Microtech Ultratech Hellhound OTF Knife Review

 

 

Microtech Ultratech Hellhound
Microtech Ultratech Hellhound

Microtech has been around for over twenty years now. Anthony Marfione founded Microtech and built the very first knife prototype in his garage. This was way back in 1994. Microtech understands that technology is changing every single year, so they work to guarantee that their products are made with the latest advancements in the knife community. Microtech’s focus is to “deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas.” Over the past twenty years, Microtech has designed and produced knives for the military. Microtech has also collaborated with many famous knife makers over the years, including Ernest Emerson, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, and Greg Lightfoot. Greg Lightfoot, when talking about Microtech’s knives has said, “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Microtech has many popular knives, some of their most famous are the HALO, the UDT, and the Ultratech. The Ultratech first hit production in 1999, gained some speed, and really never slowed down. Since it is so popular, Microtech is still releasing new versions of this knife, and a brand new version was just released.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Ultratech Hellhound is carved out of Damascus steel. This steel is attractive, yet a little bit of a mystery. There is a history behind the Damascus steel; the word Damascus actually dates back to medieval western cultures and is similar to a style of craftsmanship that was first recorded in India around 300 B.C. The Syrian city of Damascus would import different types of steel and would make a hybrid steel out of them, this new hybrid steel was known for its toughness. This steel was used to make swords that were known to be tough, resistant to shattering, and had the capabilities to get a fine, sharp edge. This is where Damascus comes from. Some unique about modern day Damascus steel is that it is not a pure steel. You can recognize this type of steel by its bands, mottling, and different designs that show through the steel. To make these different designs, the steel maker will choose 2-5 metal alloys that go well together and make new and interesting patterns. Then, you basically “fold” the different metals together. Once the steel has been folded together, it goes through an acid etching treatment. This acid etching is where the pattern comes out, because the different types of steel alloys react different to the acid etching. After the blade shape is carved out, you can enhance the cutting ability by putting it through a heat treatment process. The design that appears through the metal of the Ultratech is a very wavy pattern. The wavy pattern is on the majority of the blade, but there are parts that have an almost wooden look to them. Damascus steel is one of the highest qualities of steel. The color of the steel is a dark grey. Damascus steel is considered a precious metal, because it is hard to make, and is usually only used on expensive and custom knife blades.

 

This Damascus steel has been carved into a hellhound tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is a knife that has a high point with a flat grind. The unsharpened edge meets the sharpened edge at an angle, instead of the better known curve. The tanto blade shape has a rich history. The shape has evolved from the ancient Japanese Samurai swords. However, in the 1980’s, Cold Steel modernized the shape and popularized the American tanto blade shape. This style of knife is interesting because it is not versatile in any way. This blade is not going to be your all purpose, every day knife. However, it does one thing, and it does it better than any other knife will be able to do that. It has a crazy strong tip because of the amount of metal that is near the tip. Because of this, it can pierce through hard and tough materials easily. This blade shape can also endure repeated stabbing, without breaking, snapping, or chipping, like other blade shapes would. Not only that, but you will actually be able to hammer, dig, or pry with this blade shape. Because the two edges meet at an angle, instead of the regular curve, the tanto blade shape has no belly. And while the ancient Samurai swords could produce some long slicing movements, a belly is going to give you the best slicing ability. So while you will be able to manage some slices with the Ultratech Hellhound, it is not going to act like a drop point blade shape. The tanto blade is one of the strongest blade shapes, so this knife makes for an excellent tactical, fighting, or survival knife. One of the drawbacks to the tanto blade is that even though the point is strong, it is hard to control. This means that it will not be a great option for delicate detail or tasks like skinning or peeling. While this knife is not going to be able to manage performing all of your tasks, it is going to excel at the tasks that it is designed to do.

 

The blade has another unique characteristic about it. The back of the blade has some deep teeth cut into it. Under these teeth are small circles cut out of the steel. This adds a very unique look that you aren’t going to find on other blades.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this Ultratech is one of the most unique parts about this knife. There is a carbon fiber front scale, but the back scale is made out of aluminum. Carbon fiber is when thin strands of carbon are woven tightly together and then set in a resin. The resulting material is a crazy strong, but still lightweight material. The unique look to carbon fiber is that depending on which way the carbon has been woven, the light reflects in different ways. This shows of the different woven patterns. The pattern that the Ultratech carbon fiber scale features is a diagonal checkered pattern. The color of the carbon fiber used on this knife is black. Unfortunately, because carbon fiber takes a lot of time and labor to produce, it is a more expensive product. In fact, it is usually one found on higher end knives. One of the other drawbacks to carbon fiber is that while it is extremely strong, it is also brittle. This is because the fibers are woven in one direction—so they are basically unbreakable in that direction—but when the fibers are stressed in other directions, the handle is prone to cracking. This handle scale can also crack if it hit on hard or sharp objects.

The back scale is made aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially for knife handles. It gives you the heftiness that many knife lovers crave, but it is actually a very light weight material, so it doesn’t weigh the knife down at all. Aluminum is a very cold material, so if you are using this knife in a cold environment or during the colder months, it will probably bite into your hand. Aluminum is prone to getting scratched, so to counter that, Microtech has anodized the aluminum. Anodizing the aluminum provides strength and durability, plus it can add a color to the aluminum. In the Ultratech Hellhound’s case, the aluminum has been anodized to black.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This knife has been outfitted with a pocket clip. This pocket clip is black to match the handle. The handle has been drilled to carry the knife right handedly and tip down.

 

The Extras:

On the bottom of the handle, there is a glass breaker. This glass breaker now includes a press fitted ball bearing for a more comfortable, but still functional, user experience. The tri-angle hardware is blue accented ringed titanium.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an Out the Front, Automatic knife. Because it is an automatic knife, you need to keep in mind that automatic knives are not legal in all states are areas. Because of this, you need to be aware of your local knife laws before purchasing and definitely before carrying the Ultratech. An out the front knife is sometimes also known as a sliding knife or a telescoping knife. Basically, it is a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle instead of the usual way of folding out of the side of the knife. The blade travels on a track inside of the handle. When the redesigned thumb slide is pushed, it pushes the blade out of the handle. This is a double action out the front knife, which means that not only is it an automatic opening knife, it also closes automatically. Instead of pushing the thumb slide towards the opening, you pull the thumb slide back and it sucks the blade back into the handle.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Ultratech is 3.375 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at 8.375 inches, with a closed length of an even 5 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.1 ounces.

 

The Pros of the Ultratech:

  • Damascus steel is a strong and tough steel.
  • Damascus steel is a beautiful steel with unique patterns in the steel.
  • Damascus steel is actually considered a precious metal, because it is so hard to make, and one of the rarer steels. This is a super high quality steels.
  • The blade has been carved into a tanto blade shape, which has a crazy strong tip.
  • This tip is strong enough to pierce through hard and tough materials that other blades would not be able to.
  • The tip is durable enough to go through repeated stabbing, hammering, prying, and sometimes digging.
  • The blade makes an excellent fighting, tactical, or survival blade.
  • The carbon fiber scale is strong, tough, and lightweight.
  • The aluminum scale is durable, strong, and very lightweight.
  • There is a glass breaker on the bottom of the handle.
  • This is an automatic OTF knife, so you can quickly deploy your blade.
  • This is a double action OTF knife, so you can easily close the blade.

 

The Cons of the Ultratech:

  • Because the steel is considered a precious metal, and is so hard to make, it is going to be a very expensive steel.
  • The tanto blade shape has been made to do one thing and one thing only; it is not versatile, and it is not designed to be your everyday knife.
  • The tanto blade has no belly, so slicing is going to be especially difficult.
  • Carbon fiber has a tendency to chip, break, or snap, because it is a brittle material.
  • Aluminum is a cold material, so using this during the winter is going to hurt your hand.
  • The pocket clip is not reversible and can only be carried tip down.
  • This knife is going to be on the more expensive side of the spectrum.

 

Conclusion:

Microtech has a fantastic reputation for designing and producing exceptional knives. One of their all-time most popular is the Ultratech. Since the release of the Ultratech in 1999, Microtech has designed multiple variations of this knife. Microtech just barely released another version of the Ultratech. With this new version, Microtech actually stripped the handle back down to its original roots. They channeled the original version of the Ultratech to inspire this new version.

This version of the Ultratech has the quality that a custom knife would. Microtech used only the highest quality materials that they could find. They started with a steel that is actually considered precious metal. The tanto blade shape ensures that this blade is very strong, especially towards the tip. Because of this extra strength, this knife will be able to perform tasks that a regular knife would not be able to. The handle is unique and sports two different materials for the handle scales. Both carbon fiber and aluminum are lightweight materials with lots of strength and durability behind it. They added a glass breaker to the butt of the handle as an extra bonus. This knife is made in the United States of America. This knife has a super elegant look to it, with fantastic aesthetics. This new version of the Ultratech will be one of the best additions to your knife collection and you can find it here on our website.

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Microtech Tri-Grip Ultratech Review

Microtech has always been held as a great name in the knife industry. Established in 1994 near Vero Beach, Florida, Microtech has been a powerhouse in the industry. Their mission, “To make the best possible knives.” Anthony Marfione, the founder of Microtech, has an objective to ensure that each customer will receive the best quality knife. Constantly creating durable, quality knives, Microtech has made many knives that will get any job done. Recently, in 2015, the Microtech Ultratech underwent a major upgrade to become what it is today. Initially released in 1999, this knife has been one of the most popular knives offered by Microtech. The Microtech Ultratech is a wonderful knife, and I cannot wait to share all about it.

 

Specs

Before going into the specific details of the Ultratech, listed below is a general overview of what the Ultratech has to offer.

  • Product Type: Automatic Double-Action Out The Front
  • Overall Length: 8.30″
  • Weight: 3.30 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.84″
  • Blade Length: 3.46″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.125″
  • Blade Material: ELMAX
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Duel Edge Dagger
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Down
  • Glass Breaker Included
  • Made in the USA

 

Now for the details of the knife.

 

Blade Steel

The Microtech Ultratech blade is made up of the stainless steel ELMAX made by Bohler-Uddenholm. This is a fairly new steel here in the United States. After arriving in 2009, this steel has grown to be a popular steel that is used by many different companies. A comparable steel to ELMAX would be S30V. Both are powder-made stainless steels. When these two go up against each other, S30V falls short of what ELMAX is capable of doing. With its carbon and chromium composition, it is better able to resist corrosion while being able to hold a good edge as well as being able to sharpen easier. Even when compared to the improved version of S30V, S35VN stainless steel, it still holds superior to it. This steel is a phenomenal steel when compared to any other steel. Most of Microtech’s blades are made of ELMAX. They find it to provide the best balance between corrosion resistance and edge retention. It is a high chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum alloyed steel with the following characteristics: high wear resistance, high compressive strength, corrosion resistant, good dimensional stability.

 

Handle

One of the main things that stick out on the Ultratech is the new textured handle scales. The Tri-Grip was introduced in 2015 and many have fallen in love with it. This new grip is both practical and pleasing to the eye. The texture is comprised of offsetting little triangular pieces with tiny gaps in between them. Holding the Ultratech with the Tri-Grip reassures me that the knife will not fall out of my hand. The other changes that came along in 2015 include changes with the thumb slide, the edges of the handle, the hardware, and the glass breaker (we will talk more about the glass breaker later).  The thumb slide now features an “X” pattern to improve the gripping ability when firing off the knife. Now instead of the three-holed screws on the older Ultratech, the screws are now similar looking to the Tri-Grip triangular pattern. Lastly, the knife features several sections of jimping on the handle for an even more improved grip on the handle.

 

Automatic Out The Front

Automatic knives are a popular choice of knife to purchase and use. They offer many advantages that a typical folder, fixed blade, or even a spring assisted knife do not offer. One benefit to owning an auto is its deployment speed. Some may argue that a spring assisted knife is just as fast as an automatic knife. This is true in many cases, but what makes an automatic knife a better option is the easiness factor to it. With the press of a button or a flick of a switch, the blade will flash open in a blink of an eye. Not only is it quick, but it can be fired off with one hand. Plus, firing off an auto is fun to do. These features come in handy during many circumstances. If one of your hands in a bind or holding an object in need of cutting, an auto can be opened right away with one hand and do its job. Emergency response teams, law enforcement, and military personnel are all constantly faced with tribulation that requires the use of a decent knife. In many high-stress situations, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye using only one hand can help someone else live for one more day. They are different than a traditional knife and bring a new element to the knife industry.

The Microtech Ultratech is an Out the Front (OTF) knife, which has several advantages to it. A practical and safety advantage of owning an OTF is that the blade cannot close on your own fingers. You do not have to interact with the blade while closing it up. Besides that, they can be closed by switching the slide the other direction. Another benefit to using this type of knife is being able to keep the same solid grip from opening the knife to closing it. This is extremely useful if you are cutting something while holding it in one hand. You will not have to set either the object being cut, or the knife down. One of the last advantages of owning an Out the Front is being able to properly operate the knife with gloves on. Some other auto knives have more concealed buttons or other opening mechanisms that make it difficult to open with a glove on. There aren’t too many knives like an Out the Front.

The action on the automatic Ultratech is smooth and quick. There are many different OTF autos on the market that barely meet the standards and characteristics of an OTF knife. All OTF autos have some form of blade movement from side to side. The blades are not as solidly locked into place like a spring assist or typical automatic knife. But with the Ultratech, there is the minimal amount of play. It has a solid lockup for a more secure feel. Microtech has always been known for their quality automatic OTF knives.

 

Blade Style

The dagger blade on the Ultratech is double-edged and is best used for stabbing or thrusting. It has two sharp edges which allows the knife cut in on both sides. The main use for dagger blades is in self-defense close combat situations. However, it is not the strongest of blades and can break against hard surfaces. An advantage of the dagger blade style is that it is thin and has a sharp point which provides a piercing ability. Some disadvantages of the dagger are that its tip is fragile, and there is no real “belly” on the blade for slicing.

 

Glass Breaker

Many knives do not include a glass breaker. This sets this knife apart from many other knives, making it more special. It is just another tool in your pocket for your convenience. It may not be used every day like the blade, but there are those situations that arise that need this feature. Situations such as: helping someone trapped in a car, a fire in a home or office building, or escaping from a locked vehicle, would benefit from a glass breaker. Some argue that the blade will suffice in breaking glass. This isn’t always the case. Glass breakers are thick, and pack a punch to penetrate the glass.

The old glass breaker on the Ultratech was a fine pointed tip. Now the tip on the newer model is broader and has a ball bearing for the tip. Having a broader tip is said to be better when breaking glass.

 

Field Test

To help demonstrate to you as a potential owner of this awesome Ultratech, there were a series of tests that this knife underwent to demonstrate its power and usefulness as a tool. Some common things that are cut using a knife are paper, cardboard, paracord, and plastic.

Paper, being generally thin, was cut easily with the Ultratech. It was smooth as butter, as they say. The paper was in shreds when I was done. However, the test continued by stacking multiple layers of paper on top of another to be cut. Even then the paper was cut easily. Letters won’t stand a chance up against the Ultratech.

Up next was the cardboard test. The Ultratech faced a little more opposition when trying to cut the cardboard. See, the blade style makes the knife a great penetrating tool, but not so much a slicing tool. The knife was easily able to penetrate the cardboard, but when it came to slicing it, it had a more difficult time. But it still cut well. The cuts were clean and it got the job done.

Paracord was next to test the ability of the Ultratech. Normally serrated edges cut rope and paracord much easier than a plain edge. But the Ultratech has a razor sharp edge that was able to cut through the paracord easily. I foresee no problems using the Ultratech to cut through anything similar to rope or paracord.

The last test is cutting plastic. There are all sorts of plastic materials that get cut daily. You have tape that is sealing up your package containing your new knife. There is the bothersome oyster packaging that is impossible to open without a knife. And you have your typical food packages that are sealed in a plastic container or bag. The Ultratech has no problem when it comes to cutting these different plastics. The easiest, of course, was cutting through the tape. The most difficult to cut through was the oyster packaging. It was very similar to the cardboard test. It penetrated well, but it took more effort to slice through the rest of the thicker plastic.

From the tests conducted, the Ultratech is able to cut through many materials with ease. It is ready to face any obstacle that comes when carrying the knife every day.

 

Everyday Carry

When looking to get a new knife, there are a few items to look at to confirm it will be a good everyday carry. Those items include the following: its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The Ultratech is comfortable to carry, both in your hand and in your pocket. When closed, the knife is close to 5 inches long. A typically comfortable carry knife is anywhere between three and a half to 5 inches long when closed. The Ultratech barely fits within that range. The biggest things I ask myself are will the knife fit in my pant pocket, and will it fall out of my pocket? The Ultratech is deep enough that it shouldn’t fall out of your pocket.

Weight

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. It is the worst feeling to have to carry heavy objects in your pocket, no matter what it is. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The Ultratech fits right into the beginning of this range. It weighs 3.30 ounces. It is quite small for its size. When holding it, it feels decently well.

Thickness and Width

When carrying a knife around all the time in your pocket, there is a limited amount of space available in your pocket. A good everyday carry knife should be comfortable to carry and easy to handle. The Ultratech is an inch wide at its thickest point. This knife is very thin in term of width. Its thickness, however, is thicker than many other knives.  We’re talking over half an inch thick. In theory, the Ultratech won’t take up too much pocket real-estate.

Appearance

I wouldn’t worry too much about how it looks. Sure it’s got to look tough, but what really matters is if it will do the job. But really, though, it looks impressive. You and others will love to look at, and use the Ultratech.

 

Conclusion

The Ultratech is one of the most popular knives out there. And for good reason too. The knife is solid, and it is intended to work hard. The new and improved Ultratech will for sure impress. You will not be disappointed with this knife. I love this Microtech knife. Grab yours today.

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My Holy Grail, by C.O.

Microtech Ultratech
Microtech Ultratech

When my friend introduced me to BladeOps.com, I never imagined that one of the first knives I saw would become my grail knife. My friend told me about the cheap out-the-front knife that was used in the Dark Knight movie and encouraged me to get one for myself. After making the purchase, I started browsing through the other various wares of BladeOps.com and that is when I discovered the Microtech Ultratech. I didn’t really know what it was, but the tanto edge was so slick and clean. I fell in love with the design immediately and thought, “I have to have this!” That was when I discovered the price. While some might consider the lower $200 range to be cheap for a knife, I had never spent over $50 at this time. I knew I would need to save up for a while. What I didn’t realize is that the knives sell out relatively quickly and there are long waits between productions. After nearly 3 years of saving, waiting, and watching, I finally managed to score my grail knife. It is more amazing than I even imagined and I am extremely satisfied. The engineering is perfect and I am very pleased with the fit and finish. I know this blade will satisfy me for quite some time. I wonder what my new grail will become.

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Microtech Zombie Ultratech’s have respawned at BladeOps!

The much anticipated re-release of the Microtech Zombie Ultratech’s have finally re-spawned onto our shelves. I know we are all familiar with Microtech Ultratech OTF knives, but the Zombie editions have been a superb top-seller and definitely hard to keep the shelves!

MT121-1ZThe first “wave” of Zombies to come down upon us are the 121-1Z, the 121-7Z and the 121-8Z–bear in mind these are all single-edged models. Like every current Ultratech, these come standard with the very popular and highly-reviewed ATS-34 blade steel. Microtech has recently been using this steel in recent batches and the specs are very similar to the 154CM tool steel commonly found on most high-end knives.

MT121-7ZThankfully these fantastic OTF knives still come equipped with traditional glass breaker and mil-spec aircraft aluminum handles scales but the best part about these “killer” Microtech OTF knives is the red blood splatter across the handle–each one being unique in its own right.

To learn more about the Microtech Zombie Ultratech 121-1Z, click here for more information. For the Microtech 121-7Z, click here and for the Microtech 121-8Z, click here……if you dare!

MT121-8ZWhether you want to add a surely unique Microtech Ultratech knife to your current collection or just plan on ruling the apocalyptic world in style, the Microtech Zombie Ultratech series is sure to turn heads.

Get yours before our stock has been exterminated……

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Microtech Ultratech Out The Front Knives

Just in, several dozen different Microtech Ultratech knives including the 122-1, 122-4 as well as six variations with purple handles and three with blue handles.  Check out one of the best-selling out the front knives of all time and get yours quick–the demand on these is huge and they will move fast.

If you have never had the chance to see an Ultratech in action, check out our most recent video about them on our YouTube channel.

These are fantastic knives built with quality components. If you love knives, you will love the Ultratech.

 

**A quick note about Microtech knives.  If you have ever wondered what the numbers mean, the first set of three numbers in the product code refer to the knife and general blade style.  For instance, a Microtech 122 always refers to an Ultratech with a dual edge blade.  The 123 will always refer to an Ultratech with a tanto blade.  The second set of numbers typically runs from 1 through 12.  This refers to the blade finish and blade edge style.  For example:

-1  Black DLC finish, plain edge

-2  Black DLC finish, combo edge

-3  Black DLC finish, fully serrated edge (on a dual edge blade one edge is fully serrated the other is standard–plain)

-4  Satin, plain

-5  Satin, Combo

-6  Satin, Fully Serrated

-7  Bead Blast, Plain

-8  Bead Blast, Combo

-9  Bead Blast, Fully Serrated

-10  Stonewash, Plain

-11 Stonewash, Combo

-12  Stonewash, Fully Serrated.

So if you are looking for a dual edge Ultratech with a bead blast edge and partially serrated edges (combo) you want a Microtech 122-8.  On the other hand, if you were looking for a Daytona with a dual edge blade with a bead blast finish and a standard edge–you would want the 126-7.

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