For every day knife carriers the LUDT from Microtech is probably a bit different from what they are used to seeing and carrying. LUDT stands for Large Underwater Demolition Team and is essentially a military grade knife.
Although it was designed for use by Navy SEALs or the original WWII “Frogmen”, it is a fully functional EDC automatic knife. This one is an automatic knife which means there may be issues with the ability to carry it. Always check your local laws and ordinances before carrying an automatic knife.
For the design, utility, and construction we give this knife 5 out of 5 stars.
- Automatic blade opens fast
- Steel and Aluminum Construction
- Lightweight, yet very durable
- Aluminum handle can scratch easily
- Auto knives are subject to carry laws
- More expensive knife
Microtech LUDT Features
Blade – The blade is made from high end 204p steel and is extremely sturdy. The blade design allows it to be used for most everyday cutting tasks as well as utility cutting tasks such as slicing through rope and other coarse materials.
The steel is fairly wear resistant as well as corrosion resistant and is easily sharpened, which limits the need for overall blade maintenance. This particular design even allows for cutting food for food prep purposes. This is uncommon in this style of knife.
The back edge of the blade features some slight jimping to improve overall grip when using the knife for more delicate tasks. The blade point also allows for fine detail blade work as well.
Handle – The handle of the LUDT is made of anodized aluminum allowing for a great deal of durability. The aluminum handle adds durability without drastically increasing weight.
The aluminum alloy in this particular handle adds improved flexibility allowing the knife to be maneuvered more deftly than other rigid aluminum handle knives. The handle is also tapered which improves grip comfort, with the handle being thicker at the blade end and thinner towards the butt of the knife.
The handle also features a stainless steel pocket clip designed for tip down carry on either side. The knife fits snugly in the pocket and the placement allows for easy pocket removal. There is also a lined lanyard loop included for additional carry options.
Deployment and Lockup – For deployment the knife is a side opener automatic that uses a spring loaded quick action mechanism that is activated by a button on the handle. This allows for extremely quick deployment. The spring action mechanism also locks the knife in place when open for added security.
For lock up the knife also uses the plunge lock feature, wherein the spring tension is released and the knife blade is folded neatly back into the handle where it is held in place by the locking bar pressed against the blade. This allows for secure storage and no potential for movement of the blade once it is secured.
Blade Composition and Function
The blade of this knife is made of premium 204p Steel. This is considered a standard high end steel. The blade is a standard drop point with a superb grind.
The steel on this blade has a very good hardness rating that allows it to function very well even for more difficult cutting tasks like cutting through wood and rope.
The steel is very resilient to wear and corrosion meaning that the blade will last under heavy use. It is also relatively easy to sharpen which lowers the overall maintenance needed on the blade.
The drop point is useful for delicate piercing work and the jimping on the back of the blade allows the user to choke up on the blade when doing detail work.
At 3.375 inches the blade has a substantial cutting surface despite being an automatic knife. This makes the knife function well in a niche between EDC and utility.
Handle Make and Form
Like many utility knives the handle of the LUDT is made of aircraft grade anodized aluminum. The aluminum in the handle adds durability and heft to the knife during use without adding significantly to the overall weight.
The underside of the handle is straight with some slight grooving at the base for comfort. There are also some slight ridges at the top and bottom of the backside of the handle for additional grip comfort.
The grooved lines cut into the sides of the handle give the handle some texture for improved comfort and grip when holding the knife.
The handle features a steel pocket clip that allows for ambidextrous tip down carry. There is also a lanyard hole at the base of the handle.
One of the more common complaints about an aluminum handle is that they are prone to scratching. This does not impact function but does affect the aesthetics of the knife.
Secondly, aluminum has a tendency to become extremely cold when handled outdoors during cold temperatures due to the nature of the metal.
Deployment and Lockup
This knife features a standard plunge lock. This is activated with the push of a button situated on the handle. This one is a side opener that “flicks out” extremely fast thanks to the spring loaded plunger system.
Once open, the spring tension holds the knife blade in the open position for safety and security during operation.
The plunge lock releases during closing so that the knife blade folds back into the handle and the spring holds the knife in the close position to ensure smooth lock up and no blade play.
Microtech LUDT Review – Final Thoughts
For knife owners looking for a combination EDC and utility knife the Microtech LUDT is an excellent choice. The premium quality steel of the blade allows it to be used in a variety of situations without worrying about cutting ability or wear down over prolonged use.
The aluminum handle allows for flexibility during heavy use and the metal composition allows for increased durability. The plunge lock mechanism allows for extremely fast and safe deployment and lockup.
The LUDT is an extremely durable and easy to use automatic knife for any knife enthusiast. As always, consult local laws before purchasing an automatic knife.