Back in the old days of CNC manufacturing in the knife industry in the early 90s, there were a few companies that were true innovators that pushed the envelope of design and precision while using the fairly rudimentary 2D manufacturing techniques standard at the time. One of these outfits was GT knives. GT became known for a slick button-lock folder of high quality and sleek design and was developed into one of the first high-end, U.S.-made auto knives on the market. Greg Bark and Todd Jones (GT) were sticklers for quality and while they only focused on a few models, you could rest assured that when a knife came out of a box, it was “right.” You may remember their manual button-lock folder or perhaps the DIVIX automatic golf tool that they still make. GT was deservedly known for good stuff.
Recently, the design, marketing and manufacturing operations of GT Knives have been purchased by Mantis knives and they have resurrected the GT auto. A newly manufactured example they sent me is well made to the high GT standard and boasts a number of features still considered innovative today. Since Mantis is becoming known for “out of the box” knife design and manufacturing, GT should be a good fit within their lineup.
The steel parts of the GT Silence auto are completely U.S.-made, and matte black PVD coated, while the knurled aluminum T-6 6061 alloy handle has been type-III hard-anodized black. This gives the Silence a very business-like, stealthy appearance that will resist pocket wear rather well. The PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating ensures lubricity smooth operation and enhanced corrosion resistance.
The Silence’s 3.75-inch ATS-34 blade is well ground and adequately sharp with an aggressive serration pattern. The modified tanto profile will work fine for most applications and looks the tough-guy part. The push-button is securely nestled in the pivot area, a nice touch. GT autos have always been known for their unique look and the pivot button adds to that cachet. Three large Torx screws keep the handle in place and a large, machined alloy pocket clip finishes the package off. The blade action is snappy, so hold on tight. This GT is “Gran Turismo” fast.
In use, the slim and lightweight (4.5 ounces) GT knife is easy to carry and easy to open and close. Unlike the current breed of tactical auto, it has no manual safety. The recessed pivot button ensures that the knife won’t accidentally fire in your pocket or if dropped. The handle is comfortable with a nice humped profile and the bolster area provides a large guard that comes in handy during heavy use. The back is vented for ease of cleaning. Mantis feels so strongly about the knife they offer a lifetime guarantee.
Good Looks And Handling
Users will instantly be impressed by the fast snap and precise machining of the bi-directional handle checkering and the absolute lack of tooling marks or unneeded sharp edges or corners. The lock is strong and the black snaps open and close with a minimum of play. The pivot/lock is machinist’s brass for added lubricity over time. It’s a nice system that requires some sophisticated machining due to its placement in the pivot. The handle scales are so well machined that they seamlessly snap into place during reassembly.
The only real negative I found with the GT is that the comfortable pocket clip may require a little tuning, depending on what type of pants you are wearing. No problem. The lack of a manual or automatic safety is practically nullified by the well-recessed firing button. It requires a firm push that will smooth out over time.
It is good to see a classic auto icon like the GT auto come back to life under new ownership with big plans. It will be nice to see what other models and twists Mantis creates with this design and others as a base platform. According to Mantis owner Jared West, they are planning on doing just that.
For more information contact Mantis at www.mantisknives.com or call 714-701-9136.