Wednesday, December 3, 2014

That's not a knife

THIS is a knife!

The old EDC on the left, the new on the right

Knives, really. My old EDC Ti-Lite, my new Spartan, and my GI Tanto for my proper fightin' knife. All from Cold Steel. Had good luck with everything I've gotten from them thus far, the Ti-Lite being the first and a couple Kudu's for gifts. Spartan and GI Tanto first impressions, Ti Lite longterm review.
Ti-Lite Grivory handle, Spartan, GI Tanto

So, review time.

First thoughts on the Spartan, which I've had for about a week. Thought one; Good cripes is this thing massive. I knew it was heftier than the ti-lite, but I'm pretty sure I could bludgeon an elephant to death with this thing. Even folded, it's slightly enormous.

On the plus side, the pocket catch is far superior. The ones on the ti-lite are finicky about actually deploying the blade, and have a nasty habit of attempting to shred your leg; they're SHARP. They also get in the way of several knife grips.

Big blade. This is a pocketknife you can legitimately fight with. 
Feels good in the hand, great to hang onto.
Retention, that grip keeps it where you want it, in hand. Also a con, more on this later.
Modest price. Shelled out about $60 for this on Amazon, thus far it seems to be worth it.
Curve actually makes it fit in the pocket, even the smallest pockets I have (on garments with vaguely functional pockets, anyway. It will not fit in Imitation Pockets). It even fits with the copious amount of other things I carry.
Ambidextrous, comes with a spare pocket clip so you can put one on the other side.
Razor sharp out of the box.

WI law treats ANY knife of any size as a weapon, but by and large all but the worst whimpering ninnies will buy "It's not a weapon, it's a knife, purchased because it actually fits my hand so I can use it safely because I can hold it. It's also nearly identical dimensions to a butter or steak knife." This thing? Can't possibly claim this thing isn't a weapon. On the plus side, I avoid Wimp Zones as much as I possibly can.
Weight. It's not light by any stretch of the imagination
Size. It'll fit pockets, but if you've got borderline functionality pockets, this'll fill them up pretty well.
Has a spring to keep it shut, if you aren't careful when trying to close it it'll bite you (Applicable based on difference in closing mechanism as compared to the Ti-Lite.)
Opening the thing without using the pocket catch is kind of a pain. It's SO wide, you almost can't reach with your thumb to flip it one-handed without a LOT of wrist action to provide the momentum to get past the spring.
Risky to close one-handed.
The grip things that keep it so nicely in your hand make it substantially more difficult to reverse your grip one-handed. I've practiced this with a great many blades, and can do so easy as breathing, but I have to really work at it to pull it off with the Spartan.

On to the GI Tanto
It's a cheap ($20) fighting knife. Balances real nice, because it's made to be throwable, and it's fairly light, which is good or bad depending on your needs and purposes. Came moderately sharp, needs some TLC to get a really nice edge on it. Grip is small, good for smaller hands, but if you wear size large unisex gloves, it'll probably feel too small to hold comfortably in all but a few grips. Even still, the grip is decent, it's just not the "OooOoh, that's niiiice" of a few things I've held. 

And now, the Ti-Lite
This is a fantastic value for money. The quilons allow the blade to be deployed as fast as you can pull it out of the pocket, and the lack of a (strong) spring and narrow size makes it easy to deploy one-handed. Similarly easy to close, as the quilon stops the blade from closing past 90 degrees while your thumb is in the way of the blade. I can and have pulled the blade out of pocket, opened it without using the pocket catch, made the cut I needed to, and snapped the blade shut again and back into the pocket in barely a second. Downside of the lack of spring, combined with the pocket catch, is the blade can get snapped slightly open, just enough to poke you in the hand.
The counterpoint has almost identical blade, but has the lock on the back of the knife in a similar manner to the Spartan, and a spring to keep the blade shut. It lacks the pocket catch, and the thumbknob to deploy the blade is slightly more annoying to get at (easily fixed by a few seconds with a Dremel tool)

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