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Knife Review: Microtech 241S-13KAOD OD Green Katana Smooth Cypher Automatic Knife

Knife Review: Microtech 241S-13KAOD OD Green Katana Smooth Cypher Automatic Knife

Posted by SD on Sep 24th 2020

The Microtech 241S-13KAOD OD Green Katana Smooth Cypher Automatic Knife

Microtech Cypher

Microtech Knives is a knife manufacturing company that is famous for tis automatic knives. This company was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994 and operated there until relocating to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005 and then to Fletcher, North Carolina in 2009. IN 2007 the company began manufacturing an American-made version of the Steyr AUG under the subsidiary name of Microtech Small Arms research (MSAR).

This company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch. Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close the custom design, saying, “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models. Although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for tis tactical automatic knives. The most popular designs among their collectors are the “Out the Front” and the “Double Action” automatics. Microtech along with Benchmade Knives were responsible for the resurgence in the popularity of tactical automatic knives in the 1990s. These knives were seen more as a precision-made tool utilizing powerful springs and high-grade bushings as opposed to a cheap import.

Microtech has collaborated with famous knife makers and designers such as Ernest Emerson, Bob Terzuola, Mick Strider, Walter Brend, Mike Turber, Greg Lightfoot, and Reese Weiland on exclusive designs.

Today we will be talking about the Green Katana Smooth Cypher and what makes it such a great knife.

The Blade:

The blade on the OD Katana is made out of M390 steel. This is a super steel, so it is definitely an ultra-premium steel. This steel is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm, which is a merger of Austrian Bohler and Swedish Uddeholm. This steel uses third generation powder metal technology and this steel was actually developed specifically for knife blades. Because of this, the manufacturer developed the steel with excellent corrosion resistance and with a very high hardness as well as excellent wear resistance. The manufacturer has added chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and tungsten to promote the sharpness and outstanding edge retention. In this steel, most of the carbides are formed by vanadium and molybdenum, which does leave more “free chromium” to help fight corrosion. M390 steel hardens to a 60-62 HRC. This stainless steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, but it won’t require a master sharpener to get a fine edge on it. Overall, you really cannot go wrong with a steel like M390.

The blade has been finished with two tones. One is a bronzed look and the other is a bead blasted finish. These two finishes pair perfectly with one another, bringing in a sophisticated, yet unique appearance.

The bead blasted finish is the more common finish that you are going to come across between the two. It is created when small ceramic (or other material) beads are blasted at the blade at a high pressure. This process is going to bring in an even, grey finish. This finish is also going to reduce reflections and glares due to the matte-ness of the finish. This is an ideal aspect of the finish, because it means that your position will not be given away if you are choosing to use this tactical blade in the field.

The blasting also is going to create an increases surface area, because the blade is going to be flattened slightly. Also, the blasting does create micro-abrasions, which will make the steel more likely to rusting or corroding. This is a slight disadvantage, but M390 does have high levels of corrosion resistant. This means that it will not be able to rust overnight, like some stainless steels can with a blasted finish. That being said, you will want to make sure that you are not leaving the blade wet for extended periods of time, as well as making sure that it is appropriately cleaned in between each use. If at all possible, you should also avoid too humid of environments.

The other blade finish is a bronzed coating. This color does match the hardware on the Katana as well as pairing nicely with the green handle. This bronzed coating is going to increase the corrosion resistance of the blade, because it will become a barrier in between the blade and environment. Of course, coatings can be scratched off, at which point, most of the good qualities would become moot until the blade was re-coated.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is the most common blade shape that you are going to find in the cutlery industry to date. This is because the blade shape is strong, versatile, and incredibly tough. The spine of the drop point extends nearly straight out of the blade, until it begins to slope slowly toward the tip. This spine shape does create a lowered point, which is where the blade shape got its name from. This lowered point is not only the namesake, but it also gives you more control over your cuts.

The other important feature of the drop point blade point is that it is broad. This does mean that you are not going to be able to pierce as well with the drop point as you would with the clip point. This broad tip is the largest difference between the two popular blade shapes. However, even though you cannot pierce well with this blade shape, it is going to add extreme amounts of strength to this blade. You can take on some of those tougher tasks without worrying about whether or not the Katana will be able to take it—with a drop point, it will be able to take it.

Funnily enough, as many advantages as the broad tip does add, it is actually also one of the only drawbacks to the drop point. This is due to the previously mentioned fact that it is not going to give you much ability to pierce with.

The last major benefit and characteristic that makes the drop point stand out is the large belly that it sports. This gives you more cutting surface, which is going to make slicing a breeze. The drop point is versatile—easily used for hunting, tactical purposes, or even just your day to day tasks. This is a blade that you cannot go wrong with. Especially since it is made out of such a high-quality metal.

Microtech Cypher

The Handle:

The handle on the Katana is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum itself is a widely popular option for high-quality knife handle materials. Aluminum is tough, durable, incredibly corrosion resistant, and best of all, it is lightweight. However, it is also prone to getting scratched.

Aluminum is known to be a low-density metal, which is where the low weight of the handle comes in from. A low-density metal is a metal that is going to provide you with the heft that you need to take on all of your tasks. It is not going to make you feel that you cannot rely on the handle—instead, it is going to give you enough heft in your hand that you feel confident. Confident enough to take on whatever comes your way. Confident enough to rely on the Microtech Katana. That being said, it is not going to weigh you down. This is a larger knife, so any lightness is going to be appreciated.

6061-T6 aluminum is the most common aluminum alloy that is used. This is also because it is the toughest of all the aluminum alloys. It has the highest yield resistance of any. It is going to give you everything that aluminum originally would have and then increase it. With this handle, you are going to have a reliable and solid knife to use.

The handle has been anodized an olive drab color. The anodization process is one of the best things to do to an aluminum handle, because it increases all of the high-quality aspects that it already has, as well as countering a few of the weaker aspects of the aluminum handle. The anodization process is a chemical process that literally changes the surface of the aluminum. This means that the sleek OD color is not going to peel off like a regular coating. It is also going to increase the strength and toughness of the handle, which means that the scratches that it is prone to getting will not be as often.

Other than that, the handle itself is simple. The butt is triangular. There is not a lanyard hole. There is a slight finger groove that will make holding this knife a little bit more comfortable. The middle of the face of the handle does come up slightly, which works to add texture and grip to the Katana.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is not a deep carry clip. It also can only be attached on the traditional side of the handle for tip down carry. It has the same bronzed and bead blasted finish that the other hardware has. The pocket clip is simple and elegant. It adds a perfect tough the OD Katana.

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, which does mean that it is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas of the United States. As always, it is your responsibility as the user and purchaser, to know your local knife laws before buying, using, and carrying this knife. BladeOps is not responsible for any consequences.

This is an Out-the-Front knife, which means that the blade is deployed through a hole in the top of the handle. This contrasts from the typical folding knife, where the blade comes out of the side of the handle. The blade is deployed by a “stepped” slide on the side of the handle. This lever or slide matches the rest of the hardware and has been finished with the same bronzed look.

An out-the-front, or OTF that is automatic has a knife blade that travels within an internal track or channel. This is the same as a non-automatic OTF. However, the automatic main spring drive and button mechanisms enclosed require that the handle of an automatic OTF to be thicker and longer than a regular OTF.

The Specs:

The blade on the Katana measures in at 4 inches long with a handle that measures in at 5.625 inches long. This means that the overall length of the knife when opened is going to be a large 9.625 inches long. This is a larger knife, but because of the aluminum handle, it only weighs in at 4 ounces. This is a sweet spot in weight for carrying a knife with you at all times. This is because it is going to give you the heft that you desire, without weighing you down in the slightest. This Microtech was created in the United States of America. This means that you can easily trust the quality of the Microtech knife. You can also feel proud that you are helping to bring jobs to our ground.


The Cypher finally found its way from the custom factory of MCK to the production side to add to the army of double action out-the-front models that Microtech has been manufacturing for over 20 years. Like the Sigil, this automatic is a collaboration with Anthony Marfione and D.C. Munroe and now features a smooth chassis over the original stepped pattern. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability. This model features an olive drab green anodized aluminum handle complete with standard bronze hardware and an integrated glass breaker function along with a drop point style blade in a bronze finish complete with katana-styled hamon etching.

Shop all Microtech OTF knives right here.