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Sunday, 19 November 2023 10:53

Vosteed Thunderbird Featured

Written by

The Thunderbird is a legendary creature in American Indian history and culture. It's considered a supernatural being of power and strength. It's said to create thunder by flapping its wings, and lightning by flashing its eyes. Vosteed does a great job of naming their products, and the Thunderbird is no exception. The company has done a great job of creating a knife worth of such a namesake. The knife has awesome specs to boot; g-mascus handles, M390 blade with a tanto grind, and their Trek Lock. Let's take a walk around this bird and see what she's got.

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The Thunderbird has an overall length of 7.73", a handle length of 4.48", and a blade length of 3.25". I normally start by talking about ergos, but I can't do that until I talk about this beautiful handle. Vosteed uses a Laminate GT-Mascus (Topo G10) handle that creates a swirl pattern that reminds me of the way oil on water creates rainbows. Vosteed offers a variety of color variations and the one I chose has several, and it's quite stunning. I love the texture on this G10, it's smooth to the touch, and yet provides enough tactile feedback so it doesn't feel slippery. The chamfered edges make the handle super comfortable; I don't think there's a hard angle anywhere. Gripping the handle during use is comfortable, and I don't feel any spots that might be a problem during long cutting sessions. I love the three grooves cut into the handle; they provide a little extra grip for my fingers during use. The spine of the blade has a gentle sloping thumb ramp that a ton of jumping, it provides additional grip while not being overly aggressive.

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The lock of choice for the Thunderbird is Vosteed's Trek Lock, which is similar to a button lock. The button helps keep the blade closed as well as locked in the open position. Closing the blade is as simple as the pushing of a button, there just about isn't a simpler locking system on the market. Button locks have gained a lot of popularity of the years due to their simplicity, ease of use, and safety. I love a well-done frame or liner lock, but from a safety perspective the Trek is a great choice. Any mechanism that keeps your fingers away from the blade during use or operation is a plus in my book.

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The blade features a tanto/harpoon shape and comes in the amazing M390 steel. Tanto styles themselves can vary so much, you have those who look more closely to their Japanese counterparts, and others that are so modified that they hardly resemble the iconic shape they claim to be. The Thunderbird is more of the latter, the tanto grind is so subtle that it doesn't make it apparent. I have read from makers and users of tantos that they are just as suitable for an everyday knife as a traditional one. I've carried one, but the lack of a belly makes some cutting tasks difficult. The Thunderbird's modified tanto gives users the best of both worlds, a reinforced tip for piercing, and a blade profile that's closer to a drop point. The harpoon characteristics of the blade can help aid the tanto shape when it comes to piercing, it's an interesting blend of the two styles. The fuller trailing from the thumb hole is aesthetically pleasing, I'm seeing them as a trend in the industry lately. They're neat, but I'm not sure how much weight savings they get by adding them, maybe it's just adding visual appeal.

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When it comes to popping this guy open, the crazy guys at Vosteed felt there should be no less than five ways to deploy this knife. The tang of the blade features a combination of front and rear flipper tabs. They are implemented beautifully and feel like a seamless part of the design. I used to be a rear flipper only kind of guy, but with the huge surge of front flippers over the last few years it's hard not to hop on the bandwagon. The thumb hole is generous enough to be used for standard thumb opening as well as middle finger flicking. I'm still green in the flicking department, but I think the Trek Lock doesn't provide enough resistance for me to really pop that blade out using this method. Lastly, we have the Trek Lock, yes, this mechanism can not only be used for safety but also a means of deployment. Having multiple options for blade deployment makes the Thunderbird very fidget friendly.

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I've been wanting to check out the Thunderbird for a while, and I'm glad they are available again. Vosteed does knives in batches, and they tend to sell out rather quickly, one has to be patient till the company makes another run. I can see why the Thunderbird is loved by fans and why it's become synonymous with the brand. If you haven't gotten one yet, you need to snag one before they're gone.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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