CRKT 5311 Pilar Folder Knife Review

CRKT has been a reliable American company since 1994. Over the past two decades, they have developed a fantastic reputation based on their knife designs, the selection of knives that they offer, and the quality of those knives. CRKT puts innovations and integrity first, because they want to be known for building products that can inspire and endure. They have been working with integrity since the very beginning. This means that they build products that are can perform reliably whether you are using it for work, fishing and hunting, tactical, survival, or any other need. Working with integrity also means that CRKT will deal with their customers honestly, letting you know that they respect and cherish you. They also want to put innovations first, and to do that, they try to bring useful technological advancements and entirely new product concepts to market. To achieve this purpose, CRKT has collaborated with many of the world’s best knife designers and the best knife makers. Out of these collaborations have been born some of the most innovative and ground breaking technological advancements that are in the knife community. Some of these innovations include the Automated Liner Safety System, the IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System, and the OutBurst Assist Opening Mechanism.

CRKT believes that everybody should be able to afford a high quality knife. To keep costs low, CRKT uses the most advanced manufacturing equipment to develop their knives efficiently, but still with fantastic quality. CRKT believes that these high quality knives should help build confidence in the users, guaranteeing that they are able complete the task at hand. CRKT believes that if a knife isn’t up to your standards, then that knife isn’t up to CRKT’s standards.

They have recently released a brand new knife and they call it the Pilar.


The Blade:

The blade on the Pilar is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This is a Chinese produced steel. There are a few different types of Cr steel in the series, but 8Cr is one of the most common. This steel’s biggest selling point is how inexpensive it is. While this is a benefit to many people, you have to keep in mind that the less you spend on a steel, the lower the quality you are going to get. 8Cr13MoV steel is similar to AUS 8 steel, it is a little bit lower on the quality scale though. It is not quite as hard as AUS 8 steel and it is more corrosion prone than AUS 8. This steel has poor edge retention abilities, however, it is extremely easy to sharpen. With this steel, the better the heat treatment it goes through, the better the steel is going to be able to perform.

The steel has been finished with a satin finish. This is one of the most common steel finishes. This is a pretty average finish. It really has no character, and while it does add a small amount of reflection and glare reduction, it doesn’t add enough to be super noticeable. This is not a matte finish, but it is also not a shiny finish. The satin finish also works to cut down rust and corrosion, but it doesn’t do this well enough to make a noticeable difference.

The 8Cr13MoV steel has been carved into a sheepsfoot blade. The history behind the name of the sheepsfoot blade shape is that this style of knife was originally used to trim the hooves on sheep. But throughout history, this blade shape has also been very popular of delicate work such as electrical work or even woodcarving. A sheepsfoot blade shape is not common, but it is also not uncommon. What I mean is that many people have heard of the sheepsfoot blade, but they aren’t totally sure what its advantages and disadvantages are. While many people have heard of this blade shape, fewer have actually used a knife with this blade shape. So what is the sheepsfoot blade shape? This is a blade that has a straight sharpened edge, with a rounded unsharpened edge. However, on the Pilar, the usual straight sharpened edge is actually rounded slightly. The two edges still meet with a “false point”. This is one of the major disadvantages of the sheepsfoot blade shape; it cannot stab. While this is a drawback, some career paths benefit from having no point. One of these careers is an emergency responder. They can use this blade to cut a seatbelt without having to worry about injuring the victim with a sharp point. This blade shape is also very popular with sailors, because they can cut the rigging without needing to worry about piercing the sails. Because the sharpened edge is relatively straight and long, it will give you one of the cleanest cuts you could receive, especially if you are cutting on a flat surface. The sheepsfoot blade shape excels most at cutting or slicing. Another big benefit to the sheepsfoot blade shape is that it is very controllable. This is because the unsharpened edge of the knife is curved, so you can hang on to that section of the blade while cutting, instead of needing to hold on to the handle.

On the blade, near the unsharpened edge, there is an oval hole cut out to allow you to manually deploy the knife. This blade is a plain edge, which allows you to get a sharper edge than if it was a serrated knife. The plain edge also allows sharpening to be easier than if you had a serrated edge.


The Handle:

The handle on the Pilar is made out of stainless steel. This material provides exceptional durability to your handle. Stainless steel is also very resistant to corrosion. However, no steel, even stainless, will rust if left in a damp, wet, or humid environment. Just because it is a stainless steel metal, you still will need to maintain the handle. It will obviously benefit you with less maintenance time than a non stainless steel. Unfortunately, stainless steel is not a lightweight material and will add significant weight to the Pilar. Another drawback to the stainless steel handle is that stainless steel is known to be very slippery, giving you a not so solid grip on your knife. CRKT has finished the stainless steel handle with a bead blasted finish This finish is created by blasting small ceramic or glass beads at the material with high pressure. This will create an even, gray finish. The blasted finish also works to reduce reflection and glare because it does have a matte surface. This style of finish helps to hide scratches that the Pilar’s handle will accumulate over time. Unfortunately, these small beads do create micro abrasions in the surface, so the stainless steel is more prone to rusting and corrosion.

The handle also has an elongated finger groove that helps with precise cutting tasks.


The Pocket Clip:

The Pilar comes with a pocket clip. This clip is stainless steel to match the rest of the handle. It is kept in place by two small silver screws. The pocket clip has been stamped with “CRKT”. This pocket clip is only able to carry your knife right handedly, but you can reverse the clip and carry it tip up or down.


The Mechanism:

The Pilar is a manual folding knife that is deployed by a thumb slot or thumb hole. This is really exactly what it sounds like: there is a hole in the blade that allows your thumb to get a solid grip on your blade and then allows you to push the knife open. This mechanism is simply elegant while remaining easy to use. This knife also sports a Frame Lock keeping sure to lock your blade into place while it is open. This allows you to work with your knife, even with the tougher jobs, without having to worry about your blade giving and closing on you.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 2.402 inches long with a thickness of 0.145 inches. When the Pilar is opened, it measures in at 5.938 inches long, with a closed length of 3.530 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.2 ounces.


The Designer:

Jesper Voxnaes is the man behind the knife. He is a native of Denmark, so

CRKT Pilar Knife
CRKT Pilar Knife

when he needs to test a knife, all he has to do is venture out into his backyard. Because he lives in the fjords and forests of Denmark, he has a harsh environment that his knives need to be able to endure. He started designing knives because no one was making the kind of knives that he wanted. He learned how to perfect a knife only by trial and error. In 2013 he was given his IF Award for one of the Top European Designs. Jesper named this knife after Ernest Hemingway’s personal 38’ sailboat that he used for renegade surveillance on German U-boats during World war II.


The Pros of the CRKT Pilar:

  • The steel is extremely inexpensive, which keeps the cost of the knife down considerably.
  • The satin finish helps to slightly reduce glares and reflections while also working to cut down on rust and corrosion.
  • The steel on this blade is extremely easy to sharpen.
  • The sheepsfoot blade shape has no point, which is a benefit if you need to work in close quarters or slice without having to worry about piercing someone. This is great for people such as first responders.
  • Because the sharpened edge is so straight, your cuts will be the cleanest that you will ever find.
  • The sheepsfoot blade shape excels at cutting and slicing.
  • The sheepsfoot blade shape is very controllable because the user is able to grasp the unsharpened edge of the blade.
  • The stainless steel handle is durable and rust resistant.
  • The elongated finger groove gives you better control.
  • The bead blasted finish hides scratches.
  • The pocket clip can be carried either tip up or tip down.
  • The hole cut into the knife helps to manually deploy the knife quickly and efficiently.


The Cons of the CRKT Pilar:

  • The pocket clip has only been drilled to carry this knife right handedly, so it is not ambidextrous.



CRKT is an extremely reliable company. They are reliable to their customers, treating them with honesty and integrity. An they are reliable in their products, they produce knives and tools that are designed to be able to perform even in the most stressful situations. They believe that every person should be able to afford a high quality knife or tool, so they build their knives efficiently to keep the costs down. They have produced countless innovative and ground breaking new knives and one of the newest of their knives is the Pilar.

To create an excellent knife CRKT started out with 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This steel’s biggest benefit is that it keeps the knife’s price down significantly. This steel is going to be able to get the job done, but it really doesn’t excel in ways that a high quality steel would have. This steel has been ground into a sheepsfoot blade that will give you clean cuts while letting you cut worry free because there is really no point. In fact, the point is dubbed as a “false point”. The stainless steel handle is very resistant to rust and corrosion, which does keep maintenance down. However, the stainless steel handle does add quite a bit of weight behind the knife. This is a great knife with a complex backstory and you can get yours here.

CRKT Noma Knife Review

Columbia River Knife and Tool Company was founded in Oregon in 1994. This is an American company that is known for its distinction in design, selection, and quality. For over twenty years, CRKT has put innovation and integrity first, making a commitment to build products that inspire and endure. CRKT also operates on a simple principle: that the greatest thing they can give their customers is Confidence in Hand. To accomplish this, they collaborate with the best knife designers and makers in the world. Some of these collaborations have been with Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers. Out of these collaborations have been born some of the most innovative inventions in the knife community. CRKT now owns fifteen patents and patents pending, some of their more well-known patents are the Outburst assist opening mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff Serrated edges.

Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer are the men behind the company. And while their company is excelling right now, it wasn’t always that way. CRKT did not truly take off until the 1997 Shot Show. This was the year and place that they introduced the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) knife. This is a small folder hat was designed by Ed Halligan and it was a raging success. Within the opening days of the Shot Show, CRKT had sold out the years’ worth of products. Now, CRKT produces a wide range of fixed blades, folding knives, multi tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems.

CRKT has recently just released two brand new knives and they call them the Noma and the Noma Compact.


The Designer:

The man behind this burly knife is Jesper Voxnaes. He is from Loegstrup, Denmark and because of this, when he needs to test a design, he only has to step into his own backyard. The harsh elements and conditions of the fjords and forests in his native Denmark do the rest. When he was starting out, no one was making the kind of knives he wanted to design so he learned by trial and error. Apparently his efforts paid off given his IF Award in 2013 for one of the Top European Designs. Now he creates and uses knives like the Amicus as he sails, camps, and drives off road, which just so happens to be more often than not.


The Blades:

The blades on these knives are made out 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel formula comes from a Chinese series of steel. Out of this series, the 9Cr steel is the top quality, but 8Cr steel does fall shortly behind it. If you are looking for a comparison with a similar steel, I would say AUS 8 steel. However, AUS 8 steel is the slightly superior steel. 8Cr steel is a stainless steel, so it will resist rusting and corroding to an extent. However, it is an average grade steel, so there are higher quality stainless steels on the market. The hardness of this steel is an HRC 58-60. This steel is a breeze to sharpen and you can give the blade a very sharp edge. The edge on this blade will also last for long periods of time. The biggest advantage that 8Cr13MoV steel boasts is how inexpensive it is. This steel can take on the majority of jobs that you throw at it and you get it for a very inexpensive cost. However, keep in mind that it is considered an average grade steel and it won’t excel at anything.

The finish on these two knives is a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive material, which is usually a sandpaper. The main purpose of this finish is to showcase the lines of the steel.  This finish will provide you with an extremely traditional look. The satin finish is a medium finish, meaning that there are definitely finishes that are more reflective than it, such as the mirror finish, but there are also finishes that are much more matte than this finish, such as a stonewash or coated finish.

The steel on both of these knives have been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is one of the most popular blade shapes and for good reason: this is a great all-purpose blade shape that is extremely versatile. To form the shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. The lowered tip is broad, and that is what provides the user with such great strength. The clip point blade shape is often confused with the drop point blade shape, but it is the point strength that is a difference between the two. The clip point blade shape has a much thinner, finer, and sharper tip. While this tip does allow you to have stabbing capabilities, it does create a much weaker tip, which results in it being prone to snapping or breaking when performing some of those heavier duty tasks. One of the only drawbacks to the drop point blade shape is that it is broader, so you can’t really stab or pierce with it. However, because of the strength behind the tip and because it can hold up to heavy use, drop point blade shapes are popular on tactical and survival knives. The lowered tip also makes this blade more easily controllable, which makes them very popular on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Another reason that this blade shape is so versatile is because it features a large belly area that provides plenty of length for slicing. When you choose to own a knife with a drop point blade, you will be preparing yourself for almost any situation that you encounter, whether it is the expected or unexpected situations.

The edge on these knives is a plain edge. Since the Noma and the Noma Compact have been designed for hunting, the plain edge is the perfect choice. Plain edges are more traditional and they excel at push cuts, skinning, peeling, and slicing. The plain edge will give your cuts a clean cut, keeping your meat at the highest quality.


The Handle:

The handles on the Noma’s have been made out of Glass Reinforced Fiber polyamide. This material is a thermoplastic which is super strong, resistant to bending and abrasion, and is practically indestructible. As an added bonus, it is super cheap. This is an inexpensive material to produce because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. These characteristics leads to high volume manufacturing and thus the low price. GRN is such a strong material because all of the nylon fibers have been arranged haphazardly throughout. This means that the handle can be stressed in any direction without breaking down because there are really no weak spots. With similar materials such as G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta the strands have been aligned in a single direction. This is why those materials are also so brittle: once you start to stress them in the opposing directions, they can easily break down and the handle will fall apart. And because those materials are so brittle, you have to be careful with what you do with them, because they can crack if subjected to hard hits on sharp or hard objects. GRN is not that way and has been designed to take a heavy beating. Many people did not warm up to this material because they thought that it felt cheap and almost hollow. Another complaint about GRN is that it is not quite as grippy as G 10 is. To add texture, CRKT has added dashes and circles into the palm portion of both of the handles. This will provide you with plenty of grip to hang on to your knife in the slipperiest of situations. Another thing that CRKT added to give you better control was a row of jimping on the spine of the knife. To keep your fingers comfortable for periods of long use, CRKT has added two elongated finger grooves to the bottom of the handle as well as a flared butt and a finger guard to keep your fingers safe from getting sliced.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into it. If you tie a lanyard onto your hunting knife, it will provide you with extra length, protect against loss, and even give you extra grip when you are performing those tougher and messier jobs. Attaching a lanyard onto your hunting knife is an excellent idea.


The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is skeletonized and kept in place by two small screws. This pocket clip is eligible for tip up or tip down carry, but the handle has only been carved to attach it on the traditional side of the handle.


The Mechanism:

CRKT Noma Knife
CRKT Noma Knife

This is a folding knife that uses a nail nick opening. The nail nick is exactly what it sounds like: a small indent on the blade that extends past the handle when the knife is closed. This nick gives you enough traction to then flip the knife open.

The Noma’s also sport a lock back safety mechanism. This mechanism is what you are going to find on many classic American folding knives. It is made of a spine on a spring. When the knife is opened, the spine locks into a notch on the back of the blade. To close the knife, push down on the exposed part of the spine to pop up the part of the spine in contact with the blade. This disengages the lock, which allows you to swing the blade to a closed positon. The benefits of a lock back include reliable strength and safety. The unlock button is also out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blades path when closing, minimizing the risk of cutting yourself. One of the disadvantages to this type of locking mechanism is that you have to use both hands to close a lock back so it can be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. Although it’s possible to close a lock back with one hand, it isn’t easy.


The Specs of the Noma:

The blade on this knife is 3.317 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.110 inches. The overall length of the knife is 7.875 inches long with a closed length of 4.497 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.6 ounces.


The Specs of the Noma Compact:

The blade on this knife is 2.760 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.104 inches. The overall length of the knife is 6.563 inches long with a closed length of 3.757 inches long. The Noma Compact weighs in at 3.2 ounces.  You can find the Noma Compact here.



“This backwoods field dresser doesn’t come with a butcher block. The Noma is a folding knife rooted in its Scandinavian hunting heritage and is the envy of butchers everywhere. Its big-belly blade design and ergonomic shape makes it a go-to if you’re going after wild game. Jesper Voxnaes of Loegstrup, Denmark channeled inspiration from his expansive Nordic backyard while designing the Noma™. The clean lines are notably Scandinavian but the blade shape and all-weather handle make it unmistakably a hunting knife. The blade itself is crafted with a deep belly design and features a satin finish. The lock back safety ensures your protection and locks into place after the blade is deployed with a subtle nail nick opening. Finally, the handle is made with glass-reinforced nylon for optimal grip and excellent durability. ‘Noma’ translates to fate in Old Norse, and you can bet that their hunting ancestors wouldn’t have left it up to anything but the Noma™ folding knife.” Pick yours up at BladeOps today.

ProTech Rockeye Auto Knife Review

Specs ProTech with a Les George Design

ProTech Knives is a family owned knife company that has been in the knife making industry since 1999. Ever since day one, this fine group has been producing knives that people everywhere enjoy. Les George began making knives in 1992 and a few short years later enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1997. Having traveled all around the world and his experience in the military has given him the knowledge needed for a good hard working knife. He knows what is helpful in most situations and what is useless. Together, with over many decades of experience, ProTech, and Les George have united to create the Rockeye automatic knife. This knife will blow you away, just wait and see.


ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto


One of the interesting things about the Rockeye is that it shares its name with a bomb used to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles. It’s no coincidence that the Rockeye knife shares this powerful name. Listed below are the different specs for the knife.

  • Product Type: Automatic
  • Locking Mechanism: Plunge Lock
  • Overall Length: 8.38″
  • Weight:  4.53 oz.
  • Handle Length: 5.00”
  • Blade Length: 3.38″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.130″
  • Blade Steel: D2
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Finish: Various Available
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Color: Various Available
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Lanyard Hole Included: Yes
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up
  • Made in the USA


Now if that didn’t do enough damage, let’s dive a little deeper into what this explosive knife is all about.

Hard Quick Auto

Automatic knives have always been a popular choice. They offer many advantages that typical folders, fixed blades, and even a spring assisted knives do not offer. One benefit to owning an auto is its deployment speed, especially with the Rockeye. Not only is it quick, but it can be fired off with one hand. The Rockeye is abnormally quick and like its explosive counterpart, it packs a hard punch. Its kickback recoil is almost comparable to that of a gun. It’s that hard of a kick.

An automatic knife is a better option because of the ease of opening the knife. Literally, by pressing the button, the blade will flash open in a blink of an eye. Until this little button is pressed on the handle, this blade is not going anywhere.

Having these features come in handy during many instances. Is a hand of yours in a bind or holding an object that is in need of cutting? An automatic knife can be opened instantly with one hand to perform its job. In many high-stress conditions, having a knife ready in a blink of an eye can preserve a life for one more day. It is different than a traditional knife and brings something new to the knife industry.




The steel you will find on the Rockeye is the extremely durable D2 blade steel. The steel was first developed around the time of World War II. D2 steel is a wear-resistant steel used for various rigorous tasks and can be found on cutting tools such as shears and planers. It contains 1.5% carbon and 11.0 – 12.0% chromium; additionally it is composed of 0.45% manganese, 0.030% max phosphorus, 0.030% max sulfur, 1.0% vanadium, 0.7% molybdenum, and 0.30% silicon. It is a popular knife steel due to its edge retention. One setback the steel has is that when it becomes dull, it is harder to sharpen. Due to its chromium and carbon content, it is often considered a semi-stainless steel. D2 is a high carbon tool steel. Compared to a steel like 1095 it is not nearly as tough but it is capable of holding an edge for a long time. D2 is also much more resistant to corrosion than 1095. Being a tool steel, this knife is able to accomplish heavy duty tasks.


Your standard blade, the drop point, is the blade featured on the Rockeye. It is one of the more common blade shapes in use today. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slowly curved manner. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. Another advantage that the drop point has is its tip. The point on the blade is sharp and is thicker than other styles, thus allowing for a stronger tip. The point is also great when it comes to controlling the blade. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have equipped a knife and is popular on knives because of the controllable point and large slicing area.


Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) is a special finish. Like all other finishings on knives, the DLC is going to get scratched over time. But it will take a lot of time. DLC coatings can last years, depending on how thick the coating is. I’ve had several knives with a black blade. Like any other blade, with time, it began to look used. Personally, if a knife doesn’t look used, why have one? (It’s still important to take care of it.) It is a type of material that displays some of the typical properties of diamond. From a hardness point of view, it is said that DLC is harder than diamond. The way it looks is a matte black finish. Notable benefits of it are its coolness factor, and its low reflectivity. This coating can be helpful in stealth operations that require a tactical knife with low reflectivity. When someone needs protection from corrosion, a DLC coating has some advantages. If one tends to forget proper blade maintenance, the coating can resist corrosion for a longer time. It lowers friction, offers high wear resistance, and enhances hardness. The Rockeye DLC blade coating is not all about looks, it’s about performance. The benefits are obviously important when it comes to knives.


ProTech Rockeye Auto
ProTech Rockeye Auto



The handle on the Rockeye is made of an aluminum alloy. Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal (meaning it does not contain or consist of iron) that is corrosive resistant. It is a very durable material for knife handles. It’s a low-density metal that provides a nice, solid feel to the knife without weighing the knife down. It is strong because of its high strength to weight ratio. Aluminum is often considered to be inferior titanium, which tends to be found on more premium knives. Though inferior to titanium, it is still an excellent handle material.

One downside to aluminum is that if you use your knife during cooler weather, you might find the handle to be slightly uncomfortable.  If left uncared for, aluminum will oxidize. This oxidation appears as white residue and pitting on the surface. Some other things to watch out for with an aluminum handle is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings if you are not careful. Though it may seem to have significant disadvantages, there are many good qualities to this material. The biggest advantages to aluminum are its strength, its light weight, its durability, and its resistance to corrosion.


Though the only real texture on the handle of the Rockeye is a honeycomb hexagonal design, this isn’t some wimpy bug of a knife. The Rockwell’s texture provides a better grip and gives variety to the rest of the smooth handle. Only the front face of the handle has this texturing on it, and it only covers three-fourths of that side. The rest of the handle is smooth to the touch. When the blade is opened, there is a finger groove that adds extra grip. Not only that, but it serves as an extra bit of protection as well. Though not a part of the handle per say, there is jimping on the blade. This jimping extends well into the handle for additional gripping ability. Some other features of the knife include a lanyard hole for your convenience. The pocket clip, only equipped tip up on the backside of the handle, allows the carrier a near discrete carry while in a pocket.



There are many variations available for the Rockeye. Those variations include everything from blade edge, to handle finish. And from blade finish to a completely different knife product. It would be much simpler to go to the website to learn more about it. Go to for more variation information.


Everyday Carry or Tactical Knife

The ProTech Rockeye is a viable tool for everyone. Whether it is for everyday tasks or for the tactical situation, the Rockeye is ready to blow.

Carry Depth

It is never comfortable to carry a large knife in your pocket every day. There is only a small limited size pocket space available. With that being said, the Rockeye is a great knife to carry around daily. The total length of the knife, when closed, is 5.00″ long. For those of you with smartphones, the Rockeye is about the same size as the average phone. If you have room in your pocket for your iPhone or Android device, you definitely have room for the Rockeye. If by some chance you have a small pocket, this knife will easily fit into another pocket; such as that on your backpack. There is no need to worry about the length of this knife.


Now the Rockeye is pretty dense for its size. Weighing in at 4.40 ounces, the Rockeye is sure to pack a serious punch. As a more heavy-duty knife, its weight is perfect just the way it is. If it were any heavier, then it would be uncomfortable to carry around. And if it were any lighter, the knife would not be able to make as big of an impact when used or it could go unnoticed while in a pocket and fly out unknowingly. I’d say that the perfect weight range for any everyday carry is 3.5 to 5 ounces. The Rockeye easily fits into that range.

Thickness and Width

As far as the thickness and the width go on the Rockeye, it is your average size knife (perhaps leaning towards the larger side). The thickness of the knife is just over half an inch, including the pocket clip. Without the pocket clip, the knife’s thickness would be half an inch. The width of the knife anywhere between an inch and a quarter and an inch and a half. The dimensions of the knife are pretty normal. It will not take up much pocket space although it is slightly thicker than the average smartphone (when in a protective case).


If carrying the knife every day isn’t enough for you, there is no need to fret. The Rockeye can be used as a tactical knife. The term “Tactical Knife” often gets thrown around the industry for a variety of reasons. Whether it is a publicity tactic or an actual description of the knife’s purpose, there is a need for a filtering lens to see what the knife is really made for. In the case of the Rockeye, it has many tools equipped on it to make it useful for several different jobs. This is what makes a knife a tactical one.

A tactical knife is a knife with one or more features designed for use in extreme situations. A tactical knife is principally designed to be used as a utility tool, not as a weapon. Folding knives are rarely, if ever, designed primarily for fighting or combat. However, several military organizations have issued folding “utility” knives that were not intended to be used as weapons, but which had tactical features that appealed to military personnel as well as civilians. A knife with aggressive looks such as having a blackened blade and grips do not make a knife “tactical.”



This knife is the bomb. ProTech is always coming up with brilliant knives to arm people with. The ProTech Rockeye is a practical tool that you can use anytime and anywhere. Being capable of working as an everyday carry and as a tactical knife makes it great to use every day. The design and construction of this knife allow you to own a knife that is made to last you a lifetime. It will not let you down.


CRKT Burnley Squid Knife Review

The Squid is not your typical everyday carry folding knife. From knife designer Lucas Burnley of Albuquerque, New Mexico comes this compact knife with great potential. He has based this knife on the concept of a compact pistol, meaning it can still fully function without the extra fluff. It is a tactically inspired knife that can stand up to any opposition.


CRKT Squid
CRKT Squid


As a compact knife, the Squid might be small in size, but not in stature. Listed below are the specs for this mighty knife.

  • Product Type: Folder
  • Locking Mechanism: Frame Lock
  • Overall Length: 5.70″
  • Weight:  3.50 oz.
  • Handle Length: 3.40”
  • Blade Length: 2.10″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.110″
  • Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Back
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash
  • Handle Material: 2Cr13
  • Handle Color: Gray
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Lanyard Hole Included: Yes
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up


As you can see, the knife isn’t that large. Both in weight and in length it is small, but there is potential in the squid. In the wild, squids are pretty average in size (around 24 inches in length). However, there are those giant squids that always seem to wreak havoc in horror or action films. Although the CRKT Squid will not break into a rampage, the knife will still put up a good fight and be a great everyday tool.


Burnley Design

Burnley Knives was founded in 2003 by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their mission is to “create custom knives with a superlative level of design and function utilizing ever evolving techniques and materials.” Much of Burnley’s inspiration comes from spending time with his father, time out among Mother Nature, and action packed survival stories and films. Over the years, he has experimented with a range of styles to combine classical knife designs with modern materials and techniques. His goal in creating the Squid was to make a great quality knife, which is readily available to a broader spectrum of people to own and use. Even though the Burnley design is compact, it is still able to function at 100%.



While there are other opening mechanisms out in the market (spring assist, fixed, automatic, etc.) there is a reason why a folder knife is a viable tool, especially as an everyday carry. One reason a folder knife is beneficial to own is because of how quiet it opens. Another point to note is that in some places, having a spring assisted or automatic knife can get you into legal trouble whereas a folder knife will not. This isn’t true is all cases, but something to point out. One more thing to make mention of is that the more parts that move in the knife, can mean a greater potential to wear out and break down over time. Also, when compared to fixed blades, a folder can be more discrete when carrying it every day. It doesn’t draw as much attention to it compared to the attitude people have about the serious nature of fixed blades. It simply is much easier to carry around in the city. Plus a folder tends to be more compact than a fixed blade. This is especially true with the tiny size of the Squid.


Locking Mechanism

The frame lock on the CRKT Squid is a type of locking system that was first introduced with the Sebenza Folder. The Frame or Integral Lock was created by Chris Reeve of Chris Reeve Knives and first appeared on the Sebenza. Chris Reeve calls it an Integral Lock, but the common name used in the industry now is simply “Frame Lock”. The original Integral Lock was developed in 1987. It is used when a portion of the back handle is slotted in a groove on the knife to lock the knife into place. This groove is in place behind the blade to refrain it from closing. Many suggest that this is one of the best locking mechanisms for its life-long durability and its reliability. The locking system makes the Squid more reliable during use because of its ability to resist slipping while retaining its strength.

The Frame Lock is a modification of the Liner Lock created by Michael Walker to simplify and strengthen the design. This is done by removing the handle scales and thin liners from the knife and using thicker liners to serve as both the handles, and the integrated locking bar. Frame locks are stronger than normal liner locks and are simpler in design. While holding the knife, the lock is being reinforced since it is integrated into the handle. Having this type of lock improves the overall quality of the knife.


Blade Style

The drop point on the Squid is an all-purpose blade that is able to stand up to anything that it comes across. Its blade is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. Another advantage that the drop point has is its tip. The point on the blade is sharp and is thicker than other styles, thus allowing for a stronger tip. The point is also great when it comes to controlling the blade. Accuracy is key, especially when it comes to fine tune cutting. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have on a knife and is popular on knives because of the controllable point and large slicing area.


Blade Steel

The steel used in the blade on the CRKT Squid is 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. For a knife that is very inexpensive, 8Cr13MoV is a tough steel to compete with. It is a Chinese steel with similar qualities to the Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel. 8Cr13Mov and its variations are excellent steels considering how little it costs to produce. Similar to AUS-8, 8Cr13MoV lacks the edge retention of the higher end steels. This is considerable based on the cost of making the steel. It can, however, take a sharp edge. It is considerably tough, and corrosion resistant. Owning a stainless steel knife does not require too much attention. Even though they are a little harder to sharpen, stainless steel blades are a popular choice because of the environment where the knife will be used; i.e. working in less than ideal weather conditions, dealing with corrosive liquids, etc.


Blade Finish

One of my all-time favorite finishes is a nice stonewash blade. It is the finish on the CRKT Squid. The process of getting a blade to look this way begins when the blade is rolled and tumbled with pebbles and an acid of sorts, then smoothed. In theory, it can hide scratches or other abrasions to the blade. This is a favorable characteristic that many knife owners desire. Because of the tumbling process to create this finish, it looks as if there are already hundreds of markings on it. Yet, the markings are done in a natural way to form a work of art. Similar to a snowflake, no two stonewashes are the same. The finish has a different look to it. It is able to reflect direct light off the surface blade. With all of the noticeable artistic markings on the knife, there is no need to worry about other markings that may come with using the knife. The knife can be used for its intended purpose of cutting and doing any other type of work while taking on any marking. Some suggest that because of the process, a stonewashed knife can become more resistant to rust as well. The acid oxidation it goes through in the process enhances a blade’s rust resistance with a stable oxide barrier between the steel and its surrounding. Another benefit of stonewashing a blade is their low maintenance and their ability to preserve their original look overtime. I am in love with this blade. It is amazing to look at, and it comes with benefits.



Stainless steel handles, such as that on the Squid, contain a minimum of 10-13% chromium. The chromium in the steel alloy helps to make the knife corrosive resistant. Chromium creates a barrier to oxygen and moisture which makes is rust resistant, but not rust proof. While it does provide excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, it is not particularly lightweight. Stainless steel handles can also be rather slick. The main advantages to having a stainless steel handle is that it is strong, durable, and corrosion resistant. The Squid is practically made solely from stainless steel. This will help extend the life of the knife. The pocket clip on the Squid runs half the length of the handle. Though not quite a discreet carry, it is pretty close. Though the clip is only available in one position, it still works great for any knife user out there.


Small Everyday Carry

As an everyday carry knife, it is important to know how the CRKT Squid feels when being carried around all the time. Especially as a small carry knife. Those criteria include its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The CRKT Squid is comfortable to carry in your pocket. The slim design takes up minimal pocket real-estate. Because of its smaller size, it sacrifices the potential for a really secure and comfortable grip.  When closed, the knife is 3.40 inches long. You’ll find that most comfortable carry knives are anywhere between 3.5 to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests just near the edge that range. Frequently, before any knife purchase, I ask myself, “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” The knife isn’t too deep when resting in the pocket. However, the pocket clip allows the majority of the knife to fit within my pocket.


One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. One of the worst feelings that can happen on a day to day basis is carrying something heavy in your pocket. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The CRKT Squid barely fits right into this range. Weighing in at 3.50 ounces, this knife is fairly lightweight. For the size of the knife, it is a good idea to take precaution when carrying it around. Because of its lack of weight, the knife has a greater potential to fly out of your pocket.

Thickness and Width

Like we mentioned before, the knife is very slim. At most, the knife is just about an inch thick. And the knife is just about a quarter of an inch wide from handle scale to handle scale. There is hardly anything to the CRKT Squid.


The goal for the CRKT Squid is a simple look, nothing to extreme. It isn’t too dull, or to flamboyant. The conservative look is one of the advantages that this knife has. One other goal for this knife was to make it legal to carry all over the place. Though you are still responsible in keeping the law, it’s nice to know that there are some people out there trying to help you to have a decent knife that is legal, and useful.


The Test

The CRKT Squid is a tough knife that can the job done. To best show you how it gets the job done, there are certain tests that the blade undergoes to demonstrate its skill. Below are the results of these tests.

Paper- The Squid was easily able to cut through multiple layers of paper. But because of the tip on the blade, penetration wasn’t as good as other blade styles (such as a dagger or tanto). Shredding all of that unwanted mail will be easy with the Squid.

Cardboard- This is probably where the Squid excelled the most. The cuts were much simpler than those of the other tests. I was worried that the size of the Squid would prevent me from using the knife to its full capacity. Nevertheless, I was taken back.

Plastic- Again, the penetration problem persisted primarily in cutting the plastic. But once it had pushed through the tough material, it was easily able to slice through the rest of the plastic.

Rope/Paracord- Cutting the rope was pretty normal when compared to other knives. It got the job done, but nothing too impressive.



CRKT and Lucas Burnley did an excellent job at creating an inexpensive knife that is highly functional. I would be surprised if anyone couldn’t own this knife. It is supposedly legal everywhere, it is inexpensive, the size is small and comfortable, and it is good quality for what it is worth. I highly recommend this knife. Pick up the CRKT Squid today!

Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken Knife Review

Kwaiken History

Anciently, Japanese women and men of the samurai class once carried the kwaiken blade. Primarily used for self-defense in indoor spaces, the kwaiken had an advantage over the long blade katana and intermediate sword wakizashi in smaller spaces. Women carried them in their kimono, either in a pocket-like space (futokoro) or in the sleeve pouch (tamoto), for self-defense purposes.

Today, the modern kwaiken also serves as a great self-defense tool for men and women everywhere. Its slim profile, and durable design are perfect in this realm.


Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken
Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken


As a smaller version of the katana or even the wakizashi, the Boker Kwaiken is still an impressive knife. Below is a list of all the specifications you need to know before getting a modern twist on an ancient classic.

  • Product Type: Flipper
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock
  • Overall Length: 8.38″
  • Weight: 4.45 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.88”
  • Blade Length: 3.50″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.130″
  • Blade Steel: VG-10
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Straight Back
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up


Even though this blade has been around for many generations, it is best to cover the basics of the knife and the new modernized additions to the Kwaiken.


Burnley Design

Burnley Knives was founded in 2003 by Lucas Burnley in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their mission is to “create custom knives with a superlative level of design and function utilizing ever evolving techniques and materials.” Much of Burnley’s inspiration comes from spending time with his father, time out among Mother Nature, and action packed survival stories and films. Over the years, he has experimented with a range of styles to combine classical knife designs with modern materials and techniques.



The Boker Kwaiken opens with a “flipper.” The flipper is that part of the blade that protrudes near the knife spine when the blade is closed. One advantage to having a flipper is when the blade is opened, it acts as an additional finger support when gripping the handle. It also, depending on the size, can serve as an extra way to protect your fingers when cutting. When proficiently skilled, a user can open a flipper knife in the blink of an eye. As the user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use. Without the use of a spring or torsion bar to assist the blade out of the handle, the IKBS opening system is a manual opening system that provides a smooth, easy blade opening.


IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot System

One of the new twists to the Boker Kwaiken is the IKBS System. The Ikoma Korth Bearing System (IKBS) is a ball bearing pivot system for folding knives. The IKBS gives an exceptionally fast and smooth opening and closing action without much friction. The pivot requires very little maintenance and has a long service life. It works is by using uncaged ball bearings at the pivot which are held in grooves machined into the folder frame and blade. The IKBS was originally designed to fit in balisong knives, but because of its versatility it can be used in most kinds of folding knives (mainly liner locks and frame locks).
The IKBS system is highly favorable because of its simplicity.
An ordinary bearing is designed to rotate at high-speed for a long period of time and usually with some load applied on it. This required additional hardware such as bearing races and cages. With a simple flipper knife, such as the Boker Kwaiken, it was possible to eliminate those bulky and complex pieces, leaving just the steel balls to rotate the blade. Instead of external races, there are recesses made in the liners to hold the steel balls. And the pivot pin is used as the internal race. The steel balls that make up the IKBS are inexpensive and can be easily replaced without the need of any adjustment, making maintenance quite simple. The IKBS system is slightly adjustable. If any blade play occurs after time, tightening the pivot screw can easily eliminate it.
Blade Style

If you want a knife with a relatively narrow point and yet a curved belly, a straight back blade is the one for you. It is well suited for both thrusting and cutting. There isn’t too much of difference between a straight back and a dropped point. However, a straight back blade is the simplest of blade shapes. The sharp edge starts near the handle and curves towards the tip of the blade. The unsharpened edge continues straight from the handle to the tip. Simple, no? Having a straight back on your knife blade helps improve the strength of the blade. It also makes it ideal for adding thumb pressure when slicing and chopping. The straight dull back won’t hurt your thumb when adding a lot of pressure.


Blade Steel

VG-10 Steel isn’t a common steel you hear about. Though it is not used much, the blade steel is still excellent in quality. Sticking with the Japanese theme on the Boker Kwaiken, VG-10 is a cutlery grade stainless steel was originally designed and produced by Takefu Special Steel Co. Ltd., in Japan. It is a high carbon stainless steel containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, 1.5% Cobalt, and 0.5% Manganese. Even though carbon only makes up a relatively small amount of the total material of the blade, it is still a significant amount for stainless steel. The G in the name stands for “gold,” referring to the “gold standard” that this stainless steel is considered to have met. One of the original uses of this steel was in the horticultural industry. This is because of its ability to make clean, grafting cuts. Thus it would not fray or destroy the vessels of the plant. VG-10 was originally aimed at Japanese chefs, but also found its way into sports cutlery. VG-10 is quite capable of retaining an edge, while still being rust resistant. It is preferred by many professional chefs. With VG-10, you also get the hardness of a carbon steel. It is more expensive when compared to other steels such as 440 steels, but is well worth it. All of these qualities of this steel make this knife great for everyday use, plus its ability to take abuse.


Liner Lock

The liner lock is one of the most prevalent locking systems used in the knife industry and is the locking mechanism on the Boker Kwaiken. It was invented and patented in 1980 by Michael Walker. A liner lock works by having a section of the liner spring inwards and wedge itself beneath the tang of the blade when it is opened all the way. This locks the blade open between the stop pin and the liner locking mechanism. The liner lock is easy to manufacture and reliable to use. The biggest advantage of the liner lock is the easy one-handed opening and closing. Most other locking methods are not as easy to close one-handed. This type of locking mechanism, in conjunction with the flipper, makes this knife perfect for one-handed use. Not only for right handed people, but for left handed people as well.



The handle on the Boker Kwaiken is full of mysteries, like its origin, that are waiting to be unlocked. Do not let its appearance deceive you. There is a lot more than meets the eye. The handle is quite slim. In fact, it is three quarters of an inch thick in its thinnest spot and grows to just under an inch thick near the pivot area. Though it is slender, its weight is very dense. In total, the knife weighs around four and a half pounds. For such a small knife, the Kwaiken has quite the hefty feel to it.

In addition to the slimness and weight of the Kwaiken, the handle also includes the specially fabricated handle scales. Made from a single G-10 piece, the lower part has a milled, wood-like texture for a neat design and a secure grip. The portion near the pivot is made without this texture to provide a contrasting look from the scales. This special look gives the knife a unique appeal while retaining a natural look.

G-10 or G10 is similar to Micarta and Carbon Fiber and is often used in handles because of its moisture imperviousness. G-10 is a fiberglass based laminate made by layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in an epoxy resin, are compressed, and then baked. The result is a material that is hard, lightweight, and strong. The surface of the G-10 is a checkering texture that is added for additional grip support. A unique property of the material is that the grip improves when wet. This material is difficult to break. It is also an ideal handle material because it does not shrink or swell in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Many knife companies prefer to use G-10 because of these properties, but also prefer to use it because it is easy to shape into different designs and has a possibility for an unlimited number of colors. This handle is recommended for knives that are to be used in survival situations. G-10 is considered the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and stronger (though more brittle) than Micarta. Its main advantages include its toughness, its light weight, it is strong and durable, impervious to water, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive. Though it can be brittle, and occasionally have a cheap plastic feel, G-10 is a fantastic handle material.


Everyday Carry

As an everyday carry knife, it is important to know how the Boker Kwaiken feels when being carried around all the time. Those criteria include its carry depth, its weight, its thickness and width, and its appearance.

Carry Depth

The Boker Kwaiken is comfortable to carry in your pocket. The slim design takes up minimal pocket real-estate. Because of its smaller size, it sacrifices the potential for a really secure and comfortable grip.  When closed, the knife is 4.88 inches long. You’ll find that most comfortable carry knives are anywhere between 3.5 to 5 inches long when closed. The knife rests just near the edge that range. Frequently, before any knife purchase, I ask myself, “Will the knife fit in my pant pocket?” But I also ask “Will the knife fall out of my pocket?” The knife is a deep carry knife. The pocket clip allows the majority of the knife to fit within my pocket.


One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing an everyday carry is its weight. One of the worst feelings that can happen on a day to day basis is carrying something heavy in your pocket. A good knife weight ranges anywhere from as little as 3.0 ounces to 5.0 ounces. The Kwaiken barely fits right into this range. It weighs 4.45 ounces. For the size of the knife, I would be careful about getting it if you are sensitive to your pocket weight. But again, it is within this range of comfortable weight. The knife is just dense.

Thickness and Width

Like we mentioned before, the knife is very slim. At most, the knife is just under an inch thick. And the knife is just under half an inch wide from handle scale to handle scale. There is hardly anything to the Kwaiken.


When the knife is closed, it looks pretty conservative, especially with its “wood grain” finish. But when the knife is unleashed, it does have that ancient samurai intimidation to it. It’s as if it says “Be careful, this knife will come after you.”



Boker is constantly coming up with knifes that work well for a decent price. At $135, you will be happy with this purchase. There are many creative minds going into this blade. From the creators of the IKBS System to Lucas Burnley, and from the people over at Boker to the ancient Japanese creators of the kwaiken, the Boker Plus Tactical Kwaiken is a huge hit. You will want this in your armory.


Gerber Propel Automatic Knife Review

Gerber Legendary Blades was started by Joseph R Gerber. This company started out as a small batch of handmade knife sets in 1939. Within the next twenty years, Gerber became one of the most reliable knife companies in the business. Gerber’s mission is to design knives that pull in quality materials and groundbreaking designs. Their knives are built to last a lifetime. Gerber not only produces knives, but also axes, handsaws, flashlights, survival kits, multi tools, and much more. Every product that Gerber turns out is going to be quality, innovative, and last a very long time. Today we are going to go over one of their products in particular: The Gerber Propel Fully Automatic knife.


The Gerber Propel Fully Automatic knife was introduced in August of 2013. Gerber offers two different designs of the same knife for the buyers: The Propel Auto and the Propel Downrange Auto. These two versions were designed to mimic the 06 auto knife, which was an instant hit in the knife community. The 06 has a Federal National Stock Number, which allows federal agencies to procure these knives without going through a bidding process. Gerber kept all of the positive aspects of the 06, but they slimmed it down to make it a little more pocket-friendly. You can still expect to have the same durability, reliability, and field-proven performance. It is all just packed into a smaller package.


The overall length of this knife is 8.52 inches while opened. When the knife is closed, it measures in at an even 5 inches. The knife weighs 4.28 ounces. This is a great length and weight for your everyday carry knife. The length is not overly long, but you will still be able to perform your needed tasks with it. The knife won’t weigh you down, but it will still feel sturdy and durable while you are using it.





Gerber Propel Automatic
Gerber Propel Automatic

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long made out of 420HC. This is a mid-range steel that is nothing extraordinary but can stand up to what you throw at it. The HC in the steel’s name stands for High Carbon, so this steel is a harder steel than other stainless steels. This steel is easy to sharpen. It is also a durable steel, even after periods of long use. Because this steel is easy to sharpen even in the field or on the go, many outdoor enthusiasts like this steel.

If you get the Propel Downrange version, the steel use will be S30V steel. This is a high end, premium steel that has high corrosion resistance. It is also a very tough steel. Because it is a premium steel, you can expect it to go the extra mile. Some people pry and dig with blades made out of this steel and don’t experience any compromised blade integrity. S30V steel will hold an edge very well, but it is harder to sharpen than the 420HC steel. This is a good all-around steel.

Whichever version you choose; the steel is coated in a black oxide coating. This coating is added for a few reasons. First, the coating helps add corrosion resistance properties. It also adds a black color which boosts the aesthetic of the blade. This knife has the blackening to match the handle. This coating also helps to prevent slipping while you are cutting in critical conditions. The black oxide also minimizes reflective purposes. This means that if you are in a tactical situation, you don’t have to be concerned about the sun’s reflection giving away your position.

The blade silhouette is a tanto style point. A tanto style point was traditionally in Japanese short words. The tip on a tanto blade is going to be stronger than many other tips, because it is a broader shape. However, the tanto silhouette creates two main bevels, which makes it trickier to sharpen than a different style. Also, a tanto blade will not have a belly, so slicing tasks will be trickier. This style does have a unique look to it, so if you like the look, buy it. Also, if you know that you need a stronger tip, go for it. If you are a beginner in the knife world and looking for a versatile everyday carry knife, I don’t know if this is what I would recommend.

There are actually three cutting areas on the blade. There is the front bevel, which is 1 inch that has been sharpened bi-facially. The main edge on the blade is divided between the plain and serrated portions. The plain portion of this blade is 1.25 inches and the serrated portion is 1.5 inches. Because of the three different sections, sharpening this knife is a pain.

Users of this knife have also noticed an up and down wobble when the blade is opened. But, they have also noticed that the Propel has almost no lateral wobble whatsoever.





The handle scales are made out of G10. On the Propel, the G10 handle scales are black. On the Propel Downrange, the G10 scales are tan. This material is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. This handle will feel and work similarly to carbon fiber, but it is a much cheaper option. The handle material surprised me because Gerber usually uses glass filled nylon for their handle. G10 was definitely an upgrade compared to the commonly used handle material. To add texture and grip to the handle, Gerber has added checkering across the handle scales. They also added deeper grooves in areas along with the checkering. With both of those texturing techniques, you can feel secure while using and holding this knife.

The handle is pretty large and fills most people’s hand. On the spot where it touches your palm, there is a very slight swell. There is also a large groove where your index finger can fit. Because of this deeper groove, there is also a bump that also adds to fitting in your hand perfectly.

Gerber has attached the G10 scales to a metal frame using torx screws. There are four of these screws on each side of the handle.



Pocket Clip and Carrying:


Something unique about this knife is that the pocket clip can be placed on the knife in three different ways. You can mount it for the right pocket either tip up or down. Or you can mount it for the left pocket, but only tip up. Some users have reported bending the pocket clip while bumping it on things, but it is easily bent back into shape.

This knife carries pretty high in the pocket. If you are trying to conceal your knife, this probably isn’t going to be the knife for you.

Unfortunately, because of the checkering and deeper grooves on the handle, this knife has been known to destroy pockets. This isn’t usually a problem in most peoples’ minds, but if you are going to be dressed up, you might not want to carry this knife.

On the Downrange version, the pocket clip is tan, just like the handle. This tan matches many camouflage patterns, so you don’t have to worry about your knife standing out while trying to keep it concealed.



Action and Deployment:


Gerber Propel Automatic
Gerber Propel Automatic

The Propel uses a plunge lock and safety switch. To unlock the knife, you pull the safety switch towards you. Then to open the knife, you push in the round silver button. Along with opening the knife, it also locks it up so you can feel secure while using it for the heavier duty tasks. This button triggers a torsion spring inside that has constant tension on the blade. Because of this constant tension, you do not have to worry about blade bounce.

To close this knife, you push down the firing button and then manually close the blade.

If this knife is in your pocket, your best bet is to engage the safety. The safety mechanism shows red when it is disengaged. The opening button can be sensitive and you definitely don’t want to accidently open this knife while it is in your pocket. But, because it is a more sensitive button, the knife is easily deployed with just one hand.





Both versions of this knife sport a pommel spike. This spike has been designed to break through most glass, including your car windows. This spike can also work as a lanyard anchor point.



Pros of the Gerber Propel/Downrange Automatic Knife:


  • You have two options of steel depending on what you like.
  • The 420HC is hard, easy to sharpen, and the edge lasts for quite a while.
  • The S30V steel is a premium steel that can stand up to much harder tasks than the 420HC steel.
  • The blade features a black oxide coating which helps resist corrosion, light reflection, and makes the blade less slippery.
  • The tanto silhouette has a stronger tip than lots of other tip style options.
  • The blade is a combo blade and the serrations are great for cutting through thicker materials, like rope or branches.
  • The handle is made out of G10 scales, which is a durable material.
  • The G10 comes in two different color options.
  • The G10 scales have aggressive texturing, providing you with excellent grip even in the trickiest of situations.
  • The handle is large and will fill your hand, helping with grip.
  • The pocket clip can be carried in three different ways.
  • The Downrange pocket clip is a tan that matches most camo patterns, so your pocket clip will not be obvious while carrying.
  • The knife is very easy to deploy using only one hand.
  • The knife sports a pommel spike, which works as a great glass breaker.
  • The length and weight of this knife is perfect for your everyday carry knife.



Cons of the Gerber Propel/Downrange Automatic Knife:


  • 420HC steel is a mediocre steel and doesn’t stand out, especially compared to other steel options.
  • S30V steel is a hard steel to sharpen, so you won’t be able to sharpen it in the field if the need arises.
  • The Tanto style blade is not a versatile blade. If you are a beginner in the knife community, I would not recommend this style.
  • There are actually three different cutting surfaces, which makes this an extremely hard knife to sharpen. Really, you are going to have to be a professional to sharpen it well.
  • There is an up/down wobble to the blade while opened.
  • The pocket clip doesn’t carry very deeply, so it is going to be obvious. This is not a great knife if you are trying to conceal it.
  • The handle has extreme grip, so it will beat up your pocket.





Something to keep in mind before you purchase this knife is that because it is fully automatic, or a switchblade, it is not going to be legal in all states. Make sure you know your local switchblade laws before buying this.

Gerber only sells their automatic knives through websites with the proper credentials, so as long as you are purchasing from a trusted website, your knife will be backed by Gerber’s lifetime warranty. This knife was designed and built in the United States of America, so you can expect only the best quality. Along with being patriotic and designing and building this knife in the states, Gerber offers a Pro Program. This program is for first responders and military personnel. It gives these members exclusive offers and discounted prices. If you feel like you fit into either of these categories, it is definitely worth looking into.

This is an overall fantastic knife for your tactical or utility purposes. When you are searching for the perfect everyday carry knife, you want it to feel familiar. The Gerber Propel or Gerber Propel Downrange will feel familiar. They are both easy to work with and very durable. This knife will not disappoint you in the field. You are provided with two different versions so you can pick the one that will fit your lifestyle the best.

A Review of the Six Best Chef Knives

The past couple of days we have been discussing the best hunting and fishing knives. Another big category of knives are culinary knives and so far I haven’t written one thing about them. A few things about kitchen knives: the three most popular edges for a culinary knife are straight edge, serrated edge, and Granton edge. When looking into buying kitchen knives, you should be looking for the edge, the handle, the bolster, the heel, the blade tip, the spine, and the tang. In this article, I will list the best kitchen knives on the market and why they are such a good option for you and your kitchen. We’ll be going over the advantages and disadvantages of each knife that I’m reviewing. Let’s get started.


The Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

The Wusthof brand is known for the high quality German steel that they use in all of their knives. Out of the Wusthof knives, the Classic Chef’s knife is the most popular.  This is an 8-inch blade made out of high-carbon stainless steel. The steel used in this knife makes this an extremely durable option for your kitchen. The edge of this blade is laser cut, ensuring a very sharp edge. However, you do have to make sure that you care for it exactly like instructed: only manual washing. If you stick this knife in the dishwasher, the edge will be dull before you know it. Also, by placing it in the dishwasher, the steel will get very scratched up. This knife has a full tang, which means that it is a very balanced knife, allowing you to cut evenly. Something that many chef’s knives covet that the Wusthof Classic chef knife has conquered is not putting too much weight on your wrist, meaning you won’t tire out and you can cut for as long as you desire. This is a more expensive option though, which does turn many people away from it.

Advantages of the Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

  • The full tang of the blade keeps this knife very well balanced, ensuring you with evenly cut ingredients.
  • The knife doesn’t put an excessive amount of weight on your wrist, helping you cut for hours on end.
  • This is the Wusthof brand’s most popular knife.
  • The blade is very durable.
  • The laser cut edge is crazy sharp.

Disadvantages of the Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

  • Must clean this knife manually or else the blade will dull extremely quickly.
  • Must clean this knife manually or else the steel will get pretty scratched up.
  • This is a very expensive option for your kitchen knives.


The Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

This is a great chef knife for a much cheaper price than the Wusthof Classic, plus this knife comes with a lifetime warranty. Just like the Wusthof Classic, this is also an 8-inch blade. The blade on this knife is 2 inches in width, which makes it easy to use and maneuver. This knife has a stamped blade, meaning you will not have to sharpen it for a good amount of time. This knife is a light knife, which worries some people, but it should not worry you, this is a heavy duty knife, ready to take on your kitchen’s challenges. The Victorinox 40520 sports an ergonomic handle that fits fantastically in your hand. For such a great knife, the price is truly surprising, making this an ideal option for chefs who are just testing the waters of the culinary world.

Advantages of the Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

  • This is a much cheaper option than other Chef Knives on the market.
  • This knife comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The blade is stamped, giving you a break from sharpening for a while.
  • The 8-inch blade is easy to use.
  • The knife is very light, yet still tough enough to take on a heavy duty task.
  • The handle fits great in your hand.

Disadvantages of the Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

  • Because it is a cheaper option, you do give up some of the premium benefits of having the more expensive option.
  • The knife doesn’t work to takeoff weight from your wrist, so you won’t be able to cut forever.


The Shun Classic Chef Knife:

This knife has been rated as the best Japanese Chef knife by many different bloggers and chefs. Like the previous two reviewed knives, this blade is also 8 inches long. However, this blade is made out of hard VG-10 Japanese steel. Because of this hard steel, this knife can easily cut through meat and poultry. Something surprising about this knife is how light it is, but do not let that turn you away from this knife, it can easily cut through thick things and it uses less force to do so. The knife comes extremely sharp and stays extremely sharp for long periods of time, helping you cut super thin slices. The handle of this knife is made out of Pakkawood handles, which is one of the major selling points of this specific knife. The Pakkawood is made out of resin soaked hardwood, like a traditional Japanese knife, but this is also NSE certified. This knife, along with other Chef Knives, is prone to breaking if it is used for the wrong task, such as breaking through bones.

Advantages of the Shun Classic Chef Knife:

  • Aesthetically pleasing with its Pakkawood handles.
  • The hard VG-10 Japanese steel makes this a very durable blade.
  • This is a very light option, yet still can stand up to heavy duty tasks.
  • The edge is crazy sharp and stays crazy sharp.

Disadvantages of the Shun Classic Chef Knife:

  • Is prone to breaking when used incorrectly.
  • It is a light option and some chefs feel more secure with a heftier choice.


The Henckels Professional S 8-Inch Chef Knife:

The brand Henckels has some of the highest quality culinary knives on the market today. This brand has been around for over 300 years, so you know that you can trust them with their products. The Henckels Professional S 8-Inch chef knife is no exception. You can purchase this knife with either an 8-inch blade or a 10-inch blade. They make this knife from one single piece of high carbon steel. This steel does not stain easily and can cut through almost any food with minimal effort. The blade stays sharp for very long periods of time. You would think that the handle is made out of wood, because it does look and feel like wood, however, it is not. The wood look makes the handle look like a classic, but because it is not actually wood, the handle lasts much longer. This knife feels solid in your hand and also balances very well, ensuring you have the best grip and can control the knife easily.

Advantages of the Henckels Professional S 8-inch Chef Knife:

  • The steel is very durable.
  • The edge is crazy sharp and lasts.
  • With this knife, you can cut through almost any food with very minimal effort.
  • The knife is aesthetically pleasing.
  • The handle looks like wood, but isn’t, giving you a much longer lasting knife.
  • Henckels is a very reliable brand, so you can trust the knives that they design.

Disadvantages of the Henckels Professional S 8-inch Chef Knife:

  • This is one of the costlier options on the market today.


The Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

While Messermeister is not as well-known of a brand as Henckels or Wusthof, their products are just as quality, maybe even better in a couple situations. This blade is 9 inches, which is larger than the previously mentioned ones, which all measured up at 8 inches. Many chefs consider this the perfect compromise between the classic 8 inches and 10 inches, because sometimes 10 feels too big, but sometimes you do want more than the typical 8 inches. Finding a 9-inch chef knife is not a common thing. However, because it is 9 inches, many people find it tricky to store. This knife is known for being crazy amounts of sharp, plus it has a partial bolster, which means that when this knife does need sharpening, it will be much easier to sharpen. This is definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum when searching for your perfect chef knife, but many people would agree that it is definitely worth the cost.

Advantages of the Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

  • This blade is a unique 9 inches long.
  • This knife is known for being crazy sharp.
  • This knife sports a partial bolster, making it easier to sharpen when needed.
  • Messermeister knives are high quality knives.

Disadvantages of the Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

  • This is not a name brand product, which some people want.
  • The 9-inch blade has proven tricky to store, because of the unique length.
  • This is definitely one of the costlier options for your chef knives that is on the market today.


The Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

Something interesting about the Mac brand is that professional chefs seem to know all about them, but if you ask a household chef the best knife brands, Mac would most likely not be on the list. Mac makes great quality knives, that incorporates the Japanese hard and thin blade, but with the Western shaped blade. They truly give the best of both worlds. The Mac Professional Hollow Edge knife is no exception to their brand. This knife is much lighter than many similar knives and we owe it all to the Pakkawood handle. Pakkawood is resin soaked hardwood to make it durable. The handle shape is also unique—it follows the traditional German style, but tapers slowly like the Japanese chef knife handles.  Something else that is unique about this handle is the bolster is actually welded onto the knife, which is how the handle can be thicker and have more weight, but have the blade also be the wanted thinness. The blade is made out of molybdenum steel, which keeps its sharp edge and is very easy to sharpen when needed. The blade on this knife measures in at 8 inches long, the perfect length for almost any task in the kitchen. The blade sports a hollow edge, which is also known as dimples. Those dimples may seem like they were added solely for look, but that is not the case. These dimples keep the edge cleaner by preventing food from sticking to it. This is a costlier knife to buy, but well worth the investment. For a high end Japanese chef’s knife, this is one of the best values that you can find on the market today.

Advantages of the Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

  • The bolster is actually welded onto the knife, allowing you a thick handle, yet a super thin blade.
  • The edge stays sharp for long periods of time.
  • This is a very easy knife to sharpen.
  • The hollow edge, or dimples, prevent food from sticking to the knife while chopping.
  • The handle is hefty, but tapers slowly, giving you the best of the German and Japanese style.
  • This is a lighter knife because of the Pakkawood handle.
  • The Mac brand produces very high quality knives.
  • This is a very unique knife overall, combining the best of both worlds on the handle characteristics and the blades characteristics.

Disadvantages of the Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

  • This knife is a costlier knife—but well worth the price tag.
  • This is not a common name brand knife, which some people do want in their knives.


There are so many different Chef’s knives being sold today, but of course, no two are the same. Some have better balance, some are lighter, some are heftier, some are a little bit longer, and some are completely unique in all the right ways. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to any kind of knife, but when your culinary career revolves around the quality of knife that you own, this choice seems a little more daunting than most knife purchases. I have compiled a list of the six best chef knives that you can purchase that I’m hoping helps you out. Happy shopping and happy chopping.

Spyderco Native 5 40th Anniversary Model

Spyderco Native 5 40th Anniversary
Spyderco Native 5 40th Anniversary

When a company sets out to create a special-edition product to celebrate a milestone anniversary in its progress from startup to success, the result typically aims for the combination of special high-grade materials, either in an all-new design or in a command-performance version of a time-tested, popular offering. As Spyderco’s 40th year in business arrives, the company has done just that in creating the model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus, based on the enduring Native family and dressed up in premium materials.


Throughout its four decades, Spyderco has relished its reputation for ignoring tradition when it stands in the way of innovation. The head of the company enjoys the doubting comments of those who don’t quite understand his company’s focus on researching the best (and often the most interesting) ways to solve technical problems, meeting needs that customers don’t necessarily realize they have, giving quality control obsessive attention, and always looking for the best blend of performance, reliability, and enduring materials. That focus has enabled Spyderco to invent and engineer features that stand today as normative expectations of what a folding knife is and does, including the pocket clip and the serrated cutting edge. The company’s history includes numerous collaborations with custom designers and expert users, and the introduction of more than a dozen blade steels. From launch to 40th anniversary, Spyderco epitomizes entrepreneurial spirit, beginning with founder Sal Glesser and wife Gail Glesser traveling the knife show route in a converted bread truck.


Given that history, you won’t be surprised at the attention to detail and the carefully considered specifications that make this Spyderco anniversary knife much more than a commemorative issue. The Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus emerges from Spyderco’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Golden, Colorado, as a limited edition (Sprint Run, in Spyderco’s vernacular) that’s certain to find a home in many prized collections.

Blade Profile

Among Spyderco’s offerings, the Native series forms a signature family of knives that feature designs refined over the course of multiple generations of products. Building a premium commemorative edition of the company’s practical, affordable Native tools recognizes the importance of the Native series within the Spyderco product line, at the same time that it adds materials that elevate the anniversary edition to the level of hard-working art.


Spyderco pioneered the leaf-shaped blade as a slightly asymmetrical version of the spear-point profile. You won’t find a swage on the spine of this design, but you will find the signature Spyderco Trademark Round Hole in the blade itself to make it an ambidextrous knife you can open with just one hand. The leaf shape doesn’t include the ample belly curve you’d find on a drop-point profile to increase the area of the cutting edge.


Instead of a traditional forefinger groove on the bottom edge of the handle, Spyderco uses a jimped choil that removes a curved area from the blade between the cutting edge and the handle. The shape of the choil blends seamlessly into the corresponding curve of the handle’s front quillon. A second set of jimping grooves appears on the spine of the blade just in front of the handle.


For this momentous special edition knife, Spyderco adds its 40th anniversary logo to the left side of the blade, laser engraved next to the company logo. The company name and the name of the blade steel appear on two lines of type, parallel to the ends of the handle and located between the sets of jimping grooves on the spine and cutting edge of the blade.


Spyderco offers the Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus with a full flat grind on a single-edged blade. This edge style lightens blade weight and reduces the tendency for a blade to drag through the material it cuts. Spyderco also refers to this unserrated blade grind as a smooth edge.

Blade Finish

No coating for this Spyderco knife: Black-finished blades may offer tactical advantages in terms of their ability to make knives virtually disappear in the dark, but when a product features a steel as beautiful as the Damasteel DS93X Thor pattern used for this anniversary knife, covering up the intricate whorls and swirls of its pattern with a coating would constitute a waste of a premium material.

Blade Steel

With names such as Björkman’s Twist, Odins Eye, Vinland, and Thor, the products of Sweden’s Damasteel sound like places and people in an epic saga. In choosing Damasteel’s DS93X Thor for the Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus, Spyderco incorporated Damasteel’s 20th anniversary pattern into its own celebratory product.


Damascus steel consists of a combination of two or more steels. In the crucible steel of ancient Persia, secret recipes produced smelted results that used poor grades of steel by modern standards. The process of repeated twisting, folding, and forging, and the many-layered results it produced, aimed to overcome the weakness that could beset long-bladed weapons in which the grain of the metal needed to align along the long dimension to reduce the chance of breakage across the blade. In modern production, Damascus steel often is produced by welding the two steels together in a seven-layer sandwich, and then forging and folding the result over and over again until it consists of more than 100 layers. The combination typically matches up a high- and a low-carbon steel, marrying high-carbon’s strength and eventual bright color with low-carbon’s softness and dark appearance.


Headquartered in Söderfors, Sweden, Damasteel operates in a village with nearly 350 years of steel-making tradition. The proprietary Damasteel process dates to 1992 and brings the ancient art of Damascus steelmaking into the very modern day. Instead of being smelted, heat treated, and formed, Damasteel uses gas atomization to produce a powdered result. As molten steel flows through a small nozzle under high pressure from an inert gas, the steel piles up in tiny particles, each one a miniature ingot representing a thorough mixture of its component elements. Next, the powder loads into a canister for processing under heat and pressure, which densifies it into a capsule approximately 30% smaller than the material that enters the forming container. This capsule moves on for forging and rolling into the proper dimensions for the final patterning process.


Ancient or modern, the process of forging and layering Damascus steel produces dramatic patterns of light and dark metal across the billets that result from it. Many of Damasteel’s patterns carry trademarks denoting their uniqueness. The patterns stem from planned fabrication sequences that create a predictably exotic appearance in the steel. Unlike textures that only exist on the surface of a steel, Damasteel patterns run all the way through the metal. The patterns snap to life after the steel undergoes chemical processes, including etching with various acid mixtures that yield specific shades of light, dark, or bright gray on the two alloys combined in the forged metal. These etching solutions consist of hydrochloric or sulfuric acids and other chemicals.


Martensitic steels demonstrate a specialized tetragonal crystal structure. Damasteel’s martensitic stainless Damascus steel combines two powder-based Swedish alloys that result from cutting-edge metallurgy. RWL 34, the bright high-carbon steel, features 1.05% carbon, 14.00% chromium, 0.50% manganese, 4.00% molybdenum, 0.50% silicon, and 0.20% vanadium. It takes its name from the initials of the knife maker Bob Loveless. PMC 27, the dark low-carbon steel, incorporates 0.60% carbon, which technically classifies it as a medium-carbon steel, along with 13.00% chromium, and 0.50% manganese. Both of these component alloys represent variations on a classic 420-type steel, although PMC 27 contains more carbon than standard 420 steels do. The alloys used in Damasteel’s martensitic products feature the hardness and corrosion resistance necessary for an effective blade steel. In general, hardness comes from the carbon, chromium, and silicon, and manganese content; toughness from vanadium; corrosion resistance from chromium and molybdenum; wear resistance from carbon and manganese; and edge retention from molybdenum.


Among the basic performance parameters that characterize knife steels, hardness measures a material’s ability to resist impact. The Rockwell Hardness Scales quantify this property, with the C scale used to characterize knife steels. Toughness, which exists on a continuum with hardness, represents a steel’s damage resistance and its capacity to bend rather than break. Wear resistance defines a steel’s ability to withstand the twin forces of abrasion and adhesion. Abrasion results when a steel comes in contact with a rough substance; adhesion, when the steel picks up material dislodged from another surface. Corrosion resistance quantifies a steel’s lack of oxidation when it encounters environmental elements such as moisture and salt. Finally, edge retention provides a subjective measure of a steel’s continued sharpness despite use.

Handle Materials

Carbon fiber composites provide light weight, rigidity, and a high strength-to-weight ratio, characteristics that offer obvious benefits in knife handle fabrication. The carbon filaments come from precursor polymers, which are spun into yarns about the diameter of a human hair, heat treated to remove impurities, and formed into unidirectional or woven sheets. These sheets can be layered at 60-degree angles or combined with a backing material. With the application of a thermoset or thermoplastic resin, the desired “sandwich” of carbon fiber is molded and formed under heat and pressure. Short-run parts can be produced in a vacuum mold or fashioned from carbon fiber that’s impregnated with resin before being shaped. For quick production of large batches of parts, carbon fiber can be produced under compression in a highly precise mold. Some complex parts require the use of a filament winder to position the carbon fiber around a core shape.


The Spyderco model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus uses handle scales milled from carbon fiber. If Spyderco had attempted to mold in the knife’s distinctive sunburst surface texture, the result would show softer lines than the crisp precision that results from machining the carbon fiber instead.

Handle Design

This is no quietly plain knife handle. On Spyderco’s model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus, CNC-machined carbon fiber handle scales feature a sunburst pattern milled into the surface of the material. The rays of the sunburst fan out from a point located in the middle of the area occupied by the knife’s back lock. The pattern combines aesthetic appeal with the grip assistance of a texture permanently built into precisely milled parts. The shape of the handle also enhances your grip, with a quillon at the front of the handle belly to protect the user from the injuries that can result if fingers accidentally slide onto the cutting surface of the blade during a hard strike or forceful move. The jimped choil in the blade edge and the point of the quillon form a continuous semi-circular curve that leads into the shape of the handle belly. The butt of the knife culminates in a rounded point that echoes the curves of the rest of the handle. The back lock on the spine of the handle curves into the scales in a shape that parallels the finger-grooved belly.


Four Torx screws, including the blade pivot, secure the Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus together. A lanyard hole, centered in the width of the handle, appears near the butt of the knife, adjacent to sets of attachment holes that accommodate alternative positions for the knife’s four pocket clip attachment.

Lock Mechanism

To hold a blade safely and securely in an open position, Spyderco uses 12 different systems in its knives, including nine locking and three non-locking mechanisms. The back lock located on the handle spine of the model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus represents a refinement of a design that Spyderco introduced many years ago, and that the company uses on its entire Native family. This lock uses a rocker arm with a center pivot hole and a lug on the front end. The lug engages with a notch in the tang of the knife blade near the pivot screw. In profile, the lock silhouette might remind you of the shape of a long pipe wrench.


The manual operation nature of a back lock knife like the Spyderco Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus means that it can’t match the virtually instant blade deployment of an automatic design. To open the knife, position the pad of your thumb in the Spyderco Trademark Round Hole and slide the blade away from the handle. Wait for a click that indicates the back lock has engaged.

Pocket Clip

The stainless steel pocket clip on the Spyderco Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus represents the company’s most-implemented clip style. Attached with three Torx screws, this clip features an ambidextrous, reversible design that accommodates tip-up or tip-down carry positions. The knife handle incorporates two sets of attachment holes on each scale, one set at each end. This four-position flexible clip style characterizes the entire Spyderco Native family.

Knife Dimensions and Weight

Spyderco’s model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus measures 6.95 inches long overall and 3.97 inches long closed. Its blade measures 2.98 inches long and 0.122 inches thick, with a cutting edge that measures 2.48 inches. The knife weighs 2.7 ounces.

Other Considerations

If you enjoy adding limited-edition knives to your collection, either to use and admire every day or to retain in as-new condition as appreciable assets, the model C41CF40TH Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus represents a must have. Its premium materials, thoughtful design features, ambidextrous clip attachment, and collectable nature give it a special significance, especially for those who appreciate Spyderco knives. The knife includes a padded zipper pouch for storage.


Like what you see?  Click email me when in stock and we will let you know via email when it arrives in store.


  Native 5 Carbon Fiber Damascus
Model number C41CF40TH
Weight 2.7 oz.
Overall length 6.95″
Closed length 3.97″
Blade length 2.98″
Cutting edge length 2.48″
Blade thickness 0.122″
Edge Plain
Edge length 2.48″
Steel DS93X THOR
Grind Full-Flat
Lock type Back lock
Handle Fluted carbon fiber
Clip 4-position ambidextrous (Left/right, tip-up/tip-down)
Origin USA

Benchmade 2551 Mini Reflex II Knife Review

Benchmade 2551
Benchmade 2551 Mini Reflex II Knife

The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II introduces a new, improved, and updated edition of the enduringly popular Benchmade Mini-Reflex, Benchmade’s best selling automatic knife. Within the Benchmade Black Series, aimed at professional and those who treat a knife as a serious investment in everyday utility, the Mini-Reflex II can excel at tactical tasks as well as serving as an everyday carry.


Blade Profile


The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II continues the subtle drop-point blade profile of the original Mini-Reflex. The name “drop-point” signifies the curve that runs, or drops, along the spine of the knife toward its point. The convex curve of the cutting edge of the blade strengthens it at the same time that it produces the belly that expands the amount of cutting surface. With a tip that runs thicker than that of a comparable clipped-point or slant-point blade, the drop-point offers more strength at the expense of reduced piercing capability. The single flat-ground edge makes quick work of both push- and draw-action cutting and carving tasks.


Benchmade offers two variations on the blade profile of the Mini-Reflex II. Model 2551 uses a straightforward drop-point shape. Model 2551S includes a series of serrations placed on the left side of the blade behind its belly and just in front of the handle. This placement near the handle increases your ability to bear down and apply leverage when you use the blade. Also called rip teeth, these serrations come in handy when you tackle chores that involve sawing or cutting through fibrous materials such as wood, paracord, or rope.


Blade Finishes


When it comes to blade finishes, the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II offers two choices that constitute separate models. Model 2551 includes no blade coating, whereas model 2551BK sports a black coating. This finish reduces glare off the knife and can be a critical consideration in some usage settings.


In addition to models of the Mini-Reflex II with a blade coating, Benchmade also offers model 2551S, with an uncoated serrated blade, and model 2551SBK, with a serrated and black coated blade. All told, the Mini-Reflex II comes in four model choices.


Both the coated and the satin-finished versions display the knife’s model number on the left side of the blade directly below the distinctive Benchmade butterfly logo, with the 154 CM blade steel identified on the opposite side of the knife. The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II ships sharpened and ready to use. Thanks to its outstanding edge retention, you may find yourself able to set your whetstone aside for longer periods of time between sharpenings. Keep in mind that Benchmade’s LifeSharp warranty qualifies every purchaser of a Mini-Reflex II (and all Benchmade knives, for that matter) to ship the knife back to Benchmade for a complete reconditioning that also includes a fresh factory-quality sharpening. The LifeSharp service does not apply to the serrated portion of Mini-Reflex II models 2551S and 2551SBK. You’ll find the warranty information inside the box in which the Mini-Reflex II ships from Benchmade.


Blade Steel


The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II uses the same American-made steel as its predecessor, the Mini-Reflex. Crucible Industries’ 154 CM stainless steel qualifies as a high-carbon alloy with more than enough chromium to add hardness and tensile strength along with corrosion resistance. Manganese also promotes hardness and tensile strength, adding wear resistance at the same time. Molybdenum helps the Mini-Reflex II demonstrate excellent edge retention and high-temperature strength. Silicon adds to the blade’s hardness and gives it resistance to pitting.


Even stainless steel blades, including those with high degrees of corrosion resistance, can fall afoul of the ill effects of exposure to moisture in your environment. Benchmade ships the Mini-Reflex II with a coating of oil, enclosed in a plastic bag inside a microfiber pouch with a quick-opening bead on its drawstring. These protections help guard against the potentially corrosive effects of humidity. Drying your knife immediately after any task that gets it wet, and oiling the blade lightly on a periodic basis, can help protect the Mini-Reflex II from any hint of corrosion.


Handle Materials


Like other Benchmade products that feature the design creativity of master Alabama knife maker Mel Pardue, the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II features a handle crafted from black anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum, the same material incorporated in the handle of its predecessor, the Mini-Reflex. The handle wears beautifully because unlike paint, its finish becomes an actual part of the aluminum itself in the course of the electrochemical process that converts the surface of handle parts into an integral layer of aluminum oxide. At the same time, the matte surface of the anodized aluminum helps increase grip on the handle and prevent slippage with wet hands. Unlike the handle finishes on other knife brands, Benchmade’s finish avoids the chalky feel that makes a knife uncomfortable under the fingers, without any hint of the surface slickness that could make the Mini-Reflex II difficult to grip.


Unalloyed aluminum offers the lightness you want in a knife blade handle, but the metal runs too soft for heavy use. The 6061-T6 aluminum alloy in the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II handle exhibits strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance thanks to its magnesium and silicon content. Benchmade machines the handle parts for the Mini-Reflex II out of billets of aircraft grade aluminum alloy. Unlike casting processes, machine fabrication gives these parts their crisp lines and precision surfaces.


Handle Design


At 4.16 inches long, the handle of the Mini-Reflex II incorporates a forefinger groove into which your index finger naturally slips when you hold the knife with the blade facing forward. At the same time, grooves on the sides of the handle increase grip and leverage regardless of the position in which you wield the knife. Front and rear quillons help hold your hand in place and prevent it from sliding off the blade, either to the front, with the attendant risk of injury, or to the rear. These curved quillons also bracket the hand friendly shape of the underside of the handle, which many users point to as an emphatic plus of the design. Of course, if you reverse your grip to place the blade into a downward striking position, the forefinger groove now becomes the location for your little finger and your forefinger stops next to the rear quillon. The finger grooves also provide a safety feature during field use, helping protect your hands from cuts caused by your own blade and the prospect of fluid transfer into those cuts. This consideration holds special importance for law enforcement personnel who find themselves tasked with extracting an injured stranger from a vehicle.


If you’re accustomed to hearing Mini-Reflex owners talk about how well the knife favors and fits into the hand, expect to hear the same kudos from owners of the new Mini-Reflex II. Both men and women emphasize this design advantage, which underscores the knife’s suitability for people with hands of virtually all sizes. Because your forefinger fits into a single-digit depression and the remainder of your fingers float between the forefinger groove and the rear quillon, the Mini-Reflex II provides comfortable, secure service for a wide range of users. With the blade closed and the knife held in a reversed position, the end of the handle can serve as an impact tool in some situations. To carry the Mini-Reflex II outside a pocket, Benchmade incorporates a hole near the end of the handle through which to string a lanyard. You also can insert a dummy cord through the hole to make the knife easier to find and harder to lose.


Benchmade doesn’t machine the pattern of notches, crosscuts, or cross hatching known as jimping on the spine of the Mini-Reflex II or on the back of its blade. Not to be confused with filework, which adds decorative patterns to blade or handle and can require an artist’s touch to design and apply, jimping aims solely at the practical objective of increasing grip and leverage. In the case of the Mini-Reflex II, the balance and grip of the knife itself eliminates the need for other design features to make the knife feel secure in the hand and eliminate slippage. If you’re accustomed to blades with thumb wraps, you probably won’t miss that feature on the Mini-Reflex II because of its outstanding balance and feel.


If you’re right handed, the Mini-Reflex II makes an easy choice as a tactical knife with EDC characteristics or vice versa, provided, of course, that you either live in a state that allows you to use and carry an automatic knife, or you’re an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces or law enforcement with appropriate identification credentials. Some states allow you to carry an automatic knife if you’re also licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Check your state’s laws, and any applicable local regulations, to determine whether the Mini-Reflex II makes a good fit for you.


Knife Dimensions and Weight


Updating and improving the Mini-Reflex to produce the new Mini-Reflex II resulted in slight changes to the dimensional and weight specifications of the knife. Overall length increased by three one-hundredths of an inch in the Mini-Reflex II, from 7.32 inches to 7.35 inches. At 4.17 inches, the closed length measures one one-hundredth of an inch greater on the Mini-Reflex II. The blade length and handle thickness also increased by one one-hundredth of an inch to 3.17 inches and 0.48 inches respectively. At the same time, the overall weight of the knife decreased by 0.12 ounces, from 2.70 ounces in the Mini-Reflex to 2.58 ounces in the Mini-Reflex II.


Updated Push-Button Automatic Package


Benchmade has introduced an improved spring-loaded push-button automatic blade deployment package for 2016, and the Mini-Reflex II becomes a beneficiary of this updated mechanism. Even the previous design showed no signs of blade movement in the open position, and the Mini-Reflex II continues that unyielding ability to lock tightly open. The blade deployment mechanism triggers the blade instantaneously, at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour.


Because the design of the Benchmade Mini-Reflex II places the pivot screw and the automatic blade deployment button close together, plan on engaging in some blade-action practice if you’ll need to open the knife quickly without looking at it. Some users of the Mini-Reflex have pointed out that because of the small diemnsions of the knife handle, even experienced knife owners could mistake the screw for the button in a stressful environment without proper illumination, or in a situation in which you must wear gloves, either to protect your hands or to avoid contaminating work materials. If you carry the knife with you consistently and use it as your everyday carry, you can train your hand to identify the control button purely by feel.


Removable Pocket Clip


The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II features the same black-finished steel pocket clip found on the Mini-Reflex. The clip attaches to the handle of the Mini-Reflex II with three Torx screws and holds the knife in a tip-up position. Some Mini-Reflex owners have observed that the recurve on the end of the clip placed limits on how they could carry the knife. Attached to a right-hand pocket, the clip could become caught on a driver’s side seatbelt and impede quick access for use. Likewise, if they carried the Mini-Reflex in a pocket, the clip could scratch the face of a smartphone or other objects made of less hardy materials than the steel clip itself. These problems typify belt clip use in general, however, and aren’t unique to Benchmade’s design.


Because the painted finish on the standard clip doesn’t offer the same degree of wear resistance as the anodized finish on the aluminum handle itself, some Mini-Reflex purchasers obtained a replacement clip from Benchmade, designed with an oxidized finish that resists chipping and fading. This replacement part ships at no charge as part of the company’s LifeSharp warranty.


Safety Mechanism


The Benchmade Mini-Reflex II incorporates a spine-mounted spring-loaded safety lock that holds the blade either securely open or securely closed. It features jimping grooves to simplify its use, requires significant pressure to engage or disengage, and operates with a ratcheting action that makes a clearly audible clicking sound. In response to the conscious action involved in activating or deactivating the safety lock on the Mini-Reflex, some knife owners preferred not to use the feature because the lock became an impediment to rapid deployment. If you work in law enforcement, public safety, or the armed forces, you may find that these considerations cause you to think twice about engaging the safety, even if you carry the Mini-Reflex II in your pocket.


Other Observations


In a tactical role, you may find the length of the Mini-Reflex II’s blade too short for some defensive uses, limiting the reach of sweeping or thrusting motions. As an everyday carry, the Mini-Reflex II may offer more blade length than you need in the types of controlled uses and movements that typify EDC use. Before you choose this knife for either or both of these roles, correlate the blade measurements with your expectations and your experience with other knives. Chances are that you’ll find it to be a high-quality, beautifully made, efficient compromise between the limits and extremes of other blade profiles, sizes, and types.








Weight 2.70 oz. 2.58 oz.
Overall length 7.32″ 7.35″
Closed length 4.16″ 4.17″
Blade length 3.16″ 3.17″
Blade thickness 0.098″ 0.097″
Handle length 4.16″ 4.17″
Handle thickness 0.47″ 0.48″
Handle material Anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum Anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum
Handle color Black Black
Blade material 154 CM stainless steel 155 CM stainless steel
Blade hardness 58-61 RC 58-61 RC
Blade style Drop-point Drop-point
Blade grind Flat Flat
Blade finish Satin (2550 and 2550S) or Black (2550BK and 2550SBK) Satin (2551 and 2551S) or Black (2551BK and 2551SBK)
Blade edge type Plain (2550 and 2550BK) or serrated (2550S and 2550SBK) Plain (2551 and 2551BK) or serrated (2551S and 2551SBK)
Pocket clip Black, removable, tip-up Black, removable, tip-up
Lock mechanism Auto open with safety Auto open with safety
Opener Push button automatic Push button automatic with larger button
Lock type Plunge lock Plunge lock
Sheath material Sheath sold separately Sheath sold separately
Benchmark product class Black Class Black Class
User Right handed Right handed
Best use EDC, tactical, law enforcement EDC, tactical, law enforcement
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices 2550 and 2550S: $200 2550BK and 2550SBK: $215 2551 and 2551S: $210 2550BK and 2550SBK: $225

A Review of the Four Greatest Diving Knives

When you are diving, a good knife can make the difference between living or dying. They can get you out of all kinds of sticky situations if you choose the right one. Finding a perfect dive knife is a little bit different than hunting for other knives, because diving knives are going to be in conditions that your other knives do not have to tackle. First, you have to make sure that it is made out of the right materials. These knives are going to be submerged often and need to be able to stand up to salt water. Some good options of steel for your diving knife are titanium, stainless steel, or a specialty steel. Essentially you are trying to find the perfect balance between corrosion resistant properties, toughness of the blade, and how long it can keep an edge. You are also searching for the perfect size and style of knife. Many of the smaller blades can cut just as well as the larger blades, so you are not necessarily looking for blade size. However, you are going to want to have a secure grip on your knife at all times, so you should be looking for a chunkier handle. But, you also want a knife that doesn’t weigh you down and one that can be stored away. Today I have chosen four different fantastic diving knives.


The Cressi Skorpion Diving Knife:

For a diving knife, this a very versatile tool. The blade on this knife is 4.33 inches long. You can choose whether or not you want a sharp drop pint tip or a blunt tip. If you know that you are going to be fishing with this knife, you are going to want the drop point option. However, if you are primarily using this knife as a precautionary rescue knife, the blunt tip isn’t a bad option. With the blunt tip, you can get very close to whatever you are cutting without having to worry about stabbing it. But, if you do come across a situation where you need to stab something, you are going to be completely out of luck.

Not only do you have two tip options, this knife also comes with two different steel options. The first steel is Japanese 420 Stainless Steel. This is the steel that the blade will be made out of if you get the drop point. They chose this steel because it can get crazy sharp. On the other hand, if you chose the blunt tip blade, the blade will be made out of 304 Stainless Steel. This second option does have better corrosion resistance. Both of these steel options are easy to sharpen.

One side of the blade is straight edged, while the other side sports serrations and a notch cutter. Serrations are fantastic to have on a diving knife because they can cut through thicker materials easier. If you encounter any rope or thick weeds, these serrations could save your life. I really love how both sides are sharp, but one with straight edge and the other with serrations. That way, you have the full length of the blade to use while cutting, instead of trying to use a small portion of a combo blade. The notch cutter works great to cut through the thickest of lines.

The handle on this knife is made out of rubber, with a soft grip material. The handle also features anatomical grooves for your fingers. Both of these aspects give you amazing grip, so you don’t have to be worried about slipping. This handle also sports a lanyard hole.

The sheath for this knife is made out of hard plastic and has an easy-release mechanism. This mechanism makes it easy to release the knife with just one hand.

The overall length of this knife is 9.41 inches, so it is on the larger end of the spectrum. However, it is a very light knife for how long it is. The Skorpion weighs in at just under one pound.


The Promate Titanium Diving Knife:

This is the second knife that made my list of the four best diving knives. Promate has produced quite a few very quality diving knives. This one actually became popular because Bear Grylls used it on his show Man Vs Wild. This is also one of the best-selling knives on Amazon.

The blade on this knife is 4 3/8 inches long made out of titanium. One of the benefits of having a titanium blade is that it is extremely resistant to rust and corrosion. Of course, you are going to want to rinse this knife off after each use to prolong its life. Titanium is also more durable, stronger, and lighter than a stainless steel option. Half of this blade is serrated and just like the previous knife, this one does have a line cutter etched into the steel.  The other half is a straight edge blade. This is a very popular design for diving knives, and it makes sense. It really gives you the best of both worlds.

This blade also comes with the option of getting a pointed tip or a blunt tip. To make that decision, you just need to weigh the pros and cons and what you are going to be mainly using this knife for. If you are going to be spear fishing at all, definitely go with the pointed tip.

This knife is a full tang blade, so it does have the titanium steel going all the way through the knife. When your knife is a full tang knife, you know that it is going to be a sturdier knife, because it is harder to break than a partial tang. Another benefit of a full tang is that if the handle somehow breaks off, you still have the full knife shape to use.  At the butt end of this knife, there is a titanium hammer that peeks out of the grip material.  This hammer can come in handy in all sorts of situations.

The handle is made out of a rubber molded handle that helps provide you with excellent grip. This rubber will not slip around on the full tang, keeping everything very secure. The handle is big enough for almost anyone to use comfortably.

The sheath that is included in this knife comes with straps so that you can attach it to your arm or leg. However, if you prefer to keep it in you BC, these straps are removable.

This knife comes in a variety of different colors including blue, yellow, silver, green, and orange. These colors are very bright, so if you happen to drop your knife, you are going to be able to find it—even over a reef.


The U.S. Divers Titanium Knife:

This knife works just as well as a survival knife as it does a diving knife.

The blade on this knife is 5 inches long made out of titanium. Because it is titanium, it keeps the weight of this knife down. The pure titanium also stays shaper than a stainless steel options and is extremely resistant to corrosion. This is a full tang knife, so the blade is made out of one continuous piece of steel that extends all the way through the handle. On the butt of the knife is a stainless butt cap.

This blade is a plain edge on one side of the knife. This plain edge side is also the side that features the line cutting groove. Because the line cutter is on this side of the blade, you will have easier and quicker access to it. Plus, it will feel more natural than having to flip your blade over to get to it. A drawback to having the line cutter on this edge of the knife is that your blade could get caught more often.  The top side of the knife is a serrated edge. This is my favorite design for a knife, because you do want both of these edges, but if you were to have a combo edge, you wouldn’t have the full length to cut with. I think every good diving knife uses this design. The knife sports an aggressive drop point silhouette.

A unique aspect about this knife is that it can be disassembled for quick cleaning. This is a huge bonus, because salt water can really get into any crack or crevice and if you don’t rinse your steel off, no matter how corrosion resistant it is, it will eventually begin to rust.

The handle is a matte gray rubber with deep finger grooves to improve your grip. The handle also sports a lanyard hole. Unfortunately, this handle has been known to disintegrate over time.

The quick-release sheath of this knife holds it securely in place. It also comes with rubber leg straps.

The overall length of this knife is 9.5 inches long. This size does turn many people off. But, because the blade is made out of lightweight titanium, the entire knife only weighs in at 12 ounces.


The Atomic Aquatics Titanium Ti6 Scuba Diving Knife:

Atomic Aquatics is a very reliable company that designs and produces high quality dive knives. They have been in the dive knife business for a while now and you can tell that they have been around the block a few times when you are using the Ti6. It’s that good of a knife.

The blade on this knife gives you a four inch cutting edge. It is made out of titanium, which means that you won’t have a ton of maintenance. This knife is crazy sharp; it will really slice through any material that you throw at it. This is a very easy knife to sharpen, when needed.

The Ti6 is a full tang knife, so you know that it is going to be very durable. Plus, with a full tang knife you don’t have to worry about your blade being wobbly.

The blade on this knife is a straight edge blade that elegantly curves. This is the side that features a large line cutter. The other side of the blade is a serrated edge.

Just like the previously mentioned knives, you have a pointed tip or a blunt tip option.

The molded handle features atomic finger grooves to provide you with a more secure grip. Over time, this handle does have the tendency to break down and rust. This process will take a very long time if you do take proper care of it and make sure that you clean it off after every use. To make cleaning easier, the titanium end cap can be removed and then you are able to dissemble the knife.

The sheath is lightweight and releases easily with a push-button release. The knife locks perfectly into place, keeping your blade securely in place. The sheath also comes with quick-adjusting sheath straps.

This knife weighs 12 ounces.



A good diving knife is a key element in your diving gear. Finding the perfect diving knife for you and your needs can feel a little overwhelming and tricky. For every positive feature of a knife, it seems like another knife is saying those are the drawbacks. First, you should figure out what you are really going to be doing with your knife. Are you going to be fishing, or is it just going to act as a backup or safety knife? I chose these four knives because they have what I consider to be all the right features.

Titanium is an excellent option for your blade because it is a lighter weight than stainless steel, plus, it is much more resistant to corrosion. Having a double edged knife adds another touch of perfection because you get the full length of the knife to cut and you have a plain edged side and a serrated side. The line cutter is the perfect touch, because it is easy to get caught up in line. Plus, a few of these have a hammering butt end. Any of these four knives would be a fantastic addition to your diving needs and gear. Happy diving.