your comforts and the tasks that you are going to be performing with it.

 

The Handle:

Microtech Stitch Auto
Microtech Stitch Auto

The handles are all made out of an aluminum alloy Aluminum is a very low density metal used in knife making, and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. Most knifes use a type of aluminum alloy called T6-6061, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 Aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. T6-6061 is used extensively in aircraft and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum” and sometimes this is seen as a gimmick, kind of like “surgical stainless steel.” Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large amount of CNC machining, such as the case with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less. Aluminum is a nonferrous metal. This material gives the knife a solid feel, without the extra weight that usually accompanies hefty materials. The most common finishing process for aluminum is anodizing. The handles in this series of knife are black.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole attached. The ergonomics of the handle make this knife fit comfortably in your palm and provide you with a very solid grip. There has been a pattern added to the palm of the handle to give you a secure grip for almost any task.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is slightly curved and is held in place by two screws. The pocket clips on each version of this knife match the blade on each of the knives. The hardware is the same finish as the blade and pocket clip on each version of the clip.

 

The Mechanism:

These knives are all automatic side-open knives. This is also known as a switchblade and there are some pretty strict laws surrounding automatic knives. They are not legal to won or carry in all states, cities, or towns. This is a type of knife with a folding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring with a button on the handle or bolster is activated. Most switchblade designs incorporate a locking blade, in which the blade is locked against closure when the spring extends in 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.

 

The Specs:

The blade on all of these knives are 3.75 inches long, with a handle length of 5 inches long. The overall length of the blades is 8.75 inches long. These knives weigh in at 6.3 ounces. These knives are made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:
The Stich side-open automatic knife is one of many knives produced between Tony Marfione of Microtech and Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades. The two have been collaborating on many models including the SB1, the SBT, the SBK and the SRambit to name a few. At last, the production version of the Stitch is now in full swing–yet another once MCK turned production model. Each model features a hollow ground premium stainless steel blade, a quasi tri-grip knurling pattern throughout the handle and a ribbed back spacer, finger choil and pronounced thumb ramp for increased control in any grip position. This series features a black alloy handle, standard hardware, a partly serrated wharncliffe style blade in a variety of different finishes and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your favorite version of the Microtech Borka Stitch Wharncliffe Automatic knife today at BladeOps. With this series of knives, you can truly get almost any combination that you could want.

 

Microtech Tachyon III Knife Review

For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves their facility. In a world of ever changing technology, they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus remains the same: deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. They appreciate their customers, for the years of loyalty and support and for motivating them to better themselves so that they can continue to rise above your expectations.

IN 1994, the very first prototypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment. They also released the UDT which marked the beginning of Microtech. The company began renting a building in Vero Beach, Florida, which quickly expanded to nearby empty buildings as the demand for a larger facility became apparent. In 1995 they released the HALO, which has become a prominent line through Microtech’s history and earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine. In 1999, the Ultratech, which is the most popular Microtech ever, first hit production. This year, Microtech also earned Blade’s Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award for the second year in a row.

In 2000, Microtech released the company’s first balisong knife, the Tachyon, which was later followed by the Tachyon II and the Metalmark in 2012. In 2004, The MTX2 was awarded American Made Knife of the year by Blade Magazine. This same year, originally designed for U.S. Special Forces Boat Team 20, the initial run of the Currahee was limited, with the first few placed in the hands of those best suited to test the knife, the United States Special Forces. In 2015, they featured significant collaboration with Heretic Knives, Sean Marfione, Koji Hara, Bork Blades, and Munroe Knives. This same year, the Ultratech underwent a major aesthetic revamp, with the introduction of the new tri-grip handle and thumb slide. Also, the Arbiter was introduced as production model for the first time. This was also the year that the Tachyon III was introduced, bringing a whole new level of mechanics and visual appeal to the balisong industry.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Bohler ELMAX steel. This is a high chromium, vanadium, molybdenum alloyed powdered steel with extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Elmax is stainless but acts in many ways like a carbon steel. you get a superb edge holding and relatively easy sharpening while maintain a healthy resistance to rust. This steel might even be the best all-around knife steel. The majority of Microtech’s blades are crafted from this steel, because they believe that is provides the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. This is a high performance knife steel. Elmax is a third generation powder metal technology that is noted for its fine carbide distribution with extremely low inclusion content for virtually no chip out. Bohler says that this steel has four main characteristics: high wear resistance, high compressive strength, corrosion resistant, and very good dimensional stability. High wear resistance is normally connected to low corrosion resistance and vice versa. In Elmax, it has however been able to achieve this unique combination of properties by a powdered metallurgy based production.

There are two coating options that you can choose from on this series of knives. The first coating is an apocalyptic stonewashed finish, which is a black stonewashed finish. 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. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion, and the type of finish the blade has before it enters the tumbler. An acid stonewashed 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 blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime. The stonewashed finish hides the scratches and smudges that can occur with use over time.

The second finish option that you are presented with is a DLC black coating. A coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion. However, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will then have to be recoated. Generally, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. High quality finishes are bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint like coatings. High end coatings like DLC require that the blade go to a specialty coating facility for physical vapor deposition application in a vacuum environment. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance.

These knives all have a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most common blade types, the drop point is most popular within the realm of hunting knives and larger knife blades, but this blade style also works well as a tactical or survival knife. Characterized by a convex sloped, sloping spine, and a lowered point, drop point blades are especially useful for controlled cuts—hunters find that the blades large belly facilitates skinning. In addition, drop point blades have very strong tips that resist breaking, which is crucial in survival situations. The only downside is that this blade’s broad tip isn’t suited or piercing, especially compared to clip or spear point blades.

You also have two different edge options with the Tachyon III series of knives. You can choose between a plain or a combo edge. Plain edges are blades that are one continuous sharp edge and are far more traditional. They serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of us when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another key advantage of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes. A plain edge cuts cleanly. Serrated edges are blades that have some kind of toothed or saw-like edge ground into on the cutting surface. These are intended to be used much like a small saw, with a back and forth motion. They’re great for cutting through belts and ropes, fabric, and various other textured materials. Serrated blades also work great on substances that are soft, flexible, or can be crushed easily with downward cutting such as bread or tomatoes. However, serrated edges can easily cause fraying and when the blade dulls it’s much more difficult to sharpen and requires specialty sharpening equipment. A serrated blade does not cut as cleanly as a plain edge knife. Often, sharpening requires taking the blade to a professional sharpener, especially if the sharpening is long overdue.

 

The Handles:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1DLCBL
Microtech Tachyon 173-1DLCBL

The handles are made out of T6-6061 aluminum. Aluminum, which is usually anodized for color, hardness, and protection, is a very 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. The most common type of aluminum used today is the T6-6061 alloy which has tremendous tensile strength. When 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 sue your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is actually considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on more premium knives.

With the handles you have the option of a couple of different colors: black, blue, and a handful of custom colors.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife has been designed for tip up carry only.

 

The Mechanism:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1BW
Microtech Tachyon 173-1BW

The Tachyon III is a balisong knife. This is also known as a butterfly knife or a fan knife. Its distinction is two handles counter rotating around the tang so that when the closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. The balisong was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. A common stereotype is that people in this area carries one everywhere he or she goes. The hollow ground balisongs were also used as straight razors before conventional 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. This type of knife can be used as an art form when flipping. This style of knife is actually now illegal or restricted in many countries, often under the same laws and for the same reasons that switchblades are restricted.

This specific type of balisong has a channel constructed balisong, which means that the main part of each handle is formed form one piece of material. In this handle, a groove is created in which the blade rests when the knife is closed. This style is regarded as being stronger than sandwich construction, which is the other style of balisong knife that you can find.

There are a couple of main parts of the balisong knife:

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. It’s the handle that usually has the latch on it.

The Kicker: this is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge form touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

The Latch: the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Magnets are occasionally sued instead. This part also keeps it from opening up when the user doesn’t want it to.

The Safe Handle: this is the handle that closes on the non-sharpened edge of the blade. It is generally the handle that does not have the latch on it.

Zen pins: these are the screws mounted inside the handles that collide with the kicker mounted on the tang to prevent the blade from moving around whilst in the open or closed position.

 

The Specs:

The blade length on this knife is 4.5 inches long with an overall knife length of 10 inches long. The handle on this knife measures in at 5.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.1 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Microtech Tachyon 173-1FL
Microtech Tachyon 173-1FL

Released in 2012, the Tachyon™ II was modeled after Microtech’s® original balisong knife, the Tachyon™ from 2000.  Re-engineered to perfection in 2015, the Tachyon™ III reflects the ideal evolution of Microtech’s® balisong line. The handles are machined from solid billet and a redesigned silicon nitride race bearing system creates a flawless flipping mechanism.  The blade and overall lengths have been significantly lengthened, generating a new balance compared to its predecessor.  The Tachyon™ III also showcases the new spring-loaded pocket clip (patent pending) that sits in a milled channel so it is flush to the handle when not in use.

Between stonewashed or DLC finish, the multiple handle colors, and the two different edge options that you can choose from, you are sure to find the exact Microtech Tachyon III for you. With such a wide variety of options in this series of knives, there’s sure to be the perfect option for you. So whether it’s for flipping or defense, pick up your favorite version of the Tachyon III today at BladeOps.