I had a brief encounter with an Emerson PSARK. The following is what I ultimately noticed about the knife.
The knife comes in a pretty thin walled little box, as pictured, with a fold out advertisement card.
The hardware used to assemble the knife are all flathead or phillips head screws. This can be seen as thoughtful, as it will be much easier for soldiers to find the proper tools. I know some knife manufacturers go so far as to use proprietary or rare set screws.
The pocket clip is drilled and tapped much lower, which is most likely to facilitate easier use of the Wave feature. Due to this design choice, the blade will be more visible in your front pocket.
This may upset or relieve people. This knife lacks any sort of back strap that may be found on some of the other Emerson models. The lack of plug reduces weight however.
The knife itself lacks any jimping to help facilitate a reverse grip.
Both the geometry of the handle, the wave hook and finger choil along with the limited jimping help for a traditional grip. As this is a rescue knife, I don’t know how often you will use this grip when trying to create access to points of wounding etc.
The blade seems nice and centered so hopefully there won’t be uneven wear on any parts.
It’s not an incredibly thick folder, but it definitely a big one.
On to the liner lock mechanism. It’s thin, Emerson will argue that it is industry standard, but in a world of frame-locks and ZT’s famous beefcake liners, industry standard may not be standard anymore.
This is the type of lock-up you get when utilizing the thumb disk to deploy the knife. Less than half of the liner face contacts the blade. For me, this is an unacceptable level of performance.
In comparison with my only other liner lock folder, my ZT, locks up 100% every single time no matter which way I open it.
When I pried it with my fingers a few times and then snapped it open as hard as I could, I was able to achieve full lock up. Unfortunately, when the liner travels this far I found it very difficult to close one handed.
I approached Emerson Knives about the issue and received a cool response: the knife was working as intended, and I should take it up with the dealer. Upon further investigation, I found a number of threads on blade forums complaining about Emerson QC and weak liners. I ended up returning the knife.