Anyone who owns one of these…your thoughts. I was thinking of purchasing this for my 12 year old. Watched a few videos online but would love to hear from someone in this community.
Well, you are in luck. I have one. It’s in my “get=me=home” bag I keep in my office. It’s not too bad of a knife for the price really. It has a nice weight to it so you know your holding it, nice balance. I have a “bear grills” gerber version that cost almost twice the price that would be a nice comparison.
1. Built in sharpener. It’s one of those diamond embedded sharpeners so you just need to take your time when sharpening but will work for a quick edge.
2. Belt/quick slicer built into sheath. Nice to cut para-cord w/o having to take the knife out of the sheath which can be a pain (see con’s)
3. Fire starter built in. The “fire stick” works pretty well and isn’t some little cheap afterthought. I used it (testing) to start a fire in my fire-pit one evening. Demo’d it to the wife as she was asking how they worked since I had been buying different ones for my emergency kits. The knife has a spot on the top of the blade, about 1.3inches where you use to scrap the fire rod. The picture doesn’t show it. You might be able to see it in this picture:
4. Has a window breaking device (not pointed but will work in a pinch). Don’t think it’s marketed as such but it will break glass.
5. Sheath is pretty heavy duty. Knife fits in a hard shell type opening which will keep from cutting it unlike sheaths that are mostly ballistic nylon with just a plastic guide and tip guard.
Cons (these are just IMO)
1. The top paracord handle strap. Pain to open and close. Think they used about a foot of smaller diameter para cord to make a handle strap but it might be hard to open/close for your 12 year old. To be fair, it can be removed and replaced with another kind of strap. Guess they thought ahead.
2. Knife sharpener works but is somewhat handicapped because one end of it stops at the belt loop strap so you loose the ability to get in a hurry to use the full surface of the sharpener (just take your time sharpening and it will work fine)
3. It’s not MOLLE friendly. If you want to strap it to a MOLLE pack, it’s not a fool proof setup. Takes some creativity LOL.
4. This is a big issue to me. Trying to pull the firestarter out of it’s holder is damn near impossible when you are cold, wet, or half in the bag (like the night I was making a fire in my fire pit). It pulls strait down so again, this is a two hand job and even for an adult, it’s hard to do. I don’t want to try and make it easier to extract because it pulls down toward the ground, and if you could end up loosing it if make any modifications to us. And you can’t attach a cord of ANYKIND to it to keep it from getting lost. The gerber knife’s fire rod has a T-handle on the top of the rod, allows you to tie a paracord to it and secure it so if it does fall out (it pulls toward the ground also) you won’t loose it and makes it easier to extract if your hands are cold… Just to compare.
My biggest gripe is the paracord handle strap. It’s just a pain to open/close with one hand so I think your 12 year old might not find this “fun” to remove/secure his knife. You can replace it with a few inches of the kind of Velcro we IT types use to secure cables. And even though it’s 440 stainless steel, you can put a decent edge on it. The knife is thick enough to beat on it’s backside while splitting wood w/o worry of breaking it. I’ve seen smaller knifes break like a dollar store special doing this. I just purchased one of Hawke’s knives from woot which I’ve didn’t think ahead of time which bag I’m putting it in. Really like todays offering and my gerber but I got a feeling, in the long run (god forbid) if I needed it and had to depend on it, I might rather have the Hawke knife.
Hope this helped.
Wow… already sold out woot? How many did you have, like 2 LOL
Thanks for that comprehensive and well written review. I went ahead and purchased one for my son. I will definitely take your advice and make a few alterations to the sheath to facilitate removing the knife and fire steel. Thanks again!