The Emerson Mini CQC-15 exists in an interesting place in the Emerson CQC realm. Obviously its a smaller variant of the Emerson CQC-15, which itself was quite a big knife. The CQC-15 was itself a combination of the Emerson Commander and the famed CQC-7B. So the mini CQC-15 is also derived from the Commander and the CQC-7.
What it takes from Mom and Dad
The first thing you notice is the tanto tip, just like the CQC-7. This tanto blade is a must have for deep penetration and stabbing through thick materials. Following the blade downwards we start to see the Commander influence. This tanto has a curved belly, an unusual feature on any tanto knife. It does versatility for slicing and makes deep cuts easier. It’s also easier to cut when you want to cut without stabbing.
The handle is also a little more unique and has some design influences from both. The CQC-7 has a straight handle, and the Commander features more of a curve. The Mini CQC-15 features a slight curve. In the hand, it feels very comfortable and that curve helps with making those deep and controlled cuts.
How Mini is the Mini CQC-15?
Mini is a relative term. When compared to the commander the Mini is a little smaller, but it’s not a small knife. The blade is 3.5 inches long and the overall length is 7.9 inches. The Mini CQC-15 weighs 4 ounces, so overall it’s pretty standard in terms of size. Don’t let the name fool you, this thing is as mini as the Glock 19 is ‘compact.’
The Mini CQC-15 comes outfitted with an excellent set of grips. It has G10 grips on top of titanium liners. The G10 materials are extremely coarse and textured for a firm grip. This is a versatile knife but at the end of the day, CQC stands for close quarters combat. This is designed to be a fighting knife, and this grip is a must-have when your hands are sweaty, bloody, or when wearing gloves.
The ambidextrous disk easy to use, and also heavily textured to avoid finger slippage. The liner lock is heavy and holds the blade in place with a level of strength and durability I didn’t expect. The blade has zero give or wiggle once it’s locked in place. The liner is also textured and ribbed for sure engagement. The Mini CQC-15 is a solid knife and designed by a true expert in the field.
Some folks may not like the right-handed only pocket clip, but there is a reason it’s not completely ambidextrous. This knife has the Emerson Wave feature. The wave is placed on the top and at the back end of the blade. This little ledge is designed to deploy the blade as its pulled from the pocket. This makes it the fastest opening knife you can carry. Faster than even an automatic knife.
It takes a little practice, but once you master deploying the knife via the wave technique you won’t find anything faster.
The blade is made from 154CM steel, which is a common knife steel. It’s known for its strength, relatively easy sharpening ability and excellent edge retention. While it’s so fancy new wonder-steel it is a proven and durable metal.
The blade comes from the factory lightsaber sharp. It is a shame I used it so much because my mere mortal skills with sharpening knives will likely never recreate that level of sharpness. The blade is a chisel ground cut, so only one side of the blade is actually sharp. This is an Emerson trademark, and they claim it aids in ease of sharpening and blade retention.
The blade slices and cuts deeply. It really stands up to whatever you throw at it. Stabbing and slashing are easily done and the short blade is easy to manipulate. This kind of knife is fine for EDC tasks but is ultimately meant to be a weapon. That’s where it’s true potential shines.
I tend to prefer guns to knives, but you can’t always take a gun with you. The Emerson Mini CQC-15 is legal in most states nearly any and everywhere. It’s not a switchblade, or even spring assisted. The blade is compact and often well under the legal limit for carrying. The Mini CQC-15 gives you an edge when you can’t carry a gun.