Coast LK375 Light Knife - Review
Coast makes some pretty cool knives (and flashlights and headlamps). I carried their RX312 (or something close to it) for a while and always liked it. I still use it from time to time, but I've switched my EDC over to a utility knife (the Milwaukee Fastback). I just finally accepted the fact that my lifestyle is brutal on a blade and I don't have the time to deal with sharpening. Disposable utility blades are just so simple to deal with.
But anyway, Coast recently developed a very interesting item that they refer to as the LK375 Light Knife ($52). It's basically a combo between a ...wait for it... wait for it... wait for it... flashlight and a knife. It's a great pairing, kind of like chocolate and peanut butter, eggs and bacon, or
Ashton and Demi. Coast was nice enough to send me a sample so that I could check it out.
First off, the LED is up at the head of the tool, so when the blade is folded open, the light shines parallel to it, so you can easily see what you're cutting (or what you're trying to scare away). The light turns on with a button at the side of the handle. The blade doesn't need to be open for it to be on.
The LK375 is a sizable knife. The light is powered by a single AAA battery, so the handle has some extra beef to make room for that. The blade is big too, almost 1-1/4-inch at its widest point. When it's folded up, the blade doesn't recess all that much into the handle, so even when it's packed away it's chunky.
The blade has a little cut-out, which makes for an easy thumb flip open. When extended, there is a liner lock to keep it open. The lock is perfectly tensioned, so releasing it is very easy.
The handle is composite so the whole thing is nice and light. The battery compartment opens with a single Philips #1 screw. I really like how the screw is also threaded into the cap piece, so it doesn't fall off when the lid is opened. The battery compartment is properly gasketed for water proofing.
The light is impressive too. It has a high and a low setting (but no focusing ability). According to Coast, it shines at 110 Lumen with a range of 173 feet. I didn't specifically verify those exact stats, but seeing how it completely lit up my backyard, I'd say that Coast isn't fudging their numbers. The thing is bright.
So it's a really nice and well thought-out knife, but what is it good for? Well, for me at least, it's too big for any kind of EDC. My Fastback is already pushing the limits on that and the Coast is twice as thick. Still, the knife/light combo is pretty undeniable and there are many places where this dual functionality is going to make a lot of sense, like in a tackle box, a hiking backpack, a glove box or a bug out bag. Really anywhere where storage could be an issue and combining two tools into one is advantageous.
I really like this knife, but it's probably not for everyone. The sheer size of the blade is going to be intimidating to some and the overall bulkiness a hinderance to others. But if the two function tool suits you, then you'll likely be happy with your investment.
[and sorry if some of these images are coming in upside down. I can get them to work in one browser, but not the other. I'm tired of trying to figure it out, so I'm leaving this as is...]
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at April 27, 2015 10:00 AM