By Bill Peltola
Most of the knives that I have reviewed over time have been focused on the bushcraft blade style, along with a similar handle style with varying lengths. After hearing I would have the chance to take one of John Landi’s CT6’s out into the field and put it through the paces, I got pretty excited. While a majority of the bush knives I have worked with sported a 4 to 5 inch blade, the CT6 offers you a full 6 inch cutting edge. The knife looks to be geared more toward camping, hunting or even a tactical breach (it feels like a workhorse), but I have little doubt that I can perform many of the same tasks that a seasoned bushcraft knife and perform. I’m going to put it through the paces and we’ll see how it performs.
First a little bit about Landi Knives and the gentleman behind the scenes, John Landi himself. Based out of Pittsburgh, John got his start around the 2007 time when he was able to sit down with another well-known and respected knife maker, L.T. Wright, at a knife show and learn a lot about the ins and outs of the industry firsthand. By the summer of 2008, John was well on his way and had several dozen orders to fill. These days instead of turning out quality knives in his garage, he has a full size shop with employees and the respect of many in the custom blade industry. I had the pleasure of chatting with John over the phone for around 45 minutes and really enjoyed hearing his story and how he came into the industry just looking for a hobby. Anyway, more about the Landi CT6.
The CT6 arrived in a fitted box and was individually wrapped outside of the sheath. As I mentioned earlier, the cutting edge itself is an impressive 6 inch in length and comes in at 11.25 inch overall. First impressions of the knife were very positive and it was obvious I was holding a knife that was meant to be put to work, which is what I did shortly after receiving it. I have pretty large hands and had no issues at all getting a comfortable grip. The next comment came from my wife who immediately thought it was a small machete, and I can see why. After checking out the basic condition after shipping (which was excellent) I couldn’t wait to get it out in the field and put it to work. A little about the knife itself first.
This is definitely a multi-purpose knife that will function great for hunting, camp chores, bushcraft and I can see it standing out great in a self-defense scenario. From tip to tip, you have an impressive overall length of 11.25 inch and as I mentioned above, the cutting edge comes in at 6 inches. The CT6 sports a beautiful flat grind with a full convex edge. The stock itself is 3/16 inch in A2 tool steel. I have been very happy with previous A2 steel builds for the toughness, edge retention and the ease of maintenance. Along with the tang being full, it’s extends out beyond the base of the handle a ways and comes with a drilled hole for those of us who like to add a lanyard to their knives. My CT6 came with green micarta scales that are held in place by three hex head screws. I’m not sure if you can swap out the scales with different styles, but that looks like a possibility here. If you’ve read some of my previous reviews, I have always been pleased with micarta handles for their grip (especially when wet) and rich appearance.
The kydex sheath is also well made with a total of eight open eyelets around the outer edges. I can see these being very useful if you wanted to lash the sheath with paracord to your pack, or perhaps go with a side-carry option. If you don’t mind the slightly increased width, you could simply lace the cordage through the eyelets and do a full wrap on the sheath, which would then give you between 5-10 feet of extra cord. I also really like the ultra slim profile of the sheath itself. My favorite feature of the sheath is the belt loop and how you can attach it to your belt. Attached to a heavy webbing belt is a large plastic buckle that allows you to easily attach or remove the knife from your belt at any given time. It’s rather nice to not have to undue and remove part of your belt just to attach your knife sheath. The CT6 sides in easily and locks into place well. Withdrawing the knife is easy enough as well.
Field testing consisted of frequent day to day carries, numerous hikes and a few overnights. As a standard daily carry, the knife was pretty much unnoticeable at my side. I attribute that to the thin profiled kydex and the total weight being a mere 13.3 ounces (the knife alone is 12.1). During my hikes, the low profile helped keep everything in place so I didn’t have any issues with gear getting tangled in with the knife or a pack getting uncomfortably wedged against it. The only issue I had was when I would really get moving at a fast pace. Every once in a while the plastic buckle would get in a rhythm where it would bang against the micarta handle. It wasn’t very often, but it does become noticeable when you start hiking at a fast, steady pace. The quick fix is to slide the sheath more toward your back, so it’s not a big deal.
The overnights was where I put the CT6 to work and did everything from build a small learn-to shelter, process firewood, cut rope and numerous other items as needed. I really felt that the CT6 shined best when it came to chopping and processing wood through batoning. Much like a Tops Tracker, you can adjust your grip on the handle by dropping down a notch and the CT6 becomes an effective chopper. I wouldn’t go so far as to say you can leave your axe or machete at home, but make no mistake that with the 6 inch edge and the 3/16 inch stock, you can get some great chopping done with this guy. The same exact thing can be said for batoning wood. 3 to 4 inch logs and branches easily fell prey to the CT6 which made processing some wood a relative breeze. I found that the spines factory edge was just sharp enough to use with a ferro rod and was able to get my fires going.
All in all, I’ve been having some very good experiences with the CT6 feel that this workhorse of a knife can easily last a lifetime if it’s cared for, just like anything else. The factory edge is still functional after putting it though a lot of work at home and in the bush. The A2 steel continues to perform as expected and cleans up very well. Aside from the occasional “clanging” of the handle on the plastic buckle, there’s really nothing bad I can report on the CT6. For those of you interested, I got it straight from the Mr. Landi’s mouth that he plans on doing another run on the CT6 sometime later this year. Another item worth mentioning, if a 6 inch blade is just a bit much for your style, you can always check out the CT5 from Landi Knives. Same exact knife, but with a 5 inch blade instead. Everything he makes is handmade right here in the USA. You can find the Landi CT6 at a few online resellers for between $230 and $250. If you’re looking for a rock-solid hunting/survival knife, you can’t go wrong with the CT6