Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: new in 2018 Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone from Aliexpress

Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone
The new 2018 version comes with this awesome gladius style blade

Pros:
- excellent fit and finish
- strong, snappy action
- only minimal bladeplay
- perfectly symmetric blade with a nice satin finish
- nice even edge grind
- comfortable rounded handle design
- new "X" style button
- tool for the screws as gift

Cons:
- initial sharpness could be better

Details:
Blade length:       3.15" (80 mm) 
Blade thickness:  0.122" (3.1 mm)
Blade steel:          D2 (58 - 59 HRC)
Open length:        7.91" (201 mm) with the glass breaker
Closed length:      4.76" (121 mm)
Handle thickness: 0.484" (12.3 mm)
Weight:                 3.39 oz (96 g) 
Handle:                aluminium
Carry:                   right or left hand tip down
Extra:                   tool for the screws, box with manual, belt pouch

You can buy MT Ultratech style OTFs on Aliexpress:

UTX OTFs in many colors:

Exclusive VESPA OTFs:
***HERE*** and ***HERE***

Microtech MT UTX-85
OTF / automatic clones:
You can buy the MT UTX85:
***HERE***

Ultratech "Boba Fett" Bounty Hunter:

MT Ultratech "Boba Fett" Bounty Hunter OTF clone
You can buy the Bounty Hunter:
***HERE***

Bad@ss MT Munroe Cypher OTF 
with alu handle and D2 blade:
 You can buy the Cypher: ***HERE***

Because of a stupid rule of Aliexpress the sellers are forced to photoshop
the locking mechanism / buttons on the folders and the "blood grooves" / holes on the blade.

Excellent compact size:
Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone
Group shots
HALO V, Ultratech and UTX85:
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
The HALO V rules them all! :)
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
HALO V, Ultratech and  UTX85
The glass breaker tip of the UTX85:
The glass breaker tip of the Ultratech UTX85
Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone
Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone
Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone
Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone
Microtech Ultratech UTX85 OTF clone

41 comments:

  1. Finally you got one, mine should be there in a couple of weeks. I chose a droppoint though, because I already have 2 Tanto (UTX70 and Ultratech clones).
    Do you own an Ultratech clone ? Could you show some comparison pics to get an idea of how compact is the UTX85 ?
    What is the handle length without glass breaker ? With it ?
    Thank you !

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it has arrived! :) The overall fit & finish is surprisingly good.
      The tanto blade is the most popular as I see. :) I already have the HALO V and the standard Ultratech in tanto so I went for this "gladius" style (as I don't like the hellhound). I'll take a couple of side by side pics this afternoon.
      The handle length of the UTX85 is 110 mm / 121 mm without/with the glass breaker tip so it's rather an "UTX95". :) Anyway this size is just perfect for me.

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    2. Yeah it's a pity that they didn't made it shorter (well, 85% the size of the Ultratech like the original) but I'll see if I can EDC it anyway.
      My EDC is an F753m1 so ideally an authentic UTX85 would be perfect but I can't justify the price :-o

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    3. The F753M is an excellent compact edc folder for sure. I would even buy a premium titanium version in this size.

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    4. I've added the group shots to my post.

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  2. Nice.

    Got the Kwaiback clone today, and yeah I confirm that the hole in the lockbar is for a rolling detent. Great beast of a knife, smooth and well made. Only problem is a bit of a sticky lock, but as the knife is covered in oil which I haven't cleaned dried yet, that might be the reason. I'll let you know when I can clean that thing.

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    Replies
    1. Great! I look forward to your pics.
      Give it a little time to wear in, that might fix the sticky lock (or adding a little graphite on the lock surface could also help).

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  3. Thank you very much, that was fast ! Now I have some hope that this one will find its place in my pocket :-D

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  4. Yeah. I've dried it, and put a little sharpie on the tang, now all seems fine. Will see how it evolves. But it's not really a cause for preoccupation any more as despite looking like a MkIII version it's got a metal reinforcement on the framelock (well hidden, with blind screws and an over travel preventer as well).
    Now, he only "weakness" of that knife is that it's relatively heavy as the titanium scales are not skeletonized. There are two differences that I can tell with respect to the real midtech : there is no engraved biblical reference, the pivot is marginally different in shape (but given the variations, there might be some with the same one) and there are no holes for the pocket clip on the presentation side.
    By the way, the "spring" pocket clip is in titanium.

    I'm super happy with it. It's sharp has hell despite the thick blade, it's very smooth, it's got super looks. And it's my first "overbuilt" knife that I really foresee carrying often (the Redencion and the rogue shark are too big or too heavy to fit in real everyday's life pockets).

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    Replies
    1. The clean presentation side (no holes for the pocket clip) is a plus for me. I hate when they mess up a decent scale with the holes. At such a high price point they should make dedicated versions for lefties.
      I'd love to grab a mini version of the Redencion under $100.

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  5. Isti,

    Thanks for the side-by-side pictures with the regular size Ultratech, which looks nice in gray. The UTX-85 is practically the same size. I have one w/drop point and it came pretty dull too. Otherwise it's a pretty sweet piece, fit and finish is amazingly good.

    Franz,

    So the Kwaiback clone came with the rolling detent installed? That's pretty amazing that they included that detail. I hope you can eventually show how that is put together with the lockbar insert :) I think it's one of the most interesting clones out there right now and not insanely expen$ive like a Green Thorn...

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  6. Yeah, the kwaiback is a great piece... a mk3.5 as I call it.
    I've had a bit of time and so here's my pictorial review of the beast!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for the pics! Do you recommend it for EDC?
      The anodized version of the Kwaiback has appeared on Aliexpress HERE and it's on sale for $135.15 at the moment. I must resist! :)

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    2. Yes, as I said in my review, that's the first "overbuilt" flipper that I do recommend for EDC (well not if wearing a suit, possibly, but in jeans/dockers/chinos that's perfect).
      I've seen that version in AE. I'm thinking that the DHgate version I have is also made by Samier, or the same maker. But for 7 dollars of difference, I think I still prefer the DHg version: the stone/acid wash is great, and lightly stonewashed blades do generally stand the test of time and use better than high satin/semi polished finishes... That being said, it's still 7 dollars cheaper and the ano job looks quite sexy...
      I'm happy I don't have to make a choice!

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    3. I've added a new picture of the Kwaiback to my review, this time I've managed to capture rather well the colour/texture of those Ti scales... Might help you chose between the DHgate and the AE version!

      Delete
    4. The Kwaiback looks much better in that pic!
      Maybe the radiance of the Vanuatu? :)

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    5. Possibly ;-)
      But more likely the light was at the same time less diffuse and less strong. The first ones I did take on my balcony, so full daylight, but the day was rather gloomy, so diffuse, sort of "shadowless" light.
      Anyway, the real colour is quite close to that, dark, with strong "acid washing" not the light grey of standard bead blasted or classic stone washed titanium...

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    6. By the way do you like your Vanuatu? Does it sit comfortably on your wrist?
      I'd like to buy an affordable diver/tool watch with similar parameters (NH35 movement, sapphire, good lume) this year. The Vanuatu and Phoibos Reef Master are on my list at the moment.

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    7. Yes, I like it a lot. It's rather comfy on the wrist (the bracelet is very pliable and makes for a good fit quite easily). I'd say the lume is the weaker point but as it's BGW9 (blue) it does last long.
      I also have the Khuraburi from Helm, it's a bit larger and has more presence, but does not feel as rugged as the Vanuatu.
      Phoibos, I can't say a thing about them, as I don't have any of their watches.

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    8. Thanks a lot!
      It's interesting because in the photos the Khuraburi looks more "rugged". Anyway the crown option at 10 makes it quite desirable for me.

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    9. the overall appearance of the Khuraburi is more of a brute, with some fine roundedness at points. But the Vanuatu has a very toolish, rugged but refined thing to it. The angles, the brushing of all surfaces... Something of a "polished brute", Sean Connery in the early James Bonds movies, maybe? Or an explorer of the 30s, 40s...

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    10. Like Ernest Shackleton? :)
      What's about the bezel insert of the Vanuatu? According to the description that seems a weak point to me. At that price point I expect a ceramic one.

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    11. Very much so!
      The bezel insert is PVD steel, I think. No ceramic (the mighty Submariner had painted aluminium, the Fifty Fathom some kind of plastic!) but it's really not feeling weak or cheap... It's very solid and very "sturdy looking". And the bezel is very good too, no play, assertive clicks, precise, easy to handle even with gloves. In many ways the bezel insert is similar to the one on the (mighty best from the East) Orient saturation diver. Except the Vanuatu has lume on the bezel (great feature, very useful)!

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    12. If the bezel insert of Vanuatu isn't prone to scratching then I'm fine. I just find it weird that the bezel insert of the Khuraburi is sapphire and the Vanuatu isn't.

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    13. It's very solid. It's steel, after all. And not painted, it's PVD. Actually that's more robust than sapphire, as the sapphire can "easily" shatter on impact and being transparent and all has to be glued parsimoniously.
      Plus the Vanatu is the first model Helm produced, the Khuraburi came afterwards, at a time when sapphire inserts were all the rage!

      So, no, there's no scratches on my bezel insert and it's unlikely than any appear anytime soon. The "full flat top" where the bezel external part, the insert and the crystal all sit flush at the same level and all are flat, also helps with that: impacts, if any, tend to be more on the edges of the bezel.

      And as a "post hoc" note, the Kwaiback is perfect for an EDC. Beefy, large, but still not so massive as to be a problem, nor too heavy. I loooovvvee it!

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    14. That's good to hear. I'll keep the Vanuatu on my wish list. :)

      I pimped my old Kershaw Vapor by removing the bead blasted finish and adding it a nice brushed one. Now it feels like a total different, more expensive new knife so I don't feel the urge to order the Kwaiken at the moment. :)
      Pic #1
      Pic #2
      Pic #3

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    15. Great pics and review as always, Franz.

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    16. You might be on to something there, Isti. Channel the energy of wanting to buy a new knife into pimping out one you already have. How high did you take the grit on the Vapor? It looks amazing!

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    17. Thank you!
      The bead blasted finish was a real rust magnet on the Vapor. Every now and then when I took it out of the knife drawer I had to clean the rust spots on the handle first. So I took the plunge and grabbed a couple of sand papers & steel wools. I finished it with a fine 000 (?) steel wool.

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    18. I think steel wool gives a very nice finish. I'll have to pick some up. I saw someone acid etched his steel pocket clips and then finished with steel wool, it looked very nice.

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    19. @Franz
      As I see Helm ships these watches from China by DHL. Does that mean extra VAT/duty to pay?

      Delete
  7. I just saw that new D2 Cypher! I had a couple sellers send me pictures if you wanted me to post them or email them to you. I asked about the pocket clip and was told it's made of steel. I was contemplating the Vespa Cypher since it's probably as good or better than the real thing, but this version is looks pretty good at a much better price.
    You probably saw the budget Microtech Socom Delta that's out too...I think it's a liner lock not a sub-frame lock and the clip is steel, but otherwise looks like the regular G10 version which is hard to find. I think the tan one looks pretty nice.

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    Replies
    1. This affordable version of the Cypher is quite tempting. I don't mind the steel pocket clip if it looks that nice. For less than half money than the Vespa version it's a pretty good deal imo.

      The new G10 version of the Socom Delta comes with liner-lock. If I didn't have the full titanium version I would go for the tan color variant too. :)

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    2. I also posted a couple of real pics about the Cypher HERE.
      Do you have more? :)

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    3. I agree the clip looks nicely milled and steel is fine as long as it isn't too stiff. Here are the pics a couple sellers sent me:

      https://imgur.com/a/aBcPz

      The S/E version has stonewashed flats and satin grind. These were from DHG sellers but I assume it's all the same knife. I did request some from Ali but haven't gotten a reply yet.

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    4. They look really nice! Thank you!
      One click link to the pics HERE.

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  8. Replies
    1. The fit & finish of the handle are top notch. The texturing of the switch is also perfect, it's not too agressive but it provides enough grip.

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