A Review of Four Manly Microtech Knives.

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

 

The Ultratech

The Ultratech
The Ultratech

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

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

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

Pros of the Ultratech:

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

Cons of the Ultratech:

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

 

The UTX-85:

The UTX-85
The UTX-85

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

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

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

Pros of the UTX-85:

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

Cons of the UTX-85:

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

 

The Scarab:

The Scarab
The Scarab

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

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

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

Pros of the Scarab:

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

Cons of the Scarab:

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

 

The Combat Troodon:

The Combat Troodon
The Combat Troodon

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

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

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

Pros of the Combat Troodon:

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

Cons of the Combat Troodon:

  • This is a heavier everyday carry knife.

 

Conclusion:

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

 

 

A Review of the Six Best Tactical Knives

When looking for a tactical knife, there are so many different things to consider: brand, serrated edge vs. straight edge, folding knife vs. fixed knife, and size of the blade. Each of these characteristics change up what the knife is ideal for. Today I’ve compiled a list of the best tactical knives that you can buy today. Let’s get started.

 

The Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife:

Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife
Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker Knife

This blade measures at 3 3/8 inches long and the knife weighs only 4 ounces, which is light enough to be a fantastic option for an everyday carry knife. The handle is made out of anodized aluminum, with Trac-Tec grip tape inserts that provide a crazy good grip while handling this knife. The knife has a Sandvik crafted recurve blade that is partially serrated; the serrations on this blade come in handy when you need to cut something such as rope. This blade is crazy sharp. Something truly unique about this knife is that it has a built in glass breaker The glass breaker is made out of carbide and is directly attached to the end of the handle. This glass breaker is able to break through almost any glass type, including reinforced car glass. This knife is easy to open, even one handed, because it has a SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism. A bonus with this blade is that it comes with a lifetime warranty from Kershaw. Plus, this specific Kershaw knife is made in the United States of America, something that many knife owners want and are looking for in their knives.

Advantages of the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker knife:

  • Made fully in the USA.
  • Comes with a Kershaw lifetime warranty.
  • Has a built in carbide glass breaker.
  • Only weighs four ounces, making it the perfect everyday carry knife.
  • Boasts Trac-Tec grip tape inserts to provide the perfect grip.
  • Has a partially serrated blade.
  • The blade is crazy sharp.
  • Easy to open one handed because it has the SpeedSafe mechanism.

Disadvantages of the Kershaw Blur Glassbreaker knife:

  • The opening stud isn’t designed perfectly.

 

The Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife
Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife

This knife is ready to take on almost any challenge with its four-inch blade made out of Japanese Aus 8A stainless steel. This steel is vacuum heat treated and sub-zero quenched supplying the knife with fantastic durability. Then, the blade is coated in a black Tuff-Ex layer that works to resist anything. This coating fights against rust, it doesn’t let light reflect off of it—making it a perfect option for your tactical operations, and the coating works to provide a lubrication. The handle sports G10 handle scales that work to provide you with an amazing grip, almost like your hand is sticking to the handle. Another unique aspect of this knife is its reversible, stainless steel pocket clip. The pocket clip and the fact that the knife only weighs 5.2 ounces makes this an amazing everyday carry knife because it’s just that easy to constantly have with you. The knife boasts a Tri Ad locking system, which is a locking mechanism specific to Cold Steel. This locking system locks the blade into an open position with it’s tough lever that is on the back of the handle. This knife also comes in micro, mini, and extra-large versions.

Advantages of the Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

  • G10 handle scales give stellar grip.
  • Has Cold Steel’s Tri Ad locking system, guaranteeing you with a sturdy lock.
  • Only weighs 5.2 ounces.
  • Comes in different sized versions of itself.
  • Has a Tuff-Ex black coating that resists everything from rust to reflecting light.
  • Reasonable price.

Disadvantages of the Cold Steel Recon 1 Tactical Knife:

  • This knife has been reported to roughing up people’s pockets.

 

The Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife
Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife

A lot of tactical knives also have one or two other purposes, such as hunting, self-defense, maybe even fishing. What sets the Border Guard 2 apart from these knives is that the Border Guard 2 is truly designed to be a complete and total tactical knife. Some unique aspects of the Border Guard 2 are a safety belt cutter that is built into the handle. The handle already sports a glass breaking pommel. These two unique aspects make this knife an ideal candidate for safety and rescue workers, and so far they haven’t even had to open the blade. The tanto blade is 4.4 inches of 440C stainless steel. The blade is partially serrated, which makes it perfect for slicing and also sawing through rope. The blade is locked into place using its liner lock. The handle of this knife is made out of aircraft aluminum that has been textured to provide the user with an impeccable grip. The handle also sports an aluminum pocket clip. This knife is also one of the more inexpensive options, but it has just as much quality to it as the more expensive options, it might even be better. While this blade has been designed to serve almost any tactical purpose under the sun, this knife makes a fantastic every day carry blade as well. You never know when you are going to need the extras that call this knife home.

Advantages of the Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

  • Has a built in safety belt cutter.
  • Has a built in glass breaker.
  • This is an ideal option for rescue workers to own.
  • This is an ideal candidate for your every-day carry knife.
  • The handle has fantastic grip.
  • The liner lock keeps the blade securely locked into place.
  • This is one of the more inexpensive options that you can buy, but it definitely doesn’t seem like a cheap option.

Disadvantages of the Smith and Wesson Border Guard 2 Rescue Knife:

  • While the liner lock does work well, it can feel stiff, especially when the knife is first purchased.

 

The Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

Spyderco Assist Black Blade
Spyderco Assist Black Blade

This knife stands out from the pack because of its truly unique shape of blade. The blade of this knife is blunt-tipped, which helps make it unbreakable. But, because this is blunt-tipped, you cannot stab anyone. Why would anyone buy a blunt-tipped knife? This makes it a fantastic option for firefighters, EMT’s, and anyone else who is going to be working in a cramped area that doesn’t want to harm anyone or anything. The blade is serrated and on the unsharpened edge of the blade, it has finger grooves. This is another unique aspect that other knives do not have. This finger grooves are very shallow and make that edge of the blade look wavy. You can hold on to the backside of the knife to add grip and then saw through things more quickly. The blade is made out of VG-10, making this a very durable blade and knife. Adding to the list of unique characteristics, this knife sports a patented Cobra Hood grip, that helps to guide your finger to the deployment button so that even in the dark or without looking, you do not have to fumble for the deployment button. But wait, there’s more. The Spyderco Assist also features a retractable carbide tip that is designed to break glass. It also has a survival whistle that is built directly into the handle. This is a truly unique and remarkable knife that I would recommend to anyone looking for the perfect rescue knife. I couldn’t think of anything else that I would want to add, because it already has everything.

Advantages of the Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

  • Features a glass breaker.
  • Features a rescue/alert whistle.
  • The patented Cobra Hood grip guides your finger to the deployment button so that there is no searching and wasting time.
  • The knife has a blunt tip blade, making it the perfect rescue knife, because you can be in cramped spaces and not have to worry about harming anyone or anything.
  • The blade is very durable.
  • The serrated edge is perfect for sawing through rope.
  • The unsharpened edge of the blade has shallow finger grooves, giving you extra grip when sawing.

Disadvantages of the Spyderco Assist Black Blade:

  • This knife is designed for rescue, so many of its characteristics make it pointless in other situations.
  • Would be an awful option for self-defense.
  • It is almost 8 and a half inches long, which does make it a little bit large.

 

The Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

Benchmade Contego Folding Knife
Benchmade Contego Folding Knife

The four-inch blade on this knife is made out of CPM-M4 steel, that you can get in gray or black. This steel is high quality steel that won’t dull, nick, or chip. The thickness of this blade is 0.156, which is actually thinner than most tactical knives, however, because it is thinner, you can get it way sharper. The steel on this blade holds an incredible edge for long periods of time and who has time to sharpen their knife in survival situations? Having the extra sharpness means that you can cut through tougher things such as rope. The blade is a combo blade, meaning half of it is straight edge and the other is serrated. The serrations come in when the sharpness won’t cut it, because you can get a sawing motion going, such as cutting a tree branch. However, you can get this knife without the serrations, if that is what you prefer. The handle of this knife includes a carbide tip that is made to break through glass. The handle is made out of G-10 that has been textured to provide you with a fantastic no-slip grip. A unique thing that the Benchmade Contego has is the AXIS locking mechanism. This lock is extremely tough and hard to break, in fact, it can withstand up to 800 pounds of pressure before it breaks. However, after time, this locking mechanism will begin to work a little bit less. A bummer about this knife is how expensive it is.

Advantages of the Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

  • Can get it with a combo blade or just a plain straight edge blade.
  • The blade is a little thinner than most tactical knives, but what you give up in thickness, you definitely gain in sharpness.
  • The steel is high quality, durable steel.
  • The knife has a built in glass breaker, perfect for survival or rescue purposes.
  • The handle has amazing no-slip grip.
  • The AXIS locking mechanism can withstand 800 pounds of pressure before it fails.

Disadvantages of the Benchmade Contego Folding Knife:

  • This is a pretty expensive knife.
  • The AXIS locking system has its perks, but it definitely isn’t the best locking mechanism out there.
  • Over time, the AXIS locking mechanism will slowly start to break down and not work as quality as it did before.

 

The Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife
Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife

This knife has been considered one of the most famous fixed blade knives in the world. This knife has been around since World War Two when it was designed for the US troops. It has been changed a little bit since World War Two, but it is still made in the USA, which some knife owners search for when purchasing. The blade is made out of 1095 Cro-Van steel, which is a tough and durable steel. The thickness of the blade is 0.165 inches and the length of the blade is 7-inches long. This blade is a straight edge blade, giving you perfectly clean cuts every time. One of the unique characteristics of this knife is that the handle is made with genuine leather, adding a very aesthetically pleasing aspect to the knife. The sheath that comes with this knife is also made out of leather. This is a simple design that gets the job done.

Advantages of the Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

  • The handle is genuine leather, helping the knife look very classy.
  • This knife has been around since World War 2, so you know you can trust it.
  • Made in the USA.
  • This is the most famous fixed blade knives in the world.
  • Very durable and very sharp blade.
  • Comes with a leather sheath.
  • Simple, straightforward design.

Disadvantages of the Ka-Bar Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife:

  • The simple design doesn’t have any special add-ons.

 

Conclusion:

Tactical knives come in many different shapes and sizes and have all kinds of characteristics that make them unique. While the large variety is a blessing, it can also be a curse when you aren’t sure what you are looking for or what you want in your knife. Hopefully this list of the six best tactical knives will help narrow down your search and get you exactly what you want and need.

 

 

Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assist Knife Review

Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assist Knife
Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assist Knife

Kershaw knows that when you are carrying a Kershaw, you are carrying the real deal. They have award winning-technologies and advanced materials that show you that you have value and plenty of it. Kershaw says, “Even our inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable. That’s why we can back each of our knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with our famous Limited Lifetime Warranty.

And yes, people do own their Kershaw knives for a lifetime. (Although, occasionally, a Kershaw has been known to get accidentally left at a campsite, lost in the garage, or permanently borrowed by a friend.)

The point is, you can always look to Kershaw for everyday carrying knives that can tame any cardboard box and liberate any purchase from its plastic packaging, sporting knives that make hunting, fishing, watersports, and camping even better, work knives that won’t let you down, and tactical knives that ensure you’re ready for anything.”

Kershaw was founded in 1974 to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. Whether it’s a hardworking pocketknife, a hunting knife, or a special collectors’ edition, Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw also has a commitment to innovation and even pioneered the use of many of the technologies and advanced materials that are today standard in the knife industry. Kershaw says, “Our SpeedSafe assisted opening knives were first-to-market. We introduced the concept of knives with interchangeable blades in our Blade Traders. Recently, our Composite Blade technology, which combines two steels into one blade, gives knife users the best of both worlds by enabling us to use steel known for edge retention on the edge and steel known for strength on the spine. And we will keep on innovating, bringing new and better technologies and materials to today’s knife making industry and knife-using public.”
Today we will be discussing the Kershaw Exclusive FDE Leek Spring Assisted Knife at BladeOps.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Sandvik 14C28N Stainless Steel. This steel is one of the newer developments in Sandvik’s range of knife steels. It has been created with an optimized chemistry that provides a top grade knife steel with a unique combination of excellent edge performance, high hardness, and good corrosion. This new steel gives the highest achievable hardness without affecting the microstructure of the steel. Because of this, the edge will stay sharp for long periods of time while also maintaining the high stability. This stability means that the blade won’t microchip, fold, or roll, which keeps the quality high while also making re-sharpening easy. This steel can be hardened to a 55-62 HRC, which is the ideal hardness for knives that are going to need super sharp edges while also maintaining good corrosion resistance such as heavy duty pocket knives (such as this one), hunting knives, fishing knives, or even chef’s knives. Sandvik is known for their high quality steels and this is their highest. With this steel, your knife is going to be able to achieve much more than the average pocket knife.

The blade has been finished with a black coating. The coating comes in handy because it prolongs the life of the blade. This is because there is a literal barrier in between the steel and the environment. The already high quality Sandvik steel is going to last longer than ever with this sleek lack finish on it. The wear and corrosion resistance of this knife are significantly increased with a good coating. The black coating also cuts down on glares and reflections which is ideal if you are using this knife in the field. On the flip side, once a coating gets scratched off, the steel is almost worse off than if it had never been coated. This is because it can then get rusted, but it also gets in the way of smooth slices. Unfortunately, most coatings are going to get scratched off over time.

The blade has been carved into a Wharncliffe style blade. The Wharncliffe style blade is often confused with the sheepsfoot blade. This is because they do have some similarities and neither of them are super popular. The Wharncliffe is more like a standard blade shape that has then been turned upside down. This blade shape is going to have a totally flat cutting edge, while the spine of the blade is going to curve gradually until the tip forms a point. While this blade shape is not super popular, it is super useful. It is a great shape for an EDC because it works great in opening boxes and other similar chores. That being said, this blade shape does not make a good chef’s knife shape because it does lack a bely which makes it hard cut through foods. This blade shape does have a very fine point, which can be dangerous if you are using the knife to pierce through materials, especially when it comes to harder materials. Like a clip point blade, the tip of the Wharncliffe is not going to stand up to too much and you will need to be relatively careful with it.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of anodized 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal that is often used in knife making because of how corrosion resistant it. While it is a low-density metal, it does still give the user the heft that you want backing you up without actually weighing you down. The most common type of aluminum is an alloy called the 6062-T6 alloy, which means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This alloy has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys.

Anodizing changes the microscopic texture of the surface of the aluminum so that a porous coating or film can be applied that will in turn accept a dye. Anodizing makes aluminum stronger and anodic films are much longer lasting than other surface colorations. Anodized aluminum knife handles are highly scratch resistant and fade resistant. The knife has been anodized a flat dark earth brown.

The knife has stainless steel handle liners which are going to give the knife more durability and resistance to corrosion. The stainless steel is not going to be a lightweight material for a knife, but because it is only the liners that are made out of it, it is just going to add the heft that you want from a knife and not be an annoying weight.

The handle is very simple. There are two portions of jimping right where the blade ends and the handle begins. These two sections are going to give you a little more control when you are cutting with this knife and a little bit better grip when you are holding this knife. The spine of the knife has a skinny neck before it bulges out which will fit nicely in your hand. The belly of the knife has an indent/groove right after the row of jimping that is going to give you a more comfortable place to rest your fingers while also keeping your fingers a little more protected. The belly also bulges out, which will lead to a comfortable grip—even for long periods of time. The butt of the handle does taper in and is rounded. As a bonus, this Exclusive Leek does have a lanyard hole carved into the butt.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either tip up or tip down carry, although it can only be attached on the traditional side of the blade. This is useful because it helps the user carry it in the direction that they feel the safest. This is also a disadvantage because the user cannot carry this knife on the side that they feel most comfortable. The pocket clip is kept in place by two screws. All of the hardware on this knife is black, which matches the blade and contrasts with the anodization color of the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that uses a thumb stud as well as Kershaw’s SpeedSafe opening mechanism.

A spring assisted knife is a knife that is not fully manual and not fully automatic. You have to start opening the knife manually, but that will trigger the opening mechanism and it will finish opening on its own. This is handy because it does not fall under the strict knife laws of the automatic and it will be easier to open than a manual knife.

The thumb stud is a small barrel that sits on the blade right where the handle ends and the blade begins. The thumb stud on this knife is silver, which does stand out against the sleek black blade. This will help you see it no matter what the environment is. The thumb stud is easy to use and can be used with only one hand, which is a major advantage. The thumb stud is extremely simple to get the hang of, which does increase the safety of it. However, one of the biggest drawbacks to the thumb stud is that when you are opening the knife, it does put your fingers directly in the path of the blade. This had resulted in people getting cut on plenty of occasions. Keep this in mind when you are first getting used to opening the knife to avoid getting cut.

SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade’s thumb stud. The SpeedSafe works through its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by “gravity;” it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, the user applies manual pressure to the thumb stud or flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. This enables the torsion bar to move along a track in the handle and assist you to open the knife. The blade opens smoothly and locks into position, ready for use. SpeedSafe® was specifically designed for sporting, work, or everyday situations where one-handed opening is preferable and safer. It’s safe, efficient opening has made it a popular choice for hunters, fishermen, and those who require the one-hand opening function on the job-site.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4 inches long. The overall length of this knife when it is opened measures in at 7 inches long. This is a lighter weight knife, weighing in at a mere 2.4 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel patriotic when you use it. You also know that you can trust this knife.

 

Conclusion:

This exclusive to BladeOps variation of the Leek features a FDE anodized handle! The Kershaw Leek series has remained as one of Kershaw’s most popular spring assist knives thanks in part to its ultra-slim profile and versatile blade design. This liner lock designed model features Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe™ system, which quickly deploys the blade via the ambidextrous spine flipper function or the built-in dual thumb stud feature. The Leek also includes a small slide safety located on lower-rear of the back handle scale to help keep the blade at bay until you’re are ready to use it. This model features a flat dark earth anodized aluminum handle, stainless steel liners, a Wharncliffe style blade in a black finish and a reversible pocket clip designed for tip up or tip down carry on the traditional side of the handle. Come pick up this new knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

Benchmade 300S-1 Ball AXIS Flipper Knife Review

Benchmade 300S-1 Ball AXIS Flipper
Benchmade 300S-1 Ball AXIS Flipper

With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation. This is the story of Benchmade.

In 1979 the Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song® in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song® into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name from Bali-song®, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

In 1987 Due to its inability to control quality, price and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.

While there was “handmade” and “factory-made,” it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market- even to this day.

To this day Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Ball AXIS flipper knife.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Butch Ball. Butch Ball developed a passion for knives at a very early age. After building a few fixed blades in the early ’90s he decided in 2000 to begin a true custom shop. Butch starts each knife as a prototype, which he then tests, recreates and tests again. At each stage in this development process, he is thinking of ways to improve the design, whether mechanical or ergonomic. The results of this process are designs that are as robust as they are innovative.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 154CM steel that has been hardened to a 58-61 HRC. This is a high end steel that is considered an upgraded version of 440C because of the addition of Molybdenum into the steel. The Molybdenum helps to achieve superior edge holding when being compared to 440C, but it still retains the high levels of corrosion resistance. This last characteristic is surprising because 154CM steel has less Chromium than 440C steel. This is a hard steel that has toughness that is decent enough to get you through your daily tasks. This steel also holds an edge well and when you have the right equipment, it isn’t too bad to sharpen. This steel is designed and made by Crucible Steel Industries, which is a US based steel company.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. Knifeart.com says, “A hand satin finish involves sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of a fine abrasive (generally sandpaper). A satin finish shows the bevels of the blade, showcasing the lines of the knife while reducing its reflective glare. Hand satin finish is generally done on upscale, high-end, collector-grade knives. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks. Satin finishes can also be used on the handle or fittings to enhance the look of the knife. A nice hand satin finish takes time and can increase the cost of the knife.”

The blade on this knife has been carved into a drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is one of the most common blade shapes in the knife industry today. This is because it is a very versatile shape while also being extremely durable. The shape of this knife is formed by having the spine of the knife run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curving manner, which gives the style a lowered point. It is the lowered point that gives the drop point blade more control while also adding strength to the tip. In fact, the tip has so much strength and is able to stand up to some seriously heavy use, making it a great blade shape on any style of knife from hunting knives to even the toughest of survival knives. The lowered point also makes the blade more easily controllable, which allows you to use this knife for fine tip work. One of the reasons that this is such a versatile knife is the large belly that makes slicing a breeze. This AXIS flipper knife has been designed as an everyday carry knife, so the majority of what you will be doing is slicing. The large belly is going to make all of your tasks easy. Of course, like every blade shape, there is one big disadvantage.  Because of the broad tip, this knife is not going to be as capable of stabbing or piercing as the similar clip point blade shape.

The blade is a combo blade, which means the upper 2/3 is a plain edge, giving you the benefits from a plain edge such as clean cuts and ease of sharpening. The lower 1/3 is serrated, which will help you to saw through some of the thicker materials. Some people feel like the comb edge gives them the best of both worlds and some people feel like each section is too small to utilize well.

 

The Handle:

             The handle on this knife is made out of blue and black contoured G10. This material is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. This material is similar to carbon fiber, although it is the inferior material and much more inexpensive. To make this material the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and proceeds to soak them in a resin. The next step in the process is to compress them. The last step is to bake them under pressure. This process yields a material that is tough, hard, strong and lightweight. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G10 is known to be the toughest and even stronger than Micarta. Although the stronger the fiberglass resin laminate gets, the more brittle it is going to get.

Because of how the material is made, the manufacturer can use varying different colors to achieve a unique look on the G10 handle. This is precisely what has been done on the AXIS flipper. The handle has a pattern that swirls between bright blue and black throughout the entire handle.

All handles benefit from G10 because it is non-porous, which means it won’t soak up many fluids, making maintenance a breeze. The overall pros to having a G10 handle is that it is going to be tough, light, and durable. However, it is also going to be brittle and some people feel like it lacks elegance because it can look a little too plastic-y.

The handle on this knife has been textured with ridges going across the width of the knife all the way down the length of the handle. This texture will provide more than enough grip for your everyday chores. The spine of the handle is curved towards the butt, which is squared off. The handle is definitely the most unique part of this knife, with the belly of the handle having three deep finger grooves. These grooves help the user to have the most secure grip when using this knife as well as providing a comfortable grip to use this knife for long periods of time. While the finger guard is not very large, the flipper is going to act as a large finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is a deep carry clip, which means that it is going to fit more snugly in your pocket and conceal the knife a little bit better than a non-deep carry clip would. This knife has been designed as an everyday carry knife, so the more secure you can get it, the better it is. With this deep carry clip, you won’t have to worry when you are going about your daily business, because it is going to stay securely inside your pocket until you need it.

The pocket clip can only be attached for tip-up carry, but it is a reversible clip for either left or right handed carry, helping to make this knife fully ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife, which means that there is no internal mechanism or spring that assists or fully opens the knife for you. When it comes to legal matters, a manual opening knife is going to be legal in a larger amount of states, cities, and areas. However, a manual opening knife is not going to open as quickly or smoothly as a spring assisted or an automatic would.

This knife has been equipped with a flipper. The flipper is located on the spine of the knife as part of the blade. The blade is deployed by suing the index finger to pull back on it. This helps to keep your hands at a safe distance from the blade as well as giving the knife an extra finger guard once the blade is opened. This is because the flipper will swing up and around and end up where a finger guard normally would lie. This helps to make the flipper mechanism an even safer opening mechanism, especially when compared to a thumb stud. One of the last benefits when it comes to a flipper opening mechanism is that by its very design, it is ambidextrous. This helps to make the knife fully ambidextrous. Plus, the flipper comes off the side, instead of out of the blade, like a thumb stud would, so the flipper will not get in the way once the knife is opened. That being said, it is a little bit trickier to figure out how to use a flipper, so take a few practice runs before you get too cocky with it.

The AXIS flipper has been equipped with Benchmade’s AXIS-flipper mechanism. A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.18 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.130 inches. The handle on this knife is going to measure in at 4.25 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.59 inches. When the knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.36 inches long. The AXIS flipper weighs in at 4.68 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is discussing this knife they say, “The AXIS® flipper is relatively compact but has a full-sized feel thanks to the unique handle shape. Adding a flipper is just one more way to deploy the blade on what is already the most versatile locking mechanism on the market.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

A Review of Gerber’s Greatest Three.

Before the knife company was born it started out as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets that were made to be given as holiday gifts. When the knife company Gerber began, Joseph R. Gerber was striving to make knives and tools that had both high quality materials and innovate designs. He wanted these knives to stand up to a lifetime of use. It began as strictly knives, but has since grown to produce other items such as axes, machetes, flashlights, and survival kits as well. Each of these hold the same quality as that first batch of cutlery sets. As gerbergear.com says, “Gerber has quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated and collected names knives.” That is no understatement and any of their knives would be a fantastic choice. However, today I have made a list of the three best rated, most popular, and most classic of Gerber’s knives.

 

Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife:

Bear Grylls Ultimate
Bear Grylls Ultimate

This knife has been designed to be a stellar survival tool. In 2011, this knife had become an international best-selling knife. A knife doesn’t become a best seller globally without deserving that title, so what makes it such a good knife? First off, the blade is made out of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel or with the Pro version it is made out of 9Cr19MoV stainless steel. Most commonly, it is found in a combo edge, but you can get it without the serrations if that is what you prefer. If you are going to get this knife to use for survival, I would recommend getting the half serrated blade, because the serrations are fantastic for cutting through thicker materials such as rope or thicker branches. Either way, the blade measures up to be 4.75 inches, which is the perfect size if you need a larger knife, but still need it to not get in the way when attached to your belt. In my opinion, it is really the handle and the sheath that set this knife apart as such a great survival knife.

Let’s start by discussing why the handle is so great. The handle is made out of black rubber with orange accents—this helps you find your knife if you ever seem to misplace it or lose it during a survival situation. Because of the rubber scales on the handle, you will always have fantastic grip even if the knife is wet or you are wearing gloves. At the end of the handle there is a textured metal cap, which is put there so that you can hammer or beat on any materials.

The sheath also has fantastic qualities to it—the sheath is made out of nylon, which is a lightweight yet durable material. Plus, this nylon is mildew resistant, so you don’t have to worry about your knife getting wet. Included in the sheath is also a fire starter, a ferrocerium rod that locks directly into the sheath with a striker notch designed into the back of the knife blade. A big bonus to this sheath is that it has an integrated diamond sharpener so that you can sharpen your knife on the go and in any situation.

Included with your purchase of this knife is a pocket guide that outlines survival essentials and land to air rescue instructions. A big selling point of Gerber is that they are US made, which is mostly true. This knife is assembled in the United States, but they do use a Chinese steel for the blade.

Pros of the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife:

  • The blade and knife are big enough to take on any tasks but not too big to get in the way when it counts.
  • In 2011, this knife was an international best-selling knife.
  • Has a combo edge for thicker materials, but you can get it in the straight edge also.
  • The handle is thick enough and the rubber scales give you grip in any situation, even while wearing gloves.
  • Has a textured metal cap for hammering or beating.
  • Sheath is durable, yet lightweight, and mildew resistant.
  • Includes a fire starter and a built in diamond sharpener.
  • Comes with a pocket guide for survival essentials and land to air rescue instructions.
  • Assembled in the USA.

Cons of the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife:

  • This is a little bit of a pricey knife.
  • This would not be the most efficient way to cut through larger branches, but it definitely does the job.
  • The butt cap has been reported to break away from the handle.
  • The 7Cr17MoV steel isn’t the best steel.

 

The LMF II:

LMF II
LMF II

This is also one of Gerber’s best-selling knives. This knife comes in three models, either the Infantry, the Survival, or the ASEK. They all have the exact same design, it is just the knife handle and sheath colors that change with each of the models and the accessories vary from knife to knife. The Infantry is either black, brown, or green handle and comes with a sheath. The Survival is only in brown but it also comes with a safety knife, strap cutter, and sheath. Lastly, the ASEK comes only in green and it also comes with a safety knife plus a strap cutter and sheath. Those are the only differences, so now let’s go over what the model of the knife actually is.

The blade of the knife is 4.84 inches of 420HC stainless steel. This steel is a very tough steel and has been known to be resistant to rust. It is such a tough steel that you can actually dig, hammer, or pry along with the regular slicing and chopping. However, this steel does not keep its edge for long periods of time when it is going through heavy use. The silhouette of the blade is a drop point and the edge is a combo. A drop point blade is a great option for a survival knife because it stays durable and strong over the entire blade. By keeping this strength and durability, this knife is an excellent contender for any task from slicing or cutting to a bushcraft task. The overall length of the knife is a little over ten inches. Without a sheath, the knife weighs 11.67 ounces, but with the sheath it weighs a whopping 24.28 ounces.

The handle is made out of a glass filled nylon that has a TPV grip over top of it. The handle is a wider and flatter handle than most. This gives you a better grip than a different design would have and you can even lash it onto a stick if you need to. Because of the TPV grip that is placed on top of the nylon, you will have fantastic grip even when the knife is wet. Just like the Bear Grylls Ultimate, this knife also has a stainless steel butt cap that is for hammering or crushing.

A unique aspect to the LMF II is that it is electrically insulated. Gerber designed this to prevent aircrew from being shocked if and when they cut through live wires if they were trying to free themselves from their aircraft. The butt cap and the blade are molded to the handle, but they are electrically isolated from each other.

The sheath of this knife matches the handle. No matter the color, it is made out of ballistic nylon that has a fire retardant coating over it. This sheath also has a built in sharpener, which is ideal for on the go sharpening, especially if you are in a survival situation and don’t have a way to access a different sharpener. Plus, it is an ambidextrous sheath so you can carry it on either your right or left side.

Pros of the LMF II:

  • Comes in three different designs, so you can get it in a variety of colors or have a variety of different accessories.
  • The steel used on this blade is extremely tough—in fact, you can dig or hammer with it if needed.
  • The steel is resistant to rust.
  • The drop point silhouette keeps the blade very strong across the length, so it can stand up to almost any task.
  • The handle is actually eclectically insulated, so you won’t electrocute yourself if you have to cut through live wires.
  • The handle has a metal butt cap for hammering or crushing.
  • With the grip, you can have great grip on it no matter the situation.
  • The sheath has a fire retardant coating over it.
  • The sheath sports a built in sharpener.
  • The sheath is ambidextrous.

Cons of the LMF II:

  • This knife is extremely heavier, which many people don’t like, especially for your everyday carry knife.
  • This knife can be a little bit excessive for an everyday carry knife.
  • This is a more expensive knife, but it is worth it.
  • The steel doesn’t keep its edge after long periods of heavy use.
  • 420 HC isn’t the best steel.

 

The GDC Tech Skin:

GDC Tech Skin
GDC Tech Skin

The GDC in this name stands for Gerber Daily Carry. The Gerber Daily Carry collection is designed to reinvent the way common objects work so they can fit perfectly in your life. Many people think that the Tech Skin is the best one in this collection. This knife is perfect for your everyday carry knife.

The blade is a 7Cr17 steel that is 2.5 inches long. The blade has a drop point silhouette. This silhouette and steel is perfect for your everyday tasks such as opening knives. Unfortunately, the knife doesn’t come as sharp as many people are expecting, so you will probably have to sharpen the knife right when you receive it.

The handle of the knife is rubberized by using a TacHide. Something great about this handle is that the rubbery texture provides great grip, but you can still keep it in your pocket and not worry about it scratching anything such as your phone screen or wallet. This handle is a very comfortable handle to use. Something fantastic about the handle, especially when it is folded, is that there is no metal to be found anywhere on the knife. This is why it is so safe to put in your pocket with other items and why it is such a comfortable knife to hold. Unfortunately, this knife has a tendency to get sticky when you are in a hot room or hot weather.

Another great aspect of this knife is the lock back mechanism that provides a very secure lock when open or closed. Plus, the knife features a thumb stud. With the lock back mechanism and the thumb stud, it is a very easy knife to open one handed. When closed the knife is 3.4 inches long, so it is not very big knife. This makes it a fantastic knife option for your everyday carry, but it won’t stand up to the heavy duty tasks.

Pros of the GDC Tech Skin:

  • The drop point silhouette of the blade is great for everyday tasks.
  • This is an ideal knife for your everyday carry knife.
  • The rubberized handle gives you a fantastic grip.
  • A huge pro of this knife is that you can put it in your pocket with your phone and other items and not have to worry about the knife scratching up your objects.
  • You can easily open this knife one handed.

Cons of the GDC Tech Skin:

  • The rubberized handle can get sticky while in hot weather or hot temperatures.
  • This knife is pretty small, so it won’t stand up to any of your heavy duty tasks.
  • The knife does not come super sharp, so you will probably have to sharpen it as soon as you receive it.

 

Conclusion:

What started out as a simple batch of homemade knives for holiday knives transformed into something great. Gerber is a very reliable knife company and any of their knives would be a good option. These three knives are three of the most popular knives that Gerber produces. The Bear Grylls Ultimate, the LMF II, and the GDC Tech Skin are all fan favorites and I am sure that you would love them too.

 

Benchmade Nakamura Knife Review

Benchmade Nakamura
Benchmade Nakamura

With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation. This is the story of Benchmade.

The Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song® in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song® into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?”

Les incorporated as Bali-Song®, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song®: The model 68.

Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name from Bali-song®, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.

In 1987, the company filed for bankruptcy. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68. This time, with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality, and customer relationships. The company was going to need a new name.

While there was “handmade” and “factory-made,” it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market- even to this day.

To this day Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.

Today we will be discussing the Benchmade Nakamura.

 

The Designer:

             This knife was designed by Seiichi Nakamura. Engineering was his life’s work until he retired to focus his efforts on a passion for custom knife work. He specializes in small Japanese style folders, gentlemen’s carry and jewelry knives. His eye for artistry and mechanical engineering make him a perfect fit for the innovative Benchmade team.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S90V steel. This is an ultra-premium steel that is made by Crucible Industries. This is a US based steel company that is known for their high end steels. Crucible’s CPM S90V steel approaches the utmost levels of wear resistance and edge retention. In this steel, the carbon content is very high, but Crucible has also added extreme quantities of vanadium. The levels of vanadium in this steel are almost here times the levels that can be found in Elmax or S30V. This steel is extremely expensive, but worth every penny that you spend on it. This steel is also a total pain to sharpen but it holds an edge for so much longer than any other steel that you are going to come across. And, it withstands abrasion better than almost any other steel on the market. This steel is expensive and it is hard to sharpen, but all of the other extreme positive aspects of this steel outweigh the negatives. If you buy a knife with this steel, such as the Nakamura, you know that you are going to have a great blade that can take on almost any challenge.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. While the satin finish is the most common blade finish you are going to find in the industry today, there is good reason for the wide use of it. The finish is traditional, classic, and helps to cut down on glares, reflections, and even corrosion. Satin finishes are created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. The abrasive that is most generally used is a sandpaper. As a key, the finer the sandpaper and the more even the lines, the cleaner the steel is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect the utmost level of quality of their satin finish; it is going to look very clean.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade style, which is one of the two most common blade styles used in the industry today. This is for good reason as well; it is an all-purpose blade shape and it is also very tough. The blade is formed by having the spine of the blade curve slowly from the handle all the way to the point. This creates a lowered point, which is going to give you good control over your cuts. In fact, the drop point blade is commonly found on hunting knives because of how easy it is to control. Because of the control, you will easily be able to perform fine detail work with the Nakamura. The tip on the drop point style blade is also pretty broad, which is where the blade gets its renowned strength from. The drop point blade is popular on all styles of knives including tactical and survival because of how tough the tip is. The drop point also sports a very large belly, which is what helps to make this knife such an all-purpose knife. The larger the belly, the easier it will be to slice. And because the Nakamura has been designed as an everyday knife, slicing is going to be the thing you will be doing the most. The drop point blade style really only has one major disadvantage, which is that because of the broad tip, the knife is less capable of piercing or stabbing like a clip point knife would be able to.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of contoured carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is actually a pretty generic term that refers to a material made out of thin strands of carbon that have been tightly woven together and then set in a resin. This material is extremely strong, but also lightweight, so you can take on any task without feeling like you are weighed down by a bulky knife. Unfortunately, because of the manual labor that has to be put into making a carbon fiber handle, it is an expensive material to have, which means it is going to raise the cost of the knife considerably.

While this material is a strong one, it is far from being indestructible and does suffer from being brittle. This is because of the way that the fibers have been woven together. All of the fibers in the handle are woven in one direction, so when it is stressed in that particular direction, it is almost impossible to break. But as soon as it is stressed in any of the other directions, it is going to start to break apart or chip. And because it is brittle, it will break if it is subjected to sharp or hard impacts. The overall advantages of a carbon fiber handle are that it is going to be strong, lightweight, and eye-catching. The overall disadvantages of a carbon fiber handle are that it is going to raise the cost of the knife considerably and it is still going to be brittle.

The handle on this knife is one of the more unique aspects about it. The spine of the knife bulges outward to create a comfortable grip on the handle. The belly of the handle is where it gets funky. There are four finger grooves going down the length of the belly. Each of these grooves is pretty deep. However, these create a secure and comfortable grip on the knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is not a deep carry clip, which is a drawback to the knife. While you can only attach the clip for tip up carry, the pocket clip is reversible for either left or right handed carry. This is a major advantage because it does make the knife more fully ambidextrous. The clip matches the handle in color.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife, which means that it is going to be legal in more areas than your assisted opening and automatic knives would be. In terms of efficiency, the knife is not going to be as smooth or as quick as an automatic or assisted opening knife would be. However, manual knives are a little bit easier to maintain because there is no spring that can rust out and ruin the opening mechanism. That doesn’t mean that maintenance is easy, because there is still plenty of hardware on the inside that needs care—just easier than an automatic knife.

The knife uses a thumb stud to help the user open the knife. This is a small barrel that sticks off of the knife. This barrel is positioned on the spine of the knife close to where the handle begins. This is a very simple mechanism to get the hang of—all you do is grasp the knife, and push on the stud with your flexed finger. The blade should swing open and lock into place after you do this. This is a very simple mechanism to get the hang of. There are a couple of complaints to this opening mechanism though. The first one is that the barrel is always going to come off of the knife. When the knife is closed, that shouldn’t be a big deal, but when the knife is opened and you are trying to use it, it sometimes does get in the way. The next complaint when it comes to this opening mechanism is that it is not as safe as a flipper mechanism would be. When you are opening this knife, it does put your fingers in the direct line of the blade. This means that you are going to have to be extra careful when you are opening the knife. There have been plenty of reports of people slicing their fingers while trying to open a knife with the thumb stud.

The Nakamura has been equipped with an AXIS lock. A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.08 inches long with a thickness of 0.114 inches. The handle measures in at 3.95 inches long with a thickness of 0.57 inches. The overall length of this opened knife measures in at 7.03 inches. This knife weighs in at 3.28 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is discussing this knife, they say, “The first Nakamura AXIS® brings the best of both worlds: detailed design and functional strength.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

 

Kershaw Blur Limited Green Spring Assisted Knife Review

Kershaw Blur Limited Green Spring Assisted Knife
Kershaw Blur Limited Green Spring Assisted Knife

Kershaw fans know that there really is nothing like a Kershaw. From award-winning technologies and advanced materials to the solid sound of the blade lockup, when you’re carrying a Kershaw, you know you’re carrying the real thing. And what does the real thing mean? The real thing means value and plenty of it. With Kershaw, you get incredible bang for your hard-earned buck. Kershaw says, “Even our inexpensive models are impressive. In fact, everything about a Kershaw is solid, crafted, reliable. That’s why we can back each of our knives for the life of its original owner against any defects in materials and construction with our famous Limited Lifetime Warranty. And yes, people do own their Kershaw knives for a lifetime. (Although, occasionally, a Kershaw has been known to get accidentally left at a campsite, lost in the garage, or permanently borrowed by a friend.)”
Kershaw’s founding mission in 1974 to now was to design and manufacture tools that knife users would be proud to own, carry, and use. This has meant that every Kershaw knife must be of the highest quality. Whether it’s a hardworking pocketknife, a hunting knife, or a special collectors’ edition, Kershaw always chooses appropriate, high-quality materials and is dedicated to intensive craftsmanship. Along with extremely tight tolerances and state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, this ensures that Kershaw knives provide a lifetime of performance.

Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. For over 100 years, Kai has been Japan’s premier blade producer. Kai takes an innovative approach to product development based on the close coordination of research and development, production, marketing, and distribution functions. While many of Kershaw’s quality products are made in their 55,000 sq. ft. facility in Tualatin, Oregon (just south of Portland), they also draw on Kai’s resources to provide the very best for the customer.

Today we will be discussing the Blur Limited Green Spring Assisted Knife.

 

The Designer:

             Ken Onion has been a devout knife collector since childhood, he says that he collected mostly production knives along with anything else that he could find. He didn’t even know that there was a custom knife industry until 1989 when he saw a copy of Knives Illustrated at a local drug store. He went on to find a local knife maker named Stan Fujisaka and says that he “begged him to teach me.” The very first knife that Ken Onion made was in 1991 and he hasn’t given it up. Ken Onion was actually the man behind Kershaw’s SpeedSafe design. A few years later (1998) he signed on with Kershaw Knives as their designer. Since then, the has roughly 36 patents on various items including locks, gadgetry, mechanisms, safeties, designs, and even a few trademarks. He says, “I teach knife making, folder making and advanced classes at my home to new makers, as well as experienced makers. I teach designing classes, business theory and strategy classes.  I make knives for numerous celebrities including Steven Segal, Steven Tyler, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Popper, Kid Rock, Pamela Anderson, Wayne Newton, Tanya Metaksa, Wayne La Pierre, Ziggy Marley, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Aaron Nevel, and others who would rather remain anonymous. In an effort to gain public awareness of the custom and other knife arenas, involving celebrities help portrait knives in a positive fashion and help demoralize the public’s opinion of knives as well as help garner interest in making or collecting knives to a broader marketplace.”

With this knife being made by Ken Onion, you know that you will be able to trust it completely.

 

The Blade:

             This knife blade is made out of BDZ-1 steel. This is a martensitic steel that has been chemically balanced and then processed to provide a uniform, fine carbide structure. This steel can even be tempered to a hardness that reaches the low HRC 60’s without compromising its high quality. This steel is a fantastic choice for a knife because of the high hardness and the ability to retain its edge.

The blade has been finished with a stonewashed finish. This finish is created when the manufacturer tumbles the blade in an abrasive material that is normally very small pebbles. The finish works to easily hid scratches while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finish blade. One of the more positive benefits of a stonewashed blade is that it is going to be low maintenance and have its original look preserved over long periods of time. The finish gives a rugged, well-worn look, which is very popular on knives that are going to take a beating. This finish is also going to hide the smudges that accumulate over time, which does significantly reduce the maintenance time of the blade.

The blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade that does resemble the tanto blade in plenty of ways. The spine is the same as the drop point knife, with a very slow curve from the handle of the knife to the tip, which is lowered. The lowered tip is where you get all of your control over your cuts. The lowered, or dropped, tip is where the knife got its name. It is also what allows you to perform fine detail work with this knife. However, the belly of this knife is more similar to a tanto blade. The belly is nearly non-existent, reaching form the handle to about 2/3rds of the way up the blade in a straight manner. This lack of belly can interfere with how it operates at a daily basis level. But, because of the tough tip and the tiny belly, you will be able to use this knife as an EDC.  At the 2/3 point, it angles upward to meet the tip. This means that there is going to be more metal near the tip, which is what makes this such a strong knife. The abundance of metal near the tip is what allows you to pierce through the harder materials.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 anodized aluminum with Trac-Tec inserts.

Aluminum is a very durable material that is low density while still giving you the heft hat you want without weighing the knife down. The most common alloy used today is the 6061-T6 alloy because it has extremely high tensile strength to it. When an aluminum handle is properly texturized, it is going to give you a relatively secure grip, but it is going to be comfortable for long periods of time. The secure grip is only enhanced by the inserts that Kershaw added. That being said, aluminum is susceptible to scratches and dings. And, it does have high conductive properties, which means that if you were going to use this knife during the colder months or environments, it might be too uncomfortable to hold.

The Trac-Tec Inserts are a rough-surfaced insert that provides additional friction for a non-slip grip.

The handle on this knife has been anodized for toughness and durability. It has been anodized a bright green which contrasts with the dark black pocket clip and Trac-Tec Inserts. There is a row of jimping right before the blade begins on the spine of the handle. The handle then slowly bulges out, which will create a more comfortable and secure grip. The belly of the handle does have an elongated finger groove that also has a row of jimping. This will give you a comfortable grip while also helping create a very solid no-slip grip. The jimping will help you when you are performing those harder tasks. The butt of the knife is a rounded square. As a bonus, the knife does have a lanyard hole carved into the butt.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is stonewashed black, which is created when the metal undergoes an acid treatment before it is stonewashed. The clip is kept in place by two black screws, which match the rest of the hardware on this knife. The clip can be reversed for either tip up or tip down carry. This helps you feel the safest while using this knife, because you can carry it in the direction that is comfortable for you. That being said, the clip cannot be reversed for either left or right hand carry and is only attached on the traditional side of the blade. This is a drawback because it means that the knife is not ambidextrous.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife that has been equipped with both a thumb stud as well as Kershaw’s (and Ken Onion’s) SpeedSafe Opening Mechanism. The thumb stud is going to make this knife easier to use, because it is easy to get the hang of. This opening mechanism is also going to allow you to comfortably open the knife with only one hand. One of the larger complaints of the thumb stud is that it does extend off of the blade, which can get in the way when you are trying to use the knife.

Kershaw was the first to bring SpeedSafe® assisted opening knives to market, launching a revolution in opening systems—and winning numerous industry awards along the way. Originally designed by Hall of Fame knife maker, Ken Onion, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives flew off the shelves. Today, almost all knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife, but none matches the popularity or proven durability of the original. SpeedSafe is a system that assists the user to smoothly open any SpeedSafe knife with a manual push on the blade’s thumb stud or pull back on the flipper. SpeedSafe is built into many of Kershaw’s best-selling knives. No, SpeedSafe knives are not switchblades. There are many unique features of SpeedSafe knives that make them quite different than knives that are considered switchblades. Unlike a switchblade, SpeedSafe blades DO NOT deploy with the push of a button in the handle or by gravity alone. Instead, the user must overcome the torsion bar’s resistance in order to engage the SpeedSafe system. Because of this, SpeedSafe knives fall fully outside the Federal definition of a switchblade. However, due to the complexity and constantly changing nature of these laws and regulations, it is impossible for Kershaw Knives as well as BladeOps to be aware of every restriction in every location in which our knives are sold or carried. It is the responsibility of the buyer to investigate and comply with the laws and regulations that apply in his or her specific area.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is going to measures in at 3 3/8 inches long with a blade thickness of 1/8 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.5 inches long. It has a handle thickness of half an inch and a handle width of 1.25 inches. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7 13/16 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.2 ounces, which isn’t overly heavy, but for a knife that you will have with you at all times, it is on the heavier side. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Kershaw Blur Limited Green Spring Assisted Knife, designed by Ken Onion has top performance and a fabulous clean look. This model, the 1670GRNBDZ, sports a green handle and a stonewash finished plain edge blade. The blade is built from BDZ-1 steel and the handle is built of 6061 T6 aluminum. Made with the SpeedSafe system, it opens very smooth and very fast. Just push on one of the ambidextrous (one on each side of the blade) blade buttons and the blade easily opens with one hand. The handles have Trac-Tec inserts for firm hand grip. Trac-Tec gives you great grip regardless of the conditions. The Blur is a perfect knife for everyday carry (EDC) as it gives you nice strength, easy use and superior cutting performance. You can pick up this Limited knife at BladeOps today while it is still in stock.

 

 

 

 

 

Benchmade Rukus II Automatic Knife Review

Since we’ve gone over the overall history of Benchmade a couple times here on this blog, today I thought we’d start this Benchmade knife off with a brief history of the Benchmade logo.

The Benchmade logo is a big butterfly with their company name going through the middle of it. This logo seems very peculiar to people who don’t know Benchmade very well or don’t know the history of Benchmade. Why would such a hardcore company choose a butterfly to represent them? Well, when Benchmade was first founded, it was actually called Bali-Song, Inc. and they produced only Bali-Song, or butterfly knives. They reached a point where they were producing enough other products that it didn’t make sense for them to keep their original name. They cycled through a couple more before Benchmade stuck. And while their new name represents the quality of their knives—it’s not handmade, nor is it factory made, because the parts are factory made, but the individual knives are assembled completely by hand, their logo represents their roots and where they came from. Benchmade is still commonly associated with butterfly knives and do still make a phenomenal butterfly knife. And now you know why such a tough company chose to display themselves with such a delicate logo.

Today, we will be going over the Benchmade Rukus II Automatic knife with a CPM S30V black blade and aluminum handles.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V stainless steel. This steel was designed and manufactured by Crucible, which is an American company. They designed this steel specifically with knives in mind, so you know that you are going to get all of the best qualities from it. When Crucible is talking about this steel, they say, “CPM S30V steel is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over the other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments. The CPM process produces very homogenous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grind ability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.” This steel is thought to have the perfect combination of hardness, toughness, and edge retention. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it is not easily worked with, meaning sharpening a knife with this steel might prove to be tricky. This is not going to be a pain though, but if you are a beginner sharpener, this might not be the most ideal steel to start with. When S30V steel first was released, it was very expensive because it offered qualities that were near impossible to find elsewhere. However, now there are super steels on the market and S30V has an older brother that has been designed with the same qualities, except easier to sharpen. While this steel is still going to cost a decent amount, it won’t take an arm and a leg like it used to.

The blade on the Rukus II has been finished with a black coating. A coating finish serves a variety of purposes on a knife blade. The main reason that people prefer coated finishes is because they do help to prevent corrosion. The coating creates a layer in between the steel and the environment, preventing it from rusting. This means that maintenance time is reduced because you won’t have to worry about oiling your blade as often. A second reason that many people love coated blades is because it creates a matte blade. If you are going to be out in the field with your knife, a matte finish is crucial. One of the last reasons that people love a coated finish is because they look good and create a smooth finish. Unfortunately, with all of these good qualities, a coated finish is still not preferred by many people because after heavy or continued use, the coating will scratch off. When the coating scratches off, you’ll have to re-coat the blade to get the same benefits out of it. The coating can also be applied unevenly, which does reduce its ability to cut well.

This blade has been carved into a drop point style blade, which is the most popular blade style in use today as well as being one of the most versatile blade shapes that you can come across. The drop point blade style has a convex curve to the spine as it approaches the tip of the blade. Or, in simpler terms, the spine of the blade starts to drop towards the tip of the blade here it meets the curve of the belly of the blade to form the tip. This dropped or lowered tip is where the blade shape gets its name from. And, this lowered tip means that you are going to have much more control over your cuts and you will be able to perform detail work with this blade. This lowered tip is also what makes this blade shape such a positive option for a hunting knife—with the extra control you won’t have to worry about slicing into the organs and ruining the meat of the game that you are dressing. This blade shape is so versatile because it has such a large belly that makes slicing extremely easy. This large belly equips you from anything such as survival circumstances to opening a letter. One of the other big benefits to this blade shape is that it sports such a broad tip. This broad tip is what gives you so much strength behind the knife, allowing you to excel in survival and tactical situations. Drop point blades are often confused with clip point blades because they do sport a lot of similarities. The biggest difference between the two is their tips. The clip point has a fine, thin, sharp tip that allows you to effortlessly stab. However, the clip points tip is also much weaker because of how thin it is, meaning that you really won’t be able to do any tough tasks without it being prone to breaking and snapping. The drop point has a broad tip, which gives you the strength we previously talked about, however, it is also a draw back because you lose almost all of your stabbing abilities. You win some, you lose some in every blade shape scenario, but with the drop point blade shape, you win a lot more than you lose. No wonder it is the most popular blade shape in use today.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum which has been anodized black. Aluminum is a very low density metal that is often used in knife making because it is so corrosion resistant. Aluminum is a soft metal, so it is usually only used in the handles on knives, instead of the blade or tool piece. It is often anodized not only for aesthetics, but also for its wear resistance. Most knives use 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, which means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yield and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum”, but sometimes this is actually seen as a gimmick, because it doesn’t mean very much pertaining to the actual qualities of the steel. Aluminum alloy is cheaper to produce and machine than Titanium, but it is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear as well. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside form tis lightness. However, when producing complex knives, especially with automatic knives, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

The Ruckus II aluminum handle has been anodized black. Not only does this add the black color that gives this knife such a sleek look, it also works to protect the metal better. This makes it tougher, harder, more durable, and more resistant to corrosions. The anodization process starts with a controlled oxidation to create an engineered surface layer. Then, an electric current is passed through the metal and the aluminum is dipped into an electrolytic acid bath. In this reaction, oxygen ions migrate from the electrolyte onto the surface of the aluminum—anodizing it. These ions build into a protective layer of oxide that is harder, more durable, and sometimes as much as 30 percent thicker than the pure aluminum.

The handle has diagonal grooves cut into the lower portion of the handle. There is jimping near the butt, on the spine, and on the finger groove to give you a very controlled and secured grip. To protect your fingers there is a light finger guard and to create a comfortable grip on this knife there are three finger grooves carved into the bottom of this handle. The butt of this all-black handle is squared off. On the butt of the handle there is a protruding glass breaker.

 

Benchmade Rukus II Automatic Knife
Benchmade Rukus II Automatic Knife

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this is designed for tip up carry only, but it is eligible for a left or right hand carry option.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, so before we get into the mechanics off it, let me say this: automatic knives fall under a strict set of laws in the United States. They are not legal to purchase or carry in all states, cities, or areas of the country. You are responsible for knowing what your local laws are before purchasing or carrying this knife. You will be responsible for the consequences that follow if you choose to not be informed.

Automatic knives are also known as switchblades, pushbutton knives, and even ejector knives. This style of knife has a blade that is stored inside of the handle. Instead of manually flipping, or pulling, the blade out of the handle, you push the silver ejector button that sits on the face of the Rukus II. There is a spring inside of the handle that flicks the blade out automatically when this button is pushed and then the blade gets locked into place. The blade is unlocked manually by operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed position. This knife features a button lock mechanism.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Benchmade Rukus II measures in at 3.4 inches long with a handle that measures in at 5.1 inches long. The overall length of this knife when opened is 8.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at a large 4.94 ounces. This Benchmade knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Rukus II is one of several new mid-year released knives by Benchmade this year. Modeled after the popular H&K MP5, this model features an all-black aggressive design and been given an upgrade from 154CM stainless to industry-leading CPM-S30V for increased strength and edge retention. Not only that, but it will resist rust effortlessly while giving you excellent toughness and hardness. Great ergonomics, a protruding glass breaker and integrated slide safety make will really give you a tactical advantage–regardless of the task of where you are in the field. The handle has excellent texture to give you a very secure grip on your knife at all times. This Black Class model, the 9600BK, features a black anodized aircraft aluminum handle, a drop point style blade in a black finish and the reversible pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. Pick up your Benchmade Rukus II Automatic knife with a CPM S30V stainless steel blade that has been coated black today at BladeOps.

 

Kershaw Method Knife Review

Kershaw Knives design and manufactures a wide range of knives, including pocket knives, sporting knives, and kitchen cutlery. Kershaw is a brand of Kai USA Ltd., a member of the KAI Group, headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon.

Kershaw Knives was started in Portland, Oregon in 1974 when knife salesman Pete Kershaw left Gerber Legendary Blades to form his own cutlery company based on his own designs. Early manufacturing was primarily done in Japan. In 1977, Kershaw became a wholly owned subsidiary of the KAI Group. In 1997 the U.S. production facility was opened in Wilsonville, Oregon. Due to an expanding market, the facilities were moved to a larger production site in 2003. Currently, Kai USA manufacturing facilities are located in Tualatin, Oregon with some goods coming from their Japanese and Chinese factories.

Kershaw has collaborated with a number of custom knife makers over the years to produce ground-breaking knives. Collaborations include working with Hall of Fame Knife Maker, Ken Onion on Kershaw’s SpeedSafe knives, Ernest Emerson, Grant and Gavin Hawk, Frank Centofante, Rick Hinderer, RJ Martin, among plenty of others.

Today we are going to be talking about the new Kershaw Method manual knife.

Kershaw Method
Kershaw Method

The Blade:

The blade on this Kershaw knife is made out of 8Cr13MoV steel. This steel is a budget brand of knife steel made in China. This steel is comparable to AUS-8 but does contain a slightly higher carbon content. The biggest advantage that this steel boasts is how inexpensive it is; and with its low cost, you do get a lot out of it. However, when it comes to blade steel, you really do get what you pay for, so this steel is not going to stand up to the super steels that are on the block. This is a softer steel, but surprisingly, it holds an edge for long periods of item. And because it is a softer steel, it sharpens easily and you can get a very fine edge on it. One of the other benefits to this steel is that it has a high corrosion resistance. While this steel is not going to stand up as well as a super steel does, it is well balanced with regard to strength, cutting, and anti-corrosion properties. 8Cr13MoV steel has a hardness level of 56-59 HRC.

The blade has been finished with a black-oxide BlackWash finish. A stonewashed finish is created by tumbling the blade in an abrasive material, which is most commonly small pebbles. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. A BlackWash is also known as an acid stonewash or even just a black stonewash. This special style of stonewashing is created when the blade has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches and smudges that occur with use throughout a blades life. The BlackWash is one of the most rugged finishes that you can find.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point is one of the two most popular blade shapes, designed for piercing, but also making a great all-purpose knife. The shape is formed by having the back edge of the knife run straight from the handle before it stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area is straight and looks as if it has been cut out of the blade. This cut out portion is referred to as the clip. On the Method, the clip is not as dramatic as you can find on other knives, but it still creates a lowered and sharp point. Because this tip is lowered, you are going to have more control over your slices, which means that you can use this knife to perform fine tip work. And because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point is going to excel at stabbing. One of the characteristics that make the clip point design an all-purpose blade shape is the large belly that makes slicing a breeze. The clip point really only has one disadvantage, which is because of the narrow tip, the blade does have a tendency to break fairly easily wen used on harder materials or targets.

This knife does sport a plain edge, which helps to make the Method a great everyday knife.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this Kershaw knife is made out of Machined G10.

G-10 is a type of Garolite, which is a laminate composite made of fiberglass. G10 has very similar properties to carbon fiber, but because it is inferior to carbon fiber, it can be made for a much smaller cost. This helps to keep the overall cost of the knife down. To create this knife, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. The material that results is very tough, very hard, very lightweight, and very strong. G10 is even considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and even stronger than Micarta.

This handle is going to be brittle because the fiberglass strands are all arranged in a single direction. While the material is going to be very strong in that direction, as soon as it is stressed in a different way, it is going to start to break apart or chip.

The benefits to a G10 handle are that it is tough, light, and durable. Some of the disadvantages to having a G10 handle is that it is going to be brittle and it does lack elegance and personality.

The handle has more angles than curves. There is a large finger groove which makes this a comfortable knife to hold, even if it is for long periods of time. There is a slight finger guard, but because of the flipper mechanism, it creates a very thick finger guard. This helps to make the Method a very safe knife to use. The spine of the handle is straight until halfway down towards the butt, where it angles down towards the butt.

This knife also features a lanyard hole that has been integrated into the butt. By attaching a lanyard onto this knife, you will be able to more easily pull this knife out of your pocket. When you are just using a pocket clip, because the clip is latched onto your pocket, it can be difficult to pull out. When you are using a lanyard with it, you can pull the knife out even more quickly. Some people feel as if the lanyard actually hinders their ability to withdraw the knife smoothly, so it really all just comes down to personal preference. And, if you would rather not use the clip because you are not right handed, you can solely rely on the lanyard in your other pocket.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Method is a single-position pocket clip. It can only be attached on the right side of the handle for tip up carry. The clip is black and kept in place by two black screws. These screws match the rest of the hardware on this knife. This clip will allow the knife to fit securely inside your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual opening knife that uses a flipper and the KVT ball-bearing opening system. This knife is also equipped with a liner lock and an inset liner lock. Because it is a fully manual opening knife, you don’t have to worry about any strict automatic knife laws.

The Kershaw KVT ball-bearing system makes one-handed opening of your knife fast and easy—without the need for a mechanical assist. The KVT relies on a ring of “caged” ball bearings that surround the knife’s pivot. Caged means the ball bearings are secured within a ring that surrounds the pivot. It keeps the ball bearings in place, while allowing them to rotate freely When the user pulls back on the built-in flipper, the blade rotates out of the handle as the ball bearings roll in place. KVT makes one-handed opening quick, easy, and smooth as butter.

The Inset Liner Lock is a Kershaw variation on the liner lock that enables us to provide the security of a locking liner in a knife that’s slimmer and lighter. It works because Kershaw insets a sturdy steel plate on the inside of the knife’s handle. It’s a partial liner that is riveted into place in a custom-machined cutout on the interior of the handle. This means Kershaw doesn’t need a complete steel liner on both sides of the handle, which in turn means the knife won’t be as heavy or thick as a fully lined knife. In setting the lock in this way enables Kershaw to make a knife with a slimmer profile that won’t weigh your pocket down, while still providing the strength and security of a locking liner.

The flipper is a small protrusion that comes out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. The flipper enables fast and easy one-handed opening as well as being ambidextrous in design. To open the knife, hold the knife handle I none hand with the butt end resting firmly in the palm of your hand. Place your index finger on the highest point of the flipper. Push down strongly and quickly on the flipper. The blade will move out of the handle and lock into place. If you are having troubling moving the blade fully out of the handle, add a slight flip of the wrist to assist you.

The liner lock is the most common of today’s blade-locking systems. In knives with locking lingers, the handle consists of two metal plates on either side of the blade. Handle scales cover the plates. When the knife is opened, one side of the knife’s liner, often called the lock bar, butts up against eh backend of the blade and prevents the blade from closing. The lock bar is manufactured so that it angles toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias for the locked position. To close the knife, the knife user applies manual force to move the lock bar to the side so that the blade is unblocked and can be folded back into the handle. The liner lock provides a secure and convenient way to make using this knife even safer.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. This Kershaw knife measures in at an overall length of 7.25 inches long. This is a super lightweight knife, weighing in at a measly 2.1 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

When Kershaw is talking about this new knife, they say, “This smaller pocketknife from Kershaw and Jens Anso features a slim, 3-inch blade of 8Cr13MoV in our BlackWash finish. A top swedge adds to its eye appeal. The Method opens quickly, easily, and manually with our KVT ball-bearing system and a built-in flipper. The handle is black—of course. The G10 handle features an unusual machined pattern reminiscent of an architectural truss. It not only looks good, but also offers additional grip security. A custom back spacer features Jens’ large lanyard attachment for those of you who prefer a lanyard, and adds a touch of style even if you’re the lanyard-free type. An inset lock keeps the weight down on the Method while still providing solid blade-lockup security. A single position pocket clip (right, tip-up) enables the knife to sit securely inside your pocket. How do we accomplish all his style and value in a smaller knife? By using the Kershaw manufacturing ‘Method,’ of course.” Pick up this brand new knife today at BladeOps and have your new favorite go-to knife.

 

 

Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife Review

Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife
Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Knife

For over thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers.

When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected.

They say, “Whether you are using a Griptilian® for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel®, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like our LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

So how do they get their knives so good? Well, it starts with the materials. Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide great value for their customers.

The next thing that makes their knives so fantastic is the mechanisms. When Benchmade is discussing the process they go through to get their mechanisms right, they say, “The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. Is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most? These are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.”

Lastly is their manufacturing. The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry – often to tolerances half the width of a human hair. Their commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.

Another thing that makes Benchmade so fantastic is their LifeSharp guarantee. When Benchmade is describing this, they say, “Benchmade knives are all supported through a team of skilled technicians. Their only function is to ensure your Benchmade is in optimal working condition for your entire life. This service is called LifeSharp®. A name that speaks for itself. When you send your knife to the Benchmade LifeSharp team, the knife is completely disassembled and all worn parts are tuned or replaced. The knife is then lubricated and reassembled, a sharpener applies a factory edge to the blade and the knife is shipped back to you. All at no cost to you.”

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Shane Sibert. When Benchmade is talking about Shane, they say, “Since 1994, Shane Sibert’s goal has been to design and handcraft unique and functional knives that will invoke pride of ownership, while at the same time perform challenging tasks with exceptional ease. He’s established a reputation for making knives constructed to hold up to the rigors of various hostile environments. A life-long avid backpacker and hiker, Sibert draws inspiration from adventurous treks throughout the Pacific Northwest’s vast wilderness and from hobbies that have included Martial Arts and S.C.U.B.A diving.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This is a premium steel that is made by Crucible, which is a US based steel manufacturer. This steel is able to hold its edge for long periods of time and can resist rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the United States specifically for high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. This means that you are going to get all of the best characteristics out of it. Crucible added vanadium carbides into the steel alloy matrix to bring out extreme hardness without making it brittle. Overall, this steel is known for having the best balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it can be a little bit hard to work with and sharpen. However, you don’t need a master sharpener to get a fine edge, you just won’t want a beginner sharpener.

The blade has been finished satin, which is a very traditional look, matching well with the traditional leather sheath. The satin finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive. This shows off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. The satin finish is known for reducing glares, reflections, and even cutting down on corrosion.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape, which is one of the most common blade shapes on the market today. The drop point is going to be strong, durable, and extremely versatile. These characteristics are created by having the spine of the knife run form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curve. This creates a lowered point, which gives you plenty of control over your cuts. With this control, you can perform fine detail work including dressing your game. The lowered point is also broad, which is where this blade shape gets its characteristic strength form. Lastly, the drop point blade style has a large belly, which is a must for when you need to slice something. There is one major disadvantage, which is that the drop point blade does have such a broad tip. It seems funny to list this as a disadvantage, because it is through the broad tip that you get so much strength and durability. However, because it is so broad and not fine, like a clip point, you do lose out on a lot of your piercing and stabbing capabilities. This should not be a huge deterrent for a survival knife, when you are most likely going to want the durability over the ability to pierce.

 

The Handle:

             The handle is made out of green and red contoured G10. G10 is made out of fiberglass. The manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in resin, then compresses them and bakes them under pressure. This process yields a material that is very hard, very tough, very lightweight, and very strong. Out of all of the fiberglass resin laminates, G10 is known to be the toughest. Plus, G10 is known to be stronger than Micarta, although with more strength comes more brittleness. This is one of G10s disadvantages—it does tend to be brittle. If it is subjected to a hard or sharp impact, it might crack.

The material is easy to add patterns or texture to, which is what gives the user such a solid, comfortable grip. And one of the biggest advantages of G10 for this specific knife is that it is a non-porous material, which means that it won’t soak up any fluids. This cuts down significantly on maintenance. Overall, G10 makes a great handle material because it is tough, light, and durable. However, it is brittle and it does lack elegance.

The handle on this knife has a pretty straight spine, although it will still be comfortable to use. It also has a very large and thick finger guard, which will keep your fingers safe. The belly of the handle does bulge out to better fit inside your hand for long periods of time. There are two large holes cut out of the middle of the handle to cut down on weight. There is also a smaller hole cut out of the butt of the handle for your lanyard. This is a wide enough hole to hold almost any type of lanyard. The lanyard is nice for your outdoors knife, because you can attach your knife to anything—your belt, your backpack, your boot. It will keep your knife close by without it getting in the way.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife. Fixed blades have a few advantages, especially when it comes to a survival knife. For starters, the blade can be longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside of a handle. You see this on this Benchmade knife, with a very thick blade. This helps to make it more durable and less likely to snap. These characteristics also help to add strength to a fixed blade knife, which is what you are going to want out of your outdoors or survival knife.

Fixed blades are also much easier to maintenance because you don’t have to worry about the hinge, the spring, or any of the internal mechanisms that you do with a folding knife. Nothing is going to get inside of the knife, because there is really no inside to get to. This means that all you really have to do is wipe the knife down, wipe the handle down, and oil the blade occasionally. This is ideal for your survival knife, because you are not going to want to be worried about drying out the inside of a knife when you are trying to survive.

When it comes to a survival knife, this knife is going to allow you to do much more than just cut. You can also dig, split wood, use this knife to prepare food or even as a hunting weapon, use it for first aid, use it to hammer. And lastly, you can use it to pry, although I don’t recommend doing this, because it is usually prying that causes a knife to snap.

This knife is also a full tang knife, which means that the metal piece of the blade extends all the way through the handle. This adds durability, strength, and if the handle scales happen to break, you still have a complete knife.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of leather. Leather is one of the more traditional material that is used to make knife sheaths. This material is rugged, tough, and even strong. Because it is flexible, it is not going to break like plastic sometimes does. Plus, if the stitches should come loose, it is an easy fix. Leather sheaths are love all around because they fell and look good. Plus, when you care for your sheath as well as you can, it will only get better with age. One of the biggest loves that comes from having a leather sheath is that once it is broken in, your knife has a custom fitting sheath for itself. This means that it is going to be secure and won’t wear the edges of your blade out as much. This knife is designed as an outdoors knife as well as a survival knife, so this next benefit is a pretty big deal: leather sheaths are silent. You can pull the knife out and put it back in without making a sound at all.

Of course, with all of its great advantages, there are going to be a few disadvantages. Leather is not waterproof. Getting this sheath wet a lot or even exposing it to other extreme environments such as high heat can dry out the oils in the leather and cause the sheath to crack. This can be prevented by oiling it from time to time.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.40 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.164 inches. The handle on this knife has a thickness of 0.92 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 9.15 inches long. The knife itself weighs in at 7.72 ounces. The sheath that comes with this knife measures in at 2.70 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is talking about this knife, they say, “A modern Bushcraft knife from designer Shane Sibert. The Bushcrafter is good looking and built for the trail.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.