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Departments : Blades & Tools

SureFire Alpha Folding Knife

What happens when a high-end flashlight company makes a tactical knife? In this case, the answer is an excellent duty tool.

December 01, 2004  |  by Scott Smith - Also by this author


Known for its innovations in tactical, weapons-mounted, and personal light technology, SureFire is now producing a line of high-quality, heavy-duty knives.

SureFire launched its knife line with, appropriately enough, the Alpha, and I have to say that when I first saw this folder on the SureFire Website, I was excited. It looked like one heck of a duty tool.

Of course, the manufacturer's online marketing brochure is going to make any knife look great. But the only way to really judge a knife is to put it in your hand. I made a quick call to SureFire and an Alpha was on its way.

When the box arrived I wondered what the heck SureFire had shipped, it was so large. Fortunately, most of that bulk was from packing materials. And come to think of it, when a knife costs as much as the Alpha, it should be well packed.

Enough about the box. Let's talk about the Alpha itself. This is a really good-looking knife. It's black with G10 inlays, but it shows a little flair with the SureFire logo emblazoned on the grip in red. The blade and frame are also in two tones: black and dark gray. This is really a striking-looking and functionally designed knife.

Looks aside, how tough is the Alpha? The answer to that question lies in its components and design. The Alpha's blade is CMPS30V stainless steel that is tungsten carbide coated and curved like a Gurkha Kukri knife, a design that's renowned for its strength.

To gain an even greater appreciation for the design and construction of the Alpha, put it to work. The blade opens easily via an ambidextrous thumb stud. There's also a flipper stud protruding from the back of the frame.

With a smooth sweep of the blade flipper and a continuous flick, the blade locks open. And it locks securely. Try as I might, I could not get the Alpha's liner lock to fail.

The Alpha's liner lock is secured into a heavy-duty, hard-anodized aluminum frame. When I say heavy-duty, the aluminum alloy is aerospace grade, and it should survive the worst daily life can dish out. Unlike other knives I have seen, the panel support/spacer is machined out of the right frame panel, no wimpy little spacer studs. This frame won't crush or bend under any level of normal use.

You can also get a real good grip on the Alpha. The side panel G10 inlays and the dimples on the front of the Alpha's grip frame give any operator a secure hold on the knife even in wet and slippery conditions.

SureFire's lights are known for their rugged construction and designs that allow operators to use them as pressure-control and impact weapons, when necessary. The Surefire Alpha Knife carries on this tradition.

At five inches closed, this knife is large enough that it extends from both sides of your hand. This allows you to use it as a blunt object pressure-point control device or to inflict damage in a hammer motion. This is something that can't be done with many other "tactical knives," and it can be a critical tool in a fight.

With the Alpha, SureFire has entered the tactical knife market in a big way. Not in numbers of models offered by the company, but with pure quality. The Alpha is constructed of the best materials, and its features are not found on many other high-end knives.

If you are looking for a high-quality, heavy-duty working knife, then you may want to consider the SureFire Alpha. Granted, the Alpha is pricey, but it is designed to take hard use and survive.

SureFire
Alpha Folding Knife

Caliber: .45 ACP
Overall Length: 8.65 inches
Blade Length: 4.125 inches
Overall Length: 9 inches
Closed Length: 5 inches
Weight: 6.6 ounces
Blade Material: CMPS30V stainless steel coated with tungsten carbide
Frame Material: 7075 T6 aerospace grade aluminum
Price: $300
www.surefire.com

Scott Smith is a disabled veteran who served as an active duty Army MP and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as a security policeman.

Tags: Knives, Folding Knives, SureFire

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