Combative Edge is a gear and training company based just outside Philidelphia, PA. The M1, SR11 and SALUS designs have been informed by owner Rob Walker’s martial arts experience in FMA, Grappling and Kickboxing fitting the knives nicely into the CETERUS methodology that they teach.
This is the second iteration of the designs. This article will only cover the basics and design revisions. These include some changes to the folder’s mechanisms, materials for the SR11 and a new blade shape for the SALUS. If you would like to investigate the line further, the previous full reviews of the each knife can be found in the Combative Edge knife review section here.
The introductory model, the M1, is a large folder measuring in at an overall length of 8.875″ with a 3.75″ blade and and total weight of 5.2 oz. The handle is thin making it easy to carry, despite its large size. The assembly is a partially closed back construction with a peel ply G10 scale on one side, G10 back-spacer and titanium scale on the other side that includes a frame lock. The blade is a clip point with a re-curve edge and flat grind. For carry the knife has a tip up or down, right handed pocket clip and lanyard hole. Deployment is achieved using the thumb-studs or front guard (aided by a healthy wrist flick) that extends like a flipper when the knife is closed.
The main change to the M1 is the addition of a re-designed over-travel stop. Seated against the lock arm and midway down its length, the disc is intended to help with “lock rock” while maintaining spring integrity. This was a response to some complaints concerning the lock arm of previous models. Personally, I didn’t have an issue with the originals so I don’t find a marked difference in this respect. Additionally, the clip on the originals acted as an over-travel in the tip down configuration with a U-shaped, bolt-on over-travel stop achieving the same function when the clip is adjusted to tip up. Regardless, the revised addition is a much more elegant solution. The legacy feature of the clip working double duty could probably be done away with, as it may be redundant.
The SR-11 was the second folder offered. This knife has an over-all length of 8.5″ with a 3.625″ flat ground blade and total weight of 5 oz. The profile is a unique Westernized tanto shape that has been modified with a clipped point. The handle’s ergonomics lean the blade slightly forward for improved alignment and accuracy while striking.
Like the M1 this handle is a closed back construction. The show scale has been updated with a material change from green canvas Micarta to black G10. Aesthetically this pulls the knife from being the stepchild of the line, to a matching all black and grey coloration as found on the other two products. Since canvas Micarta discolors with use, this will be a good change for users who find that off-putting.
The original heavily textured aluminum back-spacer makes up the handle’s spine with a titanium slab opposite the show scale. The titanium frame lock has the same update to the locking leaf as the M1 along with the older tip up and down clip/over-travel set-up.
Both Folders seem to have a much earlier lock-up than the prior version. This will allow them to wear over a longer period of time. Lock up is solid on both, but the lock face is on the sticky side.
The SALUS, Combative Edge’s full tang fixed blade sees the biggest modification. The blade now has a drop point instead of a Westernized tanto. The change to a more versatile pattern, capable of a wider range of jobs is a good one. Even though the Westernized tanto is designed for piercing and tip strength, the drop point’s thick .197″ blade stock will still provide plenty of durability. Without the tip grind, the user also has the advantage of a longer continuous cutting edge. A long swedge rounds out the geometry for effective thrust cuts.
The handle still features the same deep double finger grooves and corresponding jimped thumb ramps for either an extended or forward grip. The original G10 scales have been maintained with their heavy texture and ergonomically contoured topography. To ensure safe use there is an included wrist lanyard that can be bridged between the hole in the extended pommel and a hole in between the thumb ramps. For carry the SALUS comes with a vacuum moulded Kydex sheath nested in a nylon attachment system. This comes in a drop-leg thigh rig configuration, but can be easily adapted to a variety of carry methods via provided tek-loks or other MOLLE compatible attachment systems.
The updates to the current folding models are minor and are a refinement rather than a shift in functionality. It would have been nice to see a stronger detent on the M1 to get a true flipper action out of the knife along with some treatment such as ‘carbidizing’ on the lock faces to reduce the stickiness. I would say the most significant update is the SALUS’ new drop point profile. This definitely increases the utility of the knife and will probably give it much broader appeal. While it has a distinctly ‘combat knife’ look, it would also be an excellent outdoor knife.
My criticisms aside, all of the Combative Edge line is capable, aesthetic and well made. The earlier models were already functional and unique, making them stand out from many of their competitors. This iteration, while for the most part making small improvements, is still a step in the right direction. Like the SALUS, it would also be interesting to see other blade profiles offered for their folders as well.