When you visit Extrema Ratio’s website you find they break their military models down into potential use categories. The M39-09 paratrooper knife, for instance, is classified as a “Combat Fixed Blade.” The new Fulcrum K9, on the other hand, is listed as a “Multipurpose Fixed Blade.” As the name suggests, this model was originally designed as a utility blade for dog handlers in the Italian army. At 125 mm in blade length (slightly under 5 inches), I would have to agree the K9 is ideally suited to use by those who need something larger and stronger than a normal tactical folder but not as long as a dedicated fighting knife.

Like earlier “Fulcrum” models, the basic blade shape follows the American tanto style of a reinforced point. N690 is again the steel alloy (Rc-58) of choice with the first 40 mm of the edge serrated in the standard “two-step” pattern. Blade thickness runs 6.3mm or right around 3/16 inch. Forprene is also the handle material on this model and the scabbard is a hard-lined, nylon drop model with the same three security systems as the M39-09. The knife weighs 18 ounces in the sheath, making it relatively light for the heavy-duty tool it is. Its suggested retail price is €311(Euros) or $399.

Along with a more compact blade length, the K9 differs from other Fulcrum variations in that it has only a single guard rather than the double guard common to most combat-style blades. Many experienced soldiers feel that double guards only provide an illusion of safety over a single guard, anyway. Single guards are much less likely to get in the way during normal field use. All of Extrema Ratio’s knife handles have their own special flair; I’ve heard some referred to as being uniquely “Italian.” Despite their unconventional appearance, they are actually very comfortable to use with and without gloves on.

Along with dog handlers, I would think the compact size of the K9 would make it ideal for use by both fixed wing and helicopter pilots as an emergency survival knife. While I’ve never served in an armored unit, I suspect a short, sturdy field knife would be a handy tool in the confines of a tank, too.

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