Monday, June 11, 2018

Extrema Ratio Nightmare Karambit Folder Review

Extrema Ratio Nightmare Karambit Folder Review

What is not to love about the Uber tech Extrema Ratio knives. The designs are both impressively simple and elegant complete with the top tier of cobalt steel that delivers an aggressive extremely long lasting edge. The designs are somewhat out of the ordinary, however once you put one in your hand, the odd design makes sense. The new Extrema Ratio Scout carries through an Italian design legacy which combines style and function in well executed simple elegance. The Extrema Ratio Nightmare Karambit folder is a perfect example of how Extrema can take an idea to a different level.

A traditional karambit folder from most manufacturers is a basic folder with a finger hole in the handle. Extrema Ratio incorporated all the latest bleeding edge karambit features such as blade auto-deployment and then pushed the design further by adding in a glass break/striking pommel, seat belt cutter and Extrema’s patented liner locking mechanism.  Add in the wicked sharpened front top tip and you have a nasty little Nightmare with a 2.89” blade that is still legal to carry in pretty much any city in the US. 

The concept of an auto-deploying knife is not specifically new, but it has been applied a bit differently for the karambit folders on the market.  Much of the karambit folder technique is around a hidden weapon which leans most use in a blade down edge-out reverse knife grip usually with the index finger in the hole in the handle. A guard/tab on the blade catches on the pocket as the knife is pulled from the pocket and the blade is pulled/snapped open. Most people carry a karambit to open as the hand move forward into action, but some owners with also rip the knife open to the rear with the pinky in the handle hole which delivers a standard forward knife grip. I personally like the rearward deployment the best as the opening is more reliable. 

As with any auto-deploying knife there is a little learning curve to figure out how to get the knife to reliably deploy each and every time which usually involves some type of twist and yank movement. Apparently I have an un-apparent habit of dragging my fourth finger on the blade which with a partial double edge knife creates a trail of blood quickly - indeed this Extrema Ratio knife will cut and is a Nightmare if not treated with respect.  Once you get into a rhythm, the blade snaps open at every yank from the pocket and is ready to play.  The pocket clip is reversible so users can decide how you want to position and deploy your own Nightmare. I did find that deployment from my Duluth Trading quick dry shorts was a bit slippery, but hey every knife is a little slick from these amazingly comfortable leisure/work shorts.

I do like the glass break feature and believe it is a top tier addition for those folks who like to break windows for fun or scratch car finishes and steering wheels every time they hop in the car, but I personally wish Extrema had left out this skull caving feature. For me, I just poke myself constantly and scratch everything just like I do with my Gen 1 Microtech Ultratech pointy glass breakers.  The seatbelt/safety cutter is actually pretty useful. Imagine a situation where you need to actually cut away some clothing to apply a bandage or tourniquet and all you had was that wicked cuts both ways Nightmare karambit blade. Your patient would not be happy with you, but with the safety cutter can safely zip through clothing, seatbelts, and zip ties without too much issue. I use the cutter for trimming zip ties. I still have not figured out how to replace the “replaceable” razor blade or determine where I can get replacements.

The Extrema Ratio Nightmare karambit also features Extrema’s Ratio’s manual locking mechanism. Like several of the small and mid-sized Extrema folders, the Nightmare features a liner lock. If more security is needed, the manual locking mechanism can be slipped over and effectively locks the liner lock similar to CRKT and a a few other manufacturers.

From a defensive perspective the Extrema Ratio Nightmare is everything the name implies. The knife delivers very aggressive defensive capabilities, great ergonomics, fast deployment and extremely durable rugged design.  What I love about this knife is how much capability it packs  into a very small size that legally can fit into almost any jurisdictional restrictions. 

Where most karambits features a traditional hook bill blade, the Extrema Ratio Nightmare features a curved tanto blade with a double edged tip. This design delivers something unique while also offering a lot of cutting edges. Part of that power and insane cutting ability it the Austrian N690 cobalt based stainless steel. The steel is similar in performance to the expensive VG-10 but is actually more expensive and is notably  wicked crazy sharp and it stays that way thanks to that N690 steel. 

The karambit has been “the” defensive knife for a while due to a lot of martial arts trainers over the years backing up the design concept. The karambit is a knife design that is here to stay, but Extrema Ratio has just perfected the design more than I have seen executed in other knife designs. With the exception of the personal preference on the pokey glass breaker, the Nightmare is a highly refined tactical knife that can deliver a lot in a defensive knife.

The Nightmare Karambit has a liner lock. It also has an additional manual lock that should be used for an extra layer of safety.
Total Length of Knife: mm 196 (7.72 inches)
Length of Closed Knife: mm 139.70 (5.50 inches)
Blade Length Total: mm 73.50 (2.89 inches)
Weight of Knife: g 166 (5.85 ounces)
Blade Thickness (Widest Part): mm 3.00 (.12 inches)
Blade Width (Widest Section): mm 29.72 (1.17 inches)
Closed Knife Thickness (Excluding Clip): mm 13.72 (.54 inches)
Blade Steel: Bohler N690 cobalt stainless steel*
Blade Hardness: Rockwell 58 HRC
Grinding: Flat grind
Serrations on Blade: Yes
Lock: Liner lock with additional manual lock
Handle Material: Anodized anticorodal aluminum alloy **
Belt Clip: Yes – reversible side to side
Window Breaker: Yes – on finger ring
MSRP - $270

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