The first of the week I received and listed the recently released Northfield 82 Elderberry Dixie Possum Skinners. While its an interesting name, I don’t know too many trappers in this neck of the woods that skin possums but, who knows!
The Elderberry jigged bone has been around for a while. Personally, I really like the rich deep color. It’s just adds to the ‘traditional’ slip joint pattern with a old time look. Another thing I like about this Northfield 82 is the blade combination. The wharncliffe is a great blade to accompany the long skinner blade. Overall, the Northfield 82 in either the Dixie Stockman or the current Possum Skinner are nice sized working knives. Both fit my hand well
In the last few months I’ve been looking at some of the Chinese import knives that are out there. Folks grumble about the cheap Chinese imports or the fact the Chinese are killing our industries etc. I get all of that and I don’t disagree with some of it. But there’s an old saying about ignoring the unavoidable called ‘whistling past the graveyard’. In other words, you can ignore things all you want but it doesn’t change the reality of the situation. You can buy them, not buy them, bad mouth them, whatever. But understand, Chinese knives are here to stay. And from what I’m seeing the quality is getting better and better.
The line of Artisan Cutlery were the first Chinese knives I brought in to the store. From personal experience carrying one I can’t find fault with the line. I pointed out the packaging was way above what you’d expect to contain a sub $50 knife. That first impression can make or break a sale. It was obvious when Queen went from their standard two piece boxes to the ultra cheap white ‘collapsible’ box that something was amiss. Great Eastern has done a great job of maintaining a consistent package with some great artwork changes from time to time. Packaging can make a world of difference.
The most recent Chinese knife I’m taking a look at are the Ruike knives. Ruike is a proprietary brand coming from the same folks that produce the Fenix Flashlights. I’ve carried and used the Fenix lights for a several years and would rank them as one of the best. Fenix has also been great about honoring any warranty issues I’ve encountered. Their line of Ruike knives is interesting and its another inexpensive line that didn’t skimp on first appearances.
That’s a $20+ knife in a presentation style box that makes you feel like your getting a lot for the price. And you are. Blade steel is Sandvik 12C27 that came razor sharp. Handles are G10. You also have a glass breaker and a stainless steel pocket clip. There’s no half stop but the blade snaps open with authority. It’s not a mushy ‘….I hope it doesn’t snap shut on my fingers..’ feeling. And did I mention it comes with a lifetime guarantee?
Each knife comes with a unique serial number etched on the spring.
They have a complete line of fixed blades, folders as well as a Swiss Army style with different tools. It’s not a ‘new’ line but this is the first I’ve really paid any attention to them. All of the price points seem to reflect a great value.
I’m not sure that I’ll offer them in the store as I’ve tended to stay away from the lower priced knives for a variety of reasons. It’s a great ‘show’ line of knives as people can get there hands on them and see what they’re getting for their money and it’s not a budget breaker. AND if you’re looking for a first knife for a young one, if it gets lost it’s not the end of the world.
It’s always good to consider all of the options available and this is just another one I’ve looked at. The number of affordable knives is just incredible. Many of the options are of increasingly high quality. Even for the collector, I don’t think we’ve EVER had as many choices as we do today.