X-8 Tactical Limited is a custom knife and tool company owned by Michael Anne, with the vision of providing military, law enforcement, and EMS professionals with the best tools for their job. Michael has over 30 years of martial arts experience and over 16 years on the job as a law enforcement officer. He has tapped into that combination of training and experience to bring his own unique edged tools to the marketplace through his X-8 Tactical brand, while also teaming up as an edged weapons consultant for small arms manufacturer Allstar Tactical, LLC in Rochester, NY.
The X-8 Arrow is by far Anne’s most unique blade design to date. Designed as a covert fixed blade, its originality has led one leading Kali family, the Saludos (Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Barako Batangueno), to design an entire sub-system around the Arrow.
“The X-8 Tactical Arrow is the best compact blade I’ve ever handled. The early prototype that Michael gave me is now my personal carry. Jay and I have developed a style based strictly on the use of the Arrow, which we teach to a few select students.” -Jun Saludo
After meeting Mike at SHOT Show 2017 and spending some time talking the trade with him, he was kind enough to send me an Arrow for my own evaluation, which I am happy to be able to share with our loyal Black Sheep Warrior readers.
The Arrow is a full-tang knife constructed out of 440C Stainless Steel and topped off with a DuraCoat™ finish and either Micarta handle scales or a 550-cord-wrap. The hybrid karambit design features a sharply angled spear-point blade. The angle of the bevel and the recurve of the spine form what closely resembles a traditional arrow head, which the astute observer would deduce is the reason for the name.
The Arrow arrived to me with two separate Kydex sheathing systems. One was a belt-mounted sheath with 1” loops. The second sheath, which stood out to me as a truly unique design, came with a long Kydex J-hook attachment. To be honest, I was a bit perplexed when I saw it. I couldn’t figure out how this crazy attachment was supposed to work. After Michael Anne explained to me what the second sheath system was for, I was blown away—ingenious! This system was built for internal mounting on a standard-sized police double magazine carrier.
As you can see in the photos, this sheath mounts inside a duty belt by sliding the J-hook attachment through a standard duty magazine carrier belt loop. This will work whether the magazines are worn in a vertical or horizontal position.
The arrow is sized perfectly for a backup blade on a police duty belt. At 6 1/4″ long, the Arrow tucks neatly behind a vertically-set double magazine carrier, making it almost disappear. As a weapon retention device, the Arrow is perfectly suited for support-hand, reverse-grip deployment when worn behind the magazine carrier on the support side (which based on my experience is where your magazines should be carried).
Those who are fans of small blades, but fear the loss of handle size that typically comes as part of the package, will be relieved to find the Arrow does not sacrifice its handle in the quest for compactness. The Arrow has enough handle to appease even the meatiest of meat hook possessors. The handle is quite functional and very comfortable.
The X-8 Arrow is a great knife for anyone looking for a compact fixed blade knife that offers a high return in the areas of comfort, retention, and affordability. The unique sheathing system makes it ideal for Law Enforcement officers in need of a secondary line of defense. Best of all, when you buy from X-8 Tactical Limited, you know you’re getting a product that is made in America by someone who’s “been there.”
The Arrow retails for $100 and can be purchased through the X-8 Tactical Limited website. For you social media types, X-8 Tactical can be found on Facebook and Instagram. You can also see some of the other X-8 knives featured in the Naked With A Blade 2018 Calendar, a project put together by a group of female survivalists who appeared on the hit TV show Naked and Afraid, who also have a passion for the knife world. (In case you’re wondering, the women are not actually naked in the calendar—BSW is a family-friendly site. The name is a play off the show title and the fact that they are showcasing knives.)
Photo Credits: Chad McBroom