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RVW: Spec Plus Fighting Knife

Feb 4, 1999
I recently became the owner of my first Ontario Knife, a Spec Plus Fighting Knife (SP-6, I think, although I'm not sure about the model). It's basically a 7" blade with a straight clip point and a false edge). The knife comes with a nice sheath of Cordura (or something similar)_ and leather. The handle is a rubbery compound...Kraton maybe?
Anyway, technicalities aside, I have had only a few opportunities to use the knife. It wasn't the sharpest thing out of the box, but was adequate. The point is really sharp and offers decent penetration. The blade is also coated with a black powder coat or epoxy or something similar. I used the knife as my primary tool for clearing some local mountain biking trails after a long winter. I used it to cut some small limbs of trees, lots of branches, and many thorn bushes. The knife performed adequately, although it is too light for chopping. The survival machete or khukuri would have been better suited for the task. I felt that the knife was very comfy, especially with the lanyard I added. The sheath is well made and holds the knife very securely. I was contemplating making a Kydex sheath for it, but there was no reason to bother. All ina ll, I was happy with this knife, and I would recommend the company to anyone!
Steve-- thanks for the review. The SP-6 is among my "to buy" knife.

Steve -- I was reviewing my catalogs over the weekend and was staring the SP-6. I'd like to ask is the balance of the fighter near the guard? Also, how thick is its blade? The SP-17 Quartermaster is 1/4" thick.

I read somewhere that Ontario's rubber (?) handle can come loose with excessive use. In holding your Fighther, do you feel the handle is sturdy enough not to get loose?

Thanks for any info!
Titan the SP-6 is 3/16 inch thick. The adds say that the Quartermaster is 1/4 inch thick, but I wonder if that's a typo. The ones I know are 1/4 inch thick are the Marine Raider bowie, the Survival bowie and the 15 inch Tanto. I'm pretty sure the rest are 3/16 inch thick.

Chiro, good review. Keep posting with the more you do. Remember to use tough cloth on the edge(or oil). Break Free works great also for corrosion inhibition.
Thanks for posting the picture, Titan. I realized after posting I had the incorrect model information. And, Cobalt, I do keep the entire blade oiled when not in use. I am using a pivot oil made for bicycles (when not in school I am a bike mechanic) called Phil Wood Tenacious Oil. Very thick stuff that is working really nicely so far. Cleans up easily, too! And, finally, Titan, to address your other questions, I feel the handle is very secure. I used the knife for some pretty heavy chopping (didn't perform well in that application, but I still beat the heck out of it!) and didn't feel any play at all in the handle. It feels quite solid, so far, although I really only used it the one time (for a couple hours on end, though). The weight distribution is sorta funny...it feels different every time I pick the knife up! Sometimes I think to myself "This is no fighter...there's way too much weight in the blade", then other times I think "Man, this blade is really light for its dimensions...what a great fighter!". I can't figure it out! Anyway, I don't have the knife in front of me, but as far as I can remember the weight is centered just proximal (toward the handle) from the guard. This is a shameless plug, but I would highly recommend talking to Bruce at www.bullmancutlery.com for his quotes on Spec Plus (or anything else for that matter). I do not work for him, but I am a highly satisfied customer!
Titan, I lied to you! I went home and picked up the knife. The weight is balanced right at the choil (not sure if I am using the term correctly or not!). In other words, the blade is balanced about 1/2 inch FORWARD from the guard, right before the point where the sharpened edge of the blade begins. Sorry if I mislead you!
Steve -- you didn't lie to me; it was your memory that lied to you

Anyway, in reviewing this thread I remembered that the SP-6 has 8" of blade with a sharpened false edge (now isn't that an oxymoronic description!). You mentioned yours as having 7" of blade with a true false edge.

Are you sure you have the SP-6 model?
I never actually measured the blade. Could be that my measurement was inclusive of just the cutting edge, since there is a choil of about 1". Total length from handle guard to tip may be 8 inches. Also, as per the false edge, mine may have squeaked through the cracks. It defintely had an attempt at sharpening done on it, since there was a bevel and it was free of the epoxy coating. It was not sharp, however, and couldn't have cut a thing. I 've heard of variable quality on the grinds from Spec Plus, so maybe they looked at and said "Yep...it LOOKS like it's been sharpened" and let it through. Some of them may be sharp on the false edge, but mine wasn't, although it looked like it was SUPPOSED to be. Does that clear it up a bit?
By the way guys, the SP-17 quartermaster is not 1/4 inch thick, it's not even 3/16 inch thick. It's between 5/32 and 3/16 thick. I just picked one up. It is similat to the typical Kabar thickness. So the advertising is incorrect.
I've always liked mine, which I named "Runt" as it was one of four Ontarios I got in the same box. The other three ( tanto, survival bowie, marine raider ) were all 1/4" thick 10" blades, hence the name. The tanto went to an LAPD SWAT cop, and the two bowies are with Cliff Stamp being tested. A bolo and kukri from Ontario are also on their way to Cliff.
Ontario has always seemed like a good value for the money, but I didn't get into knives until recently, and probably wouldn't recognise a good knife from a bad one if I dropped it on my big toe. That's why I sent the ones I did to Cliff. The only one I was disapointed with was the kukri, which was very poorly ground, both bevel and edge, but has lots of stock left to file or grind to a better profile. The bolo is one I think I'm gonna love. If you like the fighter, I think the bolo would be a good complement to it.

I have a Spec Plus Bolo and like it.

It has a 10" blade but is surprisingly fast in the hand. I think it would make a hell of a fighter.

Since it is a full flat grind blade, you can get the thin edge razor sharp fairly easily.

Pretty good chopper but not a good as you might think due to the relative light weight. the bolo shape does put more weight in the blade, however. Works good on vegetation, but I like a more blade heavy knife (like a CS Trailmaster ) for thicker material or splitting logs or prying.

I think the sheath is quite good too. Has a double retainer strap system with snaps, and
the knife swivels out of the way when you sit down.

Its a lot of product for the money.