Vosteed – Nightshade LT Review (Titanium Shark Bomb Prybar Preview)

Today I am taking a look at a new folding knife from Vosteed, the Nightshade LT. I bought the Limited edition Nightshade earlier this year because it was a unique shape in my collection and have really been enjoying it, as a fantastic all-around blade. That version is sold out for now, but don’t fret because the Nightshade LT is available and is a very similar knife. Vosteed reached out and asked if I would be interested in taking a look at it and I said, of course, I would be. They have offered me a coupon to save $5 or a package deal to save $20 with their titanium prybar, both good deals below.


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Get the Nightshade LT from Vosteed direct at https://www.vosteed.com/products/nightshade-lt and use code “LR5” to save $5 off the Nightshade or use code “LR20” to save $20 off the Nightshade and Prybar combo.

Link for just the Shark Bomb Titanium Prybar at https://www.vosteed.com/products/shark-bomb-prybar

Get the Gray Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3TvWEEY
Get the Black Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3ebx4Fd



The packaging here like the other Vosteed products I have is top-notch. You have the cardboard sleeve over the steel case, it reminds me kind of the Altoids boxes but the lid just pulls straight off. Unfortunately, I can blame the USPS for the damage here, mine got squished pretty good. Thankfully the nylon zipper pouch inside the tin with the knife inside was unharmed. Inside you also get a nice card giving knife specs, and a card urging you to join the Vosteed community on Facebook.



There are two versions of the Nightshade LT available. There is the black G10 model with the gray center pivot, and a satin blade finish, and the Gray G10 model with the white pivot color and a stonewashed blade which is what I have. The knives are made in a Kizer facility but by Vosteed employees. It’s a Vosteed design.

Overall length is 7.48”, blade length is 3.26” which should be legal in a lot of places, and the blade width is 1.21” so it’s a little wide in the pocket, I measured blade thickness on the rounded crown at 0.1135” and at the tip 0.025”. Handle thickness is 0.531”. The weight came in at 4.16oz and it does have pockets milled in the liners to reduce weight. It’s a liner lock with a flipper too. The body and clip screws are T6, and the pivot is T8. 


The Blade

The blade here is made from 154CM,  and on my gray model here it’s a light stonewashed finish. I like 154CM steel, it has good edge retention for the price range, is easy to sharpen, and is made in the USA. The blade shape most closely resembles a traditional Shilin style knife. The Shilin is a traditional all purpose knife blade shape from the Chinese & Taiwanese regions and has a long history of carry by all different professions and demographics. It has a little Kukri in it too with the downward sloping angle too. 

This blade shape is pretty unique in my collection, the closest I probably have is some of the leaf-shaped Spyderco’s like the Manix or Sage 2, both are different though. The grind here is full flat grind which is always my favorite, here though it has a crowned spine which isn’t super common in my more modern collection, it makes it comfortable in the hand. Centering here was spot on, and lockup was good. 

The blade performance is my favorite feature of the Nightshade. It really can take on a ton of different tasks and excel at that. I did a little food prep with it over my time with it, and it did well here. I tend to do very little food prep with my pocket knives at home because I have kitchen knives, and as a side note, I reviewed the Vosteed Morgan which is from the same designer over at Vosteed. Food prep isn’t all what it is good at, I am in the process of doing some reorganizing at home which involved breaking down a lot of cardboard boxes. This is a lot of draw-cut motions to cut through both cardboard, tape, and an occasional zip tie or plastic strapping. It did that without issue and stayed pretty sharp still. The only thing I have done is to stop this with some Gunny Juice diamond emulsion on leather. 


Feel in the hand

The G10 Scales on the Nightshade are simple and rounded, edges are well chamfered so there are no sharp points. The G10 gives some texture but it’s not aggressive, nor is it smooth. One of the more interesting design features of the scales is the different color materials around the pivot of the knife. 

To me the scales are comfortable, I can fit for fingers on the body, and my thumb on the jimping up top on the spine. If I am gripping as hard as I possibly can, the clip creates a little bit of a hot spot for me but it’s not a problem with normal grip strength. I like that the lock bar has a little grip milled into it too. 



The Nightshade is designed as a flipper but that’s not the only way to deploy it. It runs on ceramic bearings and it closes just as nicely as it opens. The flipper has deep jimping on it. The detent is good but a little stronger than I expected. I had no issues using a light switch motion and it makes a satisfying swack when opening too. The flipper tab it’s too pocky and actually allows the knife to sit on its back very nice and square. On my knife, I am able to press on the side of the blade a little to open it too. I think Vosteed could easily make a thumb stud version or a version with a thumb stud and both would work very well too. 


The closure is drop shut smooth. This is how it came from the factory, I haven’t disassembled it, to clean or get the factory oil out, I did put a drop of Gunny Glide on it though. It’s drop shut closed, I think that’s due to the bearings and the size of the blade. It just adds to the fidget factor of the knife here for me. 



Retention on the Nightshade LT is accomplished via a deep carry simple stainless steel clip that only mounts on the right-hand side of the knife. For me, I had no issues either with the knife coming loose or the clip snagging on anything. There is also a lanyard hold if that’s your style. 

The only pitfall that I have with the knife is really that this isn’t a lefty-friendly knife. Not a big deal for me personally, I transitioned to right-side carry years ago, but I know this will bother some people. 



A few quick words on the Vosteed Sharkbomb prybar too. It’s made of titanium, has a heavy stonewash, and has a fish-style backbone laser engraved on both sides. The front features the prybar, and a nail puller, the eye is a hex bit driver, however, my standard-sized bits didn’t quite fit, and smaller ones do though. It has a bottle opener for the mouth, and a deep carry pocket clip on both sides. I like the design and it was an impulse purchase for me. I do actually use a prybar at work sometimes to help depress the lever on an ethernet cable in tight areas. It also came in nice high-quality packaging. 


Final Thoughts

I have quite a few pocket knives, and many are drop points, sheep foot, and other designs. Most have some negatives, like the grind might be too thick and not great at slicing or opening mail, others have a delicate tip, or might not carry in the pocket as well due to a compromised factory clip (Spyderco’s standard clip). The Nightshade for me doesn’t have any of those, it’s a slicing machine and the tip has enough steel where I don’t have to worry about it being too delicate.

For me, the biggest downfall is probably its width in the pocket. It’s not thin and takes up some real estate, but even with thin shorts on the knife isn’t what I would call too big for me personally. I’m not sure I would call it a lightweight in its name since it’s over 4oz, but it does have a pretty large piece of steel for the blade too. 

Between my two Nighshades, it’s honestly been in my pocket several times a week, for weeks and weeks. It’s a great pocket knife, it’s fun to flip and play with, and it does very well as a knife. MSRP is $69 with free shipping in the USA,  and I think it’s pretty a good value, especially with the coupon codes I have down in the description. That will knock $5 off for the knife only or there is also a code to save $20 off the Titanium Bomb Prybar and the Nightshade LT combo which makes it a pretty good deal to grab both. 

Get the Nightshade LT from Vosteed direct at https://www.vosteed.com/products/nightshade-lt and use code “LR5” to save $5 off the Nightshade or use code “LR20” to save $20 off the Nightshade and Prybar combo.

Link for just the Shark Bomb Titanium Prybar at https://www.vosteed.com/products/shark-bomb-prybar

Get the Gray Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3TvWEEY
Get the Black Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3ebx4Fd

Vero Axon Review

Today I have a knife review for you of the Vero Engineering Axon. This is a knife I preordered, and have been waiting since August 2020 for. I have had it for about 2 weeks now and been carrying it most days during that time. This is going to be a bit of a long review so settle in and enjoy.


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Who is Vero

Vero Engineering is one of the hot new knife designers of 2020. Joseph Vero has a background as a mechanical engineer and was working in the drone industry in a professional setting. Vero Engineering started as a hobby with some CAD sketches but with it’s growth, it has allowed him and his wife to work on Vero Engineering full time which I think is an accomplishment in itself, especially with everything that happened last year economically. The Axon is his 3rd knife design. All knives are made by Bestech in China, to Vero’s tolerances and standards.



Packaging & Specs

The knife comes in a zippered taco pouch with padding. You get a Vero branded microfiber cloth that the knife is wrapped in, as well as an identification card with the specifications of your specific knife on it too. The case has a cool velcro embroidered patch with the Axon on it. The background is green which is perfect for me.


Specs & Size Comparison

      • Overall Length: 8″
      • Weight: 3.67oz
      • Blade Length: 3.4″
      • Cutting Edge: 3.25″
      • Blade Thickness: 0.135″
      • Blade Material: M390
      • Blade Style: Sheepsfoot
      • Blade Grind: Full Flat
      • Finish: Hand Rubbed/ Hand Belt Satin/ Stonewashed
      • Lock: Titanium Nested Liner Lock w/ Steel Lockbar Insert
      •     Handle: Micarta/ G10/ End Cut Carbon Fiber

The Good

I had high expectations for this knife as the hype was real and it was the most expensive knife to date, that I have purchased. Fit and finish wise it didn’t let me down. I have the black micarta configuration here that’s unoiled which I am really enjoying so far, and the belt satin grind on the blade. Centering was perfect and there is absolutely no blade play which is saying something with how well the action works here.

The grinds on the M390 sheepsfoot blade are all symmetrical and pretty intricate, you have the belt grind on the blade, then the flat is going in a different, contrasting direction, then an upper faeit, again, is ground like the blade. The edges where you’re going to be touching on the spine have a nice chamfer and these get slightly less and less as you go towards the tip. To the point of there are sharp edges on the sheeps foot but no burr. Then the rectangular ‘V-spot” (Which has what the Vero community on Facebook has named it) notches in the blade are bead blasted inside which is a nice touch and some added contrast.

I am a fan of the sheepsfoot blade, it’s slicing machine, everything from opening boxes, breaking down cardboard and more. The blades “belly” is flat in the warrencliff style and gives you a lot of cutting surface and it should be easy to sharpen on a normal stone or other sharpening systems when it’s time to do so, and there is a small sharpening choil to help with that as well. It’s not your best piercing blade shape but the only time I miss that in my EDC use is to open envelopes under the flap and that still works for that task. It’s a nice touch that every knife does have a hidden serial number at the base of blade near where it locks up. There is jimping on the spine of the knife just where you need it to help with deployment and no more.



When I first picked up this knife out of the package the weight was the first thing to hit me. It was lighter than I expected for the size. My scale says 3.67oz and this is thanks to the extensively milled titanium liners, backspacer, and clip. For the size of the blade this is fairly light weight while still feeling solid in your hand. For me it works well.



The knife runs on ceramic bearings inside brass races which makes for a super smooth action. This is the factory action, I haven’t taken it apart, added oil, or messed with the pivot tightness at all. There is no grit or break-in needed here. There are multiple deployment methods which I will talk about in a minute. The knife does have a detent ramp, which makes it feel even smoother, while still having a knife that won’t fall open. That said if I flick it hard with my entire arm or shake it violently in my hand, I can get it to come open on its own. Lockup on my knife is about 40% and there is a steel insert on the titanium nested lockbar, so no lock stick concerns.


The closing action is great too, it’s so close to being drop shut that I think after a bit more use or a cleaning the first time; it will be. All it takes now is a slight jiggle to drop shut in a controlled manner. The sharpening choil is also sized just right so the blade will drop on your thumbnail which is nice considering how free flowing it is.


Deployment Methods

There are multiple deployment methods with the Vero Axon. It’s designed as a front flipper, with the jimping on the spine allowing you to roll your thumb over it to open if you want. You can also use your index finger to kind of light switch it from the front side. I can’t do this myself one handed, but you might have better luck with larger hands or longer fingers. Other options are using what the Vero Facebook group has called the “V-spot”, which are the rectangular reliefs on each side of the blade as a Spydie hole of sorts, it works well and since they are on each side you can easily middle flick it from the underside too.


Material choices

Another thing I really like is the wide selection of materials that Vero is offering on most of his knives but especially the Axon. At preorder your you had 3 blade finish options on the M390 Steel (Tumbled, Belt Satin, Hand sanded hand satin), 2 colors of unoiled Micarta, a Red G10, and an end-cut carbon fiber. Since then, he has offered, or teased, that DLC will be an option for the blade, clip and body, brass scales have been offered as well. Bacon Damascus has been talked about for the blade here too. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see Timascus back spacers or clips offered eventually as it’s an option on most of his other designs. With that wide selection of options, it feels more like a custom knife then a production model. It’s also been said that Joseph is going to have scales available for purchase after all the preorders ship too so you can swap out colors. I am thinking I may have to pick up end cut Carbon Fiber or the Red G10.

I like that all of the scale materials options ship unoiled too, so you can let the knife either take on your own patina as you use it or oil it if you prefer. The micarta I have ads a nice grip without being too grippy. Blade steel here of M390 is a great choice for this price range.


The Not So Good

One of the areas I think there is room for improvement in future generations of the Axon is access to the nested lockbar when you disengage the blade. It’s a little tight and hard to access, I have to press my thumb pretty hard into the knife and then over to get it to move. If you had larger fingers, I think this would be even more difficult. I think possibly changing the relief angle or even amount on the opposite scale to open that area up ever so slightly would improve the user experience when closing the knife.



One of the reasons the Axon was slightly delayed was the screws. They were changed in the late stages from T6 on the prototype to T8 on the production models to make the design a little more robust for owners who plan on swapping screws. All the screws and the pivot are stainless steel, and the screws are a bright polished finish. On my knife the screws were a little inconsistent in their depth – which is something that isn’t an uncommon problem in the industry on popular designs. I tightened them which helped slightly but I still have one in the rear that sticks up a little higher and isn’t perfectly flush with the scale. This seems to not be a widespread issue based on other owners I have chatted with and it’s pretty minor.



I feel a little bad listing the clip as a not so good on this one because it’s a good clip but let me explain a few small issues I have with it if I am really nitpicking. The clip is mounted internally using hidden hardware and is solid titanium. It is mounted for right hand carry only, and is not reversible. It’s deep carry but not ultra deep carry, about 10mm of the knife will stick out of your pocket. Tension is good, with a few pairs of pants I have tried, my issues comes with the amount of relief that’s in the clip. Depending on the pants you’re wearing you may have to either pry up on the clip slightly or hold your pocket to keep from bunching up when carrying the knife. This is still better than a clip being too loose in my opinion and it’s easy to get used to.

Ergonomics in my hand are decent, this kind of goes back to the clip which is why I am putting it here, but the bottom of the clip where it flares out is a bit of a hot spot in my hand if I grip the knife really tightly in a normal way. If I choke up, or slide back a bit so the flare of the clip fits between my fingers instead of my palm it feels better. I do like how the body slightly tapers as you reach the clip. It helps the knife feel slimmer. 


The Ugly

There isn’t a lot to say here about the Axon, but the availability of any of Vero Engineering designs is a bit of a negative. They sell out in 2 to 3 minutes tops, everything from the various knife designs to the prybars, he just can’t keep them in stock. The result is they are hard to get, and even the secondary market is hot if things do pop up. This isn’t new to other knife manufacturers, or things in the EDC world but just a little frustrating if you’re a fan trying to get one.


The other thing is the time it took to get my Axon. I ordered in August, and it showed up late January. 5 Months is a long time for a preorder for a production knife, I knew it was going to be a while, but I didn’t quite expect it to be this long, and I was even in the first wave. Not everyone who did that preorder the same day I did has their knives just yet.



I am really happy with my purchase of the Vero Axon. I was worried after waiting for months and seeing the continual hype that it wouldn’t live up to what I built up in my head but for me that’s not been the case. I see holding onto this one for quite a while and it being a staple in my EDC rotation.

I think this is about as close as you can come to a “Custom” knife but with high end production level prices. Production location doesn’t matter to me, as long as the quality is there and for me Vero and Bestech achieved that. This is a really nice design that’s been well executed. Should you have the issue Vero Engineering is easy to get a hold of. They have an active social media presence too, with live streams of updates on preorders, upcoming models and more. That’s one thing I always like to see when paying for a higher end EDC item is that the maker is accessible not only for service but I think it helps create a community feel and draws at least me more into the brand.

So, let me know in the comments if you have been able to pick-up any of the Vero Engineering knives and what you think of the Axon.

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/tvSAd5T