Unlike traditional knives, an OTF knife’s blade moves directly forward from inside the handle. After all, OTF stands for “out-the-front”. This kind of knife certainly has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the following Schrade Viper 3 review, we will take a look at an affordable OTF knife that has a stylish design and good build quality. Let’s see whether Schrade Viper 3 suits you or not.
Schrade Viper 3 is pretty compact and lightweight, although it is not the most compact and lightweight folding knife in the market. This knife is not the best choice if you are looking for something that is highly portable and concealable. But it is still handy and easy to carry around.
When closed, the knife measures 5.3 inches long. The blade length is 3.5 inches, so the total length when opened is about 8.8 inches. Depending on the pocket’s size, it is still probable to slip the knife into your trousers. However, the lengthy handle may become an unnecessary challenge for some people to carry the knife comfortably. Also, the handle is pretty thick.
The weight of the knife is about 4.9 oz. This is quite light, so you will not have any real problem regarding the weight when carrying the knife around for a long period of time.
Design and Build Quality
As an OTF knife, the blade of Schrade Viper 3 opens from the front. It is well made and cleverly designed. There is a built-in safety mechanism on the side, and the blade locks very well in the handle when closed. The safety mechanism ensures that the blade will not get accidentally opened while still in your pocket. However, you may need some time to get used to the mechanism.
Once you get the hold of it, Schrade Viper 3 can be very fast and efficient. The blade opener is super-swift. It will allow you to react to any situation without spending time.
At the rear end of the knife, there is a window breaker tip. The size is not particularly big, but it is enough to get the job done. The window breaker tip is rugged and solid, and it may prove to be very handy when you need to breach through a building’s window or car. Schrade Viper 3 is also equipped with a deep carry pocket clip. This feature is definitely very useful, as it allows you to reach the knife quickly.
The overall build quality is good. You can feel that the handle is solid and sturdy. The lock is strong and reliable. This knife can endure a beating, and it can withstand usage abuse. However, avoid beating the knife to much because a particularly heavy impact may damage the lock and opening mechanism.
The handle is made of aluminum. On the good side, the material is very tough yet lightweight. Metallic materials are usually slippery when wet if used for handle scales, but Schrade Viper 3’s handle is textured to enhance the handling. The pattern looks stylish and aggressive. However, the downside is that the handle may become really cold in low temperatures. You can wear gloves to avoid the chilling feel, but handling the knife while wearing thick gloves is rather difficult.
With a blade length of 3.5 inches, Schrade Viper 3 can be useful for cutting and slicing. It is very efficient for such jobs. The clip point design also makes it good to pierce through an object.
However, Schrade Viper 3 is not very tough. The blade is made of 4034 stainless steel, which is considered as a cheap material. This material contains about 0.43% carbon, 12.50% chromium, and 1.00% manganese. This is a low alloy steel with very low hardness and edge retention. On the good side, it has decent resistance against stain and corrosion.
Due to the low durability of the blade, Schrade Viper 3 is not suitable for heavy-duty tasks. It is only suitable for casual tasks such as cutting papers and thin ropes. The blade is quite easy to break if pushed too far. For example, you should not use this knife for prying or batoning.
It also requires frequent maintenance. The good corrosion resistance is one nice point, but the low edge retention means that you will need to sharpen the blade frequently. Fortunately, the blade is quite easy to sharpen. Note that the blade also has low wear resistance, so this knife is not a suitable choice for a workhorse that you can use frequently for a variety of tasks.
In usage, Schrade Viper 3 does feel swift and efficient. Thanks to the pocket clip, the knife is quite easy to carry. The opening mechanism is good. One nice thing about the long handle is that it gives plenty of room for you hand. You can also position your hand a little further from the window breaker tip when you need to breach.
As mentioned above, the blade is not very tough, but it is great for slicing. You can use it to open a plastic packaging, ropes, and paper bags. However, it is rather flimsy for thicker, tougher objects such as wires.
|- Schrade brand knives have so many models - but they are cleverly designed, well made and really economical. These Out-the-Front openers are super fast and well made. They have a safety on the side and the mechanism takes a little getting used to, but they are truly awesome and impressive. The 3rd Generation Out the Front Assist model is no exception. It's got a 3.5" double edge spear point blade, tough aluminum handles, and a locking safety mechanism. Specifications Blade Length: 3.5" (8.9 centimeter) Closed Length: 5.3" (13.5 centimeter) Blade Steel: 4034 Stainless Steel, Black Handle Material: Aluminum Window Breaker Tip Blade Lock and Side Safety Deep Carry Pocket Clip Weight: 4.9 ounce. Made in Taiwan|
In the end, Schrade Viper 3 is a pretty good OTF knife. Unfortunately, the blade is not very durable. The functionality is rather limited. However, this is a good choice if you are looking for a cheap backup knife that you will only use for casual, light-duty tasks.
Schrade Viper 3 Review: Specifications
Weight: 4.9 oz.
Total Length: 8.8 inches (22.4 cm)
Closed Length: 5.3 inches (13.5cm)
Blade Length: 3.5 inches (8.9cm)
Blade Material: 4034 Stainless Steel
Handle Material: Aluminum
Window Breaker Tip
Deep Carry Pocket Clip
Schrade Viper 3 Review: Pros and Cons
• Stylish design
• Good overall build quality
• Decent stain resistance
• Solid handle
• Affordable price
• The blade is not very tough
• The handle may become cold to the touch in low temperatures
Schrade Viper 3 Review: Price
Check the best price for Schrade Viper 3 here!