I got one because I’m finally assembling a bug-out bag, and I thought I’d check it out. (I don’t believe feds in black helicopters are going to take over state governments and confiscate our guns, or that a zombie plague will break out. But it’s possible we have a blackout or water service failure, so why not?)
Stuart reviewed this knife here: Coast DX126 Double Lock Razor Knife Review
So first, the knife is small and thin. Closed, it’s just over 3" long, a bit longer than its competitors, the Gerber EAB and EAB Lite (by 0.6 and 0.2 inches, respectively.) (Incidentally, the Amazon information is wrong about its closed length.) And despite it’s having fiber-reinforced nylon scales, it’s not much thicker, at about 3/8", clip not included (the EAB and EAB Lite are 9/32" and 5/16" respectively, according to buyers on Amazon.)
So to hold it securely, you’ll probably want to choke up on it, and put your index finger on the lower blade holder. I like the FRN scales, by the way. Tough, light and more grippy than bare steel.
I found the action stiff at first. Apparently the reason is that the liner lock rubs against the blade holder, and the blade holder is brushed steel with a coat of anodizing or paint, instead of being polished. The brushed finish increases friction. That happens even with serious knives too; if the blade is bead-blasted, it’s bead-blasted everywhere, including where the liner lock rubs against it. It smooths out with use, as I expect this Coast knife will. Anyway, a drop of Tri-flow improved the action quite a bit. Nit-pickers might disassemble the knife and polish the blade holder on the side where the liner lock rubs, or use some honing compound to let the liner lock polish a groove into it. I believe you need a #5 Torx bit to take it apart.
Despite what Stuart says, this knife CAN be opened one-handed, and closed one-handed too if you’re careful.
But as Stuart says, the big advantage this Coast has over the Gerbers is the tool-free blade release. No screwdriver needed, and no screw to drop into floodwaters and render the knife useless.
I’m not worrying about the blade. It’s replaceable, so it depends entirely on what blades you insert. It comes with a stainless blade though, which is a good idea if you’ll be storing it for a while. (Incidentally, I heard a cool tip about storing spare utility blades. Give them a light coat of lubricant, then layer them between two strips of clear packing tape. Safe, and you can see what they are. Getting them out is a little fussy, but the lubricant should keep them from sticking to the tape too much.)
The auxiliary lock is something you see with some heavy-duty liner lock knives, like some Benchmades. The idea is that if you’re really squeezing the knife, you might shift the liner lock enough to disengage it, which can give you a nasty surprise. Other kinds of locks might not need one. Anyway, you’re unlikely to need one on this little knife, but there’s no harm in having it. If it bugs you, you can always take the knife apart and grind off the bit that holds the liner lock in place. (You can’t remove it entirely unless you replace it with a washer of the same thickness.) Note that the lock doesn’t lock the blade CLOSED, as some do.
The fit and finish is fine, though there are some places where I wish the edges had been knocked down a little, like the lower blade holder where your index finger will ride on it, or the outside of the lanyard hole. But those are easy to fix with a Dremel tool, or some fine emery cloth.
Overall, I’m happy with it. It improves on the EAB and EAB Lite, while being cheaper than either for some reason. It’s not the absolute smallest knife of it’s kind. The Outdoor Edge Slidewinder is about the same size closed, but shorter when opened because it doesn’t really open. The blade just slides out about 1/2", making it about 3 1/2" total To me, that’s too short to hold securely. (And the reviews say the blade lock doesn’t work well. Deal killer.) There’s also the Mossy Oak Folding Pocket Utility Knife, which is about the same size open and closed, but its noticeably narrower, less than 1" both open and closed (the Coast and both EABs are about 1 1/2" wide closed.) If that matters, I’d check it out, though the handles are just folded sheet steel.
The Coast isn’t a hard-use utility knife. I’ll still use my FastBacks for that. But for something to throw in a bugout bag or glove compartment, it’s pretty good. I have a surgeon friend who carries around a very sharp pocket knife in case she ever has to do an emergency tracheotomy. I’ll suggest this knife to her.