SAR BALISONG #1
For his first balisong effort, Mr. Reiter chose a blade of 154CM stainless steel; this is an excellent blade steel. He made the handle liners out of Titanium and the handle inserts out of a laminated micarta custom-made by Mark Nelson. He opted for "sandwich-style" handles, which are the easiest to make, and a latchless design. The blade profile is sort of a clip-point weehawk. The grind work on the blade is good. The brushed finish on the blade is quite good.
A sandwich-style knife needs spaces in the handles. This one uses ordinary machine bolts as spacers which is a novel idea and also gives the knife a very rugged, sort of mechanical look.
You can also see in this picture that the Titanium liners are anodized blue on one of the handles. The liners on the other handle are left plain. To understand this, you have to keep in mind that this knife is very much a prototype. The anodizing was experimental. The liners on both sides have very nice engine-jeweled surface finish.
The knife locks open in the conventional way: the tang pin sets into cups on the sides of the handles. Most sandwich-style balisongs have two tang pins and lock shut when the second tang pin sets into cups on the other side of the handles. This knife has the second set of cups, but lacks the second tang pin. Instead, when closed, one of those spacer nuts hits the edge of the blade just below the sharpened edge. It avoids damaging the blade by a hair's width. This design is daring, but, thanks to hair's-width dimensional perfection, it works.
The swedge is not sharpened, but the blunt swedge still hits one of the spacers.
In fact, in the previous picture, you can see the damage that the swedge, made of hardened steel, has done to the spacer.
(no high-res image is available)
There's also damage to the swedge.
Fortunately, because the knife is latchless, this damage is minimal and not likely to get worse with time.
The important thing to notice here is that, when closed, the blade is completely captivated; it doesn't rattle at all. And, when the knife is closed, no sharpened edge touches any other metal. These are the most critical criteria and Mr. Reiter has achieved them which is more than many experienced and skilled knife makers have done in their first balisongs.