Spartan Blades | Astor Linerlock | Black
Used KNIVESFAST to get a discount and received an amazing EDC Work Knife with great materials. Spartan Blades makes fantastic knives. This is a Les George design in CTS-XHP. Feels great in hand and a great deep carry clip. Has some Lefty Love too. Impressive knife.
Blue Creek Knives has quickly become my preferred knife store.
Like other US knife companies such as Asher Knives, Spartan Blades is providing consumers with "budget" knives whose blades are made of premium steel, and at least to me, redefining the meaning of "budget blade." No, they aren't the cheapest out there, and even though they're built offshore (mainly in Asia), the build quality is excellent. The Astor is a perfect example of combining great American design with Taiwanese manufacturing and using high-quality materials and high-end steel; all to produce a product that is attainable by the masses.
The knife is big. When I first deployed the blade, I was amazed at its size. But it feels so comfortable holding it, that its size isn't even a factor for me. This is my first Les George-designed knife, and now I understand why people love his designs. They just work. As for the steel, while I'm not a steel aficionado, I do know one thing: CTS-XHP is premium steel and normally found in high-end pocket knives. Other knives I've looked at with this steel usually cost three times as much. So to have XHP in a blade that cost me just about $100 is incredible!
But steel means nothing if it's not mounted on a good platform. The hardware is top-notch. The action is snug but smooth and hydraulic as you'd expect with a pivot on washers. Lockup is amazing and solid. No blade play, either vertically or horizontally. I'm not too wild about the clip. It's a little tight. But that's just a nitpick. The CF/G10 scales are very nice and the pattern gives the surface a 3D look. Admittedly, it's not super-grippy, but the way the handle sits in the hand eliminates any concern of instability.
And even though the knife is on the larger side, I'm looking forward to carrying it - a lot! It's just a killer knife!
TBH, the knife you see in the picture I provided is actually my second one from BCK. The first one I got developed a looseness in the pivot at lockup after a few deployments, and the action was super-tight! I contacted Bryan about it and he forwarded my email to Spartan. They had a new knife for me in two days! The level of customer service BCK and Spartan provided me is unrivaled and I will be a repeat customer for a long time!