​Behind the Design: The Microtech Cypher

​Behind the Design: The Microtech Cypher

Oct 25th 2018

Microtech Cypher

Microtech’s reputation for high-quality automatic knives is well established after 20 years dedicated to creating world-class innovative blades. And now, thanks to the John Wick franchise, the Microtech Cypheris the latest knife offered by the renowned company that has made it on the big screen.

The knife was designed as a collaboration between Anthony Marifone and Deryk Munroe, and it features Microtech’s signature attention to detail and stunning craftsmanship. There are plenty of other functional and stylish features that will make the Microtech Cypher one of your favorite OTF knives.


The Microtech Cypher features a 5.6” milled handle designed by the inimitable Deryk Munroe. It has a 4” blade with a double action mechanism, and it weighs approximately four ounces.

Blade Materials

The Microtech Cypherblade is constructed from M390 stainless-steel, a premium grade steel explicitly manufactured for knife blades by Boder-Uddeholm. The steel is created with added chromium, tungsten, vanadium and molybdenum, for a blade that is highly resistant to corrosion and wear and is tougher than standard blades.


The Cypher comes in a variety of blade finishes, depending on the model. A satin finish, achieved by sanding the blade with increasingly finer sandpaper in a single direction, gives the blade the high-end look it deserves and is ideal for anyone who is keeping the Cypher as part of a collection.

Models with a stonewashed finish are achieved by tumbling the blade with small rocks, followed by a smoothing process to give the blade a textured look. Stonewashing helps to hide scratches or smudges better than other types of blade finishes and provides the blade with a robust, rugged appearance. This means that you can spend less time polishing your knife and more time using it.

Cypher knives are also available in black, green and tan tints that are achieved by covering the blade in a high-quality coating that increases its resistance to corrosion and wear and tear.

Microtech Cypher black


The Cypher is also available in a range of blade styles, including the drop point, serrated and double edge. The Microtech Cypherseries used in the John Wick films are the stunning double-edge blades with cutting edges along both sides, ideal for use as weapons (as demonstrated by the eponymous hero) and in combat situations rather than practical uses.

The models that feature serrated blades, while perhaps considered less versatile, are excellent for tactical purposes, and they also look amazing.

The ever-popular and versatile drop point blade offers a stronger, more durable shape for hunting and survival purposes. The Cypher doesn’t have the full belly of most drop point blades; regardless of this, the Cypher still has impeccable slicing action due to the hollow grind that produces a deadly sharp blade.

Handle Materials

The handle on the Microtech Cypher is made from 6061-T6 aluminum that is hardened through an anodization process. There are several benefits to using aluminum over other materials like titanium.

Aluminum is lighter and easier to handle and, while it can be prone to corrosion, the anodization process leaves an oxidized layer on the surface on the handle, which provides excellent wear resistance. The Cypher comes in both milled and smooth handles, depending on your personal preference. Milled handles reveal the original texture of the aluminum while smooth handles offer a textural contrast to the blade.

Handle Shape

The handle of the Microtech Cypheris a tapered rectangular shape with ergonomic curvature for better grip and handling. A series of ridges down the length of the handle offer comfort while deploying the blade and a shallow groove toward the top is the ideal place to rest your finger during use.


The Microtech Cypher is a double-action automatic OTF knife. The blade is deployed and retracted by the use of a simple thumb slide, allowing for quick action. The mechanism works via a flat plate that sits to the side of the blade inside the length of the handle and is held in place by tightly coiled springs at either end. When the thumb slide is deployed, it causes an imbalance in the springs, which causes the reciprocating spring to push the metal plate forward and extend the blade.

Microtech Cypher black and gold

Final Thoughts

Microtech knives have an undisputed reputation for their outstanding quality and artistry, and the Microtech Cypher is a worthy addition to the company’s repertoire. Check out the Microtech Cypher in action in the new John Wick 3 film or, to learn more about this incredible knife, call us at (423)-525-9477 to talk with our friendly staff.