Piranha Blue Mini-Guard Knife Review

Piranha Knives specialize in excellent automatic knives. All Piranha products are made in the United States of America and feature superb design and craftsmanship. They use modern technology and cutting edge materials to make a highly quality automatic knife. They have a wide variety of different models and every single one of them would be a great option for you. Also, Piranha Knife Company offers you a lifetime limited warranty—which is unusual in the industry and a true testament to their willingness to stand by their high quality knives.

Today, we will be going over their Blue Mini-Guard Automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM-S30V steel. This is an American made powder steel that is produced by Crucible and developed specifically for knives and more specifically for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible works alongside knife guru Chris Reeve to produce this excellent steel. S30V steel is a martensitic powder-made stainless steel. Martensitic is a specific type of stainless steel alloy. This premium steel is a great balance of the three qualities you want out of your knife steel: edge retention, hardness, and toughness. To create such a high quality steel, Crucible has added Vanadium into the steel, which is where the V in the name comes from. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. When the steel first came out, it came with a premium price. But now that other companies are producing similar steels, the price has dropped. Now, you can get a high quality steel for a lower price. One of the only drawbacks to this type of steel is that it is hard to work with and sharpen. This does increase the cost slightly, because the manufacturers have to work with it, and if you are a beginner sharpener, I wouldn’t try to sharpen this steel. If you are looking for a more workable steel with the same qualities, S30V steel does have a better looking brother, S35VN steel, which has added Niobium to make it easier for the manufacturers to work with. At this day, S30V is a very common steel and it is one of my favorites.

The blade on the Blue Mini-Guard knife has been finished with a black coating. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually, and at that time, the blade will have to be re-coated. The coated finish reduces the reflections and glares while also reducing wear to the blade. Coatings can work to prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings do add cost to a knife, but they also provide you with more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. This black finish is a matte finish.

This knife is a classic stiletto style design. The stiletto style of blade is a dagger with a long slender blade and needle-like point, which has been designed as a primarily as a stabbing weapon. The stiletto’s blade narrow cross-section and acuminated tip reduces friction upon entry, allowing the blade to penetrate deeply. Over time, the term stiletto has been sued as a general descriptive term for a variety of knife blades exhibiting a narrow blade with minimal cutting surfaces and a needle-like point. The stiletto was first developed in Italy, dating back to the late 15th century, and is thought to be a development of the rondel dagger, which is a needle pointed weapon with a narrow blade designed primarily for thrusting, although it does possess cutting edges. The blade shape was later adopted throughout Italy as the favored offensive thrusting knife of the medieval assassin. The stiletto was even preferred by assassins as it was silent, easily concealed inside a sleeve or jacket, and featured a blade capable of easily penetrating the heavy leather and clothing of the day. The stiletto remained a popular weapon of criminals or political assassins form the 16th through the end of the 1th century, especially in France, Corsica, and Italy. The stiletto later followed the first wave of Italian immigration to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana during the mid-19th century, where the knife became a popular weapon of gamblers, gang members, and assorted assassins. This style of knife was actually involved in so many stabbings that the city passed an ordinance in 1879 outlawing the sale of any stiletto within the city limits. During World War One, there became a new need for stabbing weapons, which is when the dagger and stiletto reappeared. During the Second World War, there was another resurgence of the stiletto in the form of combat knives. During the 1950s, large numbers of folding switchblades with locking blades were imported from Italy to the United States. These Italian switchblades were commonly referred to as stilettos, since most incorporated a long, slender blade tapering to a needle-like point. These stiletto switchblades were designed primarily as an offensive weapon, optimized for thrusting rather than cutting. This was unlike most of the US switchblade designs of the day because they had a locking device, which locked the blade in the open position.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a spear point style blade. The spear point is similar to the needle-point blade, because they are both good for piercing. But, the spear point is a little stronger and it does contain a very small belly that can be sued for slicing. This style of blade is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. A spear point knife is a great choice for the knife enthusiast who is looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It successfully combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while maintaining some of the belly that is used for slicing.

The blade on this knife does have a plain edge. The main difference between plain edge blades and serrated blades really comes down to how you use your blade. Plain edges excel at push cuts, which is where you push the edge against the thing that you are trying to cut. Some good examples of this style of cuts are when you are shaving or whittling. Plain edges are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain edge blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, or peeling an apple. The other nice advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. The plain edge is going to give you cleaner cuts than a serrated edge. With a plain edge, you are going to be able to get a finer edge on your blade and it will be easier to sharpen because you don’t have to worry about the teeth. However, because it is a plain edge, you are going to have to sharpen your blade more often than if it were a serrated blade.

Piranha Blue Mini-Guard Knife
Piranha Blue Mini-Guard Knife

The Handle:

The handle is made out of T6-6061 anodized aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making, and it is extremely corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. The alloy of aluminum used is 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. Because this aluminum is used extensively in aircraft, it is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”. Aluminum alloy is much 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. Aluminum is a nonferrous metal. One of the benefits of having an aluminum handle is that it gives your knife as solid feel, without all the extra weight. Some of the drawbacks to your knife handle being made out of aluminum is that if you use your knife quite a bit during colder months, you will probably find the handle uncomfortable cold given its conductive properties. This material is also susceptible to scratches and dings. Lastly, unless it is property texturized, the handle can be fairly slippery. When it is properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use.

The handle on the Mini-Guard has been anodized. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideal suited to anodizing. The anodic oxide structure originates from 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 finish has made aluminum one of the most respected and widely used materials today. The handle on the Mini-Guard has been anodized a deep blue.

To provide you with a secure grip, there is ribbing all around the handle.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only. This pocket clip is made out of titanium and has been anodized black. This clip is kept in place by a large screw and is a deep carry pocket clip. Titanium offers you one of the best rust resistance of any metal.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife with a plunge lock. Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, which is a type of knife with a sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a button. Automatic knives have strict laws surrounding them in most states and cities, so know your local laws before your purchase and carry this knife. You are responsible for knowing your laws and the consequences surrounding them.

A plunge lock is long wearing and mechanically robust. A spring pushes a hardened, taper cylinder into a slot in the tang preventing closing. When the blade is stowed, the rounded plunger head makes contact with another slot in the tang acting to hold the blade closed. The plunger’s double duty is an elegant solution, negating the need for a ball detent. The mechanism is housed in the nested bolster plates for strength and longevity.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Piranha Blue Mini-Guard measures in at 2.9 inches long with the handle measuring in at 3.7 inches long. The overall length of the knife measures in at 6.6 inches long. The knife weighs in at 1.8 ounces and is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Piranha knives have certainly made their mark in the automatic knives arena for their tight tolerances, consistent quality and competitive pricing. Thanks to their unique custom-like anodized handle colors and a multitude of knife models with their respective blade variations, Piranha can most certainly appeal to every knife user. All models feature all-stainless steel hardware in addition to a titanium pocket clip. The Mini-Guard stems for the same style as the Bodyguard series but in a smaller size. This knife showcases aircraft grade aluminum handle scales that have been chamfered, rounded and polished for a comfortable and ergonomic feel and offers a classic stiletto style design coupled with modern materials. This knife puts a contemporary spin on the classic stiletto and fires hard and fast. This model, the 7BTBLU, features a marbled blue handle and a single-edged spear point style blade in a black finish and the pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only.  This is a durable, solid knife that is going to make the perfect self-defense knife. The marbled blue handle is classy and sleek, which will never go out of style. Pick up your Blue Mini-Guard Automatic Knife with an S30V Black Blade today at BladeOps.

Piranha P-8BKFS Excalibur Knife Review

Piranha knives has been around for more than a decade. They have been known for producing fine automatics since the beginning of their life span; and just like many other great knife companies, Piranha Knife Co. began their life in a machine shop. Today, we will be going over the Piranha P-8BKFS Excalibur.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM stainless steel. This steel is a type of stainless steel that is developed and manufactured in the United States by Crucible Industries. 154CM is a very high carbon stainless steel that is a base 440C steel with the addition of Molybdenum. Because 154CM provides a better edge retention than standard stainless steels, it is a good choice for blades that require heavier cutting applications. This steel is known for having a very good edge holding ability, while also having good toughness when the steel is double tempered. This steel does only have fair corrosion resistance though, but because of that, it is less expensive than BG-42 and S30V steel. The fair corrosion resistance is due to the lower levels of Chromium. This steel can have a Rockwell Rc level of 60-61. This steel is not too difficult to sharpen when you have the right equipment with you. You will find a lot of quality pocket knives from top manufacturers with blades made out of 154CM steel. This is not a powder steel, which is why it is slightly surprising that it is used in such a variety of nicer knives. This steel does offer you a good balance between all three attributes: being relatively hard, tough, and corrosion resistant. This steel is very chemically similar to RWL 34 and ATS 34. Because this Piranha knife has a blade made out of 154CM stainless steel, you know that this knife is going to be able to take on most tasks.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a mirror satin finish. This finish is created by hand, polishing the metal into a highly reflective surface. While it does provide a great look and it does offer better corrosion resistance due to the smoothness of the blade, this finish type involves a lot of polishing to maintain its look and its reflective quality would be telling in tactical fieldwork. The amount of skill used to create this finish often results in an expensive blade. A mirror finish is quickly scratched when used and is largely a presentation finish.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a dagger blade shape. The dagger lade shape is the format designed to maximize piercing, which is very opposite the sheepsfoot blade, which is designed to lack a point. This blade shape is also known as a needle point blade and is all about the point. A dagger point is a double-edged blade whose primary purpose is piercing and stabbing, and boy can it pierce and stab. This blade shape is composed of 2 symmetrically sharpened blades that taper to a very thin, sharp point, which is how it can pierce easily into soft targets. The two sharp edges reduce the profile of the knife and let it cut on both sides equally. This makes them a favorite blade designed for self-defense in close combat situations. This style of blade is a very popular option among military and police personnel because of their ability to be easily concealed and easily withdrawn. However, there are also a wide variety of disadvantages to the dagger blade design. Because of the geometry of the blade lacking a belly, and containing quickly thickening edges, it is not good for slicing or slashing. Also, because the tip is very sharp and thin, it is weak and has a tendency to break when used on hard targets. If you are looking for an all-purpose knife, this is not the knife that you are going to want to look into. However, if you are looking for a knife that is going to be a great self-defense weapon, or a blade that you are going to use for piercing, this is definitely the knife that you are going to want. The point on this knife definitely tapers to a finer edge than the spear point.

The Piranha P-8BKFS Excalibur does feature two sharp edges—increasing the knives ability to stab. One of the edges on this blade is a plain edge and the other edge is a serrated edge. The main difference between plain edge blade and serrated blades come down to how you use your blade. Plain edge blades excel at ‘push cut’, where you push the edge against the thing that you are trying to cut. Good examples of push cuts are when you’re shaving with a razor or whittling a piece of wood. Serrated edges excel at slicing cuts, where you drag the edge across the object that you are trying to cut. The best example of a slice motion is when you slice a piece of bread. You don’t push the blade, but rather drag the edge across the bread. Serrated edges have gained popularity recently in knife culture. Serrations are often looked at being more “tactical” and aggressive looking than classic plain edge blades. People also tend to attribute serrated blades with superior edge retention, slicing ability, and with less edge maintained. And in many cases, that is true. But, serrations are also harder to sharpen than plain edged blades. Serrated edges just have more ability to tear at an object effectively. Plain edge blades are precise and generally used in a more traditional tool sense. Plain edges are the standard for woodworking, shaving, and other primary cutting tasks. As a key, serrated edges will be superior when slicing through thick, tough, and fibrous materials because serrated edges tend to grab or grip the surface of what you’re cutting easily. But, the plain edge blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, trimming your nails, or peeling an apple. The advantage of a plain edge blade is because of their versatility. Because this Piranha knife has both of the edges, you really do get the best of both worlds. And, you don’t have to sacrifice either edges like you would in a combination edge.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is usually anodized or color, hardness, and protection. This 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 6061-T6 alloy which does have 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 use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortably cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is vernally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives. The pros of an aluminum handle are that they are strong, light, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. However, some of the cons are that it can be cold to hold, it can be a little slippery, and it is very susceptible to scratches and dings.

To make this a comfortable handle to hold, the ergonomics have been designed to fit in the curve of your palm exceptionally. At the top of the handle, there are two grooves for your fingers to fit nicely in. There are more shallow curves going down towards the butt of the handle, which makes this handle fit snugly in your hand. On the palm of the knife, there has been a drawing carved into it. This handle is a sleek black, which is timeless and will never go out of style.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically singed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. The pocket clip is a stonewash finish that gives this knife a very rugged, well-worn look. The clip is kept securely in place by a lone screw at the top of it. The clip and screw match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

The Excalibur is a double action out the front automatic knife. An out-the-front knife is also known as an OTF knife or a sliding knife. This is a pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is contrasting to the majority of other knives, which are either standard folding knives or are “fixed blade” knives, meaning that they 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 are actually further divided into two groups: manual or automatic. The Excalibur is an automatic knife, which does mean that it falls under the strict laws that surround all automatic knives.

Piranha P-8BKFS Excalibur
Piranha P-8BKFS Excalibur

An automatic OTF knife 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. Once you get into the OTF automatic knives, it can also be divided into two types. You can either have a double action, or DA OTF, or the single action, or SA OTF knives. Double action OTF knives deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design. Single action OTF knives deploy automatically, but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

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 automatics 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 automatic knives do have enough power to penetrate a human target.
The slide trigger on this knife has been placed on the broad side of the handle for total control over the deployment and retraction of this blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.125 inches long with the handle measuring in at 4.75 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 7.875 inches long. The Piranha Excalibur weighs in at 4.4 ounces and was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

Piranha knives have certainly made their mark in the automatic knives arena for their tight tolerances, consistent quality and competitive pricing. Thanks to their unique custom-like anodized handle colors and a multitude of knife models with their respective blade variations, Piranha can most certainly appeal to every knife user. All models feature all-stainless steel hardware in addition to a titanium pocket clip. The Excalibur, which is Piranha’s only double action out the front automatic knife, showcases aircraft grade aluminum handle scales that have been chamfered, rounded and polished for a comfortable and ergonomic feel. The handle scale boasts dual finger grooves on either side and the slide trigger has been placed on the broad side of the handle for maximum control. This model, the 8-BKFS, features a black anodized handle, a dagger style blade, that is fully serrated on one side and plain on the other, in a mirror satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a durable knife that is sleek and is going to be able to take on almost any task that you throw at it. Pick up your Piranha Excalibur double action, automatic knife today at BladeOps.