Mastiff Damascus Steel Folding Knife from Infinity Cutlery
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
Most lock blade folding knives made with genuine Damascus steel blades are very expensive. A happy exception to this generalization is Infinity Cutlery's Mastiff, the subject of this review. There are inexpensive knives made with faux Damascus blades, but the Mastiff is the real thing. Its 74mm long blade is fabricated from 71 layer Japanese Damascus steel with a Rockwell hardness of 58. The attractive front bolsters are also Damascus steel and the grip panels are, optionally, ebony wood, zebra wood, stag or horn.
We ordered sample knives in ebony, horn and stag and all are very attractive. Each Damascus blade and bolster has a unique pattern.
To our surprise, the Mastiff knives arrived packaged in fitted hardwood boxes with recessed hinges and a magnetic latch. "Mastiff" and the Mastiff logo are laser engraved on the box lids. Inside this deluxe box, in addition to the knife, are an Infinity Cutlery, Inc. Limited Lifetime Warranty and a card specifying the particulars of the Damascus blade. Here are the knife's basic specifications.
The back locking bar mechanism is positive and safe. The mechanism and liners are stainless steel. The knife is assembled using four small Torx screws per side, instead of pins or rivets. This makes it possible to tighten the knife, should it ever loosen. The blades in our test samples were tight, without side to side play, yet smooth and easy to open. A nail notch is provided on the blade, but it isn't necessary.
The hollow ground blade has a gently curved cutting edge and is very sharp out of the box. Its shape is appropriate for field dressing game, cleaning fish and general purpose use. This is a practical outdoorsman's knife.
The fit of the grip panels to the liners and bolsters is very good, flush and smooth. The machining and polishing of the metal parts is well done. These knives have a deluxe appearance that belies their reasonable price. This is possible because the Japanese have developed machines to fabricate Damascus steel. This eliminates the time consuming and expensive process of folding and hammering by hand. Final fabrication and assembly is performed in Red China, where low labor costs help hold down the knife's ultimate retail price. The result is a completely functional, as well as beautiful, Damascus folding knife at a reasonable price.
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