2012-08-25 Mantis MT-5 "Kunitza" Folder

Jeez!! This thing is ridiculously sharp! I normally dont start my posts like this but WOW. That said, lets get down to it. Nobody really gives a crap where I got this or the story behind it, all I will say is Jared West is a hell of a nice guy...a busy guy, but a hell of a nice guy.

Initial Impressions: SHARP!, Tight Lock-up, No rattle, No Loose Parts, SHARP!, Great Blade Coating, Nicely Machined G10 Handles, AGGRESSIVE GRIP, nice box, Reverse-able Pocket Clip, Tip Up Carry Only, SHARP!, Opens Smoothly, Flipper for Easy Open, Wide Grip & Large Finger Grooves making use w/ Gloved Hands easier, Tough 154CM Blade Steel...which is SHARP! There are a lot of nice features on this knife, but I feel like I forgot to tell you guys who Sharp it is. Oh well, no matter.

So right out of the box I grabbed this thing, and it felt like it grabbed me back. The handle scales are as aggressively machined as any grips I've held in awhile. They remind me of the VZ "Diamond Back" Grips...and the wicked rough texture that VZ machines into their more aggressive designs. I know some folks dislike grippy handle scales, but I love them. I detest anything slipping out of my hand (ya, I said it, hahaah...I get it...funny jokes!) when its in use. When your hands are wet for any reason, or no reason, you will be happy you have that rough ass texturing...but that's just my opinion. I also love the way that the Backstrap is polished line the pivot ring around the outside of the inner pivot head. It matches in a very cool way, mostly black, a bit of metal on the Pivot area, the Backstrap, and the blade edge. Very Stylish. I am also quite impressed by the Pivot strength and tightness, not too much, not too little, and the Phosphorus Bronze Washers on the inside that assist the blade with Opening and Closing make for a nice tidy package.

The Fit and FInish of this knife bears mention. The scales, the backstrap, the liners, the blade, the lock, all the machine work, everything, all tight, on point, and lined up. If you know knives, then you know how Custom Knives are pretty much perfect when it comes to F&F, right? Well this one is running right along side the custom cats when it comes to Fit & Finish. This knife is held to some tight QC, that much is evident. Like I mentioned before, I am not easy to impress when it comes to knives as all my personal ones are Customs or Mid-Techs...but this ones F&F has impressed me. 

The Lock Up of this beast is tight. Tight as any CRKT, any Spyderco, any Strider, any MercWerx...and thats just a fact. The Strength of the lockup feels to be wicked strong too. If I'm not mistaken, it is a LinerLock System, based on Michael Walkers Original Liner Lock, which is a time tested and proven system. With the lockup itself being so damn solid, it lends confidence to your grip when opening it and using it for rough tasks like "Batoning", Chopping, Slicing, Stabbing, and more. I also like the "Flipper" that is at the rear of the Blade towards the Ricasso and the Kunitza is designed so the Flipper Tab protrudes out from the spine of the handle when closed. It makes flipping the knife open a snap...literally. "SNAP!"...and its open and ready for action. 

The next part we will discuss is the Blade and its well made self. I have checked the Grinds thoroughly and even used my digital calipers, they are even and the Edge Geometry looks to be around 20 degrees or so. I am quite tired so I may be wrong or a bit off, but 20 degrees looks about right, although it could be less of an angle, like 14-16 degrees. The Edge is ground with a "Primary Hollow Grind" and "Secondary Flat Ground Angle" to create a Sharp edge for the ''average joe' to sharpen himself if need be. The Blade is of the "Re-curve" Design, which lends itself well to Slicing tasks and does some interesting things upon entry into a Biological Organism aka Stabbing. The Blade, when entering, will create a wound channel as usual, however, the Re-curve blade, upon exiting will slice open a larger wound channel from the Re-Curve Blade riding thru the body and using the Curves of the blade to its advantage. The Bones, the Organs, and a whole host of other factors can contribute to how a Wound Channel is created and the damage sustained...however...there are other ways to compile the Forensic Data we need to establish a "Damage/Wound Ratio" with the Mantis MT-5 Kunitza Blade. We will dive deeper into this in the next installment of this knife so we can compile this data. Did I mention how bloody SHARP this blade is yet? I am used to Custom Knives...so it is NOT easy to impress me with a "sharp knife"...however Jared Wests MT-5 Kunitza has hit the mark. Custom Level Sharpness in a Production Package, there's something you dont see every day.

The Opening Hole in the Blade helps assist in opening the blade if you choose not to use the Flipper Tab. I like the shape of it myself, seems to fit the tip of my thumb which is what I use to open a folder like this. The Screws that Hold the pocket clip in are nice and well made. The Pivot Barrel is again, quite nice and feels a bit beefier than the average type. I cannot tell if its a 1/4", 3/16", or a 1/8" diameter but it feels like it is a damn beefy one. There is no real "standard" size as far as Pivot Barrels go for folders, but the companies that want to maintain a rep for toughness usually use the larger Diameter ones. The Ball Detents are well placed and make the blade ride nicely inside the handle when the blade rotates, and it assists the blade in snapping back into the handle liners when it has reached the final part of the closing rotation, making it safe to carry once again.

If the above pic doesn't tell you what you need to know about the level of sharpness this knife comes with (Right out of the Box no less)...I cant help you. :)

I have to say, all in all, a damn fine knife and a wonderful offering from Jared West and his Mantis Company. You know, I have heard people talk much crap about Mantis knives in the past, especially when they first came out, and I have heard the term "Mall Ninja" tossed around like a frisbee, but frankly, the Mantis Team is fighting well above their weight class as we speak and if they're continually heading in this direction, you know as well as I do that they will keep pushing the limits of design. And if that's what makes someone a "Mall Ninja", well then get every new knife company that tries something different a Mask, and some Tabi Boots. Mantis knives, right out the box, impressed me. One after the other. And if these couple blades are any clue to their future direction, brothers and sisters of the tactical world, keep watching Mantis.   

Have a look at their site, there are a a lot of unique designs on there, and a lot of new designs coming out too. If you're interested in this knife go to: http://mantisknives.com/Product%20Zoom/MT5%20Kunitza/mt5kunitza.html ....If you're interested in the whole site and what new ventures they're up to, go to: http://mantisknives.com/index.html  <--Be sure to check out the 'Vuja De'.

Mantis is reportedly even going to be pushing into the "Cutting Competition" World with a Knife that looks to be a BEAST. Mantis is also reportedly bringing out the 1st production level Balisong/Karambit called the 'Vuja De'...which we are hoping we will get to review. (If we had our way, we would get 2 of them, one for tricks and practice, and one for display and nice beautiful pics.) If you go to their site and watch the opening clips/pics, you'll see it.
All I can say is RIGHT ON, and I hope they use a steel like 154CM/ATS34, VG10, or even S35V. If they dont though, I hope they offer a version of it with those time tested steels. West knows what he's doing though, so I have no doubts it will come ready for action straight out the box, and I am confident he will make a trainer version or a trainer blade you can change out for the 'Vuja De' so the guys who like to flip these Balis can do their thing and learn a new blade profile. Another neat thing to see would be the top swedge at the tip on the Vuja De actually Zero Ground. Granted this can create "danger" but shit man, its a KNIFE...it IS dangerous. The other cool thing I am looking forward to is seeing what the World Champion Balisong Flippers do with the 'Vuja De' and the new tricks they invent and perfect. I can't even imagine whats next from Mantis, but I do know it will be different and it will have Wests' unique style to it.

A Big Thank You  to Mr. Jared West and his great team there at Mantis. Great work guys, keep it up! -Chief & 'Edged Expert' Out.