Full-Sized / Full-Featured Combat-Capable Blade
Steel Will’s Apostate 1108 Tactical Folder: Full-Sized/Full-Featured Combat-Capable Blade
In Islam, an Apostate is one who leaves or turns his or her back on Islam (or says bad things about it). The title of Apostate can also be applied to non-believers. Islamic activists have demanded punishments ranging from prison sentences to death for both apostasy and blasphemy—sentences that are regularly carried out in areas under ISIS control.
I don’t know the reason why Steel Will chose the name “Apostate” for one of their newest folding blades, but in the war against Islamic terrorism, the name Apostate has the same connotation as the term “Infidel.” I would be proud to carry a combat folder (or fixed blade) that bore either name during anti-terror operations or activities. But there is much more to the Steel Will Apostate than just its name.
The new Apostate 1108 is the second of Steel Will’s folding-blade knives that I have tested. (The first was the Onrush.) With a shorter 3.7-inch blade and an OAL of 8.98 inches open, the Onrush is more of a tactical/utility knife capable of combat use than a dedicated combat folder. The Apostate takes the next step up the ladder and qualifies as a true combat folding knife.
With a 4.13-inch powdered steel blade, and an open OAL of 9.61 inches, the Apostate fills the hand yet is flawlessly balanced at the midpoint of the knife. The blade itself is a drop-point style, with just a hint of tanto in it. (If you want a dedicated tanto blade, the Apostate 1113 should fit your requirements perfectly and is the same size as the 1108.) Both knives utilize S35VN stainless steel for their blades. S35VN stainless steel is known for edge retention and toughness, and is an improved version of CPM S30V stainless, which has been strengthened by the addition of .5% Niobium. The 1108’s edge is plain rather than serrated, which I prefer—especially if the Apostate is going to be taken into the field for an extended period of time. It is easy to sharpen with a simple stone. It won’t need sharpening for a while, as it ships in extremely sharp condition.
The Apostate blade features both thumb-stud and finger-flipper opening. If you are used to rapidly opening folders via the thumb studs, you will have to readjust your technique for the Apostate. I was unable to open or start opening the Apostate using the thumb studs, likely due to the proportions of the blade. You will have to use the finger flipper, and that’s not a bad thing.
The Apostate finger flipper is a protrusion from the base of the blade, which features jimping for finger adhesion. It is perfectly sized for maximum leverage. There is no spring assist. The matte-gray-finished blade flips open and locks with sliding index finger pressure applied to the flipper. The blade is assisted smoothly into its open position through the use of ceramic ball bearings, which also helps keep the weight of the knife down. Unlike the shorter Onrush, no flicking of the wrist is needed to lock open the Apostate’s blade. Once open, the flipper serves as a guard for the index or pinkie finger, depending upon which way the Apostate is being held. A thumb-activated liner lock releases the blade.
Like the Onrush, the Apostate’s lockup is rock solid. There is zero, I mean zero, play in the locked blade. If I were to hand you the Apostate (with the blade locked open) while you were blindfolded, you would not be able to distinguish the Apostate from a fixed-blade combat knife. That locking strength is another feature that makes the Apostate combat-qualified.
The Apostate’s weight of only 6.17 ounces is primarily achieved by the use of titanium and G10 for the grips. The inside portion of the grip/frame is matte gray titanium. This is the portion that houses the liner-lock mechanism. The outside portion is finely textured green G10, which improves grip adhesion. The pommel end of the Apostate has a triangle shape that can be used for defensive strikes, and there is a slot in the tip of the titanium frame that allows for lanyard attachment.
The pocket clip can be reversed from the titanium side to the G10-scaled side for left-handed users, or it can be removed. I don’t use the pocket clips on my folding knives for three reasons: first, I don’t want to advertise that I am carrying a knife. Second, it is possible for the knife to get caught on something and get yanked out of my pocket (or just yanked out of the pocket and used against me). Third, carrying the knife by the pocket clip makes it easier for a pickpocket to steal the knife. However, if you prefer, the pocket clip is there should you need it.
I’ve been carrying the Apostate for three weeks in my right front pocket, flipper side down, ready for quick deployment. Even with a closed length of 5.48 inches, the Apostate carries quite comfortably, unnoticed by me most of the time.
I really like the Apostate. It is extremely well designed and constructed. With an MSRP of $174, the Apostate is more than fairly priced considering its quality. Note that with a blade length of over 4 inches, it may be illegal in some of the more restricted jurisdictions. Oh, did I mention that the name was awesome? Learn more at www.steelwillknives.com.