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After I covered the Colonial M-724 orange-handled military pilot’s and aircrew automatic survival knife in this column, Colonial Knives was pleasantly surprised at the amount of interest it generated for them. As a result, they have expanded their variations of the M-724 and designed a series of what they call “Push Button Tools” based on the M-724 handle and mechanism.

colonial1.jpgFirst, let’s look at the Push Button Tools. The model most like the original M-724 is their M-728 “Off Shore Sailor’s Knife.” It is the same as the M-724 with regard to its orange handle, mechanism, and lanyard bail on the master automatic blade end. The knife blade is a heavy-duty, partially serrated blade for easy rope cutting. In place of the manually opened, hooked, strap-cutting blade, there is a multi-purpose tool that has a combination cap lifter and turn buckle key used for adjusting the tension on the mast support rigging cables on a sailboat. The tool also has a cutout designed for loosening gas caps and for use as a shackle key for breaking frozen shackles loose to make sail changes easier. This tool stands out from the handle in its folded position so that it can be easily opened even with cold, stiff hands or when wearing gloves.

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