For over twenty years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves their facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, they strive to ensure their customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, their focus remains the same: to deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. Some of their most memorable moments include:
- In 1994, the very first knife porotypes were created in Anthony and Susan Marfione’s apartment.
- The same year, they released the UDT which marked the official beginning of Microtech.
- A year later (1995) they released the HALO, which earned the cover spot of the 1995 edition of Fighting Knives magazine.
- In 1999, the Ultratech hit the production and then became the most popular Microtech ever.
- For the second year in a row, Microtech earned Blade Magazine’s Manufacturing Quality Award.
- In 2004, they released the Currahee, which was specifically designed for the U.S. Special Forces Boat Team 20.
- In 2007, Microtech’s sister company, Microtech Small Arms Research engineered the original STG-5.56, becoming the first knife company to establish a firearms division.
- In 2012, two legends met as Anthony Marfione entered into collaboration with Mick Strider to create the DOC.
- In 2014, the company celebrate their 20th anniversary with the launch of new packaging, a new Blade Show booth, and an anniversary coffee table book.
- In 2015, the Ultratech underwent a major aesthetic revamp, with the introduction of the new tri-grip and thumb slide.
Today we will be talking about the Bronze Sigil MK6 Titanium Flipper Knife, with a black blade. Microtech is a reliable knife company that creates quality knives. These are the knives that you want to have with you when you are in an emergency situation, because they are dependable and have your back. If you take care of your Microtech knife, it will take care of you back.
The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. Elmax steel is produced by Bohler-Uddenholm and is considered a high chromium, vanadium, molybdenum alloyed steel. Elmax steel is an ultra-premium blade steel. Because it is a powdered steel, it has extremely high wear and corrosion resistance. Because of the composition of the metal, the steel has a high wear resistance, high compressive strength, a superior corrosion resistance, and very good dimensional stability, which means that it has the ability to retain its size and from even after taking abuse. Elmax is a stainless steel but in many ways it does act like a carbon steel. With this steel you get a superb edge holding quality and a relatively easy sharpening ability while also maintaining a healthy resistance to rust. Often times, this steel is used in the higher end knives. When it was first introduced, it was quite pricey, but because of the market competition, the price has been driven down to reasonable levels. Elmax steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold using this powder-metallurgy process, a process that Bohler-Uddenholm uses for many of their premium stainless steels. Powder metallurgy is the method of blending fine powdered materials, pressing them into the desired shape, and then heating it to sinter, or bond, the material. Elmax steel is commonly used in many Microtech knives. Elmax knives can be used for multitudes of purposes, and can be found in knives in a wide range of categories. This steel is equipped with qualities that are ideal and crucial for outdoor and survival activates. For a knife that you want to be able to take a beating, this steel is the perfect choice.
The knife has been coated with a Diamond-Like-Coating, or DLC. On the Sigil, the DLC is a black. There are a variety of benefits to having a coated finish on a blade, but there are also a few drawbacks. A coated finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, all coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and at that time, the blade would have to be re-coated. In general, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and the more expensive to add to a knife. High quality finishes are bonded electrically, chemically, or thermally to the surface as opposed to a simple drying paint-like coatings. High end coatings, such as a DLC require that the blade go to a specialty coating facility for Physical Vapor Deposition application in a vacuum environment. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. And while quality coatings do add cost to a knife, they do add more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and require less maintenance. In short, the DLC coating does add significant cost to the blade, but you get what you pay for, and the return on investment is high.
The Sigil has a Wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe blade is often confused with the sheepsfoot blade, but there are a variety of differences. This blade shape looks very much like a standard blade shape that is then turned upside down. This style of blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. All in all, the Wharncliffe style of knife is a very useful blade shape. This is an especially good option for people who work a lot in an office, because the flat edge excels at opening envelopes and box cutter type chores. On the flip side, it is not very good at preparing food or skinning, became of the lack of belly. It is generally accepted that a sheepsfoot blade has an abruptly curving spine at the tip of the knife, creating very little point, but a Wharncliffe has a more gradually tapering spine creating a pointier tip, and consequently more fragile.
This knife does sport a plain edge. The plain edge is capable of taking on a wider variety of tasks and will give you cleaner cuts. If you had a serrated edge, the cuts would look jagged, but you would be able to saw through some of the thicker materials. The plain edge is going to be multi-use, easier to sharpen, and you will be able to get a finer edge on your knife. If you are looking for a knife to fulfill a large purpose, this is the best direction to go.
The handle on this knife is made out of titanium. Titanium is al lightweight metal alloy, and it does offer the best corrosion resistance of any metal. It is similar to aluminum, although it is a little heavier but still considered a lightweight metal and much stronger. Because it is harder and heavier, it does mean that it is more expensive to machine, so that will add cost to this knife. Titanium has a unique quality that makes it have a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you hurt in the winter/colder months as aluminum would. Titanium is a very sturdy material, but it is prone to scratches, especially when compared to stainless steel knife handles. Added durability, strength, and an attractive color can be added through an anodization process which is exactly what the Sigil has had done on it.
Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. The anodic oxide structure originates from the aluminum substrate and is compose entirely of aluminum oxide. This material is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. It has a highly ordered, porous structure that allows for secondary processes such as coloring and sealing. Anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. A cathode is mounted to the inside of the anodizing tank; the aluminum acts as an anode, so that oxygen ions are released form the electrolyte to combine with the aluminum atoms at the surface of the part being anodized. The Sigil has been anodized a bronze color.
Titanium is strong, which is perfect for high-end, high performance knives and gear because it is light and strong. Titanium is low weight and low density. Titanium is corrosion resistant and non-magnetic. Unfortunately, titanium is expensive.
To help with your grip on th
is knife, the handle has been carved with a pattern against the spine of the handle. There is a row of jimping on the spine, near the butt, to help with your control over the blade. The butt of the handle is carved with a lanyard hole. The handle has been curved to fit exceptionally well in your palm, giving you a comfortable grip, even after long periods of use. The butt of the handle has been pointed to be able to use as a weapon.
The Pocket Clip:
The titanium pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only. This clip is long, slightly curved to clip onto your pocket well. The clip has the same pattern as the handle carved into it.
This knife is a flipper knife. You can either use the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. In terms of opening mechanism, especially the one hand opening mechanism, the flipper is definitely one of the newest—at least in terms of popularity. While studs and holes enlist a thumb to open the knife, a flipper employs an index finger, and the feature is naturally ambidextrous. An essential element of a great flipper is a high quality pivot mechanism. And some of the phenomenal benefits to the flipper is that it keeps your fingers out of the way and safe during the entire opening and closing process. One of the other benefits to this knife employing a flipper mechanism is that the flipper protrusion locks into place and acts as a finger guard. This guard adds a second element of safety to using this Microtech knife.
The thumb window is a unique feature. Since the 1980s, the familiar round hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Over the years, numerous other knife makers have adopted/adapted the feature. And frankly, there is a good reason for this industrial mimicry—the thumb hole really does work. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb hole is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, tis ambidextrous. And, many knife lovers favor a hole because unlike a stud, it doesn’t protrude from the blade. A thumb window is just a larger thumb hole.
The blade on the Sigil is 3.875 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.875 inches long. The overall length of the blade is 8.75 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.9 ounces. It was made in the United States of America.
The Microtech Sigil and Sigil MK6 are some of the most sought-after folder/flipper knives on the market today. Once exclusively produced under the Microtech Custom category, these limited runs offered exotic materials, artistic finishes and a demand that seemed almost never-ending. At last, the production version of the Sigil MK6 is now in full swing–yet another once MCK turned production model. Knife maker Deryk Munroe, of Munroe Knives, had first collaborated with Microtech CEO Tony Marfione to bring about two exciting new future-forward designs–the Sigil and the Sigil MK6. The MK6 series is the larger of the two and boasts almost a 4″ blade while still providing all of the same stellar components and sleek styling. Every frame lock designed Sigil model rides seamlessly on a ceramic bearing system and can be operated with the ambidextrous spine flipper or the unique thumb window. This model, the 196-1BZ, features a distressed solid titanium handle in a bronze finish, standard bronze hardware coupled with a copper over-travel pivot plate, a Wharncliffe style blade in a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) black finish. Pick up your knife today at BladeOps.