For the past four months I’ve used the 5.11 Tactical ARK Liner Lock Recurve Knife as my everyday carry knife. Part of 5.11 Tactical’s “Always Ready Knives” series, the ARK Recurve is a solid, full-sized liner lock knife geared for both tactical and recreational use. The knife was designed and engineered by Mike Vellekamp. While this knife has been in the 5.11 Tactical product line for some time, don’t count it out as a great option for an everyday workhorse. Let’s take a closer look …
The blade of the 5.11 Tactical ARK Liner Lock Recurve is made from 3mm thick AUS 8 steel which has been hardened to 57-59 HRC for increased edge retention. The blade has also been treated with a black oxide coating to cut any potential reflection, glint, or shine when being used for tactical purposes.
The bottom half of the blade closest to the handle features a serrated section. The serrated section is present on both the Recurve and Tanto model of this knife. It’s definitely useful for cutting through rope, nylon, or other materials. The blade is razor-sharp and holds a very nice edge even after some heavy use. Whether it’s been daily use around the office or field use while camping or off-roading, the blade performs exceptionally well and the serrated section has come in handy on many occasions.
The blade is secured in the open position using a liner lock. Using the ambidextrous assist lever on the blade, the action is smooth and seems very natural. Both the opening and closing of the blade is done with ease. One feature worth pointing out is the smooth notches that have been added to the liner itself. These notches give added grip for easily closing the knife when wearing gloves. They also act as a natural memory point to gravitate towards when closing the blade while looking in a different direction.
The handle of the 5.11 Tactical ARK Liner Lock Recurve Knife is made from shatter resistant G-10 scales. They have been angle cut and grooved for increased functionality when wearing gloves or grabbing the knife in a dirty or wet environment. The handle to blade ratio is comfortable and the knife feels very secure and stable when in holding it in your hand.
There is a small hole at the end of the handle for adding a lanyard or length of paracord. This could prove handy if you carry a lot of gear and want a quick way to grab the knife. It also works nicely when carrying the knife in a pack or bag. You can quickly grab the length of cord or lanyard and go versus digging in pockets and looking for the knife.
The mounting clip has proven to be sturdy and has just the right amount of tension to keep the knife in place when not in use. I do like the fact that 5.11 Tactical designed the mounting clip so that it is reversible. There are four different mounting options that you can utilize depending upon your personal carry preference.
Overall, the 5.11 Tactical ARK Liner Lock Recurve Knife has performed exceptionally well as an everyday carry knife. The blade quality, ambidextrous assist, added notches on the liner lock, and the reversible mounting clip are all very nice features on this production piece. The ARK Liner Lock Recurve retails for $74.99 on the 5.11 Tactical website. I feel that the knife is a solid value, well made, and works nicely as an everyday carry workhorse.