One never gets a second chance to make a first impression. True. But when you’re a Pro-Tech Godson, you don’t worry about first impressions at all. You’re confidence comes from your impeccable craftsmanship, clean aesthetics, razor sharp edge — and you know that all you have to do is wait. Wait for the next sucker to come along, pick you up and pop you open. Clack! (The sound of the blade springing into action). And it’s game over. You’re sold. Out the door, leaving the other knives from various knife makers wondering just how you did it.
I guess that’s how I imagine it, anyways. To be a Godson. As it’s not everyday one comes across a product that sells itself almost immediately, without cajoling from fanboys or convincing from salesmen. When I saw one at Blade Show 2015, I knew right away I had to own one.
I’ll stop right here and acknowledge the obvious concern from the reader which is that I’m pimping this knife too hard and that there’s no way it’s that awesome. Let me address this concern by saying, yes, it is awesome — but it does have limitations, which I’ll get to in a moment — and no I’m not being paid by Pro-Tech Knives to write this product overview. This is 100 percent my unadulterated opinion.
The Godson is an evolution of Pro-Tech’s flagship model, the Godfather — albeit a smaller version. Like its progenitor, the Godson is a coil-spring-action automatic knife, meaning that when you press the release button on the handle, the blade flies out at a lightning velocity and locks into place. It is ready to use. Ready to slice or stab or cut as you see fit.
The blade on the Godson is made from 154-CM stainless steel. A high-carbon steel with Molybdenum, 154-CM has become the go-to steel for the sporting knife industry. Made by Crucible, an American manufacturer, 154-CM holds a fine edge, is very chip resistant and is, therefore, ideal for various cutting applications. It’s pretty easy to sharpen too (for more details on 154-CM and how it compares to other steels, click here).
Godson’s “stiletto” or spear-point blade design means it’s purpose built for thrust cuts and stabbing. And with a razor sharp flat grind, a false edge and a needle-like tip there is no doubt that this blade will deliver on that front. Seriously, this puppy is born to penetrate. My Godson has a satin blade, though others come with a cool black finish.
The handle, made from black anodized T6-6061 aluminum, is squared but nicely beveled to reduce any hard edge. On mine, there are two black carbon fiber inserts that are checkered; they add a stylish and unique flair to the knife. The inlays are cool and sexy, one could argue. But if you don’t like the black carbon fiber design, you can get a Godson with any number of inlays made from all sorts of eye-catching materials, e.g. maple burl wood, Ivory micarta, G-10, among others.
The pocket clip is suited for righties and is affixed tightly to the handle with three tiny screws. It’s perfect for placing over the pocket of jeans or in cargo shorts. It secures the knife nicely, and I experienced very little moving or shifting while carrying it. The knife is in the tip-up position, which I prefer. And when I carry it in the front right pocket of my jeans, the spine of the folded blade is against the edge of the pocket, meaning that even if the release button was pressed the blade would be secured by the seam of the pocket, it wouldn’t open up into the pocket. Make sense?
There is no safety on the Godson. That might make some of you nervous, but over the month or so I’ve been carrying it I never once had an issue with the blade deploying in my pocket or when I didn’t intend to press the release button. On a different note, aesthetically speaking, I think a safety would mar the overall minimalistic design of the Godson.
Overall, the Godson is well constructed. When you press the release button the blade pops open with great force and locks solidly into place. There is zero play or rattling between the handle and the blade when it is fully deployed. When closed, the blade is nice and centered in the middle of the handle, it doesn’t skew to one side or the other. (If my pictures or descriptions aren’t doing it justice, check out this short overview video below).
Overall Length: 7.56″
Blade Length: 3.15″
Blade Thickness: 0.11″
Blade Material: 154CM
Hardness: 59 RC
Blade Style: Spear Point
Blade Grind: Flat
Edge Type: Plain
Handle Length: 4.41″
Handle Thickness: 0.45″
Handle Material: Carbon Fiber
Weight: 2.97 oz.
User: Right Hand
Pocket Clip: Tip-Up
Knife Type: Automatic
Opener: Push Button
Lock Type: Plunge Lock
Price: $150 and up (depending on customization)
Check out BladeHQ for pricing.
As I see it, the Godson has two main applications: as a self-defense implement and as urban everyday carry blade. Sure, there are other applications, it can be a backup knife, a truck knife, the knife you keep in your tactical vest.
Undoubtedly, the primary purpose of the Godson is to be a self-defense implement. It’s a get-off-me blade. You find yourself in a situation where you need to get away from an attacker, you deploy the Godson and you stab and slice your way to freedom. Though I haven’t had to use the Godson in such a situation (thankfully), I am supremely confident that it would be ideally suited for the task. As mentioned, the spear-point blade style and the wickedly sharp edge are perfect for puncturing and slicing.
There are several things to note about using the Godson in a self-defense situation. First, it’s an auto knife, so, under duress one needs to be able to find that button and find it fast. Blind indexing may be required. As an assailant approaches you need to be able to keep your eye on the target and find the Godson, deploy the blade, all without looking. Given that one of the pivot screws is close to the release button, this may prove to be a more of a challenge than one might imagine. You don’t want to be pressing down on a pivot screw when it’s game on. However, from my experience in carrying it I never made that mistake. For me the button is in an intuitive spot where my thumb naturally went to, I chalk that up to practicing with it and the fact that the area around the button is deeply recessed.
Another thing to note that there is no guard or thumb rest near the hilt to prevent one’s hand or fingers from flying forward during use, so a tight grip is required. Now, this may be difficult to remember in a fight. Your hands are sweaty, your mind is racing, your heart is pumping, but to avoid a self-inflicted wound or losing control of the knife, you have to remember to hang on and hang on tight. Obviously, this is where training comes in.
Urban Everyday Carry
Some of you will scoff at the idea that one would tote a switchblade or automatic knife for everyday carry (EDC), specifically a knife like the Godson which isn’t an all-purpose utility blade. But I think one must keep in mind that everybody’s day-to-day uses for a knife differ. A lot of that depends on (a) where one lives and (b) what one does for a living.
I live in Louisville, KY, which is a metropolitan area. I’m indoors 95 percent of the day (writing on my computer) and I don’t run into a lot of situations where I actually need a knife. If I were a repair man or plumber or construction worker or farmer or if I lived in a more rural setting, things would be different and maybe a Godson would be the best EDC knife.
That said, so far, it’s worked for me. Which raises the question, what have I used my Godson for thus far? Well, here is a list of jobs. Some of these are a little embarrassing, as it was gratuitous usage, meaning I didn’t really need to use the Godson but I wanted to because it’s so cool, and yes, by doing so I drew some strange glances from my girlfriend as well as a few incredulous comments, “Do you really need a knife for that?” “Weird” “C’mon, you’re scaring me with that thing, just use scissors.”
- Cutting tags of a new pair of jeans
- Opening a Newman’s Own frozen pizza box, and plastic wrapping
- Cutting off the loose strands of a puppy toy (we don’t want our puppy to swallow them)
- Removing the plastic wrap covering a cork on a bottle of Sazerac Rye
- Dicing an onion
- Stabbing a suspicious looking cantaloupe
- Opening a cardboard box containing computer speakers from Amazon prime
The Godson performed flawlessly on all these jobs, though admittedly none of them were all that taxing on the knife. The edge was still razor sharp and there was no damage on the blade… Now, I know what your thinking, my usage of the knife thus far is not tantamount to the testing one would normally see in a comprehensive knife review. Indeed. But down the road, as we the staff here at GunsAmerica begin to acquire more blades we’re going to do comparative testing, e.g. pocket deployment, on a bunch of different blades. So, stay tuned for that as those articles will be more revealing as to how each knife performs under heavier use and task-specific functions.
As mentioned, 154CM is pretty reliable steel that is less prone to chipping than other steels. It’ll get the job done in most situations. But configured as it is on the Godson, a needle-like tip with virtually know reinforcement, a false edge, one can’t reasonably expect it to hold up under heavy use. It’s obviously not designed for hard use, but there will always be those who will want to take their tools to the extreme. Me, I’m not going to ruin a good knife to discover it’s breaking point. I’ll leave that up to the tubers.
It really goes without saying, but unless I had to I would absolutely not use this knife for prying or batoning or etching or forceful cutting (putting undue pressure on that delicate tip) or punching or chiseling or use it as a makeshift screwdriver. There are plenty of other knives and tools that one could use for those tasks. To state the obvious, when possible, always pick an appropriate tool for the job at hand.
Unlike what one might see with a fixed blade manufacturer that offers a full, unconditional lifetime guarantee, Pro-Tech issues a “limited lifetime warranty” for the Godson. It makes sense. We’re not talking about one piece of steel with micarta handles slapped onto either side, we’re talking about a blade that has several distinctly separate component parts.
What is covered under the warranty? Replacement parts and labor only, however upon sending one’s knife in for repair one must include $15.00 for shipping as well as fill out a service form.
What is not covered under the warranty? Quoting from the Pro-Tech insert, “normal wear, damage caused by neglect, misuse or failure to perform normal maintenance. Natural handles (bone, pearl, wood, ivory, etc.).”
Additionally, there are several warnings that say, “Do not dissemble your knife, it will void the warranty.” So, those of you who like to tinker with their toys, beware!
For some of you the limited warranty may be a turn off. You may feel as though if you drop $150-$200 on a blade that you should be able to throw it, abuse it, neglect it and still have it covered under the warranty. Well, if that’s the case, the Godson is not for you. I suggest you find a small fixed blade.
One of the problems with any switchblade or automatic knife is that more than a few states either prohibit ownership of these blades altogether or they place heavy restrictions on them. Yeah, I know, it sucks and makes little sense. I looked at the knife laws in Kentucky and they seem to be relatively straightforward when compared to other states.
For starters, it is legal for me to own a Godson in Kentucky, along with an array of other knives (check out KnifeUp for details). As far as open carry, it is legal for one to open carry any knife. With respect to concealed carry, things get a bit tricky (emphasis added):
KRS § 527.020 (2012)
527.020. Carrying concealed deadly weapon.
(1) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed weapon when he or she carries concealed a firearm or other deadly weapon on or about his or her person.
KRS § 500.080 (2012)
500.080. Definitions for Kentucky Penal Code.
(4) “Deadly weapon” means any of the following:
(a) A weapon of mass destruction;
(b) Any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged;
(c) Any knife other than an ordinary pocket knife or hunting knife;
(d) Billy, nightstick, or club;
(e) Blackjack or slapjack;
(f) Nunchaku karate sticks;
(g) Shuriken or death star; or
(h) Artificial knuckles made from metal, plastic, or other similar hard material;
Obviously, the question is whether the Godson is an “ordinary pocket knife.” Is it? Well, this is where I got sucked down the rabbit hole that is the Internet trying to find an exact answer to this question. Unfortunately, I discovered that there is no clear answer to this question, which means I have a decision to make: I can either take my chances and gamble that it is an ordinary pocket knife and carry it concealed or I can just openly carry it on my belt and not worry about running afoul of the law.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Depending on where you reside, you’d have to make a decision too. With other knives, we don’t have these dilemmas to worry about. So, the Godson is limited in this way. You have to figure out whether you can even own one, then whether you can carry one, before you purchase it. It can be a headache.
At Blade Show 2015, we had a chance to speak to Alan Wattenberg, the father of Dave Wattenberg who is the president of Pro-Tech Knives. Alan was a very congenial fellow. He told us a bit about Pro-Tech, which is a family owned business based out of Artesia, CA. All their knives are assembled by craftsman who work in-house at the facility. While that’s always nice to hear — who doesn’t love made in the USA products? — what really impressed me was the collector’s market for Pro-Tech knives.
Alan told us that Dave brought hundreds of knives to Blade Show 2015 that were basically works of art. The price tag on these knives were in the thousands of dollars (If you check out their custom knives gallery, you’ll get a sense of what Alan was talking about). According to Alan, Dave sold out of all his custom pieces within a few hours. I guess that speaks to the demand of these high-end heirloom quality knives. Unfortunately, those rare and expensive knives were gone by the time we got to their booth at Blade Show, so we didn’t get to see any in person, but Alan showed us another EDC auto that was a bit more pricey than the Godson. See video below:
While the Godson I have isn’t a collector’s item, it’s nice to know that it’s made by folks that have a reputation of putting together some of the most coveted knives on the market. If you ask me, it ultimately speaks to the quality of their work. Most people aren’t going to drop that kind of cash on something unless there is real value there.
Yeah, so as you can tell I’m pretty much sold on Pro-Tech Knives. I have the Godson and I’m extremely happy with it. Will I still feel the same way in a year? I guess I’ll have to answer that down the road. Truthfully, I can’t imagine that my impression of the Godson will change all that much. It’s an awesome automatic knife. Sure, it has limitations, it’s not the best all around utility knife, it’s not meant for hard use and there are legal questions about owning one — but for what I need from a knife, i.e. simple household tasks/self-defense, it’s perfect.
Maybe in the future some other knife will come along, rock my world and change my mind. But in the meantime, I’ll be carrying my Godson for urban EDC.