1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

TOPS CQT 303 & Arc-AAA

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by dinoadventures, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. dinoadventures

    dinoadventures Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    4
    I got both of these items around the same time, so I figured I'd discuss them together...

    First the knife. This is the first expensive (over $100) knife I've owned with the intention of making it a user. I bought a spyderco a few weeks back, but it was totally not my style, so instead of going for something common, like a benchmade, I decided to take a chance on a nice deal on this one. I probably would have preferred the CQT-304, but I couldn't get the same deal on it and I wasn't sure how the recurve blade would hold up or sharpen. Anyhow, here's why I couldn't be happier with it:

    The lock: I'm a dyed-in-the-wool liner lock user. I find lockbacks too slow to close and Axis/button locks make me have to do weird new things with my fingers. It's a personal preference, so don't fight me to the death about it. With a flick of the wrist or a tweak of the flipper, this knife opens quick and locks really solid. No play. I love good flickable knives.

    Design: It sure looks BUSINESS. It has these really nice machined G10 scales that are almost sandpapery. Plenty of friction wet or dry. To add additional security, they exposed parts of the liner that have traction grooves that help a lot when wearing gloves. The torx hardware and liners seems great. It's surprisingly flat. Thickness-wise, it's definitely a gentleman's knife. Clip is setup for right handed tip-down carry with holes on the other side for left-handed TDC. Swapping the clip to the other side would make the knife look a bit different, as the scales are asymmetrical. The right-handed clip side has three additional small slots and one large slot machined into it. It has three seemingly random holes in it the purpose of which I don't understand. The clip is approx. .046" thick and has a LOT of tension, so this won't fall out of your pocket by accident...ever.

    The blade: Three and a quarter inches of black nickel boride-finished 154CM work mighty nice! The blade has a flipper that assists in rapid opening and keeping the hand on the grip for thrusting-type maneuvers. I don't understand the significance of the curved area in front of the flipper that almost looks like a finger choil of some sort. Fingers are definitely NOT supposed to go there. I wouldn't mind a little more cutting surface in its place, but that's a small gripe. Sharp as all get-out. Beautiful bevel on the blade. Only that ZDP-189 spyderco I had was sharper out of the box. Fingerprints and smudges show up very easily against the finish. Traction grooves on top of the blade spine are very welcome!

    Carry: I LOVE it when manufacturers actually give a crap about their customers' pocket real estate. For a bigger folder, this one definitely doesn't take up any extra room. It's only like 1/4" wider than my Gerber Mini Covert and has a really nice folded profile. According to STR on BFC, it already has a low-riding pocket clip, but I'll probably send it to him to make it sit even lower, as it currently sits about ½" above the pocket line and I like mine to be flush (think aforementioned Gerber or Al Mar Mini SERE) or close to it. Lanyard hole on the bottom is comprised of extensions from the two liners, and the hole is generous enough to accept a fairly thick lanyard such as paracord or other thicker cords.

    Overall, it's definitely a keeper.

    [​IMG]


    The light:


    I should note that I am not a flashlight guy and I don't really know them well...

    First Impression:
    Wow, this is LIGHT! It was so tiny and lightweight. I didn't think it was realistic to keep it on a keychain when I ordered it, but now I have it on one. So this is what proverbial crow tastes like...

    Build quality: The machining and finish are top-rate. Amazing quality for the price.

    Light: I compared it to two other keychain lights, the CMG Infinity Ultra and the CC fauxton. The fauxton had a brighter center and whiter LED than the others, but a less useful beam. The CMG had a bright center hotspot and wider flood but had a purpleish light. The Arc had a similar hotspot/flood beam to the CMG, but the flood was narrower (reflector was like half the size, so that might explain it). It had a sort of halo around the flood ring. The color was interesting. Out from center, it goes white-warm-purpleish-whitish. Output, in terms of brightness at the center, was about the same as the CMG and a pinch less than the fauxton. I just loaded batteries into it and I'm not one of those nuts who does runtime graphs and depletes batteries for kicks (because I don't like buying batteries that aren't the CR123's I stockpile).

    Overall, it's really nice, and for its size and price. A keeper.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. iceman

    iceman Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    3
    as always nice pics and review O0
     
  3. jryan76

    jryan76 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great review and Pics...how new is your Arc, it looks like it has a different head on it than mine, mine is tapered, yours looks squared off...I like it better.

    Thanks
    jryan
     
  4. powernoodle

    powernoodle Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    291
    jryan - That shape is the old flavor of Arc AAA that is no longer made. I have one or two of them in the Powernoodle arsenal:

    [​IMG]


    peace
     
  5. jryan76

    jryan76 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, I just thought since Dino just recieved the knife he just got the light too.

    Thanks Powernoodle...just one or two of them huh... :laugh:..nice collection BTW