Outdoor Edge Impulse

Oct 16, 1998
Got one of these knives in the mail - no extensive testing done, but a few thoughts that might be of interest to anyone considering a purchase:

WOW! This is quite a knife! Especially for the price! Mine is the black-coated plain-edge model. The three points that really stick out (I slay me, really) about this knife are (1) handle shape (2) blade shape (3) pocket clip.

The handle is extremely comfortable, an easy curve, the butt feels similar to an AFCK, very comfy in the back three fingers. The lack of an index-finger cutout, as in the AFCK or Gerber Covert,is regrettable and would make it a more secure fighter in the hand, however. But it still seats plenty secure. The notched thumb-ramp adds to the security of grip, however it brings the thumb further along the blade than I would prefer. But overall an exceptionally secure and comfortable grip, for slashing, whittling or box-cutting. The aluminum feels sturdy and the ubber inserts are very grippy. Comparing to 2 similar knives, handle-wise, I'd say the Covert is more comfortable to me, the Benchmade Axis is less comfortable.

The blade design is really interesting. This thing is a !!vicious!! slasher, sort of a hawksbill design taking the edge out in front of the hand, but instead of ending in a point, it curves back up into a tanto point. OK, that's a terrible description, go to the knifecenter (or previous postings about this knife on this forum) to see a pic and you'll get the idea - this blade is savage. Much superior IMHO to the Axis or Covert for slashing attacks, although the Covert is more comfortable for a quick stab. As for utility tasks - well, as a city boy most of my utility needs can be met with a small blade: open boxes & mail, clean my nails, cut a tough staek, whittle a quick pungee stick to guard my office door. . . but the recurved tanto design makes the Impulse exceptional at all of these . . . except nail-cleaning, very big and sharp for that - so sharp that when I accidentally cut my index finger nearly to the bone due to sloppy handling (note to self - don't play with a new knife when running a fever and blowing your nose) it didn't bleed at all for a second, and I only noticed it happened because I felt the blade imbed itself in my fingernail. Sharp sharp sharp! Anyway, I wouldn't want to try to skin a deer with this blade design, but for every task I generally face it has proven to be excellent. That Darrel Ralph is no slouch!

The clip design is AWESOME, because it is set into the handle in such a way that it feels like a clipless knife. MAJOR advantage! This design makes it feel better in my hand, overall, than either the Covert or Axis with their clips. The Covert without a clip feels like a dream, but without a clip it loses much of its utility. There's a reason clips are so popular, and the Impulse confers all the benefits without the annoying protruberance we've had to suffer with until now. On the other hand I find that this design, combined with the fact that it rides VERY low in he pocket, a la the EDI Genesis, makes it a little more difficult and slower to remove from the pocket than a protruding clip like the ones found on the Covert, Axis, and pretty much everything else. Something to consider, for defensive purposes, although nothing that can't be overcome with practice.

Another bonus is the tremendous lockup of this knife - "bank vault" - absolutely no play at all in any direction. The Axis deploys faster but just doesn't have the same feel of strength to it, although no one can deny the actual strength of that lock system. The Covert deploys faster yet, but mine has a wee bit of play in the blade. This may not have any practical consequence in 99% of knife-use situations, but the Impulse lockup feels great and gives a lot of satisfaction. Spine-wack tests were passed with flying colors. I have held the handle in one hand and twisted it with the other, trying to desperately to disengage the liner-lock with no success - it doesn't budge. In fact, the base of the blade is hardened to make th liner-lock "stick" a bit, so it doesn't unlock very smoothly - but I'll put up with that in exchange for the security it brings.

Basically this is a really spiffy knife, and the longer I have it the more I like it. It has a big psychological impact, however - it looks EVIL, especially in all black, and may freak out the non-knife crowd. On the other hand, that might be good in some circumstances . . . anyway, it's a factor to consider. But the biggest factor here is COST - at one site you can get an Impulse for about $40, whereas a Covert costs $100 and an Axis costs $110. All 3 knives are approximately the same size and weight, and appropriate for the same sorts of tasks. I really love my Covert, but if I had to choose between one or the other I would go with the Impulse because it is a great knife for less that half the price. (I'm no fan of the Axis design - specifically the 710 - so IMHO why not get 3 Impulses instead & be set for life?)

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Thanks for the review - I'm a big fan of Outdoor Edge and like the look of the impulse and now it seems to perform as good as it looks - If you ever come across the new Cosmos let us all know what you think of that!!!

I have had my Impulse for a while now, and have carried it a bunch.I find that the molded shape of the grip just about disappears in my front jeans pocket,despite the fact that it is a serious size knife.Also,it sharpens (all I have done is touch it up)GREAT on the Sharpmaker in just a few seconds.In summary, I like it more the more I carry and use it.I'm glad you are pleased with yours.It is one of the best knives I have ever found for the price.

"To grow older is inevitable.To grow UP is optional."

My Goodness ....:] Thanks for the kind words. Just think what will happen when the Apogee outdoor edge model comes out.
Ti frame and a good steel blade? fantastic .

NOW as for the stainless lock on the impulse.
Once again I will take crap over this statment. Stainless steel has better wear resistance than titanium. As stated above it will stick as some folks said was the reason they didnt use stainless locks.. STAINLESS IS BETTER and it sticks um hum !!!!!!!!!!!!

Web Site At www.infinet.com/~browzer/bldesmth.html
Take a look!!!

I have a question about the Impulse - well, two really. First, does it open well, and quickly? Secondly, if you had to compare it to the Kershaw Black Out Medel 1550 by Ken Onion, which would you prefer?

Thanks for your input on what may be in Impulse purchase.
To Fishface:

Many thanks for your detailed review on the Impulse. Also glad to hear how much AlaChoktaw and yourself are pleased with your purchase.

We ran a contest last month. The BF member that posted the first review on the Impulse or Magna would receive their choice of a free Wedge or Wedge II. Although yours is not the first review it is very well done. E-mail me your address with your choice of Wedge knife and we'll send you one gratis.

In developing the Impulse, Darrel Ralph, our manufacturers and myself all combined our best efforts to create a precise recreation of Darrel's hand made design. The end result is a quality liner lock folder with a lot of style thats offers an excellent value. Judging from your comments I believe our objectives have been met.

Neiljo, as far as the Cosmos, our factory in Taiwan producing this model was very hard hit by the earthquake. They are without power and phone service and the road to their plant has been closed by the military. Our plan was to have the Cosmos ready for delivery by November but for now we are uncertain as to the current status. In any case I will post any updated information on the Cosmos as we receive it.

Thank you for your attention. On behalf of Darrel and myself we appreciate all the positive feedback.

Outdoor Edge Cutlery Corp.

David Bloch

See our Online Catalog at: http://www.outdooredge.com

Mr. Bloch - hot diggety dog! Thanks much kind sir, I'll take a "Wedge I" with joy - a new toy for my keychain! Note however - I can't seem to acces your website, I wanted to check out this "Cosmos" everyone's referring to, but no luck. ??

Dart - I wrote up a long answer to your question last night but did something wrong and it disappeared. So, short answer - the Impulse is slower to open than my Covert, but everything is. It is somewhat faster than my mini-AFCK, and much faster than my REKAT Pioneer (1st generation). Practically speaking we're talking micro-fractions of a second difference, but there's a noticeable variation in feel. However the Impulse locks up much tighter than my Covert. Once it's opened, it transitions to a "ready" grip very fluidly - again not quite as fast as the Covert, but much smoother than the mini-AFCK or the Pioneer. So if speed of presentation counts, the Covert has the edge (hahahaha) but the Impulse is close behind.

Comparison to the Blackout - I don't like speed-safe knives because I always cut my thumb catching up to the blade as it opens. But with the Impulse, the concave edge as opposed to the straight or slightly convex belly of most folders has its own dangers. I cut myself by trying to close the blade with my index finger and missing - finger went past back of blade, returned to try again but hit edge on the way back. I've done this with other liner-locks, usually the nail of the index finger hits the edge and no biggie. But because of the curved edge on the Impulse, the edge at the base of the blade sunk into the skin below my fingernail and opened me effortlessly and deep. So - watch out!! That aside, the Impulse is bigger and feels better in my hand than the Blackout; the best idea is to always handle your knife choices before you buy, because it's how it feels in your personal hand that makes all the difference. Hope this helps - FF

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Thanks - that really helped me out. I ordered one today for $39.95, and can’t wait to get it in.

I’m new to knives, and this forum, and appreciate all your help.
Way to go OEC

I've had my plain-edge bead-blast Impulse for a week now and it ROCKS! It is my new favorite carry knife. The recessed clip pocket is awesome. The clip goes in and out great and you don't even notice it's there. All clip knives should be made that way.

I open a lot of boxes at work and after a week the 12C27 steel still shaves. The kraton inserts give a killer grip and overall ergonomics are second to none.

This is my first OE knife but not my last. So much for Benchmade. The Impulse is just as good as any Benchmade I own and less than 1/2 the price. I just ordered the Al Magna and am anxiously awaiting the release of the 3" blade Impulse. When can I get The Impulse's little brother? Please tell.

Some days are not worth getting out of bed, even with a good attitude
I was ordering a M2 Stryker the other day
and added a Impulse just to have a look . I
was really shocked when I opened the boxes.
The quality of the Impluse was amazing to say
the least . I felt like a dupe for ordering
the Stryker . Figured the low cost would show
itself in the steel.Wrong , the knife
takes and holds an edge better then AUS-8
proving the extra attention given the heat treat really paid off . I have been playing
guess the price with folks and guesses have
ranged from 100 to 150 dollars . When I tell
them what it really costs , can you get me one,is all they say.I really can't think of a
knife that can match Impulse , even at twice the price.Well , maby an AFCK ,but thats running in a pretty fast crowd !