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Bad Blood Knives Partisan Nano Folder

By Mike Bondra

Now I’m not bragging, but I’ve got big hands.  Nothing particularly massive, but I have a hard time getting gloves that fit. They all end up being too short and my wrists are uncovered, and the fingers get pinched and start to go numb after a bit. Inevitably I just pull them off and end up with fingers covered in what my wife likes to refer to as ‘mandages’. That’s the cleanest shop rag I’ve got laying around, wrapped around the cut or burn and held in place with duct or strapping tape.  I can tell by the look on your face that you’ve done this before too.  So when a tool or some such comes along that actually fits my ‘meat-hooks’ (another wife-ism) without having to be special ordered, I’m impressed. The Partisan Nano Folder by Bad Blood Knives is just such a find.


Even though this is a production run knife out of China, it feels like a custom piece. I can only assume that Sean Kendrick must have big hands too because this knife feels like an extension of my hand rather than a pocket knife. I’ve been frustrated in recent years by pocket knives that seem to have been designed with the pocket in mind, and not the actual user. Not the Partisan Nano Folder. Don’t let the inclusion of the term ‘nano’ fool you, the dimensions on this knife are wholly serviceable, and the construction materials are top notch. The blade itself is made of 8Cr14 stainless steel using a saber grind style, and comes in just shy of 4 inches. And at a thickness just over ¼ of an inch, it will hold up to even the toughest chores. To aide in opening, rounded thumb studs are continently located on both sides of the blade. In addition, the back base of the blade has knurling grooves to offer more control when using the thumb to stabilize a cut. The metal in the folding assembly liners and lock is also steel, and the handle grip scales are made of G10 composite. The handle is smooth and contoured but has groves at the base for friction. There is also a generous index finger notch for control. Rounding off the handle is a stainless steel pocket clip to allow easy carry. The handle has a length of nearly 5 inches, making for an open length of approximately 8 7/8 inches. The handle has the same beefy girth as the blade, and comes in just under 5/8 of an inch.  Finally, there is a hole in the base of the handle and out of the way of the mechanism that is for a lanyard. Mine now sports a nice braided black leather strap for a bit of flair. The entire package is held together with rounded steel torx bolts, all recessed into the handle where possible. 


All of this construction weighs in at an impressive 7.9 ounces; not too heavy but at the top end of what I would consider the ‘everyday carry’ range. Now with all of this construction, you may be thinking that this would be a bit cumbersome to have in your pocket, and I’d be lying if I said the thought hadn’t crossed my mind as well. The placement of the pocket clip allowed the folded blade to fit nicely in my front jeans pocket, and the weight wasn’t an issue for my typical weekend trip to the local hardware store, and running around with my family. Opened and in my hand, it just flat out felt right! The one hand opening studs were placed in a good position to provide the leverage needed to start the blade opening, and the precise construction meant that only a gentle flick of the wrist was needed to fully engage the lock and secure the blade into position. I put it to the test while doing a few home projects, since the weekend I took it for a ride had a balmy high temperature of -2 degrees F!  Of course, we had our fireplace going and the Partisan Nano Folder did short work of a quick whittle or two, just for fun. The thick blade and thumb rest made for a stable and secure grip. The smooth tip arc allowed for surprisingly good fine work and held up to a bit of prying work when I discovered an aged nail in embedded into a split log (darn happy I didn’t find that with my chainsaw). Later that weekend, I found myself out in the garage, and again the Partisan Nano Folder was put to the test, used for some shaving to get a stubborn attic door to function better.  And again the thicker blade and handle provided a secure grip, allowing me to finish the task while perched on a ladder in an awkward position. 


With an MSRP of $80.00, you can find these online and in quality knife counters for around $45-50. In my opinion, this is another winner from Sean Kendrick and Bad Blood Knives. The Partisan Nano Folder is a great investment, as this will quickly become your everyday go-to knife. Even if you don’t have ham-shanks at the ends of your arms, you’re sure to appreciate the thickness and feeling of security and quality you will feel when using this blade.

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The Mosier Urban Mistress and the Mosier Decepter by Bad Blood Knives and Hallmark Cutlery

By Matt Hecker

The main theme of this review is value.  Bad Blood Knives builds some sturdy tools that are relatively well-priced for what you get.  Today’s knife industry includes some very high-end, expensive knives, and not everyone can afford them, nor does everyone buy into the pricing structure.  Many people want to be able to possess a knife of reasonable quality and still not have to spend too much.  In addition, some people subscribe to the theory that knives are tools instead of some sort of fancy jewelry.  They want to use the tools and not worry about scratching, scraping, or just generally messing up their knives.  These two models from Bad Blood Knives and Hallmark Cutlery will appeal to these types of people and many more.


What You See

For this review, I tested both knives at the same time.  Bad Blood Knives are produced by Hallmark Cutlery, and they include designs by Sean Kendrick and David Mosier.  Both of the models reviewed here are designed by David Mosier.  The Urban Mistress is a folding knife with a stainless steel pocket clip.  The Decepter is a fixed blade knife that comes with a black fiber enforced, fitted nylon sheath that can be worn on a belt via a J-clip.  It looks and feels very similar to Kydex.  You can also remove the clip and attach the sheath to a pack with paracord or any other thin rope or string.DSC_0047

The first thing I noticed with both of these knives is the black and grey G10 scales.  Both models have the same vertically striped pattern.  This unique pattern is accomplished by layering the black and gray G10 multiple times.  With so many companies using the standard black scales for the majority of their models, the black and gray colors are refreshing to see.  The grey is on the brighter side, looking more like an off white color.  The scales are also scalloped from top to bottom in a V-shaped pattern.

The next attribute that stands out is the sturdiness of both models.  These knives are thick, tough, and built to withstand hard use.  Both models have thick blades and thick G10 scales.  The liners on the folding Urban Mistress are also thick, and create a strong liner lock.DSC_0084DSC_0087

On the folding Urban Mistress, I really liked the finger cutout and the rest of the handle.  The knife fits very comfortably in my hand.  The blade shape is a drop point design with a hollow grind.  On the top of the blade, where it meets the handle when open, there is some simple jimping.  I’m a big fan of jimping, regardless of what that says about me.  There are no thumbstuds for opening the blade.  Instead, the knife is opened via a flipper that is at the base of the lower side of the blade.  I measured this folder, and it is just over 9.25 inches long, with a blade that is just a little more than 4 inches and a handle at 5.25 inches.  The measurements on their website say the overall length is 10 inches, but I found the above measurements on my sample.  While the knife is very sturdy, the exchange for this toughness is weight.  This folder weighs 8.4 ounces, and it does feel quite heavy.  I have found that every person is different when it comes to carrying a heavy or light knife.  It comes down to personal preference.  Also, the blade is made of 8cr14mov stainless steel.  Overall, this folder is big, heavy, and tough.DSC_0078

On the fixed blade Decepter, I found similar attributes.  The thick, 8cr14mov steel blade is a spear point shape however, but the thickness and the G10 scales are similar to the folder.  This fixed blade is a full tang construction, one of my personal requirements for a fixed blade.  The full length steel provides great strength and adds some heft to the handle.  Due to the nature of a fixed blade, the overall thickness of the handle is less than the folder, but the Decepter’s handle is very comfortable and ergonomic.  There is a little bit of jimping on this knife as well, and it is in the right location for my thumb in a regular grip.  Bad Blood also chose to include a lanyard hole at the end of the handle.   The overall measured length for this fixed blade is 9.25, with the blade coming in at just under 4.5 inches long, and the handle is 4.75 inches long.  Again, the measurements on the website are a little bit different. This knife too is a bit heavy, weighing in at 6 ounces, and when sheathed, the combination weighs 8.3 ounces. DSC_0127

There is one thing that I think is important to note.  Both knives came with excellent fit and finish.  The grinds on both blades are even and the edges were quite sharp.  The blade on the Urban Mistress is perfectly centered, the scales line up very well with the steel liners, the pocket clip sits nicely on the scale, the torx screws are drilled through the G10 and into the liners, and there is no side-to-side or vertical blade play.  There’s even a black G10 spacer.  I have many, many knives from other well-known companies that are four times the price of the Urban Mistress, and they very frequently have issues with centering and blade play.  And these other companies brag about their high tolerances, but they frequently do not deliver.  I’ll admit that I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to fit and finish.  I have gotten to the point where I won’t even buy a knife over the Internet because so many models have uncentered blades and an unacceptable amount of blade play.  These two examples from Bad Blood knives demonstrate that you can get affordable, quality blades.  Kudos to the manufacturer!

DSC_0123How They Work

I ran a number of simple tests on each model.  The main things I look for are: handle comfort, cutting capabilities, and durability.  I try to determine if there are any issues that manifest while opening the knife, cutting various objects, and then closing the knife.  I don’t do torture tests because all knives have a breaking point (especially folders), and each type of knife has inherent strengths and weaknesses.  For these two knives, I performed tests that included cutting 550 paracord, whittling a hard wood block, stabbing the wood block repeatedly, and cutting cardboard.  The cutting tests are designed to see how comfortable the handle is after some use and how long the blade holds a usable edge.  The stabbing tests are designed to see if the tip can hold up to the force of stabbing directly into hard wood without bending or breaking.
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First up was the Urban Mistress folder.  This model is opened via a flipper instead of thumbstuds or an opening hole.  Due to a light detent, I needed to add a little bit of wrist action to get the blade to fully open, but it wasn’t a big deal.  Once opened, the knife was very comfortable in the hand.  I had no issues cutting the three different mediums I chose.  Cutting the paracord worked fine, and I had no issue with the whittling or cardboard.  I used an old pizza box, and I cut it up so it would fit in the garbage can easily.  I also had no issues with the stabbing tests, using both a regular grip and a reverse grip.  The tip survived intact.  The jimping was helpful because it is perfectly located.  After many cuts and stabs, I didn’t feel any hot spots on the handles.  The edge was no longer shaving sharp, but it was still usable. 8cr14 does not have the same qualities as most super steels, but it does just fine as is.  It is also traditionally easy to sharpen.  Unlocking the liner lock was easy with one hand or two.  One thing I did notice was that the edges of the blade and liners are cut a bit sharply.  More expensive knives are finished a little bit more, but for these knives, it was not a big deal.DSC_0140

Next was the Decepter fixed blade.  With the strategically located jimping and finger cutout, I had no issue drawing the blade out of the sheath.  Once out of the sheath, the knife fit very well in my hand.  The finger cutout for the forefinger is comfortable, and it acts as a nice guard by preventing your hand from sliding forward onto the blade.  The Decepter also has a small palm-swell that is very nice.  I performed the same tests as I did with the folder.  I cut paracord, whittled wood, stabbed wood, and cut the cardboard pizza box.  There were no issues with any of the cutting tests, and the spear point blade performed well when puncturing the cardboard and slicing downward.  The handle was very comfortable with no hotspots or hand irritation in both the regular and reverse grips.  After the tests, the steel was the same as the other tested knife.  It was still usable, but not shaving sharp.  I think it performed well.  The Decepter slid back into its sheath with the same ease it came out.DSC_0143DSC_0178

What I Think

With the extreme sturdiness of both of these knives and the reasonable price, I think these knives are a great value.  Aside from the overbuilt qualities, the handle comfort and the excellent fit and finish pleased me the most.  The Urban Mistress can be found on the Internet in the $43 range, and the Decepter can be found in the $60 range.  If you want a reasonably priced workhorse of a knife, try out these models from Bad Blood Knives.