Recently, I tested Spyderco’s Battlestation, a Dialex-designed modified tango point folder with VG-10 steel and G-10 scales. Typical of Dialex designs, it looks part fantasy, part utility, and reflects real world engineering.
Dialex, the name by which knife enthusiasts know Alexandru Diaconescu, is an economist, a talented graphic designer, and an information specialist for the Romanian police.
The Battlestation has unusual design characteristics, including a full .138” in blade thickness and a pommel area that follows the “hamaguri” grind of the tip. Anyone picking up the knife for the first time can easily see the number of grip options.
Made for mission success
Even though this knife has a slim overall profile, it’s all G-10 on steel, connected with torx pins. The goal of folding knife construction is to make it indistinguishable from a fixed blade when open. Dialex should declare mission success here.
The Battlestation uses a back lock with a David Boye dent, which I test using body weight. That is, I stick the blade into a solid object, and stand on the hilt. It also has a 2.97” overall blade length, all saber ground PlainEdge, including a jumped index finger groove with aggressive jimping. For hammer or saber grip users, there are also plenty of options.
The Battlestation has the traditional 13mm Round Hole™ opening with some added fuller (grooves machined in the flat parallel to the spine). Now get this: The full cutting edge is 2.41”. The only way to have that much blade in this small of a package is to turn the tip up. The tip on the Battlestation is a naturally reinforced point that sends an oblique blade angle to the intended target when the knife is thrust. The distinct looks are not just for looks.
VG-10 is a good choice for this blade. It falls under the “stainless steel” classification and is known for its edge-forming capability. I know that some people talk about a knife’s sharpness “out of the box”, but most edges don’t have a knife enthusiast’s standard until it is stropped a few times. The Battlestation comes with an exceptional edge from the factory, owing to the nature of the steel and Spyderco’s exceptional attention to detail.
Inside the Designer’s Head
When I review knives, I like to imagine what the designer intended. This knife is unique, so I wisely contacted Alexandru Diaconescu, Dialex. He told me that he generally has a particular goal in mind when he embarks on a design. This is true for the Spyderco Junior, another “must have” knife in the collection.
With the Battlestation, Dialex told me, the strategy was different. The influence was martial blade craft, and there were specific parameters. The Battlestation is an all-purpose knife designed to be strong, precise, safe, and discreet.
I’ve already talked about its inherent safety and strength. The martial arts guys with which I hang out demonstrated its inherent precision and the fact that this product is ambidexterous. This blade is truly discreet as well. It is money-clip sized, with an oversized blade surface, and uses a wire pocket clip, which allows a low seat in the pocket.
Dialex told me that he and the Spyderco design team fine-tuned the Battlestation with their proven “No more than necessary, no less than perfect” approach.
Let’s talk functionality
Now that we’ve looked at the construction and design points, let’s talk functionality. The Round Hole™ opening allows deployment with a less-than-perfect grip and the natural position is also its best point of balance. The blade shape agrees with “cut going in, cut going out” martial arts training, keeping an ideal cutting angle through all 10 of the cutting strokes.
The intangible features of this blade are the most important. The jumped choil behind the blade and the stainless steel backstrap give the user power all the way to the tip.
The point is designed for penetration, and it will pierce things ordinarily considered “armored”. I have yet to be attacked by sheetrock, but I successfully defended myself against it anyway.
This is not a blade, it is a very tiny sword.
Where is the Battlestation best used? It is more blade than its advertised length. For duty stations, geographical areas, and commands that have an “admin” blade length policy, this is the blade to go with.