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Transplanted Hillbilly
Picture of Fire Away
posted
Well, PA now allows the possession of automatic knives. I want to get an OTF, but have no clue as to what to get. I like the Hogue OTFs, but they are kind of expensive. I will probably pocket carry it sometimes. Looking for something with a 3.5 to 4" blade. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!
 
Posts: 1920 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: December 08, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
Picture of P220 Smudge
posted Hide Post
Good OTF's aren't cheap and cheap OTF's aren't good. You'll be tempted to buy a Cobratec or a Ravencrest Tactical. My advice is to just save up and get a Microtech Ultratech. They can be found pre-owned but unused online in some places in the mid $200 range pretty consistently. Not here, though. The Ultratech is the Glock 19 of OTF's. Some will say others are better, but it is the OTF others are measured against and a good place to start with your first. Mine has supplanted all my Spydercos for daily carry, and I'm coming up on a year with it now. Still looks brand new, and it's an amazing size for carry, very slim and light.

I have a Hogue HK Hadron. It was my first OTF, and I got a pretty good deal on it. Hogue doesn't make a bad knife, but once I got the Ultratech, I put this one back in the box and it's been in the safe ever since. There's just a wide gulf between the two. When Hogue first came out with their OTF's, they were a great deal, but the prices have crept up to a point where I think it's better to find a gently used or "bought it and kept it in the box, now I need to thin the herd" Microtech.

Grumpy Biker will recommend Guardian Tactical. It's a company started by guys who worked at Microtech and wanted to make their own model with improvements Tony Marfione wouldn't do. I don't own one, but I would like to check out a Recon 035 at some point. It splits the difference between the Ultratech and the Combat Troodon in terms of size. They have ceramic ball bearings in the switch and they fire much easier than a Microtech. It is probably a better knife. However, I still suggest trying to find a good deal on an Ultratech first. Like many things, you'll buy one OTF, and then you'll buy a few others. I think one could own an Ultratech, a Recon 035, and a Heretic Manticore X and have three great representations of the art at different form factors.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd skip the Hogue, buy the tanto Ultratech again, skip the Combat Troodon and get a Manticore X.

A note on the Combat Troodon: They are notoriously hard to fire. Mine shreds my thumb, even when I'm used to the Ultratech. Microtech says it's just the force required to get the spring to fire that large blade. I think that's bullshit. 4" is getting into pretty large form factor for a knife. Doesn't sound like a lot of blade, but the body of the knife to house the mechanism isn't like a folder, it's a fair bit larger. The Combat Troodon is at about the limits in terms of size of pocket knife I'll deal with, and I carried a Spyderco Manix 2 XL for years before that. There's a lot of OTF knives in the 3.5" blade length because it's a sweet spot for the type.


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Posts: 16976 | Location: Sonoran Desert | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SFCUSARET
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If you want to carry an OTF, I suggest carrying in a pocket that you won't be carrying loose change in. Dimes and pennys love to get stuck in the blade slot jamming up the works. Dosen't matter if you use the pocket clip either. I have regulated my OTF to a very expensive letter opener.


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Posts: 1058 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: September 26, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of hjs157
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I also recommend the Microtech Ultratech series. I own a full size Ultratech but usually carry the smaller UTX-70. While my preference is for a more traditional drop point blade, there are many styles and color combinations to choose from. You may wish to checkout eknives.com for a large selection of in stock models.

 
Posts: 3486 | Location: Western PA | Registered: July 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
Picture of P220 Smudge
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by SFCUSARET:
Dimes and pennys love to get stuck in the blade slot jamming up the works.


For what it's worth, I just tried this with my Ultratech and couldn't get a dime in the slot, so with this particular knife at least, it wouldn't be a worry. I have no doubt I could pull this off with the Combat Troodon.

hjs157's preference for a SE drop point also touches on another point, at least with the Microtechs: The TE and SE edges have a deeper bevel than the DE blades, so they're purported to be better cutters. I haven't tested this extensively, but my TE in CTS 204P is super slicey.


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Posts: 16976 | Location: Sonoran Desert | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of hjs157
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quote:
Originally posted by P220 Smudge:
hjs157's preference for a SE drop point also touches on another point, at least with the Microtechs: The TE and SE edges have a deeper bevel than the DE blades, so they're purported to be better cutters. I haven't tested this extensively, but my TE in CTS 204P is super slicey.


Prior to settling upon the S/E drop point, I tried the D/E dagger as well as the bayonet style blades. While I wouldn't describe either as delicate, the S/E drop point is certainly a beefier blade with a clear utilitarian function. As an added bonus, the knife may be discretely deployed while the more sterile blade design generally avoids any unwanted attention by the hopelessly hysterical. Perhaps not surpassingly, some folks still associate bayonet/dagger style blades with street gangs and juvenile delinquency. Thankfully, PA recently removed automatic knives from the state's list of prohibited offensive weapons.
 
Posts: 3486 | Location: Western PA | Registered: July 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Transplanted Hillbilly
Picture of Fire Away
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Thanks everyone for the recommendations and vast knowledge. I appreciate it. I have some pondering to do.
 
Posts: 1920 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: December 08, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Stupid
Allergy
Picture of dry-fly
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Aaaand once again, merely opening a thread has cost me some cash Big Grin I had not known about Guardian Tactical, but after looking at their Recon 35 I was suckered out of more money. I’m weak. Videos online are *very* positive about them.


"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
 
Posts: 6961 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
Picture of P220 Smudge
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Yeah, I will probably end up sending my Combat Troodon back to Microtech to service and then list it here. It's in nice shape, but the edge could use the factory lightsaber treatment. That done, I think I'll be looking for either a Recon 040 or a Manticore X. Guardian has a strong following and they addressed a number of the gripes I have with Microtechs right off the bat.

I mentioned that Guadian Tactical is some former Microtech employees, but I forgot to mention that Heretic is Tony Marfione's kid, so they both trace a direct line back to Microtech. Lessons learned, and branching out from there.


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Posts: 16976 | Location: Sonoran Desert | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
Picture of GrumpyBiker
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quote:
Originally posted by dry-fly:
Aaaand once again, merely opening a thread has cost me some cash Big Grin I had not known about Guardian Tactical, but after looking at their Recon 35 I was suckered out of more money. I’m weak. Videos online are *very* positive about them.



You’re going to like that knife





U.S.M.C.
VFW-8054
III%

"Never let a Wishbone grow where a Backbone should be "



 
Posts: 6930 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Stupid
Allergy
Picture of dry-fly
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Thanks Grumpy, that justifies the purchase. Smile


"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
 
Posts: 6961 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bunch of savages
in this town
Picture of ASKSmith
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I picked up a Guardian Tactical 035 a few weeks ago. Never really had an interest in an auto, but I really love this thing. I live in PA as well, so it's nice knowing these are legal now.


-----------------
I apologize now...
 
Posts: 10552 | Registered: December 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bolt Thrower
Picture of Voshterkoff
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Two that I have my eye on are the Hogue Counterstrike, and the Kershaw Livewire.
 
Posts: 9919 | Location: Woodinville, WA | Registered: March 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prep, Confirm, Roll
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I am a Microtech junkie, I have tried out just about every OTF on the market and none of them measureed up so thats what I stick to. I own 6 Ultratechs, One Scarab II, and a trodon. They are incredibly well made and heirloom quality. I love carrying OTF knives and rarely carry anything else.

The only other OTF I own and carry is a Houge counterstrike, as it is every bit the quality as the Microtechs, just not quite as sexy





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Posts: 3172 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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Good info and suddenly I feel the need to part with more money. Frown
In a good way. Smile
Now to search for a deal...
 
Posts: 22723 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
My hypocrisy goes only so far
Picture of GrumpyBiker
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Decisions , decisions, decisions…. Razz
As stated the Recon 035 is as if the two Microtechs had a kid & the best of both came together.
With the added bonus of a hollow ground blade making it much more slicy.









U.S.M.C.
VFW-8054
III%

"Never let a Wishbone grow where a Backbone should be "



 
Posts: 6930 | Location: Central,Ohio | Registered: December 28, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
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I agree that a full sized Ultratech is a good first auto. The UTX-85 is also good. the UTX-70 is too small. I do like the small Troodon and the newer Hera, but they are much more expensive, for no reason I can figure. In particular, the Hera fires much more easily, and the handle is a little more comfortable. I'll probably get one some time.

Guardians are also on my list, but I don't own one.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 53096 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
Picture of P220 Smudge
posted Hide Post
I tried a Hera at a knife shop and I agree, it did fire noticeably more easily compared to the other Microtechs. The body felt too short and stubby in my hands, though, so I went for the bigger knives.

Since my first reply to this thread, I've somehow managed to misplace my Ultratech. I'm pretty sure I last had it here at home, so hopefully it slipped behind the headboard or something. That's one downside with these, it's a hell of a lot of money to lose in one go. Frown


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Posts: 16976 | Location: Sonoran Desert | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Stupid
Allergy
Picture of dry-fly
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My Recon 35 came yesterday and it’s really nice, glad I bought it. Fires very smooth and has a different “feel” from the Microtech’s Ive had in the past…in a good way.



"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
 
Posts: 6961 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
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quote:
Originally posted by dry-fly:
My Recon 35 came yesterday and it’s really nice, glad I bought it. Fires very smooth and has a different “feel” from the Microtech’s Ive had in the past…in a good way.



How is the blade wobble? I know you have to spend crazy money to get no wobble in an OTF, but some say the Recon wobbles a little more than Microtechs.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 53096 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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