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Bright Ideas for a Folding Knife

BriteStrike’s Brite-Blade Tactical Lighted Survival Knife puts the functionality of a multi-tool — including a small, 45-lumen mini flashlight — into the familiar form factor of a folding knife. Retailing for $150, the Brite-Blade offers a few other onboard tools as well: an emergency carbide window punch, a seat belt cutter/wire stripper/line cutter and a fire starter striking tool. And there’s the knife blade too. Depending on your context of use, these are bright ideas for a folding knife.

The best context for this type of knife is in the backcountry, on a non-life-threatening mission, when you want to carry minimal gear. While it’s great to have all the various tools on board, none of them are marked by superlative excellence. But they’re all adequate for basic outdoor tasks.

The fire starter striking tool is magnetically attached to the back of the knife handle. Pull it out and scrape it with the blade to send a shower of sparks into a pile of tinder. When done, pop it back into the handle. It works!

The seat belt cutter/wire stripper/line cutter is a robust, sharp blade — razor sharp and very capable. Well-designed, it hasn’t ever threatened any of my fingers or gotten hung up on clothing.

The emergency carbide window punch is a very strong tool, capable of being a strike tool for self-defense. That might be its best use, even if you never use it as a window punch.

As for the blade, it’ll jump into the open position with a push on either of the thumb studs. You’ll hear a snap as the liner lock takes its position behind the blade — 3.5 inches long, 1/8 inch thick, 440C stainless steel with a combination plain and serrated edge.

But my favorite part of this knife is the mini flashlight. Like the fire starter, it magnetically attaches to the handle. The flashlight turns on with a twist of the top, and — because there’s a magnet on the opposite end — you can attach it to any available steel surface. Or, leave it in the handle and use it to illuminate whatever you’re cutting.

The Brite-Blade measures 5.1 inches long (closed), 8.6 inches long (opened) and weighs 5.35 ounces. The handle is 1.45 inches high and 3/8 of an inch thick. A strong, steel clip attaches it securely to your pocket — tip-up carry only — but the cutter and carbide tip stick out quite a bit.

That’s a lot of capability for a folding knife, all well-executed and integrating some bright ideas.

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