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Lightning OTF: A realistic review.

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Shoki, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Shoki


    Apr 10, 2007
    Ok, I decided that with all the talk about the taiwanese Lightning OTFs, I'd give one a review. Before I go over this knife in detail I want to stress that although I despise the fact that the manufacturers have copied someone else's hard work and produced a cheap copy of a knife that I admire, I will remain objective and honest throughout my review.

    So a friend of mine who knows of my knife hobby thought he would give me one of these Lightning OTFs as a going away present a couple months ago. I thanked him politely and stuck it in my drawer, having no other use for it, without really giving it a look. I recently saw a review from another user and was surprised to see it was praised and recommended by that user. I decided to give my own Lightning a second look and write up my own review.

    The handle halves are held together with Torx screws which is a welcome change from the phillips head used on most cheap copies. The handle is clearly made from cast pot metal and the two halves don't fit together very well, leaving a sharp seam all the way around the knife. I've heard it said that the handle material is aluminum but I don't believe that to be the case. I can't say for certain but I would be astonished if it it's not pot metal. The finish appears to be paint and is uneven in some spots and scratched off rather easily. The pocket clip is off center and mounted on the side of the handle rather than on the bottom and there is no glass breaker. The firing switch is also cast metal and the example I have is miscast slightly, leaving an uneven tab of metal at the switch's base. The miscast doesn't affect operation at all but it causes a little gap between the switch and the handle at the bottom of the switch groove.

    The blade fires from the handle pretty hard and doesn't seem to be affected by angle or by opening the knife vertically. I couldn't get it to fail short of obstructing the blade with a piece of cardboard. The finish on the blade seems to be some sort of dye, scratches very easily, and I managed to rub some onto my index finger off the spine of the blade. The blade play on this knife is horrific. Holding it firmly against a flat surface, the blade tip wiggles a sixteenth of an inch from side to side and over an eight of an inch up and down. I've never seen an OTF, knock-off or otherwise, with such bad blade play. It's worse than a cheap butterfly knife. Edge grind is pretty even though the knife is pretty dull. An hour on a diamond stone, fine sandpaper and finally a leather strop did improve the edge but not nearly as much as I would expect. I could get it to shave but it was kinda painful! It wouldn't push cut paper and after about a half an hour of cutting printer paper, the knife was duller than before I sharpened it. The blade steel is definitely what I would call piss-poor. I did try whittling for a minute but the blade play makes this a pretty sloppy and uncomfortable task. I took a short video of the blade play and it doesn't look as extreme in the footage but I did measure the play at over one eighth of an inch with a spark plug gap tool.

    My conclusion: At anything more than five dollars, this knife is a rip-off. Sure, it looks cool when deploying the blade but it doesn't have any practical uses other than scaring old ladies and maybe opening the occasional bag of chips. With it's sloppy fit and finish and chintzy construction it's not much more than an insult to the designers at Microtech. Those in the market for a anything more than a toy will have to save their pennies for something from a reputable company. Basically, these are exactly the type of knives that delinquent kids and immature thugs would love to own, only damaging further the stained reputation of switchblade knives.

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    Cypress likes this.
  2. scotchleaf


    Oct 23, 2006
    Will you sell it?
  3. frontline29


    Oct 7, 2008
  4. Shoki


    Apr 10, 2007
  5. scotchleaf


    Oct 23, 2006
    I'll give you $6.00!
  6. Cikal


    Feb 6, 2010
    It's Nice :thumbup:
  7. Dr Heelhook

    Dr Heelhook

    Jul 24, 2007
    Yeah, to hell with that shit.
  8. Kyui Su Kim

    Kyui Su Kim Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2000
    All hail Cthulu.........I mean, yah, lovely otf
  9. redsoxnation32


    Feb 24, 2009
    A bit much? dont you think?
  10. jayz5000


    Jul 25, 2013
    Not everybody can afford a microtech. I think anybody who has to settle for this knife would love to buy a high end OTF knife but sadly we may never be able too. It's no microtech but its what I can afford.
  11. Tkevik


    Oct 15, 2013
    I've considered giving some away as gifts. I still may. At ~$30 each, these knives are dirt cheap.

    Given the price point and origins, I would expect nothing more than a novelty, though.

    Thanks for taking the time to do a review:)
  12. Omega Leather Works

    Omega Leather Works

    Jun 13, 2007
    But but but... Doesn't that nard, I mean, nutnfancy, *really* dig the thing?

    Meh. I've considered getting one just for fun, but in the end I couldn't take it out of the house any more than the MT it apes.

    Whatever, but thanks for the review. :)
  13. bladeboss


    Mar 6, 2012
    Doesnt sound like much, but an 1/8 of an inch is ALOT of bladeplay....
  14. Shoki


    Apr 10, 2007
    Damn right it is!
  15. dkb45

    dkb45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Buy a bundle of SRM. Cheaper and better made. Or CRKT Drifters.
  16. GearBarrel.com


    Jan 20, 2012
    Does anyone know who manufactures these? I can't find
    Any contact info for them.
  17. Shoki


    Apr 10, 2007
    Sure! Here ya go: http://english1.english.gov.cn/
  18. G. Scott H.

    G. Scott H. Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Glad this post was necro'd so I could see that sweet t-shirt. Excellent choice in upperwear, Blais! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! :thumbup::D
  19. Shoki


    Apr 10, 2007
    Thanks! Here's what's under the shirt:
  20. G. Scott H.

    G. Scott H. Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Sweeeeeet! :thumbup: Always great to run into a fellow Lovecraft fan. :cool:

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