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Making the Best Counterterrorism Knives:
"Ari B'Lilah" counterterrorism, combat knife, obverse side view in ATS-34 high molybdenum stainless steel blade, 304 stainless steel bolsters, G10 fiberglass/epoxy composite handle, hybrid tension-locking sheath in kydex, anodized aluminum, stainless steel, HULA, UBLX in polypropylene, polyester
"Ari B'Lilah"

 "Synan" Counterterrorism Dive Knife

"Synan" counterterrorism knife knife in N360 nitrogen passivated tool steel blade, sheath of kydex, anodized 5052H32 aluminum welt frame, blackened and passivated 304 stainless steel hardware and fixtures, anodized 6AL4V titanium
"Synan" counterterrorism dive knife with accessories: hybrid tension lock sheath with cam lock, horizontal belt loop plates, .190" belt loops, .250 belt loops, horizontal/vertical belt strap clamps, thumb relase spring, assembly tools, stainless steel hardware, Dive Calf Accessory Mount, Dive Belt Accessory Mount, storage containers
Custom "Synan" Counterterrorism Tactical Combat Marine Grade Dive Knife
  • Size: Length overall: 13.0" (33 cm), Blade Length: 7.0" (17.8 cm), Thickness: .203" (5.2 mm)
  • Weight: Knife: 8.2 oz. (232 grams), Sheath: 11 oz. (312 grams)
  • Blade: Böhler N360 ISOEXTRA® nitrogen stainless tool steel, hardened and tempered to Rockwell C57, mirror polished and passivated
  • Sheath: Hybrid tension or hybrid-tension cam-lock in kydex, anodized 5052H32 aluminum, blackened and passivated 304 stainless steel, anodized 6AL4V titanium
  • DCAM (Dive Calf Accessory Mount): Neoprene foam, nylon elastic, bonded polyester, ABS plastic
    • Weight: 8.6 oz. (244 grams)
  • DBAM (Dive Belt Accessory Mount): Neoprene foam, nylon elastic, bonded polyester, ABS plastic
    • Weight: 6.0 oz. (170 grams)
  • Knife: "Synan" is the condensed version of the word "synanceia" which is the genus of one of the most deadly poisonous fish in the sea, the stonefish. The stonefish extends its needle-like dorsal spines when threatened, and this defensive and deadly response is just what the Synan knife is designed for. Made with direct input from a counterterrorism team professional in Israel, the Synan is designed as one of the first dedicated counterterrorism dive knives, made completely for wear in the salty marine environments encountered in the Mediterranean Sea. It is designed for direct and dedicated counterterrorism response, and it was a great honor to create this with the input of counterterrorism professionals.
    • The steel for this knife had to be very special, suited for the task and exposure like no other. The steel is a unique one, an ultramodern, premium, super-clean, refined steel, designed for high hardness and wear resistance and incredible corrosion resistance. Most martensitic stainless steels can corrode in long term exposure to marine environments, so dive knives are often made with metals that have high corrosion resistance like titanium and austenitic stainless steels. Both of these metals are soft at their highest possible hardness, dozens of times softer than a knife blade should be. This is fine for scraping around a coral bed or cutting some monofilament, but titanium and austenitic stainless steels are not hard and tough enough for combat duty. They simply will not hold an edge, and are pliable and weak. Böhler, a German foundry, has developed N360 with a totally different and refined processing method. This method results in an incredibly corrosion resistant tool steel, a true tool steel, that is hard and tough and durable with extremely high corrosion resistance not found in other stainless steels, even in high chromium 440C. Simply put, this steel has the highest corrosion resistance currently available for a functional, durable, and reliable knife blade. More about this premium modern alloy at this link on my Blades page.
    • The blade design reflects the geometry of my highly successful "Ari B'Lilah" series (detailed on my Counterterrorism Knives page). The blade of the Synan is double-edged and hollow ground; the main cutting edge is hollow ground with a 3" diameter wheel and the top edge with serrations is hollow ground with a 3" diameter wheel. This is an extremely difficult grind profile, and the purpose is to create two complimentary edges, both yielding extremely thin and razor keen edges with a high longevity while preserving a good cross-sectional thickness of center spine to support thrusting and the point. The point of this knife is critically strong; it is a very ancient design called "armor piercing." This is not for piercing today's armor, but for piercing chain mail of old: interlocking metal rings woven into a tough mesh. My client requested the strongest possible point that would still offer extremely sharp and lethal penetrating potential, resisting any tough or hard materials such a thrust could encounter without breaking. The point is carefully hand-ground at the maximum edge angle (25 degrees) possible that can still provide a keen and slicing single-bevel cutting edge. The cross section of the point is a solid "diamond" (in cross section), as tough and lethal as a knife point can possibly be. The point is created by an interrupted hollow grind; the transition to strong point is well-matched and supported by the full thickness spine running down the center of the blade. The main cutting edge is very thin and sharp as a straight razor; the top edge is designed with my Hammerhead serrations, which are extremely tough and aggressive, with reduced snagging with wide transitions between concavities and segmented edges. The blade is hardened and tempered to RC57 for maximum toughness (resistance to breakage) at high hardness (wear resistance). The grinds on the blade are accurate, sweeping, and with nicely radiused grind terminations for great transfer of energy without stressing the blade-to-handle ricasso area while a very long supportive spine runs the length of the blade. The extremely high polish of the N360 tool steel further enhances the cleanliness, corrosion resistance and serviceability of the knife.
    • The handle of the Synan needed to be light, highly corrosion resistant, as comfortable as possible, and secure as possible under the salty and corrosive environments of the Mediterranean Sea. The handle is skeletonized, so there is no place for corrosive salt to hide, be trapped, or attack the steel. It is designed with an oversize forefinger ring for grip security, and a long, tapered milling that allows the handle to aid in rudimentary tasks (like breaking the tightness of a marine shackle or nut). The butt of the handle is flattened for signal-tapping a tank underwater, and the size and accessibility of the milling allows quick attachment of lanyard for security. All surfaces are rounded, contoured, polished and smoothed for as much comfort as possible on this type of skeletonized handle. The knife feels light yet extremely aggressive in the hand. This is a lethal, serious tactical combat dive knife made just for counterterrorism response.
  • Sheath: The sheath is an evolution of one of my hybrid tension-locking models, originally made for my skeletonized knives, but specially adapted to this underwater application. This is a proprietary design, the best possible sheath of its type available in the world today. Actually, it is the ONLY type of this sheath available in the world today! The sheath is built of double thickness (.125" thick) kydex (methyl acrylate and polyvinyl chloride) over a welt-frame of anodized 5052H32 corrosion resistant high strength aluminum alloy.
    • Anodized Aluminum Throughout: in order to increase the corrosion resistance of this alloy, I've fully anodized the aluminum welts. This means that during the construction, these hand-machined parts are completed and then anodized for the ultimate corrosion resistance and durability. The parts have the nearly ceramic-hard surface treatment on the outside, the inside, and even through the bolt holes securing the kydex and the machine screw parts! They are as salt water resistant as they can possibly be, necessary for this critical application. More about my sheath and component aluminum anodization at this link.
    • Grayed and Passivated: To increase the corrosion resistance of the austenitic stainless steel hardware and fixtures, the stainless is darkened (grayed) and passivated. The darkening reduces the flare and reflectivity of the part and the passivation treatment assures that the most passive (corrosion resistant) stainless surface possible is employed on these fasteners. The mottled gray appearance is due to the darkening and passivating steps, and the stainless is extremely corrosion resistant.
    • Two Retention Methods: The sheath has two optional retention methods and in either circumstance, the knife stays locked in the sheath, and the assembly can trustfully be mounted upside down or used in highly active underwater movement with relative security.
    • The first retention method is my hybrid tension-locking mechanism. This device is custom made to fit each knife, and allows a lock pressure of about 25 pounds to hold the knife in the sheath, with an optional thumb or finger release. There are two options to unsheathe: one is placing your hand on the knife handle in forward (traditional) grip and use the finger or thumb to operate the release and unlock the knife for a controlled extraction of the knife. The second is for emergencies, grabbing the knife handle and pulling hard, with at least 25 pounds of tension, the knife is unsheathed. Please note that in this particular model of knife, the pull to release action may cause the hammerhead serrations to contact the ball-lock, scarring it, therefore, it's for an emergency only!
    • The second retention method is my new hybrid tension-lock cam release. This is a small cam that when rotated by thumb pressure, releases the tension from the spring, allowing the knife to be unsheathed without any contact between the mechanism and the blade. This is critical for underwater wear, as the eyes may not be able to see the knife clearly and the hand can feel this mechanism in position. It audibly snaps open and closed for a good indicator of release, clearing the hammerhead serrations during sheathing and unsheathing. The cam-lock mechanism is all welded 304 stainless steel, darkened and passivated, of course!
    • The titanium used in both arrangements in anodized 6AL4V, for a darkened blue-gray appearance, a hardened surface, and extremely high corrosion resistance.
    • The sheath (like most of my sheaths) has die-formed aluminum belt loops that are able to be moved to multiple locations as well as either side of the sheath frame. On this particular knife, the belt loops have 8 different locations with multiple combinations for versatile wear. All of the components in this proprietary system have maximum corrosion resistance, and the entire assembly is even reversible by the owner. It's simple, it's lightweight, it's fast, and it's clean, it's extremely corrosion resistant and it's all darkened and non-glare.
    • The mounts: Since the bolt pattern of the sheath matches my 2.5" bolt pattern for my accessories, most of my accessories can be used on this sheath, including any new ones I develop.
      • Horizontal Belt Loop Plates for horizontal belt or webbing wear, welded for ultimate strength and light weight, reversible, and in black anodized aluminum.
      • Flat mounting straps for rigid clamping to webbing, belts, or gear in vertical or horizontal orientation in black anodized aluminum.
      • Low profile belt loops (footman's loops): for tactical webbing belts with maximum .190" thickness and 1.5" width in black anodized aluminum
      • High profile belt loops (footman's loops): for tactical webbing belts with maximum ..250" thickness and 1.5" width in black anodized aluminum
      • Lanyards: Adjustable 550 cord and SCUBA rated, not shown in photos
      • All necessary stainless steel hardware, fittings, fasteners and tools for mounting, moving, and adjusting
  • Knife/Sheath wear options: A knife is worn, not carried, so this is critical for a counterterrorism dive knife. In addition to typical wear positions (on a belt, on PALS webbing, body armor, or gear and equipment bags, packs, and frames), this knife has some very specialized wear gear. See the photos below for the wide variety of mount options supplied with this ensemble.
    • DCAM (Dive Calf Accessory Mount): My client requested a calf-mounted assembly, one that could be worn comfortably against the bare skin underwater, stay put while active, yet keep the razor sharp edge and deadly point of the Synan immediately accessible. I devised a sheath mount rig I call the DCAM (Dive Calf Accessory Mount). It is constructed entirely of waterproof dive rated materials, and is secure as it can possibly be, wrapping around the calf with three strap mounts of wide, strong webbing. The base is soft, thick 6.7 mm neoprene foam with textured body-contact rubber on the inside, and tightly woven nylon on the outside. This is very heavy wetsuit material, and the mounts for the straps and webbing are backed with soft Velcro® loop stitch pads to back up the stitches. The webbing is secured with bonded polyester waterproof thread, size V-138 for extreme durability. The outside of the wrap is sealed and bonded with nylon wetsuit material, stitched with flexible nylon. The sheath tail pocket and anti-flop shock cord are double thickness elastic nylon; the tail pocket is three inches deep, and the anti-flop shock strap is .75" wide. The sheath body clamps rigidly under the center web, and is trapped between the webbing and the wrap, so is extremely secure. The buckles are all 1.5" cam lock ABS plastic and are infinitely adjustable yet can be quickly released in an emergency. This is a very comfortable rig, and will be a favorite wear accessory in the future. A video is provided to demonstrate rigging, wear, donning and doffing of this critical accessory.
    • DBAM (Dive Belt Accessory Mount): My client also requested an accessory that allows the knife to be worn in the middle of the back, with horizontal orientation. This required the design of the DBAM, Dive Belt Accessory Mount, which I made of 2" wide polypropylene webbing with ABS buckle, the same material as the Sternum Harness for my counterterrorism knife sheaths. The belt is narrowed and fused to accommodate the width of the span between the flat clamp straps when worn horizontally, so the sheath clamps rigidly to the belt. The custom pad is made of the same 6.7 mm wetsuit foam neoprene as the DCAM, edge stitched and sealed, and held in place with two 3" wide double thickness elastic nylon straps. The pad stays in place, protecting the body from the sheath, and it's a comfortable, secure rig in or out of the water. A video is provided to demonstrate rigging, wear, donning and doffing of this critical accessory.
  • Containers, Instructions, Archival: included are tin plated steel containers for the fasteners and hardware, and the instructions for the rig including a checklist and links to unlisted videos that detail the use, wear, and changing of the components for a variety of wear options. Included is an engraved co-extruded acrylic archival plate and a heavy stitched embroidered drawstring bag.
  • Disposition: Counterrerrorism

This is a well-designed high durability counterterrorism combat dive knife, made of the best modern materials available, a truly dedicated weapon and tool, with the toughest, strongest penetrating point possible, and one of the finest tactical combat weapons made in the world today, specifically made for use by one of the the world's most elite counterterrorism units. It is a great honor for me to make all these counterterrorism knives and accessories, respecting the very ancient and most crucial relationships between weapons maker and warrior.

Thanks, S.!


Please click on thumbnail knife photos
"Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, obverse side view in N360 high nitrogen stainless tool steel blade, kydex, titanium, aluminum, and stainless steel sheath "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, reverse side view. Hybrid tension cam-lock sheath is shown with traditional belt loops for .250" high profile thick web belt, vertical mounting "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, reverse side view. Hybrid tension cam-lock sheath is shown with traditional low profile belt loops for ..190" thick web belt, vertical mounting. All fasteners are grayed and passivated 304 stainless steel "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, reverse side view with sheath shown with flat strap clamps, vertical wear position. These anodized aluminum straps clamp rigidly to the belt or PALS or body armor or gear "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, reverse side view with sheath shown with flat strap clamps, horizontal wear position. These anodized aluminum straps clamp rigidly to the belt or PALS or body armor or gear "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, reverse side view with sheath shown with horizontal belt loop adapter plates. These plates are welded and anodized for durable security, allow knife to slide along .250" x 1.5" belt "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, reverse side view showing front face of sheath and hybrid tension lock mechanism in anodized titanium and 304 stainless steel. All fasteners are grayed and passivated stainless steel for salt water corrosion resistance. "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, reverse side view showing front face of sheath and cam-lock mechanism made of grayed and passivated 304 stainless steel and anodized titanium springplate. Camlock allows retention to clear serrations while being sheathed or unsheathed. "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, sheathed view showing front face of sheath and cam-lock mechanism made of grayed and passivated 304 stainless steel and anodized titanium springplate. Camlock allows retention to clear serrations while being sheathed or unsheathed. "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, sheathed view. Titanium spring release retains knife in sheath, released by finger pressure "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, DCAM Dive Calf Mount Accessory in foam neoprene, nylon, polyester, elastic and ABS buckles "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, DCAM Dive Calf Mount Accessory, body side in soft rubber foam neoprene, nylon, polyester, elastic and ABS buckles "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, DBAM Dive Belt Mount Accessory in foam neoprene, nylon, polyester, elastic and ABS buckles "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, DBAM Dive Belt Mount Accessory, body side pad detail  in foam neoprene, nylon, polyester, elastic and ABS buckles "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, handle detail. Skeletonized handle is rounded, polished, contoured and smoothed througout "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, blade, ricasso detail. N360 nitrogen stainless steel is hard, tough, and highly corrosion resistant "Synan" counterterrorism combat tactical dive knife, blade point detail. Point is ground to critical angles in single relief edge, for maximum strength, thickness, and sharpness. 

See other knives in this IDF YAMAM series: Ari, Aryeh, Ari-El, Shahal, Shahaz, Ari B' Lilah, Ari B' Lilah, Ari B' Lilah Predator, Ari B' Lilah Commemorative

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