It has been a year since I wrote the knives on a boat review. It was really a review mostly of every day carry or EDC knives with one specifically marine knife with a marlinspike. I have lived with these knives and find my favorites to be a little different than my first impressions. I still like all these knives very much but the question is, which ones do I end up using and what do I use them for. For this review, I have added short 15 second videos of the knives opening and closing so you can get a better picture of how they work. I also added a discussion on two knives I bought recently. One I returned the same day and the other I am not really sure what I am going to do with but it is so nice I just had to get it. It is a knife I have coveted since the first time I saw someone with one. >
The knife at the bottom of my 5 knife list based on first impressions is the knife I carry every day. What I like about it is that it is a little beefier and up to more demanding tasks. It opens with an assist and is trivial to open with one hand. It is easy to close with one hand as well. It sharpens up well but I would not say it holds an edge that long.
The knife at the top of my first impressions is still at the top and is the knife I carry in my "good jeans". The Ripple is a very nice knife and got a lot nicer after realizing it was made wrong and the bearing was not pressed into the knife all the way. It was not that hard to fix but be careful of the ball bearings and take note how you take it apart. That modification made the opening action much smoother, The nice thing about this knife is that while it is just as easy to open as the speed safe assisted opening knives, it does not give the impression that it is a switch blade knife. I don't find that a problem with the Clash because I am typically alone when I use it. It is my work knife. This is my "gentleman's knife".
The leek is a very nice knife as well. However, it I found that it was not as stout as I wanted for an every day knife and yet a little too "switchblade like" for using as the gentleman's knife. But I use it all the time. It sits on my desk and opens envelopes! The blade is perfect for opening envelopes. It is also a blast to just open and close it. Like I said, a very nice knife.
The Randall's knife is impressively well made. It may be the best made of the knives I am reviewing. I is just that I have not found a use for it. It sits on the desk, or on the shelf, doesn't matter because I never go for it. It is between the Clash and the smaller knives size wise and for me just misses both the work knife and the gentleman's knife category. It doesn't help that it is about the same size as my favorite rigging knife which I would pick over the Randall's knife. But it still feels so nice to hold, is light, has a nice blade shape. I have only good things to say about it, except that I don't use it.
The Camillus rigging knife continues to be my favorite rigging knife. As I said in the last review, I tried almost every rigging knife I could find. There was one notable exception that was a fair amount more expensive that I ended up buying -- and returning the same day -- that I will review next. The Camillus knife has a locking blade as do all the knives I am reviewing. It has a liner lock that locks the blade open very securely. That is not always the case and I have returned knives that did not lock open securely in that only a small fraction of the liner actually engaged the blade. Be sure to check that on any knife with a liner lock you buy. Buy from Amazon and if it doesn't lock open securely, just return it as unsafe and defective and you get a full refund including shipping. But no need to return either of the Camillus knives I have. Yes, I liked it so much I bought one for home and one for the boat. OH, and the marlinspike locks open very securely as well as you can see in the video.
The Myerchin Captains Rigging Knife is Titanium. I bought this version because I liked the 2.8 inch blade described on Amazon. It turns out that any blade over 3 inches is illegal to carry in your pocket in the county where my boat is. It is perfectly legal where I live. The problem is that this knife is huge. The blade is 3.3 inches long and it is a very large knife. The picture at the top of this articles is photoshopped in as I had returned the knife but it is to scale the best I could make it. Overall the quality of the knife was impressive. It has a frame lock which is more secure than a liner lock, particularly if the liner lock is a not exactly the right size (see above). All in all it was a really nice knife except that it was illegal. There is a smaller version shown to the right so why didn't I get that. The knife has what I would consider a fatal flaw. It has a clip and it rides point up. All the other knives above ride point down. You might ask why that is a problem after all with point down you have to turn the knife over in your hand after taking it out of your pocket so point up would save a step. The reason is that should the knife come open ever so slightly in your pocket, you would slice you hand open putting it in your pocket if the blade was up. This is a well documented issue and one I consider a non starter. The only advantage over the Camillus is the shackle key. As I don't really like the idea of using an cutout in a knife blade as a shackle key anyway, the knife went back without ordering the crew version. But I did order another Myerchin knife and I will talk about it next.
I have no idea what I am going to do with this knife. Just look at it and admire how nicely it is made? Use it all the time? I just got it and while I love it, it is obviously not something I am going to carry around with me. I would imagine I will put it in the bucket along with my handi talkie and GPS that I take to the boat every time I go. It is, however, a work of art. I bought it mainly for the marlin spike and given that the marlinspike is almost half the price of the combination, that just make the knife too cheap to pass up. It is a really nice marlinspike and worth the price just for that -- at least given you get the knife as well.
SummaryThese are all really nice knives and you could not go wrong with any of the first 5. I cannot recommend the Myerchin folding knife and of course the offshore knife is in another category. But as this is a sailing site, I thought I would include it. My favorite rigging knife is still the Camillus. The Myerchin marlin spike has a shackle key but I am not sure how important that will be to me as I made a small shackle key that I carry around with me on my key chain. It is just a piece of bronze that I cut a slot in and drilled a hole to go on my key chain. Get the knife that fits your mood. I don't think any of these will disappoint.
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