Surefire EW-06 Delta Knife Review


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todayistomorrow
August 2, 2008, 12:19 PM
Surefire introduced their edged weapons line a little while ago. I have the privilage of owning their EW-06 Delta knife and using it in real world scenarios while I am deployed to Iraq.

First of all, let me state that I wasn't expecting what I got in the mail. I was expecting a mediocre knife with several useful tools that I might use. What I recieved is nothing less than stellar. Now, before I get all gushy with the praise, you all need to know what this knife is.

Primarily, it is an excellent knife. It comes from factory sharp as a scalpel and made of steel that doesn't seem to dull at all easilly. There is no flex what so ever no matter how hard I try to bend the thing (though I have not put it into a crack and pried, simply with the sheath on, tried to flex it). They say that it is made of a proprietary alloy called S30V and it lives up to its claim of superior edge retention. The coating that they put on the metal is also very hard. I have yet to scratch it despite several encounters with asphalt, the sides of truck loading beds and genearal use. Also despite several dippings in water of questionable cleanliness (read: black water) and liberal coatings of my own sweat, it has yet to rust or discolor in any way.

Secondarily, it is a treasure trove of useful tools. The wirecutters that are integrated into the but end and underside of the knife are excellent. They've handled everything from thin WF16 and Cat 5 cable to chainlink fences without even a denting in the jaws. Whatever that S30V stuff is, it is amazing. Integrated into the grip is a "self-seating" wrench. I can't report on that particular thing because of a lack of bolts that I can go to town on. I will say that it does look like it will do its job quite well, given that the bolt is tall enough to seat into the handle. The belt cutter that is at the butt end of the knife on the top of the handle is also good, slicing through tarp tiedowns and seatbelts with nary a hitch. The blade also looks replaceable, though I haven't taken the grips off of the knife to find this out. Lastly, and one of my few complaints about the knife tools, is the screwdriver/fingerguard. It is awkward to use, with the knife being tall unless you have the freedom to use both hands. The good thing about it is that it is the perfect size for the screws in the current generation of Kevlar helmets we have been issued, which makes it a whole lot easier to replace the chinstrap on the things.

Now, for the one downside. The sheath that the knife ships with is absolutely atrocious. It is injection molded plastic, which I deplore in the first place. The second problem is that the belt clip for the knife is dead center on the sheath, which only covers the blade portion of the knife. With it secured on your belt straight up as it comes from factory, the butt end of the blade is half way up your ribs, and the knife isn't exactly cuddly. To remedy this, you can remove the clip from the knife and move a small insert so that one of the two screws holding the clip on rests in a curved groove, allowing you to cant the knife any way you please. The only problem with this is that when it is parallel to the ground, the knife clip is still centered on the blade, leading it to droop and look generally unprofessional. Another problem I had is that, after taking the screws out and adjusting the clip so that I could mount it to a MOLLE Leg panel (I had to cut the stitching between two loops to get it to slide on, the clip is about two inches wide), the screws came loose after a four mile foot patrol. Thankfully I had tied the bottom of the sheath to the panel and I didn't lose the knife. A little loctite fixed that issue.

Overall, this knife is absolutely amazing, and I would recomend it to anyone. The price is severely steep, $249.00 on the surefire website. Despite the insane price, I still would buy another one in a heartbeat. It is that good. My recommendation to anyone purchasing the knife, is to make, or have someone make a leather sheath for it with a securing loop or snap that would go through the cutout in the handle.

My overall scoring of the knife: 9/10

Cheers,
Today Is Tomorrow

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JShirley
August 2, 2008, 12:23 PM
Thanks for the review. They looked like a gimmick to me, but I'm glad to hear you found yours so useful.

S30V (http://www.dougritter.com/pop_up_cpms30v.htm) isn't proprietary to SureFire, but it is excellent steel.

John

hso
August 2, 2008, 01:23 PM
As John said, S30V is used by several companies that make knives. Even more common is your complaint about the sheath that comes with an expensive knife. Many companies make excellent knives, but supply pathetic sheaths with them. You'd think they'd apply the same design and engineering to the sheath since a bad sheath means a lost knife.

Instead of leather a sheath from River City Sheaths would be better. Thermoplastics don't hold moisture and can be set up to mount in nearly infinite ways. They're quicker to make also so they're quicker to get.

Almost all the features on your knife have been around on other knives from at least 30 years. The coating and the steel are the only recent developments. "Wrench" cutouts in the handle, flat head screw driver at guard or butt, even wire cutters. None of them were very convenient, though.

Valkman
August 2, 2008, 04:55 PM
S30V is proprietary to Crucible, who makes it. Who makes these knives for Surefire? Or do they somehow make knives?

If you want a really good Kydex sheath for it try www.redhillsheaths.com - they make sheaths for me and are very good.

TimboKhan
August 3, 2008, 01:45 AM
Looking at it, it has some upsides to it, but I am not personally certain that I would pay $250.00 for it as opposed to spending $65.00 on a Leatherman Wave. If I really thought I needed a fixed blade knife, I could spend another $100.00 bucks on a RAT (or something similar), and still be almost 100 dollars cheaper.

But, thats just my opinion. If it's gear you like, don't let my own personal preferences get in your way. I am glad you were happy with it, and in the end, that's all that really matters anyway.

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