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Beretta Small Aluminum Airlight Lockback Folding Knife Review

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Beretta Aluminum Airlight Lockbaks

Small brother of the Beretta Large Airlight Folder. Those two folders were the first two knives I've bought when my knife collecting hobby started. I no longer have 4" model, but I still keep this one. Just a reminder from the times when I was starting and also that small one was the knife I've made my first attempts at sharpening. Does look messy. Anyway, I was at the sporting goods store and saw those knives. Back then, in 1997 internet dealers weren't that pveralent, so I had to buy my knives in local brick and mortar stores. Later on, somewhere in beginning of 2000, this model was discontinued and Beretta introduced Airlight II line of their folders. which tobe honest I liked less than the original Airlight line. And finally they've discontinued them altogether.

Genral

- Small Beretta Airlight folder is approximately 3¼" long (closed) folding knife. The profile is very slim compared to most of the folders I have ever seen or had. Handle thickness is just about 6mm. Well, it's a tiny knife after all. Besides being very slim, it is also very light. Obviously the knife with Aluminum handles and a skeletonized blade will be very light. Overall, for its time it was a pretty good folder, but 45$ was not cheap in 1997 either. One thig is the absence of the clip. However, because it is so small, I used ot carry it in my jean's small front pocket. Never lost it either. Another "plus" was its small size, which made it less scary for non knife people. It's all stupid of course. Beretta added pocket clip to the later, Airlight II models.

Blade

- Stainless 440C steel blade, partially (30%) serrated edge. 57mm(2.25") long. Whatever I said about 440C steel in Beretta Large Airlight Folder Review applies here as well. Obviously, becaise this is a much smaller knife, I've used it for lighter cutting tasks too. It was mainly letter and small package opener. Nevertheless those things got it dull pretty quick. Back in 1997 I didn't really know that paper and cardboard are pretty harsh on any edge :)

The locking mechanism

 - Like its bigger brother, small Airlight folder is a lockback. Howeer, unlike its bigger brother this one has a better lock. Even today it has no bladeplay, neither in open nor closed position. Lockup is pretty tight and makes a distinct click then it locks. Big one clicks too, but has both, vertical and horizontal bladeplay.

Handle

- Identical to large airlight folder handle, except for its size of course. Anodized aluminum plus polished stainless steel spacer and lock. Beretta logo on the left side. For its size I really like the slim profile and it has a very good feel. I like that part better than on most of the folders I've ever had.

Usage

- I was using large Airlight folder for about 4 years, on and off. Mainly off, but definitely more than its bigger version. It was the usual light EDC use. Packaging, ropes, other small cutting chores. 440C steelheld up better with the smaller knife because of the lighter use or less load that is. Overall, it was pretty satisfactory knife. If I didn't screw up the edge pretty bad it'd probably make a good no reason present ;)

Specifications:

  • Blade - 57.20mm(2.25")
  • Thickness - 2.00mm
  • OAL - 140.00mm(5.51")
  • Steel - 440C 56-58HRC
  • Handle - Aluminum
  • Acquired - 11/1997 Price - 45.00$

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Last updated - 09/01/11