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“I tried being reasonable. I didn’t like it.”
Buy the Microtech Halo VI at BladeHQ
I always enjoyed that quote from Clint Eastwood, and couldn’t help but think about it as I wielded the Halo VI. There is absolutely nothing reasonable about this knife. Any justification that this would be my “new EDC” went completely out the window when I fired it for the first time and ~5″ of steel slammed out of the front with a terrific bang. Even more ridiculous is using the charging handle to recapture the blade. It’s something you would expect to see in a video game. This is a serious piece of hardware. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever owned before, and it revels in its unreasonableness.
But that’s part of what makes knife collecting fun. If everything was a Delica 4 there would be no point to it. Sure we would all have a practical knife clipped to our pocket, but the fun in collecting would be long gone. Thankfully we don’t need to worry about being confined to using a government knife to cut our government cheese any time soon. Unreasonable knives like the Halo VI are doing their part to keep the joy of collecting safely intact.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Halo VI has an overall length of 10.82″, a 4.5″ blade, weighs 6.5 ounces, and is made in the USA. It’s the closet thing I’ll come to owning a light saber. It’s big, it’s unwieldy. If comes from a long series of Halo knives. I won’t proclaim to be an expert on all things Microtech, but my understanding is that this is the first knife that the company produced. It’s a single action out the front automatic.
Here is a link to Microtech’s product page for the Halo VI. They give a detailed look at the knife in all its various configurations. Worth browsing if you are interested in the knife.
Here is a shot of the Halo VI next to my Microtech Stitch:
And as I mentioned before, the Halo VI is not a daily carry. In my book it’s mostly a collectible. Sure, it’s fully functional, and we will get into all of those details in the review, but it’s not a knife I see myself carrying. First of all, there is no pocket clip. Second, it has almost a 5″ blade. Third, it looks and sounds like a weapon of mass destruction.
My girlfriend, who is generally pretty cool with me having dozens of pocket knives scattered all over the house, is legitimately scared of this thing. I can only imagine how the old lady in line at the post office would react to me using this to trim packing tape. Probably by calling 911. Unless you are at a knife show there is no way you will be able to use this knife in public. It’s probably illegal for me to even take it out of the house without obtaining a concealed carry permit. On that note, you will definitely want to check your local laws carefully before carrying a Halo VI. This is not a knife that the general public will understand or appreciate.
But what the Halo VI lacks in practicality, it makes up in novelty. I think it may be the coolest knife I’ve ever owned. And I’ve owned some cool stuff over the years.
Lets check out the blade. At 4.5″ long, and over 4mm thick, it’s an imposing piece of steel. Microtech offers this in a modified drop point (or possibly a clip point) blade that they refer to as the “single-edge” or “S/E”, and they also offer this in an American tanto version with the “T/E” designation.
You also get your choice of serrations, and a number of finish options, including typical finishes like satin, bead blast, and stonewashed finishes. But they also have their “apocalyptic” finish, bronze, D.L.C., and then their painted finish shown here. Normally I’m not a big blade coating guy, but this is what was available with an unserrated edge, so that is what I got.
My blade is made from Bohler M390, a blade steel that needs no introduction at this point, seeing how we have reviewed dozens of knives running M390 by now. It’s a high end stainless steel and is widely considered to be one of the best steels for an EDC knife on the market today. It has that enviable combination of holding an edge for a long time while still being easy to sharpen. Usually a knife steel will either be extremely hard, so the edge holds a long time, but it’s very difficult to sharpen when the knife dulls. That’s not the case with M390, which is why it’s such a popular choice on high end pocket knives. It also finishes nicely, doesn’t chip easily, and is a stainless steel. It’s good stuff.
Given that this knife is a collectible, and not a practical EDC item, I haven’t done a ton of cutting with it. It came very sharp from the factory. It’s not a great slicer due to the thick blade and partial flat grind. It forms a wedge, kind of like a splitting maul, and will pop apart an apple rather than thinly slicing it like a Swiss Army Knife. But that’s OK. They didn’t design this thing to slice apples.
Handle and Ergonomics
A 6.125″ milled 6061-T6 aluminum handle encapsulates our big blade. If a black handle is too pedestrian for you, Microtech offers these in almost every color under the rainbow, including a couple camo variants. I’m fine with black, but then again, I’m boring.
The handle is held together with Microtech’s proprietary hardware. Normally this would be the part of the review where I bitch about proprietary hardware, but I have no intention of taking this knife apart. If there is ever a problem I’ll send it back to Microtech.
The fit and finish on this knife is absolutely top notch. It’s a precision machined piece of hardware. I can’t find a gap, unexpected sharp edge, or flaw anywhere. This may not be the most practical tool, but you have to admire how well it is built.
The Halo VI feels good in the hand. It’s kind of like a small light saber. There is no lack of real estate, and Microtech has created a funky pattern of jimped curves to it that adds some visual interest as well as spots for your fingers to rest.
I suppose the most practical application for the Halo VI would be in a martial arts capacity. I have no training in that regard, so can’t comment on the efficacy of the design in that role. As a layperson, I can tell you it feels fine in hand. There is plenty of room to grip this knife, and you can do so in a number of different configurations. The hard anodizing provides a tiny amount of traction. It’s not slippery, but it isn’t sand paper either.
The Halo VI doesn’t come with a pocket clip. Probably for a reason, as the last thing you would want is for this knife to accidentally deploy in your pants. Even with the new safety, I’d rather not take that risk. And with a closed length of over 6″, it’s not a pocket friendly knife anyways. I’d probably go with an Scarab or Troodon instead for daily carry.
It seems like the best option for carrying your Halo VI is with a sheath. You could requisition a large enough magazine pouch, make a sheath, or have a leather or kydex sheath made for it. There are companies that specialize in making aftermarket sheathes for the Halo VI. Linos Sheathworks currently has a kydex sheath on offer for less than $50.
Deployment and Lockup
This is where we get to the good stuff. This is a single action out the front, which means the blade fires out with a press of the button, but need to manually retract the blade when you are done by pulling back on the charging handle. Contrast this with a double action out the front, where the button is used to both open and close the blade. With the case of a single action Out-The-Front (OTF) automatic, all the spring power has been assigned to ejecting the blade. It’s a lot of fire power. Ejecting the blade of this Halo VI is arguably the single most satisfying knife event in my history as a reviewer. It’s fucking awesome.
For this 6th generation of the Halo, Microtech added a small safety to the firing button. This prevents you from accidentally firing the knife. Not a bad idea, especially if you are crazy enough to carry this thing loose in your pocket. The safety is built into the firing button. You pull down on it ever so slightly, and that allows you to depress the firing button and let the blade loose. Generally I’m not a fan of safetys on folding knives. They tend to get in the way. But this safety has been beautifully executed. Purists may not be a fan of this new addition, but I think it has been done so that it doesn’t get in the way of using this knife.
For lockup, this is essentially a button lock knife. So inside there is a cam that holds the blade in place. One of the prior issues with an OTF knife, is that you tend to get blade play in them. That is especially true for the double action OTF’s I have handled. I haven’t handles a Halo V to see what kind of play, if any, is in that knife, but I can tell you this Halo VI has no play in it. It’s absolutely rock solid.
Retracting the blade is a two handed affair. First you need to depress the button. Once again that requires you to use the built in safety. With the button depressed you then pull on the charging rod to recapture the blade. It takes a good amount of force to overcome the spring tension and bring the blade back. The blade slides back in place with a sharp metallic twang. It’s a great sound. I’ve never armed a bear trap, but I would expect it to sound something like recapturing the blade on a Halo VI. It’s significant and satisfying.
The charging rod and the mechanism that holds it into the handle is worth examining. It’s all precision machined. The retaining mechanism is a couple spring loaded tabs. Everything reeks of quality and when the charging rod is in the handle all the parts line up perfectly. I’ve taken a couple detail shots of this, but it has all been beautifully done.
Here is a parting shot of the Halo VI next to my Paramilitary 2. It gives you a good sense of how huge the Halo VI is.
Microtech Halo V.I. Review – Final Thoughts
The Halo V.I. is a lot of fun. It’s also completely ridiculous, which is sure to turn off some people. I’ve been writing knife reviews since 2010, so it’s taken me almost a decade to get around to reviewing a single action OTF. This is a knife that retails for $650, so the expense is one of the reasons I delayed this purchase, but the fact that this is not a knife I can carry and use is the biggest reason why I waited so long to buy one. I like my tool knives, and this Halo V.I. is about as far away from a tool knife as I can get.
But that doesn’t make the Halo V.I. any less fascinating. Part of what makes this knife so satisfying is how well built it is. This is a design that has been refined for 25 years, and it shows. Each detail has been considered and Microtech does a fantastic job with their machining. The resulting knife is borderline obscene, but it has been so well done I can’t help but be impressed with it. Much like the Rockstead Higo I reviewed a while back, it tests the outer limits of what is possible with a production knife.
But as I have continued on my journey of exploring production knives, I’ve ventured further and further from the Benchmade Griptilians and Spyderco Delicas. They are still great, and I plan on continuing to review practical knives, but exploring the outer limits is fun too. This Halo V.I. is certainly out there, but it is so well done that I can’t help but appreciate it.
Accordingly, I can’t recommend this knife for everyone, but if the Halo VI intrigues you, I’m here to say Microtech didn’t cut any corners. Recommended for unreasonable people that that like the idea of a high end single action OTF automatic.
Microtech Halo VI – From $650.00
I recommend purchasing the Microtech Halo V.I. at BladeHQ. Please consider that buying anything through any of the links on this website (including Amazon) helps support BladeReviews.com, and keeps the site going. As always, any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
“It’s the closest I’ll come to owning a light saber” – try the thin Japanese gyutos that users call “lasers”. When sharp, they cut through paper with a quiet whisper and slide through produce like it was barely there.
Dan Jackson says
For whatever reason, I was eyeing some Mcusta kitchen knives a couple days ago. I have a heavy German chef’s knife that I use exclusively, and was thinking it might be fun to check out a Japanese blade. I might take you up on that suggestion!
Might I suggest something more handmade? Japanese ‘smith made knives are surprisingly affordable.
Google “laser gyuto” for more options.
Dan Jackson says
Cool! I’d love to own a handmade Gyuto! Thanks for the suggestion.
Thanks for the great review, Dan. I really enjoyed it. I need a Halo VI like I need a hole in the head, but I can’t deny its raw tactical appeal. I still remember the first time I saw Jack Bauer deploy a Halo in the TV show “24”. I was instantly hooked.
On a side note, have you ever considered reviewing a knife by Southern Grind? I don’t see much about them on the net, but they seem like a good company that puts out a good product.
Again, thanks for the review.
Dan Jackson says
Thank you for the kind comment. Glad you enjoyed review.
Actually I reviewed the Southern Grind Spider Monkey in early 2017. You can check out my review of it here. I thought it was a nicely made knife with some cool details. I wouldn’t be opposed to reviewing more of their models in the future. They definitely have some good stuff!
Thanks, Dan. I hadn’t noticed it. I’ll be sure to check it out.
Chris A says
Wow I actually bought one of these last week for the exact same reasons. It’s sheer ridiculousness is its greatest asset so this review is spot on. Call it the 500 Magnum of the knife world. One thing to note is you don’t have to deal with the safety when retracting the blade. Just push on the button like a normal button lock then pull the draw bar. When I do carry it I found that the Knivesshipfree black Mainstreet pouch works pretty well with about the top third of the handle sticking out. I occasionally pocket carry small fixed blades and my total length limit is around 7″ so 6.125″ closed works for me.
Was wondering if anyone could help me out with a technical issue on this knife. The blade does not fully extend. I can pull on it once it is deployed and the rest of the blade comes out. Any suggestions? Thanks
Dan Jackson says
Andrew, The only advice I can offer is to contact Microtech, but maybe someone else can weigh in on this. Good luck.
Give your knife a shot of WD40 or Rem Oil spray right down the blade opening. Work the action a few times and it will work again.
First, i absolutely love this review about as much as i love my Halo V. Couldn’t be more spot on. Only difference between myself and Mr. Jackson is that this is my EDC. I just wanted to give you all some insight into Microtech (all good) that you may not have, brought on by Andrew’s post. The company is amazing. I bought my Halo V in early 2016; a purchase that i’d waited years to make due to the price and the seemingly agreed upon impractical nature of it. At first i carried in the Kydex sheath provided with my purchase but soon i just threw it in my pocket (alone with no other items to keep the button from being depressed). I have never had an issue.
Anyhow, back to the company. After about 1.5 years of carrying it in my pocket, it started jamming up like Andrew mentioned (my issue was probably pocket lint). So, i contacted Microtech and got an RA number so send it in. They cleaned it out, sharpened it (though after lots of use it was still razor sharp) and sent it back free of charge. They also replaced the cocking mechanism and it worked like new. Recently, my sheath cracked (without me knoing) and i actually lost my Halo V. My wife later found it on the street near where i part at the house. It had been run over, causing the metal around the button to be damaged which caused the knife not to spring open fully. I again contacted Microtech and sent it in.
They got back to me and stated that obviously the damage was not due to regular use (yes, completely my fault) and therefore it was not covered. HOWEVER, apparently Halo Vs that year have a defect in the charging mechanism that they are replacing and, mine is one of the ones with the problem. Therefore, they offered to send me a new Halo VI to replace it. I couldn’t believe it, nor could i be happier.
Long story but, my point is, Microtech is a great company. Yes their knives are expensive but the quality is rock solid, as is their customer service.If i had the $$$, all my knives would be Microtech.
I live in Wisconsin, check the knife laws here. I carry this knife on a daily basis on and off the job mostly in a.front pants or jacket slash pocket with or without a sheath.
I’ve done this in things from a suit to jeans and shorts comfortably, with no obvious signs of carry, and ease of access to it. The button safety is a great feature for pocket carry to avoid an accidental firing of the blade. When it does fire, the almost five inches cracks into place with attention getting noise. There is no mistaking that you are armed with a weapon.
My second favorite daily carry however is a Benchmade Balisong. Still a bit of an attention getter but almost foolproof in straight forward design. Very versatile in carry methods too.