Last Updated: August 11, 2019
Every now and then I see a knife that I absolutely have to own. Now, believe it or not, my collection of knives is small in comparison to the size (and value) of many knife collectors, so I like to think I exercise some “restraint” in my purchases. This might have more to do with the size of my bank account than anything else, but my point is, this knife really struck me as something special, and I bought it. I am talking about the Boker Exskelibur, a collaboration between Boker Knives and South African custom knifemakers Mike Skellern and Fred Burger.
The Exskelibur is part of Boker’s “Plus” Line which is their line of high quality value knives. For purposes of the review I would classify the Exskelibur as a EDC knife, and perhaps even a collectors knife. I know mine wont be seeing much use even despite the very reasonable price tag – I simply want to keep this knife nice for my collection. What we really have here is a gentleman’s folder; it’s simple lines and rich titanium accents make the Exskelibur an exercise in minimalism and elegance that will feel very at home in an office or carried during a formal event.
I have found the attention to detail and build quality on this knife to be extraordinarily high. What may be most surprising to some readers is that this knife is made in China. Now, my Spyderco Tenacious review showed that Chinese manufacturing isn’t always synonymous with low quality, but the Exskelibur isn’t just well made for a Chinese knife – it’s well made for any knife.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Exskelibur I has a 3 5/8″ blade, an overall length of 8″ and a weight of 3.3 oz. Due to the advanced handle construction almost all of that weight is in the blade. And speaking of the blade, what a beautiful piece of steel. It’s a large and simple drop point design with a high hollow grind. The blade has been given a nice satin finish that glows under the light of my studio. What strikes me about the blade is how big it is relative to the handle. The blade to handle ratio is very impressive and has to be close to 1:1.
The steel chosen here is 440C, which is a mid grade steel that is very popular in European knives. Seeing how this is a mid range knife I was very happy to find 440C here, it is one of my favorite all purpose knife steels. 440C is capable of taking a very keen edge and my Exskelibur I came shaving sharp right out of the box. The blade is beautifully finished and has a “Boker Plus” logo on one side and a Skellern logo on the other.
Handle, Ergonomics, and Pocket Clip
The handle follows the same minimalist approach of the blade, while weaving in a couple interesting features that really elevates the style and sophistication of the knife. The handle is made almost entirely out of black G10. The G10 is very lightly textured and doesn’t offer much in the way of friction, however the there very good jimping on the spine of the knife and the handle has been contoured to allow your fingers to wrap around it comfortably. The resulting grip is very good for normal EDC tasks. I think the texturing is adequate and fits very well with the overall classy theme of the knife.
The construction of the handle is not open, a piece of G10 runs the entire back length of the handle and in between that piece and the handle slab is a thin strip of red G10. This is purely for aesthetics and is a very interesting detail that makes the Exskelibur a little special and is really quite cool.
The pocket clip is a piece of titanium that has been finished in a dark matte blue. It’s a little stiff but it performs well and is reversible for tip up or tip down carry (right side only). The clip is held in place by 3 small Phillips screws which is a bit of a departure from the allen or hex screws we often see. Another thing to note here is that there isn’t a lanyard hole in this knife. Since this is a larger EDC knife, I really don’t miss the lanyard hole, but I thought it was worth pointing out.
Deployment and Lock
The Exskelibur deploys with an unobtrusive flipper located on the back of the blade by the pivot. This is a very simple yet effective method of deployment. The blade moves easily and I find that I can quickly and easily open this knife with 1 hand. The bushings on this knife appear to be phosphor bronze and everything is very smooth. The knife opens quietly with a soft click as the blade snaps into the titanium liner lock.
There is only one liner on the Exskelibur and it is made of the same blued titanium that clip is fabricated from. It makes the knife incredibly lightweight and it provides another interesting detail that sets the Eskelibur apart. I have found the lock to be strong and it locks in the middle of the open blade with no danger of slipping.
Boker Exskelibur I Review – Final Thoughts
The Exskelibur I is an outstanding folding pocket knife. The knife oozes style and is a simple and beautiful folder. I appreciate the great design and quality manufacturing and am not put off by the fact that this knife is made in China because the quality control here is outstanding. The titanium liners, the big sweeping blade and lightweight handle are all very appealing. I think 440C was an excellent choice for bladesteel and love how big and practical the blade is. It’s hard to find fault with the knife, I think if you use it as an EDC or gents folder you will be very pleased with the Eskelibur.
- 440C satin finished blade
- Blue anodized titanium liner
- Contoured G10 scales
- Red fiber spacer
- Reversible titanium pocket clip
Last Updated: March 19, 2019
The Skyline is often regarded as a reference point. A knife we compare other knives to. It’s also a damn good Every Day Carry (EDC) knife. Back when I originally reviewed the Skyline in 2010, it was among the first reviews to be published on the site. It was a great knife then. Today, it is just as relevant and excellent of a knife.
This is an in-house design from Kershaw, meaning it wasn’t designed by a popular custom knife maker, and I doubt that when they originally created the knife they expected to have such a run away success on their hands. The Kershaw Skyline is an American-made, high-value, lightweight, EDC knife with all the features you would expect from a modern folding knife that is widely available and accessible at almost any budget.
General Dimensions and Blade Steel
The Skyline has an overall length of 7.375″, a 3.125″ long blade, weighs 2.3 ounces, and is made in the USA. In addition to being long and light, the knife is slim, measuring an inch across when closed and 3/8″ wide. The Skyline is ideal for EDC.
The Skyline sports a long spearpoint blade shape with a plain edge and a hollow saber grind. This is a very practical blade shape that is good for piercing and slicing. It is surprising how much blade you get considering the weight. The full size blade and handle lend a lot of versatility to a little 2.3 ounce knife.
The blade, liner, and pocket clip are all made of Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel. This is a hearty Swedish steel that holds an edge well and is easy to sharpen. My Skyline came sharp out of the box and is easy to maintain. The blade and the clip has a beadblasted finish. This isn’t my favorite finish, because it is more susceptible to rust than a stonewash or satin finish, but it works here (especially at the price).
Given the tremendous popularity of the Skyline, Kershaw has released this knife in a number of different handle colors and blade steels (including carbon fiber covers, a damascus blade, etc). So the knife can also have a collectible element to it if you want to go that route.
Handle, Ergonomics, and Pocket Clip
The handle of this knife is made of lightly textured G10. The G10 is lightweight, feels nice and provides decent grip. The liner lock has received some jimping which works well however the spine of the knife has no jimping at all, which means your thumb has no real grip on the top of the knife when in use. This can be a problem, especially if you were to do some stabbing or thrust type cuts or were working with something like slimy foods, and is one of my few complaints with this knife.
The Skyline has a a pocket clip that allows for tip up or tip down carry. I found the clip to be very tight and I had to bend it with a plastic spatula before I got the desired pocket retention – an easy adjustment. One problem I do have with the clip is that it is not ambidextrous. Being left handed, this is something of a concern, and I would prefer if they drilled and tapped the handles for 4 way carry. They may have opted not to do that because there is only 1 liner.
The pocket clip rides fairly low in the pocket, there is about an inch of knife sticking up when the clip is mounted for tip up carry. I would prefer a lower riding clip, but the knife is still pretty discrete.
Deployment and Lock
The Skyline uses a flipper to open the blade. This was back before flippers were cool. Consequently, it does not have the dialed in, rocket the blade out action that we have come to expect on modern flippers. You need to pre-load the flipper tab or use your wrist to ensure fast opening, but it certainly gets the job done. There are thumb studs, but they are primarily blade stops. You can use the thumb stud if you are right handed to roll the blade open, but the flipper is the preferred way of opening the knife. Inside there are phosphor bronze washers, a feature typically found on higher end knives – especially when this knife originally came out.
The Skyline uses a liner lock to lock the blade open. This knife has only one steel liner (on the side of the lock) which greatly reduces the weight and thickness of the knife. I think this was a wise decision by Kershaw although some might prefer a beefier knife. In that case, I would simply suggest buying a bigger knife. The lock itself performs admirably. I like liner locks in general and this knife has a good one. Blade centering on my knife is perfect.
Here is a size comparison with the Skyline and another top shelf EDC blade, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian:
Kershaw Skyline Review – Final Thoughts
This is an amazing knife that has stood the test of time. The build quality is extremely high. Everything feels nice, the knife is well put together, and the materials are all of high quality. The Skyline is thin, lightweight and unassuming, which makes it an ideal choice for EDC. I often forget that I have it in my pocket. For around $40, you can use it guilt free.
In a perfect world, the Skyline would come with a 4 way pocket clip to ensure maximum versatility, and the detent strength would be improved to ensure better flipping action. Beyond that it is tough to find fault with the Skyline.
There is a reason why the Skyline remains so popular among knife enthusiasts for years and years: it is an excellent knife.
- 3.1” blade made of high-performance Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel, offers excellent strength, corrosion and wear resistance
- Lightweight G-10 handle scales offer a secure grip with texture and a deep index-finger contour
- The drop-point blade offers good balance and a strong, hard tip. The rugged Stonewash finish is capable of hiding scratches and fingerprints
- The perfect EDC for cutting tasks such as opening difficult packages, breaking down boxes, removing zip-ties, cleaning small game, aggressive animal defense, slicing fruit, and stripping small wire
- An excellent gift idea for any hunter, hiker, hobbyist, carpenter, angler, backpacker or any knife enthusiast in need of a highly reliable, American made pocket folder
I recommend purchasing the Kershaw Skyline at Amazon or BladeHQ. Purchasing anything through any of the links on this site helps support BladeReviews. Any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Last Updated: July 28, 2019
Ah, the Benchmade 950 Rift. What a sweet piece of steel. The Rift originally came out in 2008 as part of Benchmade’s “black class” which are designed to be military and police grade blades built for extreme duty. Designed by famed knifemaker Warren Osborne, the 950 Rift certainly is extreme and it took the knife world by storm gaining critical acclaim by reviewers and enthusiasts alike.
Today the 950 Rift is still available with it’s very distinct reverse tanto blade and is available in a variety of configurations; including the ultra cool black and gray G10 handled version shown here. I would say that this knife is appealing as a large EDC knife, a small emergency defense knife, or even a collectors item. Lets take a closer look at this unique and exciting knife.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Osborne 950 Rift is a fairly big folding EDC knife with a 3.7″ blade, a total length of 8.27″ and a weight of 4.8 ounces. The weight is perhaps one of my biggest criticisms, but really that is me grasping for straws. If you don’t like heavier knives then this won’t be the folder for you, but many, myself included, enjoy carrying a larger knife and the weight won’t be an issue. For a lighter Benchmade with about the same length, consider the Benchmade Griptilian.
As I mentioned before, the blade shape is classified as a “reverse tanto” which gives the knife excellent tip strength and the large sweeping belly of a drop point blade. I love the way this blade looks and it’s a super practical design for tactical and utility work. The blade is given a nice flat grind making it a very good slicer.
You have the option of getting the blade in a satin, blasted, or coated finish (blasted shown here). I really like the look of the coated version, Benchmade’s coating is very tough and I think the black blade with black hardware is a handsome combo.
The blade material is 154CM, a stainless steel that Benchmade uses in a lot of their knives. Benchmade knows how to heat treat 154CM and I think it was an excellent choice for the Rift. 154CM is a very durable steel that holds an edge very well and is easy to sharpen. In my experience corrosion resistance is very good but 154CM will rust if left in a damp environment so it’s important to keep the blade clean and to cover it with oil if you live in a humid area (I have no problems in South and Central FL).
Handle Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The handle of the 950 is arguably cooler than the blade itself, which is a pretty tough feat considering. The handle scales are made of sculpted G10. My G10 came in layered black and dark gray, but you can also get black G10. The Rift has full stainless steel liners that, like the rest of the hardware, has been blackened. I wish Benchmade skeletonized these scales as I think they could really drop some weight off this knife. But all in all, the handle construction is very solid and I love the look of the scales.
The ergonomics on the Rift are pretty good. It’s a large and comfortable handle and I really like the way the butt end has been formed – it creates a good “catch” for your pinky and really lets you get some leverage on the blade. There isn’t a ton of jimping, which will turn off some. For me, I don’t mind the absence of jimping and actually prefer that in a work knife. I know some people say that there are some rough edges that they needed to sand down on the handle. If you plan on using the knife for heavy carving, then you may very well want a thicker knife.
The clip of the 950 Rift is Benchmade’s classic “arrow” clip and is among my favorite pocket clip designs. I like the blackened clip, it really helps with concealing the knife in your pocket. The clip will wear, but it wears gracefully and in my opinion, is one of those clips that gets cooler with use. Retention is great and the clip is mounted so that it rides low in the pocket. Benchmade tapped the handles so you have the option of tip up ambidextrous carry.
Deployment and Lock
Deployment on the Rift is very nice. As you would expect on any Benchmade knife, the Rift uses high quality, low friction, phosphor bronze bushings. The bushings are combined with large ambidextrous thumb studs to deploy the Rift’s blade quickly and easily. I really like the thumb studs, there are nicely milled out, have a unique design and have been either anodized or given a DLC coating – it’s been very durable and hasn’t rubbed off at all after a LOT of opening.
As you can see in the pictures, the Rift uses Benchmade’s Axis Lock. For those unfamiliar with the Axis Lock, is is a very intelligently designed lock that Benchmade uses on a lot of their knives. It is very strong and very easy to use ambidextrously. I love the axis lock, it’s among my favorites because it is so smooth reliable and easy to use. One hand opening and closing with this knife is a breeze.
Benchmade 950 Rift Review – Final Thoughts
Well, what is there to say? The combination of great blade design, 154CM steel, G10 handle, and reliable Axis lock mean there is a lot going for this knife. If you are in the market for a larger EDC knife or a folding tactical knife, the 950 Rift has a lot to offer. Build quality is very sturdy, the knife cuts well, it’s comfortable in hand, and 154CM steel is very serviceable. I also like the fact that the Rift is made in the USA.
As far as potential negatives are concerned, my main gripe is the weight of the knife. This is a bigger offering from Benchmade, and you definitely feel that in hand and in pocket. This may not be an issue for some, but for folks that appreciate a lightweight EDC knife, I might recommend the Benchmade 940 or Griptilian instead. I think Benchmade could have mitigated this slightly by drilling holes in the thick steel liners.
If size and weight aren’t a terrible concern, and you want a reliable and well made work or tactical knife, then the Rift could be an excellent choice.
- Patented AXIS Mechanics
- One-Hand Ambidextrous Function
- Heavily Milled G10 for Tactile Grip
- Tough 154CM Reverse Tanto Blade
I recommend purchasing the Benchmade Rift from Amazon or BladeHQ. Please consider that purchasing anything through any of the links on this website helps support BladeReviews.com, and keeps the site going. As always, any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Last Updated: August 30, 2019
The Kershaw Scallion is another one of those timeless EDC knives that should be considered by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The Scallion is a remarkable little blade that shares some great similarities to the Kershaw Skyline, but is very much it’s own animal. Designed by custom knifemaker Ken Onion, the Scallion is a slim, lightweight knife with very fast blade deployment and superb fit and finish. If you are in the market for a high quality and affordable EDC knife, the Scallion is a blade that you may want to consider.
General Dimensions and Blade Properties
The Scallion has an overall length of 5.57″, a 2.4″ blade, weighs 2.9 ounces and is made in the USA. This is a great size for Every Day Carry (EDC). It’s very unobtrusive in the pocket and it won’t weigh you down – excellent for urban or suburban carry.
The blade is a modified drop point with a hollow grind and a recurve to the edge of the blade. The recurve is good for slicing although it makes the knife more difficult to sharpen. Ken Onion is known for designing curvy (“organic”) looking knives, and the Scallion fights right in to that theme. With that said, I would not recommend a recurved blade to a first time knife buyer. There is a slight swedge that concludes at a capable tip. This blade shape is capable for EDC tasks like breaking down boxes, opening mail, and food preparation. Because the knife is so small, I would not push the Scallion much further than that.
The blade is made of 420HC stainless steel. 420HC is regarded as a low end steel, although if it is heat treated properly, it can perform fine for daily tasks. 420HC has great corrosion resistance although the edge retention is not going to be on par with something like 440C. Kershaw does a good job with their heat treat, however, I would like to see them upgrade the steel on this. If they used a Sandvik 12C28 like they do on the Leek, I think that would be an excellent upgrade.
Handle and Pocket Clip
The Scallion typically comes with an anodized aluminum handle. The aluminum is 6000 series aircraft aluminum and it keeps the knife lightweight and strong. The great part about the Scallion is that there are a variety of different colors and handle configurations to choose from. This knife comes in everything from a standard satin finished blade with a black handle to a rainbow colored version that is very unique looking and everything in between. There have also been a lot of limited edition versions of the knife so if there is a particular color configuration you are looking for, it is probably available commercially or on the secondary market.
The handle is comfortable and ergonomic. There is a short run of jimping on the thumb ramp of the blade, and the finger choil which helps provide good grip. Depending on the handle materials you select, there will be additional traction. This knife is easy to use and feels good in the hand.
The pocket clip is rather large and only allows for right hand tip down carry. I like the option to move the clip around, and I prefer tip up carry for faster deployment so this is something of a disappointment for me, however, I wouldn’t call it a deal breaker. For an EDC knife, tip down carry is still acceptable and you will get the job done with this knife.
Deployment and Lock
The Scallion is a flipper, equipped with Kershaw’s Speed Safe assisted opening mechanism. The Speed Safe system was developed by Ken Onion as well, and is a very common assisted opening mechanism found on Kershaw knives. The action on the Scallion is snappy and reliable. The flipper works well, and there are phosphor bronze washers inside (although you don’t really notice with the assist).
The Scallion uses a either a steel frame lock, or steel liner lock to lock the knife open. The liner lock is sturdy and more than adequate for every day carry type tasks. My lock engaged early, and there was no blade play or stick in the lock. Kershaw has their liner locks and steel frame locks dialed in pretty well, and the lock on my Scallion is no exception.
Kershaw Scallion Review – Final Thoughts
The Kershaw Scallion is a capable budget EDC knife, but not without its quirks. It’s a great size for EDC, the materials are decent given the price point, the knife is well executed, is comfortable to use, made in the USA, and retails for under $50. Certainly there are some high points. On the flip side, the recurve blade makes the knife tough to sharpen, and 420HC stainless steel is on the low end of the spectrum, even at this budget price point. If you can get past those two points, then the Scallion could be a great EDC option.
Personally, if I was in the market for a Ken Onion / Kershaw EDC knife, I’d go with the Leek, but the Scallion has stood the test of time and continues to be a viable daily carry option that won’t break the bank.
- Patented Ken Onion designed SpeedSafe Assisted Opening allows for easy tactical engagement of knife
- Flipper opens knife with a push of a finger allowing for quick action and flawless functionality
- Liner Lock keeps knife open with a lockbar to ensure safety and stability when making any and all cutting motions; Tip Lock locks pocket knife closed for a safe carry
- Single-position pocketclip ensures the pocketknife is secure whether stored, concealed or carried
- Made in America by expert knife makers, and with high quality materials, the Scallion offers users premier functionality and exceptional value
At the time I was interested in a knife with a full flat grind, a large plain edge, G10 handle scales and pillar construction. The Tenacious had that and more – all for under $50. So I ordered the knife and had it at my door a couple days later. The following are my thoughts on the Tenacious after using it as a daily carry for several months.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Tenacious has an overall length of 7-3/4″, a 3 3/8″ blade, weighs 4.0 oz, and is made in China. The blade is not only long but it is fairly wide (from edge to spine) at almost an 1.5″ inches. This is a large knife for EDC (Every Day Carry), and people contemplating the Tenacious for that use may prefer it’s smaller brother, the Persistence or the Ambitious. Here is a size comparison with the Mini Griptilian and Kershaw Skyline so you can see what I mean:
For this reason, the Tenacious is more of a large utility knife than a true EDC. Sure, it can be carried every day, but it’s a good size knife.
The leaf shaped blade of the Tenacious is made of 8Cr13Mov Stainless steel. 8Cr13Mov is a more inexpensive steel that is comparable with Aus 8. However, Spyderco does an excellent job with the heat treat on this steel and my experiences have found that 8Cr13Mov sharpens well and holds a good edge. That said, compared to harder, more expensive steels you will have to sharpen the knife more frequently.
Also, I really like the full flat grind on this knife. It is like a small kitchen knife and is great for slicing, especially through cardboard. That full flat grind just zips through cardboard. The shape is fairly generic, but there is enough belly for EDC tasks
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The handle is a of pillar construction, which I really like because it makes the knife easy to clean. The handle is layers of steel with G10 scales. The steel has been milled out to reduce the weight, which is a great touch that I love to see on a cheaper knife. The G10 is lightly textured and feels good. It isn’t super abrasive so your pockets will be spared, but it offers nice tactile feedback. I haven’t had any problems with the knife slipping out of my hand, probably because the ergonomics are so good. The G10 has been contoured around the liner lock and there is very good jimping on the thumb ramp and the lock, this makes the knife very easy and comfortable to use.
The ergonomics on the Tenacious are quite good. It has a pretty big handle and it has been well designed. My palm fits nicely and the corners have been rounded slightly for comfort. Also the knife is designed to provide the user good traction, which I find to be important for a mid sized folding EDC knife like this. Since it is a cheap knife, I have a tendency to have it do my “dirty work” that I wouldn’t subject some of my more expensive knives too. The large thumb ramp and jimping really helps keep your thumb in place and maintain control when putting some power behind the blade. I’ve used this knife pretty hard and “Tenacious” is an apt name because it keeps on ticking.
Pocket clips can be a problem with expensive knives, let alone cheap ones, so I was really pleased with the clip on the Tenacious. It’s a signature Spyderco Hourglass shaped clip that provides good pocket retention without shredding your pants up. Also the clip is mountable on all 4 corners of the knife, so you can carry this knife in your left or right pocket, tip up or tip down. As a lefty on a budget, I loved this feature. The knife rides pretty low in your pocket.
I will say that my clip had a tendency to come loose until I hit it with some lock-tite. My guess is that you are going to want to do the same.
Deployment and Lock Up
The deployment on this knife is very nice. The thumb hole (“Spyderhole”) makes it easy to access the blade with bare hands or gloves – in rain or shine. The action is smooth, thanks in part to phosphor bronze bushings. The bushings on this knife are apparently pretty thin, but I’ve been flicking this knife open for months and it still deploys very smoothly.
Also, the lock on this knife is solid. The Tenacious uses a thick liner lock that bites deep into the blade. I detect zero up and down movement when the knife is locked and a tiny amount of side to side movement.
Overall Fit and Finish
So one thing that kind of concerned me about this knife was that it was made in China. At the time the Tenacious originally came out, there was a lot of stigma regarding Chinese manufacturing and Chinese knives. Today, with the advent of high end Chinese knife manufacturers like Reate, there is less of a concern, although certainly some of that original stigma still exists.
I will say that the build quality of the Tenacious is impressive considering the price. I am pleased with the fit and finish and whoever manufactured this for Spyderco did a good job.
Spyderco Tenacious Review – Final Thoughts
As I turn to my final remarks on the Tenacious, I think we should consider the topic of “value” – as that often plays in to the commentary on the Tenacious, and many consider this to be a “value” knife. To be honest, I think the knife is well priced right around $30. It’s a good amount of knife for the money, it’s well designed, the materials are adequate, the fit and finish is adequate – I really cant complain. That said, I would likely not pay $50, or $75 for this knife, and think it is priced appropriately for what it is.
The Tenacious rounds out Spyderco’s product line nicely and is an affordable knife that has all of the design elements and features Spyderco is known for. I like the Tenacious and recommend it for someone seeking an affordable larger EDC knife, or a hearty utility knife that can be used hard guilt free.
- Game Changer - Being tenacious means you are persistent and cohesive. It's being tough and tireless in achieving your best performance; all worthy descriptive words for a hard-use knife
- Superior Blade Steel - The 3.39" 8Cr13Mov stainless blade is leaf-shaped and ground flat from spine to cutting edge for non-stop cutting performance.
- A Secure Grip - It has a black G-10 laminate handle, Ergonomically milled with prolonged fatigue-free cutting in mind.
- Easy-To-Use - The blade's shape coupled with an oversized Spyderco Round Hole and textured spine jimping allows you to open the blade and position your thumb on the spine in slip-proof confidence ready for work
- Pocket-Friendly - The Tenacious includes a Walker LinerLock and a 4-way pocket clip lets the folder be set in a variety of carry and draw positions: Tip-up/tip-down left-hand/right-hand.
I recommend buying the Spyderco Tenacious at Amazon or BladeHQ. Buying anything through any of the links on this website helps support BladeReviews.com and keeps the website going. Any support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
The Schrade SMEDB California Issue is often referred to as a large version of the Schrade SCALY a very popular small folding knife that can be easily converted in to a “California Legal” automatic knife.
Model Name / Nomenclature
It took a little digging around before this really clicked for me but I am fairly certain that SCALY stands for Schrade California Legal, Yellow. SMEDB simply stands for Schrade Medium Black. SMEDY indicates that the handle scales are yellow.
Dimensions, Blade Steel and Specifications
The SMEDB has a 2.5 inch drop point blade with a 3.5 inch handle. At a mere 2.3 ounces, this is a nice every day carry (EDC) option. The knife is made of 440C, a go too steel for Schrade with good durability and edge retention. The SMEDB is a sized knife with a 440C drop point blade with a plain edge and a either a mirror polished finish or a black teflon coating depending on if you get the SMEDY or SMEDB. Schrade does a good job of putting an edge on this blade from the factory however I hit it with a few laps on my fine ceramic stone and a leather strop to get it hair popping sharp. It holds an edge very well.
The handle is made out of T6061 aluminum with a black or yellow delrin inserts. The handle is thick and slightly bowed giving it a nice feel in the hand. The pillar style construction of the handle makes it very easy to clean and I like the look of it a lot. A large aluminum push button is a prominent feature on the handle. You have to push the button to release the blade.
Ok so a lot of buzz around this knife is that it is an automatic. Well, its often advertised as an automatic, but when it gets to your door it probably won’t be an automatic. That’s due to the various legalities surrounding automatic knives in the US (assuming you are buying this in the States). Generally speaking, you will have to buy a spring for this knife to convert it into an automatic. Depending on where you live that could make the knife illegal so do some research before making the decision. The nice thing is, if you want to make this knife an automatic it is an extremely easy conversion. You can buy a coil spring on ebay (some online merchants carry them too) open up the knife, and the spring drops right in – everything is pre-drilled and ready to go.
An important feature of this knife (especially if you decide to do an auto conversion) is the safety on top of the handle. It’s a solid sliding lock safety that will keep the knife closed and prevent it from accidentally deploying. If you read my Schrade SCALY review you would know that this safety is a feature we may see disappearing from non-Benchmade automatic knives due to an ongoing lawsuit. If you are interested in this knife, I would buy it now rather than later so you get one with this important safety feature.
In addition to the safety lock being in danger of disappearing it appears that the entire knife might be going the way of the dinosaur as well. I’ve heard rumors that Schrade is discontinuing these knives. If this is a knife you are interested in, get it while the getting is good.
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