Automatic knives can be quite useful in spite of their unfair, vilified reputation that is perpetuated by politicians, ignorant people, and ignorant people who happen to be politicians everywhere. An auto opening mechanism is simply just another way of opening a knife. It does not make the knife any more dangerous or deadly. It is just a way to open a knife easily, with one hand.
This is the part of the review where I climb down off of my soap box and tell you about the Pro-Tech Knives Doru.
The Doru was designed by knife making guru, Allen Elishewitz. I probably don’t even have to say that because the flowing handle shape, blade shape, and grinds are pretty much unmistakable.
It features a .125” thick, 3.5” 154-CM drop point blade. There is quite a bit of drop at the spine and the cutting edge has gentle slope to the tip. It features a half height flat grind (saber grind).
The anodized aluminum handle is 4.5” long and a slim .5” thick. All of that adds up to 8” long when the Doru is opened. The model that I have is one of the “tactical” models that features a black DLC coating and additional jimping on the handle.
The Duro is an out-the-side style automatic with a button release and button lock. The release button is recessed. It utilizes a coil spring to deploy the blade.
Like every other Pro-Tech folding knife, the Doru comes with a good quality belt pouch. It also features a sturdy belt clip that is set up for right side, tip up carry only (there are left hand models available).
Observations from Use
The fit and finish on this knife is very good and that is a hallmark of Pro-Tech Knives. They consistently produce knives of excellent quality. I can’t find anything to nitpick. The grinds are even and the edge is laser sharp. It is common for the last little bit of a production knife blade to be left unsharpened near the choil but that isn’t the case with this or any of my Pro-Techs. The cutting edge comes all the way to the back to the choil. The blade is perfectly centered and it locks up tight without play.
Pro-Tech Knives use excellent quality springs and they are known for firing hard when the blade is released. This Doru is no exception. You will want to hang on tight when you press the release because if you don’t, the knife might leap out of your hand. Pro-Tech also uses large stop pins to absorb all that force. I have never seen another production automatic knife maker with knives that fire consistently as hard as those from Pro-Tech.
The Doru’s blade shape looks a bit unorthodox with its protruding hump on the spine (many of Elishewitz’s designs have this) but it behaves like a pretty straight forward drop point and that’s a good thing. It is a very useful shape.
Pro-Tech and Elishewitz may have worked some kind of black magic when they designed the Doru. When you have the knife in hand, it almost seems as if the handle could never contain the blade. The blade just seems very long for the handle.
The fine bead blasting on the handle makes it very grippy and the addition of extra jimping on this tactical model really locks the Doru into the user’s hand. The jimping is some of the best that I have seen. The jimping has grooves that run in parallel to the spine of the knife in addition to the typical perpendicular cuts. This makes the gripping surface provided by the jimping work in all directions.
The Doru features a contrasting pivot and button release. The handle is anodized black but the button release and pivot is satin finished. The pivot also features decorative machining that is really attractive.
I rarely see this mentioned, but Pro-Tech makes the best pocket clips that I have used. They are very, very stout but still easy to slip onto your pocket. I have never had one of their clips loose tension. I do wish that this clip was mounted just a bit higher on the knife to allow for deeper carry.
I am still getting used to the handle one the Doru. It isn’t uncomfortable – it is actually very comfortable to use. It is just a bit different in that it is fairly wide where the handle meets the blade and I am not sure if this area is supposed to be a guard or what. If you grip behind this area, you can still get your entire hand on the handle but you feel like you are miles from the blade. I suppose this could be a good thing for applications where reach is a must. Thankfully, I can grip over this area without any drama and the knife is quite comfortable this way. I suspect that this is a purposeful design that allows you to choke up for some cuts or back down the handle to extend your reach. It works, but it wasn’t necessarily intuitive to me at first.
The DLC coating holds up very, very well. It is fairly thin and doesn’t seem to cause too much drag when cutting. I have yet to wear all the way through it anywhere on the blade but it starting to look a bit scuffed in places.
Finally, I should mention that the Doru does not have a safety. You will rarely see a safety on a Pro-Tech automatic. I have never had an issue with one of their knives deploying accidentally because they take great care in the design of their release buttons. They are typically nested so that an intentional press is required and you must push the button slightly past the flush surface of the handle to release the blade. I think safeties on autos defeats the purpose of carrying an auto. I would much rather have a well designed release that protects against accidental deployment by virtue of its design than a safety.
I always recommend Pro-Tech Knives when people ask which automatic to buy and the Doru is a good example of why. It is one of the most affordable autos on the market of this size and quality. Pro-Tech also does a great job of backing their customers which cannot be said of most automatic knife manufacturers.