Darkangel 900 by Steel Will Knives
by Alessandra De Santis
Introduced to the market in early 2015 from the Steel Will's tactical series, the Darkangel 900 combines the effectiveness of a simple line to an intriguing aggressive look.
The choice of the name of the knife, the "dark angel" is extremely effective and evokes the symbolic images of fallen angels, heavenly creatures of which there are many legends. First amongst them is Lucifer, the angel who rebelled against God and became his dark opposite.
This recall to the image of black angels is reflected in the knife but mainly in the choice of the texture of the handle, which is very reminiscent of the lines of the raven wings of these superb creatures.
The Darkangel 900, produced in Italy on the design and specifications of the American Company, is characterized by a blade with a pugnacious style and appearance, with saber grind and with a false edge that extends for about 7 cm long. The steel used in this full tang knife is the well known N690Co (hardened to 58-60 HRC), with PVD surface treatment; the blade dimensions are of 160 mm in length, 5 mm in thickness and about 33 mm wide to ricasso.
The elegant handle with its stylized texture that, as mentioned above, ideally recalls the angel wings lines, is achieved by molding (directly on the knife tang) Forprene, a thermoplastic elastomer widely employed in the field of knife manufacturing.
The small guard, useful to maintain good control of the instrument, is housed on the handle and protrudes about 8 mm from the profile of the knife.
At the end of the handle is a part of the exposed tang which constitutes the glass breaker on which has been implemented a lanyard hole.
The sheath supplied to Darkangel 900 is designed to be worn or adapted to a variety of equipment in various configurations. It is a complete system consisting of a combination of a kydex sheath, that houses the knife with a pressure retention system, and a nylon support compatible with the MOLLE system.
The latter, of excellent workmanship both for materials and quality of the seams, joins to the kydex sheath by means of tapes with velcro, and has a semi-rigid structure. The nylon support is, in some areas, sewn on flexible plastic inserts to make the attachable parts more usable, such as the belt loop and the connection strip for MOLLE system. In addition there are two straps for the carry on leg, made with rubber inserts and fastex buckles, with one terminal made with an elastic band for added comfort.
Furthermore, in order to use only the kydex sheath to save space, it is also supplied with the DOTS (patent pending) adapter for belt carrying (horizontally or vertically), made of plastic and equipped with a quick release pressure button and the adjustment for the width of the belt. The DOTS, an evolution of Tek-Lok, is applied to the kydex sheath by a set of screws and rubber washers.
The tactical knife was tested, on a qualitative level, both to evaluate the cutting capacity of various materials, and also the capacity of penetration and resistance of the tip.
The cutting tests (conducted on ropes of various types, car safety belt, plastic rope, etc.) have given positive results, showing an excellent factory sharpening of the product.
The penetration ability was evaluated indicatively by piercing two superimposed layers of tanned cow leather for soles of 5 mm thickness (therefore decidedly hard and resistant) resting on a wooden board. The knife pierced the very hard leather exceedingly well and the ergonomics of the handle proved to be very good with no loss of grip despite the blow at full strength.
On a negative note, the shape of glass breaker is likely to cause discomfort to the thumb during reverse grip usage and probably would be able to fulfill its function equally well with a blunt conformation.
From the point of view of resistance, the tip of the knife proved its efficiency after being tested stabbing it on a wooden board and levering both in torsion and laterally.
The quality / price ratio is very favorable: the retail price is between 140 to 150 Euros in Europe, whilst in the USA it is sold directly on the official website of the Company www.steelwillknives.com priced at $160.
The feel of the knife is great, both for the ergonomic handle (which also offers a comfortable grip), and for the overall balance of the forms and the proportion between blade and handle.
Because of these properties, this tactical knife by Steel Will turns out to be really easy to handle, allowing faster and safer hand passages as well as equally rapid and unimpeded use whatsoever in changes of knife grip.
Overall, the Darkangel 900 proved to be an agile knife, with multiple configurations for carrying and comfortable to use and, finally, with excellent cutting and penetration abilities combined with an attractive design.
This article has been published on the Italian magazine "Armi&Balistica"