Microtech Amphibian mini-review

Jan 20, 2001
Hey guys, I just wanted to write up a short review of the MT amphibian. I picked up a couple of these when Mike Turber was blowing them out a couple of months ago and was able to have them brought down to me here in Central America. I was/am in the process of having a couple of heavy duty framelocks made and brought down to use as work knives. These were intended to fill that gap till I could/can get them.

I have been carrying a coated PE 'phib just about everyday since November and have been VERY impressed. I have used it for everything and even tried to do some things I would not normally do with a folder to see if they could take it. On general cutting chores it is a great slicer. I have used it to shred alot of cardboard and fuzzsticks for starting fires and it will go through a ton of cardboard without losing its shaving edge. Being the equivalent of 154cm it is not a "supersteel" but is plenty for daily use. The high flat grind and recurve make it a dynamic cutter. I also use it to trim some of the plant life in the yard such as palms and bananas. If you have ever trimmed a banana tree you'll know that the sap stains horribly but, of course, do nothing to the boron coating. Full elbow swings into palm branches result in nice clean cuts with no chipping or rolling. I also took a rough 1x4 of unknown variety to test chopping. I chopped through it four times without sharpening. Afterward, it would not shave but would still dig into fingernail. There was no chipping or rolling of the edge in spite of the fact that I twisted the blade forceably with each swing to break the chunks of wood free. I also did some moderate force stabs and twists with no damage. The blade, like many MTs, is quite thick and apparently very strong. Afterward, the knife had not developed any blade play and was brought back to hair popping with a few strokes on the medium sharpmaker stones.

The only modifications I have made have been the addition of stingray inserts and reshaping the bottom of the clip. It comes rather square and snagged on many things. I used my dremel to round it to eliminate the snags and it has worked wonderfully. It has proven to be one of my favorite prodos and thanks to being in Central America, I can carry the auto version with no problems. Great knife that I would recommend to anyone!
Jason, I've had a manual action Amphibian for about a year. If I could have only one EDC, it would be the one.

I know I'll get flamed by Sebenzanistas but I've had a Sebenza and I think overall for my needs the MT Amphibian is better.

I'll email you about the mods you made and one I'm planning.
Can we get a pic of this modified handle? IMO the Amphibian's handle is already one of the securest and most comfortable production folder handles available, but those stingray skin inserts should make it almost perfect.
I did not modify the handle, I only modified the clip and put rayskin in place of the inserts. I bought them from a fine guy named Matt Geissal who mailed them to me here. They were a BREEZE to put in. I just used the smallest screw driver on my Wave to go under the rubber inlay and scraped it out. Then a touch of superglue spread around with a toothpick did the job. Here is a shot of my uncoated one . . . I'll post of pic of the clip later on.


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Could you post an email or snail mail address for Matt Geissal?

Your knife looks great which not only atests to MT's design and quality but to your knife maintenance.

Good luck in the jungle, stay dry.
Roshi, I hope we don't get flamed, but I also like my manual Amphibian alot. It is the only reasonable alternative to my Sebenza that I have found. By reasonable, I mean a)price b) size and c) functionality. The micro-bar is very secure. I have my heart set on an auto Amphibian and am pleased to see that it is just as tough as the manual. It is a nice knife. Just my .02

Thanks, Leo G.
Jason - Thanks for the address. I just emailed Matt.

Leo - I don't know why some one would flame us other than they are stuck in Sebenza land. Or possibly MT fans still hung up on the changes MT made in the "Phib" from prototype to final product.

I believe the Amphibian is the most under rated MT knife and one of the most under rated EDC's in the knife world. It wouldn't surprise me to see MT drop it in favor of yet another out the front auto. I wish I had the $$$ when Mike Thurber had his blow out sale.

I've had two Sebenzas. They are very high quality well designed knives. I admire Chris Reeves design and craftsmanship and the customer service largely lead by his lovely wife. However, I think Sebenzas are over priced much like Randall knives. The Sebenza myth larger than life. I sold both of mine because I couldn't afford knives that expensive.

After going through BM, CRKT, Camillus, Spyderco, and numerous Microtech knives in the 3.5 to 4.0 inch blade range, I've decided the MT Amphibian is my favorite and the best knife for the money, equal to a Sebenza with two exceptions:

1)The Microbar is three pieces the integral lock is zero pieces so the Sebenza is theorectically more reliable.

2)The Sebenza is designed to be taken apart for cleaning and maintenance, the Amphibian is not.

The Amphibian locks as tight.
It is ambidextrous with better thumb buttons.
It is sharper out of the box.
It's easier to sharpen.
It fits my hand better.
It looks better than the gray T_ _ d.
The recurve blade is more useful to me.

Is it my only folder? Of course not. If I could only keep one of my folders would it be the "Phib"? You bet your sweet %$&# it would be.

I'd like to see MT do some other colors. A G-10 or Carbon Fiber handle would be cool but wouldn't be any better than the exisiting aluminum.
Originally posted by roshi
I believe the Amphibian is the most under rated MT knife and one of the most under rated EDC's in the knife world.

That's probably true. There's not too much talk over here about 'em, but they are wonderful knives. Excellent quality and materials, very useful blade shape and a nearly perfect handle (as I already mentioned above).
I got an email from Matt. His prices are very reasonable and he does inserts of various materials in a variety of colors. I'll have to decide on a color then send my Phib off for a dress up.
i think the Amphibian is absolutely wonderful, at first people where a bit mad because it didn't turn out like the initial prototype everyone was drooling over but all in all it's still a great knife, the handle is quite comfortable, the grind is simply fantastic and it slices like no other
If you guys want a tough knife check out the reviews on my megaladon knife then go to Knifeforums.com for more info.