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Extrema Ratio Shrapnel OG – Short, Sharp and Simple

The knife is an everyday tool used by humans for centuries. In this Guns & Tactics review, we introduce you to a design that belongs to one of the youngest knife making branches – the “backup knife”.

The purpose of a backup knife is to provide its user with an extra tool for any emergency situation, which negatively influences the availability or interoperability of the user’s primary knife. To fulfill this task with no excuses, the backup knife has to be versatile, compact, sharp and an overall robust piece of equipment. And, one such knife we’re familiar with matches these expectations perfectly. Meet the Shrapnel, from Italian Extrema Ratio Knives Division.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Specifications

  • Full tang construction
  • Weight: 200 grams
  • Total length: 210 mm
  • Blade length: 110 mm
  • Blade thickness: 6,3 mm
  • Steel: N690 (58 HRC)
  • Grip material: Forprene
  • Cutting edge: Plain
  • Blade type: Single-edged spear-point (leaf)
  • Black coated blade
  • Price: approximately $275.00
  • Two year warranty

Just picking up the Shrapnel and griping it in your hand, the knife feels very simple. This is a good feeling, simple is good. After spending time with the Shrapnel one quickly realizes that it can be successfully deployed even in the worst possible conditions. Without a doubt, this knife scores super high on durability and effectiveness. The classic full tang design (the blade continues to the end of the handle and beyond) and a short spear-point blade keep the cutting edge useful in the kitchen and in the forest, all the while maintaining its needle-sharp point. Plus, the 6.3 mm thick main blade steel makes the Shrapnel practically unbreakable for any rapid or emergency use in all environments, including the most demanding outdoor or battlefield scenarios.

CONSTRUCTION

A Thermoplastic Elastomer material called Forprene® is used for handle, which provides excellent protection against various damaging factors such as abrasion, high and low temperatures, UV aging or chemical agents (bases, acids, alcohols, detergents, water solutions etc.). However, we did find that the smooth surface of the handle and the overall length could contribute to an unsafe grip with a dirty or wet hand. It’s not the most comfortable knife to hold in your hand for a long period of time either.

On the brighter side, the Extrema Ratio designers have equipped the Shrapnel with state-of-the art solution that definitely enhances the safety and working values of the knife. For example, take a closer look at the hilt and it’s easy to notice the eyelet. Beyond the handle you’ll find another one – actually a standard feature of widely used fixed knives in Military and Law Enforcement. These two simple holes, with a piece of paracord, make an improvised hand-guard that will firmly keep the knife in place, whatever you’re up to. As a result, working with the Shrapnel can be safe and efficient.

All Extrema Ratio knives are sharpened by hand, but they’re never razor-sharp out of the box and we wondered why. What we learned is that the manufacturer determines the strength of a knife based on a variety of factors including the type of steel, shape or cut, and whetting angle. The Shrapnel is crafted with extreme sharpness for all applications except shaving. Even more crucial, the N690 steel keeps a proper cutting edge and sharpness for very, very long time.

APPLICATION

The Shrapnel will accomplish most camp tasks that require a strong and reliable blade, as well as fulfill the expectations that combat knives are subjected to in the field. Its specific shape and superior tip provide high value when stabbing a soft ballistic panel in textile cover, certified for IIIA standard (NIJ 0101.06). The Shrapnel, with little help of human muscles, pierces and cuts through smoothly and inevitably.

The Extrema Ratio Shrapnel comes with a hard-shell sheath designed for easy and rapid access in emergency situations. The included Tec-Lock attachment enables mounting the knife on a duty belt or load bearing system, considering different heights and angles for maximum personalization.

So, that’s the Shrapnel. Too large for casual EDC, but never too small for getting the job done out in the field. It’s certainly one of the best backup tools that we’ve carried.

Please visit Extrema Ratio Shrapnel to learn more.

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