I’m a practical person by nature, and some might consider me a tough critic. There are very few items that I own where the look of the thing won me over as opposed to the function of the piece. From tools, to guns, to cars, I’m ‘that guy’ who will pour over the internet reading reviews and observations before laying down any money what so ever. So it came as quite a shock to me that the primary thought going through my head when I first laid eyes on the Razorhoof from Bad Blood Knives was ‘damn, that look is way bad ass – gotta have it!”. Don’t worry, the practical nature of this knife still exists, and I’ll be getting to it in a bit.
I need to warn you though; if you haven’t been bitten by the custom knife collecting bug, you might not want to go further. The Razorhoof is the ‘gateway drug’ into the wonderful world of custom knives, balancing price with style on a razor’s edge. And that edge was the brain child of Sean Kendrick. Sean’s fixed blade series showcases tactical knives with a flare that you usually don’t find in mass produced pieces. Working with Hallmark Cutlery, these pieces are made in China to Sean’s tight specifications and design criteria. The culminations of this union are a series of fixed blade knives that have the little details and extras that you usually find only on a piece that has taken months to iron out with the designer. In the case of the Razorhoof, you get out of the box for an MSRP of $89.99.
Now let’s get into the specifics of the knife, first by taking the far view. With a nice 8 ½ inch overall length, the first impressions are, well, impressive. I’m not sure where Sean got his inspiration from, but the first thing I thought was of a bird of prey’s talon. The abrupt angle on the tip and smooth curves along the knife produce an impression of strength balanced with finesse. The contours in the G10 handle also emphasize sweeping curves and counterpoint the steel blade very well. At 3 5/8inches of thick 8Cr14 stainless steel, this chisel ground beauty feels solid in the hand.
Looking closer to at the detail you can see the high quality pins holding the G10 to the full tang steel and finished and contrast well with the coloration on the handle. Also, there is jimping on the butt that matches the jimping on the blades spine, making for superb thumb rests, depending on your grip. The notches both on the handle and at the base of the blade accommodate a variety of grip styles and hand sizes (I have some pretty big hands, so this was a nice bonus for me). The construction was tight and solid, again unexpected for a mass produced piece of this design.
Along with the knife itself, the sheath is well made and fits perfectly. Typically, I’m a bit of a naturalist when it comes to sheaths, preferring leather over most polymers. And I acknowledge that there is a practicality to Kydex when dealing with more challenging geometries. But I will say that this was the first time that I actually felt that a leather sheath would take away from the aesthetics of the package, rather that add to it. The knife fit snugly into the sheath, and despite the curving design, it was easy to draw out while clipped to my belt. Also, it didn’t feel like an accidental side hit from some errant limb while walking through the woods would easily dislodge it. This has been an issue with me on a few knife/sheath designs I’ve had, and again I attribute this to a good overall design.
I mentioned the practicality earlier, and before you think that this is just a show piece, let me make a few comments. With the price point this low (I was able to find some online for around $60.00) let the collector beware: this is a fantastic looking knife that you won’t be afraid of using. Unlike the high end custom pieces, and the specter of a huge sum of money spent, The Bad Blood’s modest price won’t relegate this to the mantle or collectors shelf. I took mine out in the backyard, and after putting it through some light work (cutting some rope and trimming some wood slats for my yurt), the design performed very well. The curving blade and thumb jimping made for steady and good control. The only issues I had at all are the cut outs along the blade edge that snagged a bit when I was whittling. After a few minutes of use however, I was able to hit the sweet spots and avoid the snagging. And again, unlike a hugely expensive custom piece, I didn’t have the heart sinking moment when I noticed the nick in the blade from when I cut into a piece of wood with a hidden nail. Granted, I’ll try and smooth it out, but this is still a great blade that I’ll feel comfortable taking out for use, as well as display.
So in conclusion, it you have ever thought of getting a piece that just plain looked great, but didn’t want to shell out the multiple hundreds of dollars for a decent custom, then the Bad Blood Razorhoof is exactly what you are looking for. Custom design at comfortable prices. Fair warning though, once you get a taste for one of these little beauties, you won’t want to stop at just one!