|Protech TR-2 Automatic Knife (shown in green with US Border Patrol Seal)|
|Spyderco Gayle Bradley and the Protech TR-2 Automatic knife|
The 3 7/8" blade is made from 154CM, a common steel in mid to upper priced knives. It wasn't too long ago when 154CM was considered by many to be the "super steel". It's properties are very similar to 440 C in that it holds an edge very well, is fairly corrosion resistant and holds up to fairly heavy cutting (albeit not as good as higher carbon steels). 154CM has seen use in many higher end production and custom knives. Most all of my older Benchmades and many of the newer ones use 154CM. 154CM varies in quality from manufacturer to manufacturer depending on the heat treatment. Benchmade seems to have perfected the process as the knives I have used from them with this steel have performed very well. The same can be said for Protech as I currently own 5 different knives and my one "user" has been used and abused and Protech's 154CM has held up very well . 154CM is pretty corrosion resistant and none of my Protech's have had any issue with rust or corrosion. The extra coating they use on the blades protects the blade during use from abrasion and rust. All together, the blade on this knife is tough and should last many years under normal use.
Right out of the box, all of my Protech's including the TR-2 exude quality. All torx screws have always been tight, blade springs fire like nobody's business and I find zero blade play. These are the reasons, I keep going back to Protech for my automatic knives; quality. The back of the knife is open for easy cleaning. After using and carrying this knife for several months, I can honestly say that in a production automatic knife, Protech matches or exceeds the quality found in my Spyderco and Benchmade autos.
The lock found on most push button automatic knives is the button itself and the Protech is no exception. The button locks into a notch in the rear of the knife blade in the open and closed position. This provides for a nice secure lock up but depending on the tolerances, can cause slight blade play in some "cheaper" brands. I'm happy to report that with my Protech knives, including this TR-2, tolerances are very well controlled and there is zero blade play in any direction. I have put my protech TR-3 which uses the same lock under some serious pressure in use and have never had any issues of lock failure what so ever. The button lock on the TR-2 locks up night and solid. Of course you use to same button to activate/open the knife as you do to unlock it from the open position.
Automatic knives are just like any other one handed opening knife, they can be used for anything that their blade shape and size allows. I've used my TR-3 for many things and have EDC'ed it many many times. Th TR-2 reviewed here has a blade shape that lends itself to many tasks from food prep to general cutting tasks. While being an "auto" might make the general public / sheeple beleive it only has one evil purpose, make no mistake, it has as many uses as any other knife of similar dimensions. The auto aspect was unfortunately demonized by movies in the 50's through the 70's and of course politicians took the bait and knife aficionado's suffered. In Texas, Joe Blow can tote around a fully loaded .45 cal. pistol, a deer rifle or even a fully loaded shotgun but not a knife with a spring?!?!? come on Texas. An auto knife is no different than any other and their uses are endless. In any situation where one hand is tied up with another task and you only have one hand to deploy your knife, an auto sure is handy.
In a Law Enforcement Officer's job, having an auto knife at the ready in a readily accessible pocket for a last ditch option to save your butt in a life or death situation sure is a plus. The TR-2 fits this bill nicely.
UPDATE 9-1-13: Texas has repealed the ban on "switchblade knives" See HB862 . The ban on double edged knives and several other items remain. Thank you Rep. Dutton
Fit and Finish: 9/10 (for a production auto, very good)
Camp Use: 8/10 (while I don't usually use autos for this, My TR-3 has proven handy in outdoor situations)
Hard/Military/Police Use: 8/10 (Tailor made for last ditch police/military self defense use, but NOT hard use)
EDC Use: 7/10 (Very nice size but know your local laws and don't open around sheeple)
Food Prep: 8/10 (would work very good for food prep)
Skinning/Game Prep: 7/10 (while it would work for skinning, I wouldn't use it for this)
Warranty: 10/10 (Dave Wattenberg takes care of his customers!)
Zombie Usefulness: 8/10 (Not big enough for serious determined Zombies but like the sound of a shotgun racking, an opening auto, gets attention. For Zombie's get the medium to Large Brend)