Knife Review: Extrema Ratio SATRE – Special Report

The Extrema Ratio Satre is a pocket-sized, light and extremely tough fixed blade knife, designed in collaboration with Daniele Dal Canto, a Master Advanced F.I.S.S.S. instructor. In this special report review of the Extrema Ratio Satre, I am able to carry out a special set of tests to quantify the edge apex stability (resistance to rolling) in a direct comparison of the two steels the Satre is available in, N690 and S600, as I have all three versions of the Satre available to test, the standard Black and Satin (N690) and the S600 version at an super hard 64 HRC. This special report also include two videos, an overview and detailed measurement, plus one showing the steps of the edge stability testing (SET – Structural Edge Testing).

Video Overview

This video is a detailed look at the three SATRE Models, from handling to technical measurements, hopefully something for everyone.


A few more details:

The videos show all three versions, but as the dimensions, shape and function are all identical, the galleries here show the standard Black Satre.

What’s in the box?:

As well as the knife in a bag with desiccant, there is a QC certificate, care instructions and warranty information.


A good look round the Sheath – Things to look out for here are:

The small and neat Kydex sheath arrives with a neck lanyard, nicely laced through the eye rivets that hold the Kydex halves together. These eye rivets allow for other mounts to be fitted such as the ULTICLIP. The sliding adjustment toggle also serves as a safety break-away. There is a drainage hole at the blade tip on one side.


A good look round the Knife – Things to look out for here are:

The Satre knife consists of a single piece of steel with no other material attached to it (ignoring the small cord lanyard). Despite that simple construction, Extrema Ratio have managed to pack it full of character and clearly identify it as one of their designs. The distinctive first finger grip is shaped into the tang along with the small cut out for weight reduction. Plenty of jimping is provided for various grips.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.


Structural Edge Testing:

Added in 2019 are results from the Edge On Up Structural Edge Tester (SET) to measure the resistance of a knife’s edge to rolling.

The key factors for the SET results are:
Series 1 Degradation – how much damage the edge suffers from one edge rolling cycle. The damage is represented by an increase in the BESS ‘C’ score. (Averages also shown for A and B)
Series 2 Degradation – how much damage the edge suffers from one further edge rolling cycle. (Averages also shown for A and B)
Degradation after strop – has the edge been permanently damaged/chipped or can it be recovered with stropping? A negative number means it actually improved from the starting figure, suggesting there may have already been some rolling of the edge before testing. (Averages also shown for A and B)

First a video of the testing process, then the table of results.


The following results do show a clear increased resistance to edge rolling for the S600 steel. In fact after two ‘series’ the edge has rolled only a similar amount to the N690 blades have after one ‘series’. This is a clearly stronger and more stable edge apex.
Often this extra resistance to edge rolling can be coupled with a more brittle edge, yet the S600 recovered better than the N690 after stropping. (If it was brittle the edge can chip when stropping and give a high BESS measurement.)
In this table, are the individual results for all three, plus a combined N690 set of totals at the bottom.
The figures in bold in the first column are averages for the single measurements.


The Factory edge up close – NEW FOR 2022!:

Followers of Tactical Reviews will know my views on factory edges, but to recap:

Anyone using a knife will need to sharpen it. That first factory edge is just like the first tank of fuel that a new car comes with (or first charge of the battery).
A good factory edge is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘make or break’ for a good knife, as you will be putting your own edge onto it soon enough.
The factory edge does however indicate the care a knife maker has put into the final finish.
It is for this reason Tactical Reviews measures factory edge sharpness and specifications, and includes this information in the detailed technical testing.

As a further look at the factory edge, this section has been added to include some high magnification photos of the factory edges.

In these galleries are each of the three versions with a before and after SET testing image. The edge rolling is just visible, but not easy to see.

Black N690


Satin N690


S600


What is it like to use?

It’s just one of those superbly useful knives. An easy size to carry and use, or keep as a backup. The size of the knife is similar to a medium sized folder, but being a fixed blade makes it super tough and a real working blade.
Here I’m showing it in an un-gloved hand (a hand which takes XL size gloves). It is compact, and doesn’t fill my hand, but the finger groove provides a really secure grip with the jimping (especially the thumb jimping) giving confidence.


With it being a compact blade and one without handle scales, the knife is capable of much harder work than you can comfortably manage with the bare blade tang in your hand. This design keeps it very low profile and really does make carrying and storing as a backup so much easier than a knife with wider handle.

Either in the pocket, or hanging around your neck the Satre is slim and unobtrusive. I can make this comment, not just based on one example but on all three – the Kydex action is spot on. The sloped shoulders of the sheath are just right to push on to release the knife, and the blade clicks out without a fight. This action is almost identical across all three and holds the blade securely without struggling to sheath or unsheathe it.

As seen in the SET testing section and video, the S600 steel is noticeably tougher. As with any higher hardness and higher wear resistance steel, you will notice the S600 is much more difficult to sharpen, and will need a suitable sharpener. This always makes for a dilemma for field use for me. As much as I love a longer lasting edge, if I might need to rely on one knife and might need to sharpen it in the field I would want to be able to sharpen it more easily and if required with natural stones rather than specialist sharpening equipment. This is just a consideration, as for many the longevity of the edge it already has may be more important than being able to sharpen in the field.

With a blade this thick (compared to its length) it doesn’t slice as well as a finer pocket knife blade would, but this blade is one you know won’t let you down if you need to work it hard. If you put one aside as an emergency backup blade, you know it is going to serve you well.


Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

Pocket clip not supplied as standard.
Blade is relatively thick which affects slicing ability.
S600 steel much harder to sharpen (the cost of its higher hardness and wear resistance).

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Choice of blade steels.
S600 steel edge is measurably more stable.
Kydex sheath ‘action’ excellent.
Slim and low profile making carry easy.
Pocket or lanyard carry options.
Very secure grip.
Super strong design.

 
Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
Please visit there and start/join the conversation.

As well as the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page, please consider visiting one of the following to start/join in any discussion.

BladeForums – Knife Reviews (US based Forum for Knife Discussion)

CandlePowerForums – Knife Reviews Section (Largest and Friendliest Flashlight Community Forum)

Knife Review: Pohl Force Tactical Eight and Nine

Based on the Pohl Force Mk-8 and Mk-9 knives designed by Dietmar Pohl for the movie Rambo Last Blood, Dietmar has now modified the designs of these two hero knives to create the Tactical Eight and Tactical Nine knives. With slightly reduced dimensions and using D2 steel, the Tactical Eight and Tactical Nine have been tweaked and optimised by Dietmar Pohl to make them more real-world usable. Join me in this review of the Tactical Eight and Nine for a detailed look at these ‘practical’ versions of the Rambo Last Blood movie knives.

Video Overview

This video is a detailed look at the Tactical Eight and Tactical Nine Models, from handling to technical measurements. Hopefully something for everyone and you should have a better idea if you should also pick up one or both.


The Tactical Eight’s Sheath:

The models on test here both use the kydex sheath option (a leather sheath version is available). For the Tactical Eight, a leg cord is provided. The sheath is constructed using eye rivets, and these allow for the belt holder to be attached with four screw bolts that you can remove and flip the sheath round for right/left handed use. A drainage hole is included at the tip of the knife on one side of the sheath. The belt hanger/loop is a very heavy webbing, heavy enough to be semi-rigid. The moulded lips of the sheath fully cover the front of the handle and guard.


A good look round the Tactical Eight – Things to look out for here are:

The Tactical Eight retains all of the identity of the Mk-8 it was based on. The handle scales extend over the sides of the finger guard making it wider and more comfortable to bear into. There is a hidden lanyard hole; the lanyard hole in the blade tang is concealed under the handle scales and a milled channel allows the cord to run under the G-10 and neatly to the rear. Large hollow bolts hold the handle scales in place and would also allow further locations to fit cords.
A large choil and thumb jimping allow for various grip options.


The Tactical Nine’s Sheath:

For the Tactical Nine, a leg strap with plastic clip buckle is provided. The leg strap also includes an elasticated section to provide better comfort. The elastic is added on the inside of the strap in such a way that should it fail, the strap itself is not compromised and would not break. The sheath is constructed using eye rivets, and these allow for the belt holder to be attached with four screw bolts that you can remove and flip the sheath round for right/left handed use. A drainage hole is included at the tip of the knife on one side of the sheath. The belt hanger/loop is a very heavy webbing, heavy enough to be semi-rigid. The moulded lips of the sheath fully cover the front of the handle and double guard.


A good look round the Tactical Nine – Things to look out for here are:

The Tactical Nine also retains all of the identity of the Mk-9 it was based on with highly distinctive curving blade (although without the sub-hilt). The handle scales extend over the sides of the double finger guard making it wider and more comfortable to bear into. There is a hidden lanyard hole; the lanyard hole in the blade tang is concealed under the handle scales and a milled channel allows the cord to run under the G-10 and neatly to the rear. Large hollow bolts hold the handle scales in place and would also allow further locations to fit cords. Handle scale texture is very pronounced on the Tactical Nine with a series of interlocking grooves giving a lot of grip.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.

The blade is made from D2 steel.


The Factory edge up close – NEW FOR 2022!:

Followers of Tactical Reviews will know my views on factory edges, but to recap:

Anyone using a knife will need to sharpen it. That first factory edge is just like the first tank of fuel that a new car comes with (or first charge of the battery).
A good factory edge is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘make or break’ for a good knife, as you will be putting your own edge onto it soon enough.
The factory edge does however indicate the care a knife maker has put into the final finish.
It is for this reason Tactical Reviews measures factory edge sharpness and specifications, and includes this information in the detailed technical testing.

As a further look at the factory edge, this section has been added to include some high magnification photos of the factory edges.

Tactical Eight

Tactical Nine


What is it like to use?

Starting this section with a couple of side-by-side comparisons of the Tactical Eight and Nine. In this first photo, the knives are unsheathed and their different scale and ‘weight’ (both visually and in amount of steel). The Tactical Eight being the much slimmer and more compact blade, and the Nine having a bigger presence and striking power.

Once encased in kydex the difference in size is much less apparent; yes the Nine is a larger overall package, but not as much as you might think.

Onto some observations about the handling; with its single guard, the Tactical Eight allows the thumb-forward type of grip and has a thumb ramp with deep jimping for excellent grip. The large choil allows for a choked grip to be used for fine control. However, when tightening this type of grip the heel of the edge can easily cut into your finger, so beware of this.
The handle scales are smooth and shaped well. The spine of the handle is wide and allows a lot of pressure to be applied comfortably, combined with the well shaped finger groove that gives excellent stability.


For the Tactical Nine the grip is quite a different prospect to the Eight. To start with the double guard blocks the use of a forward thumb grip, but being a bigger knife and more of a chopper, this doesn’t feel out of place.
With the ‘practical’ version not having the sub-hilt of the Mk-9, it makes the knife more general purpose and the pronounced finger groove still provides a very stable hold.
With a larger choil than the Eight, the Nine’s choked grip is safer, although you always need to be careful with this type of hold. The double guard also pulls back the choked grip slightly keeping your finger away from the cutting edge.


I do need to mention something I’ve noted for both the Tactical Eight and Nine when it comes to re-sheathing the knives that can catch you out, and you find the striker digging into you hand.

With the use of kydex for the sheaths on test here, the mouth of the kydex sheath envelops the front of the handle and finger guard. To be able to push the knife fully into the sheath you need to grip the handle up and away from the guard. What then happens is that you end up with the striker pressing into your hand as you push the knife home; not very comfortable. The kydex is also quite a firm fit, so requires a reasonable amount of force to click the knife into place, force which translates into the striker digging into your hand sometimes pretty hard.
The leather sheath versions would not have this issue.


In just some of the cutting tests, I was using completely dry and seasoned wood, so not softer green wood. With the Tactical Nine having a serious chopping ability I took it to some fully dry pallet wood, which it destroyed with ease. In dry wood there is a tendency to bind as the depth of cut it is capable of grips the blade. Once you have a few clearance cuts the chips just fly.

The Tactical Eight is not really a chopper, you would need to baton with it for wood processing. It is a great utility knife and very happy at general purpose tasks with the point a good angle for piercing.


If you like the style of the Rambo Last Blood knives and want a hard use, practical, version then Tactical Eight and Nine are the knives that deliver on this. Unmistakably related to the Mk-8 and Mk-9, these practical versions are more usable and made to be put to work.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

Striker has a tendency to dig into the hand when sheathing the knives.
D2 steel – for a working knife I prefer higher stain resistance.
Noisy kydex click on re-sheathing.
Having to take the handle scales off to fit/remove the lanyard.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Distinct and iconic design.
Sizing optimised for real use.
High quality fit and finish.
Complimentary designs with different strengths.
Choice of kydex or leather sheaths.
Ambidextrous sheath (remove/refit belt hanger).
Built for hard use.

 
Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
Please visit there and start/join the conversation.

As well as the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page, please consider visiting one of the following to start/join in any discussion.

BladeForums – Knife Reviews (US based Forum for Knife Discussion)

CandlePowerForums – Knife Reviews Section (Largest and Friendliest Flashlight Community Forum)

Knife Review: Extrema Ratio Panthera

The Extrema Ratio Panthera is a further development of their T-Razor (that was based on the traditional straight razor) and maintains all the characteristics of the T-Razor, but with a new wharncliffe blade shape and curving claw-like appearance. In this Extrema Ratio Panthera review, I cover all the technical specifications, detailed galleries to show you all the details, a video overview and demonstration of the opening method.

Video Overview

This video is a detailed look at the Extrema Ratio Panthera, from handling to technical measurements. Hopefully something for everyone and you should have a better idea if you should also pick one up.


The packaging:


A good look round the Panthera – Enjoy all the details:


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.

The blade is made from N690 steel.


The Factory edge up close – NEW FOR 2022!:

Followers of Tactical Reviews will know my views on factory edges, but to recap:

Anyone using a knife will need to sharpen it. That first factory edge is just like the first tank of fuel that a new car comes with (or first charge of the battery).
A good factory edge is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘make or break’ for a good knife, as you will be putting your own edge onto it soon enough.
The factory edge does however indicate the care a knife maker has put into the final finish.
It is for this reason Tactical Reviews measures factory edge sharpness and specifications, and includes this information in the detailed technical testing.

As a further look at the factory edge, this section has been added to include some high magnification photos of the factory edges.


What is it like to use?

One of the distinctive features of the Panthera (and its sibling the T-Razor) is the extended tang used as the blade opening lever. This is the same style as with a friction folder (which being of Roman design actually predates the straight razor by around 1600 years), and allows both opening of the blade, and holding it in the open position. The Panthera also has a liner lock, so the tang is not used to keep the blade open, only to open it in the first place.

Of course the other striking design feature is the curved claw-like blade used in the Panthera, which makes it stand out.

It’s a big knife. I take XL size gloves and the Panthera is a real handful, just take a look at this set of photos.


The opening method is shown a few times in the video at the start of this review, but here are a set of photos to step through opening the Panthera using the T-Razor speed style of opening.


Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

No pocket clip.
No case or holster (in lieu of a clip).
Tang opening doesn’t suit everyone.
Lock release is a bit sharp to push on.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Striking and impressive knife.
Curved blade can increase cutting power for many tasks.
Very comfortable grip.
Blade opens quickly (once you are practiced).
Long handle allows for multiple grip positions.
Matte anodised handle finish feels great.

 
Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
Please visit there and start/join the conversation.

As well as the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page, please consider visiting one of the following to start/join in any discussion.

BladeForums – Knife Reviews (US based Forum for Knife Discussion)

CandlePowerForums – Knife Reviews Section (Largest and Friendliest Flashlight Community Forum)

Knife Review: lionSTEEL Myto

The lionSTEEL Myto is a superb EDC knife designed by Mik Molletta, with Titanium handles, M390 blade and a removable flipper tab. The version on test has a black stonewashed finish on the handles and blade. Join me in this review of the lionSTEEL Myto for a really detailed look over the design and technical specifications of this excellent EDC knife.

Video Overview

This video is a detailed look at the Myto, from handling to technical measurements. Hopefully something for everyone and you should have a better idea how the knife handles.


A few more details:

What’s in the box?:
Arriving on lionSTEEL’s ‘recyclable’ packaging, this is how it arrives.


A good look round the Myto – Things to look out for here are:
Overall fit and finish is flawless, even with the unforgiving close up photos. As you go through the gallery you will see the details of form (such as round the lock bar spring, or pocket clip, or lanyard hole, or flipper tab etc.) One detail you have to look closely for is the hidden stop pin which is just visible in one of the images. This version in the stonewash finish gives it a nice soft look, ready to be put to use.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.

The blade is made from M390 steel.


The Factory edge up close – NEW FOR 2022!:

Followers of Tactical Reviews will know my views on factory edges, but to recap:

Anyone using a knife will need to sharpen it. That first factory edge is just like the first tank of fuel that a new car comes with (or first charge of the battery).
A good factory edge is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘make or break’ for a good knife, as you will be putting your own edge onto it soon enough.
The factory edge does however indicate the care a knife maker has put into the final finish.
It is for this reason Tactical Reviews measures factory edge sharpness and specifications, and includes this information in the detailed technical testing.

As a further look at the factory edge, this section has been added to include some high magnification photos of the factory edges.

Though not the best BESS sharpness measurements, this close up of the edge shows the texturing in the edge that makes it really cut well.


What is it like to use?

Inobtrusive and easy to carry are a couple of first impressions which make a great EDC knife. One thing I wasn’t so sure about when I first picked up the Myto was the solid pocket clip; it seemed too stiff and like it would be difficult to use. I’ve been proven completely wrong on that as actually the clip eases over the edge of a pocket without a struggle, but then is a bit harder to take off, so making it secure.


With the blade on bearings, the flip open is super slick, as you can see in the video. It really doesn’t take any effort at all to flip to the locked position and you can develop a nice slow lazy flip with the blade reliably locking, or really snap it out. The detent if firm without being harsh so you never have to fight with it.

It’s not the first lionSTEEL with removable flipper tab, and you might question the benefits of such a feature. Consider the pros and cons for a flipper. As pros, you might have fast deployment, and built-in finger guard. As cons, one of the most frequent complaints it the messy tab sticking out and the action appearing like a flick knife and in many places or situations causing distress to non-knife people.
So if you want a sleeker looking knife, and one which requires a steady and inoffensive two-handed opening, you undo one screw and off comes the flipper tab. You can then change your mind, just want to mix it up again, or go fidget flipping and on goes the tab.
I did find the tab itself was not perfectly in line due to the removable system, and in trying to get it lined up better I over torqued the supplied tool and started to twist off the end of the torque driver, so beware of this when refitting the tab.
If you have the facility you will likely use it, giving you two slightly different knives in one. I have several folders I wish had the same feature.


In terms of size, the Myto fits in very well in the 3/3.5″ blade length category ideal for general purpose every day tasks. The strong lock and flipper tab/finger guard allow you to work hard with this knife.

I take an XL size glove, and in my hand I can take a full grip and the handle is large enough so that my hand doesn’t have the corners of the butt digging in, instead just extending slightly out of my hand. At the front, the flipper tab acting as a finger guard, keeps the position of the knife safely under control. Just right.


lionSTEEL’s superb engineering stands out the moment you pick up the Myto with absolutely nothing seeming out of place or ‘could be better’, instead everything just being right. Refined, easy to carry and strong blade with great slicing power.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

Flipper tab is slightly wonky due to removable system.
Easy to over-torque the supplied tool.
Solid clip feels very stiff.
Glass breaker is scratchy.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Quality engineering.
M390 blade steel performance.
Excellent EDC size of knife.
‘ReF’ Removable Flipper tab system.
Elegant and refined design.
Blade geometry makes for a great slicer.
Solid and slick blade action.
Clip can be fitted for left or right handed use.

 
Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
Please visit there and start/join the conversation.

As well as the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page, please consider visiting one of the following to start/join in any discussion.

BladeForums – Knife Reviews (US based Forum for Knife Discussion)

CandlePowerForums – Knife Reviews Section (Largest and Friendliest Flashlight Community Forum)

Knife Review: Spyderco Respect – an American Bowie

With the Spyderco Respect, Sal Glesser is paying tribute to the traditional American Bowie knife. The design of the Respect dates back decades, but Sal didn’t have the opportunity to make it a reality until a couple of years ago. In this review I’m very excited to have the opportunity to take a very detailed look over this mighty bowie, and see how it really is to use.

Video Overview

In this video of the Respect, I’ll show you how it arrives, how it compares to some other well known bowie knives, and run through the Tactical Reviews technical specification measurements.
This is some of the pre-use processes I go through for a new test sample before I can put a knife through its paces, so doesn’t include the in-use aspects beyond first impressions.


A few more details:

What’s in the box?:
Or should I say bag? – This is the unpacking of the Respect, and differs from the typical Spyderco as it does not come in a box.



A good look round the Respect’s sheath – Things to look out for here are:
Starting with the leather sheath that comes with the Respect. Simple and functional with a classic strap and stud fastening.



A good look round the Respect – Things to look out for here are:
A mighty blade, and a superb level of fit and finish. Take in the detailed close-ups and enjoy.



A good look round the Respect’s handle – Things to look out for here are:
A fully concealed, full tang, with the two G10 slabs secured with four bolts.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.

The blade is made from CPM 154 steel.


The Factory edge up close – NEW FOR 2022!:

Followers of Tactical Reviews will know my views on factory edges, but to recap:

Anyone using a knife will need to sharpen it. That first factory edge is just like the first tank of fuel that a new car comes with (or first charge of the battery).
A good factory edge is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘make or break’ for a good knife, as you will be putting your own edge onto it soon enough.
The factory edge does however indicate the care a knife maker has put into the final finish.
It is for this reason Tactical Reviews measures factory edge sharpness and specifications, and includes this information in the detailed technical testing.

As a further look at the factory edge, this section has been added to include some high magnification photos of the factory edges.

The Respect’s factory edge shows an aggressive micro-serration, and slices well beyond the sharpness measurements might indicate in the technical testing table.


What is it like to use?

It’s a mighty blade! So the first impression is that this is a big knife, big blade and big handle. I take XL size gloves, so you can see here the handle is generously sized, perfectly big enough to use with heavy gloves on and stay comfortable.
The large choil easily allowing a finger to be placed for a choked up hold when carrying out finer cutting tasks.
A deep hook at the butt means even if you have a bit of grip slippage, the hook will stop you losing grip. That hook also allows for a low grip for greater leverage in heavy chopping.


Staying on the subject of grip, though the handle scales are relatively smooth, the four bolt holes actually (intentionally or not) give a lot of extra purchase. The holes have a sharp edge to them so when gripping your hands press into them and grab.

CPM 154 – oh yes, one of my all time favourites and this knife is one big piece of CPM 154. I have to drop in another name here, Leatherman, and the reason being that in Leatherman pliers with replaceable wire cutters, the cutter is made of CPM 154, chosen as the idea tool steel to cut hardened steel wire! And here it is as the blade steel used for the Respect – Yes! (Ok a bit of steel bias there, but I like it.)

This knife has a spine measuring 7.5mm, which is massive! Yet with a full flat grind 38mm long, the blade geometry is still a strong slicer – it does ultimately still need to part the material past that 7.5mm spine, but for such a strong blade it is still impressively good at slicing.

As a chopper it is very capable. In the photos below all the wood is well seasoned, even the small branch shown. In dry timber the blade can bind a bit when cutting in deep, but once you get a few relief cuts in the wood chips fly! Grip is perfectly secure when chopping and the grip hook definitely helps.
There is a also a photo of a single chop into an industrial cardboard tube (5mm dense card walls) which it went through with ease.


The Respect is not for the faint hearted; when you carry this knife, you mean to carry a knife. It is imposing, impressive and a powerful cutter.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

Needing to choke-up on the blade for fine work.
Belt loop position makes the knife ride high.
The blade spine is almost too thick.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Large choil makes sharpening to the very heel easy.
Comfortable handle, large enough to wear heavy gloves.
Traditional look in modern high performance materials.
Quality leather sheath.
CPM 154 steel.
Full Flat grind.
A really ‘purposeful’ design with presence.

 
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Classic Knife Review: Spyderco Police and Military Models

We all know them, we might not all have them. These two Spyderco classics (Police and Military) have stood the test of time and use, and are still current models – for good reason.
I refer to them as ‘Classics’ and Spyderco calls the Police model a ‘Signature’ model and the Military a ‘USA Made’ and/or ‘Save and Serve’ model. Both really qualify as a classic in my opinion and are worthy of being in your pocket.

Video Overview

This video is a detailed look at the Police and Military Models, from handling to technical measurements. Hopefully something for everyone and you should have a better idea if you should also pick up one or both.


A good look round the Police Model – Things to look out for here are:
Being of full stainless steel construction, and having brushed steel handles, to ensure you get it in new condition, the handle scales come with protectors fitted that you need to peel off.
The Police model has drilled and tapped holes in all four possible clip positions, so you can decide the very best clip position for your needs (personally I changed this to tip-up and right handed).
Being a long standing model it unsurprisingly uses a back lock.
With a rivet type of blade pivot, there is no adjustment or user servicing possible. The pivot rivet finishing is excellent and completely invisible.
This example is the part serrated version, but it also comes in a fully serrated or full plain edge blade.


A good look round the Military Model – Things to look out for here are:
Immediately unmistakably Spyderco, with the G10 handle scales, pocket clip and opening hole, the Military is a good sized folder.
Unlike the Police model, the Military can be taken apart, with the G10 handle scales bolted together and a pivot bolt. Also unlike the Police model, the Military has only the one clip position (tip-down right handed).
Recessed into the G10 handles are minimal steel liners and the Military uses a liner lock. Just to drive home that point about ‘minimal’ steel liners, this is what allows for the light weight yet still strong construction. The liner on the non-lock side just goes from handle bolt to handle bolt to the pivot (supporting the stop pin as well). The other partial liner is larger as it includes the lock bar.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.

An extra detail not in this table is the edge angle of the serration on the Police Model. One of the reasons the Spyderco serrations cut so well is that they are chisel grind (so only one side is sharpened) making the edge angle very fine – in this case just 17 degrees total inclusive edge angle (0 degrees one side and 17 the other).


The Factory edge up close – NEW FOR 2022!:

Followers of Tactical Reviews will know my views on factory edges, but to recap:

Anyone using a knife will need to sharpen it. That first factory edge is just like the first tank of fuel that a new car comes with (or first charge of the battery).
A good factory edge is a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘make or break’ for a good knife, as you will be putting your own edge onto it soon enough.
The factory edge does however indicate the care a knife maker has put into the final finish.
It is for this reason Tactical Reviews measures factory edge sharpness and specifications, and includes this information in the detailed technical testing.

As a further look at the factory edge, this section has been added to include some high magnification photos of the factory edges.

In this case the serrated part of the Police model (the plain edge part was sharpened before the imaging device was ready) and the edge of the Military model.

These two edges are outstanding and will the standard by which others are judged!


What is it like to use?

Before going further with using them, a quick side by side (and one on top of the other) size and form-factor comparison.


Moving onto the two knives in the hand, and despite being very similar in size, they do feel very different when you hold them. The G10 handles of the Military make for a different weight distribution plus fill the hand more. Of the two, the Military is definitely the more comfortable and easy to have a very secure grip of. Conversely though this makes it harder to carry, taking up more pocket space. The Police model is very slim and even at the size it is, slips into your pocket so easily.


In terms of carry, the Police model also gives you all four possible clip positions (or five if you count – ‘no clip’) so there isn’t any limitation of the clip position. Although that said, this current version is missing a lanyard hole if you wanted one of these.
For my own purposes, I have moved the clip from the factory position to tip-up and right handed.

Of course for edge maintenance, especially considering the serrated edge on the Police model, the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharp Maker (also pictured above) is ideal and easy to use.

Both the Police and Military models do have a very pointy blade tip, the Police being the slightly pointier of the two. It makes them very aggressive at penetrating, and for anyone more used to a drop point or other less eager blade tip might find them unwieldy or difficult to control. You certainly need to use great care where depth of cut matters, and the long blade can make this control all the more difficult. You will get used to it, but it does need care and consideration when wielding these super capable blades.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

Military –
single clip position.
clip/G10 abrasive on pocket edge.

Police –
no lanyard hole.
slippery when wet.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Military –
Very light for its size.
Very ‘eager’ blade (full flat grind and sharp point).
Liner lock makes for very smooth opening.
G10 handles have excellent grip.
Spyderco high quality fit and finish
One of the best factory edges I have ever seen!

Police –
Slim design makes it easy to carry.
Pocket clip has four possible positions.
Spyderco serrations incredibly sharp.
Three options for blade (plain, serrated, part-serrated).

Hope to see you at IWA 2022 soon!

 
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Knife Review: Extrema Ratio T4000 C

Included in this review of the Extrema Ratio T4000 C, a compact classic Tanto with Extrema Ratio’s tactical sheath and handle, are a video with an overview and detailed measurements, galleries of the packaging, sheath, and knife, plus insights into how it is to use.

Let’s take a closer look.

The video tour of the T4000 C:
In case you haven’t seen the video overview and vital statistics of the T4000 C on Tactical Review’s youtube channel, here it is. This video covers a quick tour of the knife and sheath and a detailed technical measurements section.

A few more details:

What’s in the box?:
For the T4000 C, it ‘just fits’ into the box. The usual Extrema Ratio high quality two-part box is used.


A good look round the T4000 C’s Sheath – Things to look out for here are:
Even though ‘Compact’ the sheath manages to fit in a lot of features and details. Solidly constructed and made to fit the compact knife perfectly. On the back is a set of PALS/MOLLE webbing and strap, with the front also having webbing for mounting a small pouch or other item. A gap in the welt at the base of the sheath allows for free flowing drainage. To comfortably accommodate the thick blade stock the welt is similarly sized.
A strong double press-stud retaining strap wraps the handle and keeps the knife securely in place. you can adjust the position of the retaining strap as it is held in place with a Velcro adjusting system. There is an anti-catch smooth plastic insert backing the sheath to prevent wear and damage to the back of the sheath when sheathing the knife.
With there not being a specific belt loop, using the MOLLE strap, you can make your own belt loop to fit the size of the belt.


The T4000 C knife itself:
From the first view of the satin blade emerging you get drawn into admiring the knife. The beautifully executed fuller on each side of the blade enhances the lines. Extrema Ratio’s distinctive grip design provides an index finger groove to give a strong grip. A single bolt holds the rubber grip in place on the full tang, that extends through to a striker and lanyard hole. Sharpening choils – what is your take? – well the T4000 C does not have one, so the sharp edge stops just short of the plunge line. Also note a front lanyard hole, allowing you to fit a cord to both the front or rear of the handle.
Being the compact model, the handle length sits just within the hand (I take XL size gloves).


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.

There is a lot to take in here. These measurements are shown in the video.


What is it like to use?

It’s a tanto – nice – I always like a tanto. There is a practicality of having an almost chisel-like tip and what I refer to as the secondary point (where the tip and main edge meet) for various cuts instead of using the actual tip of the knife.
The elegant lines are simply a pleasure to look at as well as to use, and being the compact knife class from Extrema Ratio this is a really useful day to day blade. Something you are more likely to pick up and use, as it is very practical.

I knew after measuring the factor edge I would want to re-profile the edge bevel, 25DPS is too wide/heavy for a small knife, even 20DPS would be more than I want. But before doing this, with the sharpness measuring a respectable 281 BESS average I wanted to see how it fared. It would not shave arm hair with this edge, however…

Factory edge put to some minor fire prep tasks. The wood here is fully seasoned so much harder than any green wood. Kindling and feather sticks, perfectly good with these little pieces of wood, using the edge out of the box.

After a bit of use, it was time to change the edge bevel to 17DPS and bring that cutting edge a bit closer to the plunge line. As always, putting your own edge on a knife makes all the difference, and now it sings along shaving and slicing ferociously.

Extrema Ratio are good at Tantos, and this is one of their best. The thinned down blade thickness with full flat grind give it great slicing power, yet the blade still starts at 4.1mm at the spine, so is plenty strong for heavy use. Go back and look at the blade in the video as the light plays off it and you really appreciate the qualities of the T4000 C.


Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

I’m trying something slightly different and starting with what doesn’t work so well, so I can finish on a more positive note

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

No sharpening choil – personal preference.
Retaining strap is a bit bulky for a compact knife.
Factory edge usable but a bit ‘heavy’.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Build quality and finish.
Practical well designed sheath.
‘Handy’ size being a ‘C’ Compact model.
Very comfortable grip.
Front and rear lanyard points.
Elegant blade profile with fullers.
Reliable steel choice.

 
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Knife Review: Extrema Ratio Sethlans

Back when it was launched, I took a ‘first look’ at the Extrema Ratio Sethlans knife. Now, after being able to use the Sethlans for several months I can bring you this much more detailed look at the knife and its comprehensive equipped sheath.
The Sethlans is designed to be used for bushcraft, survival, and as a backup blade, so is also ideally suited for prepping, but I can tell you know, you are definitely going to want to use this knife.

The ‘First Look’ Video:
Taking you back to the initial impressions and overview of the Sethlans.


What’s in the box?:
Extrema Ratio knives always come in a nice robust presentation box.


A good look round the Sethlans Sheath – Things to look out for here are:

A good sheath can make or break a knife, as access to, and ease of carry, affect your experience of using the knife. The Sethlans has one of the most comprehensively equipped and well thought out sheaths of any knife I have used, and there are so many details to show, it is a major part of this review. The following gallery takes you through the construction, assembly methods and components of the sheath, including the sharpening stone pouch and fire-steel that come with the Sethlans.
This sheath can be fully disassembled and reassembled either as a left-handed setup (It comes as a right-handed setup), or stripped down to the very basics. You can run this sheath as just the Kydex sheath with no hanger, or the Kydex sheath with belt hanger/Molle mount. Super flexible design.


The Knife:
This gallery seems rather small after the sheath rundown. The Sethlans is a simple and elegant design that manages to incorporate the distinctive Extrema Ratio finger grip styling and take this feature yet further into the shaping of the actual tang within the grips where the metal is thinned down in the finger grip section of tang to mirror the grip shaping. Very nice touch.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.


What is it like to use?
Being an Extrema Ratio knife, the Sethlans seems to be both typically characteristic of the brand, yet at the same time completely different and surprising. It also has me in a dilemma about how to set it up thanks to the super flexible sheath design.
If I were packing in a ‘prepping’ style, I would leave the full Sethlans sheath setup with the sharpening stone and fire-steel, as like this you have all the bases covered. However as I am enjoying using this knife, and with the sheath pared down to the minimum, for me it is a much nicer every day carry. In this setup, I remove the pouch with sharpening stone, the fire-steel, and the handle retaining strap. This leaves the knife securely in the Kydex holder on a belt loop hanger.
The knife immediately feels at ease in the hand, comfortable, well balanced and agile. The grip is relatively slim for an Extrema Ratio knife, and this adds to the mobility and control for fine work.
Thanks to the thick full tang, the weight feels like it is in your hand, and the knife will just sit balanced on your first two fingers without trying to fall forwards.


The way the edge sweeps up towards the tip, gives you something similar to a chisel that you can use for nice controlled cuts by pushing down into whatever you are cutting. This same shape also works well as a skinner.
Areas of deep, wide and grippy jimping make for a very stable hold, and there is also the Extrema Ratio distinctive finger groove I have always loved.

Between the thumb jimping and swedge is a section of the blade spine that has been given a nice crisp edge, just right for scraping sparks off the big fire-steel. It does this very nicely indeed…


Fire-steels always make a mess that looks much worse than it is. The Sethlans cleans up perfectly after a fire lighting session, and the photo below, after a clean, left a knife looking as good a new. Use it!

Despite the significantly thick blade tang, the blade itself has a thickness of 3.9mm combined with a depth of 37.5mm, and this makes for a 5 degree primary bevel angle. The figures might be a bit of a yawn, but what it means is a blade that slices really well thanks to the small bevel angle – yet at a maximum thickness at the spine of nearly 4mm, is still a good strong blade without feeling heavy.

Extrema Ratio have put a lot of effort into the complex shaping of the blade, tang and handle fittings, and it shows. These design details make the Sethlans one of those knives you pick up and virtually forget about while using it, as the tool becomes an extension of your hand. You focus on the job, not the tool.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

The Kydex sheath has a bit of side to side play due to the strap layout.
Reconfiguring for left-handed use requires full disassembly of straps and sheath bolts.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Excellent balance of the knife.
Comprehensively equipped sheath.
Sheath can be reconfigured for left-handed use.
Modular sheath allows user to choose favourite setup.
Very good handling and grip.
Strong but slicey blade profile.
Easily strikes showers of sparks from a fire-steel.
Compact package.
Secure blade retention, yet easy to remove using thumb pressure.

 
Discussing the Review:
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Knife Review: Fällkniven U1c slip-joint

For me, Fällkniven‘s U1 pocket knife has been flying under the radar. You might think it is not the most exciting knife, a small slip-joint with simple build, but then again perhaps it is….
Now that I’ve been living with and using this knife for an extended period, I have found it is one of those no-nonsense practical every-day-use knives that just does the job without any fuss.
Also seen in this review is the super handy FS3 Flipstone with combined ceramic and diamond sharpening stones.

The Video about the Fällkniven U1 I wasn’t going to make:
Originally I wasn’t going to include a video in this review, but after living with the U1c for several months, I felt compelled to add one. Before getting to the detailed galleries and the rest of the review, here it is:

A few more details:

What’s in the box?:
I also got the Fällkniven flipstone at the same time, so you can see it’s packaging here. An unfortunate reality, but the Fällkniven box also has the special authentication label to allow you to confirm it is a genuine Fällkniven. The U1c come in its own dedicated belt pouch.


The Belt Pouch:
As with any knife, the sheath or pouch is hugely important for how easy it is to carry and use. The U1 comes with a perfectly matched small fabric belt pouch with velcro closing. The belt loop design allows for vertical or horizontal carry.


A good look round the Fällkniven U1c – Things to look out for here are:
The construction is kept very simple, and is in fact a 100 year old slip-joint design. The blade pivot sits directly onto the handle liners (perhaps not really even ‘liners’ as they are exposed). The wooden grips of the U1c cover around 3/4 of the handle. Fällkniven are steel laminating experts, and the U1c is no exception, with the 3G-steel visibly laminated into the blade core.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.



What is it like to use?

It’s a small slip-joint. I say it that way on purpose, as that is the reality – it sounds a bit boring and not worth taking much notice. Yes, it is a Fällkniven, so that does make it more interesting, and it has a 3G laminated blade, so more interesting again.

But, wait, this does not do it justice in the slightest!

Fällkniven say it is a 100 year old design. Designs that don’t work, don’t stick around, and this has been proven to me again and again while carrying this knife. This is not just and EDC knife, it is an EDU knife (Every Day Use – coining a phrase). Carry it and you will use it over and over, every day.

In my hand, it is a three-finger size knife (I cannot get four fingers to fit on the handle). Remember that your first three fingers are where the majority of your hand strength is, so it is not a handicap at all. The size of the knife makes it all the more easy to carry, and this is massively helped by the dedicated belt pouch, which is itself small and easy to forget about on your belt.

Although there is a double nail-nick (one either side of the blade), I find it easy to open with a pinch-grip on the blade. The action is positive and the blade perfectly secure for every day tasks.

The slight full convex grind on the relatively thin blade allows it to slide through what you are cutting with ease. And that brings me to the 3G steel and the factory edge. Normally in the course of the review testing I will need to re-sharpen an edge, or improve/re-profile it to my liking; over the couple of months I have been using the U1c, it still has a hair popping original factory edge, and I don’t want to re-sharpen it until it really needs it. No noticeable loss in its eagerness to cut from day one – seriously impressed.

Popping on a small lanyard makes getting it out of the pouch much easier and is well worth doing.


There was something that stopped me loving the U1c straight away, and that was the sharp corner on the blade stop and back-spring. These sharp corners give the ‘H’ it’s precision and clean look, but every time I handled the U1c i kept feeling the catch of these sharp edges and it put me off.
Taking a diamond stone to these corners and just easing them slightly transformed the experience of handling this knife. Only a small thing, but suddenly no catching on these sharp corners, instead just appreciating the size, feel, handling and cutting ability. Such an easy fix, if this little detail did bother you, it is easily resolved and worth doing.


As you have already seen, I ended up making a video I hadn’t intended to, simply because this little EDU knife fell into the U1c-shaped hole we all have in our lives.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

Slight sense of being unfinished with some sharp edges.
Nothing else.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Superb cutting from the thin convexed blade.
3G steel just keeps holding its edge.
Compact three-finger size disappears on your belt.
Comes with excellent belt pouch.
Simple, classic, time-proven design.
Blade can be opened with a pinch-grip.
Firm spring and good resistance to closing.

 
Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
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The BESS Exchange – A forum discussing technical aspects of sharpness and truly understanding your sharpening process.

Knife Review: Heinnie Special Editions – CRKT Pilar, MKM Isonzo and Penfold

In the UK, Heinnie Haynes is an institution and essential in the search for knives as well as outdoor and EDC gear. Having been a specialist in knives for so long, not satisfied with just selling standard production knives, Heinnie Haynes have been commissioning customised and enhanced special editions, many of which are slip-joint conversions of lock knives (to allow UK EDC). In this review we are taking a look at three of these Heinnie special editions – a slip-joint conversion of the CRKT Pilar and MKM Isonzo, plus a the sleek Heinnie designed Penfold.

The details:

This video has a quick look at the Heinnie Penfold and MKM Isonzo, and then a much more detailed examination of the CRKT Pilar.


A good look round the Heinnie CRKT Pilar – Things to look out for here are:
The exclusive special edition features include the G10 scales and spacer in Heinnie red, plus the conversion to slip-joint using a double spring-and-detent concealed within the handle.


A good look round the Heinnie MKM Isonzo (Cleaver blade)- Things to look out for here are:
Originally using a liner lock, the remains of this lock are clearly visible, but with the addition of a detent on the sprung bar (previously the lock bar). Highlights of Heinnie red let you know this is the special edition.


A good look round the Heinnie Penfold – Things to look out for here are:
Entirely a Heinnie design, the Penfold takes the classic pocket-spring slip-joint knife, and streamlines it with a beautiful simplicity and clean look.


The Blade and Handle – Detailed Measurements:
For full details of the tests and measurements carried out and an explanation of the results, see the page – Knife Technical Testing – How It’s Done.


The Torque measurement:



What is it like to use?

As a little ‘cherry on top’ I’ve added a couple of Heinnie beads onto paracord lanyards.


This led me to make a how-to video for the lanyards I like to tie. See Tutorial Page Here.


Inspired by the rasp-like grip texture of the MKM Isonzo handles (plus noticing other ‘pocket ripping knives’ over the years), a new test was born – the pocket-shredder test. Taking some raw calico and fitting and removing the knife’s pocket clip onto the calico fabric as if it were a pocket edge. This was done only 5 times; here you can see the comparison of how aggressive the pocket clip grip is. The MKM is a shredder!


Heinnie Edition CRKT Pilar – It’s a compact knife, three-finger-grip size, so, frustrating for it to be a lock knife where carry restrictions prevent EDCing a locker. Heinnie Haynes special slip-joint edition makes this a lovely, and EDCable, working knife. It is a slight disappointment that it only has a tip-down pocket clip. I initially thought this might be a deal breaker and this does conflict slightly with the lanyard hole, as to use the pocket clips means stuffing the lanyard into your pocket, opposite to how it should be. However, thanks to its small size and ease of handling it actually hasn’t been a real issue.
The sheepsfoot blade shape is very practical, presenting the tip and edge nicely for draw cuts.
One-handed-opening is easy and the slip-joint detent is firm enough (assuming correct cutting technique). Thanks to the vision of Heinnie Haynes, we have a super usable, easy to carry, and inexpensive EDC pocket knife.

Heinnie Edition MKM Isonzo Cleaver – This knife drew me in as soon as I saw it, Jesper Voxnæs’ distinctive design, which was also originally a liner-lock knife. With Heinnie Haynes stepping in and arranging for a slip-joint conversion to open up this excellent knife’s EDC-ability.
In this version, it has the ‘cleaver’ blade (although effectively this is really a slightly deeper sheepsfoot shape), with the characteristic downward presentation of the tip, making it a very practical cutter.
The peeled G10 scales have a texture that almost reminds me of the rasp side of a box grater (the one you end up skinning your finger joints on). This texture is super grippy, and I feel I could keep hold of this despite oil or anything else slippery on my hands.
For its overall size, the Isonzo is quite wide when folded; wide enough I could not fit it into any of the knife belt pouches I have. The secure grip from the rough handle texture is actually really good, and feels fine for general use, so I definitely want to carry this. Despite being my preferred tip-up clip position, its ferocious grip texture makes the pocket clip something I won’t use, as it will rip pockets to shreds; so, I just popped it into the bottom of whatever pocket or pouch/bag I had.
With a deep full flat grind, the blade had the narrowest primary bevel angle of the three in this review, and proved a great slicer with lots of control.

Heinnie Penfold – Those sleek lines make the Penfold beautiful in its simplicity. This is a knife imbued with elegance and sophistication, and a joy to behold every time you bring it out. When this arrived, I got out an old leather belt pouch I’ve had for probably over 25 years, and it’s been on my belt every day since then (with the Penfold in it of course).
Initially I was a little put off by the thickness of the blade. In terms of visual design, the thick blade looks super, but a thick blade loses out in slicing ability, so I didn’t have high hopes for the usability. Well, I could not have been more wrong; every task I’ve used it for has been completed with ease and not impeded by the blade thickness. There will be some cutting jobs the blade thickness may end up slowing down, but so far this has proven a cracking daily carry!

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

_______________________________________________
What doesn’t work so well for me
_______________________________________________

Pilar – tip-down clip position.
Isonzo – pocket shredding grip texture.
Penfold – thick blade and steep primary grind angle.
Penfold – lanyard point fiddly and a tight fit for 7-strand paracord.

_______________________________________________
Things I like
_______________________________________________

Pilar – converted to a slip-joint for EDC.
Pilar – sheepsfoot blade shape.
Pilar – compact and easy to carry.
Isonzo – converted to a slip-joint for EDC.
Isonzo – super grippy handle texture.
Isonzo – very easy to one-hand-open.
Penfold – elegant and stylish design.
Penfold – S35VN and Titanium.
Penfold – slim and narrow making it a low profile carry.

 
Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
Please visit there and start/join the conversation.

As well as the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page, please consider visiting one of the following to start/join in any discussion.

BladeForums – Knife Reviews (US based Forum for Knife Discussion)

CandlePowerForums – Knife Reviews Section (Largest and Friendliest Flashlight Community Forum)

The BESS Exchange – A forum discussing technical aspects of sharpness and truly understanding your sharpening process.