Pros: Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness, Lock Ease of Use, Handle Feel, Blade Material, None
Cons: Ease of Opening
Unique, hefty, and solid; lengthy review
Upon receiving this as my first titanium handled knife, I wanted to be surprised at how hefty it is; but just remember, it's titanium, not aluminum or G-10, so it does still have some weight. The lock bar required several days to fully break in (on mine, anyway), touching into about 10% lockup if I didn't click it in further. Now it reliably locks up 30% with no problem. The blade stop is inside the blade tang, not visible outside, which subtly adds to the knife's aesthetic appeal and lets it seem more like a no-frills folder (the double grind is a frill, albeit useful).On the stonewashed version, one reviewer admits how difficult this knife is to open one-handed: I agree. Though, it is possible to sort of work with it, and open it from both sides of the thumb plate with your thumb and index finger. After some practice and break-in time, that becomes easy. However, I say to left-handers, this knife opens easier as it is with the left hand, thumb-only. That's probably because of the detent relaxing a bit as the blade is pressured to the side. When it does open, it's a relatively soft snap with a flick of the wrist. It's not loud. Same goes for when it closes: my CRKT Pazoda has a louder action, but I'm thinking that's due to the materials used -- solid steel versus solid titanium (with the exception of the steel interface in the lock bar). Either way, I like that it doesn't call too much attention when I merely want to cut a box open.On that note, the blade is sturdy, with no wobble to-fro, left-right, and the like. And it's thick, for a folder (I measure it at 5mm); it makes the average fighting knife jealous for its proportions. The build is overall high-quality, at this price for a handmade knife. It does lack a couple of higher-end knife features, such as 100% attention to detail in the finish and edge grind. Personally, I do not mind, as the grind is almost perfect, and the finish will be tested anyway; but it still stands that the edge is not perfectly centered. And I'm willing to bet that is an anomaly, not the norm.The feel of the handle is... I don't think it's comfortable, but it isn't uncomfortable, either. It's blocky, and it digs just a little, but nothing that stifles usability (unless you have smaller hands). It's a knife very suitable for a saber grip, and -- if you dare -- a reverse draw-cut grip. The hammer and normal draw-cut holds work fine. In saber, my thumb rests on the thumb plate, aptly enough, with the MCP joint (anatomy, sorry) folding over the crest on the back of the handle. The middle finger sits center in the choil, between the ring and the index, which sits flush against the blade's base. Under hard use, I can scoot my fingers down so that the index and middle both sit in the choil. All the while, my pinkie lays flat across the smooth titanium below. That said, the saber hold puts the hollow grind into full power that cuts cord like butter, and offers point-control for the hard-use "Airborne" Tanto flat grind. I love it.The balance is just above the center inside the choil, which makes this knife's heft easy to wield. The pocket clip is appealing and functional: no snagging, no slipping, and no loosening (just look at that huge bolt holding the base together). And lastly, the ORB pivot system is working well so far: if you press the lock bar out of the way, the blade swings freely. It doesn't feel gritty, but it's not smooth like a well oiled phosphor-bronze pivot. Perhaps that's something they will fix in the future.All in all, this is my biggest eye-catcher, and it is indeed a tough folder that bites as hard as it barks.Good job, QTRMSTR. I'm a Texan, so I thoroughly appreciate that my Mr. Strickland knife is made here in Texas, and that it boldly says so right there on the blade. (That was actually the proud selling point for me.) And thank you, KnifeCenter, for offering it; there are hundreds of knives I'd never see without your business.God bless, everyone.