Over the years I’ve probably handled and tested well over a thousand different knife designs. I know a lot about knives. I look for quality materials in knives, then I look at their intended purpose, as well as the carry system – be they folders with pocket clips, or fixed blade knives with sheaths. I also look at the design of a knife, and I look at the price point, too. I test knives for sharpness and durability – do they do what they are supposed to do?
Some time ago, I wrote an article on the Montie Gear sling shot, and in my humble opinion, I believe it is the best sling shot on the market – albeit a little expensive – but it certainly is high quality. Montie Gear also came out with an attachment for their sling shot, that allows you to shoot arrows – for hunting small game. And, they also produced a folding arrow, to use with their sling shot. Be sure to check it out on their web site for more information. I’ve learned that Montie Gear produces high-quality everything. No short cuts, and only the best materials are used in the things they produce.
When Montie Gear sent me their new Ultra-lightweight fixed blade knife, I was a little anxious to get my hands on it. The first thing that catches your attention is the quick draw aluminum sheath that the knife is in. Yes, that’s right, in this day and age of Kydex sheaths, Montie Gear, came up with a sheath – a skeletonized aluminum sheath – that carries their neat little fixed blade knife. And, it has a quick draw release – you simply place your thumb on top of the lever and press down and draw the knife – simple – and I like simple, less things to go wrong. The sheath also has different mounting attachments, for belt carry, or you can even place it on your gear.
The blade steel is listed simply as “Chrome Vanadium Steel” on their web site, with a blade that is approximately 3-inches long, with a Rockwell hardness of 58-62 and an overall length of just under 7-inches. The handle of the knife is covered with wrapped Paracord, and you can get it in different colors, my sample had a black Paracord wrapped handle. The knife only weighs in a 3.7-ounces, too – so it is lightweight to be sure. You can also get the knife without a 550 Paracord wrapped handle, too.
However, there is one distinct difference in the knife, compared to most others, and that is, the blade is replaceable – that’s right, if you damage the blade or break it, you can simply unscrew it from the main part of the knife and replace it with another blade. Montie Gear guarantees their knives with a lifetime warranty. So, if you happen to break the blade, you send it back to them with a small fee for shipping and handling and they will replace the blade. They also have a sharpening service, but I don’t know what the fee is for re-sharpening the knife. If you keep your knife sharp, you shouldn’t have to send it back to the company to have their re-sharpen it – that’s my thoughts. I don’t like a dull knife – they are dangerous and can’t get the job done when you need it.
The design of the blade is akin to a reverse (upside-down) Tanto-style blade, and it is very easy to re-sharpen, too. I found this small little knife very easy to use and because of the blade design you can do some extra-fine detail cutting if need be. In a survival situation, you must have a blade that is easy to re-sharpen in my opinion. I will say this, without a doubt, this knife was the sharpest I’ve even tested – bar none! The blade is hand-sharpened, and I don’t know if the final edge was done on a buffing wheel, but mine had the literal razor-edge on it – you could easily shave with it, if you had to. The blade’s edge really gripped into anything you want to cut – I liked it – a lot!
As a rule, I like bigger knives – fixed blade or folders, because I think they are a bit more useful for different tasks. However, the Montie Gear Ultra-lightweight fixed blade, did everything I asked of it. I didn’t try to chop through any tree branches – the knife isn’t designed for this. However, if you want a constant companion, in a fixed blade knife, that you can wear on your belt all day long – and forget it is there, and a knife that can handle any chores around the house and kitchen, this is a worthy contender in this regard. Almost daily, I have deliveries for UPS or FedEx – and the USPS, and these are boxes that need to be opened, and this little Ultra-lightweight folder not only zipped through opening the boxes, it also made quick work of cutting the boxes down for easy disposal in the trash – that is, when I can get a box away from one of my German Shepherds. (My dog Sarge believes that UPS and FedEx only come to bring him cardboard boxes to tear apart. He often grabs a box out of my hand, before I’ve had a chance to open it and remove the contents.)
I think, more than anything that I liked the quick-draw sheath that the knife is housed in – it is very secure, and you don’t have to worry about the knife falling out of it. However, it only takes a split second to press down on the release lever, to get the knife in your hand and into action. Now, while this knife, because of it’s small blade length, isn’t particularly designed as a self-defense blade, it can be used as one in a last ditch effort. I’ve noted many times, that most knife fights or self-defense situations call for slashing moves, instead of a stabbing wound…and this knife can easily slice through heavy clothing – even a leather jacket – and get to flesh and bone, if need be. However, I think this knife is more suited for everyday use around the house or on the job – and would make a neat little trail knife for your wilderness hikes. It would also serve to dress out big game, too.
Now, to the nitty-gritty, the price of the knife. Like all Montie Gear, their products are expensive. Then again they use the finest materials and their workmanship is outstanding. There is no junk from Montie Gear. The retail price of the Ultra-lightweight fixed blade knife is $249.99. And be advised that it usually takes a couple weeks to get one of these neat little knives – they are always on back-order. If you’re looking for a new fixed blade companion, check out this knife on the Montie Gear web site, and I believe you’ll be impressed. You could do a lot worse, and pay more, but I don’t think you’ll find many knives like this one, with the design of the blade, to be replaced if damaged or broken, and the super-cool sheath that houses it. This is just one of those knives, that when you pick it up, you can’t put it down! – SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio
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