I am pretty sure that a lot of people haven’t heard of PB&J Handmade Knives from Danville Virginia yet. At the end of May, when assigned their “Bread and Butter” knife for review, I had never heard of them either. I expect that they’re going to get a following though, because after spending the last month working with PB&J Bread and Butter knife, I know I am definitely a fan.
When I first heard it, the name made me think of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. However the “PB” refers to the initials of Phillip and Barry Jones while the “J” is for Charles “Jake” Kirks. All three are custom knife makers that reside in Danville Virginia and their collaboration has produced the PB&J line of knives. I was greatly amused by the name of their company and felt that it would be easy for people to remember and recognize. From the look of their designs the guys at PB&J are going for basic utilitarian work knives. The Bread and Butter knife that I received for testing at first glance reminded me of a couple of knives in my collection produced by Dunn and Blind Horse Knives. As a fan of both of those knife makers I expected good things from the PB&J knife. My test knife was provided by Triple R Enterprise LLC.
The PB&J Bread and Butter knife is made of L6 tool steel that measures in at 5 and 5/8 inches long. I haven’t used a knife made with this kind of steel before and so after some research I found that it is used for making dies, tools, machine parts and even swords. L6 is noted for its durability and edge retention. The drop point blade measures 2 and 5/8 inches and the edge comes in a Scandi grind. The Scandi grind on this knife looks awesome when contrasted with the textured black carbon steel of the blade. It provides a rustic look to the knife which makes it feel like it is from a different era. The full tang of the handle is sandwiched between green Micarta, which includes a lanyard hole that will accommodate leather or paracord lanyard. Engraved into the tang are the initials “PB&J” right where the thumb rests when holding the knife. To finish things out, the knife comes with a straight forward, well made handcrafted brown leather belt sheath.
To test the PB & J Bread & Butter knife I first used it to shave some hair off of my hair which it did with great ease. It’s definitely one of the sharpest knives I have used and the edge is much better than most of the mass produced and some custom knives that I have owned. Next, I moved onto cardboard boxes that seem to multiply in my kitchen on a weekly basis. The knife proved more than capable for breaking down cardboard boxes. I then cut several lengths of nylon rope with the knife which was effortless.
I got a couple of days at home to do some leatherworking projects for a friend and I decided to use the knife to cut out the pieces I needed for the project. I was using 10 ounce armor grade latigo leather and the Bread & Butter knife cut through it easily. Normally, I use a standard razor blade for the task but wanted to see how the PB&J knife would function in its place. I was very impressed with the sharpness of the blade and the ease of manipulation of the blade to make curved and small cuts. In the future I plan on using it for more leatherworking projects.
My next series of tests consisted of using the PB&J knife to shave some tinder for a campfire and carve notches in a stick to make an impromptu tent stake. The knife proved more than capable for these small wood working tasks. The Scandi edge, along with the shape of the knife handle was comfortable to use over long periods of time, even in my large hands. I have an old walking stick that I keep around to test out new knives and I was impressed with it compared to other knives of similar size that I have used in the past. It is easy to conclude that this knife was designed for a variety of bush crafting and whittling tasks.
The final test for the knife involved cutting some Berber wool carpet that had a hemp backing. This test did a number on the edge of the knife and I do not recommend cutting carpet with it. I made a total of five cuts over a 50 by 40 inch area to fit the carpet into the cargo area of my SUV. While it was effective at cutting the carpet I cannot shave the hair off of my arm now that my tests are done and I can see a couple of dings in the blade. Ultimately it is an opportunity to learn how to re-sharpen a knife with a Scandi edged blade which I have never done before. (EDITOR’s NOTE: Carpet is brutal stuff and will do a job on most edges; particularly old carpet that has ground in dirt and grit. I’ve done a number on edges cutting the stuff up as well)
After using this knife over the last month, I have developed a great deal of fondness for its basic look and outstanding utilitarian functionality. As mentioned in my tests, I used the “Bread and Butter” knife extensively while doing leatherworking. The Scandi edge made great and accurate cuts into the leather I was using. Carrying the knife was also easy. During my test period I went on vacation to the beach and took the knife with me. Rather than wear it on my belt I stashed it into a cargo pocket of my shorts. It was comfortable to wear throughout the week. I also think given its size that it could be worn around the neck using the belt loop with a piece of paracord. I can definitely see the PB&J Bread and Butter knife becoming an option for my survival kit.
Overall, this is a fantastic custom made knife that will serve for many years. It can be purchased through Triple R Enterprises LLC online for $100 and at that price it’s competitive with other custom knife makers producing similar styles of knives. I really look forward to seeing more knives from the guys at PB&J. The great rustic look of the Bread & Butter knife along with its overall usefulness has definitely made me a fan of their product. A definite thank you goes out to the folks at Triple R Enterprises LLC for sending the PB&J Bread and Butter knife for review. I consider it a great privilege to have had the opportunity to use this knife.
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