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Review: Three Sisters Forge Tactical folder

Discussion in 'Knives' started by tonester, Jan 31, 2011.

    tonester Loaded Pockets

    Three Sisters Forge Tactical

    Link: http://threesistersforge.com/

    Alright guys this is a review on my first custom made folder, the TSF(Three Sisters Forge) Tactical with IKBS Bearings. Jim of Three Sisters Forge is an awesome guy to work with. Many of his folders are out in action with our Soldiers and out on the streets with our LEO's. Jim makes these folders with them in mind. I have only carried it for a few days so i will share as much of my own experiences with this knife as i can. Here are some quick specs:

    - 3" blade of CVPM S35VN steel. 59 rockwell, triple-tempered and -300 cryo-quenched. Hollow ground with swedge and .185 thick. Bead blasted then Stone washed.
    - 7" overall
    - .120 thick Titanium scales with water jet texturing.
    - IKBS opening system.
    - Flow through back for easy cleaning.
    - Depending on materials used, MSRP is between $200 and $300. Discount for Military and LEO's.



    The blade shape is great for edc and hard use. The hollow grind makes it an awesome slicer and the swedge reinforces the tip with a lot of steel behind it to make it durable when penetrating tough materials. This blade performs well in the kitchen. I already sliced up a banana and some carrots with no problem. The knife also slices nice and smooth through card board. I took down around 8 flat rate priority boxes that have been sitting in my garage for some time with little effort. I was pleasantly surprised the edge was still hair poppin sharp. This is the first knife I have owned that uses CVPM S35VN steel. As far as I can tell the edge retention is superb.

    The bead blasted then stone washed finish on the blade is well done. I myself prefer a just stone washed finished which really helps in hiding wear, however this finish is very smooth and really helps reduce the friction and drag between the blade and any material the blade is slicing through. Like I said before, this blade takes little effort to slice through materials. The thickness of the blade allows it to be an effective slicer and at the same time is stout enough for more heavy duty chores.



    Both scales are made of titanium. The framelock side has a smooth bead blasted then stone washed finish. The non-locking side has a beautiful grip pattern that is engraved by a water jet. The grip feels really nice to the touch. Its grippy without being to sharp or catchy. When putting the knife into my pocket it goes in nicely without catching onto the material.


    IKBS Bearings/Lock Up:

    This knife is the first one I've had with the IKBS bearing opening system. Before this knife I've never even heard of this opening system. I really do not know much about it except that it is the smoothest opening system I have ever handled hands down. Instead of using washers around the pivot the TSF Tactical uses ball bearings. Its so smooth I dont even know how to explain it. I guess its like if you had a glass top table, put some marbles on it, then put another piece of glass on top of those marbles and rolled it around lol. Its smoother than butter.

    Lock up is around 50-60% and is like a bank vault. No blade play whatsoever. The lock bar sometimes does get stuck when the blade is flicked opened. I suspect it will eventually break in and stop sticking. Its not a big concern to me.


    Thumb Stud:

    What I really like about the thumb stud is it sticks out past the Ti scale a little bit. This allows your thumb to get a really nice purchase on it when flicking it open even if you are wearing gloves like most LEO's, EMS, and Military personnel do.


    Pocket Clip:

    The pocket clip is heavy duty and carries nice and deep in the pocket. The extra long clip makes sure that this knife will stay in your pocket. Another really nice feature is the space between the clip and scale. It allows for the knife to be clipped to thicker materials and I've even clipped it inside the waist of my jeans and it slipped in nicely.


    Tolerances/Fit and Finish:

    The tolerances are nice and tight. Everything fits perfectly. The blade is dead centered.

    Fit and finish is good. However if you are looking for perfection like the Sebenza then look else where. The knife doesnt have imperfections, but it does have markings which lets you know the TSF Tactical is a hard use folder made by one man in his shop. I like it… these marking let me know this knife is mine and there is no other like it.



    I would say the TSF Tactical is like a Sebenza on steroids and cost less. I mean a custom folder made with the best materials out there and cost less than a production made Sebenza? Thats a deal. And I love sebbies. The TSF Tactical is a great folder for edc and hard use. If these blades are good enough to be used in battle by our Soldiers and LEO's then I think the TSF Tactical can take anything thrown at it here at home.

    sveqs Loaded Pockets

    great write-up, good close-ups, and a beautiful knife - thanks, tonester!

    just chillin Empty Pockets

    How much did you get this for?

    shigeru Loaded Pockets

    Very nice write-up Tony. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Can you put a link to the knife maker's site?

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

    Great review. What are the specs (weight in particular) and price?

    tonester Loaded Pockets

    link to Three Sisters Forge and price added. i have most of the specs in the 2nd paragraph, sorry not to sure what the weight is.

    depending on materials used, MSRP is between $200 and $300. discount for Military and LEO's.

    MedicX Loaded Pockets

    Wow! That is a beautiful knife. This may have to be my next (when I get some $$). I love the fact that it has the Ti scales on each side.

    Just curious, is the pocket clip made out of Ti, spring steel, or stainless. I ask because of the possibility of a Ti, or stainless clip deforming when catching on something in the squad. I always find myself in tight quarters, whether it be in a patients room or in the squad bending down to start an i.v., and I personally have jacked some pocket clips in the process.
    • +3 Supporter

    iacchus Loaded Pockets

    What a beautiful blade, Tonester.
    I am seriously impressed. For that price, the cost/value ratio is incredible.
    Thank you for taking the time to give us a write up.
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

    Congrats sir I think you've got a very good knife! Will be great in your new career! Thanks for the pics and review!!! Good price range for custom work!

    1finite Empty Pockets

    The clip is Ti. You can actually buy the clip on its own from some knife making website. I can't remember which one though. I bought one for my Delica (the holes didn't end up fitting), but it is definitely a very strong clip.

    tonester Loaded Pockets

    thank guys! now that i think about it, this is the first review ive ever done.

    as many of you have mentioned, the cost/value ratio is awesome.

    carrot Loaded Pockets

    Wow, me likey. The first thing I thought was, I can't believe a folder that nice is going for that little money. I will have to take a closer look at 3SF when I can budget for it...

    colubrid Loaded Pockets

    Love the pics and reveiew!

    let us know if you ever decide to take it apart. Take some pics and post them. I would love to see of how this knife is made.

    tonester Loaded Pockets

    thanks! will do. im a little hesitant in taking it apart because im not too familiar with the IKBS opening system. i guess i just gotta be careful, dont want to have a bunch of tiny ball bearings flying everywhere.