When the new automatic knives from Microtech called Scarab II and Mini Troodon were released last year we published an article to keep you updated. This is still The Firearm Blog, but from time to time we take the liberty to widen the subject and write about everyday carry knives and other objects that may be of interest for gun owners.
Below: Can you identify the two handguns below? (Answer at the bottom)
These new knives seem to have become quite popular and I guess Microtech’s output may also be limited due to the current circumstances, but I finally managed to get my hands on both the Mini Troodon and the Scarab II, and this review will take care of the latter.
Below: Pocket time with the new Scarab II out the front automatic knife.
Introduction and Background
Automatic knives are like expensive fidget spinners for grown-ups. Due to local legislation (Sweden), I’m not allowed to carry any kind of knife in public, and an automatic knife like this is not allowed in my car either. But I can have them at home and in the countryside. Hopefully, the legislation for you is more sensible, but I know it could also be much worse.
To be honest, I was reluctant to buy this knife, I wasn’t going to. I prefer other blade types, other colors and combinations. But when the occasion arose, I bagged one anyway, out of curiosity mainly. I’m glad I did as it has definitely grown on me. I could easily trade it if I don’t want to keep it. For the record, Microtech Knives had no knowledge about this review until it goes live and I paid for the knife, probably above the list, myself. The conclusions, as wrong as they may be, are my own.
Tested: Microtech Scarab II S/E Stonewash Blade
The new Scarab II is a big automatic knife, with an overall length just under 10″. Out the front and it fires hard! Once out, you have a 3.9″ normal, single edge blade that looks like it could take a beating. There is very little blade play, I’m sure some would define it as no blade play. If you shake it around, open or closed, there is no or very little rattle.
The overall body size is very similar to the Combat Troodon, but the Scarab II is thicker. Until I tried the Scarab II, I didn’t know I needed this extra thickness, but it enhances the knife and makes it much easier to hold and control. It fits my hand better.
Below: There are black traction parts in the body. This can also be found on some Microtech Socom Elites. It’s like a hard rubber molded on the aluminum, creating friction (and some comfort) for a better grip. I imagine this would be great on a wet, cold knife and it is.
The thicker body also enabled Microtech to give the push-button a new improved design. It’s much wider so that your thumb can really dive into the friction and fire the blade. It’s a more comfortable and reliable design, your finger won’t slip and it won’t feel like you stepped on a piece of Lego if you do. I don’t know the details of what’s inside, but from what I’ve heard the inside construction is brand new with a new larger and harder spring.
Below: Note the difference in design between the Combat Troodons (left and right) and the Scarab II (middle).
While my thumb will sometimes slip and go over the button on many of the Microtechs, it’s like it can’t happen on the Scarab II. That’s very welcome and something for Microtech to consider if and when they do new models or redesigns.
Below: There’s some really fine CNC machining going on in these aluminum bodies.
If you look above (and below) you can see that there are grooves in the blade of the Scarab II.
The blade steel is M390, but according to Microtech’s specification, it may vary. Possible variants are Carpenter CTS 204P / Carpenter XHP and Bohler ELMAX, so if you’re peculiar with the steel, check before you buy – if there are any around at all.
The glass breaker has a new design and instead of screws with Microtech’s proprietary design (good looking but hard-to-open) the Scarab II uses Torx. The belt clip also has a hole for a lanyard. Is the Scarab II intended for heavy-duty work and less posh than some of their other designs? I’d like to think so and if I asked a Microtech representative, I’m sure they would agree.
Although I didn’t try it so I cannot verify it, but the fluted design of the blade is so that the knife can work in and under water. I used snow instead.
How reliable is the mechanism?
I don’t pretend to have the ability to test thousands of cycles, but overall there are very few problems with Microtechs. During my testing of the Scarab II, I had no issues. In fact, with the new button design, my thumb hasn’t slipped one time, so I’d say overall the Scarab II is more reliable.
I haven’t tried it but I have no doubts it will work. A friend of mine who works as a Police Officer and carries a Microtech Ultratech tested his live and the criminal on the other side of the window can vouch for that it worked. There’s a Microtech Knives Glass Breaker Demonstration here.
Price and Availability
I paid $538.00 at PVK Vegas. That’s probably a little over the list. Over the years, I’ve bought many knives from PVK and found them to be very reliable with good customer service, so I can recommend them. It’s been really hard to find the Scarab II for sale, and there was a limit of one per household when I bought mine. I’ve tempted a few in the TFB Staff with this knife, but they weren’t able to find any for sale.
Here’s what Microtech Knives say about their product:
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
+Gives a robust, quality feel
+Thicker and easier to hold than most Microtechs (but your hands and preferences are unique)
+The push button is wider than normal and fits my thumb really well – It’s bigger and better
+The blade fires hard (with a noticeable sound)
+Little or no rattle
+100% made in USA, except for the M390 blade steel.
+Built-in glass breaker
-May be too long and heavy to fit your pocket
-That’s a lot of money for a knife
-An automatic is always going to be more sensitive than a folder or fixed blade
This was the only configuration that the Scarab II was available at the time of the review, but the partially serrated version is just coming out. There’s also a DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) version. That would be the perfect one for myself, but I know that serrations aren’t for everyone. I may sell mine and get a new one as more options become available.
Below: If you guess the Laugo Alien and the CZ Shadow 2 you were correct.
These TFB articles may also be of interest to you. At least there are a lot of nice photos to look at:
The Microtech Knives Molon Labe Collection
New Microtech TAC-P Self-Defense Emergency Tool
The Best Premium Blades: EDC Knives For Gun Owners