Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: 5.11 Tactical - Tarani CUB Master 2.0 Karambit

I am always pleased to be able to provide my loved ones with some cherished pieces of kit. My partner Omega was delighted to add a NukoTool Skully keyring to her keys, and last giftmas I was able to procure this beauty for her purse. She has a penchant for back-swept blades, and I wanted to get her something she would enjoy.

This is the 5.11 Tactical CUB Master 2.0 (Combat Utility Blade) which is part of their Tarani line. There is really something to be said for the claw like lines of the Philipino karambit and its simple functionality, even for something of an exotic design to Western sensibilities.

I was impressed with both the slight weight, at about 150g (0.35lbs) and easy size in the hand. The blade itself is only 7cm (2.87") long, which opens with an ambidextrous skeltonized opening in the back of the blade. An interesting feature of this knife is that the deployment is fully adjustable, by adjusting the tension in a spring-bar which is accessible by removing the scales. This is facilitated by the included TORX wrench, which was a nice touch.

The same wrench can also be used to flip the pocket clip from side to side.

The scales are made of FRN (Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon) which is a more flexible yet durable alternative to the more common G10. The grip is textured with the 5.11 logo, as well as three circular finger tip dips.Crenelations on both the inside of the handle and back  of the blade allow further positive grip.

Equipped to enable both a blade up and blade down grip, the large reinforced retention ring typical of this type of blade, giving both pinkie or index finger grips. That ring allows both a retention, and lanyard attachment point as well as being a blunt impact tool.

The linear lock set into the back handle allows the return the S30V Crucible steel curved, scythe blade into its recess, and the clasp tension is directly related to the adjustable tensioner used for release of the blade. The short blade is not an issue given the particular style of use this kind of blade allows, and for the particular uses Omega uses it for.

The glare and corrosion eliminating Teflon finish of the blade only adds to its overall slick production. That evil claw of a blade makes up for lack of length with style and stealth.

As you can see, it works nicely as the backbone of an EDC tool-chain, with a WTF and Eat'n Tool on a baby carabiner on Omega's one.


  1. How exactly do I adjust the tension bar or spring? I want to make mine smoother and easier to open as it is very stiff now and hard to open. Thanks

    1. You need to unscrew the scale on one side, this will expose the internals, including the tensioning bar.

    2. I've gotten that far, but how do you adjust the bar to make it less stiff and more smooth and easy to open? Do I need to file down the bar to make it shorter?

    3. Aha! I initially just flipped the one in mine, as it was bent now way, and if reversed it put less pressure on the lock, making it a lighter lock. After some fooling around, I did it again, took the bar out and hammered it a little straighter to find a middle ground. Hope that helps!


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