Impulse Review!

Oct 3, 1998
Well, from the good guys at Action Supply, I had a chance to pick up a new Outdoor Edge Impulse...

Blade length: 3.75In.
Overall: 8.5In.
Steel: Sandvik 12C27 (black teflon coated)
Handles: Aluminum w/a hardcoat and Kraton inserts.
Lock: Liner/leaf lock.

The knife came in a nice, heavy cardboard box with a small piece of sponge, an excellent package. It also came with a small flyer which outlined the knife's operation, as well as a brief synopsis of Darrel Ralph's (who's custom piece inspired the Impulse) acomplishments. What's especially nice is that Outdoor Edge also included information on pivot adjustment. The knife, itself, was perfect, without any manufacturing flaws. All the edge/blade angles match-up, and the blade sits evenly in the handles. I also noted that the Impulse seems to have alot of similarites to CRK&T's Taiwan-made knives. The pocket clip is of a deep pocket design, and has small vents cut in it that roughly match the cut-outs in the blade. The clip is attached via a small Phillips head screw, as well as the pivot assembly. The pivot is adjusted by using an Allen wrench.

The first task was to determine lock-up reliability and strength. The ball detent works very well, and I could not flick the blade open. When closed very slowly, the ball detent correctly grabs the blade in teh last 16th./In. or so of closing travel. When opened quickly of slowly, the lock engaged approximately half-way, and it passed the infamous AT Barr whack test without traveling. I also could not induce a "white Knuckle" failure, whereby the knife is tightly gripped, and the lock has pressure induced by the fingers. With a standard working grip on the knife, it was very ergonomical, and the inserts did a good job of providing grip. The top of the blade feature the now-pretty-common serrations to aid in thumb purchase; these worked well, though I would like to see the serrations in the top part of the handle, as well. Also, the blade opened very smoothly, and had no detectable pivot play, even after being whacked and opened/closed a large amount of times.

Although it's too early to tell in regards to edge holding, it came with an excellent factory edgewhich cuts extremely well. There also wasn't a lot of drag from the blade cut-outs when I used the knife to slice cheese and salami. Overall, the blade/steel should not cause any problems. On a side note, I am curious why Outdoor Edge chose this somewhat obscure steel (at least in the U.S.) instead of AUS-8, etc.


Overall, this is an excellent knife, which shows good ergonomics and superb construction. And for 45 bucks, well worth the money! Now I want a real D. Ralph!!!

as I understand it, something about the Sandvik steel's properties made it the easiest to mass-produce the somewhat odd blade shape, especially the blade cutouts; maybe the blades are cast? Thanks for the review - I've been waiting for this knife's arrival on the market, and am glad to hear it leaves up to the very positive things said about the prototypes - especially for the price!
Congratulations and many thanks for a well done review. Go ahead and e-mail your return shipping address and choice of a free Wedge or Wedge II to

Also don't worry about faxing your purchase receipt. This rule was put in after a BF member mentioned that some one could post a review without having the knife in hand. There is no question your review is authentic.

Swedish produced Sandvik 12C27 is a high grade stainless steel that is not commonly used in US production cutlery but is rather popular in Europe. Benchmark (now out of business) used 12C27 as their primary blade steel and custom makers Darrel Ralph and P.J. Thomas both swear by the performance of 12C27. The fine heat treated grain structure of 12C27 allows you to get a wicked sharp final cutting edge.

Our main reason for choosing 12C27 was the ability to fine blank the blade slots in the Inmpulse combined with the performance and edge retention 12C27 offers. Note that the blade slots are formed right from the blanking die with no after machining/finishing work. In the annealed state, 12C27 is much softer than AUS-8A or ATS-34 As a result 12C27 fine blanks very well. The annealed hardness of 8A and ATS-34 is much higher and therefore it is not possible to fine blank these steels.

Thank you for your attention.

Outdoor Edge Cutlery Corp.

David Bloch,

Visit our new web site at

[This message has been edited by David Bloch (edited 29 August 1999).]

What kind of results did your R&D eval. find on 12c27? Ductility, abrasion resistence, toughness, edge holding etc...etc...
I'm curious as to why this obviously great made-for-factories-steel is not in wider spread use among the production crowd. I've used it and it is very good and it is the reason why I'm going to buy an Impulse aside from the awesome design by Darrell Ralph.

Now releasing control of said thread, thank you for your understanding!
If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid.

[This message has been edited by misque (edited 29 August 1999).]
Thanks for the review!

I haven't had the chance to really take one for a test drive, but I finally gotten to handle the Krait-alike and the Carson Model-4-alike from Outdoor Edge. I must say that I'm very impressed! The construction was very well done, and though I didn't test the liner locks hard, I found no obvious problems with white knuckling or slow spine pressure. Really good job David!

Thanks for the feedback Joe. I've seen you be critical on knives before so if you like our new models I guess we've done well. For the record, we give each Impulse and Magna a couple of good solid spine whacks on a leather covered 2x4 before they leave our door. If the lock fails it goes in the defect pile and is sent back to the manufacturer.

Outdoor Edge Cutlery Corp.

David Bloch,

Visit our new web site at

To Misque:

Sandvik is a tool and steel manufacturer in Sweden. They produce thousands of items and have a tool catalog thicker than a phonebook. For this reason Sandvik is too busy peddling other items than to go out of their way marketing 12C27 to US knife manufacturers.

Since we are all knife fans, the sport knife industry may seem significant but it is rather small compared to the overall steel and hand tool industries.

As far as the detailed mechanical specs you requested on 12C27, I would suggest referencing Sandvik on the internet. I have a spec sheet on 12C27 some where but it will take some digging.
I won! WooHoo! Anyways, on a side note, I have an older Benchmade balisong that has the Sandvick steel...Just thought i'd toss that out...