Knife Review: Ferrum Forge Pretium

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This knife changed my life. Before this I was buying productions, but in the months leading up to this purchase I had been watching videos on custom knives and mid-techs (mostly Jim Skelton, Terafanatic, and gktii on YouTube and Instagram). Since I bought this, I have not bought anything less than a Strider PT. I’ve caught a taste of the high life, and I can’t go back. To me, this knife is nothing short of perfection.

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History and Design:

Elliot Williamson is the brains behind Ferrum Forge. He literally started by forging swords and large fixed blades. He eventually moved on to doing folders. He started by doing full custom knives and drawing up what the customer wanted until they were pleased. The Pretium is his first run of his own design. He only made 100 and they were available for about $600. From doing this he learned two things: First, that he never wanted to do a run this large again. Second, that he would have to charge more in subsequent runs in order to make money.

Closed shot

Closed shot

Elliot is quite the character. He puts out the occasional YouTube video of what he’s doing around the shop, half of which is him and his brother goofing off between stints on the grinder. He’s also very knowledgeable. His videos are where I learn about steels and what was going on with Zero Tolerance’s Elmax blades. He is also very meticulous in his work. He is a perfectionist and and artist. The carvings on some of his customs are just wicked. I honestly have nothing bad to say about him.

Rock pattern on back

Rock pattern on back

The Pretium is a slab of Elmax steel between two slabs of titanium. The blade is .175″ thich, 3.5″ long, and is two-tone finished. It is deployed by a flipped tab, of which Elliot is a master of. It also features a choil for detailed tasks. The overall blade shape is phenomenal for pretty much any EDC task. It’s lockup is amazing. The titanium frame and steel insert will not fail. In most reviews I normally say probably will not fail, but here I’m certain it will not.

Thick blade stock

Thick blade stock

The detent is part of what makes this knife special. On the Junkyard Dog review, I explained that a good detent can make or break a flipper. This detent is perfect, partially because it is a Hoback Rolling Detent. The HRD was created by Jake Hoback (with whom I have an order in). Most detent balls are stationary; the HRD rolls, decreasing friction and creating a smoother action. The HRD is also adjustable, but is tricky. You can make it stronger or looser depending on what you prefer, but it is easy to over-tighten it, causing the knife to not deploy at all.

The clip is plain but it works

The clip is plain but it works

The Pretium also features many cosmetic features. All of the edges are contoured and the spine and flipper tab all have a rock pattern to break up the lines and give just a little bit extra traction. There are also a few lines milled into the frame on the presentation side around the pivot. And now for the special part. Mine is the only Pretium to be anodized gold from Elliot. Mine is not the only one with embellishments (see Jim Skelton’s Pretium), but the golden bronze is a great touch. The Pretium also comes in a nice presentation case with a certificate of authenticity.

Nice details

Nice details

Standard grip

Standard grip

Ergonomics:

Phenomenal. It fits my (small) hands perfectly in every configuration, and I have not heard of any problems with larger hands. Standard, reverse, or choking up, it just fits. Really the only thing I’d change is the clip. He did the cheap clip to save a bit of cost. I plan on having a custom clip made (Ironwood Bladeworks on Instagram). Other than that I have no complaints.

Choked up. Nice spot for your thumb

Choked up. Nice spot for your thumb

Reverse grip

Reverse grip

Testing:

I have not chopped through tons of cardboard like I have done in past reviews, but I’ve carried this for four months and cut enough boxes at work to know the ins and outs of this knife. It came to me extremely sharp. It was probably the sharpest knife I’ve handled. Since then I have noticed a very slight degradation in the ease of cutting. Did I mention it’s .175″ thick? With a blade that thick it is tough to have good slicing capabilities, but this nails it with a combination of Elliot’s skill, a convex edge, and the heat treat on the Elmax. While a thinner blade will contribute to ease of cutting, the thick stock does not seem to be hindering its capabilities. I honestly expect this knife to last most if not all my life. And if it does break, I’m sure Elliot will fix it.

Another shot of the logo and two-tone blade

Another shot of the logo and two-tone blade

Top to bottom: Chris Reeve Umnumzaan, Pretium, Matt Diskin Fire

Top to bottom: Chris Reeve Umnumzaan, Pretium, Matt Diskin Fire

Next to a Zero Tolerance 550

Next to a Zero Tolerance 550

RATING:

Style:*****

If you are a fan of large knives that are fun to play with, start looking for one. The anodizing is just a cool extra.

Blade: **** 1/2 

Stylish, useful shape. Great steel and execution. Kind of thick for slicing, which is what I mostly use my blades for.

Ergonomics: *****

Comfortable in every grip and rides nicely in the pocket.

Durability: *****

I have a high level of confidence in this knife. If it does break I’m sure Elliot will fix it.

Overall: *****

Like I said, this knife has put me on a new level. The difference is like going from shooting a Smith and Wesson M&P Sport to shooting a Noveske or LaRue AR-15. Look for more high-end knives from me in the future.

comments

  1. Joe says:

    Excellent and complete review of a very nice knife!

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Knife Review: Ferrum Forge Pretium

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