Comment(s)

When I was asked to review a new folder, I have a hard time saying no as I want to see what features a new model brings to the table and what practical use(s) it may offer. In the case of this new duo from Beretta, we are offered a number of useful features that will work well in the tactical arena, those who are in harm’s way and need a robust folder for crisis events worldwide; while at the same time could be very useful for the hiker, camper, climber or caver.

Handy Features

The two knives are called the TKX Titanium Micarta and the Tactical PX4. The titanium and Micarta handle of the TKX offers lightweight but solid construction. The Micarta side of the grip has what Beretta calls “Sure-grip traction grooves” to help “grab” the skin on the fingers and hold it solidly in place. It also has the patented Emerson Wave feature that can be used to open the blade as the knife is drawn from the pocket. However, the pocket clip on my test knife was set up for tip down carry and was not drilled and tapped for tip up so the Wave feature was unusable.

The spear-point blade is a configuration I happen to like and it comes with both thumb studs and index finger flipper. If I were designing a knife, I would have both thumb studs and a flipper as it offers opening options in the event the knife comes out of the pocket in a less than perfect grip. The knife features a 3.54-inch 440C stainless steel blade with a hardness rating of HRC 56-58 and is coated in a non-reflective PTFE black with a thickness of 0.16 inches. The overall knife length is 7.68 inches, making it quite easy to carry in the pocket. There is generous jimping on both the top and bottom edges of the handle, while the Wave also creates a nice thumb ramp when using a sabre grip. It should also be noted that a small glass breaker is included at the tail end of the unit. According to the Beretta web site, the TKX is modeled after a knife currently in use by the U.S. Navy SEALS, the ultimate endorsement these days, it seems.

The PX4 Tactical Knife is obviously built for law enforcement, but it could easily adapt to military or outdoor use. The PX4 is certainly beefier than the TKX and has several useful features. First is the seat belt cutter, located at the heel end of the grip. Many people scoff at seat belt cutters, and the only response I have to this is they probably have never used one. Cutting a wet seat belt with a standard blade is difficult, even if the blade is very sharp. I always have much better luck sawing through with serrations, but a good dual blade seat belt cutter makes cutting even soaking wet nylon easy.

The 3.54-inch Wharncliff blade is partially serrated and has a solid 0.16-inch thickness. The rounded end of the blade strikes me as being there for safety reasons in the event the blade must be inserted next to flesh so the tip will not unnecessarily cut. The blade has a locking feature that essentially turns it into a fixed blade and, like the TKX, has an Emerson Wave that is a non-starter for opening the blade as it is being pulled from the pocket as the pocket clip is fixed for tip down carry, though it does make a nice sabre grip thumb rest. A small glass breaker extends from the top end and can be used when the blade is closed. The aluminum handles are nicely checkered and offer a solid grip even when wearing gloves. Dual thumb stud are in place to make it easier to open with a single hand.

Street Test

While both Beretta knives seem to have all the needed features for their intended functions, the only way to know for sure is to test them on substances they will likely cut in the street. Using a section of seat belt nylon, I used the seat belt cutter on the PX4 and pushed and pulled the unit through the belt. One never knows the orientation of a belt on a person, especially if the vehicle is upside down, so being able to cut in both directions is important. Meat, tissue simulant and even a hunk of wood were easy fodder for the edge of both knives but as my editor so eloquently says, “any sharp knife should cut common materials” and he is 100% correct. The challenge is the blade staying sharp between opportunities to which could be quite long for a street/tactical knife. My testing indicates these Beretta models will hold their edge quite well.

Both knives have pocket clips positioned so the knives sit deeply in the pocket for added concealment. Such deep seating will also help keep the knives in place during physical activity like running, fighting, climbing or other tactical-style movements. Tip-down carry is preferred by many and is reasonably quick from the pocket with practice. I prefer the drawing/opening method advocated by Crucible founder Kelly McCann. Seat the thumb deep behind the knife body and wrap the index and middle fingers on/around the belt clip. Pull/lift the knife until the grip slides into the palm of the hand and then turn the knife outward. While doing so, slide the thumb on to the opening stud and push/flick the wrist to deploy the blade. Once accomplished, secure the desired grip and “go to work.” I prefer a sabre grip, and find the ramp created by the Wave hook on the blade to offer a solid rest for my thumb. It is too bad the knives are not drilled and tapped at each end to reverse the clip so the Wave feature could be used to open the blade on the edge of the pocket. I showed the knives to my father, who knows a lot more about machining that I do, and he told me that he could indeed, drill and tap the knives for tip-up carry and I might very well try that at some point. However, the tip-down carry standard on both the PX4 and TKX is quite fast with just a bit of practice. But don’t think using the Wave feature will eliminate that need for practice…it won’t!

Beretta has introduced two excellent choices in tactical/duty-ready knives that are both robust and reasonably compact. The contour of the grip, added features and materials used display an excellent understanding of what is needed in a tactical folder, and these two Beretta folders have many of the features found on knives of much higher price. If you are currently looking for a tactical folder for the street, battlefield or even the great outdoors, give these two a close look…you might just be surprised at how much knife you get for a reasonable cost.

Up Next

Wisconsin sheriff’s advice: Arm yourself, we might not get there in time

When I was asked to review a new folder, I have a hard time saying…