I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a Karambite about six months ago, and it has seen every mile I have since then. I own several knives of various styles and purposes, but all must live up to my standards if they’re to stay in the rotation. My standards are, probably like most, functional, comfortable, reliable, and for me, interesting.
I have seen, held, and used many blades in my time, but a select few earn the title “interesting”. To me, the Karambite earned this status by incorporating the curved talon-shaped blade of a traditional Karambit-style knife with a uniquely compact frame (blade length of less than 1.25”). The “handle” of the knife also includes grooves and a ring which provide unparalleled retention in various grip configurations.
The particular Karambite that I carry is actually a trial blade, sporting shallower grind than the mass production units, and consequently having a thinner strike face. My first thoughts upon examining the shallow grind raised some hesitant thoughts which were quickly doused during a conversation with the designer himself. I must say, Despins’ words have been utterly reinforced by this blade’s unfailing performance! It has managed to cut and slice through an array of cardboard, plastic, aluminum, and meat targets with ease. The blade has stayed razor sharp and waits patiently for more inside its Kydex sheath hung from a length of 550 cord around my neck.
The blade is 100% concealable under a t-shirt, can be worn over a shirt, or (should you be creative enough) mounted to a MOLLE system. These options allow the operator different deployment methods, some faster than others. However, the Karambite is not what some may consider a “rapid deployment” knife - I cringe slightly when I use that term. The Karambite is perhaps most efficient when deployed prior to an altercation, if the situation awards that split second. It can be worn almost invisibly on the hand while manipulating a firearm or simply walking to your vehicle, before “it” hits the fan in close proximity.
Never before have I seen remotely equal performance from a knife of this size, or larger for that matter, nor for such a reasonable price!
I’d like to give a special thanks to Colin Despins for his creativity and passion, and also to Sniper Bladeworks for building such a blade to no-less-than-perfect specifications!
...we never quit!