M1 Midget: The Biggest Three-Inch Knife you Will Ever See!By: Major Ian Humphrey
When trying to think of a title for this test report, the above
phrase was the first thing that came to mind.
The Relentless M1 Midget
is the sturdiest and strongest knife I have ever tested with a
three-inch blade. So why would you want something so small? Simply put, there
is almost no anti-knife laws that I know of (of course check your local
area first!) that would prevent you from carrying a knife with a three
inch blade. For some reason, the three-inch mark seems to be the
"standard" set for the maximum allowed blade length for every day carry
knives. The Midget gives you a full size handle and a 1/4-inch thick knife
in an easy to carry package.
First Impressions The first thing you notice with this knife is the weight. This is
not a tiny little knife by any stretch of the imagination. The Midget
is meant to be used and abused like the rest of the
Relentless line, just in a more compact package. The handles are nicely contoured with
four cutouts for a secure grip. The blade shape is like the popular
Commander model with thumb grooves and three serrations.
The coil of the blade also includes a handy cord cutter notch. The included sheath is a Kydex and leather combination with a spring steel belt clip. The entire package is easy to carry and conceal under most clothing, and is also easy to carry on gear, packs, etc.
This particular M1 Midget was made with D2 steel, so it allowed me
to finally test this steel as well. While Dan prefers S30V and 5160
steel, he is able to work with any steel the customer prefers. I was
able to test this knife along with a Raptor model and two M1 Integral
models (An Interceptor and ACE). In order to expand my testing, Dan sent
along a box of various materials to abuse the knives with. I started
with my normal tests and worked towards the new materials. The Midget was the best cutter in the initial paper test. The steel and blad
geometry led to easy, razor like cuts in the free hanging paper with little to no effort. The Midget also had no trouble cutting single strands of 550 cord with the blade. The short length of the blade prevented more than one cord being cut at a time. As for the three serrations and cord cutter...once Dan explained how they are supposed to work (see my
brief instructions on the web site. The key is "scraping" and not
"sawing" the cord!) they performed quite well. Single strands of 550 cord were cut with no effort. On dry and green wood the Midget performed well. The finger and thumb grooves kept the knife secure in the hand. The
Midget was able to use a wooden baton to help split wood, but this did
prove difficult due to the length of the blade. The serrations did a
fantastic job making fuzz sticks. The three serrations along with the
deep finger grooves quickly tore up the sticks. The serrations also did a
fair job in making notches in the wood.
One of the items in the box of materials that Dan sent was an oldwire to expose the copper wire under the insulation.
engine hose. Since the Midget is intended for every day carry, I
thought this would be a great example of a task the knife could easily find
itself. Of the three knives I tested on the hose, the Midget had the
best initial cut. With just a little effort the hose was cleanly cut.
I also had some telephone wire in the box and again the Midget cut the
wire with ease. The serrations were also effective in stripping the
Throughout all of my testing, which also included several hiking
trips and constant wearing for several weeks, the D2 steel had no damage
to the edge and no staining to the finish. Now that Dan bead blasts
the knives for glare reduction, we have noticed an increase in staining
on the 5160 steel knives. I have found keeping a can of PB Blaster
around the house and doing a quick wipe down of the knives after a day of
abuse keeps the steel looking good. While the D2 steel is not Dan's
first choice in steel, it performed quite well and maintained a good edge
throughout the testing period.
The included sheath for the Midget is a Kydex sheath with a
leather backing to secure the spring steel clip to the Kydex. Dan used to
secure the clip directly to the Kydex but did not like how the clip would
scratch the blade. Unfortunately I found that the leather did not stay
attached to the top of the sheath after hard use. Since the sheath is
secured with several military grade eyelets, I was not afraid of having
the sheath fall apart, but Dan is going to fix this design. Overall
the Kydex sheath with the steel clip allows for a very comfortable carry
system that allows the sheath to be easily added and removed from belts
(to include the new ACU belt), web belts, pack straps, and even MOLLE
vests. The eyelets allow the user to "permanently" attach the sheath to
gear by using 550 cord or zip ties.
Relentless M1 Midget is a New catalog item for 2007. I would
highly recommend this knife to anyone who needs the strength of a full size knife in a pocketknife size. The three-inch blade proved to be
very effective in cutting numerous materials and the overall size of the
knife allowed me to carry it with little effort. For those who cannot
realistically carry a five-inch tactical knife on your belt everyday,
the Midget will be the biggest "little knife" you will ever carry!
Also a column by Major Humphrey and Myself questions from customers are answered.
Click here forQuestions pages
NOTE: LEGAL DISCLAIMER
The opinions expressed in these tests and reviews are mine alone and not the official opinion of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or United States Government.