Review: Dauntless MK4 from Triple Aught Designs

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knife380Functionality
I have carried the Dauntless MK4 from Triple Aught Designs every day for the last two months and I cannot say enough good things about it. I’ve owned a few other products from Triple Aught and I’ve never been disappointed. Their attention to detail is always second to none. The Dauntless is sure to never back down from any challenge, hence the name. This blade is there when you need it and virtually disappears in your pocket when you don’t.

When you first receive the knife, it seems very difficult to break past its closed position but then once it opens just a bit, it shoots open. I did a bit of research and found that the reason it opens so quickly once it releases is because it uses a captured bearing race which reduces friction and makes the opening almost effortless. After a bit more research, I found that the reason it seems to stick at first is because there is a small, rounded post or bearing in the frame lock that interlocks with a hole in the blade. At first I was confused by this but I started playing with another knife that uses the captured bearing race system and found that it was too easy to open and would open in your pocket if you weren’t careful. Because of this safety feature, the Dauntless has a bit of a learning curve. Your thumb has to get used to applying pressure in just the right direction, but once you have figured it out, you don’t even notice the retention system anymore.

Design and Aesthetics
The simple design and ergonomic handle make the Dauntless comfortable both in the hand and in the pocket. When I first started carrying this knife, I would have moments of panic where I thought that It had fallen out of my pocket. I was used to a knife that was much more intrusive and weighty. The unique design of this knife is very pleasing to the eye as well as functional. One of the handle scales is G10 while the other is made of titanium which gives the knife a one of a kind feel as well as reducing the weight to just 3.97 oz. Triple Aught offers a few different options for the finish of the blade. The finish on the blade that they sent me has unfortunately been discontinued but they still offer either a stonewash or DLC finish which stands for diamond like coating. Some people claim that this is one of the toughest coatings on the market. Their attention to detail knows no bounds, and this applies to everything from the overall build quality, right down to the laser etched logo at the base of the blade.

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Durability
Triple Aught makes their knives in the good ‘ol USA, they are only made with the highest quality materials. This translates to a very high quality final product. I’ve used this knife for everything from removing splinters to cutting rope and I even used the titanium handle to press a nail back down into a board. After all of this abuse, the knife is still extremely sharp and, other than a few scratches on the pocket clip from every-day use, it looks like I just took it out of the box. The S35VN blade steel that Triple Aught uses is designed to be tougher and easier to machine and polish than traditional steel. This means that their blades are easier to sharpen and they hold an edge longer than most other blades on the market. The chromium carbides in the S35VN steel also give it corrosion resistant properties. This truly is the perfect go anywhere, do anything knife.

Value
People have always said that you can’t put a price on happiness. Triple Aught has decided to try, unfortunately, that price is $360. This seems like a hefty sum for a pocket knife, but when you look at everything that goes into this knife, it makes sense. With a knife of this quality, you can expect to pay top dollar. On the bright side, once you own this knife, you probably won’t need to buy another knife for a while, but we both know that you can always come up with a reason for a new knife.

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