Featured First Look | RaidOps Centauro Knife Quoc Ha November 16, 2016 Join the Conversation Direct from South Korea comes the RaidOps Centauro Knife. Designed in the ROK and produced in Italy, this knife will be my EDC for a while to properly evaluate and review it. Out of the box, the Centauro has a rugged industrial look unlike many of the sleek knife designs on the market — like something Iron Man would carry. It also comes packaged with an OD Cordura nylon pouch that can be worn on a belt or attached to PALS webbing. An optional kydex sheath can be purchased separately. First Look | RaidOps Centauro Knife The body of the RaidOps Centauro Knife is stonewashed to a consistent monochromatic finish slightly darker than the stonewashed blade. The knife uses N690 steel hardened to HRC-58-60, which is not surprising with it being made in Europe. The pocket clip cannot be repositioned and is engraved with the RaidOps logo. The blade can be opened with either the index finger using the lever at the top of the body, or more traditionally with the thumb. With some quick experimenting, I find that opening with the index finger results in a faster and snappier deployment of the blade, assisted by RaidOps’ neutral ball bearing system. The blade locks into place with a solid report by the lockbar. The Centauro is designed for right hand pocket carry with the glass breaker pointed up. While not a problem for me, it does limit how you might carry it. When drawing the knife from the pocket with your finger indexed, the fingertip is in the perfect position to quickly open the blade. When open, the body is quite slim and rests in the palm of the hand quite comfortably, with the fingers landing in the finger grooves for positive control. The knife feels great and is well balanced, but we’ll report back to see how it fares over time. Here’s what RaidOps has to say about the Centauro: With 10 years of experience designing knives, defense tools, and titanium accessories, RAIDOPS began the planning of CENTAURO in early 2015. A year has passed since it started a mass production system for previously released products, and CENTAURO is the company’s first folding knife. RAIDOPS has made customized fixed knives for several years but its core purpose is to develop CENTAURO into the best tactical folding knife to advance to the folding knife market, a practice completely different from normal company behavior. Above all, to effectively compete in new markets, it is critical to have product design that conforms to trends while having the highest quality. The name CENTAURO refers to the warlike demigod in Greek mythology, and presents the image of a tactical product. In addition, CENTAURO is also the name of an armored vehicle in the Italian military. The material used in CENTAURO’s handle is a titanium alloy and the method to secure the blade is the “frame lock.” The frame lock has strength to secure the blade solidly but its weakness is the difficulty in processing via a method frequently used for making high class folding knives. In the case of CENTAURO, at the tip of the frame lock touching the blade, the stainless support is stronger than the titanium attached and extremely protective against abrasion or erroneous operation. In addition, this support also prevents blade deviation to the outside of the handle when the lock is loosened. The blade material is N690 stainless steel with a hardness of HRC59. This steel is produced by Bohler of Austria and has strong properties of extremely stable steel material frequently used in several industrial fields. The type of blade is the full flat method, the most ideal blade type for cutting work. The angle of the blade is 15 degrees so the edge can stay thin and sharp. In addition, all bolts and nuts are made from stainless material for a strong resistance against rust or moisture. The tip of the handle of CENTAURO is attached with a high-intensity window brake bump. This is a special feature found in some folding knives that is designed for impact-proof structure that it may be useful when encountering certain hazard. The CENTAURI design is processed for production with Technocut of Italy after completing the design by RAIDOPS headquarters in Korea. The U.S. distributor for RAIDOPS product is EchoNiner (http://store.eniner.com). Specs: Material: N690 Overall Length: 225 mm / 8.86 in Blade Length: 93 mm / 3.66 in Blade Width: 27 mm / 1.06 in Blade Thickness: 4 mm / 0.16 in Blade Finish: Stone washing Handle Thickness: 12 mm / 0.47 in Handle Finish: Stone washing Sheath Finish: n/a Hardness: HRC 58-60 Included: Cordura nylon pouch About the Author: Quoc Ha is the Founder and President of Q Concepts Design and Photography. A former volunteer with his local disaster assistance response team, he went on to donate time and expertise to his local police department. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from UCLA and shoots as well as well with a rifle as he does with a camera — and that's saying something. Breaking from the tradition of entering the Doctor/Lawyer/Engineering professions, Q took a leap of faith and followed his creative passions and taught himself how to push buttons on a camera. He's been responsible for not only the photography in several issues of RECOIL, OFFGRID, and CONCEALMENT, but has also done design and photography work for numerous manufacturers and training organizations in the firearms/tactical industry. Go further back and you'll find his talents have been applied to some extremely interesting other projects, like G.I. Joe action figures with Sideshow Collectibles. Learn more about him here or find Q Concepts online here. 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