25 September 2011

Microtech Daytona

So, there is contest at BladeOps, write a review of a knife and one could win a Spyderco Ladybug.  Yeah, I know it is a tiny knife.  Note the size of key for comparison...or that is a set of some huge keys.

Spyderco Ladybug
There are five knives to give away. Not that I really want that little knife, but I am not going to turn away a free knife...or a free anything. Yeah, it seems weird that I am writing about a $300 knife, just to win a knife worth $30.  Anyway, here is my review of the Microtech Daytona.

Microtech Daytona
The compact design and affordable price point makes the Daytona is a great entry knife to the Microtech line.  This knife is a work of art, precision made, down to the screws that hold it together.  Top notch materials are used include a S30-V blade, 6061T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum with Carbon Fiber inlay.  It has been said that "Microtechs are the Swiss watches of automatic knives". 

Microtech knives come in a generic box with instructions and includes a nylon sheath.  The sheath is very nice and has a hook and loop closure on the belt loop, and adjustable buckle closure for the knife.  While this is obviously a quality product like their knives, I find that it is too large for the knife.  It could well be that Microtech just has one size of sheaths, hence the adjustable buckle, but the knife kinda rattles around in there.  The Daytona is one of Microtech's smaller knives. No matter, not like I am going to carry it in the sheath...actually, I am not suppose to carry it at all.

The Daytona feels great in the hand.  I have average sized hands and it seems my hands were designed to hold the Daytona...or the other way around.  The handle is about four inches and weighs in at just under three ounces.  Pretty average size for an average guy.  I know, it sound like I am talking about something other than a knife.  Just stick with me.

The handle is inlaid with carbon fiber on both sides.  I have seen a lot of carbon fiber from hockey sticks, to bike parts, to car parts.  On occasion, one might see air bubbles in the resin or gaps in the weave.  Not the case here.  Sure, it maybe a relative small piece, but the carbon fiber inlays are perfect.  No gaps or air bubbles.  I am not sure if it serves any structural function for the knife, but it looks damn cool.

One negative element I find in this knife, the screws. The custom made screws stick out a bit from the handle, meaning that they are not flush with the body.  The screws are cone shaped so they come to a shallow point.  I understand that the designers were trying to match the look of the glass breaker.  I think it would have been better to counter sink the screws or  have the head be more dome shaped.  Again, this is a minor issue.  

The pocket clip is strong.  The Microtech logo is engraved, possibly laser etched, on the clip, as well as "Daytona", serial number and date of manufacture.  I like that feature, you know they are not just pumping out knives left and right.  It shows that they take the time when they number and date their fine works of art and adds to the value.  The clip is secured to the handle by the glass breaker.  It looks like the clip may be reversible.  The glass breaker is sharp, so be careful with that...do not drop it on your foot.  Although I have yet to test the glass breaker, or skull cracker, I am pretty confident that it can do some serious damage.

There are other blade styles and finishes, I elected to go with the drop point, single edge blade.  At a little over three inches, the S30-V blade is just beautiful.  Perfectly centered grinds to shape the blade, with a really sharp factory grind.  I love the detail of the 'blood grove' and the little holes that are drilled through the blade.  The blade moves smoothly when being fired and retracted.  You can just feel how tight the tolerances are on this knife.  There is a little play in the blade, but that is expected in a blade that is not fixed.

Speaking of firing and retracting the blade, the button takes a little getting used to.  It is quite stiff and takes a strong thumb to activate.  It took a while to 'break in ' the mechanism...or perhaps it took time to strengthen my weak little hands.  I see guys in videos just fire and retract the blade like a jack hammer, part of the fun of owning an out the front automatic.  It took me a while to unlock that achievement.  This is not really a problem as it is a safety feature.  You have to want to fire the blade, accidental discharges are not a problem.  Also, you will want to play with the firing mechanism.  This will help break in the knife and strengthen weak hands, like mine.

If you are looking for an entry level out the front knife, the Microtech Daytona might be right for you.  It may be a little pricey, but the quality is top notch.  You will not be disappointed.

EDIT:  I guess I talk/write too much.  The review is limited to 1000 words, my review is 4343 words.  I need to edit down, perhaps just rewrite it for BladeOps, and keep this one here.  Heck, I spent a lot of time writing this.  Ugh, it took me like a half an hour to knock it down to less than 1000 words.  I had to get rid of my witty comments, just a straight review.  And, I should add another picture, since there is a lot to read through.

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