Old Hickory III: Three Cheap Knives

by AK Church

photography by Doc Tom

Click on any thumbnailed photo for an enlargement.

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This spring I've taken to playing around with three low-cost knives. All three are stainless, and there's not a speck of wood or bone on any of the handles.

The Remington Bandit

The first knife is a US made Remington "Bandit", built on the Boy Scout pattern. The classical Boy Scout knife contains a spear point main blade, a can opener, a cap lifter combined with a flat screwdriver tip, and a sharp tipped punch, all non-locking. The Bandit has all these features.

The Remington Bandit: a good treatment of the classic Boy Scout companion. The Lone Gunman also has one of these and carries it most everywhere.

The usual variation carries a lanyard shackle; the Bandit is so equipped. The Bandit does not carry the typical nickel silver bolsters but does (surprisingly for a $20 knife) have brass liners.

It's 3 5/8" long, again about typical. My official 1980's vintage Camillus Boy Scout is that length on the nail. Steel is apparently 440A and the polish is pretty well done for a knife in this price range. Handles are shiny black Delrin.

Fit of the springs against the liners and spacer is fairly crude, although that has hurt nothing functionally. Well, not so far...

With blades & tools open

Pins are brass, peened over in a pretty quick and dirty way (OK corners had to be cut somewhere to get the price down), and are maybe 1/10" in diameter.

That said, I've not gotten the blades to develop a wobble thus far. Edge holding is decent, it'll cut a good bit of cardboard, and when slightly dulled it's not difficult to bring the edge back up. 440A is an extremely common steel and this performs about like I would expect.

The Outdoor Edge Wedge

This is a very small Taiwanese-made fixed blade with a deeply bellied blade and sheathed in a plastic self-retaining scabbard. Steel is designated as 6M stainless and is ground to a very thin edge.

The handle is surprisingly usable. The edge sweeps back to a deep ricasso and a cutout in that ricasso provides a useful combination guard and finger rest.

Out of the box, the blade was hair popping sharp. When it finally dulled the very thin profiled edge was readily restored. Author Church has discovered that stepping on the scabbard of the Wedge with his 200 pounds of bulk will split it at seams he didn't know it had. It was easily if unattractively repaired with Superglue, although the sheath is slightly less tight than before.

Shown wearing its sheath

The Outdoor Edge Wedge

Scabbard is set up for a variety of carry modes. A swivel at the tip allows it to be clipped to a variety of mounting points such as belt loops, photographer's vest D-rings, and carried inverted. It's promoted for the currently popular "neck knife" role, and for the author it's a comfortable size to use that way. It also carries a molded belt clip, closed at the knife point end of the scabbard, and open next to the knife blade.

In addition to opening boxes, whittling soft wood and usual pocket knife chores, it recently came up for the author to only have this knife at a winery when he was given a summer sausage. It shouldn't work well since (1) the short blade isn't long or straight enough to slice; (2) the short handle appears at a glance wholly inadequate to push the blade through a hard meat roll. This misgiving turned out to be wholly unfounded. It cut the sausage with minimal effort.

I paid $12.00 for it, shipping included, off eBay. I wish I had half a dozen.

The Aitor Jungle King II Skinner

Ferociously minimal, this turned up sheath-less and used at a local pawn emporium for $7+tax. The original edge was long gone so the author had to dig out the Arkansas stones.

Right at 5" long, the edge proper is about 1.5" long. The skeletal knife carries a gut hook, shackle key, lanyard holes, thumb rest and a cap lifter. Steel is listed as 440V, a 440 variant I'm unfamiliar with.

The Aitor Jungle II Skinner w/gut hook

The Aitor Jungle King II Skinner

Re-edging was a little difficult since directing a really small edge with a small handle is a skill I needed to re-learn. The knife is made of really flat stock, maybe 1/10" thick. It was more difficult to re-sharpen than the Wedge. Nonetheless, it ultimately was brought to a shaving edge. It proved fine for general light utility work, especially cutting boxes.

I need to come up with some manner of sleeve to carry it, and for the moment it rides in an emergency supply box in my truck.


All three knives were actually pretty satisfactory. None are so far showing any durability problems, and edge holding seems good. The Outdoor Edge knife has really exceeded my expectations.

NOTE: Author Church regrets that he is unqualified to do appraisal, and cannot establish a value on your gun or other ephemerae.

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