Review: ANV Knives – M311 Comp
The introduction of the M311 Comp was surely one of this year’s highlights for the knife community during Shot Show 2023. The interesting thing is that Ondřej, the chief designer of Acta Non Verba Knives, decided to go back to the roots of the original M311 design, which featured a more compact version.
Needless to say, it was very well received as many knife users had asked for a shorter version of the large M311 Spelter combat knife. Being a fan of the Spelter myself, I was excited as well for a compact version and thanks to ANV Knives I can give you a closer look at the knife.
The M311 Comp is a compact version of the M311 Spelter, the full size combat/field knife by ANV Knives. Reduced to a blade length of 110mm and an overall weight of 150g, the M311 Comp is a much lighter version that is easier to carry on belts, chest rigs and vests. It comes in a Kydex sheath with MOLLE clips.
- Total length: 235 mm
- Blade length: 110 mm
- Blade thickness: 3,5 mm
- Steel: Elmax (60 HRC)
- Handle material: Micarta
- Weight: 150 g
- Sheath: Kydex
The blade of the M311 Comp
According to the homepage of ANV Knives, the overall length of the knife was scaled down by 13% which resulted in a blade length of 110mm, with a thickness of 3,5mm. And while the characteristic shape of the blade remained the same, one can immediately tell that the noticeable choil of the M311 Spelter made room for a much smaller one. As a result the cutting edge is nearly as long as that of the Spelter.
Other than that the light swedge to the front (except at the tip) as well as the recess close to the handle stayed the same. As a result you still have the strong tip for penetration as well as the option to put your thumb forward to allow a better handling of the blade during finer cutting tasks.
The blade itself is DLC coated and as some of you might know from the previous ANV reviews, this coating is bombproof.
The handle of the M311 Comp
Using Micarta and 3D machining, ANV is able to create a very comfortable and high quality handle. The fine grooves on the material are a bit more aggressive than those on the M311 spelter, improving the firm grip even more. Just like its bigger brother, the M311 Comp features a pronounced finger guard to prevent the user’s fingers from slipping into the cutting edge.
While the handle of the Spelter was rather larger, the one of the M311 Comp fits middle sized hands perfectly. The tang of the knife features grooves on the upper front of the handle, on the pommel in case you are using a reverse grip and last but not least: on the underside for the little and ring finger. In combination with the contoured handle, the hand finds a very secure grip.
The pommel not only provides additional security with a lanyard hole, but also a skull crusher. The knife itself is a full tang design, with the handles attached by hexagonal screws, in order to allow repairs and maintenance in the field.
Looking at the Sheath
The M311 Comp comes in a Kydex sheath that provides several options for carrying the knife. Two MOLLE Clips are in the scope of delivery and already fixed on the sheath. Ten eyelets make it possible to attach all kinds of adapters to it and two slits at the lower end provide openings for webbing or cords, in case you want to secure the sheath tighter to a piece of gear.
A draining hole at the bottom allows water and debris to exit the sheath either in the field or when cleaning it. And since both sides of the sheath are similar, the user can fix the MOLLE adapter on the preferred side, enabling left-hand and right-hand users to carry the knife as they please.
Something worth noting is the fit of the knife in the sheath. While previous ANV knives locked into their Kydex sheaths with a satisfying click, the sheath of the M311 Comp is not as tight. That being said, it holds the knife secure with less rattling than the Spelter.
Level of manufacture
Those familiar with ANV Knives know about the excellent quality of their knives – in particular the fixed blade knives. I have several of them and still I haven’t found anything to complain about. The materials used are of the highest grade, as the machine park of ANV Knives is surely one of the most modern in Europe and the designs are en par with the big names of the knife industry. And to be honest, ANV is one of those big names by now anyway.
With that in mind, the M311 Comp is no exception. Elmax steel, DLC coating, Micarta, Kydex Sheath, no shortcuts. The knife is as good as it gets, when it comes to manufacture.
The M311 Comp in use
While I was already a huge fan of the M311 Spelter, I have to admit that the M311 Comp blew my mind. The smaller sizer makes it a much more comfortable companion during hikes or trips to the forest. It feels much lighter and obviously is quicker in hand. This makes handling the knife way easier.
The aggressive grooves on the handle provide a grip that is more secure. In combination with the smaller size, I can imagine the blade being a much more effective weapon in a combat role. When it comes to field work, the M311 Comp obviously cannot compete with its larger brother when it comes to chopping or slashing. However, it is much better when it comes to cutting tasks or finer knife work. That being said, with both knives available now, everyone can get the model that better fits his/her needs.
For those of you who were intrigued by the M311 Spelter, but scared off because of its size, the M311 Comp surely will be worth a look. With its reduced size and weight, it is a perfect companion for bushcraft, hiking and camping. At the same time it is fully worthy of a military role, for those who actually need a reliable combat or field knife.
The size makes it easier to carry with you, either on yourself or your kit. Field maintenance is easy, as the knife holds its edge long, is easy to sharpen and also easy to clean – that includes the sheath. Last but not least, it is a damn good looking knife. So good looking in fact, that I had to fight my girlfriend over it, as she wanted to claim it immediately as her own!
With that being said, I hope I was able to give you a decent impression of the knife! Many thanks to ANV Knives for giving me the opportunity to show the M311 Comp to you!
Thank you for reading!