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Knife Review: Microtech Red UTX-70 OTF Automatic

Knife Review: Microtech Red UTX-70 OTF Automatic

Posted by SD on Feb 14th 2020

The Microtech Red UTX-70 OTF Automatic Knife

Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company, famous for its automatic knives. It was founded in Vero Beach, Florida in 1994, and operated there until relocating to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 2005, and 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).

The company has long promoted itself as stressing quality with regard to tight machining tolerances, to within one thousandth of an inch. Microtech has designed knives for use by the US Military such as the HALO, UDT, SOCOM, and Currahee models.

Custom knife makers, such as Greg Lightfoot, have remarked that these tolerances are what makes the factory knives so close to the custom design: “It has the same quality as a handmade custom.”

Although Microtech has produced many styles of blades such as kitchen knives, fishing knives, arrow heads, and balisong knives; Microtech is most famous for its tactical automatic knives. The most popular designs among collectors are the “Out the Front” and the “Double Action” automatics. Microtech, along with Benchmade Knives, was 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 spring and high-grade bushing 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.

In terms of media coverage, there was an episode of the TV series “24” that featured a Microtech HALO.

Microtech says, “For over 20 years, Microtech has been working to build a long-standing tradition of innovation and quality with each knife that leaves our facility. In a world of ever-changing technology, we strive to ensure our customers have access to the latest advancements in knife making, while still continuing to maintain a humanized element throughout the manufacturing process. As the company continues to grow, our focus remains the same: deliver revolutionary products that exceed the industry’s ever-increasing desire for groundbreaking ideas. Thank you to our customers, for the years of loyalty and support, and for motivating us to better ourselves so that we may continue to rise above your expectations.”

Today we will be discussing the Microtech Red UTX-70 OTF automatic knife, which is a new arrival at BladeOps.

The Blade:

The blade on this knife has been made out of CTS-204P stainless steel. This steel can reasonably be compared to Bohler-Uddeholm’s M390 steel. However, it does have a little bit more tungsten than the other steel. This steel is known for having an incredibly high wear and corrosion resistance. Part of this is due to the fact that it does have a fine-grained alloy, which also means that this is a good choice for high end fixed blades as well as high-end pocketknives, such as this Microtech UTX-70. Really, you could easily find this steel on any Microtech knives because they are such high-quality knives.

Microtech UTX-70 OTF Knife

Other than that, it is going to preform like a high-end stainless steel is expected to. You can expect it to keep its high level of quality without too much maintenance. You will want to wipe down the blade after each use, but you won’t have to worry about scrubbing it after each use, like you might on some. This is a harder steel, so it might be slightly complicated to sharpen, but nothing that an experienced sharpener can’t handle.

This steel is not a super common one, but it is a high-end steel. It will be able to hang with most tasks, so you won’t ever have to question whether or not it is going to be able to defend you when you need it most—it can handle it.

The blade has been finished satin. This is the most popular blade finish that you are going to come across in the cutlery industry, because it does give the blade and overall knife class, while still being pretty traditional. The finish is created when the blade is repeatedly sanded in one direction with an ever-increasingly fine level of an abrasive. This works to show off the bevels of the blade, while also demonstrating the fine lines in the steel. This is where the traditional look comes from. But, since it is a brighter finish, it is going to look sleek and classy.

The other benefits of a stain blade are that it does reduces some of the glares that would normally occur, because it does mattify the blade ever so slightly. It is also going to increase the corrosion resistance of the blade by some. The thing about the satin finish is that you really cannot go wrong with it.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. Like the satin finish, it is hard to go wrong with the drop point blade shape. This is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market because it is known for being versatile and strong. The spine of the knife has a very slight curve that goes down toward the point. This curve creates a lowered point, which is going to give you more control as you work with this knife.

The point is also broad, so you are going to get the characteristic strength from the drop point blade shape. The broad point does mean that this knife is going to be able to stand up to nearly any task that you throw at it, because the tip is not going to snap or break. However, you are going to lose some of your piercing ability because of that same broadness. The other major advantage of a drop point is the large belly creates plenty of surface area for ease of slicing.

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is a very low-density metal used in knife making and is very corrosion resistant. Since it is such a soft metal, it is primarily used in knife handles and sometimes hard anodized for aesthetics and wear resistance. Aluminum is also the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust.

Most knives use a type of Aluminum Alloy called 6061-T6 aluminum, which means the type of aluminum is 6061 and it is T6 tempered. 6061-T6 aluminum has one of the highest yields and tensile strengths of all aluminum alloys. 6061-T6 is used extensively in aircraft, and is often referred to as “aircraft aluminum,” and sometimes this is seen as a gimmick, kind of like “surgical stainless steel.” Aluminum alloy is cheaper to machine and produce than Titanium, and is lighter, weaker, and less resistant to wear. For the most part, Aluminum is an inferior metal to Titanium aside from its lightness. However, when producing complex knives that require a large among of CNC machining, such as this knife, aluminum is much cheaper to produce and the material costs less.

The handle on this knife has been anodized red. The anodization is created by submerging the aluminum in an electrolytic solution bath along with a cathode. When a current is passed through the acid solution hydrogen is released from the cathode and oxygen forms on the surface of an anode. This results in a metal oxide film growing on the surface of the handle. The anodization creates a protective layer between the steel and the aluminum, as well as adding durability, toughness, strength, and a sleek red color.

The handle is very rectangular, with a couple of rows of jimping across the edges of the handle in random places to assist with your ability to grip this knife.

On one side of the knife is the slide that will release the blade.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is standard for an OTF knife, it is attached on the opposite end of the knife from where the blade comes out. This means that it can only be attached for tip down carry. It is a darker silver, with the Microtech logo, serial number, and the date of production etched into it. The clip is thick enough that it can stay securely inside of your pocket as you move about your day.

The Mechanism:

This UTX is an automatic knife, but only is it an automatic knife, it is also an Out the Front knife. An OTF knife is a pocketknife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different from the other majority of knives, which are either standard folding knives or are fixed blade sheath knives that have no mechanical operation.
OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy. OTF knives may be further subdivided into manual knives or automatic knives.

This Microtech knife is an automatic knife. This means that the blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual slider or gravity knife. But the automatic main spring drive and button mechanism enclosed within requires a switchblade handle to be thicker or longer than a similar size gravity or sliding knife. Then, within automatic out the front knives, there are two styles. There is either the double action out the front knife or the single action out the front knife.

The UTX-70 knife is a dual action automatic knife, which means that the blade deploys and retracts with a multifunction button and spring design. Wikipedia says, “Despite popular belief and movie magic, double-action OTF automatic knives are not powerful enough to open when pressed against an opponent and then pushing the button. Double-action sliding autos are only spring-powered 10 to 12 millimeters; afterwards, kinetic impetus slides the blade to full open. This is possibly a misbelief based on confusion with the ballistic knife which has a secondary handle tube with a robust coil spring for launching a fixed blade knife. However, some single-action autos, such as the Microtech Halo V, have enough power to penetrate a human target.”

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2.42 inches long with a handle that measures in at 3.53 inches long. This means that when the blade is deployed, it measures in at 5.95 inches long overall. This is definitely on the smaller side of the pocketknife spectrum. But what makes it even smaller is that all the materials that were used on it are lightweight materials, so this knife weighs in at a mere 1.25 ounces. This does mean that it is not going to weigh you down when you have it with you each day. This does mean that it would be a great knife for your go-to EDC. That being said, it also is not going to have the heft that many people feel like they need. This does mean that you may not feel overly confident when you are working with this knife.

Like all Microtech knives, this UTX was proudly made in the United States of America.


This out-the-front knife features a red anodized handle and a drop point style blade in a satin finish.

The radically redesigned and compact UTX-70 out the front knife is now features a new contoured handle, updated tri-angle hardware, a redesigned thumb slide and was built to be a hard-use cutting tool without the size and weight of traditional models. This fantastic dual action knife is the ideal size and as the name exhibits, the UTX-70 is 70% the size of the flagship Ultratech knife but with 100% of the capability. Each Microtech OTF knife has extremely sophisticated internal mechanisms which improve the overall operational functionality and reliability and its ability to be operated with just one hand makes it all the more practical.

This is a relatively new arrival at BladeOps. It is still in stock and is the perfect option for a show-stealer gift this holiday season. Order yours today by clicking here.