It can be tough to find the line between practical and stylish. On one hand, you need your knife to perform for the task intended. It’s not important if the handle looks good, as long as the job gets done. On the other hand, a knife that is well crafted and has the look that speaks to you is something to cherish. Everyone has the look and style that they like. The knife that speaks to you holds a place of honor in your collection, and is kept safe, clean, and well maintained. The practical knife may come from a big-box store, or at best from a quality mass producer. The showcase knife is probably a one-of-a-kind custom, costing more that most folks would spend at the grocery store in a week. So when you find a company who can give you the feeling you get with a high end custom, and a reasonable price, you want to let folks know.
I am fortunate to own a few knives made by Bad Blood Knives, and the Kendrick-Mosier Yokai folding knife is my favorite of them all. That’s because while I’m a practical guy at heart, a little bit of style goes a long way. Dave Mosier has designed a knife with clean good looks. It’s like a nice muscle car, factory fresh. No extra chrome and fancy lowering needed with the out of the box design looking this sharp. The G10 scales are nicely contoured to provide a solid grip, even when wet and the stainless steel pocket clip complements the blade when closed, along with the Torx steel fasteners. I really like the light brown, almost sandy pattern to the scales. Opening the blade is trivial, not only because of the high quality construction, but the flipper stud. When opened the Tanto inspired blade geometry continues the design theme, with a one sided face grind. An ample index finger notch and thumb knurls on the back shaft allow for fine control and give you the feeling that you’re holding a force to be reckoned with. All of that in most other knives comes at a price – literally! But with an MSRP of around $55.00 (which means you can find them new online around $42.00), it’s a knife that you can put in your pocket and actually use without worrying that it may get a scratch or ding. Mine, in fact, has a few mars on it, and I’m proud that it does. That’s because in addition to looking as cool as heck, it’s also a tool that can be used.
The overall feel of the knife is good, be it in hand or clipped in your pocket. Weighing in at a decent 6.8 ounces, the knife feels solid in your grip. Closed, it has a length of around 4 ½ inches, and with the 3 ½ inch blade open, you get a good balance of grip to blade length for control. The Tanto inspired blade geometry for me is a plus, as I prefer a straight blade to a swept curve for most of what I do. Also, the abrupt angle allows you to make some difficult cuts if you are doing some whittling. I made a few simple wooden tie-down stakes, and I had a lot of fun with the angle making some deep cut cuts with it. The edge is pretty good out of the box, and went through thick sisal rope easily. In the woods, I was a bit worried that I may drop it and with the coloration lose it in the debris, but you take that chance with any tool. My axes usually have a splash of swimming pool blue at the base of the handles since you’re not finding something that garish in nature. I’m not going to defile this knife in that way, so I try and keep conscious of it. My only detractor at all is one that I find often on many pocket carry knives. They are typically set up so you can’t move the belt clip to the other side. I would think it would be simple to make a plate to match the bolt holes on the opposite side, properly positioned to allow swapping. Again, this is a very minor issue, and has no impact on the overall knife’s performance.
Most of my tools get used. The only ones that stay in corners or on pegs are the ones I inherited from my father. They were hardly heirloom quality ones, but the memories that go along with them are. Maybe someday, this knife will provide the same bittersweet feelings from one of my girls. I’d be happy if it was this knife that sat on their shelves, reminding them of their dad.
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