Air Assault or M2 Nimravus, or Boker Specialist

Apr 7, 1999
I am deciding between the Air Assault from Newt, M2 Nimravus, or the Specialist. I am mainly concerned about comfort while carrying the knives on the belt. I have not worn any of them, and I would appreciate comments regarding which knife is best for concealment and comfortable everyday carry.
I have handled the Niravus and the Specialist, although I haven't purchased either so I can't speak to daily carry. However, FWIW here are my observations: the Specialist is very small and light, and the magnetic sheath is great. It is specifically designed for low-drag concealabillity. It also offers versatile carry options beyond simple belt carry. however the blade shape is pretty much 100% defense-oriented, very little utility value. also, there is very little to prevent the index finger from proceeding onto the blade edge when stabbing; that made me very reluctant to purchase it, because in an adrenalin-stoked situation one can't rely on a perfect draw & cutting oneself seems counterproductive. But it's definitely a very comfortable carry-piece.

The Nimravus has a good blade, suitable for defense or utility. the handle is comfortable and much more secure in the hand than the Specialist. But it is also a bigger knife, with a more cumbersome sheath. It is not as easy or comfortable to carry concealed and accessible as the Specialist (perhaps the Cub would be a closer compromise of size and ergonomics).

The Air Assault is also a bigger knife, 5"+ blade. I haven't held it but other posters suggest that the handle ergonomics are great (see e.g. the RTAK post this forum). It is designed by Newt as a fighter/utility blade, and he's all about functionality. However it is not designed for concealement - Newt's web site shows a honkin'big rectangular kydex sheath, made for strapping to military gear. Although you could have someone like Chiro75 make you a sleeker IWB sheath for not too much, you've still got a longish blade and a fat, odd-shaped handle to contend with, so it will be less comfortable and much more likely to "print" (i.e. show through your clothes) that the sleek and lightweight Specialist.

Hope this slight information helps. and as always, it's best to feel a knife in your hand (and test it's carry-system) before you buy. Many on the forums, including myself, have learned this lesson the hard - read expensive - way. Good luck with your choice. FF

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
If you want a smaller knife from Newt, get the US Marshall.

I highly recommend ANY of his products.
I own a Nimravus Cub and have seen the Nimravus and have seen the Nimravus and Specialist at the Blade show and believe you would be better served by the Boker knife due to its size and sheath. The Nimravus sheath just does not satisfy me at all.
Best regards.

Ivan Campos
Keep in mind that a concealment blade normally is subject to the body's oils and perspiration. While I'm not saying that the parkerizing offered on Newt's blades is effective, I will say that a more stain resistant material would probably show less signs of constant concealment wear.

Also, the original Boker Specialist was only available in a tanto-style blade, the new drop point version would serve in a more general purpose capacity. I'm pretty impressed with the Nimravus Cub and Boker drop point as small, well made production fixed blades.

To muddy the waters further, for the money spent on one of these, you also start to approach Dozier and Rinaldi territory. Both have a number of small, concealable options, and offer well made products.

Don LeHue

The pen is mightier than the sword...outside of arm's reach. Modify radius accordingly for rifle.

Hi,am unsure if you are carrying in city or scrub. I recently used my nimvarus to 1/4 a deer. the ATS 34 chipped while smashing pelvic girdle.(I know, I know! but it was all I had on me)great knife. handle ergo. is excellant for me. (small hands)would prefer A2. as it is illegal to carry here in city or car or any where, I, of course wouldn't know about all day carry...however a good friend of mine, has carried his extensively IWB weak side & says it's great to carry & even better on strong side (so I'm told) . Newt (the Hoots) air assault is solid !! I have only just got mine (love it) so don't know about scrub carry.think it will be #1. will ask my friend what he thinks of city carry , but I don"t think he bought it for that. so don't wait for comment.(oops) stay sharp W
I carry Boker Specialist time to time and I like it. The MCS system is excellent. It makes the knife virtually invisible. Yes, it has no hand guard - but do you really need one? The handle is short enough to hold it securely in your palm.
For concealed cary the Boker is a relatively better choice because of its size and the profile of the sheath. I would rather carry the Cub tho because of its handle, just easier to control the knife and I think the blade is more versatile. Don't know how "concealed" it has to be but if you're wearing it on a belt than I would recommend the Cub; around the neck it would be the Specialist.
Anyone have a web address for newt, I'm not familar with him?
I recently was at a gun show and had to decide between the Nimaravus Cub, the Boker Specialist, and the Spyderco Moran with kydex sheath. I had already owned the Specialist with G-10 scales and tanto blade, but it didn't really appeal to me, so I traded it away.

Well, the Nimravus was nice, and it was M2 steel, but I was very unimpressed with the sheath. Apparently, Benchmade really doesn't want anyone carrying inverted, because there are no holes in the tip of the kydex sheath. The attached kydex clip was removable, but had a somewhat cheap look and feel to it. The knife felt ok in my hand, but I couldn't get over the sheath's limitations.

The Spyderco Moran was the first one I had ever handled. It felt nice in my hand, but did not have the heft I like in a knife. I understand that it is supposed to be a lightweight knife, but the lack of heft made the knife feel cheap to me. The handle material added to the cheap feel of the knife, imo. The inserts seemed like they would fall out if the knife was used hard. The sheath was very nice, and had holes all over for different carry modes, but the handle was too thick, imo, for convenient neck carry. It came with some kind of plastic belt loop that could be adjusted somehow. Very nice, but it's minuses outweighed it's pluses.

The minute I saw the Boker Specialist, I knew I liked it. It was the wood scaled version with the satin finish, drop point, 440c blade. It is a knife that looks nice enough to be a gentleman's fixed blade, but that is also adequate to be used for defensive and/or utility purposes. As a matter of fact, the blade shape makes it useful for all sorts of utility chores, including food prep. I plan on using it more as a utility knife than a defensive one, but it is nice to know that it will be up to the task, should I need it. The sheath system is Bud Nealy's and is incredibly convenient. It works great as a slip sheath, as well as a neck knife.

Obviously, I chose the Specialist. I am very happy with my decision. I use the Boker as a backup to my Maddog Mongoose. My Mongoose is my main carry blade.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

The link is not working for me. I even tried typing it but no joy.
Hey Jumbi try this:

I just talked with him on the phone earlier this week and ordered an RTAK. He is a really nice guy. If you are interested in buying a knife from him I would suggest doing it ASAP. There is an article coming out on his work in the Nov. Tactical Knives mag (I think that's the right one). Also, he is going to be involved in a movie project shortly, and a whole bunch of other stuff. This is all stuff he told me. So he will be very busy shortly and the wait for his work may get longer and longer.

The link works fine, thanks a lot
WHat movie is newt going to be in? that sounds awesome!

the link i wrote down has always worked for me, sorry i mislead you
Afew thoughts on the Nimravus.

(1) For 'covert' carry, couldn't the handle scales be easily removed to lower the profile of the blade? I know that you lose a lot of the ergonomics that way, but I would think you reduce the profile a lot.

(2) With the Cub, the OAL is only slightly longer than the REKAT UNK, which I have carried in the front pocket of my jeans quite a few times, using the kydex sheath as simply a slip sheath to protect me form the edge. The Cub is about a quarter inch longer, which would still fit nicely. If the sheath (newer one) that is supplied with the Cub now can have the attachments stripped off to make it just a slip sheath, that should be an easy carry.

(3) Regarding neck or inverted carry: kydex is very easy to drill. Put some holes in the tip end. I've heard that the retention is not great enough to trust inverted carry. Well, I can propose a couple of mods, but not sure how they'd work without looking at the sheath. First, you could try heating and reforming the sheath. I wouldn't try this, but I've heard it's easy. Someone else could talk about that. But, what I did with my REKAT UNK was really easy, and didn't require heating the sheath. I drilled a hole near the entrance area of the sheath. I put a zip-tie through this hole, and pulled it down tight. It has just enough flex to allow the UNK to be withdrawn easily, but increased the amount of retention of the sheath.

Someone brought up the fact that for the amount of money you will put into a Nimravus you could get something like a Rinaldi. Well, true, if you get the M2 Nimravus. But, if you go with something like the Cub in M2, and shop around a bit, you can significantly reduce your cost by comparison, and still have a steel that is every bit as good, except in corrosion resistance. So, it depends on what you want to do with it. I look at the Cub, and then look at a Rinaldi, and think "Oooooh, that Spook looks Sooooo nice. But, then I look at the steel and the price, and think, "Ooh, that Cub might be a little more practical, for my needs."

Work hard, play hard, live long.

I have the air assault and the US Marshal. Newt's products are dirt-reliable. They aren't fancy, but they sure do work well. Hard to go wrong there.