Since the company's inception six years ago, I've had the chance to handle and look at several Masters of Defense (MOD) knives, but none has ever really given me a warm, fuzzy feeling. That doesn't mean I didn't think that they were good, solid duty knives; it just means an MOD knife didn't jump up and say, "pick me."

This year that all turned around when MOD introduced the 875 Series. From the minute I held one of these knives and opened its blade, I knew that it was a tool that I could use and love.

Each knife in the 875 Series is about average size for a tactical blade (3.75 inches), the series includes manual and auto-open versions, and three different blade styles are available: Tanto, Fighter, and Clip. Each blade style is available with plain or partially serrated edges.

The Model 875 chosen for this test was the LTT875 automatic with a tanto blade and a partially serrated edge. This model was my preference because I like the looks of the tanto blade and appreciate the extra strength that it affords the user over a spearpoint blade. I chose the serrated blade, which I prefer on all duty knives, because the serrations will make short work of any webbing or harness material.

And now let's get a little controversial. I prefer auto-opening knives over conventional folding models. I especially like them as duty tools because they can be opened and used with just one hand.

But that said, I'll quickly add that there are some serious drawbacks to some automatic knives. I don't like it when an automatic's blade engages with such force that it is almost jerked out of my hand. And then there's the issue of making sure that the blade doesn't fly open in my pocket.

The LTT875 automatic scores high marks on both smooth deployment of the blade and blade security. When its release button is activated, the blade pops out of the frame smoothly and quickly. On the safety side, the LTT875 has a frame top lock, a trigger that is easily operated with or without gloves, and a secure sliding safety.

The next thing that really caught my eye about the LTT875 was the look. Yeah, I know it's just a tool, but a good duty knife still must have some degree of the cool factor. The 875 scores high marks on its aesthetics. It combines cool looks and toughness into one excellent package.

Part of the great look of the LTT875 is its scaling. The texture on the handles of this knife is actually the same stuff as the tape that they put on fighter aircraft so pilots and mechanics can walk on the wings. On an F-16, this stuff can handle Mach speeds. On the LTT875, it ensures a secure grip, even when coated with sweat, soap, oil, or other liquids.

The scaling is mounted on a very tough polymer frame. The LTT875's handle is composed of Zytel and fiberglass to give it a good mix of strength without being brittle. The Zytel grip is further strengthened with stainless-steel liners. These increase the knife's rigidity and aid in making the LTT875 corrosion resistant.

You can carry the LTT875 in two ways. Even though it is an automatic knife, it ships with a belt sheath. So you can carry it on your belt if you like. It also comes with a clip, so you can carry it in a pocket.

MOD put a lot of thought into the clip on the 875 Series knives. It's ambidextrous, and it can be positioned to put the blade up or down to meet your personal preference. I opted to change the clip to the blade down position, so that when the knife is drawn from my pocket, my thumb is positioned on the blade-release button. This is, of course, a purely personal choice, and I can't say which is best for you.

The LTT875 is an excellent duty knife. It's a high-quality product that's affordably priced and designed to take whatever your duty day has to offer. I would not feel underequipped taking an LTT875 into harm's way and neither should you. If you are looking for a great duty knife, put an MOD LTT875 in your pocket; you won't regret it.

Masters of Defense
LTT875 Auto

Blade Length: 3.75 inches
Blade Thickness: .148 inches
Overall Length: 8.75 inches
Blade Material: 154 CM at 60 Rockwell
Finish: Diamond black DLC
Frame: Zytel with fiberglass
Price: $199.98

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.