Alright, there's been a fair amount of talk going around various blade forums over the past couple of years (including here) about SanRenMu knives. Who are they? How good are they? How reliable are they? MT.O member MultiTaskerTools has stated that they are an Chinese OEM Manufacturer for various knife companies, and they do have their own line of products out.
I give you the SanRenMu GB-704. It rather clearly takes some design hints from the CRK Sebenza, but there are enough differences in the handle and blade that it really didn't bother me that much.
Specs (from website)
BLADE LENGTH 2.46'' 62.5mm
OPEN 6.38'' 162mm
CLOSE 3.60'' 91.5mm
WEIGHT 2.40oz 67g
Steel: 8Cr13MoV (HRC 56-58)
While these are copied from the website, I've found that they actually jive perfectly with actual knife, except for one thing - SanRenMu actually put up the measurement for the sharpened area of the blade, not the entire blade length. Spyderco does this, and I do really like it when companies put the cutting edge on the knife.
Blade: The Blade is a hollow-ground, clip point blade in 8Cr13MoV steel. This particular steel is becoming a known quantity these days, so I won't really go much in to it - at the HRC rated, I would likely put the edge performance somewhere between AUS-6M and AUS-8 - good, but not super fantastic. While this particular steel can be hardened further (Spyderco hardens the Byrd knives in to the range of 58-59), I'm quite happy with it where it is.
The blade is well shaped, 3/4 start hollow grind, nice belly for slicing, flat body, and a nice upsweep to a sharp tip. There's an unsharpened swedge that sweeps down from the top of the blade terminating at a very nice sharp tip. The blade is reasonably thick at 2mm, though I think the swedge has left the tip a little bit on the fragile side - I guess only time will tell if that's the case or not. It both push cuts and draw cuts well. The blade lacks jimping top or bottom, but for what this knife is designed to do (it's an EDC blade) it's perfectly reasonable. The grind is symmetrical and polished to a satin finish.
The thumbstud I'll give a little bit of a hit to, it's a bit of a skin-ripper in use. However, it provides excellent traction, and is removable and is switchable for left/right open or replacement via a hex screw in the back.
Handle: The handle is very... boxy? Surprisingly enough, the handle is a full SS lined, with actual G-10 scales on it. The construction is of the pin-pillar design with no backspacer, and the handle can be completely disassembled using using hex keys if cleaning is necessary.
It's quite comfortable in use despite the odd shape, and for smaller hands (like mine!) it fits quite nicely. The handle flares out ever so slightly at the back, and has a palm ramp - these two factors combined create a very nice, solid feeling in the hand. There's also no handle flex.
Even without significant finger sculpting the G-10 scales provide very nice grip on the handle.
Clip: Satin-finish stainless steel. It's quite strong and provides decent purchase, but I'm not a big fan of the design - the way it's attached it rides kind of high in the pocket. It is switchable tip-up/tip-down carry, but only on the right hand side (sorry lefties). I would prefer a bead-blasted or matte finish rather than the satin fininsh, but nonetheless I think the clip will fulfill it's function very well.
Fit and Finish: Excellent. Really, really good. The handles are radiused for comfort, there's no creaking or flex, no loose fibres or excessive dirt anywhere on the knife. The blade is perfectly centered in the handle when folded, and locks up absolutely solid when open with zero blade play either horizontally or vertically. The blade grind is symmetrical and generally well done (though like in Buck knives, the vertical grind patterns aren't completely polished out).
Retention/Opening/Lockup: High marks to all. The in-handle retention is a standard ball-bearing retention system found in Walker liner-lock style knives, and is solid. Opening is perfectly smooth and can be done with just thumb tension - the opening is very well balanced. Again, I do have to say that the thumbstud is a bit of skin ripper because of the extremely agressive terracing, but it does provide excellent traction on the pad of the thumb. The washers are a combination of phosphor bronze and teflon and are very smooth in action.
Lockup, as stated before, is fantastic - no blade play vertically or horizontally, and the pivot is adjustable with a standard torx bit if necessary. The liner is well machined and pretty solid, but it's not the thickest or the strongest I've seen - don't be using this knife to chop down trees! For the EDC role, however, I think it will be perfectly reasonable.
Cutting Performance: I've only had this knife for a couple days, but in terms of package opening, food prep, it's very nice. The hollow ground blade slices very well, and there's more than enough belly to prevent abnormal tip wear. The blade came with a decent-if-not-great edge, but about 5 minutes with a ceramic stone brought out a very nice, consistent edge.
Grip: Good, but not great. The G-10 handles do provide some nice purchase, but there's no sculpting for the fingers. For EDC tasks, it should be sufficient.
Price: Alright, here's the biggie - I paid a grand total of $7.72 CDN shipped to my door from exduct.com. I'd probably happily pay 3-4X that amount for this knife, but I'm not going to complain.
What can I say? I love the knife, it's really good. Not "good for the price" good, not "good for where it's made" good, it's "going in to my EDC rotation and I'll be pissed if I lose it" good.
PS: I'll have more pictures up later, and please ignore the odd color of the steel - it's because of the white balance from the wood of my patio furniture.