While all automatics have a strong “forbidden fruit” cachet among cutlery users, it’s the “out-the-fronts” (OTF’s in “auto geek” lingo) that really increase their pulse rate. And of that general cutlery category, the modern “double-action” out-the-fronts are the most sought after. I think all of us find the functioning of these knives a little like magic. Push the release forward and the blade snaps straight out of the hollow handle and locks into place. Nothing too unusual there. It is when you pull the release back a short distance and the blade snaps closed just as fast as it opened, that you start wondering, “how did they do that?”

microtech3.jpgFlight of the Troodons
Microtech, one of the leaders in the new generation of auto makers, has long favored OTF’s for many of their models. Their latest introduction is the “Combat Troodon” family of blades. (I vaguely knew a “Troodon” was a type of dinosaur but didn’t know much more than that. After Googling, I found it was a relatively small, bird-like animal around 6-feet high that may have had feathers. Like its more famous cousin, the Velociraptor of “Jurassic Park,” it had a large, hooked talon on each hind leg well suited for use as a “tactical knife.”) Currently, blade options for the Combat Troodon include a full double-edge blade, a clip-point, a wharncliffe point, and the ever-popular tanto point. All of these blades are S30V stainless and vary from around 3-3/4 inches to 4 inches depending on point style. Serrations and a wide variety of blade finishes are available as options on each model. The handles are hard-anodized aluminum with a window-breaking point mounted on the butt. Along with a spring carry-clip, each knife also comes with a heavy nylon belt pouch. Weight, 5.3 ounces. Prices run from around $450 to $600 depending on blade style.

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