I’ve had a fascination with Automatic knives for many years. I have a Benchmade, a decent quality foreign made and a Gerber that I’ll carry from time to time. Recently, I had the opportunity to get my hands on one of the Piranha auto’s and actually ended up adding a few of them to the store. Last week, we made a camping trip to the northlands and I took along a “Pocket” model to try out.
The Piranha knives are made entirely in the USA. Twin Falls, Idaho to be specific. The company seems to maintain a pretty low profile and the knives apparently do quite well selling themselves. Prior to adding the knives to the store, the majority of the articles I found on them were positive with a number recommending them over the Benchmade and some of the other majors out there. I had to find out for myself just how good they are.
In general, Piranha uses either 154CM or S30V steel in their blades. With the exception of their Excalibur OTF model, blades are hardened to 60-61 Rc. For whatever reason, the Excalibur comes in at 59Rc. Finish is a stonewash, mirror polish or Tactical Black coating. Most can be had with either a plain or partially serrated blade. All of the knives I received were razor sharp.
Handles are Aircraft grade aluminum. All of the handles feature unique cuts or texturing that are both effective and comfortable to hold. The texturing is slightly beveled on the edges to give a very smooth feel. And of course, the Aluminum results in a lightweight knife. Pocket clips are Titanium for strength and weight.
The screws are stainless steel. Springs in side opening models are coil springs. Coil springs or flat springs, which are the best design choices? All I can tell you is the Piranha’s are some of the fastest opening auto’s I’ve handled. Blade lockup is tight and side play is virtually non-existent.
Piranha Pocket in use
The first thing I noticed was the height of the release button. Piranha did a superb job of cutting the relief into the handle and keeping the button low but accessible. The chances of accidently deploying the blade in your pocket is hard to imagine happening.
The Pocket model has a blade that’s just .09″ thick. That’s a slim blade that proved ideal for slicing and dicing.
My wife and I used the Pocket for a variety of uses. Food prep, opening a few boxes, trimming some para cord, etc. I really liked that slim blade profile but what I really appreciated was the handle design. If they had taken a mold of my hand they couldn’t have designed a better fit. The finger grooves are generous and right where you want them. With the aluminum handle, 154CM blade and stainless screws, cleanup was as simple as throwing it in with the rest of the dishes.
The 154CM blade did a super job of holding an edge. As I said, we cut a variety of materials and I’ve been carrying/using the Pocket for over 2 weeks now. Use is on a daily basis and the edge is far from ‘done’.
It was hard to find much I didn’t like about the Piranha Pocket. The fit, finish, material quality are all top notch. BUT, I do wish it carried a bit lower in my pocket. Something I might consider would be to remove the pocket clip and carry it in my pocket. The light weight (2.4 oz) makes it no heavier then most traditional slip joints. I do like the clip to attach it to my pack so I’ll most likely leave it alone. Otherwise, as far as I’m concerned, the Piranha is a winner!