The first knife I ever used for police duty was an original Buck Ranger™ lockback folding knife that I purchased in 1972. I still have that knife and sheath, and both are in excellent condition. That original Buck knife is still a very fine tool, and during the 70’s and 80’s was considered de-rigueur for many law enforcement officers of the time. The Buck lockback was a revolutionary design when introduced, but today there are better options for those who need a cutting/emergency defensive tool for concealed carry, police/SWAT use, or for use in the great outdoors. A new, high-tech fixed blade knife that can fulfill ALL those mission requirements and needs has been introduced by Montie Gear in the form of their Ultra-light fixed blade sheath knife.
The Montie Gear Ultralight is truly a cutting edge design (pun intended). The first thing one notices about it is the skeletonized aluminum sheath, which gives a clear, yet protected view of the blade. The holster features a steel thumb release lock, which is actuated by a natural draw grasp. The thumb release cams a lever when pushed down, clearing the notch on the top of the blade. What is ingenious about the locking system is the fact that when you push down on the thumb release to draw, the pressure assists in pushing the blade free from the sheath, thus accelerating the draw. Attached to the aluminum sheath by two large Phillips screws is a polymer attaching plate that opens completely to allow secure attachment to a belt, backpack shoulder strap, or any MOLLE gear straps. The sheath come set up to attach the knife to a trouser belt in a horizontal position which keeps the blade parallel with the ground. The factory default position allows for unobtrusive carry of the Ultra-light, and keeps any part of it from pushing against your body. Carried horizontally, it is very quick to draw and bring to bear. In addition, the factory attaching plate position allows easy and secure attachment to a backpack shoulder strap, giving quick access by a downward draw stroke. The sheathed Ultra-light carries very well in the front pants pocket, and can be drawn from it, leaving the sheath behind. The attaching plate can be re-positioned for different draw angles, and more importantly for SWAT officers or members of the military wanting to attach their Ultralight to their MOLLE gear. One word of caution: Make sure you check the tension of the Phillips retaining screws. On my early sample, one of the holster attaching screws backed out from the plate and was lost after three hours of casual carry. Fortunately, the other stayed in place and I didn’t lose the knife. A quick email to Monte Roland, the owner of Montie Gear resolved the problem. All knives being shipped now have the Phillips screws affixed to the attaching plate with removable Loc-Tite™ on the threads. Montie sent me a replacement screw, and I applied Loc-Tite to both. They have held solidly since then. If you purchase an Ultra-light, double–check the Phillips mounting screws before carrying.
The Montie Gear Knife is made in North Carolina, and according to Monte and his website, it and their other products are built for life, to “Heirloom Quality” standards. Not many of today’s products of any type can make that claim.
The three inch plain edge blade is made from Chrome Vanadium steel, with a Rockwell Hardness of 58-62. Of a skeletonized design with a tanto style point, it is pre-sharpened to an extremely sharp edge. When you dull it, Montie Gear offers a sharpening service if you can’t do it yourself. The blade is held to the skeletonized aluminum grip by fine hex screws-the same screws that hold the sheath together. The grips are available plain, or with nice paracord wrapping available in different colors-mine was wrapped in black. The weight of the paracord wrapped knife and sheath together is a feathery 3.7 ounces (the knife alone only weighs 1.9 ounces)! It definitely won’t weigh you down on the trail or the street as a companion piece to your handgun, or just as a utility tool. If I was currently on SWAT, it would ride on my raid armor.
This great blade is full of practicality AND emergency defensive capability. MSRP for the plain grip is $249.95 (add $10.00 for the paracord models). I think you will find you get your money’s worth, as well as a lot of envious attention.