What To Look For In A Knife: – Part Two

In this post Terry and William have created a series toward helping our viewers in getting to know “What To Look For In A Knife”.

In Part Two of this Four Part series; Terry and William go over Locking Mechanisms.  They discuss the security, ease of use, and comfort of each lock system.


If you enjoyed the video and have any questions let us know in the comments below.   Also if have a topic you would like us to cover or address let us know in the comments.  

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What To Look For In A Knife Series – Part One

In this post Terry and William have created a series toward helping our viewers in getting to know “What To Look For In A Knife”.

In Part One of this Four Part series; Terry and William go over Handle Materials, Handle Shapes, Handle Sizes, and Handle Comfort.

If you enjoyed the video and have any questions let us know in the comments below.   Also if have a topic you would like us to cover or address let us know in the comments.  



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Microtech Knives & Station 9 Knives

In this latest blog post, we wanted to shine a light on some new products we have received recently. We have carried both brands previously, and now a whole new product line up we recently picked up.

Of course we carry the OTF models, like the new Makora, with its sterile blade, a new Star Wars themed Exocets, and some new colors in the Ultratech line up. But, we’ve also got the Borka Blades/Microtech collaborations; the Stitch, in both plain edge and fully serrated, as well as the SBD, which is the first Microtech fixed blade we’ve carried. All of it is really good stuff.

Our new product line comes to us from Bozeman, MT by way of Europe. Knifemaker Tony Lopes and combatives/survival instructor Vol West have teamed up to create Stati9n USA (Station 9), which is a product line for survival in austere environments and combatives situations. It is a relatively new brand, which seemed to be a big hit at the last Blade Show, and limited in offerings, but what they offer is superb. From the big WW1 inspired Partisan, good for fighting, camping and hunting, the #3 Knuckles based on an Austro-Hungarian design, or the Fred Perrin inspired #5 Scorpion, a pikal ready LaGriffe style blade also suited for field use, I see a lot of good use and success from this brand growing and offering more good, mission oriented product.

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Knife Maker Spotlight – Fred Perrin

Our very first blog post here was on French knifemaker Fred Perrin, which you can find here: Fred Perrin article. So I guess this could be considered a throwback. The reason for the throwback is because we just received a new shipment of knives from Fred, some old favorites, some new things, and some new twists on a few classics.


If you’re looking for an affordable, comfortable, easy to carry small fixed blade, you’d be hard pressed to do better than these knives here. The Peeler, Fruit Knife, and Pocket Tanto are compact, come with a well fitted kydex sheath, and have a level of finish normally associated with a more expensive knife. The Peeler has a two finger handle, which includes a lanyard hole, if you wish to add one, and a nice, shallow hawkbill style curve to its blade. Great for utility use, and as a concealable hide away defensive knife. The Fruit Knife has a coffin shaped handle that presents neutral, so you can use it in any grip style you wish, and a more aggressive curve on the short blade. Next we have the Pocket Tanto, which, as its name implies, has an American Tanto style blade on a three finger handle, and is beefy enough to handle just about anything you need such a small fixed blade to do.

Following Freds appreciation for all things WWII/OSS inspired, he sent us his Mini-Pic, and the new Mini-Slasher. Both are extremely minimalist claw type blades, with a big nod towards the OSS Tire Slashers. Both are shipped with kydex sheaths, and are perfect for covert carry.

Over the last few years, Fred has started doing some collaborations with other people in the knife world, and we have two of the latest.

In conjunction with Michael Janich of Martial Blade Craft, or MBC, they have produced the Confusion. The Confusion has the trademark Wharncliffe blade that Mr. Janich advocates, this is an aggressive, short but thick defensive knife perfectly suited for the urban environment. Along with the wharncliffe blade, the Confusion has a unique pistol shaped handle that reduces the overall length while still being fully functional, but also allowing deployment as a push knife if you’d like to use it that way. Available in both 440C stainless or in titanium, a kydex sheath, and a nice padded pouch, this limited edition knife does a great job.

The next collaboration we received is the Griffed, from Fred and custom knife maker Ed Schempp. This knife is all the good things about a LaGriffe, but bigger. It has a hybrid blade that looks like a recurve spear point, the trademark Perrin fingerhole, and a large pistol grip handle with nice finger grooves, and micarta handle scales. The sheath carries and presents the knife in the same manner as a snubby revolver, so the drawstroke will be familiar. All the corners are nicely chamfered and rounded to provide great comfort, even during long term use. As with all of the LaGriffe family, the Griffed is ready for both defense and utility use.

And, speaking of the LaGriffe family, ours in-store has expanded. First, there has been a change in the regular LaGriffe production. Instead of being chisel ground, the new models are V ground on both sides. There is also more variety in this supply. Skeletonized black, titanium, the black LaGriffe with nice thick G10 scales, and the new Shorty, in black, which has G10 scaled handles similar to the LeShark, but a wharncliffe style blade closer to the size of the Griffe.

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Karamibt Guide

Karambit, or alternately, kerambit, loosely translates from Bahasa as “tiger claw”, it is also known by other names, depending on size, or place of origin, such as lawi ayam (spur of the chicken) for smaller versions, or sangot for the large versions from the southern Philippines.

Originating in the kampongs (villages) and jungles of the Indonesian Archipelago as a small, every day carry/utility knife, it has garnered a reputation as a fearsome weapon, so much so, that they were illegal in parts of Indonesia as an assassins weapon. Closely associated with the indigenous martial arts of Southeast Asia, particularly Pentjak Silat and Kali, it has deserved much of its fearsome reputation.

Looking at a karambit, it is a very simple concept, finger ring on the end, a handle that is curved to be comfortable in the palm of the hand, and a claw shaped blade. The blade shape is very important in a small knife. By being curved, you maximize the cutting efficiency by gathering or pulling the material into the blade edge as you are cutting. In essence, the curved blade fits a longer straight blade into its smaller size.

The finger ring provides a few benefits. First, a secure draw. By hooking your finger into the ring, you have begun your draw, and by design, the knife becomes married to your skeletal system. Next, it allows an increase in grip security. Because of the way it is held, the kerambit becomes very hard to dislodge or disarm while the finger is through the ring. And finally, as with other ringed or holed blades, the ring on a kerambit allow you to keep the knife secure in your hand, while using that same hand to perform other tasks. And then, a quick twirl or spin, close your hand, and the knife is ready for more work.

The final aspect of the finger ring is its use on the kerambit as a fighting weapon. By securing the knife to your hand using the ring, it increases the force with which you can safely cut and thrust with the kerambit, especially on pull cut motions. This is where its likeness to a claw really becomes noticeable.


Now, we move into modern versions of the kerambit. There are plenty of knives out there with finger rings, but there are a few attributes that really make one usable in the manner intended.
If it is a fixed blade kerambit, you want it to be on the smaller side. The bigger it is, the more trouble you will have drawing and manipulating it safely and efficiently. You want a simple sheath setup, preferably made from kydex, or some other hard, friction fit material. Excessive straps, loops, or safety buttons like those used on nylon or leather sheathes, get in the way of quickly drawing your weapon. Preferably, you would want your sheath capable of concealed or IWB(inside the waistband) carry if you are intending to carry it for self defense.


If you are carrying a folding kerambit, aside from the above considerations, you need to look at how the kerambit opens, and the position of the clip, in order to get the most out of it for the job you assign it. The best folding kerambits will will have the clip located right below the finger ring, so the ring is accessible for you to draw into a proper grip, the clip should be reversible to allow you to carry either right handed, or in left hand support position. As far as opening a folding kerambit, hands down, the best option is to purchase one that incorporates the Emerson Wave Opening system. This way, as you draw the kerambit from your pocket, the wave catches your pocket edge and opens the blade, so the knife is open and ready for use as soon as it clears your pocket. Any other method of opening does not lead to rapid, secure deployment, and requires more manipulation to be ready for use. There are plenty of available models from Fox, Bastinelli, Emerson, and Spyderco that employ the wave feature.

In closing, kerambits are definitely a niche tool, but very effective in both a utlity or combative situation. Buying a good one, with the features discussed above, and seeking proper training is well worth it.

To see the kerambits discussed in the article and video, please visit our two locations in Lubbock, TX, or click on the link below to the Karambit page.

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Kershaw Lucha 515TR

Butterfly Knife Trainers: 5150TR Kershaw Lucha Trainer

In our last blog installment for our series on butterfly knives, we mentioned having a trainer in order to safely practice, and bring your skills to the next level.

In this episode, we will focus on balisong trainers, and in particular, what I consider the best one available on the market today, the Kershaw Lucha trainer, model #5150TR.

As you can see from the information below, this is a well-constructed drone, and it perfectly matches all of the attributes of the live blade Kershaw Lucha 5150.

Here are the specs and information on it, straight from the manufacturer;



  • Blade Length 4.6 in. (11.7 cm)
  • Blade Material Sandvik 14C28N
  • Blade Finish/Coating Stonewashed finish
  • Blade Thickness 0.156 in. (4 mm)
  • Closed Length 5.8 in. (15 cm)
  • Handle Material Stainless steel
  • Handle Finish/Coating Bead-blasted finish
  • Handle Thickness 0.43 in. (11 mm)
  • Overall Length 10.25 in. (26 cm)
  • Weight 6 oz. (170 g)


  • Use Everyday
  • Type Manual
  • Style Butterfly Knife
  • Designer Kershaw Originals
  • Blade Style Drop Point
  • Blade Edge Plain
  • Opening Action Manual dual KVT ball bearings
  • Lock Type Latch
  • Pocketclip None
  • Handle Color Silver
  • Hardware Black-oxide steel pivots, black anodized aluminum tube spacer, black-oxide steel screws
  • Made in USA Yes
  • Country of Origin USA: Design, Prototype, Quality Control, Manufacture
  • Warranty Limited Lifetime Warranty

And this is important for several reasons. First, in the world of butterfly knives, it is important to maintain as much safety as you can, especially while practicing advanced tricks and aerials, and this is easier when the training drone you are using is the same weight, balance, length, and the same swing as the live blade you would be using.

Second, if you are just beginning and learning to use a butterfly knife, it is better to have a dull trainer than to tape over the edge or try and dull a live blade.

And, if you use a balisong in a martial/combative manner, a matching trainer is of paramount importance to maintain realistic work, and safety of all parties participating, as it is with any kind of knife combative.

One of the best things about the Lucha trainer is that it is on the KVT bearing system, just like the live blade version, thus providing the same exact action while swinging it. And, just like the live blade, the latch has the same positive stop, so it will not contact the blade.

Not only do we sell the 5150TR trainer, but we also keep stock of trainers for Bear & Sons butterfly knives, and a few general trainers for balisongs in stock. 

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Knifemaker Spotlight – Mickey Yurco

Mickey Yurco Profile

Mickey has been a member of the Knifemaker’s Guild since 1989, along with an association with several other knife clubs. He has studied Martial Arts in many systems since 1973 and has ranking in 4 different associations. In 2011, he retired from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office at the rank of Sergeant.

Most of his career was in Patrol, but he also worked Corrections, started a SWAT team for our Dept. in 1995, and was on the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force. At one time or another, Mickey was an operator, team leader, and trainer for the task force. Part of my work assignment was a member of the fugitive task force (which included being sworn in on the U.S. Marshals task force to be able to do wiretaps and make arrests out of state).

Mickey has been on security details for Presidents Clinton, Obama, vice president Biden, John McCain, 2 governors, and other dignitaries.

Like most makers, he started out making hunting and fishing knives. Later, he started making self-defense-based blades. Mickey stated that he was humbled to have Police, military, martial art practitioners, and everyday good guys and gals carry his blades for self-protection. He truly enjoys hearing from customers that depended on his knives to get out of a bad situation. All of Mickey’s blades are numbered and his next knife will be #4034. 

This year,I want to concentrate on Japanese blade styles in various forms. Joanne and I were able to tour Japan with my son and his family for a month back in 2019.It is an amazing culture. I also like to make things with historical materials. 

A Little About Yurco’s Custom Knives

Among the many products we have from Mickey, some of our favorites are his signature push knife, and his own take on the classic fruit knife.

The push knife appears to be a small, skinner style fixed blade, in a Kydex sheath set up for centerline position carry. And it excels at exactly what it looks like, a stout clip point, great for utility and defense.

How it really stands out though, is due to the handle shape. The teardrop style handle and the way he designed the neck of the knife allows you to grip it in a conventional push dagger style, without having the traditional “T” shaped handle, which could make legal hassles in some locales.

Fruit knives, especially the Victorinox version, have become a kind of underground thing in the edged weapons community over the last few years, and it is really cool to see Mickeys take on this design.

Looking like the offspring of a fruit knife and the old Kershaw Talon 1462st modified, aka the Southern Comfort, this knife is a handy little thing. A slight hawkbill profile, which provides outsized cutting ability for how small it is, and on this particular model, the textured and grooved G10 handle provides a very secure grip.

The handle is also a very neutral one, allowing you to use the major grip styles, hammer/reverse, edge in/out, with ease and comfort, while never feeling like the knife is not being held tightly enough. This particular knife comes with a kydex sheath done in a skull pattern, and for extra security, it includes a “thumb break” to help keep it in place.

As Mickey mentioned, he has had a long time collaboration project with Boker under the Boker Plus line.

Among my favorites is the BackDrop. It is a traditional drop point, satin finish blade, with a very comfortable and secure handle like all of Mickey’s knives, and really showcases the O.S.S influence he brings to his designs with the sheath set up. 

The basic sheath is a Kydex sheath with just the right amount of security in it.

But then, there are the attachments for carrying. Mickey invented a Kydex add on a piece he calls a “canoe”, which attaches to the bottom of the sheath, acting like a two-sided pocket hook, allowing you to carry the knife in your front pocket, draw the knife, and the hook catches, leaving the sheath in your pocket.

It also comes with a larger leather “patch” that screws onto the sheath and catching either on your back pocket or the cargo pocket if you carry it there. Also included is a length of ball chain for neck carry.

We also carry other knives from Mr. Yurco, from traditional style tantos, gamblers push daggers, to some of his saps and even a titanium bear claw necklace that looks classy, and can do last-ditch duty if needed.

Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out more of Mickey’s work via our website or Facebook pages.

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2022 Kershaw Lucha Review

The Kershaw Lucha butterfly knife is a well-built blade that has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. It’s no wonder, given its high-quality construction and impressive features. In this overview, we’ll take a closer look at the Lucha, and see why it’s become so popular among knife enthusiasts, and butterfly knife fans in particular.

First of all, the Lucha butterfly knife is made from high-quality materials, which we’ve come to expect from Kershaw. The blade is crafted from 14C28N Sandvik steel, known for good, durable knife use. The handle is also made of sturdy, thicker stainless steel. This combination makes for a strong, reliable knife that can withstand plenty of wear and tear.

It features stainless steel handles with internal stop pins and a latch lock. Kershaw even thought to round the latch so it never catches as you flip, the latch also features a positive stop so it never contacts the blade. The blade is Sandvik 14C28N steel in a long clip point configuration, very reminiscent of a Weehawk style blade, and runs on KVT ball-bearing pivots, providing unbelievably smooth movement while eliminating wobble and slop between the blade and handle. This makes flipping the knife much more secure, and combined with the well placed channels and holes milled into the blade, provide great grip, and ability to flip and change grip positions easily. The handle is also chamfered, with no hot spots and rough parts, making it extremely comfortable to use and flip. Using Torx screws instead of pinning the handles together was another great move by Kershaw. This makes it easier to adjust, clean, and repair.

kershaw lucha 5150
Kershaw Lucha

Excellent performance comes from Kershaw’s meticulous attention to detail in the design of their knives. The Kershaw Lucha butterfly knife also features a number of impressive design elements. For instance, the blade tapers to slightly lighten the blade so that the base of the handle has more weight to pendulum around smoothly on the ball bearing pivots.

Its balanced and sleek design makes it easy to handle and maneuver. the live blade. This way, no matter your focus on butterfly knives, be it tricks, aerials, or the traditional martial applications of the balisong, you can practice with less chance of injury to you and your training partners.

This knife is an excellent choice for those looking for their first butterfly knife, as well as being a favorite of more established balisong players. It has a lot to offer everyone.

Some of the design features/elements you get with this butterfly knife include:

  • Stonewashed Sandvik 14C28N is tough and can hold its edge. It is also very corrosion resistant.
  • Stainless steel handles have perfect heft and a gentle bead-blasted texture. The chamfering and milling provide positive grip, without irritation.
  • KVT ball-bearing pivots provide a smooth and fast running action.

This Kershaw is a KAI USA, meaning it is made in the USA – When you see this designation on one of Kershaw’s knives, it means the knife was made in their Tualatin, Oregon manufacturing facility by skilled American Kershaw knife making craftsmen.


  • Steel: Sandvik 14C28N, stonewashed finish
  • Handle: Stainless steel, bead-blasted finish
  • Blade: 4.6 in. (11.7 cm)
  • Closed: 5.8 in. (15 cm)
  • Overall: 10.25 in. (26 cm)
  • Weight: 5.9 oz. (168 g)

Overall, the Kershaw Lucha butterfly knife is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a quality blade. It’s well-made, durable, and easy to use – perfect for any everyday carry need. So if you’re looking for a reliable butterfly knife that won’t let you down, be sure to check out the Kershaw Lucha! 

You can find it here;
https://ceblades.com/product/kershaw-ks5150-lucha/ at CEBLADES.com

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2022 Butterfly Knife Buyers Guide

What To Look For In A New Balisong (Butterfly) Knife In The New Year.

This guide should give you a good idea of the basics of butterfly (also known as balisong) style knives.

Butterfly knives are one of the most popular knife styles around and have been for decades. This style of knife is instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen it before, and there are a lot of different types available. The best butterfly knives can be found by breaking them down into sub-categories based on shape, purpose, materials, etc. There are tanto bladed balisongs, bowie bladed balisongs, and even karambit bladed butterfly knives. In this short buyer’s guide, we will provide basic information to help you choose the best type for you.

This unique knife style is characterized by its distinctive, almost fan-like design. The handles of a butterfly knife are attached to the blade by two pivots, which allows them to rotate around the blade. This function also allows the user to open and close the knife with one hand by flipping the knife instead of traditional opening methods.

There are trainers, which don’t have an edge or point, for use in acquiring skill and proficiency using this style of knife. Butterfly knives are prized for their unique flipping motion, which can be used to perform a variety of tricks. They’re also popular as everyday carry knives due to their compact size. They also still fill their original niche as a very efficient self-defense weapon, quick to get into action, and possessing the strength of a fixed blade, when compared to other folding knives.

Before we get into what to look for in a butterfly knife, a brief lesson in the history of this intriguing weapon.

A Brief History of the Butterfly Knife

The butterfly knife is thought to have originated in the Batangas region of the Philippines, where its common name is a “balisong”, meaning butterfly, knife. Most indications are that the balisong knife did originate in the Philippines back somewhere around the 9th Century AD. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of concrete evidence to support this idea. It’s mostly based on oral, tribal tradition.

Some, however, believe the knife comes from an adaption of a French measuring device created in the 16th or 17th Century, which was subsequently brought to the Philippines by explorers. Wherever it originated, the Philippines is where it became the knife and tool we recognize today. The Philippines are where the tricks and flipping techniques of quick blade deployment for artistry and self-defense were perfected.

In the West, the butterfly knife was first popularized by Hollywood and has been a part of pop culture ever since. This is also where this knife style has gotten a bad rap as something particularly dangerous and used mostly by criminals.  

The balisong was used primarily as a self-defense weapon in the Philipines and was usually made by local craftsmen or pandai.

The knife style came to America in the early 1900s, as American servicemen stationed in the Philippines began bringing balisongs back home with them. It wasn’t until much later, in the 1970s and 1980s, that the butterfly knife really caught on in America, helped along by Jeff Imada, a student of Dan Inosanto, who published several books and videos on the butterfly knifes use, as well as the work of other Filipino Martial Arts pioneers.

The balisong was restricted in the US under the Switchblade section of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1958. In recent years, many states have softened their position on this type of knife. Be sure to look for our graphic and article coming soon on the legality of butterfly knives and switchblades in different US states.

Butterfly Knife Types

Although the knives were originally made out of wood, carabao (buffalo horn), and other native materials, modern balisongs are typically made out of metal.

There are two basic types of balisong knives, the channel, and the sandwich. They function the same way, but they do have some differences in how they handle. This doesn’t mean one is necessarily better than the other, they just handle a little bit differently

Channel butterfly knives have handles machined out of single pieces of metal (sometimes out of cast metal) and tend to be a little heavier in the handle. This generally means that the weight of the handle provides more momentum in the “flipping” movement, which can be smoother because of this fact.

Sandwich butterfly knives are made from two pieces of metal for each handle, with a spacer (usually steel) separating the two pieces of metal. There is really no uniformity in the weight or spacer size, so this can lead to many sandwich-style butterfly knives handling a little differently, both from each other and from channel-style knives. The handle on this knife style is typically made out of metal,G10, bone, antler, or titanium, which provides an outlet for more creative and artistic knife handles.

Butterfly knife blades, in general, have been made from a variety of metals, including carbon steel, titanium, and stainless steel. More modern ones are made from the same high-end super steels as any other premium knife.

As far as price goes, expect to pay roughly $50-$100 for an average trainer balisong; around $50-$200 for a normal production butterfly knife, and between $300-$600 if you want a higher-end, premium brand; upward of $1000 for custom and artisan-made balisongs.

What to Look for in a Butterfly Knife

When looking to buy your first butterfly knife, or even if you’re just upgrading from a cheaper model, there are some things you’ll want to look for:

-A good balance. In order to safely flip and open the knife, and keep control of it during manipulation, the handles must be balanced, symmetrical, and smooth in rotation.

-A solid construction. The handles should be made out of one piece of metal (or two pieces with a spacer), with no weak points where the handle and blade meet. The screws that hold everything together should also be high quality and tight-fitting – this will keep your balisong feeling solid and in working order.

-A good feel in the hand. Butterfly knives, like any other knife, should fit comfortably into your hands with an ergonomic design that makes it easy to hold open or closed and flip for extended periods of time with minimal to no hot spots, and no rough edges.

-A locking latch. Not only does this keep the knife secured in the closed position, but it also provides a visual and tactile indicator of the bite side of the handle, versus the safe side that you hold while flipping your butterfly knife.


5 Popular Butterfly Knives

While there are many high-quality butterfly knives available, here’s a list of five popular balisong knife styles to consider: 

Butterfly Knife Trainer – Butterfly trainer blades have dull edges and rounded points so you can safely practice your tricks without accidentally injuring yourself. These are available at all price points, and range from generic butterfly knife profiles, all the way to high-end trainers that exactly duplicate the live blades’ weight, balance, and manipulation. Prices range from $25 to over $400 for a Benchmade trainer.

-Benchmade 85 Balisong Knife

The Benchmade 85 features milled handles made of one piece of billet titanium, a magnetic latch, and a clip point style CPM-S30v blade

-Benchmade model 63 Butterfly knife trainer;

This trainer model mimics the weight, feel, and balance of the Benchmade 60 series butterfly knives, constructed with the same stainless steel handles, same milling patterns, and latch, while featuring a red-coated, holed blade, to indicate its drone status.

Other popular brands and models of balisongs include Bear & Sons, which range from regular stainless steel handles, all the way up to Damascus steel blades and staghorn handles, the Bradley Kimura series, featuring G10 handles in different colors, or the very popular Kershaw Lucha, with great balanced steel handles, awesome texture, and now has a dedicated drone for training.

Looking for the perfect butterfly knife to add to your collection? Check out any of these five popular models! Remember: always use caution when flipping any type of knife – even if it’s called a ‘butterfly’ trainer! These knives are still capable of inflicting serious injury if used improperly. For more information on how to safely use and care for your balisong knives, visit our website or contact us today.

Butterfly Knife Tricks

Now that you know a little more about the history and types of butterfly knives, it’s time to learn how to use them. Butterfly knives are opened by flipping them open with your fingers. This is done by grabbing the blade between your thumb and first two fingers, then using your other hand to flick the knife open. It should be noted that doing this incorrectly can easily result in injury.

Once you have the knife open, there are a variety of tricks you can do. These include:

– The Fan: A basic trick where you flip the knife so that it opens like a fan and snap it shut again.

– The Spinning Top: A more advanced trick where you hold the knife by the base of the blade and spin it on your finger.

– The Butterfly: One of the most basic tricks, where you flip the knife over so that the handles are parallel to the ground.

As with any skill, practice makes perfect. So find a safe place to train and start flipping!

Now that you’ve got a better idea of what butterfly knives are, their history, construction, and use, check out our butterfly knife page here.

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Spyderco Sharpmaker Knife Sharpener Review

Spyderco Sharpmaker - Is It Any Good?

No matter how good your knife is, no matter what steel it’s made from, or whether it is modern or traditional, at some point, you’ll need to spend some time sharpening it to bring the edge back to working order. There are a number of sharpening systems on the market today, and they run the gamut in price. From a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, and many of them will put a razor edge on the hardest of steels. Often, all you need is something simple and effective to bring life back to knives that have gotten their share of use. In our opinion, one of the best, more affordable options is the Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker.


If you’ve got high quality blades to take care of, this is an excellent choice, and will last far longer than most of those other sharpeners, and take better care of your edge than many of them

Spyderco’s Sharpmaker is a self contained, expandable  two-stage sharpening system. The Sharpmaker comes in a plastic base/storage unit, that holds two sets of ceramic sticks, aluminum handguards, and has several different preset angles, or other positions for the sharpening rods. Stage one of the sharpening process is a pair of medium grit ceramic rods. Inserting these into the preset angle guide, which for the vast majority of production knives will be the 40* preset, will give you the ability to easily put a working edge on your knife, before moving on to the next stage, which is using the fine grit ceramic rods. This will give your knife well polished edges that are exceptionally sharp. Using the built-in angle guides, which match the angle of your edge, makes sure you don’t remove too much steel, or get an incorrect angle, keeping your knife sharp and ready to use for. And, their sharpener is an oil-free system, so you can forget about buying honing oil. You simply wash it with some warm water, dish soap, and a gentle scrub brush or scrubber to remove the steel particles, and getting it ready for more sharpening.

Be aware that compared to many other sharpening systems on the market today, this is not a quick, pull it through once or twice type of sharpener. If you have several knives to sharpen, or need to put a lot of work in on your edges in a short period of time, you might want to look at other options. The Sharpmaker does require quite a bit of care and attention during use to avoid damaging the ceramic rods. If you’re not familiar with these devices or have been out of practice for some time, you might want to go over the basics before starting to sharpen.

The Sharpmaker comes with an instructional DVD featuring Sal Glesser, the founder of Spyderco, that is easy enough to follow along and the sharpening angles are marked on the base for ease of use, giving you the option of 40* or 30*, depending on how fine an edge your knife needs.

While the price is good for the quality of the sharpener you get, it’s still a little pricey compared to some of the other types of knife sharpeners, such as whetstones, and tungsten pull-through sharpeners, available in the marketplace. However, if you’ve got high-quality blades to take care of, this is an excellent choice and will last far longer than most of those other sharpeners, and take better care of your edge than many of them. It’s great for everything from taking out simple nicks and dings to putting a fine edge on your high-quality blade.

To get the best results with the Sharpmaker, you’ll need to invest a little time to take care of your edges. However, you’ll be getting a sharpener that can give you a honed edge on almost any steel. When you add the extra coarse diamond rods to the system, you’ll be incurring some additional costs, but you’ll have the ability to reprofile the edge of your knife in a shorter time, even on the toughest blades. You can also purchase rods in various other finishes, from extra fine, to coarse ceramic, to customize the work you want to do on your knife. In addition to the sharpening of knives, you can also use the Sharpmaker for sharpening fish hooks, straight razors, axes, and many other items, following the instructions included on the DVD, and using the appropriate angle and insertion point for the ceramic rods. You can even place the rods in the bottom of the base, and use them as a whetstone for freehand sharpening.

Another nice advantage of this sharpener is that it doesn’t take up much room in your kit, I keep mine in one of the pockets of my sling bag. Like we mentioned above, it is self-contained in a hard plastic case, but as also mentioned above, it is a system that you’ll need to be careful with so as not to break it. The ceramic sticks are fragile and not very flexible, like any ceramic item. It won’t necessarily be useful in a hard-core survival situation, but if you’re going to spend some time in the backcountry, this might be worth adding to your gear.

Another thing worth considering is the Sharpmaker’s versatility. It can be used equally well to care for the kitchen, everyday carry (EDC), outdoor, and work knives. It’s not for everyone and it does require more care than some other systems on the market today, but if you’re willing to spend a little time with your blades you’ll be rewarded with a set of edges that are second to none.

The basic process for sharpening involves 20 swipes along the flats of the medium sharpening rods. After that, you move on to the fine sharpening rods and do another 20 passes on the flats. If you need to do some fine, attention to detail sharpening, you can use the corners, and you should always use the corners if sharpening a serrated or partially serrated knife. While you’re sharpening, make sure that your blade is held vertical for each stroke as this is the key to an evenly sharpened knife edge. When you sit down to use it, block out about 10 minutes or so per knife. It’s recommended to stick to the 40-degree angle in most cases, as this is generally the industry standard.

In summary, the Sharpmaker is a quality sharpening system that should last you for years. My original model lasted more than 15+ years before needing replaced. I’m impressed with how well this thing actually works and it gets my full endorsement…especially when you consider the price compared to other similar systems on the market today. There may be faster models out there but in my opinion the results are worth the time spent.

There are many different types of knife sharpeners on the market today, but it can be difficult to find one that suits your needs. Whether you’re looking for something for use at home, in the workshop, on the go, or in the backwoods, there is a sharpener out there for you. The Spyderco Sharpmaker is definitely worthy of consideration.

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