Model: XM Strike Fighter
Price Paid: $215
Initial Impressions: Unique looking knife, particularly the blade (that's partially why I bought it). Handle is not very thick, which is my preference, but the large expanse around the blade pivot makes for a tough EDC. Jimping on the blade spine is far too aggressive.
Packaging: Knife came wrapped in a blue plastic mesh wrap 'sock', but that was the only protection.
Observed Quality: Handles match up perfectly, leaving no seam. Blade centered in liner.Blade...Sharpness: Terrible. Came out of the box with an awful edge, if you could even call it an edge of course.Speed of Deployment: Quick. Blade moves with authority.Solidity of Lockup: Good. Probably could use a bit of an adjustment though; when the blade reaches the fully opened position there's almost a 'return' action in the travel, as though it went a little too far and needs to come back a touch. When deployed downward pressure on the spine results in some movement, but very slight. Slide lever for locking the blade moves easily, but perhaps too much so. The detente for the locked and unlock positions does not feel very positive so I could see it moving from one to the other without much prodding.Blade Wobble When Deployed: More then a $200+ knife should have. Grabbing the tip and moving it from side-to-side reveals movement and a 'clicking' sound from the hinge.Handle...Feel: Solid. Fits my hand well and feels comfortable. Being aluminum means grip could be an issue when it's wet or cold.Size: Largish. The blade tip extends all the way to the end of the handle when retracted, so it's not like Ontario could have made it any smaller.Impressions: Overall I like it. Unique pattern cut into the sides and a nice size finger choil. For me it's a little on the slim side towards the end of the handle.Convenience...Clip Strength: Tights, perhaps too much so. Getting it to slide over the lip of my jeans pocket has proven to be somewhat difficult. It's held on by 3 screws, so it's not going anywhere. Metal is average width and thickness.Carry Options: Tip up and down for right side, tip up only for the left (the deployment button prevents tip down on the left).Overall...Value: Not a lot. There are better options in this price class. You can get knives just as good for a lot less. The Meyerco MFXRAY4 springs immediately to mind; for about $90 less you get a knife that's the equal to the XM Strike Fighter.Buy Again: No.Overall Assessment: This knife doesn't do it for me at this price. The blade came in serious need of sharpening, and it wobbles too much when deployed. The edge is pretty bad as well; on the tanto tip it was cut uneven, so the left side had a different grind angle and appearance then the right did. On the back side the edge was cut all the way to the first serration making it look like there is a chip in the blade. There isn't, but it sure looks that way. This one is going back.