Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Extrema Ratio Scout Review

Extrema Ratio Scout Review

Without question, Extrema Ratio knives are my favorite “high-tech” premium tier knives. The designs are both simple and elegant with a premium tier cobalt steel that delivers an aggressive extremely long lasting edge. 

Extrema is to knives as Ducati is to motorcycles - a premium brand. The new Extrema Ratio Scout carries through that Italian design legacy combining style and function in well executed simplicity and elegance.

Extrema Ratio are not “just” a tactical knife company and offer a huge array of knives from large tactical kurkas, to folders, to chef’s knives and even euro-legal straight razors. They seem to have a fun attitude to design while still delivering on their hard-use focus. 

Extrema Ratio has offered a number of shorter bladed EDC/CCW knives including the Shrapnel and T4000C reviewed previously, however they now are offering a number of knives with slimmer handle profiles to improve concealment. One of those new knives is this Extrema Ratio Scout - a simple 4-inch bladed spear point blade that is perfect for utility, defense and survival.


FIT, FEEL, & FEATURES
Though Extrema knife owners love the hand filling defensive knives, there were a lot of requests for a slimmer knife handle to improve concealment and this new Scout and its Scout 2, Defender and Defender 2 brethren all feature skinny handles as requested. The same stout thick cobalt blades remain, just the handles were trimmed down to about half the original width.


I choose the shorter 4” bladed Extrema Ratio Scout for a number of reasons. The spear point blade is a utility based design that can tackle pretty much any task without being too specific to a tactical focus. The wide blade is just as home dressing a deer as it is spreading peanut butter and jelly on bread and of course the spear point blade is a proven defense profile as well. The other reason I opt’ed for the Scout vs larger Scout is that in most states a 4-inch maximum blade length for fixed blade knife which is still legal to carry concealed (check you local knife laws).


For non-Extrema Ratio fans the design seems a bit futuristic, however once these unique handles and knives are in hand and working on a task, you really appreciate the out of the box thinking ergonomics of the Extrema Ratio design team. The knife feels right and most importantly feels secure.

What I am not a fan of on this knife is the cordura sheath. This is clearly a slim and trim inside-the-waistband knife design, so I was confused why it included a bulky belt sheath. The cordura sheath is really nice quality and MOLLE compatible, but is bulky and feel clunky compared to today’s fast access thin and trim Kydex sheaths. Maybe its an Italian thing. The sheath seemed to be a recycled sheath from one of Extrema’s other knives with too loose of a fit, but the dual snaps are tight enough to keep the knife in place. What the Scout needs is a slim kydex or leather sheath designed for your concealed carry style and placement. My plan is to work up a Kydex or leather sheaths to use with Extrema Ratio Scout as an appendix carry.

The Extrema Ratio Scout features the same Fornprene handle, hardened glass break tang with lanyard hole as the rest of the Extrema fixed blade line. The edge holds extremely well thanks to the N690 cobalt steel. Where some of the Extrema Ratio fixed blade lines are purpose build defense knives, the Scout is a generalist blade shape perfect for utility tasks and bushcraft.



The blade contours are consistent and edge grind is perfect with very minor casting seams on the Forprene handle. The Austrian N690 steel is a cobalt based stainless steel similar in performance to the expensive VG-10 but is actually more expensive. Notably the blade is wicked crazy sharp and it stays that way thanks to that N690 steel. 

In the knife industry, a term “high-tech” is used for the type of knife Extrema Ratio delivers. What makes a knife “high-tech” is subjective, however usually is comes down to combining very expensive premium tier crucible steel such as Austrian N690 cobalt based stainless with a premium finish/milling with design unlike any other knife. Extrema Ratio knives definitely fit into that tier of high-tech knives. There is also the price range of this Italian made knife. Where you could grab a workable $40 knife, this $200+ Scout may seen expensive, but that would be like comparing a Chris Reeve Sebenza to a Buck knife. The Extrema Ratio knives are amazing performing knives.

FINAL THOUGHTS
When reviewing the the tanto blade Extrema Ratio T4000 C I wished it had a slimmer overall handle profile for to allow for more discreet concealed carry. With the Scout I get that wish and would love to see this handle with a 3.5” bladed versions of the Scout and T4000C tanto blades to make it under even more restrictive locals. 

Sure Extrema Ratio knives are expensive, however the knife is the most essential and basic of survival gear and I believe you should always buy the best knife available when your life may depend on it. If you want the best of the best in the production high-tech tactical fixed blade market, Extrema is constantly thought of as the best. I am a very picky guy when it comes to blades, they have continued to impress and refine their designs with every knife.

SPECS SCOUT
Total Length of Knife: mm 215.90 (8.50 inches)
Blade Length: mm 101.60 (4.00 inches)
Handle Length: mm 114.30 (4.50 inches)
Total Length of Knife and Sheath: mm 234.70 (9.25 inches)
Weight of Knife: g 136.08 (4.80 ounces)
Weight of Knife and Sheath: g 201.28 (7.10 ounces)
Blade Thickness (Excludes Jimping Section): mm 4.57 (.18 inches)
Blade Width (Widest Section): mm 28.45 (1.12 inches)
Blade Steel: Bohler N690 cobalt stainless steel*
Blade Hardness: Rockwell 58 HRC
Grinding: Flat grind
Serrations on Blade: No
Handle: Forprene “thin” profile
Sheath: MOLLE compatible Cordura w/dual snaps. Can also carry on your belt
MSRP - $197

SOURCES
Extrema Ratio Knives
http://www.extremaratioknivesdivision.eu/english/index.html

Xtreme Knives
http://xtremeknives.com/


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