Saturday, September 1, 2018

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tekut Zero Review: Best Budget EDC Knife?

I got this knife a while ago and would like to share my thoughts and experiences with it.
Received it in ~3 weeks directly from China (through Azerbaijan).

First impressions:
The knife came in a see through tube style plastic packaging, which was a nice change from all of the cardboard boxes Chinese knives usually come in.
No issues at all out of the box - blade is dead centered, lockup is excellent, it has smooth action and is sharp.
I decided to disassemble the knife to see the ultra deep carry mechanism and this is where it really became interesting and impressive.
This knife has the highest tolerances that I've ever seen on a budget Chinese knife, the fit is just incredible for this price point.
All of the screws and standoffs have D-shape points that prevent them from spinning and coming loose. The knife is constructed very tightly and it really feels like it when you hold and use it.

The Good:
- The build quality and the tolerances.
- The action: is hydraulic and smooth (runs on bronze washers),
- Materials and features - 3D G10 handles with nested steel liner (for the lock), Sandvik 12C27 blade and dual sided thumb studs.
- The looks and the style - very gentleman like from one side, but also capable from the other.
- Ergos - good 4 finger grip for my middle sized hand.
- The steel is very decent (same steel Mora knives use on their stainless steel blades), has good edge retention (probably properly heat treated) and the blade geometry is excellent for cutting.

The Great:
- The original and innovative design including the ultra deep carry pocket clip that is held in place by a detent and when deployed allows for the knife to be buried even deeper than a knife with a regular deep carry clip.
- Compact (slim) size, very light weight and Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel - which make it an excellent EDC knife (one of the best options IMO).
- Price - the value is through the roof.

The Neutral:
- The liner is pretty thin and the lockup is at about 30% of the lock-face. No issues there, but it is an ad hock EDC blade and shouldn't be abused.

The Bad:
- The pocket clip is a bit softer than what I prefer and the detent on the clip mechanism could be a bit stronger. Not a big issue though.

The Ugly:
- Folks who still say Chinese can't make a great EDC blade with original design.

- As it could be understood from the text - I really like this knife for EDC.
The fact that it has a 100% original design with innovative features make it an easy choice to put in the pocket and carry daily, beating even much more expensive blades to the task.
For years I've recommended the Kershaw Leek and the Ontario RAT II as one of the best small budget EDC blades out there.
I truly believe this one combines the best qualities of both (without being a clone) and beats them in their own game to the task making it a great contender to the Best Budget EDC Folder title.

Check  out the knife here: Tekut Zero EDC Knife

Competitive options:
Ontario RAT II
Kershaw Leek

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Best Chinese Knives Giveaway - CH Knives CH3504 EDC Knife!

Info on the Giveaway:
I've reached 500 subs on YouTube, 5000 followers on Instagram ( and more than 500,000 entries to my blog, so I decided to give something back to the community and do a GAW for this great knife as a celebration. The rules are pretty simple - there are 2 ways to enter:
1. Be a subscriber to my YouTube channel, like and leave one comment under this video:
2. Follow me on IG - - like and repost the GAW photo with tag #bestchineseknives5Kgaw. - You can do both and increase your chance of winning! - One entry per person in each of the ways. - Shares and shoutouts are also welcome! - No dedicated GAW accounts! - Winner must be 18 years old or have consent paper from parents (if not - I will send you a consolation non-knife prize). - I will ship Worldwide with a tracking number. - I will draw 2 people (one from IG and one on YouTube) via random generator and do a final by a coin toss when I will reach 1K subs on YT or on the 1st of October 2018 (which ever comes first).
Thanks for everything guys and good luck!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Knives to get in the AliExpress Brands Shopping Week Sale!

Ok, so I have decided to create a post where I will write about knives that I think will be wise to get in the AliExpress  Brands Shopping Week Sale.

Please notice that some of the locks in the seller's pictures might be edited out to comply with AliExpress knife selling rules, but most of the knives in the lots have fully functioning locks (I will state otherwise).

Also Check out great deals on knives on Gearbest: Knife Deals on GB

Folding Knives (Original Designs):

Bear Claw Parrot - New slipjoint on bearings, the design and the concept remind of the Lansky World Legal knife, but couldn't be called a clone IMO.
Now for $5 less on the price.

Check out World Legal Knife here: Lansky World Legal Knife

Bear Claw Parrot Knife

Viteli TOP 1 - Pretty well known high end model with original design and great materials (S35VN blade) and quality now for more than $50 off original price.

CH Knives CH3005 - 
Newest model from CH, and their take on a sub 3" stout flipper.

Kevin John Venom 3 - Awesome new version of this great quality knife. ~$40 off during the sale.

Kevin John Venom 2 (AKA CKF Daboia) - Awesome knife that is now making a comeback with a limited M390 edition - get them while you can (won't be around for long).

Bear Claw P60 - Very high quality flipper knife with Ti handle and S35VN blade. Amazing price for an S35VN knife.

Fixed Blade Knives (Original design):

Bear Claw Nettle - Great original design from the guys at Bear Claw. $5 off during the sale.

Kitchen Knives:

Xinzuo Budget Kitchen Knife Set
 - Great 5 piece budget set now for only $55.
I have the similar 3 piece set and reviewed it on the blog.
sharp knife

Sunday, August 27, 2017

CH Knives CH3504 3504 Skull S35VN Flipper Knife Review

I got this knife pretty long time ago and am now ready to do a review on it.

The knife came directly from China and took a bit more than a month to arrive.

First impressions:
The CH3504 arrived in a CH Knives branded black cardboard presentation box.
It had no issues out of the box - it was smooth, blade was centered, no fit & finish issues, had no bladeplay whatsoever, pretty early lockup and was razor sharp out of the box (shaved hair and cut paper without any effort).
I did however take out the ti backspacer to have a better balance and an open construction.
One thing is pretty important to mention - the finish on the blade was a much finer stonewash than what I've seen in other reviews.

- The great original design. 

- Stunning looks - graphics and the black-gold finish.
- Overall quality out of the box.
- The little details, like the rubber o-rings that prevent accidental opening of the pivot screw.
- Great ergos that will fit most hand sizes.
- S35VN steel - haven't given me reasons to question it and has kept a great edge.
- Price - an S35VN ti flipper with ceramic bearing for this price has amazing value.

- The flipper tab functions well, but isn't the most comfortable one out there.
- The pocket clip is pretty stiff.

- I'm not the first to review this knife online but it was important for me to share my thoughts and experience with you guys. The knife is great and I'm glad I got it.
Lately I am less and less drawn to clones and fakes (still glad I got those as I learned a lot about knives because of them) and more to the original designs that come out of China.
BTW - I'm thinking to give this one away in my upcoming giveaway, please share in the comments if you would like to see this as a prize.

The knife could be found here: CH Knives CH3504
Newer version is available here: 
New Version CH3504

Competitive options:
Kizer Bamboo

Kizer V3

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ganzo Firebird G756 F7562 Review: Good EDC Knife!

So this will be a short review of the Ganzo F7562.

First impressions:
The knife came in the (now) standard Ganzo Firebird branded box.
The fit and the finish were good, so was the action (surprisingly smooth), the centering and sharpness.
The only issue it had was a slight flex in the vertical lockup, no horizontal play at all.

- The looks. The knife is really stunning and well executed.

- The ergos. Sits well in my medium sized hand (probably will fit most hand sizes).
- The finish. That relates to the machining of the famous Ganzo CF laminate and the stonewashed finish on the blade.

- Symmetrical grind and sharpening.
- The details. Skeletonized liners (for weight reduce), good gimping and blued hardware. The action is also very good out of the box.
- The steel. Good old 440C from Ganzo (that they have learned how to heat treat properly). There are advantages to sticking to one kind of steel on most of your models.

- The pocket clip. From one side it functions well, one the other - I'd love to see a  black deep carry one on this knife.

- That vertical flex (can't even say it's a blade play). It doesn't interfere with the action and the lock still functions well as can be seen from the spine whack test below, but it's always a bit unpleasant when it's there. I know I probably got a lemon, but I have heard from others that they don't have that problem.

Link to the overview and the spine whack test:

If not the flex, it would be one of the better knives I ever got from Ganzo (on par with the F753M1) and one of my favorite knives overall. With that being said I still like it very much for the other positive features and the spine whack test convinced me it is a solid blade, so I will use and carry it in my rotation.

Link to the knife: Ganzo Firebird G756 F7562

Competitive options:
Ontario RAT 1 CF

Real Steel H6

ganzo knives, ganzo firebird, ganzo g756, ganzo f7562

Monday, August 21, 2017

HX Outdoors Poker ZD009 Pocket EDC Knife Review

I got this knife as well and would like to tell you my impressions of it.

First impressions:
The knife came in an HX branded simple cardboard box and was VERY sharp.
It had a huge issue out of the box - significant side-to-side play, which also affected the centering.
I tried to tighten it down, but it has a free-spinning pivot, that was also locktited with that strong white kind(I hope the person who thought of/did that gets his ahole locktited as well).
So I tried to disassemble the knife and after lots of effort that included applying the hammer - I was finally able to do so.
It seems that the pivot screws are simply too long (or locktited too much), so even if tightened all the way, they still don't keep the whole construction tight and free of bladeplay.
I also discovered that it had very narrow nylon washers that weren't doing a very good job.
Anyway - I have replaced the washers with a thicker nylon ones, added 2 bronze ones under the pivot caps and assembled the knife back.
It fixed the blade play and made the knife function great - smooth and solid.

The Pros:
- Extremely sharp blade out of the box. That (combined with a thin flat grind and great sharpening) make it (surprisingly) an excellent slicer.
- The unique features. It features a carabiner at the tang, that allows it to be easily attached to a keychain or a loop. The inset frame/liner lock. The Ganzo style skeletonized carbon fiber laminate as a linerless scale.  The 2 tone blade.
- The steel. HX Outdoors know how to make a very decent AUS8 blade.
- The Poker game theme. The word "POKER" is written on the blade and all the suits appear on the pocket clip, and that adds another dimension to the knife.
- Slim profile and very lightweight.

The Cons:
- All the fit issues I mentioned in the First Impressions - locktited free spinning pivot screw, horizontal bladeplay and the narrow washers.
- The pocket clip is tip down only and is too long IMO.
- The opening in the blade is too large IMO. A smaller, different shape one would work much better.
- Ergos. Are OK, but the knife doesn't sit comfortably in my middle-sized hand.

Definitely not the best quality knife I got recently. Still don't know if I got a "lemon" or they are all like this. 

Reasons to get it - if you really want a poker themed knife or would like a slim and light knife that has a carabiner at the back and is a decent slicer. 
If you are a knife aficionado or are new to knives - you better skip this one and better choose one of the usual suspects.

Link to the knife: HX Outdoors Poker ZD009

Competitive options:

Kershaw Reverb

hx outdoors knife, poker knife, poker ZD009 knife, poker blade

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How to spot a fake Zero Tolerance ZT0350 knife?

Saw this question on one of the forums and decided to post an answer on the blog as well.

Fake ZT0350s have appeared on the Chinese platforms a couple of months ago and sold for about ~$20.

They come in 3 handle color options - Black, Orange and Jade (the natural color of G10).
The finish on the blade and the pocket clip is blackwash (or acid stonewash, where the blade is first darkened by acid and later stonewashed).
The measurements are quite similar to the genuine knife:
Overall length - 7 3/4" or 19.9 cm.
Blade length - 3.25" or 8.25 mm.
But the weight is different - 6.5 oz vs 6.2 oz on the original, that is probably because the liners aren't skeletonized in any way.
The main difference is in the pivot mechanism.
Genuine Zero Tolerance 0350 has a Speedsafe assisted opening mechanism and runs on washers.
The fake on the other hand has steel bearings in the pivot and isn't assisted in any way.
The back of the pivot has a hexagon shape (also prevents it from free spinning), while on the fake it's round.
Another huge tell is the blade stopping method - on the genuine knife the blade is being stopped by the thumb studs hitting the l
iners, while the fake has an internal stop pin.
The markings on the fake are made in white and serial number on the one I have is 7049 (will probably be the same on all of the knives).
The marking on the clip is painted on the fake as opposed to engraved on the genuine.

So, while it could be a bit different to tell the fake from a picture - if you get the knife in hand it will be much much easier to do.
Pic of the fake one (more pics in the listing):

fake zero tolerance, fake zt0350, zt0350 clone

Video of the fake here:

Fake ZT0350 is sold here: Fake ZT0350

Genuine Zero Tolerance 0350 here: Genuine ZT0350
Or here: 
Genuine ZT0350

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ganzo G8012 Fixed Blade Survival Knife Review!

So I got this one as well a few weeks ago and feel that I can now make a review on it (after testing it out).

First impressions:
The knife came in 2.5 weeks directly from China (got it from GearBest).
It arrived in a pretty simple Ganzo branded cardboard box.
The G8012 was pretty sharp out of the box (shaved hair) and had no quality issues.

The tests:
Out of the box it cut paper with no drag and shaved arm hair.
Sits tight in the sheath - no rattle at all and couldn't be shaken out (unless using extreme and improbable force), even without the Velcro strap. With that strap it is impossible.
The cord cutter (which is often confused for a seat belt cutter) works well and allows to cut cord one-handed and without taking the knife out of the sheath.
The included ferro rod gives out good sparks and I reckon will be enough to make a fire in the outdoors.
The knife itself chops and carves wood pretty well, the tip is strong enough to take abuse and passes the tip test with flying colors.
The only thing I didn't test was the very coarse diamond sharpener on the back of the sheath cause there was no need to and I didn't want to use it on a knife that is still sharp.

ganzo knives, ganzo g8012, survival knives, ganzo survival

The Good:
- The execution. The knife is genuinely well made. The handle and the sheath are rubberized (for your pleasure) and the fit is excellent. No rattle or unnecessary movement from any part.

- The ergos. The knife fills the hand great and is very comfortable and pleasant to hold and use.
- The attention to details. Starting from the uncoated area on the top of the blade to use the ferro rod, to the checkering on the back of the "stryker" at the tang, no corner cutting on this one.
- Although the blade shape could remind some of Moletta designs - the overall design is original and couldn't be called a direct clone of any other knife (if you do know of a knife that is 100% similar to this one - please write in the comments).
- The steel performed well and stayed reasonably sharp after the tests.

The Great:
- The added features. With this knife you get a cord cutter, a ferro rod, a striker/hammer and even a coarse sharpener built in, so it could cover most of your survival needs. Great features for the price.
- This knife really gives you enough confidence to actually use and to rely on it for camping, hiking and even survival situations. My experience tells me it won't fall apart or fail during those.
- The price. The fact that you get a knife with original design, this well made and has all those features for this amount of money is not less than amazing.

The Neutral:
- The knife isn't full tang. Could be disassembled and cleaned on the inside using a torx on the striker. 
View picture below.

ganzo knives, ganzo g8012, survival knives, ganzo survival

With that, it holds very well and they did apply a white thread locker on the screw to prevent unwanted opening. Like I already mentioned - no corner cutting on this one.

The Bad:
- The GITD inserts serve no real purpose as they aren't very bright and don't accumulate light well. Could easily lived without those.
- The sheath is much longer than the knife itself cause they used separate blades for the cord cutter and put an extra mounting opening at the end of it.

- The Velcro strap does make the knife impossible to shake out, but feels too thin and flimsy (not the best stitching job either). I would really prefer it to be thicker and to have an extra button. Luckily it could be modded and could be folded back (the knife will probably stay in the sheath even without using it). 

The Ugly:
- Can't really find anything ugly about this knife, especially for the price.

- The quality + fit, finish + added features (cord cutter, ferro rod, striker/hammer and a coarse sharpener) + the ergos + the fact it has original design + the performance + the confidence to use (built well and smart) + the attention to details + the price - the drawbacks make this one of the best budget survival style knives on the market as of today IMO.
It pleasantly surprised me and I am very glad I got it.

Check out the knife here: Ganzo G8012 Fixed Blade Survival Knife

Competitive options:
Mora Bushcraft Black

Gerber LMF II

ganzo knives, ganzo g8012, survival knives, ganzo survival

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fura Small Ti Flipper Cleaver Knife Review!

So I have got this knife as well and would like to share my thoughts about it.
Shipment took a bit more than 2 weeks from China.

First impressions:
The knife came in a tin presentation box, good safe packaging.
Issues out of the box:

- It was a bit gritty and dry, so didn't flip well. One drop of lube on the detent ball and a bit of WD40 in the bearings sorted out this problem.
- The pivot screw was sharp. Few strokes on the #600 grit diamond stone helped make it pleasant to touch and even better looking IMO.
Other than that it came sharp and no additional issues.

fura knife, ti flipper, cleaver knife, ti cleaver, small cleaver

- The looks. There is something so cool about small ti flipping cleavers, the frag pattern, bronzed standoffs, embossed cone pivot and the blue anodizing add to the unique design and appearance.

- The action. After the lubing and breaking in it became super smooth (runs on bearings) and flies out (but the detent is still strong).
- The deployment options. Could be open by a flipper, flicked out on the thumb studs with a thumb, opened smoothly with the cutout and even flicked out with the middle finger.

- The ergos - surprisingly good (with a lanyard). Gimping is excellent.
- Small size, slim profile and is pretty light.
- Price. If this was made by any brand - it would cost 5x times at least.

- Comes without a pocket clip.
- No steel insert on the frame. There is a bit of a lock-rock sometimes when not holding the knife in hand (like on the older Striders), but the lock holds well and won't fold.

Summary - overall it is a very cool small novelty flipping cleaver, that will fill that void in your collection and your heart. It is a people friendly knife (my spouse thought it was very cute) and a great conversation starter. 

I'm very glad I got this one.

I bought the knife here: Small Ti Cleaver
Could also be found (cheaper) on GearBest here: Fura Small Cleaver

Competitive options:
Kershaw 5360 Ember

CRKT Carter Jettison