ruben's auto glass
| August 7, 2017
Categories: Knives

This edition of MNKF is about stilettos — and not the heels Tom and Jeremy wear on their shoes, neither. Mad Duo

Brought to you today in part by Raven Concealment Systems (@ravenconcealment) and their badass Vanguard line of minimalist holsters.

Monday Night Knife Fights: Ruben’s Blades

Tom Marshall

This week we’re looking at a one-off “tactical stiletto” hand built by Chad Ruben of Ruben’s Blades. The blade you see here was custom built for the author as a proof of concept for a knife that could retain some of the classic elegance of the iconic switchblade while modernizing the feature suite.


Ruben’s Blades, in its current form, has been around since 2012, but Chad Ruben made his first custom knife in 1995. Two years later he started Nemo Knives and ended up assembling knives for Frank Beltrame. These knives were assembled by Nemo Knives from Italian parts.

After working part time, then full time, then part time again as knife maker, Ruben moved to the Pacific Northwest and dedicated himself to the development of the Ruben’s Blades enterprise. RB knives are distributed exclusively by the team at in a variety of models and styles. In addition to his custom builds, he prototypes new designs, performs maintenance on other manufacturers’ auto knives, restores vintage autos and even converts traditional folding knives into automatics. Ruben’s Blades is the only shop that we’re aware of that provides all of these services under one roof as a turn-key solution for auto knives.



Our particular sample is a lever-lock automatic. It has an extraordinarily sharp and mirror-shiny 3.5” single-edge blade. The grip panels are black G10 with a sort of scaly texture cut into them. G10 has gained rapid popularity in the shooting community due to its ability to lock in your grip regardless of sweat, blood or mud.

The caps on either end are brass and the bottom cap has a glassbreaker tip dovetailed into it. We’re somewhat leery of hammer-fisting through a window with our bare knuckles right behind the glass breaker, but it’s an added capability if needed in extremis.

The action is tight and slick. When the lever lock is depressed, the blade jumps open with an audible snick and doesn’t wiggle a hair. Said lever can be snapped into an upward “safe” position to prevent accidental opening in a pocket or at other inconvenient times.

The attention to detail in this knife is self evident. The aesthetics are understated, but the parts are fitted to tight tolerance and the blade seems to glide on the bearings as you fold it closed. If you wear a Spartan helmet, sport a Punisher skull tattoo, or say “sheepdog” in real conversations with other adults, you may be tempted to scoff at the stiletto design as not operator enough. But let’s not forget that bangers and hitters from the Camorra and La Cosa Nostra have used stilettos to slit throats from Sicily to Hell’s Kitchen to the back alleys of Old Vegas. While there may be better knives for battlefields in the Levant or Maghreb, switchblades boast their own bloody history that’s noteworthy if not notorious.


A Ruben’s Blades auto is more at home clipped to the inside of a bespoke blazer, vice the cargo pocket of our bleached out Multi-Cams. But that makes it no less respectable, and much more refined, as a blade that is both tastefully executed and tactically useful. You can pick up your own at AutoKnife, or reach out to Ruben’s Blades through Facebook or IG (@rubens_blades).


This article made possible in part by American Defense Manufacturing (@americandefensemfg), a member of JTF Awesome.

ADM – Intentionally Superior rifles and parts, made in the USA.

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About the Author:

About the Author: Tom Marshall is an interesting miscegenation of background experiences. He’s a former active duty US Army officer, but before that was a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. Before accepting his commission as a 2LT, Midshipman Marshall spent a year travelling the world on a variety of merchant shipping vessels, including several months attached to Military Sealift Command. After returning from sea, he spent a summer working at the HQ training facility for Blackwater USA.

Tom spent four years in the Cavalry with a Stryker Brigade, including a one-year tour to Iraq with 4th BCT, 2nd Infantry (“Raiders”). Among other assignments he worked S-3 before taking over a Recce Platoon. He earned the rank of Captain and spent his final year in a HQ Company XO billet. After departing the military he spent about a year and a half working security at a federally-contracted Corrections facility before going back overseas in a PMC job working security and force protection for government personnel working in high threat environments around the world. Tom has written for Guns & Ammo, World of Firepower, SWAT Magazine, Black Sheep Warrior, RECOIL Magazine, and Emerge Social, a PR firm specializing in digital brand management for firearms-industry clients. Despite being an officer we actually trust him (mostly) with a compass. Tom Marshall may or may not have been the inspiration for the best selling issue of Urecco. You can follow him on Facebook at /TMAuthor/ or on Instagram,

Grunts: miscegenation.


  1. Rubens Blades

    The regular models do not have glass breakers,this was the first knife to get one as kind of an experiment. I am also leery of using it on a window,but it will work in an emergency.

    I also wanted to point out that sometimes we call them skull crushers,because that same tool can be used to defend yourself. You can use it on the eyes,skull, neck,temples and chest of a would be attacker with some good results.

    Another neat feature of most Rubens Blades knives is they they are in “Kit” form,which means you can remove springs and blades if needed to follow local laws depending on which state or country you live in.

  2. Frank Karl

    I think it a very nice knive, except for…..

    Look, like most men in America I’ve been handling knives since I was eight. I understand the need for a glass breaker, but putting it in the butt, where it will dig into my hand or interfere with my thumb when I use an ice-pick grip is just wrong.

    I’ve seen one knife where a small glass break was placed in the front of the knife. That makes sense. With the blade closed the carbide breaker is exposed. When the blade is open, the breaker is too small to interfere with the stabby and cutting functions of the blade.

    In my limited experience glass breaking is needed before cutting functions are called for.


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