Both the DPx HEFT 4 and 6 were designed for cutting your way out of the world’s most dangerous places! They are so well thought of in the Spec Ops community that many SEALs have been willing to buy these blades out of their own pocket. STEVE WOODS PHOTO
I doubt Robert Young Pelton needs much of an introduction to most Tactical Knives readers. Author of The World’s Most Dangerous Places series of travel guides, Pelton has visited and reported from more combat zones than the U.S. Marines. Whether you are asking about South America’s jungles, Somalia’s savannas, the Middle East’s deserts, or Myanmar’s sweltering tropics, Pelton has been there on its worst day. Naturally, all this first-hand observation of troops under fire has given him a unique perspective on what is and isn’t needed in a combat/survival knife. In recent months, Pelton has utilized that experience to introduce a new line of cutlery under the DPx Gear HEFT (Hostile Environment Fighting or Field Tool) trademark.
HEFT 4 & 6
Looking at the HEFT 4 and 6 (the numbers refer to the blade lengths). The DPx HEFT 4 features Niolox steel, while the DPx HEFT 6 is Sleipner steel. Blade thickness at the spine runs 5mm. Options include a “Woodsman” model with a stonewash finished blade and Brazilian Santos hardwood handle scales or the “Assault” with a PVD black-coated blade and G-10 handle scales. These handle scales are held on with removable screws that allow access to a storage compartment in the tang. While this hollowed out area is relatively small, it is large enough for fish hooks, firestarters, a button compass or similar survival items. Both knives are made by LionSTEEL in Maniago, Italy.
The sample knives each came in a black ballistic nylon sheath with a wide Velcro flap that completely covered the handle and most of the scabbard when closed. Frankly, this system did not impress me as very practical for a serious combat knife. Not only would it slow down drawing the knife, the Velcro makes entirely too much noise on a dark, quiet night.
Shortly after receiving the knives, DPx also supplied photos they had taken of members of a SEAL team training with the knives on their web gear. The first thing I noticed was that the SEALs were using a different sheath with a more conventional snap loop around the handle of the HEFT knife. When I asked about this I discovered that the Navy Spec Ops troops had also objected to the original Velcro flap version of the sheath and it had been replaced. I was also told that yet a third generation version is in the works and should be available by the time you read this feature. It is nice feeling when the current guys in Spec Ops back me up on these little points…
Author was happy to find that the original Velcro flap ballistic nylon sheath had been replaced with a more accessible handle snap loop version at the request of the SEALs. Author was told this is being further refined and a third generation will be available in the near future. PHOTO COURTESY OF DPX