Pros: Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness, Handle Feel, Weight, Lock Type, Blade Material, None
Cons: Ease of Opening
Liked it so much, I bought another one.
I use my pocket knife on tasks around the house, cutting up cardboard boxes, etc. I wanted something rugged enough for EDC; a U.S.A.-made folder with a single, robust blade; not too heavy and with steel I didn't have to sharpen every couple of uses. The usual AUS-8, 420/440, and 14C28N blades were disappointing. And I didn't want to spend more than $100 on something I could lose easily. This FOX 154CM folder looked promising and was on sale for $59, so I had to give it a try. I chose the Forza blade option. I was surprised at the breadth while folded: the tall blade and the unusual handle made it a wide, flat package. The handle is one of the things I like the most. It's curved to rest comfortably in your palm and the molded finger grooves fit my thick, medium size hands very well. The choil gives another grip option that works well with the grooves in the handle. The pocket clip was tight, had no wiggle and was easy to use. On to the blade: I'm VERY picky about the grind on a knife. It shows the skill of the craftsman making it and is a direct reflection on the quality of the build. This Forza blade was ground with precision and perfect symmetry to each side and a hollow grind. The grind on the cutting edge is a bit rough but this affects appearance, not performance. This blade is very sharp! I have a professional sharpening system and may polish out the factory edge grind marks someday. For now, simple stropping made it scary sharp. I've used it repeatedly over the last two weeks and haven't had to touch up the edge yet. The 154CM steel holds an edge very well. Re: weight, this knife is perfectly balanced at the pivot with the Forza blade. Other models of this knife that have less significant blades may be a bit handle-heavy. The FRN material is rigid enough to provide structure without making metal liners necessary. You won't break or damage this material. Saves weight and bulk, a plus for me. The only complaint I have with this knife is the pivot is tight. A bit difficult to open one-handed. In fact, I emailed Knife Center that I would be returning it for this reason. But I liked the other things about this knife so much I gave it second go. A drop of silicone and working the mechanism repeatedly loosened it up and gave me a chance to develop the technique and dexterity to open it easily with one hand. Problem solved. Still, if you're looking for a quick flick-of-the-wrist opener, you'll be disappointed. Opening takes a deliberate movement but can still be done in less than a second. Locks open with an audible click. I like the lock-back feature better than a liner lock. I read some of the other reviews on this model and some of the other blade options. As for the person who had concerns about the lose blade not staying retracted in the handle and posing a cutting risk when in the pocket, he must have a defective knife. My example is tight and the sharp tip is tucked safely into the handle. The blade has no lateral movement open or closed and is perfectly centered within the handle when closed. This knife design is well thought out in my opinion, and at $60, a bargain. I was pleasantly surprised and very happy with the quality. I've ordered a second FOX folder as a spare in the event I lose this one. I like it that much. I give this knife 4 out of 5 stars but only because of the tight pivot, which I expect will continue to improve with use.