I picked up the Svord Peasant Knife on a whim a few weeks back. It seemed like something that would be worth having and I find friction folders intriguing
I unboxed it here and posted some initial photos of its original configuration.
I added a pocket clip made from scrap steel and a lanyard from paracord. I'm evaluating the knife as if it didn't have a pocket clip as that is how it originally arrived in my hands.
Of course, I'm using the review template found here.
Blade Material: 1
Apparently the blade is fabricated from Sandvik L6 steel. L6 is a high-carbon tool steel. From what I've read it's pretty robust in terms of edge retention and the like. However, it's not "stainless." It will rust easily if not cared for. And, of course, you are consistently touching the blade with your fingers - the oils that you're depositing on the blade don't do it well.
In my limited experience with it (trying to clean up the edge and sharpening it after use a few times) it hasn't been too difficult to work with. It's quite possible to get an incredibly sharp edge out of the L6 and the steel holds onto it for quite a while.
Fit of Parts: 1
The PK uses a very simple design which requires a bit of play between the handle sections to function properly. I adjusted my PK a bit, loosening the rear screw (so the blade isn't held as tight when it's closed) and kept the other two screws a bit tighter (so the blade "locks" up with a bit more force). In doing this the bottom of the handle is a bit more "loose" than it otherwise could be but, if I were to tighten that screw down it would inhibit deployment of the blade far too much.
That said, the hardware doesn't fit as tightly as it could. The pivot screw, for example, has a bit of play that doesn't contribute to the functionality of the joint.
Blade Shape: 2
The PK sports something in between a straight-back and a drop-point blade. In terms of an EDC blade, I think this sort of blade shape is among the best available. It has sufficient belly and a nice taper to the point.
The spine of the knife has a consistent thickness down the whole of the blade.
The plain edge is something that I'm growing increasingly fond of in an EDC blade; I do not intend to purchase any more partially serrated blades for reasons too lengthy to discuss here.
Blade Grind: 0
Using what could be be described as a flat grind, the blade of the PK maintains a relatively consistent width down the spine and tapers down to the edge. This makes the majority of the blade robust and should contribute to durability. It's evident that the grind isn't perfectly consistent when comparing one side to another. This isn't necessarily detrimental to the performance of the knife and does seem to add to the peasant-like character that Svord is aiming to achieve.
Moreover, the edge that was on the blade from the factory was a bit off-centered. This isn't too annoying but is going to take a bit of time to clean up.
While I do believe the "humble" intent of the designers influenced the blade and edge grind I can't help but assess a zero in this category. The same look could have been accomplished without sacrificing a precise grind.
The PK is a friction-folder meaning there is no locking mechanism, per se; the blade stays open and closed as a result of friction between the handle sections and the blade. Friction-folders are gaining popularity in many places as a result of legislatures attempting to regulate criminal behavior by banning locking knives. Efficacy of such bans aside, the friction-folder is and should be a timeless design.
It's profoundly simple yet yields a remarkably sturdy "lock up," for lack of a better term. It's not infallible but it's certainly strong and safe enough for most everyday uses. Gripping the knife by the handle only enhances the safety of the blade as your hand is placing pressure on the tang, preventing the blade from closing.
The "middle screw," as it were, operates to prevent the knife from opening "too far," causing the tang to be buried between the handle sections, and also prevents the blade from closing "too far," which would cause the very tip of the knife to engage with the bottom screw. In that regard, this is a very well thought design.
With that in mind, the design can be a bit troublesome. If, as I have, the handle sections are loosened enough to facilitate relatively easy opening the knife is prone to opening slightly during carry. Of course, if I tighten down the system to prevent it from opening slightly in the pocket it becomes far more difficult to open and close. In that regard, it could be slightly better.
Design Concept: 1
It's a noble design using the nothing more than the most fundamental aspects of a folding knife.
It's a great little design for everyday utility use. It's also relatively benign-looking; it's not a knife which is going to engender tons of odd looks because it's "overly tactical" or has a blade profile which looks incredibly aggressive. In that respect, it's a good design for everyday carry because it won't raise too many eyebrows.
The design of the handle strongly reminds me of a jalapeno.
I try to choke up as much on the blade as I can which places the wider portion of the handle behind my index and middle fingers. This gives me a decent bit of control over the blade.
The grip isn't particularly comfortable; the slim aluminum handles are probably the least comfortable of the various styles available (the other two being molded polypropylene and wood). That said, it's not more uncomfortable than other folders I've handled.
Deployment Method: 1
I've seen a bunch of different methods to open this knife one-handed. All of them are somewhat clunky. That said, you don't have to open it with one hand. Sure, the ability to open a knife with one hand is a great feature but it's not a make-or-break element.
My preferred method of deployment for the PK has been resting the bottom of the handle in the palm of my left hand, wrapping my thumb over the bottom of the handle, and applying torque to the tang with my right hand. I close the knife in much the same manner, but with torque applied to the spine of the blade.
I have no problem opening and closing this knife. If you adjust the tension of the screws you can make to easier or more difficult to open.
If you desperately need a knife that you can easily operate one-handed, this isn't the blade for you.
Carry Method: 1
As it comes, the PK doesn't have a pocket clip. It'll settle to the bottom of whatever pocket you put it in, for better or worse. In the jeans I consistently wear the tang of the PK still protrudes slightly from the top of my pocket when it has settled to the bottom. This is convenient, assuming your pockets are the same depth as mine.
There is a lanyard hole on the end of the tang. This would allow you to loop a piece of paracord or leather through it, make a
Carry Comfort: 2
This knife is slim. With the aluminum handles, the thickest part of the knife is the blade itself. It practically disappears in a pocket. Also important to note, it's lightweight. When I've carried it it's practically unnoticeable. Due to its slim width it doesn't print too much either; were it not for the lanyard it would be nearly imperceptible to the casual passerby.
One concern with the PK is, as mentioned, the possibility that it will open slightly in the pocket. This can be prevented by tightening the hardware. I don't feel that I can really dock points because of the tension I was running the hardware at, so I'm just avoiding the problem with respect to carry comfort.
The Svord Peasant Knife is neat. It has been exceptionally fun and incredibly easy to play around with. If you're willing to give this guy the attention it's a great blade for the price. I do plan to purchase another with a polypropylene handle and perhaps the wood version, too; hey, for under 20 bucks it's absolutely worth it.
In any event, I'm not planning to keep it in my pocket; I'll stick to my smaller locking folders for the most part. On the off chance that I'm compelled into a jurisdiction that frowns on locking folders I'll toss it in my pocket but short of that I'll just keep it around for the occasional task.