Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BLOG 41. Talon Tactical Knife

BLOG 41 Talon Tactical Knife
Cliff Jacobson

Talon Knife and Kydex sheath/ optional clip attached
I just returned from the annual Canoecopia (Rutabaga) show in Madison, WI.  One of the things I love about these events is that there are always new products  to try.  This year, I discovered a funky little knife that works as an everyday pocket knife, emergency rescue knife (clip it to your PFD) and tactical defense blade.

The blade is 1.75 inches long; maximum thickness with sheath is one-quarter of an inch. Overall weight with its fitted Kydex sheath is 2.5 ounces. The knife feels weightless in your pocket; it seems to take up no space at all.

Place your forfinger and middle finger inside the black para-cord-wrapped skeletonized handle. The knife stays put even when you open your hand. There are five different handle sizes to accommodate different sized fingers. You can further customize the fit by unwrapping, re-wrapping or over-wrapping the handle frame with the supplied parachute cord.

Talon clipped to PFD
When I first saw the Talon I questioned its two-finger hold and severely-drop-pointed, talon-shaped blade.  But with use, I began to appreciate its design. The blade may be small but it is stout and powerful, yet also capable of fine work*.  It can skin a rabbit, split small kindling or produce wood shavings for a campfire. The steel, which is hardened to RC 58-60 (that’s hard!), can be honed to a razor’s edge; the tip is strong enough to pierce a coin—or a car door. If I had to fend off a wild animal or human I’d naturally want more knife, but the littleTalon would do real damage.  
Talon clipped to belt loop

The knife will do fine work if you sharpen it to a razor's edge
The ultralight Kydex sheath secures the blade like a custom glove, yet releases it instantly with a pull.  There are no retainer straps or snaps to get in the way—just pull the handle and the blade is ready for action. The sheath can be worn in a number of ways: horizontal under a belt loop, right-side-up inside a waistband, on a neck chain, inside a boot or pocket or clipped to the hem of a T-shirt, etc. Accessories include a neck chain, locking snap clip, cable ties, colored para cord and a drawstring pouch. Rivet holes around the sheath perimeter provide unlimited attachment points.

I’ve always carried a fixed blade knife on my belt while canoeing so I’ve never felt the need for a rescue knife on my PFD. But the trim little Talon adds appreciably no weight or bulk to a life jacket.  And if you should capsize and must cut a rope or your fabric spray cover, the Talon is instantly accessible--and absolutely secure in your hand.  

The Talon is versatile, powerful for its size, unobtrusive and fast to deploy. It is not a “must have” knife for canoeing and camping.  But it is a practical and well made tool.

*That is, if you sharpen the blade to a razor’s edge. The steel is very hard, so even if you’re good at sharpening, it will take awhile.


Overall length:  Knife—4.375 inches; Knife + sheath = 4.75 inches
Weight with Kydex sheath = 2.5 ounces
Blade length = 1.75 drop point/talon shape
Blade thickness = 0.108 inches / 2.75 mm
Maximum thickness with sheath = A scant 0.25 inches.

Cliff Jacobson

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