review: SOCOM Elite manual

Oct 2, 1998
Got one of the manual socom elites. Overall i'm very impressed with it. Lockup is perfect as well as fit and finish. lots of good improvements from the old ones:

1) the thumb stud, excellent, the extra big stud isn't pointy like the old ones, much more comfortable!
2) rubber on both sides, executed very well, the rubber on the clip side doesn't go under the clip, so you don't have it grabbing at your pants like on the LUDT (i like the feel of the rubber inserts
3) the new pocket clip, this is one of the best new features, looks great and rides nice and low!
4) the microbar lock, wow, this thing is cool. For one, it has never failed the spine whack test. Second, the grooves on it run lengthwise, as opposed to widthwise like on a lot of folders. very comfortable! (I always wondered why factories/makers did that, if you are pushing on the liner/bar to close it, you want the grooves to run perpindicular to your thumb motion, not parallel in order to get a good grip). Third, it makes a great sound when it locks

5) the indentation on the tang. Ever notice how on liner locks it takes a bit of extra force to get the blade up over the ball detent? (especially SOCOMS because of the larger than usual ball detent) this is because the tang, being 90 degrees to the ball has a hard time "rolling" over it. But look closely at the SOCOM Elite and you will see a tiny 45 degree cut at the base of the tang in order to greatly reduce that resistance! very very clever! Actually i only noticed it when I took the knife apart hehe.
6) the thumb groove, it works and looks decent, goes well with the new larger thumb stud.
7) the new vents, very smart, much better than the 6 small vents in the old SOCOM which were only good at collecting pocket lint. Except I don't like the third vent on the butt of the handle, takes away from the nice feel and look of the traction grooves that are supposed to be there

1) the blade, MT made the new Elite with a thicker blade, why? In my opinion the old SOCOM's thickness was just right. Because of this, the handle is also a bit thicker, slightly too thick, I find the handle on the old SOCOM much better.
2) the new blade grind, first of all, I don't find the new grind as cosmetically appealing as the old one. Second, the main bevel only goes about 1/2 way up the blade, along with the thicker blade stock, this results in a steeper cutting angle and probably a small loss in performance
3) the slanted division between the rubber inserts: purely a cosmetic thing, but I don't like it. Personally I much prefer the way the knife looks from the clip side where the insert isn't slanted, and along with that cool clip, it looks much nicer!

all in all, it's a good knife, the microbar lock along with the new pocket clip more than make up for the above dislikes!

wish they kept the old blade grind and the line between the inserts straight...
Any pics regarding this knife?

What is the cost?

Thanks....nice review.

~Greg Mete~
Kodiak Alaska
there is a whole photographic essay on the manual socom elite at, do a search there. i think retail is $179
Does anyone know if there is a plan to make manual Elite and LCC in S90V.

A few points I'd also like to add. The Elite feels pretty light compared to the original thanks to the larger holes along the back of the handle and the skeletonized clip. It rides a lot lower in the pocket due to a different clip, possibly a little too low for my tastes. The anopeen finish is kind of interesting though I don't really know what it is. Bead blasted blades aren't as rust resistant thanks to all those pores they have, but having something coated over a bead blasted blade means that those pores help hold more of it in to improve rust resistance. At least I'm pretty sure that the blade is bead blasted. Can't really tell under the anopeen. Mike Turber described it when he left a message telling me that he had gotten some Elites from the Blade Show and had sent one that I had preordered earlier that day but I couldn't really make out the details about it. The clip kind of digs into my hand but that may be something doing with my handsize and the fact that the clip is a little higher now. The action feels a lot smoother than from my normal SOCOM, though this may partially be because I may have tightened the action on it accidentally. Anyone that can tell me how to loosen the action on the normal SOCOM? Can't really tell what direction to turn and how to deal with the pin on the opposite side rotating . . .

Simon Yu

"I look at it this way. If things get much worse I'll be too dead to care."
Simon, tightening the pivot screw on the SOCOM has no effect on the 'tightness' or 'smoothness' of the action. (look carefully and you should see why). Try lubricating it or playing with it more, the 'washers' on the inside will become burnished and smoothen things out.
I like the new grind on the Elites much, much better. Sounds like you have one of the original grinds. The newer grind isn't as thick.

This is one heck of a knife. I think it has been overshadowed by the custom feel of the LCC.

Dennis Bible
Good review Jadis. I must be in the minority on the forums that I like the SOCOM Elite (and original SOCOM) better than the LCC that everybody is raving about.

Not sure why (my small hands?), but the SE feels better balanced in the hand and easier to carry. I have two Elites - one in the original grind and one in the new grind. Love them both, especially for the liner which for once doesn't bite the your thumb when you disengage the lock. Only thing is that they're so TAC-looking I can't carry them to work (possession of weapons is a "major infraction" and subject to dismissal).


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
At what point did they change the grind on the Elite. I've been seriously thinking about buying one or LCC. If I get the Elite I would want the newer grind.
I've got two Elites. One with the old grind and one with the new grind. I love them both, but I like the old grind much better.
Originally posted by kutch133:
At what point did they change the grind on the Elite. I've been seriously thinking about buying one or LCC. If I get the Elite I would want the newer grind.

I found this qoute from Valmet on the Microtech forums. They are calling the old grind the pre-production grind.

"They did around 60 MA and 30 SA Autos for the Blade Show with the Anopeen finish, then they released another 500+ MA's with the Anopeen finish after the Blade Show 2000. All those pieces had the PreProduction Grind. Additionally, they also released some Black Blade PreProduction Grind Elites, which I would have to agree with jc as being the most collectible"

Here is a link to the thread where I found the qoute:

Here is a pic comparing the two grinds. The two Elites on top are the newer grind and the one on bottom is the older grind.


Dennis Bible

[This message has been edited by shootist16 (edited 11-05-2000).]