Steel Will Cutjack
« on: May 09, 2018, 07:53:00 PM »
I'm a huge fan of budget blades; you show me a good deal on a knife and I'm there. Budget blades are often sought after because they have good form, function and are very affordable. When looking at budget blades one company that caught my attention is Sport Manufacturing Group. SMG is an American based company that produces pneumatic guns as well as a pocket knife line by the name of Steel Will.
SMG is quite passionate about their pocket knives and it shows. They have a huge range of knives that cover many different categories and use premium materials. Being a budget guy I wanted to check out a knife I had been hearing a lot about and that's the Cutjack. The Cutjack is a sub $50 knife that is aimed at the everyday carry crowd and hits home on so many levels.
The Cutjack features a 3.5 inch blade that is made of D2 steel. D2 is a steel that's been around for what seems like forever. A lot of folks have been using it, especially imported manufacturers because of its high wear resistance. D2 will hold an edge longer than some of the other imported steels like the CrMov steels. A trade-off however is D2 is semi-stainless. D2 needs a little love and attention to help prevent corrosion but it doesn't need attention like 1095. I like a decent length blade for my edc; 3 inches is good for most instances but my sweet spot is 3.5 inches. The blade on the Cutjack is an excellent slicer due to the high flat grind, the high flat works better than traditional hollow grind found on most knives. The blade has a nice choil that allows you to choke up for times when you need more control.
Opening the blade is very effortless thanks to a perfectly executed flipper design. I like all forms of opening systems from thumb studs to the Emerson Wave but there is just something about a well done flipper. The Cutjack's flipper is angled just right and the jumping on it makes for a solid fire every time you press it. Flipping open the Cutjack is also very smooth thanks to the use of phosphor bronze washers. SMG could have cheaped out and used nylon but I'm glad they went the extra mile to add them.
Holding all this together is an FRN handle which is short for fiber reinforced nylon. FRN has been a go to for years for companies because it offers strength and rigidity while keeping weight to a minimum. Spyderco is a company who is well known for using this material and it just works in a host of situations. This FRN is textured with pattern similar to the diamond pattern you see on truck tool boxes. This pattern is quite aggressive and makes for a solid grip when your hand is wet.
For a locking mechanism on the Cutjack they went with the humble liner lock. The liner lock has been an industry standard since Michael Walker introduced it to the world. They are popular because they are simple in function, it's hard to find one that's some well though. The Cutjack is done very well and coupled with the flipper design makes opening and closing quite natural.
My only real complaint about this excellent blade is the pocket clip. So many companies seem to struggle with something so simple. In my opinion so many companies try and make them flashy or stylish when all we want is one that just works. Some companies like Benchmade and Spyderco are well known for their pocket clips and I love the simplistic design. The clip on the Cutjack is very thin and seems to bend rather easy. Retention is good but I seem to catch it on things and I have to pull it off and correct it. Something else that's clip related but not directly is how the FRN pattern and the clip are together. The diamond pattern mixed with this clip seems to chew up my pockets. FRN and clips can live in harmony with minimal wear on pockets but this one is chewer.
Overall for the price this knife is just about perfect. There is quite a budget knife boom in recent years and it's nice to continue to see excellent products being produced at affordable prices. I intend on looking at some of SMG's higher end options and see how they stack up. If you are looking for a good budget blade with great ergos, very good edge retention and stylish looks the Cutjack is one to check out.
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