Pros: Sheath/Scabbard, Handle Material, Blade Material, Materials, Weight, Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness
Cons: Finish, None
High quality. A tad slippery.
I love White River’s stuff. Simple and (USA!) well made. This little guy is no exception. Came with an immaculate factory edge, hair popping sharp. Sheath is symmetrical and allows insertion with the edge facing either way which is nice. Retention in the sheath is very good with a molded divot on either side clicking into the first large hole cutout near the blade. It’s got just the right balance between ease-of-draw and tightness to keep the knife secure. Also comes with a very functional and simple molded belt loop & chicago screws with rubber pads that allow for belt setup at various angles. It’s virtually identical to the hardware package included with W.R’s knucklehead & backpacker model knives. Bear in mind it’s a very small knife...in my rather big hands it’s only really a 2.5 finger grip. I knew that going in so it’s fine with me. The payoff is that it carries super light around the neck. It includes a clever breakaway paracord neck loop secured with little plastic barrel connectors that release for safety if you get hung up on a tree branch or some jerk tries to choke you out with your own neck knife cord! Ball chain/dog tag chain irritates my skin and can pinch my chest hairs or beard hair so breakaway paracord is a comfortable touch! The satin finish is nearly a mirror polish, it’s gorgeous, but it makes the whole knife a bit slick. There’s no grooves or jimping of any kind to improve grip. A couple centimeters of jimping on the spine/handle junction would have done wonders to improve the grip where your thumb rests. I probably would avoid relying on the ATK for messy tasks like field dressing or pumpkin carving! I outfitted mine with a short paracord zipper pull through the last large hole in the butt of the handle. It really helps drawing the knife, my pinky can catch on the little cobra stitch knot and give better purchase when pulling the knife out. White River does great work, the only real negative is a gorgeous but slightly slick finish. In future versions I’d love to see some jimping on the spine’s thumb rest area. This is a great little just-in-case knife. If WR Knives makes a version in their black ionbond cerakote-esque finish, I’ll buy it in a heartbeat. This is a model that is begging for an all black option with a more matte finish to aid grip.