U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- According to my memory, assisted opening knives made their debut in the 90s. Until then, the lowly folder’s only new feature for the last 100 years was changing handle colors every 5 years! Like with all inventions, assisted opening folders started a little rough, and then due to American ingenuity, the options offered hit warp speed.
You no longer needed to stick your thumb nail in the thumb groove and fumble around with both hands to open a folder. We now have other options. Here are a few I can list out in a hot second:
- The thumb grove is now a cut slit, so you can open the blade with the end of your thumb.
- Thumb studs.
- Flipper blades.
- Spyderco has its signature thumb hole.
I think the developments in blade opening options have greatly increased the popularity of folders. But the ultimate peak was with the advent of Auto openers. I don’t want my hunting folders to be auto, but I do like my EDC to be auto so I can have fast one-hand deployment.
This is all fresh on my mind since I am currently testing the new Knives of Alaska Onyx OD Auto folder.
Knives of Alaska Onyx OD Auto Folder
Whenever I test a knife and write a Product Review on it, I have to determine what task(s) the product is good for and then determine if the features on the knife are functional or what features are missing.
So with that said, let’s jump into the Product Review on the Knives of Alaska (KoA) Onyx OD Auto. Upon picking up the Knives of Alaska Onyx OD Auto, the description that popped up in my mind was that the Onyx should be classified as an elite gentleman’s EDC. I say this because it has a rich feel and is a slim-profiled knife. But make no mistake, it will work fine as a blue-collar EDC. I have a lot of KoA knives, and every one of them has a functional design and, as such, are designed and built stout enough to make it in our everyday rough-and-tumble world.
The Knives of Alaska Onyx OD Auto is an auto-opening folder. Mine operates as smoothly as glass. To open it, push the locking slide switch back and press the circular open/close button that flips open the 2.6-inch blade. Push the lock switch forward to lock it in the open position. To close, push the locking switch backward and push the open/close button and shut the blade.
The overall knife has a thin profile which makes it super comfortable to carry. So much so that you’re likely to forget that you’re even carrying it. It comes with a reversible pocket clip to ensure that it is readily handy. Many of my 5.11 pants have a small three ¼-inch wide and five ½-inch deep pocket for carrying folders. The Knives of Alaska Onyx OD Auto clips into that pocket perfectly, so much so that I forget that I am even carrying it.
The blade is what I’d call a modified drop point. But the spine slopes down at the point which gives it a definite point. This is good because I want a point on my EDC folders for my stabbing jobs. The handle on the offside of the pocket clip has deep grooves to enhance your grip. There is a small finger groove at the back of the cutting edge that doesn’t serve any purpose.
At first, I could not open it without the knife flipping out of my hand. After working with it for a while, though, I discovered that if I pressed my pointer and middle finger against the pocket clip when deploying the blade I could maintain a good grip on it.
For my sized hand, I wish that the handle was ½-inch longer with a finger groove, but it is designed to be a mid-sized folder. With my thumb on the back of the spine, I feel like I have a firm grip when using the Onyx. I’d also like some thumb grooves on the spine. But I must like the Knives of Alaska Onyx OD Auto is pretty good because ever since I got mine, I’ve been carrying it as my EDC.
This is a mid-sized EDC Auto folder. Even though it has a drop point, starting one ¼-inches from the tip, it is ground down ¼-inch, providing a definite tip. Something about its look, feel, or maybe a combination of both makes me want to label it as a gentleman’s EDC. But make no mistake, it is a well-built, sturdy EDC auto folder.
So if you’re in the market for a first-class EDC auto opening folder, you need to check out the Knives of Alaska Onyx OD Auto. And it is made in the USA. The MSRP on the Onyx is $159.99 and as is usual, we will close with the specs.
- BLADE STEEL S30V
- BLADE LENGTH 2.60”
- OVERALL KNIFE LENGTH 6.75” open, 3.90” closed.
- WEIGHT 2.2 OUNCES
- ITEM NUMBER 0945FG
- ROCKWELL HARDNESS 59-61
- BLADE THICKNESS .095”
- HANDLE G10 OD (It also come in Black)
- SPRING COIL SPRING
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”