What Makes the Perfect Knife? Sandrin’s TCK 2.0

Sandrin’s new TCK 2.0 is the perfect EDC knife.

An everyday carry knife needs to be just one thing, but it needs to be it every time you use it. It could also be a lot of other things — it could clip to your belt loop, it could deploy quickly, it could fit inside a credit card — but it’s got only one real purpose. Most knife companies spend a lot of effort on all these other features as if the one thing were in the bag. But Sandrin Knives has shown that other tools haven’t mastered the essence of the knife.

It’s ALWAYS Sharp

No, there’s nothing wrong with my arm. I’m not sick, and those bald patches aren’t from a communicable disease. It’s just that I can’t stop showing off how sharp this knife is!

The only thing a knife needs to be all the time is sharp, and Sandrin’s TCK 2.0 is always razor-sharp. I’ve been using it daily for all kinds of things for more than two weeks and it’s still sharp enough to shave my arm hairs effortlessly and slice a piece of paper like air. This reviewer does cut tests and found this blade to be the longest-lasting blade he’d ever tested — and he’s using it to cut hemp rope.

Sandrin’s original TCK showed that an EDC knife could, in fact, be crafted without any steel in the blade and last as the sharpest knife you’ve ever used for a very long time. The blade is made entirely from tungsten carbide, which is harder than just about everything in your everyday life.

How Hard Is Tungsten Carbide?

I studied mineralogy in college, where we learned about the physical properties of all kinds of rocks. Hardness is one of the easy ways to identify different materials. We used Moh’s hardness scale (1 to 10) whereon your fingernail is about a 2.5, a steel nail is a 4, glass is 5.5, a pocket knife is between 5 and 6.5, and a steel file is 6.5. Ceramic tile is one of the hardest things in your life, and it’s about a 7. The scale isn’t simple, and once you get up above 7 things begin to be much harder than the thing before them. Diamond is the hardest at 10. There are a few things, like rubies and sapphires that are 9’s. That means that they can’t be scratched by things rated lower on the scale. A file won’t scratch a sapphire, and a sapphire won’t scratch a diamond. Tungsten carbide is a 9.

Although this knife is slim, its blade is made from some of the hardest material on Earth.

These TCK blades aren’t just a lot harder than other steel knives: they’re a lot harder than almost everything on Earth.

Now, hard doesn’t mean indestructible. You can crush a diamond and shatter a sapphire. But these TCK blades are made by a company that makes industrial cutting tools intended to cut all that other stuff on Mr. Moh’s scale.

The knife is 7.79″ long. The red liner is an elegant highlight to the knife’s black body.

Nay-sayers claim tungsten carbide is too brittle for an EDC knife, but Sandrin has devised a patented makeup that allows this blade to be both flexible and strong. It’s Rockwell hardness is 71.

TCK 2.0

Sandrin showed that carbide makes a fine EDC with the first TCK knife. This second edition refines the original and is a good evolution and upgrade. Owners of the first series will find the 2.0 worth buying.

The Wharncliffe profiled blade has a DLC coating that gives it a mirror polish that’s hard and non-stick.

The Wharncliffe blade has a new diamond-like carbon coating which is typically used to coat materials and drastically increase their service life. Applied to the TCK blade, it makes a black mirror finish that is nearly as hard as diamond and should last more than your lifetime. In practical terms, the DLC coating also makes the blade perfectly non-stick. Dried meat or cheese that usually takes some soaking and scrubbing to remove from a blade wipes off without effort.

The blade is just .035″ thick with a 20-degree hollow-ground edge. The blade is 100% tungsten carbide — no steel.

The blade is 3.1″ long with a 20-degree hollow-ground edge and it’s just .035″ thick.

The 2.0’s biggest changes are below the blade. Everything in the grip is new and it’s very nice.

Slip Joint Lock

Originally, the TCK had a frame lock that was thin and functional, but not elegant. This new version uses a slip joint to keep the blade open and closed. Slip joints have been used on knives for hundreds of years. Sandrin is again combining the very old with the very new.

The blade operates on a slip joint. Lacking a lock and requiring two hands to open means it’s legal to carry all over the world.

It’s not a locking blade, which at first surprised me because every knife these days seems to have a lock. My Swiss Army knife and the Old Timer my grandfather gave me have slip joints. The Swiss Army knife works well enough, though, I’d prefer it stayed open better, while the Old Timer is so stiff it takes pliers to open.

Sandrin has done what they do best and perfected the slip joint. It holds tightly closed without play but opens easily. When closing it, the blade moves smoothly into the closed position without jumping the last half inch, which always makes me a little nervous with that Old Timer.

The slip joint allows the whole knife to be very thin, It’s .23″ thick, and the fasteners are all flush with the handle.

In the open position, the blade is very secure. Maybe if I were using it as a baton to split wood, I might feel it needs to lock open, but this isn’t that kind of knife — though that DLC coating would be helpful splitting wood. I’ve been using it a whole lot and haven’t run into a situation when I needed it to be locked open. Maybe it’s because the blade is so thin, or maybe it’s just because it’s so sharp, but it doesn’t get stuck in a cut and need to lock.

Since it’s not a locking blade and since it lacks an assisted opening feature, it is more likely to be legal in the places you live and visit, though the blade is a smidge long for some states in the U.S. Check the regulations where you live and travel. It’s slim and easy to have with you all the time.

PVD-Coated Stainless Steel

The handle is all stainless steel and has a PVD coating. The PVD coating is extremely fine and uniform. It gives the scales a satin finish and a positive grip. It feels very good in your hand and much more grip-able than stainless alone. The red liner looks terrific and the whole thing is perfectly rigid.

The scales and clip are PVD coated. Its flawless satin finish gives a positive grip.

The handle is machined with a light chamfer all the way around, increasing the soft feel of the grip without compromising on materials. There’s a subtle radius along the length of the handle — the surface is not flat. The scales are cut back near the base of the blade and with a subtle double scallop that swoops down the to the end. These relief cuts lighten the whole thing and fit your hand for a high-dexterity grip and a little handguard at the top. Perhaps its Italian heritage is showing in its saber-like profile.

The pocket clip is also PVD-coated stainless. It’s mounted for tip-up positioning in your pocket, and it’s removable with hex screws.

Subtle shaping in the handle makes it comfortable and utile.

All the screws and hardware are all flush-fitting with the scales. Only the pocket clip screws are proud of the handle. The straight blade profile also allows it to fit into the handle with the least area sticking out. This knife is the definition of svelte.

The Art of Engineering

Sandrin’s parent company has been producing industrial cutting tools for decades in Italy. They have the engineering of tool-making down pat and they’ve turned their engineering minds toward the artistry of this knife.

Sandrin’s logo and the cutouts in the blade are an embodiment of the Fibonacci sequence.

You’ve heard of the Golden Mean Ratio and the related Fibonacci sequence, a proof of the perfection and mathematical art found in nature. The five circles cut into the TCK’s blade area are a sample of the sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5. They are spaced and sized according to the sequence and you’ll note that Sandrin Knives’ logo also encompasses this sequence. It makes me think that Sandrin has the perfection of artistry and engineering at the front of their minds.

Although it’s an engineering breakthrough, Sandrin has also paid attention to artistry in its design.

Distributed By Cabot Guns

With the emphasis on artistry and engineering perfection, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that Sandrin Knives are distributed in the USA by Cabot Guns, makers of the finest 1911’s. Cabot reports that the TCK 2.0 completely replaces the first version and those are no longer available. They also say that a few of their heavy users have used 600 grit diamond sharpener to hone the tungsten carbide blade. But, you’ll be glad to know, Sandrin is sending a new unit to Cabot that can re-grind the edge of these knives to like-new status, so that service will be available soon. The knives have a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects and materials.

This knife is slim! The blade and liner are thinner than a penny.

Gripes

Personally, I do prefer a locking blade. However, I’ve been using this knife daily for some time and haven’t had any issues. If you’ve ever had your Swiss Army close on you, then you know how not to use a slip joint.

Also, while this knife is always sharp, I don’t love the Wharncliffe profile. the good news is that Sandrin has just announced two new knives with the same materials: A drop point and a sheepsfoot blade. They still won’t be locking knives, but they do offer more blade options (and they are rumored to be 3″ or less).

A Gentleman’s Folder

Sandrin Knive’s TCK 2.0 is less than 1/4″ thick, it’s 4.48″ long when closed, 7.79″ open, and legal to carry all over the world. Most importantly, it does best what a knife is supposed to do: it’s sharp every time you use it. Its unobtrusive profile makes it carry-able in all situations and with any wardrobe choice. It’s truly a gentleman’s folder that will last. It’s MSRP is $249, but you can get it direct right now for just $229 on Sandrin’s website.

Specs

Overall Length:7.79”
Blade Length:3.1”
Cutting Edge:20°/40° double side double bevel
Blade Thickness:0.035”
Blade Material:Polyhedral Tungsten Carbide
Blade Style:Wharncliffe
Blade Grind:lapping
Finish:mirror polished / DLC coating
Edge Type:hollow grind
Handle Length:4.48”
Handle Thickness:0.23”
Handle Material:stainless steel
Blade Hardness (Rockwell):71
Color:PVD black coating
Weight:2.11 oz
User:EDC – gentlemen Folder
Pocket Clip:tip up removable
Pocket Clip Detail:stainless steel PVD black coating
Knife Type:folding
Opener:two hands
Lock Type:slipjoint
Brand:Sandrin Knives
Model:TCK 2.0
Country of Origin:Italy
Best Use:EDC – light use

For more information visit Cabot Guns website.

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About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Gilbert Black January 22, 2020, 6:44 pm

    A solution to a non existent problem a buy seven lock blades and pitch when the get dull

  • John Hoglin January 21, 2020, 10:58 am

    $229 not likley.

  • Will Drider January 20, 2020, 5:05 pm

    I like it. Its only been a few weeks since I learned the existence of the origional (Gen 1) wiith longer blade and flat scales and read a review. No lock on an EDC that may need to fill a defensive need is a liability: stabbing off center axis, target movement and hitting hard object/bone could fold it on you. Outside defensive use, it would be the users ineptitude if they cut themselves. That said, in tune Mfrs respond to users needs and a “lock” may well return.

    Actual “usage” is whatever the owners applies it to. I think “Gentlemens Knife is a better characterization than EDC but there is no doubt that this knife can handle general cutting duties and excel in fine precision work: cutting with less force and more control. In this vein, its a blade I could love. There are also people that can’t sharpen a knife worth a danm too and edge retention is a strong selling point to them

    Seems the carry of old school straight razor has finally been superseded. Lol.

  • James Peters January 20, 2020, 4:30 pm

    No bladelock , No buy

  • Bob Boitt January 20, 2020, 10:00 am

    I wouldn’t purchase this knife as beautiful as it is. A locking mechanism is an essential safety feature to me. My fingers are too valuable. I remember using an “Old Fashion” cutting rope on a boat. Make a loop, insert knife cut. Yes until I inadvertently used the back of the knife once. It closed and nearly severed my first two fingers.

  • Buckshott00 January 20, 2020, 8:42 am

    I think the description says it best, “Light Use”.

    To each their own, but I don’t like Wharncliffe style blades, and I prefer a frame or a liner lock (heck even a back lock). As soon as I read Tungsten Carbide, I worried that this knife was not for doing any kind of actual work,

  • Mark Gillotte January 20, 2020, 8:17 am

    No matter how sharp it is or stays it will eventually require sharpening like any other tool, the only thing I learned from your review is metallurgy and hardness comparison of different objects ! You are paying a lot for a knife that will be hard to sharpen when the time comes ! I’ll stick to a less expensive , let’s say, Swiss Army Classic knife for $16.00 that has multi functions !

  • Ian Barnes January 20, 2020, 6:59 am

    3.1 inches is NOT ‘legal all over the world’. In fact, it makes this knife illegal to carry in several US states. The threshold is 3″. If the blade were 2.9 or even better, 2.8 inches then it would in fact be ‘legal all over the US’. I’m not sure how anyone can make a claim that something is ‘legal all over the world’ simply due to the fact that there are so many countries with their own regulations, then regions and municipalities within those countries that have THEIR own regulations. The fact that it is a slip joint and not a locking knife does clear it for counties that disallow locking blades for carry, but the 3.1 inches is definitely problematic. I don’t blame you, the author, for this statement as I am sure that is a line from the manufacturer. You should be aware, however that the 3 inch threshold makes that statement irresponsibly incorrect.

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