I found the knife to be super comfortable during use, and control was not a problem. The handle is curved in all the right places with a fairly pronounced cutout for your index. I'm a sucker for a handle that features a bit of a palm swell, and this is one of those. I feel those designs offer me greater comfort during use, and it's greatly appreciated. I like the pop of color on the back of the handle, goes nicely with the "bloodoath" moniker. One of the more interesting choices by the company is the absence of branding. Some companies are minimalistic in their approach to labeling their products, while others treat them like a billboard. BloodOath is the first to my knowledge to introduce a QR for product recognition, the code is small and doesn't detract from the overall design. I've tested it out and the QR links back to the company's website. It's kind of ingenious, and I'm impressed with the forward thinking.
The business end of the Fiend is a modified American tanto, no other blade shape is synonymous with tactical knives as the tanto. I love how something as iconic as the tanto can be implemented in so many different ways. The American tanto has a straight edge versus the Japanese version has a slight curve to it. That curve helps aid in slicing while the blade is in motion, while the American style is straight until it intersects the secondary edge near the tip. The blade on the Fiend is a blend of the two, offering a slight curve with a gentle transition towards the point. I find this design choice makes it a great slicer and helps put itself in more of a general use category as opposed to just tactical applications.
The blade features a DLC (diamond like coating), this is to aid in corrosion and wear resistance. If I had to have a knife with a black blade, I would go for PVD (physical vapor disposition) or maybe even something like a Blackwash. Coatings like DLC and Cerekote are great at providing the amount of protection they do, but I feel those coatings create drag on the blade when pushing through some materials. It truly wouldn't be a tactical knife without a black blade, and I applaud their efforts to ensure this knife will hold up against use or neglect. The steel on the Fiend is 154CM, what was once a premium steel a few decades ago is now what I would call mid-tier. It's still a well-rounded steel that has a good balance of edge retention, wear and corrosion resistance. I found the steel performed great for an everyday carry role, and I've used it at both work and daily chores.
Deployment of the blade is done via a flipper tab or thumb studs. The flipper tab has enough length, and angle to give an authoritative snap when opening. The thumb studs while not necessary, provide another means of opening, and I often use this method. I find opening via thumbs studs to be a little stronger than the flipper tab, and more natural when pulling from the pocket. The opening is smooth with little friction thanks to the bearing pivot. Caged pivot bearings are the in thing right now, and I personally love the addition to them in the industry. Not only is opening silky smooth, but the blade drops shut without any snake or wiggle.
Lockup is done with a nestled liner lock, it's a simple lock that's reliable and easy to operate. The lock engages at about 40 percent, which I appreciate when lockups can vary so much between manufacturers. Disengaging the blade is easy thanks to the generous amount of liner being exposed. This is another attention to detail that I appreciate, I love that I don't have a narrow space in which to press on the liner.
I forgot to mention that the knife is surprising absent of both liner and spine jimping. Does the knife need it? I don't think so, jimping is on most knives to aid in traction, and control of the knife in use. The lack of additional traction on the Fiend isn't need and gives a very clean look to the design. You would think that a tactical knife would warrant such a feature, but during use I didn't feel there was any need to include them.
Having never heard of BloodOath until a few months ago, I'm surprised I don't hear of them more often. The company knows what it takes to make a tactical folder, and keep it well rounded enough for everyday situations. If you're looking for something to fill both roles, check out the PocketFiend from BloodOath.