New S & W OTF: Part 2, Review

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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:36 pm
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New S & W OTF: Part 2, Review

Postby ILikeStilettos » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:17 am

OK, it came a day or two ago, but I was waiting on photography weather.

First off, let's deal with the question of assisted or auto. I own several assisted knives, all side kickers. So what makes them assisted instead of automatics? Well, for starters, they look like regular manual knives and have no button mechanism, just a standard lug. When you move the blade partially by main force, the hidden coil spring takes over and fires the blade the rest of the way. It's just my opinion, but it's a way of getting around anti-switchblade laws, because technically they are spring 'assisted' rather than 'spring fired'. I'm fully aware that I am splitting hairs here.

Now the S & W strikes me as being most like a single action OTF. It has a fire button and a safety and a cocking device. Most SAOTF's are of the plunge release BOBC type, whereas this one has a slide and a completely separate mechanism to lock and release the opened blade. Since you push the slide forward and begin to move the blade, it is 'assisted', rather than just releasing the energy of a stored spring. However, it does have a stored energy spring exactly like a single action auto. The hairs are being split even further. Without thinking about it, if fires hard like an auto and just in the way you would intuit. S & W was probably motivated by two factors: 1) skirting that nasty anti-switchblade law and 2) actually making a pretty solid knife that will stay open until you really want it closed. So call it what you will. I think of it as an auto, but my opinion and $4 will get you a coffee at Starbucks. (That's a guess, I have no experience base with buying Starbucks coffee.)

So let's talk about this knife. The first impression you get is that this is a really sturdy and well built piece of machinery. The time and effort that went into producing these is obvious. Almost everything you touch is some olive colored cast metal, even that slide. It looks like the normal double action slides, but it feels completely different. When I took it out of the package and tried to fire it, it didn't move even a tiny bit. I'm an Engineer, but quite honestly I had to read the instructions on how to open it. Once I located the safety and turned it off, then it was totally normal. Of course, to close it, you have to first release the upper lock and then cock the spring. Then you are ready to go. It fires about as hard as any other single action, but the tanto has a wickedly sharp point so I wouldn't try to stop it with any of my own hide.

It weighs in at 6 oz. (172 g.) and measures 5-1/2" (14 cm) extreme to extreme when closed, 8-3/4" (22,2 cm) open. The 3-5/8" (9,2 cm) blade is made from .130" (3,4 mm) AUS8 stainless, blackened. The handle is 3/4" (19 mm) thick, not counting button and clip, and of course the blade is biased to the back side of the knife because, of course, there's all kind of operating stuff between the blade and the front side. While the patterning is largely ornamental, it does make for a nice secure grip. S & W left no stone unturned to do this right.


In this day and age you have to protect yourself from every idiot with motivation to open a product liability suit. I wonder that S & W didn't include a picture and braille as well to cover all the bases. I totally subscribe to the philosophy of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" so disassembly was not on my agenda. I was, none the less, totally impressed by all the screws and tapped holes in this creation. There are only three black plastic parts on this knife; the lock, the safety, and the cocker. Everything else is metal. Bravo!


That tiny safety at the bottom is the red dot variety and S & W carefully cautions you to use it. It moves smartly and clicks. Personally, I keep mine off and I wouldn't hesitate to carry it that way. The force required and the shape of the firing slide would seem to make an accidental discharge extremely unlikely. The next picture shows the knife open and locked. I will take you through the two step closing procedure.


Using your thumb and a bit of force, you press the triangular lock toward the center of the blade. It clicks and the blade retracts ever so slightly.


Now you push the cocking button toward the pommel until it clicks. This is standard operating procedure for an SAOTF knife.


That's all there is to it. You can engage the safety or not. If not, pushing the slide forward opens the knife with no appreciable difference that any SAOTF and there is no perceived hesitation between moving your thumb and hearing the loud click as the blade deploys and locks.

Final comment, if you are looking for a serviceable and legal EDC at bargain prices, you should definitely consider one of these. Thanks for tuning in.
Dave Sause
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"And you're telling me this because, somehow, I look like I give a shit?"

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