September 30, 2023
The Smith & Wesson Spec Ops knife sure is handsome! IMG Tom Claycomb

I recently met Keli, the marketing go-to girl at Smith & Wesson, at the 2023 SHOT Show. She asked me if I wanted to test out their new Smith & Wesson Spec Ops Carbon Folding Knife. I’ve had good luck with Smith & Wesson Knives in the past. So, of course, I said yes!


IMG Tom Claycomb

The Smith & Wesson Spec OPS Carbon Folding Knife is definitely a tactical knife. It has a 3.5-inch Tanto blade. The last 1 1/8-inches is serrated. Mine came from the factory relatively sharp and the serration edge was really sharp.

The knife has a full-sized handle and as listed below, many attributes that enhance your grip. I say all of this to point out that when it is panic in the disco, whether you’re in a fight or a panic situation and need to cut loose a rope or life jacket when rafting or boating, you don’t have to worry about losing control of your knife.

Spec Ops Grip

Upon picking up the Smith & Wesson Spec OPS Carbon Folding Knife I immediately felt like I had a super firm grip on it. I studied it for a minute to see what features S&W installed on this knife to allow you to obtain such a good grip. After looking it over for a few minutes here’s what I identified as the features.

IMG Tom Claycomb

1. On the front of the handle are some thumb grooves.
2. On the spine it also has thumb grooves.
3. There is a unique shaped finger groove on the bottom of the handle for your pointer finger.
4. Since it is a flipper knife the flipper further works in conjunction with #3 to stabilize your pointer finger.
5. Even though it has a smooth handle, the point of contact for your first three fingers is textured. There is a textured spot for where your pointer finger touches the handle but it is about ½-inch too forward. The middle of your pointer finger is stopped from going any more forward by the flipper.
6. It has a small dip right before the thumb studs for your thumb.
7. The liner lock also has grooves on it to further enhance your grip.

Ease of Operation

To activate the blade, it uses the flipper system but the blade is also spring assisted. It is easy to operate one handed. (It also has thumb studs if you prefer using them). I don’t say this negatively because it flips out fine and I am super happy with the opening system. But due to the heavy blade it doesn’t spring out in the blink of an eye. I’d describe it as being a little lethargic. Again, no biggee because it flips out fine, I just mention this so that you know that it is not lightning fast.

Locking System

The Smith & Wesson Spec OPS Carbon Folding Knife utilizes a liner locking system. One thing that I’d caution you to investigate when you buy a liner locking folder is to take note of if the liner lock fully engages. Many of them don’t totally slide over and lock the blade in place. This one does slide over and fully engage.

Two last comments. This is what I’d classify as a full-size folder. It comes with a deep pocket clip. The MSRP on the Smith & Wesson Spec OPS Carbon Folding Knife is $29.99 and as is usual, we will close with the specs.


• Blade Length 3.50 Inches
• Blade Finish Black Oxide
• Full Tang N
• Glass Breaker N
• Handle Material Aluminum
• Knife Type Assisted
• Opening Mechanism Finger Flipper
• Strap Cutter N
• Ultra-glide N
• Use Tactical
• Product Weight (Lbs) 0.27
• Spring-assisted blade and finger flipper for quick and easy opening
• Liner lock for one-handed closing capability
• Tip down pocket clip for easy carrying
• Made with high-carbon stainless steel for extreme edge retention
• Blade coated with titanium nitride for unmatched corrosion resistance

About Tom Claycomb

Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops,, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”

Tom Claycomb

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