I’m always looking at new items for the store (or maybe my personal use) and this week I brought in a couple of knives from Artisan Cutlery. Very honestly, I’ve not been a huge fan of knives coming out of China. From the little reading I’ve done and a few comments I’ve heard, I decided it might be worth taking a look at Artisan Cutlery anyway.
Two Artisan Cutlery knives arrived yesterday, a Tradition (entry level linerlock) with a D2 blade and a larger Tradition liner lock with an S35VN blade. So far I’ve spent most of my time going over the D2 entry level model first. With a retail price of around $45 my expectations weren’t real high.
Out of the box the first thing to catch your eye is the quality of the packaging. The two piece box is heavy enough to handle the roughest handling in the post office. Inside the box is the kraft colored tag with the specs of your knife printed on one side and care and handling instructions on the back. The knife is inside a plastic sleeve in a black drawstring bag. For the cost of the knife, Artisan Cutlery did it up right making a positive first impression.
Artisan Cutlery Tradition
It’s a typical flipper type knife that is smooth on opening, with a perfectly centered blade that’s tight on lockup with no sideplay. The overall length closed is 4.125″, blade length cutting edge is 3″ and the weight is 3 oz on the nose.
The liner lock is pretty standard and provides a positive lockup. One thing I noticed is a small detent on the side of the lock contacting the blade that imparts a minor ‘kick’ to the blade on opening. When you release the liner lock and start to close the blade, the blade contacts the detent and you almost get the feeling of a minor half stop. It was a bit distracting at first but after a few minutes manipulating the lock I didn’t notice it. On the upside, when you close the blade it gives you a feel where the blade is and reminds you to keep your fingers clear.
I am a fan of D2 and prefer it over 1095. The Artisan Cutlery Tradition I tested has a D2 blade and I’ll commend them for a superb job of sharpening and honing the edge. One of the things I like about D2 is what I call a toothy edge when sharpened. When I sharpen D2 I tend not to polish blade with the Edge Pro using more then a 600 or possibly a 1000 grit stone. My D2blades tend to cut aggresively, almost like a micro-serrated blade. The Artisan Tradition is honed to a fine razor edge and easily sliced hair thin strips of paper.
The assembly of the Tradition is held together with Torx T-6 and T-8 screws. Pretty straightforward and easy to tighten things up if the need arises or you want to change the pocket clip to a left hand carry.
I have to say for the money I am impressed. While I haven’t had the time to actually put it to use, its got the promise of being an excellent EDC at the price point.
The only thing that raises a concern to me is the lack of any contact address, name or warranty info anywhere on or in the packaging. A little online research shows that the importer/distributor for the US is based out of Chino Hills, CA. You can download their electronic catalog but there’s still no stated warranty. I’m sure there’s some sort of warranty but I wish they’d state it.
I’m going to do a little follow up and try to get a bit more info but for now, that’s going to hold me up carrying them in the store. It doesn’t change my impressions of the knife but I would feel more comfortable knowing someone is standing behind their product.