Aku Strike are an American based business who aims to provide innovative, good quality products at a reasonable price point. I have been using two of Aku’s knives over the last two months to see if they perform as promised….
Aku have two products named Mimic (maybe that is where the name originates). The product that they are most well known for is the Mimic trainer. This is an LED and audible training device which can be used in training scenarios. Quite a nifty idea which dispells alot of the BS out there about “tactical” knife use. In short the thing will bleep and flash every time a hard enough “cut” is made by the attacker (hint – there ends up being alot of bleeps and flashes which shows defence against blades is a highly risky business).
The knife I am reviewing is the live blade version which has the trainers ergonomics but of course has a functional blade.
The Mimic is a flipper design which works really nicely. A good flipping action requires a decent application of physics and engineering. I have had a few knives in the past which have been either to stiff to flip easily or the detent is so loose they do not open with speed and fail to lock out. The Mimic was fine right out of the box, no break in period required. The lock up is a liner lock design which feels really solid.
The handle of the Mimic is really chunky and has heavily textured G10 scales. It feels comfortable in the hand. Aku have included some cool features within the handle. There are two holes and one large oval cutout which could be used for a lanyard or to lash the handle to a stick.
The spine of the handle has some really beefy jimping which for once is not sharp. Plenty of traction without the hotspots. The really innovative part are the addition of some powerful magnets within the handle which I must say proved really useful. The Mimic will stick to metal surfaces and stay put which is great when you are working in the garage. I have often placed knives on a surface while doing a job and ended up knocking them on the floor. I broke a blade tip once like that. Sticking it to your toolbox proved an ideal way to keep the knife handy and secure.
The Pocket clip is nice and stiff and allows the Mimic to be pulled from the pocket with ease. Despite the beefy apearance it sat in my pocket quite nicely.
The Mimic has a 3.375″ blade made from 8Cr14Mov steel. The blade is 2.7mm thick and has a satin black oxide finish. The drop point design is very functional and sharpens easily. The spine has a a large cutout near the handle which could be used for lashing. Personally if I were going to have to lash a knife to a stick in an emergency I would select a fixed blade but sometimes I guess you may not have the luxury of choice. It is always good to have options if they do not impact on general function.
I also opted to get Akus new “Roadtrip” knife. A totally different beast to the Mimic. The Roadtrip is much smaller overall and has an agressive curved shape. It looks like an angry little bugger!
The first thing I noticed when handling the Roadtrip were the fantastic ergonomics. It fit my hand beautifully. The curve and thumb position give a really solid feel. The finger cut aways are really well positioned and feel very smooth. The Handle has jimping up the rear which is finer than the chunky Mimics but still provides comfortable traction.
The pocket clip is reversible and does a good job although I would prefer the carry to be a touch deeper but I think that is a minor point. The liners and spacers are highly polished and I must say the knife looks very eyecatching. The mechanism is a liner lock again which is solid. The blade has solid retention but flips out nicely via thumbstuds.
The knife weighs in at a svelte 3.85oz which along with its small but robust design make it an ideal EDC.
The 2.5″ blade has a curve to it which is ideally suited to fine work as you can really choke up on it and apply plenty of pressure. The steel is the same as the Mimic which while not considered a “super steel” is more than adequate for the average user. It is easy to keep sharp and looks great in the Satin finish.
I have been using both knives over the last month. The Mimic has been used for heavier tasks at work while the Roadtrip has been more general use. They were both more than capable of splitting kindling and I had no issues with either. Obviously we are not going to be chopping firewood with these but that was not there intended use. As EDC or defensive carry they would both fit the bill nicely. Be aware of your countries laws before carrying obviously!
The price point on these two is good news for those on a budget. Around $59.95 on the Mimic and around $40 for the Roadtrip. Both can be purchased directly from Aku Strike via the link below. Most of us cannot afford to drop a ton of money for an EDC blade so it is good to see companies turning out affordable, well made gear. I am very happy with both knives and will continue to use them. The Mimic will likely stay stuck to my toolbox..