One of the most frequent questions I’m asked concerning “tactical folders” is “which model is most likely to stand up to extreme abuse?” The problem here is that all folding knives start “broken in the middle” and there is only so much that can be expected of that joint. The blade locking system also provides another potential weakness in any folder design. Some are stronger than others but none can equal a simple fixed blade for foolproof strength. Still, every once in a while I run across a new folder that seems to challenge conventional wisdom on this subject. Timberline’s new “18-Delta” family of knives is in that category.
The 18-Deltas consist of three basic point styles: tanto-point, drop-point and a “rescue-point” (sheepsfoot). All versions were designed by Greg Lightfoot, a custom knifemaker well known for preferring to “railroad engineer” his own blades. The Timberline 18-Delta drop-point is basically a production version of the earlier Lightfoot “Catch Dog.” All blades are made of 440C stainless steel and measure 3.75 inches with a thickness of 0.19 of an inch. Ambidextrous thumb pegs allow one-hand opening. The titanium handle frame is covered with either black or “desert tan” G-10 handled scales. A heavy titanium liner-lock bar secures the knife in the open position. The steel carry-clip is reversible for right or left-hand tip-up carry. All these knives weigh around 7 ounces. Suggested retail on any version is $140.