The much anticipated production version of the AD20 comes in a little smaller that it's brother. The AD20.5 comes in with an overall length of 7.65, closed length of 4.48 inches, and a blade of 3.17 inches. The redesign gives customers the feel of the AD20, while dropping some of the weight and size. The new AD20.5 has been a huge hit, and it's easy to see why. Combined with availability, pricing and style options, Demko has something for everyone. Handle options include Grivory, G10, carbon fiber or titanium. The blade comes in two profiles, clip point and Demko's take on the sheepsfoot called the sharksfoot. More than just shape, the blades come in either AUS10A, D2, and now S35VN. That's a dizzying array of options available and allows you to find a knife in your budget and preference. The version we are looking at today is the S35VN clip point model with carbon fiber scales.
The handle is really comfortable and the I appreciate the large index cutout followed by the other contouring; it makes for very naturally feeling handle. In spite of this being a hard use folder the handle is not overly beefy and heavy. There is an area before where your index rests that could serve as a choil to choke up on the blade, but it does put your finger pretty close to the blade. I really like the carbon fiber weave on this knife, carbon fiber can often be slick and not provide enough grip, this waffle weave provides some nice tactile feedback. I think the company logo around the pivot is a nice touch, with company location on the reverse. I don't have a whole lot of complaints with the handle except one. Yes, it's comfortable, but I find it very forward feeling. Almost like when gripping it, you're pointing it. I feel my hand should be further up than it is and allow all my fingers on the handle, rather than barely all four. The design does incorporate a nice thumb ramp where the Shark-Lock is. It's a good design, I just wish I had a little more forward grip on the handle.
The Shark-Lock itself it's a great innovation, I love the simplicity of the lock and the enjoyable fidget factor. To actuate the lock, you pull back on the fin and it will release the lock from the back of the blade. This spring-loaded lock is very similar to the Axis lock by Benchmade. Both place the lock face behind the back of the blade and prevent the blade from swing in either direction. The design is really simplistic in action and design but feels like we've always had it.
The blade is of clip point style and comes in S35VN steel. The clip style is very classic and provides enough point and belly for everyday tasks. Deploying the blade is done with either the cutout in the blade or thumb studs. I'm not sure why Demko includes both options or if the hole is purely aesthetic. The thumb studs are very wide and make purchase with your thumb easy, also they are removable, which is a nice option. Even though the blade is thicker than some other knives in this size range, I don't feel it hindered cutting most materials.
The pocket clip came installed for right hand carry, there is a second clip in the packaging because this one is not reversible. The clip works good for most clothing, I did have some problems with thicker material though. Due to the end of the clip not being lifted enough, some thicker pockets need a slight pull to get it to go over them.
The AD20.5 is a really great production version of the full-size model. Except for the little things, which are just personal issues, it does a great job in all areas. If you're a fan of the original AD20 but held off due to various reasons, the 20.5 is a great way to get your hands on this iconic design.