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A Complete Guide to Microtech Knives

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A Complete Guide to Microtech Knives

Microtech was founded in 1994 in an apartment and later a storage shed in Vero Beach, Florida. Now headquartered in western North Carolina, Microtech has earned a reputation for producing the finest knives on the market.

While Microtech has produced many types of blades, including kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrowheads, and balisong knives, the Company is best known for its tactical automatic knives, with the most popular designs among collectors being the “Out The Front” (OTF) and “Double Action” (D/A) automatics. Microtech was largely responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. Seen as a precision-made tool utilizing quality components in a market flooded with cheap imports, these knives revitalized the U.S. market and established Microtech as a major player.

Microtech owner Anthony Marfione has collaborated with famous knifemakers and designers — like Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Mick Strider, Greg Lightfoot and Reese Weiland — on exclusive designs.

In late 2015 the American Knife & Tool Institute announced Marfione would be joining its Board of Regents. The AKTI unifies industry members and the knife community toward the common goals of ensuring that Americans will always be able to make, buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools. The AKTI also takes a proactive role in educating legislators and the public about knives and guiding efforts to reform current law.

In addition to being a favorite among clients in law enforcement, emergency services and the military, Microtech knives have made their way onto the silver screen. Featured in blockbuster productions like the “John Wick” series, “Batman the Dark Knight Rises,” and Fox Network’s series “24, Microtech has reached an audience beyond the traditional pool of potential customers, helping to bring automatic knives back into the mainstream.

Popular Microtech Products

A Complete Guide to Microtech Knives Divider 1

Microtech Cypher

The Microtech OTF Cypher is a collaboration with Deryk Munroe that was previously limited to the custom Marfione line. Featuring exceptional detailing and craftsmanship, it boasts a unique, durable build that is both functional and collectible. The blade on the Cypher is made of M390 stainless steel, developed specifically for knife blades. The blade measures 4 inches long, with the overall length of the Cypher at 9.625 inches long. The handle on this knife is made of 6061-T6 anodized aluminum, helping to keep weight down to 4 ounces.

Microtech Ultratech

microtech ultra knifeThe Microtech Ultratech knife is the out-the-front knife that set the industry standard. In fact, the Microtech Ultratech is, to many people, the out-the-front knife. One of the original Microtech designs, this is an auto knife with a 3.4-inch blade that opens and retracts through a hole in one end of the handle, which differs from the majority of knives that have the blade fold out of the side of the handle. The 3.5-ounce double-action Ultratech deploys in and out automatically via the sliding firing button on the knife’s right side. The action on these is exceptional, and the Ultratech series has been called the best OTF bang for the buck.

All Ultratechs share a few basic properties: an aluminum handle that’s chamfered around the edges, proprietary “tri-angle” hardware and a right hand tip-down deep-carry clip that is attached to the knife on the butt of the handle by a carbide-tipped glass breaker. Aside from those commonalities, the Ultratech line is available in a mind-numbing array of options. The Ultratech line has spawned smaller offspring in the form of the UTX85 and UTX-70, which are 85 percent and 70 percent of the original size, respectively.

Microtech Combat Troodon

microtech troodonMicrotech’s Combat Troodon is a large OTF production knife aptly named after the Troodon dinosaur, as the Combat Troodon is substantial. Despite the size of this knife, the T-6 anodized aluminum handle feels slim and comfortable and contains a tungsten glass breaker. The Microtech Combat Troodon a favorite among law enforcement, military and first responder personnel. The solid feel makes it suitable for hard use, while the benefits of an automatic OTF make it a great choice for everyday carry. The handles are made of 6061 T6 anodized aluminum in a variety of colors, with a carbide glass breaker on the butt that anchors the pocket clip in the right hand tip-down position.

    • Overall Length: 9.5 inches
    • Blade Length: 3.8 inches
    • Handle Length: 5.75 inches
    • Handle Thickness: .55 inches

Microtech H.A.L.O. 6

The Microtech Halo Series has evolved over the years. A longtime staple in the Microtech OTF lineup, the H.A.L.O. is known for its lightning-fast blade deployment. This single action OTF fires with the touch of a button and retracts by pulling the charging handle. The unique shape and slender design of the 6061-T6 handle aids concealability. With a 4.5-inch blade and overall length of 10.82 inches, the H.A.L.O. 6 is large enough to tackle any task.

Microtech Marfione Hand Tank

While a departure from the typical Microtech product line, the inclusion of a quality brass knuckle paperweight does make sense. Another classic contact weapon, these knuckles — should they ever be used for duties other than holding down papers — are an effective force-multiplier to compliment your Microtech blade. Available in a variety of configurations and finishes, you can choose between a single, double or four-fingered Tank to meet your paperwork needs.

Microtech LUDT

The Microtech LUDT (Large-Underwater Demolition Team) automatic knife is a battle-tested tactical tool for law enforcement and military users. A scaled-up version of the UDT knife, LUDT knives have quick push-button side-opening automatic action to rapidly deploy the 3.375-inch blade. At 3.62 ounces, this 8-inch (deployed) knife can handle the abuse of special operations teams without adding unnecessary bulk. Tri-angle hardware and a slick recessed pivot assembly add a fine touch, along with the addition of a practical lanyard attachment hole.

Microtech SOCOM Elite Manual

Microtech is more than automatic knives. The SOCOM Elite manual knife is a liner lock folder first introduced in 1996. Evolving over the years, improvements have made the SOCOM adaptable to different environments. The manual SOCOM has a unique handle shape that includes a glass breaker, a tip-down carry pocket clip and nylon sheath. Like the other Microtech manually operated models, the SOCOM is a viable option in most U.S. jurisdictions.

Microtech SOCOM Alpha

Like many of Microtech’s standard production models, the SOCOM Alpha was originally offered exclusively as a Microtech Custom. Styled after the SOCOM folder, Microtech has evolved the popular design into a full-tang fixed-blade product. The PVD-coated blade is made of ELMAX steel using powdered metallurgy technology. Considered to be a “super-steel,” ELMAX is an alloyed steel, consisting of 18 percent chromium, 1.7 percent carbon, 1 percent molybdenum, 3 percent vanadium, .8 percent silicon and .3 percent manganese. This alloy composition provides high wear and corrosion resistance and excellent edge retention qualities, making it an ideal choice by knifemakers. At 8.25 ounces with a large 10.47-inch overall length and a 5.42-inch hollow-ground blade, the SOCOM Alpha is a timeless tactical knife in a league of its own.

Microtech Stitch

Sebastijan Berenji of Borka Blades and Anthony Marfione have collaborated to create the powerful Stitch automatic knife. A push-button automatic folder, the Stitch has an overall length of 8 inches, a 3.75-inch blade and weighs 6.38 ounces. The anodized T6 aircraft aluminum handles provide a secure, lightweight grip with a modified wharncliffe-style blade that offers maximized cutting performance. Buyers should note the blade to handle ratio, as the M390 blade is technically 3.75 inches long, but the cutting edge is only 3 inches. Crisp automatic action and a stylish profile make the Borka/Marfione collaboration a requirement for any auto collector.

Microtech UTX-70

microtech utx 70The Microtech UTX-70 is the most compact out-the-front automatic knife on the market. The name comes from the fact that it is 70 percent the size of the Ultratech, but given its size, the UTX-70 is a very practical EDC knife. Smaller than a pack of gum with a discrete shape, even in thin dress pants or a shirt pocket the lightweight UTX-70 stays hidden until you need it. The UTX-70 was prominently featured in the “John Wick” movies, where Keanu Reeves’ character carries it on his ankle.

    • Overall Length: 5.63 inches
    • Blade Length: 2.41 inches
    • Handle Length: 3.22 inches
    • Handle Thickness: .31 inches

Microtech UTX-85

Microtech’s UTX-85 out-the-front knife series is compact, functional and affordable enough to appeal to both the collector and the end user. The Microtech UTX 85 is so named for being 85 percent the size of its larger Ultratech brethren. The UTX-85 is actually a larger knife than the Troodon, but the Troodon has a larger glass breaker.

Microtech UTX-85 infographic

    • Overall Length: 7.6 inches
    • Blade Length: 3.2 inches
    • Handle Length: 4.4 inches
    • Handle Thickness: .44 inches

Microtech Siphon II Pen

Another deviation from Microtech’s traditional product lines, the Siphon II, like the original Siphon, is a unique folding lever-action pen and a stylish writing instrument. Pull the lever up to reveal the pen’s writing tip. The Siphon II has a slightly longer body than its predecessor, with O-ring grips and bead-blast finished stainless steel construction. It measures 3.9 inches with the lever down and includes a pocket clip with model name, date of production and serial number. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but you may want to pair the Siphon II with one of Microtech’s sharper products, just in case.

Microtech Sigil

An attractive folder designed by Deryck Munroe, the Sigil combines sleek aesthetics with world-class fit and finish. The Sigil has an overall length of 8.75 inches, a 3.75-inch blade and weighs 5.2 ounces, making this a sizable knife. The blade is a sloping, modified drop point made of M390 stainless steel. Microtech’s trademark proprietary hardware holds it all together, with a copper pivot shroud doubling as a lock bar stabilizer. The lockup itself is handled by a titanium frame lock with stainless steel lock bar insert. The simple fact that it is not an automatic makes this model a viable option in most U.S. jurisdictions.

Microtech Tachyon III

Named for the hypothetical faster-than-light Tachyon particle, this is one of the best performing balisongs on the market. The Tachyon 3 has been revitalized with channel construction handles and refined action. The handles are machined from solid aluminum for precision and rigidity, and the 4.5-inch blade rotates out on ceramic bearings with a redesigned bearing race system for flex-free operation. The spring-loaded latch sits flush with the handle in a milled channel when stowed.

It would take a Cray supercomputer to crunch the number of options available in the Microtech stable. From blade shape and finish, smooth or serrated, hardware choices, handle color, materials and special editions, the option range is staggering.

Microtech Tachyon III infographic

Microtech knives come in several different blade types, from single or double edge to Tanto and other custom styles, with or without serrations. There are several blade finishes to choose from, ranging from bead-blast stainless to PVD to black-as-night DLC (Diamond-Like Coating).

Microtech handle colors run the gamut of the rainbow to appeal to the owner’s requirements: Muted blacks or grays are discrete for the assassin/hitman types; greens, browns and camo patterns suit military operators; and vivid reds, oranges and yellows stand out for emergency responders who need to find their blade on an active scene when it’s dark or rainy.

And if you saw something you like but can’t find it in stock anywhere, remember this: Microtech never discontinues anything — they just give it a “time out” before rolling out an updated version. Sooner or later that obscure object of desire will come around again.

Whatever your needs may be, Microtech has a product to provide the solution. Whether your daily ride is a UH-60 or Mercedes M-Class, Microtech has something that will appeal to you. Functional and stylish, these durable blades are heirloom quality and a worthwhile investment.

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