Discreet Folding Knife With Serious Attitude: TRM Neutron 2 Review

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Three Rivers Manufacturing is a relatively new brand in the knife world. Since its debut a few years ago, where it moved from being a parts provider for other brands to making its own knives, it has met nothing but praise from the knife community.

The only complaint Three Rivers Manufacturing has faced is a lack of readily available knives. One of its first locking designs — the 2018 Neutron — has undergone a revamp. And while it isn’t a fundamentally different knife, it’s a fundamentally better one.

(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

TRM Neutron 2 Specs

Steel: 20CV
Grind: Full flat grind
Lock: Liner lock
Blade length: 3″
Handle length: 4.25″
OAL: 7.25″
Weight: 2.5 oz.
Price: $188
Country of origin: USA

Knife Review: Three Rivers Manufacturing Neutron 2

The Neutron 2, known colloquially as the Newtron, is an update to an already stellar folder. The original Neutron was thin, well-made, and discreet. And it cost substantially less than folders of similar quality made by others.

It was also made in Massachusetts (about a half-hour down the road from my house). As a debut product, it was outstanding. It favorably compared to some of the best knives in the production world: the 940 and the Native 5 in particular. (It was slim like the 940 and shaped similarly to the Native 5.)

The star of the show, though, was the thin blade stock and stellar grind. The result was a knife that cut incredibly well.

(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

Neutron 2 Updates

The Neutron 2 tweaks that formula just a bit and makes a great knife an instant classic. Unlike the original, the Neutron 2 has nested liners, which means that the structural elements made of steel are actually nested inside the more hand-friendly handle scale material.

Additionally, there’s a bit of a forward choil, as TRM nipped off the pointy tip of the handle closest to the blade. Finally, there is a new deep-carry pocket clip (the old clip still works).

The thin grind, great steel, and easy swap-out handles remain (though gen 1 scales are not compatible with gen 2 knives due to the nested liners). One new option is the upgrade to contoured scales. My review sample was equipped with such scales.

(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)


The Neutron 2 is a superb knife, one of the best available today. Given the sub-$200 cost, you won’t find its equal for the same price. With contoured scales and nested liners, it’s hard to imagine a more sure and comfortable grip.

The deep-carry clip is effective without being obnoxious. And, of course, the blade still slices like a laser.

The only drawback here, if it is one, is availability. Full batches sell out in 5 minutes tops. Watch the TRM site and follow the brand on Instagram if you want a heads-up.

If you can get a Neutron 2, you’ll be delighted — we highly recommend it.

Check Availability at Three Rivers MFG

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