The Microtech Socom Alpha Mini Fixed Blade Knife
Microtech Knives, Inc. is a knife manufacturing company, famous for its automatic knives, that 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.
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 used 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 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 springs and high-grade bushings as opposed to 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.
And, once a Microtech HALO was featured on the television series 24.
Today, we will be discussing a newer release: the Microtech Socom Alpha Mini fixed
blade knife, which is available at BladeOps.
The blade 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, such as the Microtech Socom Alpha Mini, as well as some pocketknives.
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 in an apocalyptic stonewash. A stonewashed finish refers to tumbling the blade in an abrasive material. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based upon the abrasive shape, tumbling motion and the type of finish eh blade has before it enters the tumbler. An apocalyptic or acid stonewashed, also a black stonewash finish is a blade that has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches that can occur with use overtime.
The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is one of the more common blade shapes that you are going to come across in the cutlery industry. Really, it is the most common besides the drop point. There are a few key characteristics that make up the shape of the knife which add to the positive benefits of the clip point blade shape. The clip is a portion of the spine that looks like it was actually clipped out. On the Socom Alpha Mini, the clip is a straight angle, but you will also see the clips be curved on some knives.
The tip is also incredibly fine and sharp, which means that this knife is going to excel at piecing. This is because there is not going to be as much drag during the piercing process. This is really one of the biggest advantages of the clip point, is that it is a versatile blade shape, but you can still pierce with it. This is also one of the key differences between the clip point and the drop point blade shape.
That being said, because the tip is finer, you do have to be a little bit more careful. It may be prone to breaking. On this particular knife though, the blade is just wider in general, which does mean that you won’t have to worry too much about the blade breaking. The tip is going to be a little bit thicker, adding in a little bit more strength and durability.
Lastly, there is a large belly that is perfect for slicing. With the clip point blade shape, you really can do almost everything.
The handle on this blade is made out of G 10. G 10 is the common term for a grade of fiberglass composite laminate, which is a cloth material with a resin binder, that is used in a number of everyday carry and plenty of gear applications. Though they are made pretty differently, G 10 really is similar to carbon fiber when it comes to the properties. This material is immune to corrosion and rust, it is easily textured, and because of that, it offers phenomenal grip. Also, like carbon fiber, G 10 tends to be on the more brittle side and because of this, it does not resist impact well at all. But this material does not have the same aesthetic pleasure that many other materials do, because it resembles plastic in both its appearance and its feel.
On this Socom Alpha Mini, the handle is relatively simple, with the unique portions being in the small details. The G 10 of this handle is just black, but there is thick, spaced out jimping down the entire spine and bottom portion of the handle. This jimping will give you a very secure grip on your handle at all times. The finger groove is a groove etched into the handle, which gives you a more comfortable portion to place your hand while using this knife on the harder tasks.
On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole carved into the metal that is sticking out form the handle scales. This is a full tang knife, which means that the blade portion of the metal extends all the way down through the handle. Then, the G 10 handle scales are placed over this piece of metal, which results in a much stronger knife. This Microtech knife has been designed as a tactical knife, and for a tactical knife, you need to be searching for the strongest knife possible. A full tang knife is so strong because there are no weak portions where the handle and the blade are melded together.
Like I earlier mentioned, on the butt portion of the tang, there is a lanyard hole. If you tie a lanyard onto your tactical knife, you will be securing your knife against loss. If you loop the lanyard over your wrist, you never have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hand in crucial times. And, if you keep a lanyard tied to your knife, you can withdraw your knife quicker. Another benefit, although not a major benefit, is that the lanyard can provide greater visibility as well as adding a touch of personal style to your knife. Everyone has their own reason for using a lanyard on their fixed blade, but I promise you that there is no shortage of good reasons to tie a lanyard to this knife.
This is a fixed blade, which has plenty of benefits when it comes to your tactical knife. For starters, the blade can be longer and thicker than a folding knife because it doesn’t have to fit inside of the handle. Because of this added length and thickness, you get obvious bonus strength. Fixed blades are going to be tougher too, because they are so much thicker, and much less prone to breaking. And because this is the full tang blade, you don’t have to worry about any weak spots in the blade. In fact, even if the handle scales did crack or fall off, you would still have a full knife to work with. Plus, the fixed blade “mechanism” makes maintenance a breeze, because all you have to do is quickly wipe down your blade after each use and oil it every so often.
The sheath that comes with this is made out of black kydex. It also supports a belt clip attachment and offers a snap-button security closure as well as a variety of carry positions. This is a modern material that is often used for sheaths and even holsters, because it is so durable. Kydex is waterproof and can stand up to a variety of different environments, including saltwater. This shows how durable and tough the material is, because many other materials begin to break down or rot in the presence of saltwater.
Kydex also has a Rockwell hardness of 90, which means that not only is it scratch resistant, but it also won’t stretch or shrink over time. This is actually an advantage and a disadvantage. If the sheath doesn’t fit perfectly at the beginning, it never is going to.
This leads us to the first disadvantage of Kydex: it is a noisy material. If it does not fit perfectly, you may get the dreaded rattle. You also cannot withdraw or replace the Rocky Mountain Tread into the Kydex sheath without it making a lot of noise. This is a disadvantage if you are using this is the wild or on a hunting trip, because you don’t want to scare away potential game.
The biggest disadvantage is that the Kydex is going to dull your blade over time as you withdraw and replace it. This is because of how hard the sheath is. If you are hoping to prevent this, you can get an insert to protect against this problem.
Really, the biggest advantage of a Kydex sheath is that it is incredibly low maintenance. This comes in handy for this knife that has been designed as an all-around outdoors knife. This way, you don’t have to be worried about the quality of your sheath decreasing as you use it in the wild.
The blade on the Socom Alpha Mini fixed blade measures in at 3.72 inches long with a head thickness of 0.17 inches thick. The overall length of this fixed blade measures in at 8.17 inches long. This knife weighs in at 6.67 ounces. This Microtech was proudly made in the United States of America.
This fixed blade knife features black G-10 handles, a clip point style blade in a stonewash finish and includes a custom kydex sheath.
Adding to the prestigious Socom lineup, the Socom Alpha Mini is similar in aesthetics to the folding version but includes G-10 handles for a superb grip and the jimping all around the handle provides extra security regardless of grip position.
This fantastic knife is going to go quickly though, so act now. Click here to secure yours today.