Friday, January 27, 2012

Knife Review: Mantis Midnight Karambit

I don't really know much about Karambits or Curved blades aside from what I learned from online blogs, knifemaker websites and knife forums. I think I only have about 4 or 5 Karambits and I never even took the time to field test any of them. Unlike martial arts practitioners, I don't look forward to using blades in a self defense situation or for close quarters combat (I'd rather go boxing - with gloves, mind you). I use these knives for utility purposes around the house, while I'm hiking, or when I'm fishing and camping. Despite being hailed as a very effective/aggressive untamed blade or weapon, Karambits are quite notorious for being very limited in their utilitary function. I've tried opening packages with a few of 'em, and even went as far as slicing vegetables, preparing ingredients for a meat dish and even peeling squash and I was really unimpressed with the Karambit. Being the stubborn camper-boy that I am, I still got another one to add to my collection. This time it's a knife that came out in 2011 by a company called Mantis. I've been reading a good amount of flak from people saying that these knives from Mantis are just for show but after holding the knife in my hands, it actually felt well made. The ergonomics leave a small, teeny, tiny bit to be desired and the deployment was somewhat awkward at first but there were remedies within reach that can easily and greatly improve the overall performance of the tool.

There are a few things worth discussing about the Mantis Midnight Karambit model MK-1VX. before I go blabbering about my assbackwards opinion on blades lets go to the specifications on the tool itself:


Overall Length: 6 inches
Blade Length: 2 inches
Blade Material: M-vX
Blade Style: Curved
Handle Material: 420J2
Lock Style: Frame Lock
Carry System: Ambidextrous Pocket Clip
Weight: 4.1 oz.
Special Features: High speed tool steel M-vX


First lets talk bout the size of the tool. With the blade length at a diminuitive 2 inches, you definitely can't expect the knife to help you with any serious utility related tasks. I have, however, found the curved hemispherical blade to be very reliable in cutting parachute cord or threaded nylon rope, kevlar, cordura, boxes, cardboard, blister packaging and even a cutting apples in half in a split second. The blade profile is visually appealing and while I'm not a big fan of chisel ground blades it appears like the most intuitive choice for smaller, unconventionally shaped cutting edges. The jimping found on the finger choils, frame locks, security ring thumbrest and blade spine are a bit rounded in their surface finish which reduces fatigue on your fingers and allows for a more secure grip especially if you're using the knife for an extended period of time.

It is worth noting though that the thumb rest on this Karambit also serves as a "stop" which leans against the upper part of your middle finger if the Karambit is held in an extended grip position, with the blade point facing upwards for vertical dual cut motions (or sidewards for horizontal dual cuts). The security ring has as smooth finish and allows you spin the karambit with ease if the need should arise and spining the Karambit is an essential motion in controlling the blade or maneuvering/executing cuts (Or if grandstanding and showing off is your thing - you arrogant fuck!)

I initially thought that there was a backsping because of the way the black anodized spacers are integrated into the handles. After closer scrutiny, I realized that there was none and there isn't even a barrel spacer to hold the base of the blade tang to absorb the impact received by the cutting edge in case it hits human bone or when a higher amount of unexpected tension gets in contact with the cutting edge. I discovered that there is s small pin on the side of the blade's tang that is aligned into a canal on the handle frame and it's the only thing along with the pivot screw that keeps the blade in proper alignment at that moment the knife locks up. I would suggest that you use this knife for very light cutting tasks.

I'll give kudos for the solid blade lock up heavily due to the frame lock construction. After using the knife for 3 days, I noticed some microscopic forward bladeplay, but as per my observation it may be due to the above mentioned reasons and not the locking mechanism itself - or then again maybe it's just me. As for the knife's carry system an abidextrous pocket clip is at hand, you are however forced to carry the knife tip down (thank you Mantis).

By the way the word "mantis" is anodized on the pocket clip. Turn it upside down and you'll see that it's an ambigram which turns into the word "knives" - it made me smile. As much as I would like to discuss the materials used on the blade, I know nothing about the M-vX tool steel that was used on the blade, but it seems quite good especially for edge retention. The skeletonized construction was well thought out as it reduces the weight of the tool and provides a very nice "mechanical" visual aesthetic.

My only real problem with the this knife is how to adjust the tension of the pivot screw. if you end up finding how, let me know.

On an end note the MSRP for this little devil is at $70, but it got it for $38.37.

If you're in the Philippines go check these guys out:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002114888482

That's all I have to write about this knife, if it helps somehow, then that makes me happy.

cheers and always look after your friends!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just Another Attempt At Writing About Stuff That No One Cares About...

Welcome to my bubble ... Enjoy your stay, emergency exit signs may be found on the upper left hand corner of your internet explorer browser
Cheerz...