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Alpha VS Bravo

September 14, 2017

Today I’m going to cover the main differences between Grit Weapons Alpha and Bravo knife classes.  First I'll talk about the metal.  

 

The Alpha blades are made from 52100 ball bearing steel while the Bravo blades are made from repurposed 5160 spring steel.  The 52100 steel in my Alpha knives is a ball bearing steel that has excellent strength and fatigue characteristics.  It has 1% carbon and can achieve hardnesses around 65 HRC.  With my temper the edges will be 60-61 HRC.  The Bravo blades are made from repurposed 5160 spring steel.  5160 is known for its toughness.  This metal is used extensively in the automotive industry as suspension for cars.  5160 can achieve hardnesses of 58-63 HRC.  With my temper the edges will be 57-58 HRC.  So whats all this mean?  This means that both my Alpha and Bravo class knives are very tough.  Both metals are designed for high stress applications and perform very well as blades.  In all my testing I haven't noticed any appreciable difference in performance as far as toughness and durability goes. So what's the difference?  The edge.  The 52100 blades have more carbon, get harder and hold better edges than 5160.  5160 still holds a good edge, but 52100 is better.    

 

Next I'll talk about the handles.  The Alpha knives will all have a G10 handle.  G10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate. It is made by stacking multiple layers of glass cloth, soaking these layers in epoxy resin, and compressing them under heat until the epoxy cures.  This is a very tough material, simple as that.  Woods and other synthetics can easily split and break when stressed, I have yet to break this G10.  I currently use G10 in 4 different colors, burgundy and black, OD green and black, grey and black and black.  My Bravo knives use paper micarta for the handle.  Micarta is more or less the same thing as G10, except it uses cloth, linen, paper or other layering materials instead of fiberglass and is not heat cured.  Paper micarta has a lot of the same properties as G10 but in general is regarded as inferior to G10 or its cloth micarta counterparts.  This conveniently makes it a good bit cheaper without a significant drop in performance.  I only offer this in black at the moment.  

 

Both classes of knives get the same style kydex sheath.  

 

So which knife is right for you?  Both knife classes offer the same toughness, so the main differences are edge retention, new factory metal vs repurposed metal and the handle material. 

 

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