Archive for the ‘Knives’ Category

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Scale Release Knife

My Review:9

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A couple of years ago I bought a knife made in Italy, an automatic. This particular one does not have a button to eject the blade. Rather, it is a style known as a “scale release” knife.

On a folding knife (one that does not have a fixed blade) there are usually two sides to the handle, known as scales. Typically the blade folds down in between those scales. A scale release knife is an automatic (or switchblade) knife that allows you to release the blade by sliding the two scales in opposite directions. See the video below for a demonstration:

My close friend and mentor Earl had a knife like this, and I always thought it was the bee’s knees. His was given to him by a friend, and I only got to play with it about once a week. Eventually, with much painstaking research, I finally figured out where I could get one for myself. A company called: AB Coltellerie. (UPDATE: There is an newer website up, owned by the same group: http://www.skmknives.com/ – it stands for Switchblade Knife Makers)

Here are the dimensions:

  • Handle: Silver Satin Anodized Aluminum
  • Blade length: 3″½
  • Length of closed knife: 4″
  • Bolsters: None

AB Coltellerie is an Italian knife company located in Maniago, Italy. They are willing to ship to the United States, but be aware that switchblade knives are illegal to buy and sell in most states. I love this knife, though I do wish there had been an option to have a pocket clip on it. Not having a pocket clip makes it difficult to conveniently carry around.

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The quality of craftsmanship and materials is impeccable. The aluminum is finley machined and the knife feels solid and comfortable in the hand. The curve of the blade is nicely elegant for a drop point blade. The spring behind the blade is powerful, and after 3 years of semi-regular use there is no discernible change or decline in its strength. I expect to get a lifetime of good service out of the knife.

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Truthfully it is probably not a good knife for everyday carry. But it is a fun knife to use, and it has such a neat and unusual mechanism for opening. Those factors, plus the high quality and beauty of the knife make it a very solid 9 for me.

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Cold Steel ProLite (Drop Point Blade)

My Review: 10 cold_steel_pro_lite_drop_point.jpg

This might be my favorite knife of all time. It’s funny, while I respect Cold Steel products, I am not a devoted fan of their entire production line. However, this folder has such a solid feel and has stood up so well to hard use that I am blown away.

I bought this knife with my friend Brooke while on a trip to Arizona. What first caught my eye was the big-bellied blade – it looked like a skinning knife. When you open the knife, and the blade clicks into the locked position, you can really feel it lock. And this knife passed the “flick test” immediately. (Meaning that you can hold the handle firmly and “flick” the blade out.) I love that.

There are five small allen screws along the spine of the handle holding the scales in place, and a much larger one to rotate the blade. There is a big elliptical thumb hole to open the blade one handed (if you don’t feel like flicking.) I have used this blade to cut, saw, whittle, pry, throw (I know, I know) and anything else I could think of. It has never failed or folded on me, and it still looks great in spite of consistent abuse.

It holds an edge pretty well; when it was new out of the box you could shave with the sucker. But that initial sharp edge usually wears out fast. I have re-sharpened it a couple of times since I bought it (3 years in August) and the steel really does do a good job of holding an edge.

The other thing I really love about this knife is how solid it feels when the blade is out. With most knives when you try to flex the blade, there will be some minimal movement and flex. This one is like a rock. The spine (back or dull) side of the blade is really thick, and the lock/release mechanism is so tight and well engineered that it holds tighter than any other knife I’ve had. The pro lite uses a strong leaf spring lock that’s rated to hold 100 lbs. Sweet.

The only bad think I have to say is that Cold Steel has stopped making them. I don’t know why, I think it’s one of the best knives they ever produced. If you hunt around on the internet you can still find them from time to time, but it ain’t easy. They were made with three different blades (tanto, clip point, and drop point) that come either serrated or non-serrated (all pictured below.) The knife features an extremely tough Zytel handle and the blade measures 4″. It also features a pocket clip, though it is set up for right side carrying only.

This knife kicks more ass than anything else I’ve had. Solid 10 and a ringing endorsement.

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Mine (click to enlarge)

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The whole range – all blade styles (click to enlarge)

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Clip Point, serrated blade, pocket clip shown (click to enlarge)

Spyderco Police Model

My Review: 8 spyderco_police1.jpg

The spyderco Police model with the SpyderEdge serrated blade is awesome. I have been thinking about buying one for several years; I first heard about them when I read “Hannibal” by Thomas Harris. After learning that it was the preferred blade of fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter, I had to check it out. I am a knife enthusiast, but the $150+ price tag deterred me for a while.

However, I recently got engaged, got drunk, and my present to myself was to finally sack up and buy the knife. Here’s the deal:

  • All stainless steel (blade, scales, etc.)
  • Large thumb hole for easy one-handed opening
  • Pocket clip for easy carry and access
  • Good heft and balance – feels solid in your hand
  • Indented lock-release – lets you really grip it without accidentally releasing the blade
  • 4 1/8″ blade
  • 5 5/16″ closed

This is a beautiful knife. It feels good in your hands, and definitely feels solid. It’s pretty heavy for a pocket knife, and has a fairly gigantic blade for a pocket folder. When you open it and feel the blade “snick” into place, it’s pretty damn convincing. The clip has 3 screws holding it in place, which will help it to stay solid. Spyderco traditionally has extremely high quality materials and workmanship (so I’ve read) – this is my first Spyderco knife, and it is everything I have been told it would be.

My friends and I often carry pocket knives, and frequently like to play the “flick out your blade one-handed” game. The spring, right out of the box, is pretty stiff on this one and it is not an easy flick. Although there is a lot of weight in the knife overall, there is not a lot of mass in the blade as compared to the handle. In order to flick this one (without using the thumb hole) you have to hold it pretty low on the handle. I suspect it will break in a little with time and use.

If you are interested in one of these babies, there are links below. Spyderco sells them directly on their site, and there are dozens of e-tailers who also sell this knife. My favorite, Smoky Mountain Knife Works is also listed, and they sell the Police model for well below MSRP.

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This knife kicks ass. It gets a solid 8 rating, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

http://spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=2

http://smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/product.jsp?Mode=Text&SearchText=spyderco&Search.x=0&Search.y=0&Search=1&SKU=SP07S