Pros: Materials, Overall Quality, Sheath/Scabbard, Finish, Weight, Blade Material, None
Cons: Blade Sharpness, Handle Material
multi-purpose work horse
I got this for myself as a replacement for a vintage hunting knife my X walked off with. She can keep that one, I'm very happy with this. This is a very substantial blade without being overly heavy. The blade design is a flat grind nearly to the spine and not overly thick which means you can actually slice things like onions with it; try that with a Becker or ESEE... It's a knife designed to actually be used and it's actually seeing nearly daily use in my kitchen. The knife came pretty sharp- you could almost quarter a stick of butter with it if you left the butter out to get up to room temp but that got taken care of with a DMT extra-fine hone and it now has a very decent, aggressive utility cutting edge that seems to hold VERY well. I'm happy with the stainless steel; no I don't want black paint on my blades thank you. For its size, the knife/sheath combo is very slim and would conceal fairly well for EDC. The sheath contributes very little weight and has a soft finish and won't rustle much if you're carrying it hunting or any other stealth mission of some sort. The securing strap on the sheath is nicely placed in that it allows the handle to be wrapped without interfering with the strap. The sheath has a plastic liner and, since sharpening it, I find that the blade needs to be cleaned *before* using- it gets little black flakes shaved off the sheath liner on it. Maybe that's why it doesn't come very sharp. The sheath does not have a drain hole and holds water if you get it in there. The sheath has only one carry option and the belt loop sits pretty high so the knife rides pretty low. The knife scales are slim and of a soft, rubbery material that is pretty grippy but some may not be content with the slimness and want to wrap the handle. The scale material is soft and likely to easily suffer abrasions if the knife is seeing any real heavy duty work. But, heck, at this price point, you wear out the handle material and you've gotten your money's worth of life out of it and can replace the whole knife for less than the cost of upgrading the scales. It's not made to be a beauty queen that winds up sitting in the closet, it's made to be a tool that actually gets used. The concave cutouts in the scales at the blade end and at the lanyard hole can collect dirt; I would have designed that a little differently. Mods: The edge angle got a little narrower and the edge got quite a bit sharper. I wrapped the handle with vinyl cord that is sold for holding window screen in frames; the material's waterproof, has ridges that make it VERY grippy and fattened up the handle a bit for a very secure hold. Comes in gray and black and some choice in width. The sheath got replaced with a custom Kydex with a J hook in Typhoon pattern by Kryptek (they make some of the most eye-catching camo patterns out there) from Extreme Edge Custom Kydex, but that's another review. Applications- hunting (stout enough and enough of a belly and not too long for skinning), bush craft, EDC (approaching too heavy for that but not to the point yet of making suspenders a must) and it does a great job in the kitchen on carrots, onions and general slicing and dicing. You can very comfortably choke up on the grip and use it for finer work. Military/tactical but you'd likely want to replace the sheath. I suspect knife throwers would find the combination of weight and size hits a bit of a sweet spot but you might want to take the scales off if throwing a series to keep from slicing them up too much. Is it worth the price? No knife is worth its price unless you actually have a use for it but, if you have a use for this, definitely; it's a very decent tool at a very reasonable price.