DPx’s Hostile Environment At-Hand Tool (HEAT) was created to be a low-profile, under 3″-long blade that could still be considered a true “knife.” Designed with the needs of law-enforcement agencies, the military, and first responders in mind, DPx focused their efforts on working with less blade but without compromising on materials, featuring a glass breaker, and ensuring the blade could be rapidly deployed. The bottle opener on the top of the blade also acts as a wave-type feature to assist in opening the blade, much like the Emerson Wave feature, but different. DPx Gear knives are designed for brutal use, in situations where there is no room for failure.
Blade length: 2.26″
Type of edge: Standard V grind
Blade and handle materials: Blade is made from German D2 steel with a RH of 61. The handle is American-made OD Green G10.
Weight: 4.05 ounces
Unique features: Low-profile belt clip, glass breaker, and bottle opener integrated into the top of the blade.
Pros: Even though it has a smaller blade, the HEAT/F feels extremely solid in the hand and is clearly well built. The frame lock is extremely well designed and built strong. There is no blade play at all out of the box, up and down or side to side. The D2 steel has a Rockwell hardness of 61, making it a pretty hard steel; the blade will hold its edge for an extended period of time. This knife would excel in a “non-permissive” environment while still giving you a very capable, fast-deploying blade, a glass breaker for emergencies and for blunt striking, and a bottle opener to open that cold one when the mission’s done.
Cons: So far there are only two cons. The first con is the pivot. If you need to disassemble the knife or tighten the pivot, it will require a special tool from DPx Gear. The second con can be overcome by using the knife regularly and getting familiar with it; the frame lock makes it difficult for a new user to close the knife with one hand, but it can be done with practice.
Bottom line/overall performance: I will be using this knife as my everyday carry for the next few weeks and give a full field review after carrying it and using it on a daily basis.
Read about the author, journalist, and adventurer who started it all with DPx Gear: Robert Young Pelton.