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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Review: Sanrenmu Plus 4077 [EDC Pocket Knife]

They say the reward for good work is more work. Hopefully I'm doing a good job, because I've been swamped. GearBest sent me a box of knives a couple months ago, and they've been really patient, so now I'm trying to power through some of these reviews.

This is a review for the Sanrenmu Plus 4077. They wanted me to give my readers the coupon of SPlusGB. I don't know if the coupon is still good because I'm behind on these reviews. Knowing
Sanrenmu Plus 4077 Product Link
them, it probably is.

(The first time I saw the product name, I thought of M*A*S*H, a classic TV series that went for 11 seasons. Sanrenmu has long been one of my favorite budget pocket knife makers. )

Product Description

Price: $6.99 with coupon

This is an EDC style pocket knife which features a lanyard point and a carabiner style, spring-loaded gate clip. Note that there is no locking mechanism, which could be a plus if you live somewhere like the UK, where it is illegal to carry a locking pocket knife.

Presumably it's made from the same manufacturer, it has the "Plus" designation, comes in completely different packaging than the "Classic" models and it's a totally different style than most of their classic pieces. So, I dunno. For that reason, I've given this review sample some extra scrutiny.

Nowhere is it mentioned what steel this knife uses, but we know that it's Chinese and mostly likely 8Cr13MoV or the slightly harder 440C.

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Box Of Knives
This one came in an interesting box of knives...

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - With Sanrenmu Friends
Here's the 4077 with some other Sanrenmu friends


Official Specs (From GearBest)


General
Type: Multitools
For: Camping, Climbing, Daily Use, Home use, Adventure, Hiking
Material: Stainless steel
Specification
Blade Length: 4.2 cm / 1.65 inches
Unfold Length: 10.8 cm / 4.25 inches
Fold Length: 7.0 cm / 2.76 inches
Dimension and Weight
Product weight : 0.060 kg
Package weight : 0.115 kg
Package size (L x W x H) : 12.0 x 6.0 x 3.0 cm / 4.72 x 2.36 x 1.18 inches
Package Contents
Package contents: 1 x Sanrenmu Plus 4077 Foldable Knife

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Clipped To Carabiner

First Impressions


This first struck me as a "cutesie" knife, and it's non-locking, so right off the bat, I know that I'm not going to be carrying this one very often, if at all. 

But it's still presumably a Sanrenmu, and the fit and finish is fantastic. This sample gave me some red flags that it's not a real Sanrenmu, but the closer I look at, the better it looks. Knockoffs of already-cheap knives don't make that good of an impression on me, so it's either real, or it doesn't matter because the quality is there.

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 1

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 2

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 3

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 4

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 5

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 6

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 8

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 9
Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Product View 10


Build Quality


The build quality on my review sample is good overall. But be aware that there is nothing holding the carabiner style clip in place. The first time I clipped it to a real carabiner to take photos of it, the clip went flying. But it should go without saying not to trust your life to an 8 dollar pocket knife.

Other than the flimsy clip, the build quality is above average for a pocket knife, even given the price. You could probably convince people this is a 50 dollar knife until the wire clip falls off.

Fit and Finish


Overall, excellent. A couple faint hints of tool marks on the spine of the steel liners, and that's about all I can find wrong. Oh, the screws look cheap--like they will strip the first time you use them. What's funny is that the awful screws are a clue to me that this is an authentic Sanrenmu. The blade looks to be off center by just a hair, but it could be just me, because there's only a fraction of a millimeter tolerance on either side of the blade. It almost has to be perfect to open smoothly.

The rest of the knife has a fantastic finish. The machining is spot on. This one has brass colored scales. I don't know if it's real brass, but they look polished--almost refined. This is a classy looking knife.

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Logo Closeup


Construction


This knife has an interesting construction. It's a stainless steel skeleton, with a layer of plastic and a layer of what looks to be brass, forming a sandwich with the plastic liner. I can't see the plastic with just my eyeballs, and didn't notice it until I saw it on the photos.

It looks fantastic, but the brass scales are mostly smooth except for the etched company name, which doesn't make for a very good grip. 

Blade


The blade is what I would call a modified drop point. It's obviously made of Chinese steel at the price point of 7 about dollars. But the blade is well done. The hollow grind is machined perfectly, and the edge is hair-popping sharp.This has one of the best factory edges I've seen in some time.

There's a little bit of token jimping on the spine of the blade. It's actually functional, but just barely.
Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Blade 1


Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Blade 2Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Blade 3

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Blade 3



Clip


The carabine style wire clip gets its spring tension from the way it's cut, and fits into a couple little holes on the blade. Like most budget pocket knives, the clip on this one is the Achilles' heel. It's not terrible if you don't put too much force on it the wrong way. If you do, well, mine went flying and I had to find it. I was able to put it back on, and it seems to work OK.

While I think the knife itself is probably fine for hard use, I would definitely not use the clip in any hard use scenario. But for day-to-day and EDC use, I think the clip is good enough to where you shouldn't have to worry about it falling off your belt loop or wherever you have it clipped.

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Broken Clip
"Oops, it, uh, fell off. Wasn't me--it was that other guy"


Locking Mechanism


This knife has no real locking mechanism, though there is kind of snaps into a detent, which at least holds it open.

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Blade Spine
It doesn't lock, but at least it's prety


Lanyard Hole


This knife has a hole for a lanyard which is a curious design choice, seeing that if you were to carry it with a lanyard, you would risk the clip hooking everything in sight, which is the clip's purpose what this style of clips is so good at. I guess you could use both, or have the lanyard just for decoration.

There is some jimping inside the lanyard space, which is also curious, but makes sense for keeping the lanyard from flopping around. At any rate, it's an opportunity to shed a little weight.

Below it almost looks one of those hex wrench tools, but I don't think it's machined well enough for that. Like they said "aww screw it." Or like I said, maybe it's to hold the lanyard tight. Also notice the screws look suspect, especially the one on the top.

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Lanyard 1


Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Lanyard 2
I'll admit that it's not a terrible photo either, but my eyes see what the camera sees--a well done knife

Usability


I carry every knife I review, even if I know for example that I won't ever carry a slip-joint knife, and if I do, it'll usually be a Victorinox Tinker or Executive or something like that.

Having said that, I think it looks sharp clipped to a belt loop on blue jeans. And the blade geometry is very good for an EDC type of knife. I usually EDC small, and this is a very good size and weight for being clipped to a belt loop. At about 2 1/2 ounces, it's a little heavy to ride at the bottom of my pocket.

If I were living in the UK, then I would absolutely consider this model for EDC, even with the cutesie factor.

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 -In Hand 1

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - In Hand 2


Conclusions


I'm no fan of the cheap carabiner clip, and I'm no fan of slip joint pocket knives since I don't live in the UK, and I can pretty much carry whatever I want in Oregon. But this knife has some of the best machining I've seen in a long time.

I started with this knife skeptical that it was a real Sanrenmu, but it really doesn't matter at this level of quality and this price point. This is a budget knife clearly made by people who know how to make good budget knives.

Gallery


Because I take way too many photos...

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 With Sunwayman V11R
Sanrenmu Plus 4077 On Scale

Sanrenmu Plus 4077 Next To Ruler
Sanrenmu Plus 4077 - Caliper Measured Blade Thickness

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Review: Ganzo G720 [EDC Pocket Knife]

Gearbest was nice enough to send me some knives a while back. I've been super busy moving to Oregon, and they've been really patient. So, finally I'm ready to work through some of these reviews. The photos for this review of the Ganzo G720 have been done for a while now, for reasons I'll explain in the review.

GearBest also wanted me to give the coupon code to my readers that once their promotion for this knife ends, they can still get it for $16.99 with coupon code G720. So if it's higher than $16.99, then try the code.

Ganzo G720 - Product View
Ganzo G720


Product Description

Price: $16.99 with coupon

This is large EDC knife with an axis style lock and beefy G10 scales. The blade is made from 440C steel, which is a little harder than the typical 8Cr13MoV stainless steel you will find on most Chinese-made knives. It came in a pouch. At least I think it came in a pouch, because my friend opened it so quickly that I mixed up which Ganzo came with the pouch. It also has what I assume to be a glass breaker holding the deep carry clip on.

Official Specs (From GearBest)


  • Ganzo G720 440C blade folding knife
  • Multifunctional folding knife
  • With 440C blade, sharp and hard
  • You can clip it on your belt, backpack or somewhere else you want
  • Folding design makes it more secure and convenient to use
  • Customized for outdoor exercises
  • Nice tool for camping, hiking, adventure, and home use

Ganzo G720 - Product View 2

From Top: Ganzo G720, Spyderco Tenacious, Ganzo G704, Spyderco Native FRN
From Top: Ganzo G720, Spyderco Tenacious, Ganzo G704, Spyderco Native FRN


Initial Impressions


Once of my friends who is a martial artist was there with me when I opened the box of knives. I went straight to the Sanrenmu 7010 and he went straight to this one. I saw him holding it and said "OMG, that is a large knife." It is, it's huge for a pocket knife--almost a half pound.

Playing around with it, I noticed how stiff the lock is. A couple people told me it will loosen up over time, but wow, it's really stiff out of the box. It's like a pair of boots or something--you have to break it in.

My friend was playing around with it and he did a quick martial arts strike to one of the wood posts at the cabin and had put a small chip in the blade it within a few minutes of it being out of the box. I need to point out here that this is probably the wrong type of steel to be doing that to. 

But it made a good enough first impression on him that he still wanted it.

Ganzo G720 With Sunwaymah D40 and Smith & Wesson Tactical Self Defense Pen


Build Quality


The quality of this knife is very good overall. They didn't skimp on the amount of steel or the G10 material for the handle. It's well designed and well executed, including the axis style lock, even if it is on the tight side.

Ganzo G720 Closed 1

Ganzo G720 Closed 2

Ganzo G720 Open 1

Ganzo G720 Open 2

Ganzo G720 Open 3

Ganzo G720 Blade First

Ganzo G720 Handle First


Fit and Finish


The factory edge on this blade wasn't ground correctly, which made it easier to roll part of the edge when my friend mistreated it. Which also means it wasn't very sharp out of the box.

Other than the edge, the rest of the fit and finish on my sample is very good. The screws, which normally look cheap on any knife, look to be of decent quality and don't look like they'd strip. Also, the blade is well centered. Those are two of my pet peeves and this knife breezes by both.

The G10 material is very well done, with the usual roughness on the sides where it was cut. 

Ganzo G720 Blade Well Centered
Nice and centered!

Blade


This knife has a large, hollow-ground blade with a lot of belly to it. It's made of basic Chinese steel, which is softer than the Japanese or USA made steels. For the most part it's still a good steel, but as my friend's knife strike to a wood post shows, it can "roll" the edge much easier if you mistreat it.

Other than that disclaimer, the blade is fine. It has a modified drop point which is super-sized from most EDC type knives you will see. It's nice and thick, and while I cringe every time I see someone using a pocket knife to pry things, you'd probably be safe doing that with this one. 

In fact, the blade is so beefy on this knife that you'd probably be hard pressed to destroy it. Sure, you could ruin the edge, but the blade itself is a slab of steel. There's jimping on the spine of the blade to help the grip when you are choked up on it.

Ganzo G720 Blade View 1

Ganzo G720 Blade View 2

Ganzo G720 Blade View 3
Ganzo G720 Blade View 5Ganzo G720 Blade View 4



Handle


The green G10 material on my review sample has an interesting textured pattern to it. I like it. The grip is firm, even for big man-beast-hands like my friend has. I don't know what else to say other than it's well designed.

Deep Carry Clip


The G720 comes with a deep carry clip held on the bottom by the glass breaker. It looks like you need that special Ganzo tool to take it off. What I like is that it comes configured tip up out of the box. This is a manufacturer that listens to the enthusiasts.

The quality of the clip also seems decent, and I've seen it clipped to my friend's pocket.

Ganzo G720  Clip View And Glass Breaker
Looks like a glass breaker on the end


Locking Mechanism


This knife uses an axis style lock, where you slide the little doohickey back to open or close the knife. For me it, took both my thumb and forefinger to move it enough to work the knife. And after a couple minutes playing with it, my hand hurt and I had to put it down. As I mentioned people have told me that the lock gets easier over time. My friend hasn't mentioned it.

The lockup itself is fine. A few times trying to flick it open the blade bounced back before it could engage the lock, but I don't hold that against the mechanism other than it's a little awkward getting the hang of it when it's so tight. But the lock itself engages well. 

Ganzo G720 Lock View 1Ganzo G720 Lock View 2


Ganzo G720 Lock View 3


Usability


At nearly half a pound, this is too big for me personally to EDC. I probably would have kept it just to use situationally if my friend didn't instantly have a crush on this knife. For people who like large knives, you will like this one. 

So if you're not putt off by the size, it's fine as far as usability goes.

Conclusions


This is a large, overall well-built knife. Ganzo is giving the people what they want without cutting corners or trying to be gimmicky. 

Now, having said those nice things about Ganzo, I think the lock is too tight out of the box. The lock on my beloved Sanrenmu 763 started out perfect and 4 years later and thousands of cycles, it still feels perfect. But certainly this is a lock that gives me the impression that it won't fail any time soon.

Also, you play the lottery with the edge on most knives in this class. And it's not just Gonzo. You play the lottery with most well known brands. Very few brands like Spyderco care enough about quality control control to make them more consistent. Because, you know, it costs an extra 1/100 of  a cent to check.

When I look at everything, I definitely think this knife is worth $16.99. With a good edge out of the box, I think this knife would probably take a good amount of abuse, probably just short of what my friend did. 

My friend does really like this knife and keeps thanking me for it. I keep offering to re-profile the edge and take that nick out of it, but he swears it doesn't bother him. I guess it bothers my OCD more.

Gallery


Ganzo G720 Gallery 1

Ganzo G720 On Scale
!!!

Ganzo G720 Caliper 1
It's a good sized blade

Ganzo G720 Caliper 2