Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade Knife Review

Microtech began in 1994 in an apartment and then later continued in a storage shed in Vero Bach, Florida.

When the company was founded and throughout their history ever since, Microtech has been trying to accomplish one mission: to create the best knives possible. It has now been over two decades and they are headquartered in Western North Carolina. Microtech is still operating with that same mission with everything that they do. Their goal is to maintain the highest standards of quality possible.

Microtech utilizes exclusively American-Made manufacturing materials and labor. They say, “Every component we use is developed within the United States and more than 95% of all our components are manufactured in-house, by us directly. Because we use only the best quality materials, and to ensure our commitment to excellence, every Microtech knife is backed by our Lifetime Warranty.”

Every knife that they produce is sharpened by hand in their facility. The knives go through rigorous testing, research, and development to ensure that Microtech meets the impeccably close tolerances and extremely high standards of quality. They say, “We aim to continuously evolve and push the boundaries of expectation, delivering products that set the standard for precision cutlery. From all of us at the Microtech family, we thank each of our customers, as well as those who serve us and our country through the United States military, law enforcement and first responder services. Designed for exactly that reason, our Service Personnel Program aims to provide the best possible tools to those who rely on them the most.”

They know that it is because of their fans that makes it possible for Microtech to pursue their mission of creating the world’s best cutting tools and they want to thank you for that.

Today we will be discussing the Microtech Custom Apex fixed blade.

Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade
Microtech Custom Apex Fixed Blade

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Elmax steel. This steel is produced by Bohler-Uddeholm and is a high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum-alloyed steel. Tis steel is going to have 1.7% carbon, 18% chromium, .3% manganese, 1% molybdenum, .8& silicon, and 3% vanadium. This combination of different materials gives the metal a high wear resistance, high compressive strength, superior corrosion resistance, and also the stability and ability to retain its size and form after taking abuse or taking on a harder task. High wear and high corrosion resistance is a hard combination to find on a steel, but this steel’s powder-metallurgy based production allows for its imperviousness to wear and corrosion. The steel is hardened to 57-59 HRC usually, although some companies do push that and harden it to around a 62 HRC. This steel does have good edge holding ability. Elmax steel is produced through a hardening and corrosion resistant mold using a powder-metallurgy process, which Bohler-Uddeholm is known for using in a variety of their stainless steels. This process involves blending fine powdered materials, pressing them into the desired shape, and then heating it to bond the material.

The blade has been finished with a DLC Apocalyptic Stonewash. This means that the blade has undergone two finishes. The first is a DLC, which stands for diamond-like carbon coating. This coating is a deep black, which does give the knife a sleek, discrete look. The biggest advantage of a DLC coating is that it is the hardest coating that can be put on a blade’s surface. DLC is also a low friction finish, so it does help the knife to make better and easier cuts. However, this is a very expensive finish, sometimes even doubling the overall cost of the knife when it has this coating. The second finish on this knife is the stonewash finish, which is creating when the steel is tumbled in an abrasive material. The stonewash finish helps to hide scratches and smudges. The blade on the Apex does have an Apocalyptic Stonewash, or a black stonewash, which is when the blade has undergone an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation helps to enhance the blade’s ability to resist rust because it places a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. With the black stonewash and the DLC, this blade is going to be extremely durable and low maintenance.

The blade shape itself is very unique. It does have a spear point, but it also sharpened on the upper half of the blade as well as the traditional cutting edge. This is an extremely broad spear point, with a large belly or cutting area. The spear point is most often compared to the needle-point blade because it is good at piercing. However, the spear point blade also sports a belly that can be used for slicing, while the needle-point is solely for piercing. The spear point blade shape is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. It is so good at piercing because both sides of the knife (belly and spine) rise and fall equally, which creates a very centered point. The spear point has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. And because both sides of the blade are sharpened, it is going to be able to pierce even more efficiently. While the typical spear point blade does have a small belly, the spear point on the Apex has a very large belly that will be great for slicing through almost anything.

 

The Handle:

The handle on the Apex is made out of G10. G10 is a fiberglass based laminate. To create this material, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth that are soaked in resin before being compressed and baked. This process creates a material that is extremely hard and strong, while also being lightweight. This material is a great option for tactical, survival, and outdoors knives because it is rugged, can take a beating, is lightweight, and doesn’t require too much maintenance.

The G10 on this knife is black, which creates an all-black knife. This is sleek, but also cuts down on glares and reflections for when you are in the field and don’t want your position exposed. The hardware on this knife is bronzed, which does contrast nicely with the handle and give it some definition.

The spine of the handle curves inward first, which does give you a solid and comfortable grip. Following the first groove on the spine is a second, which goes until the butt of the handle. These grooves will help when you are using this knife for the heavier duty tasks. It will give you a comfortable grip, while also helping to provide you with a very secure grip. The belly of the handle is more unique. There is the finger guard, but it actually comes after a deep groove. The first groove and the finger guard are there to protect you from the wicked sharp and thick blade. There is a deep finger groove for you to really rest your finger in, giving you more spaces to really get a grip on this knife—which is what the handle is all about. After the finger groove, the knife curves inward until the butt of the handle. The G10 has also been textured, which will really give you a solid grip on the knife.

Each characteristic on the Apex’s handle is about giving you the most secure, comfortable, and safe grip on the knife. With such a large, thick, sharp blade, you are going to want all the safety features you can get on the handle.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade knife, which means that there is no mechanism or moving part on it. There is a debate going on about whether fixed blades or folding knives are better. While folding knives do have their benefits such as being more discreet and a little more convenient, fixed blades have plenty of benefits to compete.

For starters, they are crazy strong and big. You can find fixed blades in almost any size, but no matter which size you choose, it is going to be extremely strong. Their blades are also usually longer and thicker than that on a folding knife, because the blade does not have to fit inside of the knife’s handle. Because of this, you can get more done and you don’t have to worry about your blade snapping. Next, because fixed blades don’t have a mechanism or moving parts, you don’t have to worry about them breaking or wearing out. On a folding knife, you have to worry about the spring and the hinge. Fixed blades are also easier to maintain and clean. Lastly, fixed blades like this Apex are going to be the superior tactical tool as well as being the superior survival tool.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is a Kydex sheath with bronzed hardware as well as a Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok. Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride material that is most commonly used in creating holsters and sheaths. This is a modern material which means that it is going to have some advantages that only a modern material can have. Some of these are that it is has a Rockwell hardness rating of 90 which makes it almost scratch resistant. It is also waterproof and it is not going to stretch or shrink over time, so the knife is always going to have the same fit. Kydex sheaths are very durable and can remain unaffected when exposed to chemicals such as skin acids and other mild chemicals. Kydex is a great material for extreme environments and can even be submerged in salt water without having negative side effects. Overall, Kydex is mostly low maintenance. This is great for a tactical, survival, or outdoors knife, because you won’t have to worry about the sheath if you are ever out I the field for long periods of time.

Of course, the sheath is also going to have its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages that is complained about the most is how noisy it is. There is no way to pull your knife out of the Kydex sheath without making sound, which means that you aren’t going to be able to use this knife in a stealthy way. Also, because this material is not going to stretch or shrink over time, if the sheath doesn’t fit your knife exactly how you want it to, you are out of luck. Lastly, one of the biggest disadvantages is that you do risk dulling your blade’s edge when you keep pulling the knife out of the sheath and putting it back inside.

Overall, Kydex offers a very long-term, durable sheath. But it does come as is, so if you don’t like it when you first get it, you most likely aren’t going to like it later on.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.625 inches long with a blade thickness of a beasty 0.2 inches. The overall length of the Custom Apex measures in at a whopping 10 inches—big enough to get any job done. This is a heavier knife weighing in at 12.2 ounces. This Microtech knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Microtech Custom Apex fixed blade knife was designed by both Anthony Marfione and son Sean Marfione–the second collaboration between the two. This extremely wide-profiled Elmax blade features a spear point style so it’s actually sharpened on the upper half of the blade as well as the tradition cutting edge. The handle is comprised of a G-10 composite and is coupled with bronzed hardware for a truly custom look. The 3-D machined handle is expertly designed–offering appropriately placed finger guards and several choil locations for multiple grip options. Make no mistake about it–this knife is as comfortable as they come. The Custom Apex also includes a carbon fiber finished Kydex sheath, also complete with bronzed hardware, with Blade-Tech MOLLE-Lok attachment. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

Benchmade Nestucca Cleaver Knife Review

Benchmade is known for creating knives, so how is it that they do it? Well, they started the company over thirty years ago with the mission to create something better; something exceptional. They knew that they were building world-class products for world-class customers, so even to this day, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. They want 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.”

Not only do they work with their mission, but they also know how important the materials are. 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 step to creating such fantastic knives are the mechanisms. The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. They ask themselves questions such as “Is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? And will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most?” Benchmade understands that these are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism of your knife.

Lastly, they know how important manufacturing really is t a knife. 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.

The last thing that really sets Benchmade apart is their LifeSharp guarantee. Benchmade explains it by saying, “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.”

Today we will be talking about the Benchmade Nestucca Cleaver.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel that has been hardened to a 58-60 HRC. This steel was made and designed by Crucible Industries, specifically for high end pocket knives and kitchen cutlery. This means that you are going to be getting the absolute best qualities out of this steel, qualities that are exactly what you want from a knife. Crucible says, “CPM S30V 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 other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.” This steel can resist corrosion effortlessly, which significantly cuts down on blade maintenance. This is an ideal characteristic for your hunting knife, because you are going to be using it in the field often where you cannot take perfect care of it. Plus, hunting knives are going to come in contact with some serious fluids, so having a blade that can resist corrosion so well is crucial. This steel maintains its edge well and is known for having the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. This is a hard balance to achieve because usually the harder the steel gets, the less tough it is. One of the drawbacks to this steel is that because of the high hardness, it does tend to be a little complicated when it comes to sharpening. This should not deter you from getting the knife, but beginner sharpeners should be aware of this. Crucible goes on to explain the CPM process, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.”

The blade has been finished satin, which is a very traditional blade finish. The finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade as well as showcasing the fine liens of the steel. This finish also helps to cut down on glares, reflections, and even improves the corrosion resistance levels of the knife.

There is a large finger hole in the middle of the blade, which allows for multiple hand positions. There is also a row of thick jimping on the spine of the blade, which helps adds control when needed the most.

The blade shape of this cleaver is extremely unique. Its biggest characteristic is the huge radius of the belly of the blade. This ginormous belly allows you to field dress even the largest of animals with ease. It makes quick work of your task while still allowing you to really have control over your cuts. If you are going to be doing a lot of field dressing, this is the ideal knife for you—especially if you are working with larger game.

 

The Handle:

This is a full tang knife, so instead of a handle, it rocks handle scales. The handle scales are made out of G10 and are designed to look like wood handles, more like a traditional hunting knife. G10 is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. This material is similar in properties to carbon fiber, along with the other fiberglass resin laminates, but is inferior and can be made for a much more inexpensive cost. Although this material is cheaper to make than carbon fiber is, it does have to be cut and machined into shape, which is nowhere near as cheap as making FRN.

G10 is an ideal material for a hunting knife because it is tough, hard, strong, but still lightweight, so it is not going to weigh you down when every ounce counts. Plus, this material is non-porous, which means it is not going to absorb any of the gunk that it happens to come in contact with. This cuts down on maintenance, which is a necessity when you are a long hunting trip.

Although it is one of the toughest fiberglass resin laminates, it does suffer from begin brittle. This is because the fiberglass fibers have been arranged in a single direction. When the handle is stressed in that specific direction, it remains incredibly strong, but when it gets stressed in other directions it begins to break apart. The handle is very simple, straight on the spine and the belly, although still comfortable to use for long periods of time. There is a giant finger groove and in turn, finger guard, so that you don’t have to worry about your fingers getting sliced if the handle gets slippery throughout the task.

One of the other benefits of this handle is that there is a lanyard hole, so you can keep the knife close by without it being in the way. The lanyard will also let you attach this knife to anything you want to, such as your backpack. Lastly, if you feel like you need a little extra grip, you can wrap your lanyard around the handle to add texture.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade, full tang knife. A full tang knife is where the metal from the blade actually extends down into the handle. This creates a much stronger knife, because you do not have any weaker spots where the handle and the blade have been welded together. This is also a major advantage when you are going to be using this knife in the field, because if the handle scales happen to break, you still have your entire knife shape to use. It will just be a little more uncomfortable.

A fixed blade knife is a knife that does not have a mechanism. Because the blade does not have to fit inside of the handle, the blade on a fixed blade knife can be longer and thicker. These characteristics mean that a blade on a fixed blade knife is going to be tougher and more durable, as well as being capable of taking on harder tasks.

Fixed blades are also more capable of taking on a wider variety of tasks. They can be used for cooking, first aid, hunting, and even digger or prying if needed. If you are in the field and need a knife, this is the knife you are going to want to rely on. The last major benefit to having a fixed blade knife for your hunting knife is how easy it is to take care of and clean it. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle, and make sure that the blade is dry when you put it in its sheath. You are going to want to oil your blade occasionally, although when you are on a long hunting trip, this shouldn’t be too big of an issue or concern.

 

The Sheath:

The sheath that comes with this knife is made out of leather. Leather is one of the most traditional materials that is used to make a knife sheath. This material of sheaths has been around since knife sheaths have. Leather is known to be rugged, tough, and strong. People like this material because it won’t break like plastic does, and if the stitches happen to come undone, it is an easy repair. Plus, this is one of the materials that is going to get better as it ages. The biggest benefit to a leather sheath is that once it has been broken it, it is going to provide this knife with a custom fitting sheath. One of the other major benefits is that a leather sheath is completely silent. You can easily pull your knife out of the sheath or put it back in without it making a sound. This benefit is especially important when it comes to a hunting knife such as this one.

Of course, every sheath material also comes with its disadvantages. One of the biggest of a leather sheath is that it is not waterproof, so if it is exposed to water often or even extreme heat, the leather may begin to crack. To avoid this, you should oil this sheath occasionally to keep the oils in the leather.

 

The Benchmade Nestucca Cleaver
The Benchmade Nestucca Cleaver

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.41 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.140 inches. The handle on the Nestucca has a thickness of 0.57 inches. The overall length of this knife measures in at 6.58 inches long and weighs in at 4.95 ounces. This hunting knife was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

Conclusion:

             Benchmade explains this knife by saying, “Based on the traditional Alaskan ulu, the “cleaver” makes short work of big game with long cuts. The huge radius of the blade spreads cuts across a long CPM-S30V surface, affording incredible edge retention and the handle and finger hole allow for multiple hand positions.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps and have your new best field dressing knife.

 

 

 

 

 

SOG Quake XL Assisted Folding Knife Review

The SOG story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit—known as MACV-SOG-carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. Years later, in 1986, that knife inspired a young designer, named Spencer Frazer, to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools – field-proven by US Special Forces, even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. SOG says, “Forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Quake XL Assisted Folding knife.

The SOG Quake XL Assisted Folding Knife
The SOG Quake XL Assisted Folding Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of VG-10 steel. This steel is pretty similar to the popular 154CM as well as the less popular ATS-34 steel. Although, VG-10 steel does have more chromium, which works for enhanced corrosion resistance. This steel also contains more vanadium than the other two steels which does make it a little bit tougher than those other steels. This steel originated from Japan and has been introduced into the American market slowly. This steel is a pretty hard steel that has good toughness and with the correct tools, you can get your blade incredibly sharp. This steel has been hardened to a RC of 58-60.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is the most popular blade finishes that you can come by today. This finish gives the knife a very traditional look that is not going to go out of style. The satin finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive. The most common abrasive that is used is a sandpaper. The satin finish is used to show off the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the fine lines of the steel. The satin finish also slightly reduces glares and reflections while also increasing the blades ability to resist rust slightly.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point is a great all-purpose blade and is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. You are most likely going to find more clip point blades on Bowie knives, although they are often used on plenty of fixed blades and pocket knives such as the Quake XL. The shape of the clip point is unique, with the back of the knife running straight from the handle before it stops about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the blade. This portion looks as if it got clipped out of the blade and is referred to (appropriately) as the clip. This portion of the knife is where the blade shape got its name from. Because of the clip, the point that the shape has is lowered, which means that the user is going to have more control when they are using this knife. The clip point is designed to excel at piercing. This is because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, which means that there is less drag during insertion as well as faster withdrawal. One of the other reasons that clip points are so popular is because they sport a very large belly, which makes slicing easy. Of course, just like every knife blade shape, the clip point does have one major disadvantage. Because of its narrow tip, the blade does have a tendency to be weaker and can break pretty easily, especially when used on harder targets. This is the portion of the knife that differentiates itself from the drop point. However, the clip point blade is going to prepare you to really take on almost anything that comes your way.

The Quake XL does have a plain edge. The plain edge comes in handy when you want this knife to be versatile, because the plain edge is equipped to take on a wider variety of jobs than the serrated blade is. While the serrated blade can saw through thicker materials, if you can get this knife sharp enough (and you should be able to) than you will be able to slice through those same thick materials with the Quake XL. It helps that the knife is so big as well. The plain edge is going to give you much cleaner cuts than the serrated edge would. The plain edge is also going to be much easier to sharpen.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of anodized aluminum. Aluminum is a low density metal that is often used in knife making. Because it is a softer metal, it is mostly used for just the handles, not the blade. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is the most abundant metal that can be found in earth’s crust. This material is used for its hardness and durability. Although it is a low density metal, it does give a nice, hefty feel to the knife without actually weighing the knife down. This is a major benefit because you will have the heft that makes you confident in taking on your tasks, but you won’t feel like the knife is a brick. Of course, since this is such a large knife, it is going to have some significant weight to it. However, it would be considerably heavier if it were made out of something denser than aluminum.

When an aluminum handle is textured correctly, it is going to give you a secure grip that is not only secure, but also comfortable enough to use for long periods of time. The overall pros to an aluminum handle is that it is strong, light, durable, and is resistant to corrosion.

Unfortunately, like most materials, aluminum does have its drawbacks. For starters, it has very high conductive properties. This means that if you were planning on using this knife in colder environments or months, it can become painfully cold to hold. Aluminum can also be slippery, and it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

The knife has been anodized, which is a protective oxide layer which is applied in an electrolytic process in which the metal forms the anode. This process makes the knife tougher, more durable, and less prone to scratches. The handle has been anodized a Flat Dark Earth color.

The handle has plenty of texture to give you the grip that you need when you are relying on this knife. The spine of the knife angles from the blade to the butt with a small peak in the center of the handle. The belly of the handle is pretty similar. There is a huge finger guard that is attached to the blade. There is a slight indent for you to comfortably rest your fingers. The knife does bulge out slightly in the middle and then it angles towards the butt of the handle. The face of the handle is covered in an intense pattern. This means that in almost any environment, you are going to have the grip that you want.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which helps to make this knife more fully ambidextrous. However, the clip is attached only for tip-up carry, which is a little more dangerous than tip-down carry. This is a low carry clip, which means that the knife is going to sit more deeply in the pocket. With a knife this big, that is a definite advantage. It also means that the knife is going to be easier to conceal. And, if you are worried about the knife falling out of your pocket, you shouldn’t be, because the low carry clip will help keep it more securely in place as you move about your day. The clip has been slightly skeletonized because the “SOG” logo has been carved out of the middle. The clip is black, which matches the hardware on this knife

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted folding knife which is a type of folding knife that uses an internal mechanism to finish the opening of the blade after the user has partially opened it. To help the user open this knife, SOG has equipped the knife with a thumb hole. This is an opening in the blade that extends in the middle of the upper portion of the blade. This replaces the nail nick that is more common on knives as well as the thumb stud, which is the most common. The hole in the blade allows you to get a better grip on the knife so that you can really flip the knife open, where it will lock into place. Another advantage is that the hole does not stick out of the knife and get in the way.

This knife has been equipped with the SOG assisted technology. This is often referred to as the S.A.T. and works through the balance of opposing high tension coil springs. As you initiate the opening action, the force propelling your blade open becomes greater than the force keeping it closed. The result is a blade that springs open instantly once it is engaged, seemingly on its own.

Spring assisted knives have plenty of advantages. For example, they open almost as smoothly as a fully automatic knife, or a switchblade, but because they are not, they do not fall under the strict laws that switchblades do. Spring assisted knives can also be brought into play more quickly than a purely manual knife, because you do not have to struggle as much with the opening of the knife. That being said, they are going to be harder to maintain, because unlike a purely manual knife, you will now have a spring that you have to take care of.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.126 inches. The overall length of the Quake XL is definitely extra-large, measuring in at a whopping 10.3 inches long. Of course, with that much length does come some heft. This knife weighs in at 7.8 ounces, which is not a lightweight knife. This knife originated in Taiwan.

 

Conclusion:

             SOG says, “Just by opening this knife, you’ll know how it got its name. The Quake XL is one of our largest folding knives. With that, it is powered by our SAT 2 (SOG Assisted Technology) that propels the blade open with just a push of a thumb. Instead of a thumb stud, the cross guard folds in when closing the knife and is used as the lever to assist with the opening motion. Combined with a thick dual-tone VG-10 blade, forged aluminum handles, full length stainless steel liners, the Quake XL is one formidable knife that packs a punch.”

From SOG is the extra large-format SAT-assisted opening knife called the Quake XL. It is sizeable, simple and fast to open. It comes out quickly because it uses the SOG Assisted Technology™ (S.A.T.), which employs a powerful piston lock that is easily released with a sliding button. And the Quake XL is the larger brother of the Quake and is big enough to handle any task. SOG designed it with a bayonet mounted reversible clip that gives you the ability to carry this knife extremely low and discreetly. The handle is ergonomically contoured and the straight edge, satin blade is X-large with a locking safety. It features a cross guard that not only protects the hand when open, but also actuates the opening of the blade. You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

CRKT M16-02KS Knife Review

CRKT, or Columbia River Knife and tool was founded in 1994. The company says, “From day one, we put innovation and integrity first. We made a commitment to build knives and tools that would inspire and endure. We collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand.”

CRKT was founded by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men had previously worked for Kershaw Knives. This new company struggled to take off for the first four three years, but that all changed at the 1997 Shot Show. Ed Halligan had designed a small folder called the K.I.S.S or Keep It Super Simple. Within the opening days of the show, the entire years’ worth of the product was sold out. In fact, they sold at 4-5 times original production numbers resulting in a tripling of production efforts.

The company is known for producing a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has collaborated with custom knife makers such as Ken Onion, Liong Mah, Greg Lightfoot, and even the Graham Brothers.

Through these collaborations as well as their own work, they have reached a point where they own fifteen patents and patents pending. Some of the more well-known patents include the Outburst Assist Opening Mechanism, the Lock Back Safety mechanism, and Veff-Serrated edges.

Today we will be going over one of CRKT’s most recent knives, the M16-02KS.

 

The Designer:

Kit Carson is the man behind this knife. He is from Vine, Grove Kentucky. CRKT says, “Kit retired as a ranking Master Sergeant and ultimately became a high profile member of the Knifemakers’ Guild. Kit designed the successful M16 knife series named one of the Top 10 Tactical Folders of the Decade by Blade Magazine. Inducted into the Cutlery Hall of Fame in 2012, Kit’s industry influence was felt far and wide. Eh even mentored such greats as Ken Onion. Kit passed in 2014.” Kit is renowned as one of the best knife makers and designers in his time, so you can be sure that this knife will be quality and up-to-par.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 12C27 Sandvik steel. This is a martensitic stainless chromium steel that has been optimized for high quality professional knives. The steel has extremely high hardness, good corrosion resistance, and great wear resistance. Often times, you will find this steel on hunting and fishing knives as well as regular pocket knives and even tactical knives. This steel has the capability of being heated to an RC59 that will give you superior edge holding. This is a very clean steel, which means that it can be taken to a mirror polish. Sandvik says that continuous improvement for the last 45 years is what has taken this steel into the high performing steel grade that it is today.

The blade has been finished with a black oxide coating. Black oxide which is also known as blackening is a conversion coating for steels. This coating is applied to add a small amount of corrosion resistance as well as to reduce light reflection and to create a sleek look. One of the advantages of a black oxide coating over other types of coatings is that it does have minimal buildup. This steel is not the highest quality coating, so while it will do its job, it is also going to be prone to scratching off over time or with heavy use.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto style blade is not known for being versatile. In fact, it is known for being the exact opposite: it does one thing and it does that one thing better than any other blade shape. The tanto blade style excels at piercing through tough materials. This blade style was originally designed for armor piercing and the modern shape is still similar to Japanese swords. In the early 1980s, the modern tanto blade shape was made popular by Cold Steel. The shape of the tanto has a high point with a flat grind, which is where you get the extremely strong point for. The point is also pretty thick and does contain a lot of metal near the tip, which is what allows the blade to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that causes the other blade styles to snap. One of the other unique characteristics about the tanto blade shape is that it meets the spine of the knife at an angle, rather than your typical curve. Because of the harsh angle, you do get even more strength, but you also lose out on a belly. The lack of belly is what makes this blade shape not a good all-purpose blade shape. While this knife won’t allow you to take on any task that happens to come your way, it will always stand up to the challenge if you do come across a hard material that you need to pierce through. This blade shape helps to make the M16-02KS a great tactical knife.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of 2Cr13 steel. This steel has extreme strength that allows it to be used in things from regular pocket knives to heavy duty military knives. This steel is also very corrosion resistant and durable.

The handle has also been coated to extend the life of the knife. The handle gets the same benefits that the blade gets—it’s durable, more corrosion resistant, and more wear resistant. However, the same thing goes for the coating on the handle—as soon as it scratches off, you will begin to lose out on all of the benefits that you could have. Fortunately, the coating on the handle is harder to scratch off than the coating on the blade because the handle is not performing as heavy of tasks.

To keep the handle more lightweight, there have been four large circularly holes drilled into it. These holes not only cut down on the overall weight, but also add a little bit of texture—which is crucial when it comes to a stainless steel knife handle. Stainless steel handles to have the tendency to be slippery, but these holes will give you plenty of grip to hold onto the knife when you need it most.

The handle shape is pretty basic. The spine of the handle is straight until the butt of the handle where it curves down to form the butt. The belly of the handle bulges out significantly in the middle to fit better in your hand and create a more comfortable grip on the handle. There is a slight finger guard, but when the knife is opened, the flipper creates a big enough finger guard that you don’t have to worry about your fingers.

The CRKT M16-02KS
The CRKT M16-02KS

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket is a four-way reversible clip that matches the handle. The clip tapers towards the bottom before having the end bend upwards. While this is not a deep carry clip, the bend at the end helps the clip attach better to your pocket and keep it secure. The top of the clip is rounded, with three black screws keeping it in place. The black screws match the rest of the hardware on this knife, which means that the knife is a fully-black knife. Just like the handle, the clip has three round holes cut out. This is both for aesthetic and to keep the weight of the knife down.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a manual folding knife that has been equipped with both a thumb stud as well as a flipper. This knife also has a frame lock to lock the blade securely into place when you are using it, and securely closed when you are not using it.

Because it is a manual knife, you don’t have to worry about the strict laws that surround automatic knives. This knife should be legal in most areas where pocket knives are legal, but like always, make sure that you know your local knife laws before purchasing.

The thumb stud is what it sounds like—a small stud in place of the more traditional nail nick. This will make for an easy and comfortable one-handed opening. The stud does extend out of both sides of the blade which makes it ambidextrous. One of the disadvantages is that some people do feel like the stud gets in the way because it does extend out of the blade. Another disadvantage is that when you are opening this knife, it puts your hand extremely close to the blade. If you choose to use the stud, be cautious while you first get used to using it.

The flipper is a rounded piece of metal that extends off the blade and out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. The user deploys the blade by using the index finger to pull back on the flipper. The flipper also allows for one handed opening and in its very design, it is ambidextrous. One of the biggest benefits is that the flipper keeps your fingers at a safe distance while you are opening the knife, so it is safer to use. However, the flipper is also a little bit harder to get the hang of. The last benefit is that when the knife is opened, the flipper does act like an extended finger guard.

The frame lock is very similar to the liner lock except that the frame lock uses the handle to form the frame and the lock. The handle is usually cut from steel, like in this knife, so it is also thicker than most liner locks. Just like the liner lock the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. To release the lock, apply pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When the knife is opened, the pressure on the lock will force it to cross the blade, engaging it at its furthers point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness, so you know you can rely on this lock to keep you safe while you are using the M16-02KS.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.057 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.117 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.299 inches long. The overall length of the M16-02KS knife measures in at 7.313 inches long. Weighing in at only 3.7 ounces, this is a very lightweight knife, that also has enough weight to back you up when it comes to tactical situations.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT is talking about this knife, they say, “Homage: Paid. The M16® is the most popular series that CRKT has ever seen. We’re humbled to do right by the revered Kit Carson with this new iteration of a legendary tactically-inspired everyday carry folding knife. This one is more than just a fresh take on a classic. It’s a true tribute to one of the greats.

The late Kit Carson designed this and many of his other groundbreaking knives in his shop in Vine Grove, Kentucky. Kit’s lasting legacy comes from his influence on the knife industry—he’s known for popularizing the flipper which is now a household component. In addition, he’s also remembered for his esteemed ranking as a Master Sergeant and his high-profile membership in the Cutlery Hall of Fame. The M16®-02KS keeps all we love of Kit’s original tactically-inspired everyday carry folding knife and adds a Tanto blade complete with a durable black oxide finish. With its hardy frame lock, it’s securely held in place in the midst of whatever job you put in front of it while the stainless steel handle bored with four holes keeps clean and light.

With the M16® reissue, we’re honoring a legend the best way we know how.”

You can pick up this brand new CRKT knife today at BladeOps.

 

 

Bear OPS Dark Grey Out the Front Automatic Knife Review

Bear and Son has a rich family tradition in knife making. They have a skilled and experienced work force capable of performing many of the extra hand operations that go into the making of their products. The Bear & Son factory is unique: it is full self-contained. While some companies only assemble parts brought form various suppliers and put their names on the product, Bear & Son does everything in-house from building their own blanking dies to heat treating, grinding and assembly, and hand finishing their products. It is these steps that ensure that Bear & Son Cutlery is of excellent quality and a real value for both the dealer and consumer.

This commitment to excellence has just improved due to rich family tradition in knife making craftsmanship not only by management, but also their experienced work force. Their customers and consumers can look for even more new and exciting products as a result. Their ongoing commitment is to make them in America and make them affordable. They want everyone to be able to afford what they are proud to make.

Bear OPS Knives is a new subsidiary of Bear & Son Cutlery. Because they take their obligation of duty to our country very seriously; their goal is to manufacture the best tactical knives available for those who serve. Bear OPS knives are made with Operational Precision for Superior Tactical Knives, or OPS, that can be relied on for any situation.

Bear OPS only uses USA manufactured parts, material, and a dedicated workforce. Bear OPS uses only premium 154CM and CPM S30V steel for their blades and use their own heat treat, waterjet, and CNC grinders to finish the blades. Bear OPS is designed and engineered by the experts in their R&D and their in-house tool makers. You will always be proud to carry a knife from Bear OPS.

Bear & Son Cutlery has already and will continue to manufacture the “best knives made in the USA” that will now include tactical and military knives made in the USA. Come pick up your favorite Bear OPS knife today at BladeOps.

Today we will be talking about the Bear OPS Dark Grey Out the Front S/E Out the Front automatic knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Sandvik 14C28N steel. Sandvik says, “Sandvik 14C28N is the latest development in Sandvik’s range of knife steels. Optimized chemistry provides a top grade knife steel with a unique combination of excellent edge performance, high hardness, and good corrosion resistance.” This steel is a perfect match for knife blades because it allows for the highest attainable hardness without the compromising of micro-structure integrity. This steel is also easy to re-sharpen and it doesn’t need to be sharpened very often. This steel can be hardened to about a 55-62 HRC. This steel also sports a high corrosion resistance to any humidity. This steel makes for a fantastic tactical blade, because it will not rust in extreme environments. It will also be able to stand up to the tougher tasks and you won’t have to worry about if your blade can handle it or not.

This Bear OPS blade has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is the most traditional and popular blade finishes in the cutlery industry today. The satin finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. This works to show off the fine lines in the blade and show the bevels of the blade. With this blade finish, you know that your knife is not going to go out of style.

The drop point blade style is the most popular blade style that you can find in the industry today. This is because the blade is versatile as well as being extremely tough. This blade shape is formed by having the spine of the blade runs straight from the handle of the knife to the tip of blade in a slow curved manner, which results in a lowered tip. It is this lowered tip that allows you to have more control over the cuts and as well as allowing you to perform fine tip work. Not only is this tip lowered, but it is also very broad, which means that it is very tough. This is what makes the Bear OPS knife a fantastic tactical knife. Because of the strength behind this blade, you are capable of taking on the toughest of tasks. It is this characteristic strength that also will make this knife a great survival knife. Another fantastic attribute of the drop point blade style is that it has such a large belly, which is ideal for slicing. This means that not only will you be able to use this knife as a tactical and survival knife, but you can also use it as an everyday carry knife. The drop point blade style only has one major drawback to it, which is that because of the broad tip, this knife is almost incapable of piercing or stabbing. You do need to keep in mind that it is this broad tip that gives you so much strength, so often times, the user can ignore that they cannot stab with this knife.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when you are looking at it for your knife handles; it has plenty of advantages. For starters, aluminum is considered a low density metal, so it is a lightweight knife that still offers you enough heft behind it to take on your day-to-day tasks. Aluminum also has extreme tensile strength behind it. When this knife is correctly texturized, it will give you a reasonably secure grip that is comfortable, even if you are using this knife for extended periods of time. On the flip side, aluminum does have high conductive properties, which means that if you are using this knife in the colder months, it will be uncomfortable to use. Also, the aluminum handle is susceptible to dings and scratches.

The handle has been anodized a dark grey color. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the aluminum surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion resistant, and anodic oxide finish. The actual anodizing is accomplished by immersing the aluminum into an acid electrolyte bath and passing an electric current through the medium. Basically, anodizing is a matter of highly controlled oxidation, because it is the enhancement of a naturally occurring phenomenon. One of the biggest advantages to an anodized knife handle is that it chemically changes the surface of the aluminum, which means that it will not scratch, chip, or peel off. The knife handle will always be dark grey.

The handle is mostly rectangular, although it does bulge out slightly in the middle on both the spine and the bottom of the knife. To help add texture, there are portions of jimping across the spine and bottom of the handle, which allow you to better hold onto the knife when you are in a tactical situation. There is also a chevron pattern that is in two sections on the face of the handle. These grooves work to give you better grip throughout your using of this knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is statically designed for tip down carry. And unfortunately, it can only be attached on the traditional side of the handle. Attached to the pocket clip is a glass breaker, which allows you to use this knife in an emergency situation. All of the hardware on this knife is silver, which matches the blade.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an out the front, double action, automatic knife. An out the front knife, or an OTF knife, is a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than your typical knife, which is a standard folding knife, or even a fixed blade which has no mechanical operation. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy.

Then, in the OTF category, you can further divide it into either an automatic OTF or a manual OTF knife. This is an automatic OTF knife, which means that the blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife.

In the automatic knife category, it can even be further subdivided into either a double action or a single action. This is a double action knife, which means that the knife can deploy and retract with a multifunction button and spring design. This is different than a single action knife which can deploy automatically, but must be manually cocked or retracted to close.

There is a common myth because of movie magic that double action OTF knives are powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. But this is just a myth and is not accurate. Double action sliding automatics are only spring-powered 10 to 12 millimeters. At this point, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open.

Bear OPS Dark Grey Out the Front Automatic Knife
Bear OPS Dark Grey Out the Front Automatic Knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Specs:

The blade measures in at 3.25 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.5 inches long. This automatic knife weighs in at 3.2 ounces. This Bear OPS knife was made in the United States, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use it.

 

The Pros of the Bear OPS automatic knife:

  • The blade steel has high hardness.
  • The blade steel is capable of being easily sharpened and does not need to be sharpened often.
  • The satin finish is one of the more traditional blade finishes that you are going to come across.
  • The drop point blade is tough and will be able to take on almost any task.
  • The drop point blade has a large belly that allows you to easily slice anything.
  • The aluminum handle is strong.
  • The aluminum handle is lightweight, but gives you the heft that you need behind all of your tasks.
  • The aluminum handle is very durable.
  • The aluminum handle is very resistant to corrosion, which means that maintenance time will not take long.
  • The anodization provides a more durable, more highly corrosion resistant, and more aesthetically pleasing look.
  • Because it is a double action OTF knife, it can be deployed and retracted with a slide of the lever, instead of just deployed.
  • Handle is textured and jimped so that you can have the most secure grip on this knife.

 

The Cons of the Bear OPS automatic knife:

  • The satin finish does add cost to the knife because it is a manual process.
  • The drop point blade has a broad tip that does not allow you to stab or pierce.
  • The handle will be cold to hold because of the conductive properties.
  • The handle is prone to scratches and dings.

 

 

Conclusion:

Bear OPS is a tactically-inspired division of the Bear & Son Cutlery brand with a sole mission of providing top-end products for those who serve. These products are 100% Berry Compliant–offering USA-only manufactured parts, materials and labor. It comes as no surprise that Bear OPS now offers a brand new automatic knife into their arsenal–a double-action out the front complete with smooth contouring, aggressive styling and a glass breaker function to enhance its versatility. This model, the OTF-100-AlBK-S, features a dark grey anodized aluminum handle, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and a pocket clip that is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up this knife at BladeOps.

 

 

 

 

Case Caliber Lockback Knife Review

W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company is an American manufacturer of premium, hand-crafted knives that are passed down for generations. Based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, Case’s offerings cover a wide range of product categories, form traditional folding pocket knives and fie blade sporting knives to limited production commemoratives and collectables.

The company’s rich history began in 1889 when four brothers—William Russel (W.R), Jean, John, and Andrew Case—began fashioning knives and selling them along a wagon trail in upstate New York. W.R.’s son, John Russel Case, a former salesman for the Case Brothers brand, launched W.R. Case & Sons around the turn of the 20th century. Russel’s father acted as his son’s consultant, helping to stabilize the company’s early finances while building a reputations as a dependable supplier of high-quality cutlery.
Today Case is owned by Zippo Manufacturing Company, makers of the world famous Zippo windproof lighter, another family-owned business that is based in Bradford. The company’s original knife concepts and manufacturing methods have been recognized with awards and features form major print publications, international trade organizations and events, broadcast television shows, and major motion pictures.

A unique tang stamp dating system use since the very early days of its history has made the Case brand one of the world’s favorite collectable brands. The Case Collectors Club, with 19,000 active members, is the largest known knife collecting association in the world.

Case’s pioneering spirit is shown in several of its original knife patterns, like the CopperLock, Baby Butterbean, Cheetah, Cheetah Cub, Sod Buster, Tiny Trapper, and hobo. Case’s commitment to quality is evident in the many pairs of hands that it take to create just one knife. Case knives start with carefully shaped handles made from a wide range of genuine materials like cattle bone, stag antler, buffalo horn, mother of pearl, exotic woods, and stones. Brass, nickel, and silver components highlight each form, bringing together knives that are not just beautiful, but able to stand the tests of time and use.

The brand’s popularity is underscored by the knives it manufactures under licensing agreements with popular American icons like Harley-Davidson, Ford Motor Company, United States Marine Corps, United States Army, United States Navy, John Deere, Boy Scouts of America, Ducks Unlimited, John Wayne, and National Wild Turkey Federation.

Today we will be going over the Case Caliber Lockback Knife with a black Zytel handle.

 

The Blade:

The blade of this knife is made out of Case Tru-Sharp Stainless Steel, which is a special high-carbon steel that helps the blades hold an edge longer than conventional steel. It also offers extraordinary blade strength and corrosion resistance. Carbon is the hardest element and knife blades made form high carbon steel benefits form the strength and hardness of the carbon. Because of the strength and hardness, the blade is going to have great edge retention and you can get a very fine edge on the blade. The added level of sharpness allows you better precision in cutting and requires a lot less effort, which also makes the knife safer. High carbon steels are also more affordable than some of the powder or super steels. But, because it sis a stainless steel, the blade is also going to resist rust and corrosion a lot better than other steels.

The blade has bene finished with a satin finish. The stain finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive, which is most commonly sandpaper. This finish is the most popular blade finish that you are going to come across in today’s cutlery market. It also offers you one of the most traditional looks that you are going to come across. The Caliber has been designed as a classic pocket knife, so the satin finish was the perfect option to complete that look. In terms of luster, the satin finish falls right in the middle of the spectrum. This style of finish also increases corrosion resistance slightly.

The blade on this Case knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today—you are going to see it everywhere if you start looking for it. The back of the edge, or the unsharpened edge, runs straight from the handle, but then about halfway down the spine, the edge starts to dip. After the dip, it carries on to the tip of the blade. This dipped is curved and is referred to as the clip, because it looks as if the portion of the blade has been clipped out. This is also where the blade shape style gets its name. The clip also creates a lowered point, which means that the tip is going to be very controllable. Because of this control, the clip point blade shape is a popular option on hunting knives. The controllable point will also allow you to perform fine detail work, such as carving. The blade is extremely versatile because of the large belly that it sports. The most common tasks that you are going to be performing involve slices and push cuts, both of which a belly will help you excel at. The point is fine, sharp, and thin, which makes it perfect for piercing. However, because of how fine and thin it is, the tip isn’t as strong as other shapes, making it prone to snapping. This is the opposite of the drop point blade shape that is strong in the tip, but not thin enough to pierce at all.

The clip point blade does sport a plain edge blade, which enables it to take on a wider variety of tasks—perfect for your EDC knife.

 

Case Caliber Lockback Knife
Case Caliber Lockback Knife

The Handle:

The handle on this Case knife is made out of black Zytel. Zytel is a trademark owned by DuPont and used for a number of different high strength, abrasion, and impact resistant thermoplastic polyamide formulations, or nylon, in laymen’s terms. This is a type of Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, or FRN. Zytel is crazy strong; resistant to bending and abrasion; cheap; and practically indestructible. This material is so strong and hard to break because the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions. Zytel is a similar material to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta—but those all suffer from being brittle because their nylon fibers are arranged in a single direction. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and textured in a multitude of ways in the production process. All of these characteristics lend well to high volume manufacturing and thus a low cost. On the flip side, many people did not warm up to Zytel because it felt cheap and somewhat hollow. And, even though it is very similar to G-10, G-10 does have the better grip between the two materials.

The handle is simple in a classic way. Like previously mentioned, it is all black. The portion of the handle that is closer to the blade has a crosshatch texture on it. This texture is going to give you a more secure grip than if there was no texture. It also adds a little bit of character to the knife. The ergonomics of the knife mold well to your hand, because there is a slight curve along the spine of the handle as well as the bottom of the handle. Near the butt of the handle, it does flare out slightly, which helps with your grip on this knife.


The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that uses a nail nick to assist you in opening the Caliber. The locking mechanism on this knife is a lockback.

The nail nick is one of the oldest forms of knife opening system that was widely sued in production knives. This is also one of the simpler ways to open a knife—you just get traction of your thumb with the nail nick and push the knife open. It is possible to open man nail nick folders one-handed if there is enough blade to grip onto when it is closed. To do this, you hold the blade and flick the handle open form it, with the help of gravity. While the nail nick might be an older mechanism, it has lasted through the decades because of how quality it is. It is easy to use, easy to understand, it won’t get in the way, and the nail nick cannot break.

A lockback mechanism is what you see on many classic American folding knives. It is essentially made of a spine on a spring. When the knife is opened, the spine locks into a notch on the back of the blade. To close the knife, push down on the exposed part of the spine to pop up the part of the spine in contact with the blade. This disengages the lock, allowing you to swing the blade to a closed position. The benefits of a lockback include reliable strength and safety. The unlock “button” is out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blades path when closing, minimizing the risk of cutting yourself. One of the disadvantages is that while using both hands to close a lockback is safer, it can be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. Although it’s possible to close a lockback with one hand, it isn’t easy. You are most likely going to need to switch grip and take extra care when closing the blade.


The Specs:

The overall length of this knife when it is opened measures in at 6.5 inches. The handle on this Case knife measures in at 3.75 inches, with a blade length of 2.75 inches long. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Case Caliber Lockback:

  • The Tru-Sharp steel holds an edge longer than other steels are made to.
  • The steel is hard and strong because of the high carbon content.
  • Because it is stainless steel, maintenance will be cut down because it will resist corrosion well.
  • The satin finish is going to give you a very classic look.
  • The satin finish is in the middle of the luster spectrum.
  • The stain finish does help with corrosion resistance slightly.
  • The clip point blade shape features a large belly.
  • The blade is going to excel at piercing.
  • The point is very sharp and controllable.
  • Zytel is inexpensive
  • Zytel is practically indestructible—you can take it in a variety of different extreme environments as well as it being capable of taking a beating.
  • The slight curve of the handle will fit comfortably in your hand.
  • Nail nick is super simple to use.
  • The lockback mechanism is very strong.
  • The lockback mechanism is very reliable and very safe.

 

The Cons of the Case Caliber Lockback:

  • The clip point doesn’t have as strong of a point as other blade shapes.
  • The Zytel handle does feel cheap and slightly like plastic.
  • The handle doesn’t have very much personality to it.

 

Conclusion:

This Case pocket knife features a Tru-Sharp stainless steel drop point blade and lightweight black Zytel handles. The Tru-Sharp stainless steel is a high-carbon steel, but still a stainless steel, so you get the carbon benefits as well as the stainless steel benefits. The Zytel handle is lightweight and extremely durable—it is going to be able to take a serious beating. With the strong blade and handle, you won’t have to worry too much about what it can’t take on, knowing that it is going to be capable of taking on a whole lot. Great for a lightweight, EDC knife that is light in your pocket and light on your pocketbook. Locks up tightly and securely. Pick up your new favorite EDC knife, the Case Caliber Lockback Knife, today at BladeOps.

 

Spyderco White One-Eyed Jack Folder Knife Review

The beginning of this company as we currently think of it began way back in 1976, when inventor Sal Glesser created his first product after he couldn’t find a job. Surprisingly enough, for such a knife empire, the first product wasn’t even a knife—it was something called the Portable hand. This strange-looking device was created for people such as jewelers and hobbyists to work with small parts because it would hold those items in place, which give the people both of their hands free for other parts of their projects. This product had a unique look, and bore a striking resemblance to a spider, which is where the name of the company stemmed from.

Kenneth T Delavigne wrote a book called Spyderco Story: The New Shape of Sharp in which he says,

“The name Spyderco and the mascot Spider that became embodied in the company’s logo were derived from the word “spyder”, which represented two things: the spiderlike shape of the Portable Hand (Sal’s first patented invention) and the designation some European automakers gave to high performance roadsters. High performance, then and now, was what Sal wanted to provide in whatever products he sold.”

 

It was with this first product that Spyderco came to exists. Because of the success of the Portable Hand, Sal Glesser and his wife, Gail, would travel to trade shows in a converted bread truck. They settled in Colorado in 1978. Around the same time that he was traveling and selling the Portable Hand, Glesser was also inventing the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker, which was successful enough to fund some of the development on other projects.

It wasn’t until 1981 that Spyderco released their first knife, called the C01 Worker. Not only was it the first Spyderco knife, but it was also the first knife that featured the round hole for ambidextrous and one-handed opening and the first folder to use the clothing clip. This was the knife that really set the new standard for pocket knives in our current day and age.

To create the knife that everybody wanted, Glesser and his wife would spend hours talking with people about what they wanted in a knife. They took the ideas to heart and then to the design table. Because of this time, they spent, they are creating knives that are original, innovative, and still aesthetically pleasing.

Since the original knife, Spyderco has produced over 200 models, which have had some great successes in the mix. Sal and Gail, with the help of their son Eric, are still running the family company and employ more than 130 employees.

Today we will be talking about one of their newer knives—the White One-Eyed Jack folder knife that has a CPM S30V blade and a handle made out of G-10 and stainless steel.

Spyderco White One-Eyed Jack Folder Knife
Spyderco White One-Eyed Jack Folder Knife

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V stainless steel. This steel that was designed and made by Crucible is considered a premium knife steel. This steel has excellent edge retention while also resisting rust almost effortlessly. Crucible designed this steel in the United Sates specifically for high-end premium pocket knives as well as expensive kitchen cutlery. Because they designed this steel with knives in mind, they have created the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. To add extreme hardness to this steel, Crucible has added vanadium carbides. The vanadium carbides are also where the steel name gets the “V” from. For a while, this steel was one of the best steels that money could buy. Because of this, it did come with a hefty cost. However, since newer Super Steels have been released, and with the competition, the cost of this steel has been driven downward, while still retaining all of the good qualities. There is one disadvantage to this steel which is that it is harder to work with and sharpen than other steels. Not a huge drawback, but it is there.

The blade on this knife has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is one of the most popular blade finishes that is used on the market today. The satin finish is created by repeatedly sanding the steel in one direction with an increasing level of an abrasive material. This process is done to create a little bit of shine, as well as showing off the bevels and the fine lines in the steel. The satin finish lies close to the middle in terms of luster; a mirror finished blade is going to be more reflective than the satin finish and a coated finish is going to be less reflective than a satin finish. Overall, this finish is one of the most traditional looks that you are going to get out of a blade finish.

The blade has been carved into a clip point style, which is one of the most used blade shapes on the market today. This blade style is definitely an all-purpose blade shape. The shape of the blade is formed by having the back edge of the knife run straight form the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This “cut-out” area is straight on the One-Eyed Jack knife. This cut out area is also referred to as the clip, because the portion looks as if it were clipped out. Because of this clipped portion, it creates a lowered point, which gives the user more control when they are using the knife. And, because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife is going to be a much better option for stabbing than a drop pint blade. Clip points are also so versatile because they feature such a large belly that is perfect for slicing. Clip point and drop point knife styles are often confused with each other. They are both very similar—they are both designed to be all-purpose knives, they both sport a big belly, and they both have a lowered tip. It is the rest of the tip’s characteristics that separate a clip point form a drop point. A drop point has a much broader tip, which means that you aren’t going to have the same stabbing capabilities that you love from your clip point. However, because it is broader, it is going to be less likely to snap or break and a drop point is going to be able to take on tougher tasks. The clip point isn’t as strong as the drop point, because it does have a relatively narrow tip. This is really one of the clip points only disadvantages, because it is prone to being weak. But, you do get those stabbing capabilities with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of G-10 with stainless steel bolsters and stainless steel liners.

G-10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate, which is a kind of composite material. This material is created by stacking multiple layers of glass cloth, which have been soaked in epoxy resin, then compressing them under heat until the epoxy cures. This material is manufactured in flat sheets. This material is very similar to Micarta and Carbon Fiber, because they are all resin-based laminates, except that the base material used is glass cloth. G-10 is the toughest of the glass fiber resin laminates and therefore the most commonly used in knife handles. G-10 is known for its high strength and low moisture absorption. Plus, because of how the material is used, there can be many variations of G10 that are produced in man colors and patterns. The handle on the Spyderco White One-Eyed Jack is a white G-10 that features a red G-10 heart inlay and a black G-10 spade inlay. G-10 is also easily texturized, which makes for exceptional grip on your knife. This knife was designed to look like a collectible knife, but built to be used. So whether you collect knives are use them every single day—this knife meets your needs.

The bolsters and liners are made out of stainless steel, which gives this knife excellent durabily and does add a great resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel is a heavier material, so it does add a little bit of heft behind your knife. But, the liners are skeletonized to keep the weight of this knife down.

On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole carved in. This is a big bonus for such a versatile knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip has been statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This pocket clip is also made out of stainless steel and just like the liners, it is skeletonized. The clip is kept in place by a small silver screw that matches the rest of the hardware (and the bolsters) on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a manual folding knife that features Spyderco’s signature round opening hole. This knife also features a liner locking mechanism.

When talking about their signature round hole, they’ve said:

 

“One of the most common question we get from people new to Spyderco knives is ‘Why the Round Hole?’ The round hole allows the blade of a folding knife to be swiftly and easily opened with only one hand. This revolutionary feature was granted a U.S. utility patent in 1981 and literally helped define the form of the modern folding knife. Unlike thumb studs, disks, and other one-hand-opening attachments, the hole offers a larger surface area for greater reliability and does not interfere with the cutting action of the blade. An iconic symbol of our brand, the Trademark Round Hole also serves a s user-friendly alternative to a traditional nail nick in our two-hand-opening folders and a proud expression of our brand identity in our fixed-blade knives.

 

The liner locking mechanism is one of the more common mechanism seen on folding knives. This mechanism’s characteristic component is a side spring bar that is located on the same side as sharp edge of the blade, “lining” the inside of the handle. When the knife is closed, the spring bar is held under tension. When the knife is fully opened, that tension slips the bar inward to make contact with the butt of the blade, which keeps it firmly in place and prevents it from closing. To disengage a liner lock, you have to use your thumb to push the spring bar “down” so that it clears contact form the butt of the blade. This lets you use your index finger to push the blade just enough so that it keeps the bar pushed down so you can remove your thumb from the blade path, then continue to safely close the knife.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this Spyderco knife measures in at 2.49 inches and has a handle that measures in at 3.54 inches long. The overall length of the knife when it is opened is 6.03 inches long. For how small this knife is, it does pack a bit of weight, but nothing that is going to feel too heavy to use as your EDC knife: this knife weighs in at 3.7 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

The One-Eyed Jack is a production folder that exhibits more custom finishes than you would expect. As part of the 2017 mid-year release catalog, this A.T. Barr designed model features a liner lock design and a classy stainless steel bolster and back spacer to really make the competition fold. Whether your intent to collect and display this knife or carry it, this knife was built with the materials to allow either or. This model, the C217GP, features a white polished G-10 handle complete with a G-10 spade and heart inlay, stainless steel bolsters, skeletonized stainless steel liners, a clip point style blade in a satin finish, Spyderco’s trademark round hole opening feature and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This knife is perfectly balanced between looking pleasing and having the durability to be used for almost any tasks. Come pick up your Spyderco C226GP White One-Eyed Jack Folder knife today from BladeOps.

 

Benchmade Emissary 3.5 Knife Review      

Benchmade has a history that dates back over three decades. They believe that they are the product of many dedicated employees, a never quite 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 really began. 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?”

In 1980, Les incorporated as Bali-Song, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story building in California. The original equipment that Benchmade owned was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Les utilized the rudimentary technology that was available to him at the time and began to build handmade custom Bali-Songs. He couldn’t have done it without the help of Jody Sampson, who ground each of the blades. The success of these custom Bali’s 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.

Due to its inability to control quality, price, and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved in 1987. 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 Emissary 3.5.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is Warren Osborne. He was raised in the farming and ranching industry, so early on he recognized the importance of a quality utility knife. He recognizes everything from how a knife feels in the hand over extended us, the blade design and edge configurations, and the types of materials used. He looks at each of these characteristics as mandatory considerations when it comes to an Osborne design.

 

The Blade:

The blade on the Emissary 3.5 is made out of CPM S30V steel, which is a premium blade steel made by Crucible Industries. Crucible is a US based company, if that is important to you. They designed this blade steel specifically with high end kitchen cutlery and premium pocket knives in mind, so you know that you are getting the best qualities for this everyday carry and outdoors knife. Crucible sets this steel apart by adding in Vanadium Carbides, which work to bring out extreme hardness in the steel matrix. These carbides make the steel extremely hard, which means that the blade is going to retain its edge for long periods of time. However, normally when a steel gets that hard, it becomes brittle. Because of how the Carbides work, the steel retains its durable structure. This steel is known for having the best balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. CPM S30V steel is also able to resist rust effortlessly, which means you can take it with you into the great outdoors and not have to worry about it rusting or corroding. Because of its ability to resist rust, the maintenance time is reduced. Of course, this steel does have a drawback to it. It is an extremely hard steel, so it will be a little bit trickier to sharpen. This shouldn’t deter you, but if you are a beginner sharpener, you’ve been warned.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with a fine sandpaper. This finish is very classic. The finish is used to slightly reduce glares, reflections, and even improve its corrosion resistance levels. The finish is designed to showcase the bevels of the blade as well as showing off the fine lines of the steel.

The blade has been carved into a drop point style blade. The drop point blade style is one of the most popular blade shapes to date. This is because it is both tough and versatile, which means you can use it for truly almost anything. The blade shape is designed by having the spine of the knife run from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curving manner. This creates a dropped point, which is where the blade shape got its name from. The lowered point also helps to give the user more control over their cuts while using this knife. The lowered point is also broad, which is where the drop point blade style gets its known strength from. Because the tip is thicker, it is able to withstand tasks that many other blade styles would not be able to withstand, especially when being compared to the similar clip point style. The toughness of the tip is going to most benefit you when you are using the Emissary 3.5 as an everyday knife. Lastly, the belly on this knife is large, which makes slicing a breeze. This aspect of the knife is going to most benefit you when you are using the knife as an everyday carry knife.  The drop point blade does have one major disadvantage. Because the tip is so broad, you do lose out on stabbing or piercing capabilities.

 

Benchmade Emissary 3.5
Benchmade Emissary 3.5

The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of anodized aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when used for knife handles. This is a low-density metal, so it is going to give you the heft to back you up, but none of the weight that gets annoying. When an aluminum handle is properly texturized, it will give you a secure grip that is also going to be comfortable for long periods of time, just like Osborne is worried about. That being said, aluminum has high conductive properties, so if you use this during the winter, it is going to feel pretty cold. The overall benefits of having an aluminum handle is that it is going to be strong, light, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. The overall drawbacks of having an aluminum handle is that it is going to be cold to hold, it can be slippery, and it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

Anodizing aluminum helps to add hardness and protection to the handles. The anodization also helps cut down on the scratches that it will accumulate over time, as well as increasing the handles corrosion resistance. Lastly, the anodization adds an even, sleek, black look to the handles.

The handle has a spine that curves towards the butt slowly. There is a unique finger groove as well as a finger indent above the groove to give you maximum comfort. After the first finger groove, there is a larger groove that lets you have a secure grip on this knife.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a deep carry pocket clip, which is almost always an advantage. The deep carry clip will allow you to store the knife deeper in your pocket so you don’t have to worry about it slipping out of your pocket while you go about your daily chores. This also assists you when you are using this knife as an outdoors knife, because you want to be able to focus on your adventure, instead of keeping your knife in your pocket. The deep carry clip also helps to better conceal the knife inside your pocket, which is an advantage if you feel uncomfortable with other people knowing you are always carrying a knife.

The pocket clip is a reversible clip, which helps to make this a more ambidextrous knife. This allows you to carry the knife as comfortably as you can. However, the pocket clip is only designed for tip-up carry.

The hardware is silver.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife, which is a style of pocket knife that does have an internal mechanism such as an automatic knife, but the user has to partially open the blade before the internal mechanism will kick in. This means that the laws are not going to be as strict, because it is not fully automatic, which is one of its biggest advantages. Assisted opening knives are also going to be nearly as efficient as an automatic knife.

To assist you in opening this knife, the knife has been equipped with a thumb stud. The thumb stud is a small barrel in the same spot that a nail nick would be on a more traditional knife. This opening mechanism allows you to open the knife comfortably with only one hand. The thumb stud is also very easy to get the hang of when you first begin to use it. However, some people don’t like how the stud will always extend off the blade and feel as if it gets in the way.

The Emissary 3.5 has been equipped with the AXIS-Assist opening 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. When Benchmade is describing the AXIS-Assist, they say, “Easily opened, quickly and with one hand; this evolution of the AXIS® includes a spring that helps to fire the blade into the open position once the user pushes it beyond a certain point manually. The AXIS® lock also has the added benefit of “suck-back,” which encourages the blade to stay in the closed position. AXIS® Assist knives also feature integrated safety lock systems.”

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.45 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.100 inches. The handle measures in at 4.55 inches long with a handle thickness of 0.52 inches. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 8.00 inches even. This knife weighs in at 3.95 ounces, which is lightweight for how large the knife is, as well as being a great weight for an everyday carry knife. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

When Benchmade is describing this knife, they say, “Anodized machined aluminum handles and the patented AXIS® assist mechanism make this Warren Osborne knife a fantastic choice of every day carry or as a trail companion.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps and see for yourself just how fantastic it really is.

 

 

SOG Contractor 1 Knife Review

“SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: To create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. It inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

Born in 1955, Spencer Frazer was a creative kid with a great curiosity for how things worked. As he grew older, while in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes. But it wasn’t until much later that this interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools.

After graduating from UCLA as a math and science major, Spencer started his own company in the professional audio industry, designing a whole new style of speaker system.

“I learned to work with many different materials as I built models and prototypes,” he says.

Then Spencer went on to work in the aerospace defense industry – in the Top Secret Black Projects Division – as an R&D tool/die and model maker. He recalls, “I saw things there I still can’t talk about.”

At about that same time, while becoming involved in the modern art movement and meeting with top artists, Spencer learned a lot about scale and color. He went on to work in product development, creating toys and consumer products. All these life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie: “The knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the knife.” That single knife spawned the birth of SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, Inc. His one goal: to reproduce the mystical knife… the SOG Bowie.

“We started our company by having to sell a one-knife line at the very high price of $200 retail!” Today, SOG is a true innovator in the knife industry. Having won many industry awards, SOG was one of the first companies to be synonymous with a high-tech modern image. “SOG was the first company,” says Spencer, “to produce a sculptural faceted folding knife. We called it the Tomcat. With the Paratool, SOG became the second company ever to produce a folding multi-tool. And we remain the only company that uses compound leverage in our multi-tools; the only company to have adjustable lock-on clips on our folding knives; the only company to employ one of the strongest locks in the industry with the Arc-Lock; the only company to use exotic BG-42 steel cost effectively in the production of our knives; and the first company in the world to offer an automatic opening multi-tool.”

But those are just a few of the landmarks Spencer Frazer has helped SOG achieve. “I design each one of our products,” he says, “to be functional and comfortable to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing. If I personally don’t like them or wouldn’t use them, they don’t make it into production.”

Today, SOG is distributed and sold throughout the world. Law enforcement specialists, military, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, industrial professionals, and everyday carry knife enthusiasts have come to rely on SOG in the most extreme conditions. “We don’t settle for ordinary,” says Spencer. “We never did, and we never will.”

Today we will be discussing the SOG Contractor 1 knife.

SOG Contractor 1
SOG Contractor 1

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 6Cr13MoV steel. This is a line of steel that originates from China. This is a budget formula of steel. This means that it is going to be a softer steel. So while you will be able to get a very sharp edge on it, it will need to be sharpened more often than a harder steel. 6Cr13MoV is a stainless steel, but it is a lower end stainless steel. It will be able to resist rust well, but you will need to keep up on the maintenance behind it. Basically, this steel is definitely going to get the job done, but it will not do anything after getting the job done. When compared to a newer steel or a super steel, it pales in comparison. However, this steel is not all awful—remember, it keeps the cost of the knife down and it does work.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is the most popular blade finish that is in the market today. This is because it does offer a very traditional blade look that is not going to go out of style any time soon. Not only does it give the knife a very sleek look, it is also not expensive, and does offer some other advantages. Some of these advantages include how it cuts down on glares, reflections, and even increases the corrosion resistance levels that the steel was going to provide. This finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasing level of a fine abrasive, which is normally a sandpaper. The finer the sandpaper that is used and the more even the lines, the cleaner that the finish is going to look. This finish is really used to showcase the fine lines of the steel while also showcasing the bevels of the blade.

The blade on this knife is a modified sheepsfoot blade. While a regular sheepsfoot blade really can’t be said to have a point, because the spine curves down to meet with the straight edge. They can be safely used as a rescue knife or in situations that don’t require a point. However, this is a modified sheepsfoot blade. It does have a very small point that you will be able to pierce a little bit with. That being said, it is a very small point that may break or chip when used on harder targets. However, you do still get a little bit of the false point, which is an advantage when you are using this knife as a contractor and don’t want to accidentally pierce through anything. Also, while the typical sheepsfoot blade does not have a belly, this modified version of it does sport a very small belly. This is not a big enough belly to get any major jobs done, but you will be able to use it to slice through some smaller things—perfect as a handyman.

The blade does have a plain edge, which is perfect for a knife that is supposed to be working throughout the house. The plain edge is going to allow you to take on a wider variety of tasks because it does give you cleaner cuts while also allowing you to slice, skin, and shave with it. The plain edge is definitely going to be easier to sharpen, which is a good thing because of how often this knife is going to need to be sharpened.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of anodized aluminum. Aluminum is a low density metal that is often used in knife making. Because it is a softer metal, it is mostly used for just the handles, not the blade. A fun fact about aluminum is that it is the most abundant metal that can be found in earth’s crust. This material is used for its hardness and durability. Although it is a low density metal, it does give a nice, hefty feel to the knife without actually weighing the knife down. This is a major benefit because you will have the heft that makes you confident in taking on your tasks, but you won’t feel like the knife is a brick. Of course, since this is such a large knife, it is going to have some significant weight to it. However, it would be considerably heavier if it were made out of something denser than aluminum.

When an aluminum handle is textured correctly, it is going to give you a secure grip that is not only secure, but also comfortable enough to use for long periods of time. The overall pros to an aluminum handle is that it is strong, light, durable, and is resistant to corrosion.

Unfortunately, like most materials, aluminum does have its drawbacks. For starters, it has very high conductive properties. This means that if you were planning on using this knife in colder environments or months, it can become painfully cold to hold. Aluminum can also be slippery, and it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

The knife has been anodized, which is a protective oxide layer which is applied in an electrolytic process in which the metal forms the anode. This process makes the knife tougher, more durable, and less prone to scratches. The handle has been anodized black.

            The handle on this knife is not as simple as the blade is. The spine does have an indent right in the middle. This is to give you a better grip and add comfort to the knife. The Belly of the handle has a very small finger indent—your finger is not going to fit inside of this, but it will add a little bit of texture. There have been three holes cut out of the middle of the handle, each one getting progressively smaller. This adds a little bit of texture while also keeping the overall weight of the knife down. The holes are also there to assist you in stripping wire. There are very thin grooves going down the length of the handle which add enough texture that you will have a comfortable grip on this knife through most basic tasks and environments. Of course, since aluminum is not the most grippy material, if the environment begins to get a little more extreme, you might not have as solid of a grip on it.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that has been equipped with a thumb stud. The locking mechanism of this knife is a lock back mechanism. This locking mechanism is essentially made of a spine on a spring. When the knife is opened, the spine locks into a notch on the back of the blade. To close the knife, push down on the exposed part of the spine to pop up the part of the spine in contact with the blade. This disengages the lock, allowing you to swing the blade to a closed position. The benefits of a lock back include reliable strength and safety. The unlock “button” is out of the way of your grip when using the knife, meaning you’re unlikely to accidentally disengage the lock and have it close on you. It also keeps your hands clear of the blade’s path when closing, minimizing the risk of cutting yourself. One disadvantage is that while using both hands to close a lock back is safer, it can be inconvenient when you need to keep one hand on whatever you’re cutting. Although it’s possible to close a lock back with one hand, it isn’t easy. You’d likely need to switch grips and take extra care when closing the blade.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.625 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.1 inches. The overall length of this knife when it is opened measures in at 6.25 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces. The Contractor 1 does originate from China.

 

Conclusion:

The SOG Contractor 1 knife understands that a craftsman is only as good as his tools. The Contractor one is built tough enough to handle the demands of a contractor or a DIY handyman.  This knife features a lifetime guarantee. The Contractor series is designed specifically for tradesmen, including electricians, handymen, and for those who take pride in a job well done. Modernizing traditional patterns, this knife features: lock back design, patent pending holes/notches for stripping wire, aggressive Aluminum grips, one hand opening, and razor sharp blades. While this knife has been discontinued through SOG, you can still pick one up at BladeOps. You better run though, because this is not going to be in stock for long.

CRKT 2020 Sting Fixed Blade Knife Review

 

CRKT says, “CRKT® (Columbia River Knife and Tool®) was founded in 1994. From day one, we put innovation and integrity first. We made a commitment to build knives and tools that would inspire and endure. We collaborate with the best designers in the world and operate on a simple principle: that the greatest thing we can give our customers is Confidence in Hand®.”

This company was founded in 1994 by Paul Gillespi and Rod Bremer. Both of these men were formerly employed with Kershaw Knives. The company did not actually take off until the 1997 Shot Show when the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) knife was introduced. The small folder, designed by Ed Halligan was a success. Within the opening days of the show the years’ worth of the product was sold out. In fact, they sold at 4-5 times original production numbers which resulted in a tripling of production efforts.

The company produces a wide range of fixed blades and folding knives, multi-tools, sharpeners, and carrying systems. CRKT has collaborated with custom knife makers such as Ken Onion, Harold “Kit” Carson, Allen Elishewitz, Pat Crawford, Liong Mah, Steven James, Greg Lightfoot, Michael Walker, Ron Lake, Tom Veff, Steve Ryan, and the Graham Brothers.

CRKT owns fifteen patents and patents pending.

Today we will be talking about the CRKT 2020 Sting fixed blade.

 

The Designer:

The man behind this knife is A.G. Russell, who is from Rogers, Arkansas. CRKT says, “Simply put, A.G. Russell eats, sleeps and breathes knives. He was the first member of the Knife Digest Cutlery Hall of Fame, a founding member of the Knifemakers’ Guild, founded the Knife Collectors Club™, and started the first mail order knife business. Even with a pedigree like that, if you ask him what he enjoys most, he’ll still tell you it’s designing custom knives.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 1050 steel that has been hardened to a 52-55 HRC. This is a carbon steel with only carbon and manganese added to the iron. This series is known as the 10xx series, because the second number, in this case 50, refers to the amount of carbon in the steel. This steel will have .50% carbon. This is one of the lower levels of this steel, but will work well in this fixed blade. This steel is also often found in swords.

CRKT Sting 2020
CRKT Sting 2020

The blade has been finished with a black powder coat. This powder coat is going to help prolong the life of the blade because it protects the blade by acting as a barrier in between the elements and the steel. Because of the coating, the wear resistance and the corrosion resistance of this blade are going to be significantly improved. Not only that, but this knife is designed for stabbing and this coating can help lessen the drag on the blade for quicker stabbing and faster withdrawal. Unfortunately, coatings also do have their drawbacks. For example, this coating is a lesser quality coating which means that it is going to chip or scratch off with use and time. While all coatings eventually do this, the powder coating is going to be more likely to scratch off as well as scratching off more quickly. Also, sometimes the coating is applied unevenly, which creates ridges and spots where the knife is not even. This can hinder how well you can stab or slice with the knife.

The blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. A spear point is similar to the needle-point because they are both designed for piercing. However, the spear point does have a stronger point as well as a slight belly that can be used for slicing. The blade is made out of a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center line of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that liens up exactly with the equator of the blade. This blade is double edged, so you can pierce very well with it. The spear point also has a tip that is durable enough for piercing—ideal for this tactical blade. Spear points also do contain a belly that can be used for some cutting and slicing, although if you compare the belly to that of a drop point or clip point, it is going to seem extremely small. The spear point is known as a hybrid blade because it has a good balance between piercing and slicing. It also has the sharp point that you would find on a dagger with the strength that compares more to a drop point, while also having a belly that can be used.

The blade on this knife does have a dual plain edge. Both edges of the spear pint have been sharpened and both have a plain edge. The plain edge is going to provide you with cleaner cuts, while also being easier to sharpen, even if you are in the field. However, plain edges do need to be sharpened more often than serrated blades do. The plain edges are going to allow you to take on a wider variety of tasks as well, so if you ever need to use this knife for more than a tactical blade, you are going to be able to do that. The plain edge is not going to inflict as much damage as a serrated edge would, but it will be easier to push into your target and then pull it out as well.

 

The Handle:

The handle is also made out of 1050 steel, because it is a full tang knife. This is a durable steel that is going to get the job done. However, in its series, it is one of the lower end steels.

The handle is relatively simple for a tactical knife. The spine and the belly mirror each other, each with a large finger guard that will keep your fingers safe in the rare case that you slip when you are using this knife. Following the finger guard is a deep finger groove which will give you a solid and comfortable grip—even if you have to be using this knife for long periods of time. After the finger groove, the spine and the belly are straight and angle towards the butt of the handle. For texture on the handle there is a divot carved out near the blade as well as another divot carved out in the middle of the knife.

The butt of the knife does sport a wide lanyard hole, which will be able to fit almost any lanyard that you want to put in it. Having a lanyard on a tactical blade allows you to take on messier tasks, because it can provide texture.

 

The Mechanism:

This tactical knife is a fixed blade. The knife has been made out of one long piece of continuous steel. This means that it is not going to have any spots on the knife that are weaker than others. Because it has been made out of one piece of steel, the knife is going to be more durable and tougher—allowing you to take on harder and more complicated tasks without worrying if it is going to break your knife. This is ideal for a tactical blade; where you need it to not fail you in the heat of the moment.

A fixed blade is a type of knife that does not have a mechanism. Some people prefer their knives to be a folding knives, even their tactical knives, because they are more easy to conceal, more convenient, and can be almost as tough as a fixed blade. That being said there are plenty of benefits to having a fixed blade as your go to tactical knife. For starters, they are big and strong. This means that the blade is going to be longer and thicker because it does not have to fit inside of a handle. The thicker the blade is, the tougher it is going to be. Plus, because the blades and handles are bigger and more durable, the knife is less likely to break. Another reasons that they are less likely to break is because there are no moving parts on a fixed blade. This also makes them easier to maintain because you don’t have to worry about the innards rusting or not being able to get clean, thus destroying the knife. You also don’t have to worry about the hinge, which is extremely important for a folding knife. Along with maintenance is cleaning, which is ten times easier with a fixed blade. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and the handle and oil the blade occasionally. Lastly, fixed blades are the superior tactical tool because they can be brought into play faster than a folding knife. These situations are ones where every single second counts; the fixed blade is definitely the better option.

 

The Sheath:

            The knife comes with a nylon sheath. Nylon is a very common material when it comes to knife sheaths. They are often compared to leather, because those are some of the most common used materials. Just like leather, they are tough and strong. However, they are resistant to rot and mildew, which is something that leather is not. This means that a nylon sheath is also going to be tough to scuff or tear. As for its disadvantages, nylon sheaths don’t last as long as leather ones. Nylon is cheaper, which is great, but it also means that it is not going to last as long as a leather sheath. While leather sheaths fit your knife better as time goes on, nylon sheaths get stretched out over time which means that your knife won’t always fit securely inside it’s sheath. While the nylon sheath will continue to work after it is stretched out, it just won’t keep your knife as safe as it could.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.197 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.137 inches. The overall length of this fixed blade measures in at 6.85 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.9 ounces, which is a lighter weight for a fixed blade.

 

Conclusion:

When CRKT is discussing this knife, they say, “This Blade Was Meant for Walking. A fixed blade tactical knife featuring two edges and one solid piece of hot forged steel, it knows its place—clipped to your boot.

Crafted by A.G. Russell of Rogers, AR, The Sting™ displays one of the inventors of the modern knife industry’s attention to detail. After all, despite all his awards and achievements, he is first and foremost a custom knife maker.

A virtually indestructible spear point blade begins life as an ordinary blank of 1050 carbon steel, similar to the alloy used in traditional Samurai swords. It’s then hot forged and precision ground into its final shape. Dual cutting edges give you twice the protection and double the attitude. We then apply a black non-reflective powder coat finish to resist corrosion in tactical environments that are as tough as you are.

Grab hold of the handle and feel how it’s perfectly contoured to fit your bare or gloved hand. Notice its heft, balance and thumb detents for grip. There’s even a large lanyard hole so you can use it with a wrist lanyard, or carry it as a neck knife. When it comes to defense, this blade means business.

The CRKT® Sting™ comes complete with a custom nylon-stitched sheath with a glass reinforced nylon insert and a strapping option for versatile gear attachments or a clip for attaching it to your belt, pack or boot. Wherever it sits on your gear, it won’t be sitting there for long.

Strap it down and take it into any situation. It’s ready to battle with any environment.” You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps and have yourself a new favorite tactical knife.