LionSteel TRE: Three Rapid Exchange

by on 04/29/2016

What fits into your pocket and is made in Italy out of titanium, carbon fiber, exotic pattern welded steel with state of the art 3D machining? The TRE from LionSteel. Crafted by Michele “Molletta” Pensato, the TRE is a state of the art knife that has more in common with exotic cars than it does with cutlery. Molletta, known for using FEA, pushes the boundaries of what is possible. The TRE design solidifies this by taking home the highly coveted 2015 Blade Show “Overall Knife of the Year” title. In this review, we take a peek at this Italian made beauty from LionSteel.

  • Length: 6.8”
  • Weight: 2.3oz
  • Handle Material: 6AL4V Titanium and Carbon Fiber
  • Blade Material: Damasteel Thor Pattern
  • Blade Thickness: .14”
  • Pivot System: IKBS Bearings

This feature packed knife showcases what is possible when you combine smart design, the best materials, and advanced manufacturing technology. The TRE’s patented modular and configurable opening system allows the user to choose one of three blade deployment methods. LionSteel packages the TRE in a nice custom fit wooden box and includes custom tools as well as additional parts that are used to configure the blade’s deployment method. In order to satisfy our inner nerd, we did use the included tools and parts to install the thumb stud just for fun. We usually prefer a flipper so we did end up removing the thumb stud and left it as is for daily use.

Typically, pattern welded steel blades have an inherent tendency to oxidize. Most pattern welded steels are made by combining two or more carbon steels. LionSteel is one of the few manufacturers to use pattern welded steel in a production knife but, they use stainless pattern welded steels which have much better resistance to corrosion than the other carbon steel variants. This blade features Swedish Damasteel in Thor pattern. The mad scientists over at Damasteel have worked some metallurgy magic to develop their proprietary DS93X. This martensitic Damascus patterned steel is made by combining two advanced powdered metallurgy martensitic stainless steels, RWL 34 and PMC 27. The result is a beautiful blade with high corrosion resistance, good toughness, and high hardness of 59-61 HRC.

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Top of the line materials. Award winning design. Extreme light weight. Exceptional value.


The blade detent could be stronger. We found the flipping action to require a very specific push button style of deployment and had zero luck using this as a light switch style flipper.

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Bottom Line

The LionSteel TRE combines an exotic blend of materials, design and functionality to produce a knife that is perfect for EDC. We can't get over how extremely lightweight it is. At just over 2 oz, there are not many knives that can even come close.

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