Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Sanrenmu B787 [Pocket Knife]


About Sanrenmu


Sanrenmu (or just "SRM") is a Chinese manufacturer which is well regarded among knife enthusiasts. So much so that it can be hard to find their products at times. Almost all of their products are in the $10 range and compare well to knives costing 5-10 times as much. Sanrenmu is rumored to make products for American manufacturers such as Spyderco.

Product Description

Price: About $10
Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife

The B787 is another interesting EDC folder, presumably of SRM's own design. It features a back lock and anodized titanium liner with titanium scales. I do not know if it's actually titanium or not. 

It was clearly designed to be ergonomic, and has one of the strangest blades I've seen on a pocket knife. 

From Exduct:

Blade length: 65 mm
Blade thickness: 2.4 mm
Blade material: 8Cr14MoV
Closed: 90 mm
Handle material: double titanium sheet
Lock: Back lock
Hardness: 57HRC +
With a clip and features with a beer bottle opening
My review sample was purchased from exduct.com and took a little more than 3 weeks to arrive at my door from Hong Kong. I noticed there's a seller now on Amazon.


 Overall Design


While a bit strange, this looks like a great design. The back lock is as thick as I've seen on a pocket knife- it's thicker than the blade! It has jimping at the 4 main contact points with your hand as well as on the back of the blade for your thumb. The only weak part of the design I can tell so far is the lack of a well-defined finger choil, but it's not that big of a deal.

The clip is setup for right-handed tip-down carry and can't be moved. And just like the 763, the exposed part of the blade when closed is a bottle opener.

Blade


Wow, this is the strangest looking blade I have ever seen. It's actually a chisel grind, meaning there's only an edge on one side. But the tip is also chiseled as well. Also, the opposite side of the edge has about a one inch "swedge" in it, probably just to make it look cool. I guess you could call it some sort of "Razel" blade, meaning a cross between a razor and a chisel, but I'm not sure that's an accurate description either. Whatever it is, it's different.

There's also a finger hole for one-handed opening. It can be opened one handed, though I wouldn't call it ideal. I don't recommend closing it one-handed though, as the lock is accessed way in the back.

The chisled tip is hard to explain. My theory was that it's either there to make the knife looks less threatening or as an aid to open packages and such. Again, it almost looks like their own attempt at a razel shape.

Handle


I originally thought that the liner and scales were both aluminum, but exduct.com claims they are titanium. I'm not sure I'm smart enough to tell the difference, but the knife has a ridiculously solid feel to it, so I can believe it. My only skepticism is that I'm getting Ti for that price, though I have read that  Ti is fairly plentiful in China, so I'm leaning towards believing it.

The interior liner is anodized blue, but one side of it looks purplish. I have no idea if this is intentional or a by-product of some heat treatment, but it looks kinda neat either way.

The clip only has one location on the handle. Not a deal breaker for me, but then again, I'm not big on clips. It is deep carry though. There is also a lanyard hole / glass breaker at the end of the handle, which is blue on one side and purple on the other.

There are what appear to be metric hex screws holding the knife together.

Fit and Finish


Overall good. I would've rated it as excellent, but there's a little bit of a gritty feel where the blade starts to open, which makes it a little harder to open one handed and doesn't feel that great. My guess is that it is going to smooth out on its own over time. If it gets too annoying then I'll probably just disassemble and sand the offending surface.

But other than that, there's no scratches, tool / machine marks or flaws in the anodizing that I can see. It has the same high quality stainless steel clip that my other SRMs have. The precision machining is pretty much perfect on this sample. All of these SRM knives look much more expensive than they are.

Locking Mechanism


This knife uses a very beefy-looking back lock mechanism, which I tend to prefer over liner-lock knives. The lock is a serious piece of steel, and if it looks half as well as it looks (no issues so far), then I expect this knife to have a lockup that's on par with some of my more expensive knives.

I'm super impressed by the back lock on this knife. Lots of people see SRM as nothing more than a oem / cloner / counterfeiter, and this design shows that they deserve their place as a manufacturer in their own right.

Usability


When I bought this knife, I wasn't sure if the design was made to be functional, or whether this would be an odd decoration in my knife drawer. But after carrying it EDC (which I do for all my reviews) for a week, I can say that this is a functional design.

Again, I wish it had a more defined finger choil because my index finger seems to want to creep toward something that's just not there. I've gotten used to feeling for the jimping and stopping my finger there. But that's just a minor gripe.

The chiseled tip does indeed work great for opening mail and packages. I haven't used to to pry anything, but would probably do OK as long as you remember it's not actually a pry bar.

Conclusions


This is a cool knife. Love it or hate it, it's certainly innovative. Overall this is a great knife - better than I thought it would be. Since I tend to EDC light, this knife is just a little heavy for me to EDC. Others will probably find it about perfect, though, especially since this knife is solid metal. I still may take it with me into the world where its non-threatening looks would be helpful. But for the most part, I think this is going into my toolbox.

So, in conclusion, for me, this is perfect for my toolbox. I think this knife is going to be better suited for cutting drywall than it would be in the woods, though again, for most people this would be a fine EDC choice, especially if you like something different.

Gallery


Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife in packaging
Typical SRM packaging

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife on the snowy deck
This picture shows the blue inner liner fairly well

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife on my holiday tablecloth
It's a holiday review!

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife shown with some hand tools
This is a solid knife that would be at home in any toolbox

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife shown with Pelican 1910 flashlight
Shown with a Pelican 1910 AAA flashlight

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of lock and clip
Here you can see how beefy the lock is, as well as the quality of the machining

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife shown with Sunwayman V11R
Shown with my trusty Sunwayman V11R variable brightness flashlight


Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - another view of lock
Another shot of the ridiculous lock

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of bottle opener
Closeup of the bottle opener, and you can see one of the hex screws

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup knife folded
This knife really has a unique look to it

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of open knife
It's almost as ergonomic as it looks

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of open knife (clip side)
Nope, no edge on this side

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - another closeup of closed knife
Look at the purple tinge on the inner liner on this side of the knife



Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife shown with Sanrenmu 763 - Bottle openers
Showing the bottle openers for this B787 as well as one of my favorites, the 763


Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife shown with Sanrenmu GB-T11
Shown with the Sanrenmu GB-T11 - birds of a strange feather

From Top: Sanrenmu GB-T11, Sanrenmu 704, Sanrenmu B787, Sanrenmu 763
From Top: Sanrenmu GB-T11, Sanrenmu 704, Sanrenmu B787, Sanrenmu 763

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of chiseled blade tip
It looks like somebody cut the tip of the blade off with a saw

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - another closeup of chiseled blade tip
Another closeup of the strange but functional chiseled tip

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of maker's mark
Notice that it's 8Cr14MoV and not the typical 8Cr13MoV

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of laser etched logo
Typical laser-etched SRM logo with the model number

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife - closeup of blade centering
Believe it or not, it's centered, and the blade doesn't rub on the liner

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife held in hand
View with my hand choked up on the knife

Sanrenmu B787 Pocket Knife on scale
It's fairly light for being all-metal. Maybe the handle really is Titanium?

7 comments:

  1. If the handle scales are black then they won't be titanium since you can't anodize titanium black.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm interesting. The liners are blue, though, so I wonder. But it wouldn't surprise me to hear it's Aluminum since some of these companies will claim anything. It's strange, though, because I've always held SanRenMu in high regard among budget knife makers.

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  2. Hey Mark!

    I'm an Australian dude looking to purchase a Sanrenmu 787. However, our knife prohibition and import laws leave a lot to be desired :(

    This knife will be safe to import (and will not be seized) if it can pass what's called a "flick test" by the Australian Customs Office. A flick test consists of "flicking" the knife down hard enough to open the blade up - without use of any thumb studs/thumb bars/etc. If the knife can flick open using only "reasonable" downward force and gravity, then it is prohibited! However, if the knife cannot open in this fashion, then it should be safe to import.

    I was just wondering if the 787 would pass a test like this :)

    Here are some YouTube links demonstrating failed "flick-tests":
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NthM0-j76AU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0mNoh6RfC0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PG3cI6p6zY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine is really tight, so I don't think you would have any issues. I can barely open this one one handed and it's slow. But I've heard where local policy go to crazy lengths to try to "flick" the knife and call it illegal, so the best thing is to avoid that scrutiny in the first place. If it were me, I would almost just carry a Victorinox or something nobody will see as threatening.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the quick reply! The knife's only $15 at the moment on Amazon, and I really want it, haha. I think I'll take a chance! :)

      Thanks again dude, I'll report back with whatever happens.

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    3. UPDATE: SUCCESS!

      I'm holding the knife right now! Looks like this one can get through Australian customs :) Thanks for your help, Mark!

      Delete
    4. Awesome. Let me know how you like it. I think the SanRenMu's are the best cheap knives money can buy. I still sometimes carry the GB-763 even though I have more expensive knives like the Spyderco's.

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