If necessity is the mother of invention, then experience is the grandpappy of refinement. Ever since the advent of the firearm, soldiers have carried edged weapons as a backup. From Pirates to Hessians to Rangers, fighters know the value of good steel. Far from another Rambo or Crocodile Dundee monstrosity, the Spartan Blades CQB tool is a very focused force multiplier.
The concept comes from a Mr. Greg Thompson, the man who invented the Special Operations Combatives Program. The raison d’etre of the CQB tool is a quick deploying puncture blade used in hand-to-hand situations to allow the user to break the clinch with the enemy and return to his/her primary weapon. The unique ring design allows the tool to be pulled in either forward grip (with the pinky in the ring) or reverse grip (index finger in the ring) and have the hand return to firing position on the users weapon without sheathing the CQB tool until later, when it is safe to do so. While it might sound a little awkward to manipulate ones rifle with a knife dangling off a finger, in reality it is of little hindrance. The clever design and minimalist weight make the CQB tool hardly noticable.
The blade of the CQB tool is 2 and 7/8″ long, with an overall length of 6 and 15/16″. The tool weighs in at a scant .126 lbs. The edge is constructed from 154CM steel and is hardened to 58RC, +/- 1. The sheath is kydex and is colored to match the blade, either in black or coyote and is designed to lash into molle webbing or onto a belt. The handle is extremely comfortable and feels very natural once it is unsheathed.
To test the edge and finish I took the tool with me for a month on an Alaskan commercial fishing vessel. Having grown up on these vessels, I can testify firsthand how abusive an environment this is. Constant use, sporadic maintenance and consistent saltwater spray lead to most knives being rusted and dulled to uselessness in a hurry. I did this knowing full well that this isn’t designed to be used as a sawing, slicing blade but rather as a puncture tool. This would merely provide a real world abuse test where failure meant the knife getting tossed in a bucket and forgotten.
Sure, I used the knife in its intended fashion. It pokes nice little holes in things with great ease. We’re talking like a soldering iron into crisco. The mild resistance provided when sheathing the CQB tool was far greater than the resistance felt when the blade was slipping inside a King Salmon. The blade is sharp and thin, making it ideally suited for a pointed confrontation. Very little pressure is needed to put this tool into organic matter.
With the edge only travelling back half the length of the blade shaped portion, I was able to (carefully) keep an index finger on the bottom, unsharpened portion of the CQB tool for manipulating the blade with dexterity. I gutted and cleaned a number of salmon over the course of the month in Alaska, while keeping the CQB tool in a near constant state of saltwater exposure. I also used the Spartan Blades product to cut a number of lines from heavy twine to 3/4″ thick synthetic ropes. Using the necessary focus on keeping the last 1″ of blade in contact with the object to be cut, the CQB tool showed that while it is designed for direct in and out punctures, it has a high quality blade that can be multipurpose when called upon. One cannot expect a blade designed like the CQB tool to perform as well as a long serrated edge for the purpose of sawing rope, but this little knife held its own.
Sure, despite the photo environment and test flesh I had available, this isn’t a fishing knife. The Spartan Blades CQB tool is for those among us who walk the line between freedom and chaos, life and death. I took the Spartan Blades CQB tool to the most brutal workplace I know of (stateside) and it handled every task I threw at it with admirable aplomb. After one month of abuse and constant use, the blade retained its edge and showed no signs of rust or corrosion. At $160 the https://spartanbladesusa.com/cqb-tool/ is one I can wholeheartedly say is worth the money spent.
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