Monday, September 7, 2015
Review: maybe 5.11 Tarani x14 karambit
We have friends who heard that I have a thing for knives, and fixing broken things, and they send a mashed karambit they were very proud of my way. It looked like it had been stood on, popped the main blade fixing screw, and some of the torsion spring and locking mechanisms had bent and warped. The belt clip had two missing screws, but the blade was in good shape, if a little blunt. I got out my TORX screwdrivers and set to work.
Once I found a spare main fixing screw I had in my parts-bucket, and bending and hammering the frame lock spring back into shape I was pretty satisfied that I'd rejuvenated the blade back into a functional state. The thing was, even fully screwed together, it seemed ... wobbly. I held it in my hand and looked at the 5.11 logo and Tarani branding and thought to myself "is this something that Tom Davin would have released?" I had some serious doubts.
I did a web-search on the listed data "5.11 Tarani X14 karambit" and all I came up with were Russian language YouTube reviews, and an Ali Express listing for a 5.11 Tarani x14 karambit.
I asked Omega for the 5.11 CUB Tarani Karambit that I got fer her a couple of years ago and held them side by side, the difference was immediately obvious. Even if the "x14" was an entry level, budget version of the "CUB", it just seemed too different, with a torsion spring rather than a linear liner lock. The molding of the scales was also a little bit off, not sharp enough or well finished enough to be a match to the 5.11 logo. The scales and the frame were also not fully flush.
That might have been because of the damage it had sustained, but it seemed more likely, due to poor construction in the first place.
At full length it makes a 16 cm (6.3") arc, with the blade making up 7 cm (2.7"). At it's widest, the blade is 2.8 mm thick, and made out of 440 steel, half serrated for extra bitey cutting needs, and is apparently hardened to a 55 HRC rating. The surface is oxidation coated, for rust prevention, and marked with a very convincing 5.11 logo on one side, and the Tarani logo on the other. Weighing in at 120 g (4.25oz, it's quite light and lithe in the hand, the ring-loop fitted me well, although the gaps within the frame meant that if I gripped tightly, they could have dug in.
Its a nice enough knife if you're not looking for reliability, or quality and want to look badassed with your karambit. I will happily address my thoughts if 5.11 get back ti me, but overall, my impression was that this was a poorly put together piece.