I see Stuart Mitchell has joined this forum and since I'm using one of his knives I thought I'd post a quick review.
For the record, I'm in no way connected to Stu or his business and I've paid for any knife I've had off him.
Some perspective, because what I like may not be what you like:
I'd confess to being a knife-a-holic (in the past ), both making and buying more knives than any man could need! That said, I do use my knives; they aren't "safe queens". I have owned and used customs and factory made knives in steels as varied as H1 to O1, CPM-Rex121 to 52100. For a long time I followed the high-carbide, particle metal route, believing the high-hardness, high-abrasion-resistance hype that makes these steels look essential. I've begun to drift away from that philosophy, since most of my use doesn't need steel optimised to cut silica-impregnated test-strips 1000's of times between touch-ups.
Edge-stability in the field, ease of maintaining a good edge and real-world performance are what I value in a knife steel for general outdoor use.
Anyway, that's my context- on with the show!
(Apologies for photo quality- they are phone pics.)
The micarta-scaled handle is very comfortable and secure. The grip is enhanced by the contour of the grip and the bead-blast finish (I think). I didn't choose polished scales as this finish is tactile and grippy.
The blade shape suits a wide variety of tasks. The tapered-tang gives it a lovely balance, mine has red liners as I like the look. Grind, Fit and finish are impeccable.
I roughed out a spoon blank and had a crack at a love-spoon. Granted its not as good as a dedicated carver but once used to it I found it a pleasure to use:
Works very nicely on pies, too:
As for deer, I've only processed 4 with this knife. Bagged this young fallow buck yesterday morning. Seemed to be limping and was the only male in the group to present a shot, so lights out it was.
He looks to have gashed his left hind leg, perhaps on a fence.
Micarta bead-blast finish (I think) was good and grippy in the blood and fat:
The Kydex sheath was simplicity itself to clean up, too, with a rinse hole discreetly position at the back. I specc'd mine with a fire steel holder and alternate belt loop for horizontal carry.
The SF100 is performing far better than one might expect, given the "humble" chemistry.
I'm increasingly of the opinion that high-carbide, high abrasion-resistant steels are less suited to my "real-world" needs than less technically advanced (yet still impressive) steels like SF100, 12c27, Cruwear, AEB-L. I guess CPM3V hits the sweet spot for me but isn't as corrosion resistant as SF100.
Think I'll flog my K390 whizz-bang, mega-steel blades and enjoy the do-it-all knife that Stu has crafted in a highly capable, British steel.
I unearthed one task it does not excel in: tried carving pumpkins with it but the depth of the blade was too great so switched to a whittler:
Jack O'Lanterns notwithstanding, this is a very capable knife and a thing of beauty, to boot. I suspect the lad with the pumpkins will be prying it from cold-dead hands, such is the quality!
Happy Halloween everybody!