The Ontario Knife Company (OKC) offers many well-built and crafted knives, and their XM-1S Folding Tactical Knife is one that has a lot to offer law enforcement and first responders. This is not a simple folding knife. The XM-1S has several upgraded features that make it a knife ready to withstand the harsh use and conditions of those who use knives professionally.
Those features are just one reason that the U.S. Military has the XM-1S on their list of approved issue knives. In fact, XM stands for Xtreme Military. The XM-1 has a plain razor edge, while the XM-1S includes a serrated edge as well.
The OKS XM-1S
Ontario Knife Company is just one of many knife companies that makes a presence at SHOT Show. I had not heard of OKC until a few years ago when I came across their booth, but I was immediately impressed but what I saw. The craftsmanship and materials selection places OKC in the upper tier of knife makers, in my opinion.
However, that level of quality often comes with a price tag that places the tool out of reasonable reach for most police officers and first responders. When knife prices start edging up towards the low-end cost of a handgun, most people begin to look the other way, myself included. Still, I’ve tried to keep up on OKC productions for the fact the products are just so solidly built.
The OKC XM-1S Folding Tactical Knife caught my eye and has held it for some time. It has classic lines, combined with enhanced features that greatly increase the wear and tear durability of the knife. In addition, there are features specifically tailored for law enforcement officers, military, and first responders.
- Blade Material – N690Co (Cryo-quenched Bohler Cobalt reinforced steel)
- Overall Length – 8.0″ (20 cm)
- Blade Length – 3.375″ (8.573 cm)
- Blade Thickness 0.19″ (0.48 cm)
- Closed Length – 4.7 in (11.9 cm)
- Weight – 6.3 oz.
- Lock Type – Titanium liner
- Edge Type – Combo razor and serrated
- Hardness – 58-60 HRC
- Pocket Clip Configurations – Tip Down, Left and Right Handed
- Deployment Mechanism – Thumb stud
- Handle – Black, aircraft-grade aluminum
- Blade Grind – Flat
- Blade Finish and Color – Satin
- National Stock Number (NSN) 1095-01-535-5733
- Country of Origin – Italy
- MSRP – $252.50.
Before your eyes pop out of your head with the MSRP, keep in mind that is a suggested retail price and you should not expect to pay anywhere close to that amount at Amazon or other reputable stores.
The OKC XM-1S blade offers a fine razors edge more than capable for most cutting or scrapping purposes, and a serrated edge when a heavier cutting is required. The modified spearhead tip is an excellent choice in the event of a self-defense need. The Cobalt enhanced steel blade is corrosion-resistant while maintaining the blade’s edge. The deployment thumb stud is easily located and manipulated on an extension of the blade near the hilt. There is a cosmetic linear cut at the top of the blade that reduces overall weight without compromising strength or durability.
The aircraft-grade aluminum handle has several grooves to enhance gripping and to allow fluids to drain in the event conditions get wet or bloody. There is a well-cut finger groove for the forefinger, and the hilt angles outward to provide good protection from the user’s hand sliding. The XM-1S uses a titanium liner lock for superior protection without adding weight.
The OKC XM-1S knife has a pocket clip attached with four micro, hexagon bit screws, and can be mounted ambidextrously with the tip down, or with the tip up. There is also a lanyard hole in the event the knife user is going to attach the XM-1S to a gear bag, rather than carry it on their person.
Overall, the Ontario Knife Company XM-1 series knives appear to have the features and materials that professionals demand superior performance and endurance. What are your experiences with Ontario Knife Company knives and tools?
Editor’s note: Since this article was published, Ontario Knife Company discontinued the XM-1S. There are many other good quality folders on the market, and you can see many of Aaron’s knife reviews here.
Great quality and rock solid build from a reputable company. There are complaints in cyberspace (reviews) about the weight and grip size, but this is not a toy, it is a weapon; in my medium-sized hand it simply means a very secure hold on this knife and that can only be good.
Excellent points Smith! There are times you want a lightweight utility/pocket knife, and then there are times you want a very purposeful weapon.