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KNIFE LITE, retail $24.95 (
Manufactured by Tektite
Last updated: June 20, 2001

LED Light

The Knife Lite is a pocket sized, retractable blade knife with a built-in white LED illuminator.
It is built in a sturdy nylon case, and the white LED is powered by a pair of lithium coin cells that give around 10 hours of continuous light; longer when used intermittently.


The Knife Lite comes ready to use as soon as you free it from its plastic bag prison. (Use another knife to do this, or just rip it open).

The steel blade is fully encased inside the body of the unit; and can be extended by sliding the big red lever on the side. There is a locking mechanism, but I found it wasn't very strong.

The light has two modes: momentary and steady-on. Pressing down on the smaller red button on the edge lights the LED for as long as you keep the button depressed; sliding it forward will allow the LED to stay lit by itself. Slide the button toward the rear of the knife to shut the light off.

The Knife Lite uses a pair of lithium CR2025 batteries for power. The case needs to be unscrewed to change them, and my screwdriver is broken. I will finish this portion of the page in early July, which is the soonest I can purchase another.

Published figures say the batteries should last 1-2 years of "average" use.

When I first got the Knife Lite, I honestly thought it was a piece of (vulgar term for feces). But as I have learned about and used it, I actually found this not to be the case at all. The body is made of an almost unbreakable glass-filled nylon; which is about the strongest of all the man-made materials that flashlights can be made from.

The 1.25" retractable blade is made of 417 stainless steel, which should hold an edge for a reasonable amount of time, yet can also be easily re-sharpened when the need arises.

I've had a chance to carry around this knife and actually even got a candid and unrehearsed chance to use it.
In this case, it was at a baseball game, and I pulled it out to cut the sleeves off a shirt right there in my seat. It was sharper than I expected, and cut the sleeves off cleanly and quickly.
I've also used it on a number of occasions to open various packages I regularly receive, and it does just fine. An indentation on the lower edge of the body fits nicely into your forefinger, giving much need stability & grip on the small knife body while hacking something up.

LED Light LED Light
Left: Grip I use for light duty cutting - opening boxes, cutting twine or tape, etc.
Right: Grip I use for heavier duty cutting - de-sleeving a shirt, cutting wood, etc.

My primary complaint is that the blade locking mechanism doesn't really work well; once you start slashing at something, the blade tends to unlock and retract back into the body. For light duty cutting (such as opening a box) it usually stays put, but when you start pushing, it can unlock and start to go back in the handle. Usually, you can keep the blade extended just by putting your thumb behind the button to act as a backstop; when you feel it click and start to move, it's quick and easy to reset into the locked position again. The right-hand picture above shows how one might grip the Knife Lite in this case.

LED Light
Night mission: opening those pesky battery packs to refill a dead flashlight.

The LED lamp is located just above the top (dull) edge of the knife blade, and thus, the product can be used to slash up stuff in the dead of night. Opening a pack of batteries in pitch blackness is no problem with the Knife Lite. I might have preferred the LED to aim just a hair more downwards, but doing that could create more problems than it's worth - unwanted shadows and whatnot. So they compromised, and placed the LED above the blade, aimed straight forward. It actually works fine this way - my complaint here is extremely minor in the grand scheme of things.

As a keychain flashlight, the Knife Lite is adequate. The LED doesn't appear to be quite as overdriven as those in other key lights, so both the lamp and the batteries may last a bit longer than normal.

The unit is not water resistant, so this one should be kept away from the ol' H2O. The Knife Lite has a 20 year guarantee, with the usual exceptions (intentional destruction, intentional mutilation, or small children).

LED Light
Fairly wide beam measures 8,300 to 8,600mcd on the doodad you see at the bottom.
That pointed shadow you see on the left is cast by the knife blade.
As a whole, light is considerably less bluish than most white LED lights.


Any updates related to this review will be posted as they happen.

Nice combo to have on hand.
Small & discreet.
Blade is sharp & long enough to be useful.
Unit as a whole is sturdy.

Blade lock isn't as effective as one might desire.
Not water resistant.

    MANUFACTURER: Tektite Industries
    PRODUCT TYPE: Combination penknife/mini-torch
    LAMP TYPE: LED, white
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Medium-narrow with soft edges
    SWITCH TYPE: Slide type
    BEZEL: None
    BATTERY: 2x CR2025 lithium coin cell
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries, split ring, spring clip
    WARRANTY: 20 years


    Star Rating

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