2012-Sept 7th  Mantis MCK-1a Civilianaire Coin (Demon Edition)...an OSS Classic becomes a Modern EDC Blade!

One of the Flat out coolest OSS/SOE Spy Gadgets of WWII was the Coin Blade. During WWII, Coin Blade/Coin Knives were issued to Spies from various countries, and resistance fighters for a variety of uses. One very well known use was slashing tires. They would either stick the blade into the whitewall/sidewall of the tire and rip it open, OR use the coin with a small 'scissor' action, and cut off the valve stem. Both were effective and would flatten the Inflated Rubber Tires on enemy transports. It was one way the Spies could sabotage enemy transports, and/or minimize the possibilities of being followed after a 'mission' or in a WCS (Worst Case Scenario), minimize the possibility of being CAPTURED. A Huge mistake people make is to assume that a knife like the coin knife was used to "slit throats"...first of all, "slitting throats" is all Hollywood BS, second, the Coin Blade probably could do some damage, but that was NOT its purpose, not by any means. Although as many of you know, tools can be called into a variety of services when desperately needed. Example: A Pipe Wrench is just a Pipe Wrench until you are threatened, then it makes a handy club.


The Coin itself was often overlooked by captors and guards...even when entering NPE's, the coin knife was often looked over and went un-noticed. A common technique was to mix it in with numerous other "normal" coins, and of course they would have more that just one coin knife in their pocket full of coins...another technique was to wear one around the neck as a "lucky charm". They would sometimes carry a few, so if one got lost or taken away, they always had another, or a chance to have another. I could go on and on about Spy Weapons, Gadgets, and Techniques, but we are here to learn about and do an initial review on the Mantis MCK-1a Civilianaire Coin.

Initial Impressions: Well Built, no rattles, sturdy, GREAT materials: I.E. Stainless Damascus/G10 Handle material, Tough Screws and smooth Pivot, strong Pivot Barrel, SHHHHARP Blade, Hook Shaped Blade to aid in Ripping/Tearing/"Unzipping" things, compact and very *EDC'able*, easy to open and operate, nice carry case, comes in two color schemes and two 'themes', fits in well with other pocket change, and very nice Fit & Finish.

Above you see how simple this Coin is to operate. This incarnation was Designed and originally made in the modern form by Warren Thomas, then put into a limited run Collab with Jared West's Juggernaut: Mantis knives. The MCK-1a Model you see in our pics is the Red/Black "Demon Edition" whereas there's also a model for your lady or for the guy who prefers a more "clean" look...the MCK-2 "Angel Edition" is available, clad in a nice White & Black "Tuxedo" of G10 (its not actually a tuxedo). Both Models sport ripping Stainless Damascus Blades with obvious center edge grinds and gorgeous layers you can see in the spine of each blade. It goes Light/Dark/Light...and from what I know about Damascus, this special Damascus that West chose might be boasting of Japanese "San Mai" Steel Construction. Either way, the blades are damn sharp, and damn fine looking.

Easy to grip, and easy to carry. The advantages to a small cutter with big ability is easy to see even for the average person, or the UN-educated "Blade Newb". Jared West's choice to use textured G10 on the outside of the Coin was smart...being that the coin is an odd shape to grip by any stretch of the word. The textured G10 provides extra grip when in use.

The specs/sizes are as follows:
Overall Length 2.125"
Blade Length 0.750"
Blade Material Stainless Damascus
Blade Style Hawkbill
Handle Material Bi-Layered G-100 Fiberweave
Lock Style Friction Folder
Carry System 5th Pocket
Weight < 1 oz.
Special Features CNC Machined company logo in handle for added grip

The blade is PLENTY Sharp enough, and cuts paper easily, as well as a decent thickness rope. You can also see the layers of the Stainless Damascus in these pics. As described earlier, it can be used in a slashing, or ripping motion, but it can also be used(if used correctly) in a Scissor type action...as demo'd below. Have a look and consider the uses of this blade.

Next to demo'd will be how the OSS and SOE used these blades. As stated above, they were used to slice or rip thru the side walls of tires, or cut or 'Snip' the ValveStem of the tire. Both are effect flattening techniques, when done correctly. This blade also had uses for cutting wiring that connect electronics gear or lights. You can also cut some of the lines and wires on Modern Vehicles and make them "undrivable" paperweights. You have to be very very careful though that you dont hit a "live wire" and anything you do with your knife is obvioulsy done at your own risk. No one and No Company mentioned i the article covers anything the end user does. User/buyer assumes all responsibility...PERIOD!

Here are some interesting final pics of how the OSS/SOE used these Coin Knives. You will also see pics of our own 'MOD' to the Demon Coin. We just clipped one of our mini-lights to it for use at night in case a light source was needed. Anyways, Enjoy and our Next Article/Update on this knife will be coming up soon.

If you'd like to purchase one of the "Demon Edition" Coins for yourself...go to Mantis Knives Home Site:

Or if you'd like to purchase one of the above mentioned "Angel Edition" Coins...go to:

Thanx for reading. Blade Expert and Chief out.