The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Review (page 1 of 2)

Urban Kukri Pocket Knife Review

Much like the urban sombrero, people have been trying to make city or mainstream versions of typically niche things. While they often fail spectacularly, some of these items break through and prove worthwhile.

Designer Konstantin Shaporenko decided to take the versatile kukri — a machete-like tool usually found in the jungles of Nepal — and make it into a pocket knife. He launched the product on Kickstarter for some help getting things off the ground.

Shaporenko isn’t the first person to make a pocket-sized kukri folder. Cold Steel makes a very solid kukri folder in the Rajah series, and Magnum by Boker has the inexpensive Pocket Kukri as well. What makes the Urban Kukri a little different is its focus on being not only legal in most locales around the world but also being a piece of art.

They sent me one to look at. You’ll find my honest opinion below.

Background of the Urban Kukri

The Urban Kukri campaign launched on Kickstarter around November 7 with the modest goal of $12,00 for funding. As of publication, the campaign was fully funded by more than 290 backers who pledged over $21,000.

This means the project will move forward no matter what.  There are still about two weeks to go before the project closes though.

Here’s a video released by the team:

I couldn’t find much else about Shaporenko, so I asked for some background on the artist/designer. He’s from Ukraine and likes working with metal. Here’s more of his backstory they sent me:

My ancestors were soldiers, Zaporozhye Cossacks. I have always been fond of knives since childhood, but I came to their creation not so long ago. The occasion was not the best, in my country the war began and all the people who wanted peace began to help the soldiers of Ukraine.

The army needed everything, and my comrades and I began to make knives and tools for soldiers. In the process, I learned the important elements of working with serious materials. For three years of constant practice, I have mastered certain skills and knowledge about knives.

Becoming literate technically, I began to create no longer simple knives, but all sorts of interesting products that can hardly be called a knife. This project is suitable for all urban residents, regardless of gender. This is a pocket knife for the city and travel.

He has a pretty cool backstory that’s admirable. But what about the knife itself?

Urban Kukri Specifications

The Urban Kukri comes in three different-sized blades — 100 mm, 50 mm, and 30 mm. That translates to 3.93 inches, 1.96 inches, and 1.18 inches.

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FINI Cutlery Chef’s Knife & Paring Knife Review & Giveaway

FINI Cutlery is giving our readers a chance to win one of two sets of its knives. Enter at the bottom of the post.

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Go to your kitchen, grab a chef’s knife, and look at how you’re holding it.

Unless you’re a chef, you’re probably holding it “wrong”—according to some people anyway.

The general design of the chef’s knife hasn’t changed much over the years. If something works, why change it?

That’s where FINI Cutlery comes into the picture.

The relatively new company designed a set of knives with handles that look a little different than your average kitchen knife.

FINI Cutlery reached out to the Cutting Edge blog to review a set of two knives: a chef’s knife and a paring knife. I said yes, so they sent me a sample to review. As always my reviews are done with honesty and fairness.

Let’s see how well these knives held up.

About FINI Cutlery

Before we get to the knife, let’s look at FINI Cutlery.

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FINI Cutlery launched with a Kickstarter campaign to fund these knives on September 14, 2015. Inventor and long-time chef Peter Rigas created these knives with an eye toward proper gripping and efficiency.

Here is a quote from Rigas via the Kickstarter campaign page:

Between my long restaurant career and my personal life I have given many hundreds of knife lessons. I was taught when I was 15, working in a busy diner, by a chef who cringed while watching me work. He also offered me a cot, saying “you’ll be here all night if you keep holding the knife like that.”

So the idea was to create a knife that automatically placed the user’s hand into a proper position.

Apparently many out there agree with this sentiment, and the campaign was successfully funded for more than $100,000, exceeding the original goal of $40,000. There was some trouble in getting the knives out to people (as there is with pretty much every funded project), but all the orders were filled and a company was born.

Initial Impressions and Specs

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“Where’s the handle?”

That’s the first thing my wife asked when she saw the knives I’m reviewing today. It’s a fair question. The handle is short and stubby—completely unlike all the other kitchen knives out there.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

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Work Sharp WSCMB Combo Knife Sharpener Review

There’s no shortage of knife sharpeners.

Sharpeners come in all shapes and sizes and perform vastly different functions. The endgame is always the same: to sharpen a knife.

It’s a well-known fact that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife because it requires more effort and strength to cut. However, my main gripe with a dull knife is the simple fact that it’s less effective.

But if you’re the type of person who can’t be bothered to take out the old whetstone and honing oil or simply don’t have the skillset to do freehand sharpening, Work Sharp’s newest item called the Combo Knife Sharpener is made for you.

Work Sharp sent me a unit to review, so I decided to answer whether this is the sharpener for you.

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Target Audience of the Combo Knife Sharpener

Before we get into the review, it’s important to understand the target audience of the sharpener; otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to accurately give it a fair review for what it’s designed for.

If you’re a hard-core knife user with high-end knives featuring complicated grinds and different edge angles, the WSCMB is not for you.

But if you’re an amateur knife person who has never sharpened a knife and frequently use less expensive knives, this is your knife sharpener.

Work Sharp has three levels of power sharpeners. The Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener is the ultimate solution for your sharpening needs. It can sharpen every knife (and edged tool) you own with adjustable angles and variable speeds. This is for hard-core knife enthusiasts.

Work Sharp's Original Knife & Tool Sharpener

Work Sharp’s Original Knife & Tool Sharpener

For those who don’t need as much customization but still want some control, the Original Knife & Tool Sharpener is still one of the best out there.

The Combo Knife Sharpener is the simplest of the available power sharpeners from Work Sharp.

Initial Impressions and Specs

The WSCMB sharpener has an insanely quick and easy setup. It comes in a compact box a little larger than the size of the machine (which is already as compact as it gets without sacrificing convenience).

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Included with the main unit inside the box is an additional abrasive sharpening belt, instructions, and a quick-start guide. That’s it.

To set it up, you simply plug it into an outlet, and it’s ready to go. This is huge for the amateur knife sharpener without much experience sharpening knives.

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SOG Flash II Knife Review

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The knife community has its stable of opinions, but if I always listen to what they have to say, then there’s a good chance I would have already missed out on a number of great knives.

Today’s review is on the SOG Flash II, a slick budget folder that could have easily passed me by had I not started formulating my own carry knife criteria. This knife isn’t just tacti-cool, it’s tacitly practical.

For a long time, I had openly resisted the SOG Flash II, mostly because of how the knife looked on paper. But we have to get away from this style of thinking. Paper opinions or even YouTube reviews can’t compare to how things really apply to your daily life.

sog-flash-ii-2Many in the knife world claim the Flash II to be lame, cheap, or something only a novice would carry, but I’ve been trying to challenge those opinions head on. Despite some of the opinions about this knife, I believe the SOG Flash II is the perfect knife for getting shit done.

My preference for carry knives swings back and forth from bushcraft style blades at one side to tactical knives at the other. Needless to say, the pendulum is currently swinging toward the tactical side of things. I wanted to add a level of contrast to my daily routine by trading in my Ontario RAT 1 for something a little more aggressive and badass.

That’s where the Flash II comes in.

The Flash II packs quite the versatile punch. It has an overall blade length of 3.5 inches, half of which comes equipped with very stout and useful serrations. Its FRN frameless handle makes the Flash II’s weight almost immeasurable. The assisted-opening mechanism makes one-handed or gloved-operation a breeze.

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BucknBear Damascus Hunting Knife Review

Buck n Bear Damascus Hunting Knife

Getting a good knife doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. While many custom knives go for several hundred dollars—or more depending on whom you’re commissioning the knife from—it’s more than possible to get a handmade knife without selling a kidney.

But are these handmade knives for those on a budget worth it? We aim to find out by taking a look at one.

BucknBear makes a variety of handcrafted knives that are surprisingly affordable for featuring flourishes like quality materials and Damascus steel. In this review, we take a look at the BucknBear Damascus Hunting Knife to see whether it’s worth your time. Because it is a custom knife, this model is no longer available for purchase, but there are similar models like the BucknBear Damascus Cali Hunter.

About BucknBear

BucknBear LogoIf you haven’t heard of BucknBear, you’re probably not alone. The relatively new brand was founded in 2011 and is based out of Pennsylvania.

BucknBear is a manufacturer of fixed blades and folding knives made from a variety of quality materials, like D2 steel, 1095 and 15N20 high carbon Damascus steel, and exotic woods.

You’ll often find the brand spelled as Buck N Bear, but a representative insisted the official name is BucknBear, so that’s how I’ll be writing it throughout the review.

The products from BucknBear are touted as handmade items by skilled artisans and craftsmen. While not explicitly said anywhere, it’s likely these knives are from Pakistan, which is a common place to find relatively inexpensive Damascus knives.

Most knife enthusiasts will tell you that Pakistan has a reputation as a mixed bag for its knives in terms of quality. BucknBear explained to me that they have quality control experts who maintain a high standard throughout the entire process of production.

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CRKT Squid Review

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I recently started to take notice of the simple fact that people age, that the older we get the more we begin to lose. For some, the body goes first—maybe we start packing on a few more pounds than what we had in high school. For others, the mind begins to fade—remembering faces and facts isn’t quite as easy as it was when we were kids. Our vitality, health, and creativity slowly start to drift away from our once youthful selves.

But with age also comes a whole new host of feelings that our younger and sometimes dumber selves can’t quite tap into yet. Feelings like tradition, nostalgia, and an understanding of just how important the little things in life can be. The CRKT Squid is a knife that single-handedly channeled those emotions in me and somehow played time machine like a small piece of childhood memorabilia.

Right off the bat the CRKT Squid has a great overall look to it. A look that is simple and understated yet still grabs your attention with both hands. This amazing design comes from the mind of Lucas Burnley, a very popular up-and-coming knife maker with an almost cult-like following for what he has done in the knife community. The Squid has been one of his custom designs for a long time, but with his work in such high demand, getting your hands on one was almost impossible… until now.

The great thing about Burnley partnering up with a production knife company is that we the consumers get to experience knives that we otherwise never would due to budget, materials, or availability. With this partnership, we now get a glimpse into what owning a custom design feels like. Besides the Squid, CRKT and Lucas are making other knives, which can be a win-win situation for both parties if done right.

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KeySmart 2.0 Key Holder Review

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Those were my keys.

Take a good look at them. I know they’re a mess.

As someone who prides himself on being organized, efficient, and constantly prepared, I felt thoroughly embarrassed whenever I reached for the jingly jumble of chaos.

I knew I needed to switch things up, to rethink the way I organized my keys. So I looked to KeySmart. I’d seen KeySmart countless times while browsing through knife sites and Instagram accounts centered around EDC items.

For those unfamiliar with KeySmart, it’s a minimalist keyring that started out as a project on Kickstarter. Needless to say, the project was successfully funded and shattered its goals with 15,000 backers pledging a fair amount of money. They’ve since become a full-on business with an updated design and everything.

I admit, I was skeptical at first. This thing seemed unnecessary and gratuitous. Humans have carried keys around the same way for hundreds of years. Why do we need to change it? That’s when I realized I was being daft. Bucking the norm and finding better ways to do old things is how we came up with a bunch of cool inventions.

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Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K Knife Review

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I’m not sure who deserves the credit. Is it the peanut butter or the jelly that makes the sandwich complete? Is it the spaghetti or the meatball to whom the praise belongs? Does a perfect collaboration have only one crucial ingredient or is it the yin and yang that brings two ideas together? In the case of the Kershaw Emerson CQC series, I believe it’s both.

When Kershaw and Emerson Knives announced its collaboration back in 2014, I figured there was no way to successfully pull this marriage off. Building a quality Emerson design on a Kershaw budget seemed like a long shot. Still, I’d be lying if the original idea didn’t have me chomping at the bit.

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NoCry Cut-Resistant Gloves Review & Giveaway

NoCry Gloves

As someone who handles razor-sharp knives on a day-to-day basis, I’ve been cut on the rare occasion (nothing seriously mind you), so when the founder of NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves reached out for a review, I was intrigued.

They sent me three pairs to try out and here’s what I thought.

Purpose of Cut-resistant Gloves

If you’re a casual knife user, you might be wondering why anyone would need cut-resistant gloves. I thought the same until I met my wife. She’s a very competent and dexterous person, but when it comes to knives and food preparation, she’s a mess.

It started when she cut herself with a peeler a few times and grew worse after she sliced her finger chopping a sweet potato. Since then, she refuses to peel anything for fear of cutting herself. Her confidence is shot.

The NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves are the perfect solution for people like her. These gloves allow her to slice, dice, and peel without the fear of mixing blood and gore in with her famous homemade chili.

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Aside from the typical use of holding items while cutting to increase confidence, NoCry Gloves also assist in a few other tasks. The folks at NoCry let me know that a large majority (around 80%) of people who bought the gloves use them in the kitchen. Ideal kitchen use for cut-resistant gloves is peeling, dicing, shucking oysters, grating cheese, or trying to cut a whole watermelon in 30 seconds or less.

Although I don’t have a mandoline slicer, many of the reviews on Amazon say that the gloves can also save a trip to the hospital.

The other 20% of users for these gloves are hunters and fishers. When you’re dealing with sharp knives in wet and slippery environments (filleting a carp or skinning a white-tailed deer), your hands become prone to slippage.

Initial Reaction to the NoCry Gloves

Enough background—let’s dive right in. The gloves arrived in a nondescript, resealable zippered plastic bag. Packed with the gloves were a proof-of-purchase slip and a print-out of some general instructions/care tips. You can tell NoCry is a fairly small operation from the packaging, and that’s not a bad thing.

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Schrade SCH107 Folder Review

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When it comes to marketing and branding, no company has done a better job the past few years than Taylor Brands LLC. With the help of Taylor Brands, Schrade has come roaring back from the grave with a slew of fantastic survival knives, including the Schrade SCHF38 Frontier, Schrade SCHF27 Extreme Survival, and Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival.

While much of the recent focus on Schrade has been with these badass fixed-blade knives, it’s the simpler folders that are getting the short end of the stick.

So we’ve decided to review the Schrade SCH107 Folder.

First Impressions

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Before getting the knife, I had no qualms about its overall purpose. This is in no way a survival knife or even a folder designed for heavy-duty tasks. With those presumptions in place, the SCH107 undoubtedly met my expectations.

After carrying around the larger Spyderco Tenacious as my everyday carry for a while, the SCH107 felt smaller in the hand. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either.

When engaged, the knife has an overall length of only 6 inches but fits my hand surprisingly well. The design of the knife is nothing spectacular, but that’s not why this knife is so compelling. It seems well-made and perfectly adept at tackling some of the mundane tasks you’d encounter around the house.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the knife’s components.

Blade

The blade is 2.5 inches long with a bead-blasted finish, which removes the reflective properties of the steel. Many laws restrict carrying knives that are longer than 2.5 inches, so it has the added benefit of being legal in many places. You’ll still want to double-check the laws in your area.

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