You’re navigating through an urban environment, streets full of angry mobs, buildings burning, danger around every corner. Your Every Day Carry (EDC) can easily be the difference between life and death, with one of the most important tools being your knife. In this situation, you need a high quality instrument that can easily be opened by one hand and sharp enough to cut or stab through nylon, clothing, rope, skin or bone. While a bayonet would seem to be great choice for hand- to-hand combat, it is not so practical for Grayman and the mission to navigate a chaotic city scape without drawing unwanted attention.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never been in a hand-to-hand fight with a knife. A girl did stab me with a pencil in the third grade, but I may have deserved it. I have read and heard many first hand accounts of knife fights though, and they always end with both parties being grievously wounded. I look at a future piece of kit for my EDC not only through my own experience, but also the experience of others. The best lesson learned is to avoid a situation that will lead to you to being in a knife fight.
I have tried a few automatics over the years, yet none have compared to the Microtech Ultratech. While working in the North Carolina mountains recently, I was introduced to Microtech from a local law enforcement officer that was sporting an “Out of the Front” or OTF auto. Once I saw this knife, I knew that I needed to learn more. He gave me directions to the plant not far away, and soon after, I was in the truck and on the way.
While the company makes a few different chassis and blade combinations, I was happy to get my hands on the Blacked-Out Ultratech with a tanto blade.Weighing in at just under 3.5 ounces, this knife carries a blade length of 3.40 inches. The overall 8.5-inch T-6 aluminum handle has a near perfect ergonomic feel in the hands, yet is compact and narrow enough to fit clipped into a pocket without a large imprint. One of my favorite features of Ultratech is the firing mechanism.
The chassis has a large thumb button that slides forward to fire and rearward to retard the blade, and has a dominant presence that is easy to actuate gross motor when adrenaline is pumping and things are getting dicey. I have found that many high-end autos have very small firing buttons that would be difficult to operate when fine motor skills are long gone in a fight. The butt of the knife has a punch point that will easily handle a glass pane or car door window and a blade forged from Bohler ELMAX steel that is uncompromised in strength, hardness and ability to hold an edge.
I do feel that it is important for me to note that the firing mechanism will not provide a ballistic opening. This means that the blade will stop as a safety if deployed with the hilt against most any soft or hard object. Microtech does make a model that has a single action, spring-fired ballistic opening that will drive deep until the blade hits something hard enough to stop it.
As for the nuts and bolts, 100% of the components are made in the U.S.A., with 95% being made in-house in the North Carolina mountains. Microtech’s customer service provides a limited lifetime warranty and sharpening services free of charge with every purchase, however don’t worry about wearing out the spring-firing mechanism. It is doubtful that you ever will. Microtech has a proprietary technology that allows the firing spring to be at rest in both the open and closed position. The machined tri-grip pattern on the handle will keep the knife in your hand even when wet with sweat or worse yet, blood.
The Ultratech is new to my kit and will continue to be a part of my EDC as well. I aim to try out a few different models from Microtech in the near future. You can find more information on Microtech’s website here, including dealers near you. Be warned that they do not have much in the way of information on the company’s website on how to treat or deliver sucking chest wounds; that will be left up to you and this very capable tool.