The Pro-Tech SBR Automatic Knife
Pro-Tech Knives, LLC is a family owned knife company that has been building high quality American Made knives since 1999. Each of their knives is a blend of the finest materials available, mixed with their commitment to craftsmanship. Their knives are always built with the most current high-tech manufacturing process that includes CNC Machining, Wire EDM, and Laser Cutting. The high-tech components are assembled, and hand fit by dedicated and caring craftsmen right in their factory. Yes, that does mean that they are all made in the United States of America!
One of the unique aspects about Pro-Tech is that they manufacture small batches of knives so that they can take the time to individually hand fit and finish each knife to a level that you are rarely going to find in a factory knife. Their production knife models offer the best design, function, and value of any knife that you are going to find on the market today. They even have custom art knives that are individual pieces of art. Each of their custom, limited-edition knives are a showpiece of heirloom quality. But, no matter which of their knives that you choose to purchase, they, and we, are confident that you will be very satisfied with your purchase.
Their collection of knives is always changing. They are always working on new designs form collaboration partners, new variations of classic designs, new inlay materials, Damascus blade choices, and many more.
Pro-Tech describes their point in the market as the space where the “art of modern manufacturing excellence meets old world craftsmanship.”
Today we will be going over the SBR automatic knife, which is a new release at BladeOps.
The blade on the SBR is made out of CPM-S35VN steel. This steel is made by Crucible Industries, which is a renowned steel manufacturer. This steel was one of their previous steels that had been upgraded.
Crucible originally created S30V steel, which became an incredibly popular steel in the higher end knife industry. This steel was known as having the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness, which is a complicated balance to achieve. This steel was also incredibly corrosion resistant, which left it being lower maintenance.
However, there was one major problem with this steel: it was hard to sharpen. Really, really hard. Crucible was not okay with this flaw in the steel and with the second go-around, they were determined to change it.
To create the CPM-S35VN steel, they started with a finer steel structure. They also added trace amounts of Niobium. Both of these new properties assisted in making the steel easier to sharpen. Now, even more beginner of sharpeners could manage it. Plus, the new steel kept all of the same high qualities that CPM-S30V steel had. Really, with how good the original steel was, you cannot go wrong with this newer steel.
This steel has also undergone Crucible’s CPM process, which they describe when they say, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.” Essentially, the CPM process enhances all of the good qualities that the steel already has. It is going to be easier to sharpen and more reliable.
The blade has been finished with a stonewash finish. The stonewash finish is created when the steel is tumbled around in ceramic stones. This roughs the steel up and provides it with a textured-appearance. The blade is then removed from this process, smoothed out, and polished. This creates a sleek blade that steel has the appearance of texture. This is rugged looking finish works to hide scratches and smudges easily. This means that it is a low-maintenance blade finish, because you don’t have to worry about polishing it too often. Not only that, but the look is rugged enough that the knife does not end up looking too-polished. That being said, the stonewash finish is not going to steal the show.
The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape, which is the second most popular blade shape in the modern cutlery industry. This is because it is versatile as well as excelling at piercing.
The spine of the blade extends straight out of the handle. This straight portion has a row of thick jimping on it on the SBR, which is going to add to the texture and control that you have over this Pro-Tech. After the straight section, the spine angles downward with a slight slope. This section is known as the clip, because it looks as if it has been clipped out of the spine. This portion is also where the blade shape gets its name from.
Not only does the clip provide the shape with its name, but it also creates a lowered point. This lowered point is going to give you more control over your cuts and slices. The lowered point is also a very fine point, which is one of the reasons that this blade shape is going to allow you to excel at piercing. However, because it is fine, you do need to be wary of piercing into harder targets. The clip point can be prone to breaking or snapping.
The next major advantage that sets the clip point apart from other blade shapes is that it has a large belly. The belly extends from the handle and then curves up to meet the point. This leaves you with plenty of surface area to slice with.
The handle on this knife has been made out of 6061-T6 aluminum that has been anodized black. Aluminum is a popular handle material in the cutlery industry, because it is lightweight and pretty durable. Aluminum is known as a low-density metal, which means that it is not going to weigh down the knife. That being said, it is going to provide you with the heft that you need to take on your regular tasks.
Aluminum has a high conduction property, which does mean that in colder environments, this is going to be a colder knife to hold. Also, aluminum does not offer the most grip and texture, which does mean that the handle can be rather slippery in some situations.
Aluminum is tough though—it is going to be able to take on quite a variety of tasks without you having to question it.
This alloy of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 processed. This specific alloy of aluminum has the highest yield resistance of any alloy. This means that out of the aluminum handles, this alloy is going to be the toughest strongest, and most durable.
The handle has then been anodized black. Not only does this add a sleek appearance to the handle of the SBR, but it also enhances all of the good qualities that the aluminum already has. The thing about anodization is that it actually chemically changes the surface of the handle. This means that unlike a coating it cannot peel off. That being said, the surface can still be scratched, which would reveal the original aluminum layers underneath it. The anodization process also cuts down on glares and reflections, which creates a unique, matte look to it.
The handle is utterly simple. The spine of it extends from the blade to the butt in a straight line. The butt is angled down toward the belly, but it is straightened off. The belly has a finger guard that is thick, but not too large. The guard will protect you from accidentally getting sliced if you do slip. Right beneath the guard is a finger groove. This groove is deep. This groove will allow you to have a slightly better grip on the handle, since aluminum does not offer the best grip that you can find. After the groove, the belly extends straight to the butt.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this is a deep-carry clip that is designed for carry only on the traditional side of handle.
The deep carry aspect of the clip means that it is going to stay securely inside of your pocket as you move about your day’s tasks. You won’t have to worry about it slipping out, because it is going to stay put. The deep carry aspect also means that it is going to stay better concealed inside of your pocket. This is because the deep carry aspect allows it to sit low and deep in your pocket, exactly like the name implies.
This is not a reversible clip, which does mean that it is not going to be ambidextrous friendly. However, there are not going to be drill holes in any other part of the handle, which does allow it to be a little bit sleeker than those knives with reversible pocket clips.
The clip has been finished a black, which matches the handle well. It is slightly skeletonized, which does allow you to see the black screws holding it in place. These black screws also match the majority of the hardware on the handle. The clip tapers toward the end of it, as well as it dips slightly. The dip in the clip is going to allow it to stay even better and more snugly against your pocket.
This is an automatic knife, which does mean that it is not going to be legal in all states, cities, or areas of the USA. This means that it is your responsibility, as the user and the consumer, to know your local knife laws before buying and definitely before using this knife. BladeOps is not the responsible party for consequences on your part.
The other disadvantages of an automatic knife are that they do have a lot of moving parts on the inside. This means that if one of the parts is broken, the entire mechanism could be damaged. This does mean that an automatic knife is going to be slightly harder to maintain.
However, there are plenty of major advantages to using an automatic knife. The first is that it is going to be incredibly easy to bring into play. There is not going to be any fumbling when you first pull out your knife. Sometimes, even the seconds make a big difference. Another major advantage is that you can open the knife with only one hand, because all you have to do is press the button. This means that you can perform a few more day-to-day tasks with the SBR, because you won’t need to keep both hands on the knife. Lastly, the blade opens incredibly smoothly. This allows you to bring it into play even more quickly than a regular folding knife.
The blade on this Pro-Tech measures in at 2.625 inches long with a handle that measures in at 3.875 inches long. This creates an overall length of 6.5 inches long when the blade is opened. The weight of the knife is 2.9 ounces, which is pretty lightweight. This is a good knife that you can have with you at all times, and you probably won’t even notice you have it with you. This Pro-Tech, like all of them, are made in the United States of America. This means that you can fully trust the quality of the SBR.
SHOT Show 2019 yielded some very impressive knives but the true front-runner is the Pro-Tech built and Les George designed SBR--short for Short Bladed Rockeye. Stemming from his Marine Corps background, the SBR is a shortened version of his popular Rockeye auto and boasts a stout 1/8" thick blade stock. Built in 2 distinct variations, each model sports stylized pockets milled into the spine and the deep finger groove promotes excellent grip security. This model features a solid black anodized aircraft-grade aluminum handle, a drop point style blade in a stonewash finish and the deep carry pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.