The following topics will be covered in this page:

1. Blade Steel

2. The Hammerhead Lock (patent pending)

3. Removing and Installing the 1911 Grips

4. Installing the Pocket Clip (new & old)

5. Trouble Shooting






Ultimate Equipment has selected 2 types of premium stainless blade steel to make the M1911 Knives.  Here is a detailed comparison between the two steels:


A. Crucible CPM S30V & CPM S35VN Alloy Steel


Manufacturer: Crucible USA


CPM S30V was developed in 2001 by Dick Barber, formerly of Crucible Steel. It was designed primarily as a cutlery steel and has a lower Vanadium content compared with S60V and S90V to allow for easier grinding.


It is currently used extensively by custom knife makers and high-end production knives. Earlier knives using S30V had reports of chipping from what appears to be improper heat treatment, though recently less of these types of problems seem to be occurring.


steel compare



CPM S30V is tougher than 440C and D2, and should be hardened to HRC 58-61 ideally. When hardened more, the steel can become brittle and prone to chipping. The steel is also more wear resistant than D2, 440C or 154CM, making it more difficult to sharpen. The corrosion resistance of S30V is equal to or better than 440C, which is quite an achievement given that CPM S30V performs much like a high speed tool steel. The Particle Metallurgy process also creates a very refined grain microstructure with very evenly dispersed Vanadium Carbides allowing the steel to take a very fine consistent edge.

CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments.

The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.
























Values are shown in percentages.




* Information and comparagraph from Crucibles USA.

B. 440C Stainless Steel

440C is a tough and relatively corrosion resistant martensitic stainless steel that maintains a good edge. For many years, 440C was the benchmark cutlery steel, and even today, represents an excellent choice for knife making that would fit most people's requirements. Its characteristics in general however do make it inferior to CPM S30V in most ways including corrosion resistance, wear resistance, hardenability and edge holding.


The microstructure of 440C is not as fine and uniform as CPM S30V, which results it the steel not taking as fine an edge, and can cause some chipping as well. It is still used by many knife makers because it is easier to work with than CPM S30V or any of the other "super steels", and as some claim, can perform even better with a Cryo or Dry Ice Quench. 440C can be hardened to about HRC 60 in use.


Some makers using 440C extensively include Swiss company Klotzli and Canadian custom knife maker George Tichbourne. 440C belongs to the family of stainless steels that include 440A and 440B, the major differences being the variance in carbon content.

























Values are shown in percentages.




2. Hammerhead Lock

U.S. Patents: 8.286.357 82    &     8.732.958 82

Ultimate Equipment's innovative Hammerhead Lock™ is a perfect example of the K.I.S.S. principle.


This truly ambidextrous design enables any user to open and close the knife with one hand - actually with only 2 fingers. When opening the knife, the blade snaps into locking position with authority. To unlock the knife and close it, the only thing you need to do is to push the locking stud up with your thumb, and at the same time press the blade down with your index finger, without placing any of your fingers in the path of the closing blade.


Hammerhead 3  Hammerhead 2  Hammerhead 4  Hammerhead 1


Some other designs have to use omega springs to make this happen. Tiny springs will break sooner or later, and it is painful to replace them. Fortunately, the Hammerhead Lock does not use any tiny springs. Similar to a traditional lock-back, it gets the locking force from the heavy duty bar spring at the back, which will never break or wear out.


As a result, the Hammerhead is reliable, durable, and also easy to clean due to its simplicity and fewer number of parts. When dirt and mud gets in the knife, just brush or blow them off, and keep on cutting.





Removing the grips from the knife is as simple as removing the grips from your 1911 pistol.  Use the enclosed hex key to lift the grip screws, and then the grips can be removed.


Sometimes the grips could be pretty tight on the grip bushings, due to shrinkage of wood.  Remove the one that comes off more easily first, open the blade, and knock on the back of the difficult one.  In this way you won't hurt your finger nails.


Try not to pry the grip panel off with a blade.  If both grips are tight and you have to pry to lift one of them, use a small screw driver and pry carefully from the clip slot at the butt.  Just pry a little so the grip is lifted.


And yes, all grip panels on the M1911 knives are standard sized pistol grips, and can be installed on any standard 1911 pistols.  And any standard 1911 grips can be installed on the knife, tooThis allows you to customize your knife or gun, or even making a matching gun-and-knife set!





The M1911 Folding Knife is designed to be tip-up carried. It enables a fast and natural draw and open motion.  We now have a new flat pocket clip, which is a solid improvement on the old wire pocket clips.  Here is an illustrated instruction on how to install the new flat pocket clip.


a. First, decide which side you want to have the clip installed. 

     For right-handers, it is usually on the right hand side.


b. Remove the grip on the OPPOSITE side of the handle.

     (If you want the clip on the right hand side, remove the grip on the left side.)


c. Remove the old clip screw, which is too big for the new clip.  The new clip comes with its own clip screw.


d. Take the clip screw off the new clip, and insert end into the slot between the grip and the butt of the knife. 

     This should be on the same side that you want the clip installed.


e. Put the new clip screw through the hole from the opposite side, and tighten it. 

     Make sure you align the clip correctly, and hold it firmly when you tighten.

     You may need to loosen and re-tighten it to adjust the clip's angle.


f. After this, the clip should stay firmly in place. Install the grip back onto the handle.


clip5  clip4  clip3


clip2  clip1  clip6





Some people may still prefer to use the old wire clips. 

There are two different methods of installing the wire clip.


Method A:

The M1911 knife comes with 2 clips for your convenience - one for the right handers and one for the lefties. Neither is pre-installed on the knife. You will have to choose one and install it.


To install the clip, first remove the grip panels on the side that you want to install the clip, just like removing them from your pistol. The enclosed hex key will get the screws out without making any marks.  Lift the grip panel, and you will find a flat screw at the end of the knife (see B in the drawing).  Remove it with the hex key, too.  Place the base of the clip on where the flat screw was, and tighten the flat screw on top of the clip base.  After that, put the grip panel back on. 


clip3  clip2  clip1  clip4






There is an alternative method of installing the pocket clip.

a. Select the right or left side carry clip. Each knife comes with both. Remove the opposite side grip panel.
b. Use the same hex key to lift the clip screw at the rear of the knife frame.
c. Position the clip underneath the clip screw.
d. Tighten the clip screw.
e. Put the grip panel back.


clip1  clip5  clip4


clip3  clip2  clip6







Here below are some possible issues some users could encounter.  Follow the tips here to try to solve the problems by yourself.  If you have other issues or something cannot be easily fixed, please contact Ultimate Equipment by email.  It may become a warranty issue and be handled according to warranty guidelines.


a. The unlocking thumb stud seems to be stiff.  It is not easy to unlock the knife with one hand.

Locking mechanism of the knives were carefully precision cut to have a very tight fit, in order to ensure a rock-solid lock.  And I hardened the main spring for the same purpose.


Before we ship a knife out, we carefully inspect every single one, make sure the spring tension is right and one can open and close the knife easily with one hand.  So when you receive a new knife that feels stiff to you, do not throw it away.  Instead, use TWO thumbs to unlock the blade during the first 40 - 50 opening and closings.  At the same time, try placing your fingers on different spots and see which position provides the most control. 


Note: Give it some time.  Play with it.  It is a break-in process mainly for the user.  When you open and close the knife, you are learning how to place your fingers at the right place to control the blade close.  After you get used to closing the blade, the "stiff" lock will not feel stiff at all.



b. What if one-hand unlocking is still difficult after break-in?

This could be the result of a very strong main spring (which provides the downward locking force). 


There is an easy way to soften the main spring a little.  However, before we do this, please make sure that the stiffness comes from the main spring, and you have opened and closed the knife quite a bit.  The locking mechanism will smooth out after some use, and after you learn where to put your fingers, it just becomes natural and very easy. 


If you do decide to soften the spring, open the blade, place the knife upside-down so the gap for holding the blade is facing upwards.  Insert a small flat file or pin punch into the gap, and place it right on top of the bend of the main spring.  Use a small hammer to give it a light tap.


Note: Don't over do it.  Just a light tap like taping a small nail into drywall.  Hitting it with too much power could reduce the spring power to zero, or could break the spring.


spring tune



c. The pocket clip does not align with the direction of the grip.

Old wire clips: You may have installed the wrong one (e.g. left clip on right side).  Try the other one in the box.

New flat clip: Loosen the clip, adjust it to the right angle, hold it firmly in place when you re-tighten the clip screw.



d. First Gen Knives: The wire pocket clip appears a bit narrow.

This applies to the old wire clips only.

The spring steel wires could change its shape slightly.  If you find your clip narrower than what you like it to be, you could simply press both wires down towards the sides after you tighten the flat screw, before you put on the grips.  They will open up to your desired width. 



e. First Gen Knives: The allen head blade adjustment screw & wire pocket clip screw seems to be slightly too big for the provided hex key.

Some customers have pointed out that the allen heads of blade adjustment screw and the wire clip screw were made slightly bigger than that of the grip screw, and the provided hex key could slip or strip out those 2 screws. Well, they are right.

Since I discovered this issue, I have started providing a 2nd hex key in each package until the next production - one that is slightly bigger and could be used to adjust the blade tightness and tighten the clip screw.

For customers who have already received their knives, if you need this 2nd hex key, please
contact me and provide your address. I will send one of these bigger hex keys to you in an envelope.  This is free of charge, of course.



f. First Gen Knives: The thumb studs or the grip bushings come loose.

This could only happen to the first lot in my first production, in which the grip bushings were not staked into the grip from below.  Lubrication oil could dissolve the Loctite for the thumb studs or grip bushings.  In later stage of first production I started to stake the bottom of the grip bushings, the same method used on 1911 handguns. 


But some early models had the grip bushings Loctited and could come loose if lubricating oil is used and gets into the threads.


If the thumb stud or grip bushing on your knife comes off, please clean it thoroughly, put a tiny drop of Loctite or super glue on the threads, and tighten it until it stops.  Do not over-tighten.  After this, avoid using too much oil on the knife.


Contact me if you have any questions or encounter any problems in using the knife.



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