This knife was supplied to me by True Talon for review purposes (and will be going back after a few weeks), and as such I am allowed to light use, carry and generally evaluate the knife but do not take them apart and try not to mark them up. I also send them back as sharp as I received them.
What the company says
The Maxace Amber II
The first Integral from Maxace - and it's a stunning knife. The detailing on this knife is superb. From the lock bar cut out facing inside to the Zirmascus (from Zirconium) pivot and pocket clip to the beautiful 4 inch M390 blade you won't find better on a knife twice the price.
An integral knife at this price is not easy to find and especially with the Aussie dollar as low as it is.
Even the packaging is a step above everyone else with a custom soft shell carbon fiber storage case.
Steel lock insert, ceramic bearings, carbon fiber soft shell storage case.
Blade Material: Bohler M390 steel
Hardness: 59-61 RC
Blade Style: Drop Point
Blade Grind: Flat
Finish: Satin - with vertical grind
Color: Stonewashed Grey and Dark Grey
Weight: 160 grams
Pricing, True Talon has these knives listed for $390
Maxace Amber II M390/Integral Titanium frame lock flipper
The Amber II is shipped in a propitiatory, zippered, soft shell carbon fiber case, a authentication card, with the knife encased in a plastic sleeve and some spare bits (a replacement set of external blade stop lugs, for some reason that I cannot fathom)
I have now had some experience with Integrals (I own three now) and I have to say the Amber II is an impressive example of the kind. The fit and finish is equal to any of the Integrals I own, as is the overall build quality.
The Maxace Amber II follows the usual Integral build, with its handle milled from a single billet of titanium, and then the handle has been contoured and shaped and an 'orange peel' texturing has been applied to the entire handle. I have to say I really liked how the handle has been shaped, it fits my XXL hands very well and is quite ergonomic. I found that my hand almost always went to a saber grip when grasping the Amber II and the handle seems to be specifically designed to facilitate that specific grip.
The long, milled pocket clip and pivot collet are made from Zirmascus (which has a very pleasing colouration) and there is also a lock bar insert. The pocket clip and pivot are torx 8 and the lock bar insert is torx 6. The pocket clip is set up for right hand, tip up carry only. There is some billboarding, "Amber II" on the lockside of the blade, "MG Studios" on the other and M390 on the flipper tab.
The firing action on this knife is excellent and the blade deploys with a 'snap'. It is pretty easy to wiggle shut the blade. The knife fires as good as any of my other 'fidget flippers' I own.
The spear point blade is perfectly centered and features a flat grind and a brushed satin finish that is quite pleasing to my eye. The primary grind has vertical finish and the flats have a horizontal finish.
The blade has a sharpening choil. There is no blade play or lock rock. Lock up is around 30%, almost the entire length of the insert, which is IMO very good lock up. The blade also has external blade stop pins.
The knife arrived just off shaving sharp and I have stropped it and it is now quite sharp and slices paper efficiently. I was surprised by the cutting ability of the Amber, at first I thought that it wouldn't slice very well (and it did have some bunching issues, but not as much as I thought it would) as the primary grind is quite short and it has thick stock, but I found that it sliced quite well though cardboard. It also stabs very well, due to its blade shape.
I found the pocket clip worked reasonably well, was fairly deep carry and the knife, once stowed rode quite well. The big knife did take up a bit of pocket real estate.
Now to the deal breakers (for me), the knife doesn't have a lanyard attachment point. There's room for it but it was included. I also found the lock a bit hard to access, as there wasn't an adequate pass through included. I could live with the way the pass through was handled but the lack of a lanyard attachment point is a deal breaker for me.
Conclusion, This big Integral build knife is a joy to use and features extremely good fit and finish and build quality, equal to all the other Integral models I own, and but for the absence of a single feature (the lack of a lanyard attachment point) I would have happily bought. I really liked the Amber II, it is very well priced (at least $100 cheaper than its peers), has excellent action and fit and finish and if you aren't worried by the lack of a lanyard hole then this would be a steal for the price.
For full disclosure I would also add I have XXL hands, and that must play in to my review process, and the readers should keep that in mind when reading my reviews and recommendations.
Lastly I ONLY use folding knives for light cutting duties, so I will not do 'hard use' cutting tasks with any folder, that's what I have fixed blades for, so cutting tests consisted of cutting paper, cardboard, packaging, paracord, some food prep (again, not a task I use folders for for the most part) and other duties a stay-at-home-dad would use a cutting tool for around the house.
1-5 star system 1 star poor/fail 2 star below average 3 star average 4 above average 5 star excellent
-Hands on/Ergos 5 stars
- Materials/Features 4 stars
- Build Quality/Fit and Finish 5 stars
- Value/Price point 5 stars
- Aesthetics 4.75 stars