A package arrived recently at the top-secret Apocalypse Equipped HQ from First Tactical. It held two items: their very fancy and vicious-looking Medium Duty Light, and this very substantial folding blade; the Diamondback with Tanto tip.
The “tactical tanto” is made from a tough and respected AUS8 steel, with a modified Tanto geometry, which I really like. The handles are scaled with G-10 and are subtly textured to offer a positive grip without turning them into a rasp. The scales and steel are both a fine midnight black, making a very professional-looking piece.
I have a few folders in my collection. Though I prefer fixed blades, I keep a CRKT Folding K.I.S.S. in my EDC, and a very snappy Boker folding scalpel secreted away in my every-day pack. I also have a bunch of the hefty and brutally built Boker Plus AK assisted folders, for the bug-out-jars I’ve been putting together for Tactical Coyote. So I was quite impressed when I got the Diamondback. At 200mm (8″) overall length, and weighing in at 159g (5.6oz) this is no lightweight piece.
However, unlike the girls Slim prefers (or the morning shift cashier-dancer at Nancy’s Squat’n’Gobble) there’s no fat on it either. The blade is 3.6mm (0.14″) thick, with its 1.5mm (0.06″) scales, you get a substantial grip in the palm without it feeling heavy or unwieldy.
The folding and locking mechanism is an extra thick liner lock with manual opening, assisted by the very nicely designed “Thumb Bridge Technology”. The Thumb Tech offers a specialized thumb grip and provides easy opening in all conditions, even with gloves. This bridging piece adds width to the back of the blade without adding extra bulk to the knife, and offers added steadiness and skillful control of the blade.
While open, the Thumb Bridge and blade choils on the spine, just above the delta point of the tanto tip, allow you to choke up on the knife for fine cutting. It really fit nicely with my knife needs and limited training. Those choils may well add some resistance and pull back trace when stuck into something, which might be of importance to some.
Another innovative feature is the turned pocket clip design. Whereas traditional top mount clips rely on screw threads for strength, the First Tactical turned mount clip design alleviates pressure on the screws. This eliminates the need to constantly tighten loose screws, or the risk of having the clip completely severed.
It also fits really nicely in the hand, and even better in the pocket. When closed, its 116mm (4.6″) length sits neatly in the pocket. I prefer a fixed knife in a scabbard over a folder in my pocket, but this is very well put together.
The pocket clip can be fitted left of right-sided, to suit your dexterous or sinister nature. The enhanced pull grip gives the user added texture in the body of the knife for a firm hold and quicker response when drawing and opening the blade.
All in all it’s a marvelous piece, which one of my friends called “the best example of its kind”.
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