Big Things Can Come in Small Packages!!
by: Capt Ian HumphreyMy next Relentless knife to test was the M1 Mini. Don’t let the name fool you, this is a BIG knife when it comes to performance! This is one of the new knives featured in the 2005 catalog and should be a great seller.
The M1 Mini is a nice size for general/everyday carry. The Mini is advertised as a neck knife, but I found myself wearing the knife on the belt the most. The overall size is about the same as a large folder, with all the advantages of a fixed blade knife. The Mini has a slim profile that carries unobtrusively under clothing. This knife, like all Relentless knives, has several nice custom touches like red spacers, rounded edges, nice finger cutouts, and is signed and stamped by the maker. The Mini also features a small section of serrations that look like effective cutters. One of the biggest things you will notice about the Mini is the wicked edge geometry of the blade. The geometry is inspired from the original Phobis bayonet design, which allows the blade to have a narrow profile with a reinforced point that looks like it could be nailed through a wall with no damage (a property I have proved on similar Relentless knives!). The large finger cutout guarantees proper hand alignment to quickly and safely draw the knife from the form fitted kydex sheath without worry of your hand sliding onto the blade. The sheath is well made and features a 550 cord lanyard and numerous lashing points to secure the sheath to gear, straps, etc. Dan Certo also offers a mini TekLok option for the sheath, which I was able to test and highly recommend.
The M1 Mini did very well on the paper test. The sharp, slim blade cut short, clean cuts with ease. The knife felt very comfortable in the hand, and was a pleasure to handle. The reinforced point also cut cleanly into the paper and had no problem cutting long slices. Heavy cardboard was also no match for the M1. The blade geometry allowed easy cuts into the cardboard, while the point easily tore into the material. The serrations were also tested, and had no problem tearing through the cardboard. The 550 cord cutting test also proved easy for the Mini. The only limitations are the small size, which only allowed the knife to cut two stands of 550 at a time. The serrations were also able to cut single strands of 550 with ease. In terms of wood, the Mini proved to be an effective cutter with clean, sharp cuts. The M1 was able to easily shave bark off of sticks, and could quickly sharpen stakes and make fuzz sticks. The serrations cut very well, and quickly sawed through several branches.
The kydex sheath is well made and held the knife securely in multiple carrying configurations (right side up and down). Since the Mini is advertised as a neck knife, the system comes with 550 cord to hang the knife around your neck. While the Mini is heavy for a neck knife, I did not find it uncomfortable to wear. The M1 is also easily concealable under a shirt which is handy for everyday carry. The many lashing points on the sheath also enable the user to attach the sheath to numerous objects. Dan Certo also offers a small TekLok option that features a swivel mount. I was able to test this new carry option and found that I now carry the knife on my belt a lot more than around my neck. The swivel mount allows the knife to spin freely which is very comfortable for sitting down, driving, etc. The TekLok attachment can also be “locked” to prevent the spinning which is handy for stationary carry and to ensure the handle is always facing up. The new sheath system also features the ability to attach a pouch to the front. This option not only gives the customer another storage place, it also helps to hide the knife in “plain site” behind the pouch. This can be very effective when a “would be attacker” thinks you are carrying a slow to respond folder in a sheath, only to find out you have a fixed blade knife ready to deploy.
The Mini’s biggest limitation is its size. For jobs requiring big cutting tasks, a bigger blade is more effective. Another issue is the serrations on top of the blade. While I really enjoy the benefits of serrations, the location did not allow me to “choke up” on the blade. If I wanted to make fine cuts I would have to stretch my finger to the end of the blade. My last dislike is the base model for the M1 only features a neck sheath. The TekLok attachment is extra, and worth every dollar. This turned a limited carry knife into a multi-functional tool with countless carry options.
The M1 Mini is a great knife for the size. While it is the same size as a large folder, it provides the strength and functionality of a fixed blade knife. With the additional carry attachment, the M1 became my “everyday carry” knife that is quick to deploy and Relentless in its versatility.
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.