Vespa OTF (a Chinese automatic knife inspired by the Combat Troodon)

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Hello World!

A very  quick word, that I’ll probably add too sometime soon, to present one of my latest acquisitions: the Vespa “Combat Troodon” inspired OTF (Out-of-The-Front) double action automatic knife.

It’s a large automatic, with a blade of about 10cm in S35Vn, a body in CNC milled aluminium (very nicely anodised, in my case in orange, but it can also be purchased in blue, red or black)

The fit and finish are really impressive, all parts match and align very very neatly. The mechanism works strong and well. It’s a double action meaning that one push forward of the button deploys the blade, one pull backward on the button retracts it.

Everything is impressively well done. The only two “problems” I could find are: first when retracting the blade you get a very noisy “ziiiing” from the spring. It’s the same on all DA automatics and easily solved by putting a blob of grease (I used silicone grease) on the spring, at its middle point. The second problem is a bit of blade play both up-and-down and side-to-side. From what I understand, these are necessary for a double action OTF (I’ve seen similar or even worse blade play amplitude on the few Microtech I’ve handled, can’t say anything on higher end / custom pieces). This play doesn’t prevent you from using the knife for many things, including cutting hard stuff (wood, dried sausages… ) but it feels a bit weird when you’re used to framelocks where most good quality knives have no blade play whatsoever.

Vespa-CT-01Vespa-CT-02Vespa-CT-03Vespa-CT-04Vespa-CT-05Vespa-CT-06Vespa-CT-07Vespa-CT-08Vespa-CT-09

the whole package is rather impressive, the knife coming in a high quality pouch, with a Vespa branded polishing cloth and (take good note, Microtech) a replacement spring and the three pronged tool for tightening/opening the screws.

Vespa-CT-10

All in all, a very very impressive example of Chinese workmanship. If one is willing to accept the rather unwieldy size and the slight blade play that are integral to this style of knives, this is a must. It compares well and sometimes favourably to its Microtech inspiration, at only a something between one third and one fourth of the price!

Freedom!

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Hans Lindgren says:

    It looks stylish and well produced
    The anodization looks spotless
    OTF blade play seems unevitable
    Benchmade are working on an OTF were they claim no blade play … we will see 🙂

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Franz says:

    Indeed, they did a perfect job on the a anodisation. Actually, even the inside and screw holes are spotless…

    Like

  3. steveknife says:

    The ano job does look incredibly nice My only hesitation on buying OTF knives is the blade play….afraid it would bother me with what I do. Might try one if they ever solve the wiggle!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Will says:

    Quality is a crap shot on these. A lot of people have blades that rebound.

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    1. Franz says:

      Wow, you really seem to have been unlucky on that one… Mine get stuck in or out (I don’t remember) about once in a few hundred open/close, or something like that.
      Could that be linked to dirt or too oily spring? Fact is, I disassembled mine right when I got it to put some silicone grease on the spring so that it wouldn’t “ziiinggg” every time. I used the opportunity to thoroughly clean up the whole thing (actually it was very clean, but may be a tad too oily).
      Any way, thanks for the info, and keep us posted on how things go with the seller…

      Like

      1. Will says:

        The name on the seller email is “Kevin John” I wonder if it’s Thee Kevin John which makes high quality knives. First he didn’t answer me for the whole day until I sent him the link to that YouTube vid. He just stated if I’m not satisfy to return it, which I felt was quite cold answer. He never clarified if it’s a full or partial refund even when I asked him multiple times through the email exchange. i asked him will he refund the amount of fixing it if I find someone who can fix it locally. He stated he will refund that amount on my next knife purchase with them. Um, why would I want to spend more money with him when I can’t trust the quality. Anywho, the knife does require some tweaking. I’ll see if I can get it workable because it dangerous at the current state.
        Also wanted to add that my laser etching was bad with light and dark lettering mix. My blade had a roll on the edge that required me to take off some blade material. The glass breaker unscrewed on me so that’s something to keep an eye on.
        Quality is not up to par for 130usd IMO of course.
        If you see the YouTube review , there are others mentioning about the blade bouncing back and not locking as well the trigger being too stiff which I found as well. I mean insanely stiff when trying to retract.
        I think a consumer must ask themselves if they are willing to take apart the knife that may or may not fix the design flaws. And they must take it apart for the zing flaw at the minimum and may have to go as far as spring modification and shaving parts so the knife actually functions.

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      2. Franz says:

        Yours have a number of problems, that’s for sure. Now, one thing that you don’t take into account is that most of those problems are just about the same that you’ll have with a Microtech 3 or 4 times the price. The ziiing when operating the blade is just the same (if not worse sometimes), the blade bouncing instead of locking in place does happen also (albeit generally quite a bit less frequently). The screws on the Microtechs are more than infamous for coming loose very often (mostly the two closest to the place where the blade exits). Triggers are also “finger breaking” in general (the one on my Vespa is quite light compared to any Microtechs I’ve had or tried). Sure enough, Vespa could have improved on the Microtech Combat Troodon even more than what they did and solved some of the issues. But then again, they did improve a few things and provide a very comparable level of fit, finish, general quality for a small third of the price…

        So I’m thinking that you have two problems here (well, three as a fact). The main one is that the knife you have has some issues. The second is that you seem to be judging it against rather an unrealistic “normal level” which makes you feel that the knife is actually way worse than what it is. The last problem is, alas, a classic, the seller is either not very cooperative or doesn’t understand half of what you say because he has the weakest of grasps on English… Anyway, I feel for your misfortune and wish you eventual success with your seller. Just be aware that even if you eventually get an almost perfect number, it won’t be as “wiggle free” and as little “temperamental” as a standard folder. Even if you pays 10 times the price.

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    2. Tim Moran says:

      Its an easy fix and has only been an issue on a handful of examples. Mostly in the blue ones. Usually the problem is people think the spring is weak and they try and make the knife fire harder by shortening the spring which make the blade too fast and it causes issues. Even still its a very simple fix.

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      1. Will says:

        Tim, It’s not the spring. Something is slightly off in the design. If you shorten the spring making it fire and retract harder(also makes the trigger harder), it will fire inwards at even a greater speed. The blade is hitting the internal housing causing a rebounding not giving the latch enough time to catch and lock the blade. The PR guy on YouTube mentions about removing material to improve the situation. Fortunately I had mine fixed by a third party by removing material. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to recoup that additional cost either by refund or credit on another knife purchase which the seller promised. My beef is more on the seller Chinahighendedc which is a flat out liar.

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  5. Will says:

    Thanks for your understanding. I can live with blade play and even the noise doesn’t bother me. Ano coming off edges and other cosmetic like laser etc is not my priority. Fixed the rolled edge already. I’ll sand down the burrs on the top of the blade later. My main complaint I just wished it locked up 9 out of 10 times not 2 out of 20. There is a pr guy for the chinahighendedc of dhgate on YouTube. I’m waiting on his tutorial on what to sand on the internals to get the knife to function correctly as he has done on his own and instructed others who have the same problem as me.
    Also interesting that this YouTube guy also claims there are fake vespas out there made by wild boar if I recall correctly. So caveat emptor. Mine should be a Vespa as I am purchasing from the same seller on dhgate that he is promoting.

    Like

    1. Franz says:

      You might still have gotten a fake one… I guess it’s definitely not beyond most of the sellers on DHgate to send you a fake if they run out of the genuine article.
      The most suspicious thing being burrs on top of the blade and even more the ano coming off. I mean, on mine the finish of the blade is nigh on perfect and the anodisation is really amazing well done…
      Anyway, fake or lemon, the fact that it doesn’t lock open is indeed a very, very, very bad point. That effectively transforms a knife into a “knife shaped paperweight”…

      So clearly, caveat emptor indeed. Would be great if there could be a way of spotting fakes or something.

      Like

  6. Jerry Reynolds says:

    I have one of these and would like to buy extra screws and springs. Havent been able to find them.

    Like

    1. Franz says:

      I guess the best bet would be to contact one of the reputable sellers on Aliexpress…

      Like

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