Do you remember seeing the Tekna Dive Knife sold everywhere in the 1980s? I sure do. It seemed to be in every major catalog! It was a fine little Diving Knife. It was more than "slightly difficult" to sharpen due to the blade grind, but you could get a decent edge on it if you were persistent. This was a small double-edged knife, no handle slabs, just skeletonized stainless steel. It was a simple knife but well made.
The sheath was very interesting. I don’t have mine anymore but I think I can describe it well enough for someone reading this who has never examined one…
The sheath was a hard plastic affair with a spring-loaded gate in the form of a flap. On the side of the flap that faced the knife, there was a plastic protrusion that was designed to fit into the first skeletonized hole right before the integral double guard began. The fit on every one of these knives I ever held was perfect. The blade did not rattle in the sheath due to poor fit of the spring-loaded flap with protrusion into the skeletonized hole, it rattled a little bit lower, the body of the actual blade being able to slap around one millimeter or so [best guess].
The plastic protrusion on the spring-loaded flap was even beveled nicely so the knife could be re-sheathed without actuating the flap with a finger. There was a lot of thought that went into this sheath. I don’t know if this knife is available anymore, but if it is…it is worth taking a look at if you Scuba Dive or you are in and around the water a lot.
The knife was easily drawn by simply using thumb or fingertip to release some of the pressure on the spring-loaded flap, which was not heavy but held the knife securely. Simple and effective.
The sheath that I had was supplied with two large velcro straps. The back of the sheath had pre-formed protruding [about 3mm] slots that the velcro straps fit through. I have seen other straps with actual buckles on them like you would find on Scuba Gear as well. I also examined one Tekna Dive Knife and the sheath had something similar to the Bianchi wire cage contraption for attachment to a belt, etc.
The next knife from Tekna I am going to talk about, well…I’ve never owned one and I include it only so you can get a mental picture of what Tekna was [I don’t even know if they are still in the business of making and selling knives or not!]. This was the Tekna Wilderness Edgeä Survival Knife. This was not a classic "hollow handle" Survival Knife, but it did have one [or both, I don’t know, I’ve never handled one] grip slab(s) that could be loosened and rotated to expose a cut out area in the tang of the knife. I believe a Tekna flashlight called a "Splash Liteä " was included. The sheath had several "Survival Necessities" like a crock stick for sharpening, a liquid filled compass, fire starter, mini-fishing kit, a snare and a signaling mirror. It looked like a pretty cool package really. I owned an Aitor Jungle King II at the time the Tekna Wilderness Edgeä was popular so I really did not have a use for it. I vaguely remember that there was some sort of mini-fishing reel in that fishing kit and that it somehow fit into the skeletonized blade of the Tekna Survival Knife. I also remember the Brewer Survival Knife that was popular around that time had a rectangular cutout in the end of the blade. This cutout would accept a spring-loaded gig/spear contraption that would act like some Bow-fishing Arrowheads when the knife was lashed to a pole and used for spearing fish.
The aforementioned Tekna Dive Knife, as a matter of fact, was a constant companion along with my Aitor Jungle King II Survival Knife when I was a teenager. It did not matter if I was on the Patuxent, Potomac, Patapsco or Susquehanna Rivers in Maryland or the Chesapeake Bay…I usually had these two knives with me. From deer hunting on the Eastern Shore to the mountains of Western Maryland…they were with me and I never had a problem with them. The Aitor Jungle King II is a very good knife for the money as well.
We’re getting a little carried away though, aren’t we?
Next on the list would be the folding knife and keychain knife Tekna manufactured at one time. The Tekna Hidden Edgeä and Xtra Edgeä , respectively. Again, I have no idea if Tekna currently exists or is still in the Cutlery Business. It was not exactly what they were known for; they were just innovators in that arena, in my opinion.
Tekna was known for high-tech Scuba Equipment. When I say, "high-tech," I really mean that. I’m not a Scuba Diver, but according to a 1970s Soldier of Fortune Article about Tekna, they were a supplier to our Government and other Governments. Their equipment was State of The Art at that time.
Tekna was also known for their high-tech line of flashlights, which in the 1980s seemed to be on the cutting edge of rugged design and reliability, along with Pelican Flashlights and MagLite Flashlights. Tekna strobes and flashlights had integral slots in them so they could be attached to the arm by Velcro straps similar to those used on the Diving Knife. The aforementioned Splash-Liteä , Tekna-Liteä , Micro-Liteä and Mono-Lithä were all Tekna Flashlights. Even with all of the current advancements in flashlight designs, the Tekna Flashlights are still coveted. Knife manufacturers including Tekna stay on the leading edge of design and branding. In today's smartphone culture companies like Tekna use QR code stickers and QR code analytics to track sales, improve relationships with customers, and ensure their brand is meeting the needs of the consumer. In niche areas like knife manufacturing the QR code companies are able to assist in driving the product to the consumer for their specific needs.
This article is about something else, however. This article is about two small knives that Tekna manufactured in the 1980s. The reason I wanted to write an article about them is simple. These two knives were very innovative. In fact, they were really before their time in many ways.
The Tekna Security Cardä
We have something much better now; we have Spyderco’s SpyderCard. A liner locking "Credit Card" type knife with the infamous SpyderHole for one-handed opening. What have followed are versions of the same idea from SOG Knives [Access Card] and Microtech [Option II]. I still think the SpyderCard is the best with the SOG Access Card being a close second. Usually, Microtech is very much ahead of everyone else in The Knife World; I don’t like the Option II, however.
JSP-BladeRigger Credit Card and Wallet Knives are the epitome of the design for absolute simplicity and speed. If you are seriously considering something to carry in your wallet as a last ditch back-up weapon for Self-defense, there is no better design. You do not have to open them, they are not folders they are fixed blades and the act of drawing them is all that is required for the blade to be produced.
Yet, the Tekna Security Cardä was the first one as far as I can tell. It was way before its’ time. The main difference between the Tekna Security Card and the SpyderCard, Access Card and Option II is the basic design itself. The Tekna Security Cardä is an Out The Front [OTF] Design. The blade exits out the front of the body instead of opening from the side as the other three Credit Card Knives do.
I have the double-edged T-7000 Model Security Cardä the T-7000S being single edged. From the Tekna pamphlet:
Specifications and Materials
Weight 1.5 ounces
Blade Length 2 5/16
Overall Length Open 5.5 inches
Overall Length Closed 3.4 inches
Body Width 2.13 inches
Body Thickness .25 inches
Blade Width 1.75 inches
Blade Stainless Steel, Rockwell Hardness of 55
Body Tough Structural Resin
Mechanism Slide Activation with Lock
Now, there is not a whole lot to add to this. The knife was very cool when it came out, very unique. It is a functional cutting tool. The slide activation is positive and easy…very smooth. The lock appears to be strong enough for cutting tasks. Overall, it is a nice knife.
What would be interesting now, is to see this same knife produced in Titanium! [I like Titanium!]
To extend the blade, the button is depressed approximately 2mm and simply slid forward, simple and reliable! Just reverse the movement to close. It appears that the button, which is very positive by the way thanks to approximately 22 tiny cylindrical protrusions that are raised for grip, is simply spring loaded. It looks as if a hole was cut in the back of the blade that would match the elongated oval shape of the button and the button sitting in that space with a spring underneath it. Quite simple. There are two very small areas front and back that are cut into the resin body. The one nearest the front opening appears to have a stainless steel liner inserted into the resin…very interesting.
An examination of the Patent did not illustrate this, but it does exist. I wish an exploded view of the parts had been included in the Patent, as is the case with the Micro-Knifeä .
These are the original line drawings of the Tekna Security Cardä from the U.S. Patent.
Here is a picture of the Tekna Security Cardä along with the Tekna Micro-Knifeä .
The Tekna Micro-Knifeä
What a controversial little knife! The source of some legal strife in the State of California [Click on People V. Quattrone to view it] and probably the reason why it was discontinued. You see, the State of California in its’ unflappable wisdom, declared this knife to be a Switchblade Knife. Oh, I forgot, any folder without a [finger]nail nick is basically a "Switchblade" in California. [Argue if you must, read People V. Quattrone, the law is what they say it is, if the State of California in its’ infinite wisdom thinks that a Balisong is a Switchblade because it can be opened with three wrist movements, guess what? Almost any folding knife could be considered a Switchblade in California. Even though thumb studs, holes and discs are apparently exempt from the nefarious and stupid 653K Law.]
The funny part of that is, real Switchblade Aficionados would laugh hysterically at the thought of this knife being a Switchblade. The more Politically Correct term for a Switchblade is "Automatic Knife." Well…hmm…the Tekna Micro-Knifeä could be considered an "Automatic Knife" but not a Switchblade. In my opinion, the Kershaw/Onion SpeedSafeä folders could be considered, "Automatic Knives," but not Switchblades… I’m also sure that if the same broad interpretation in People V. Quattrone were to be applied to the SpeedSafeä it too would be considered a Switchblade under 653K.
This little Tekna knife is a very handy tool. Let me say that, like the Security Cardä , the Micro-Knifeä could be made with a Titanium body and the retractable sheath could also be made out of Titanium and this would be an excellent pocketknife for shirt pocket carry! You could beef up the springs in this little knife and strengthen the blade-to-body connection and it would be great for utility or defense in my opinion.
As you can see in the pictures, I have the single-edged version and the Patent drawings show the double-edged and partially serrated version.
Here it is on a nice Greek Law Enforcement Magazine sent to me by my good friend Steve. Steve wrote the article on Sig Sauers, which you see on the cover of the magazine.
Specifications and Materials
Weight 1.1 ounces
Overall Length 6.0 inches
Blade Length 2.4 inches
Blade Width .47 inches
Blade Thickness .12 inches
Blade Stainless Steel, Rockwell Hardness of 55
Natural Stainless T-6000 and T-6000S
Black Matte T-6010 and T-6010S
Body Stainless Steel
Sheath, Super Tough Structural Resin
The button on the Tekna has a simple safety, the button has to be depressed past the body. Works good and I don’t think anything bumping up against this knife or the button would ever retract the sheath accidentally.
Here is an enlarged view of the button/trigger area of the Tekna.
Here is an exploded view of the parts, this along with the above picture should give you an idea of how the button activates the actual trigger to retract the sheath.
Alongside a pocket screwdriver, writing pen and a Streamlight Stylus Penlight, the Tekna Micro-Knife does not look out of place at all. Just another neat and handy tool in my opinion.
In the pocket, it does indeed look like some sort of "high-tech" pen as the original Tekna literature states.
When "Tactical" Flashlights were just coming online, Manufacturers like Tekna blazed a path of innovation that others followed, the whole concept was popularized by the folks at Tekna, Pelican and MagLite. And they [Tekna] made some very intelligent knives that were before their time in many ways.
[A special thanks, as always, to my Buddy Jay. I still consider him Webmaster of this Site even though he has taught me how to do almost everything now. He remains my Technical Advisor on many things related to this endeavor as well as being able to capture images from the rather crappy format offered by the Government when it comes to viewing Patent Images. When you see technical line drawings of things, which I think adds an informative and entertaining bit of "spice" to some of the Articles I write, I might have found them, but without Jay, they could have never been used. I think in every instance, he has added to these articles. The articles would not be as informative or interesting without his continued help. Thanks J.]
Back to the Main Index