Oddly enough, I find myself writing the first draft of this review of the Manly Patriot on the morning of the 4th of July. Fitting to write a about a knife called the Patriot on a day set aside for patriots. But then again, I’m not sure how patriotic it is for me to write about a knife made in Bulgeria on Independence Day. I should probably be reviewing this Patriotic Eagle Head and USA Flag Folding Knife instead.
Back to the Patriot. I reviewed it’s folding cousin, the Manly Peak, a few months ago, and enjoyed its clean, utilitarian design.
The Patriot is even simpler. Not surprising given it was designed to be the fixed blade version of the Peak. I’ve had my heads in the clouds recently reviewing high end folders, so it’s almost odd to hold something this simple and spare. But let’s face it, these kinds of designs are the most practical, and most likely to see some use. Accordingly, my Patriot has seen a good deal of action. It’s one of those blissfully simple knives you can’t help but use. I’m ready to write about it.
This knife was provided by the manufacturer for review and long term testing. All thoughts are my own.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Manly Patriot has an overall length of 8.66″ (220mm), a 3.70″ (94mm) blade, and weighs 4.4oz (126g) ounces. Manly is a Bulgarian knife company, and that’s where the Patriot was both designed and manufactured.
I think the knife is a great size for general utility purposes. It wouldn’t be out of place if you lived on a rural property, and could accompany you on a hunting or fishing trip. Certainly it would work well on a camp site, and it’s perfectly fine for tooling around in the back yard. It has a good heft to it, so it’s not ideal for ultra lightweight backpacking, but it’s fine for day hikes. It’s too large to be an urban EDC fixed blade. It was designed to be an all-purpose utility knife and I think it’s dimensions are appropriate with that in mind.
The blade is an ultra simple drop point with a full flat grind. There is no swedge. The tip is fine without being delicate. The edge has been evenly applied and there is a small sharpening choil. The entire knife has been given a something of a satin finish. All of this is simple but nicely executed.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the blade is how it has been ground from 4mm thick stock. It’s relatively thick stock for a small knife like this. Still, the Patriot is ground thin behind the edge and is a capable slicer. I’ve used this knife quite a bit for cutting apples. It cuts beautifully in that capacity, and the simple fixed blade design makes the knife much easier to clean than a folder.
Just like the Peak series of folders, Manly offers the Patriot in a variety of blade steels, including S90V, 154CM and DIN 1.2379. My particular knives came in DIN 1.2379. DIN 1.2379 is a German steel and is equivalent to ANSI D2. Here is a link to the full data sheet for 1.2379 where you can review the chemical composition. Here is a link to DIN 1.2379 on the excellent ZKnives Steel Composition Chart. With a Chromium content of 12%, 1.2379 is more stainless than other variants of D2.
My experience with the Patriot in DIN 1.2379 has proven it to be a capable cutter multiple times. The toothy steel and full flat grind means the knife cuts aggressively. It’s a wonderful knife for breaking down large cardboard boxes, and tackling other large utility oriented chores. I’ve found the knife to be a capable carver, easily peeling off large strips of wood from some ficus logs I have in my back yard. It isn’t great for batoning, as it’s a relatively short blade, and a full flat grind, but you can baton little sticks and stuff with it.
I haven’t had any issues with rust or corrosion. I wouldn’t have guessed this steel came in a D2 analog. It’s nothing like the D2 on my old Benchmade 710. This DIN 1.2379 is easier to maintain and seems to be more stainless.
Handle and Ergonomics
The Patriot features contoured G10 handle scales permanently fastened to the handle with epoxy and eyelet rivets. Fit and finish is excellent. The parts all line up and are flush. The edges of the handle scales have been sanded down for comfort and rounded to provide some palm swell. The eyelet rivets are simple yet effective. The eye holes themselves are large and you can easily thread a couple strands of paracord through them. Perfect if you want to attach a lanyard or lash the knife to a stick for some reason. Rounding things out is a small amount of exposed tang at the pommel. This could be used as an impact tool.
The ergonomics of the Patriot are excellent. As I mentioned earlier, there are no sharp edges on the handle and the handle design itself is simple. The combination of contoured handle scales and thick blade stock fill your hand nicely. There is sharp jimping on the thumb ramp, and the secondary finger ramp right before the sharpening choil. This provides excellent grip, even in slippery situations. The G10 itself has a very light texture to it. Most of the grip comes from the jimping.
In practice I found this to be a comfortable handle. The knife has a natural feel in both forward and reverse grips. The balance point is about an inch behind the forward eyelet rivet, giving the knife a neutral feel if you choke back. Snugged up on the handle it has a slightly forward feel to it. The jimping strikes that nice balance of being present but not obnoxious. You can cut for an extended period of time without your thumb wanting to fall off.
All said this is a comfortable knife that will be easy to use in a wide variety of circumstances.
The Patriot comes with a molded kydex sheath. The sheath has been finished in the same simple yet thoughtful manner that the knife has, and it serves as a good counterpoint to the knife. There is a large eyelet rivet so you can tie a lanyard to the sheath, or you can attach the included belt loop to any one of the 7 small eyelet rivets and thread a belt or strap through the loop and carry it that way.
The fit and finish on the sheath is excellent. It has been crisply cut, and it’s sturdy. There is a drainage hole near the tip. Retention is great. The knife slides in with a solid “snap” and the knife is held firmly in place. There is no rattle or shake of any kind.
This is the kind of sheath I would like to see with pretty much every production fixed blade knife. It’s a simple kydex sheath with good knife retention and plenty of mounting options. What else could you ask for?
I’m not as impressed with the belt loop. It’s the kind where you need to take your belt off to pass your belt through the loop, vs. a quick release system. It’s basic and it works, and I suppose if you wanted something fancier you could always mount a tek-lock to the sheath. But it’s not something I see myself using. I prefer to instead pass a length of paracord through the large eyelet rivet and tie that to my belt and then carry the knife in my waistband or pocket.
Here is a parting shot of the Patriot next to my Benchmade Nimravus:
I recently repurchased the Nimravus and have an updated review coming soon. It’s a bigger knife, and seems far more complicated than the Patriot.
Many Patriot Review – Final Thoughts
I’m a fan of the Patriot. It’s everything you need from a small fixed blade knife and nothing you don’t. At around $75.00 I think it is priced appropriately. You get a thoughtful design that has been nicely executed with high quality materials. The blade cuts well, the handle is comfortable, and the sheath is excellent. DIN 1.2379 is something of an unknown quantity here in the States, but I have found it holds a good edge, is easy to maintain, and I haven’t had any issues with rust or corrosion.
I have found myself reaching for the Patriot again and again. It’s great for dirty jobs whether they are big or small. While a simple knife like this won’t attract the attention of a high end production folder, it’s perfect for people that want a simple no-nonsense fixed blade for general use. Recommended.
My understanding is that Manly Knives are mostly sold through their distributors at this point. So I recommend purchasing the Manly Peak and Peak 2 at ManlyUSA if you live in the States or Manly Canada if you are in Canada.
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