After David did a blurb about First Edge Knives in his SHOT show video roundup, company C.E.O. Rick Shepherd contacted me to set up a phone interview. Until that video, I had not known about their knives, or the fact that they have been working in concert with Americas SOF warriors, who have been carrying their knives throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fast forward to this afternoon, when a First Edge 5050 Elmax Survival knife arrived at my door for testing. I have carried and played with it for about 10 hours now, and I think I may have found my new Zombie Apocalypse knife. This thing is burly. Much better than a U.K. verboten “Zombie Knife”.
This thing is big. It is a full-tang, slab scaled construction. The blade is a whopping ,235″ (yes almost 1/4″!) thick slab of Elmax steel, measuring 11.25″ overall with a 5.125″, flat ground blade. It weighs in at 17.5 oz without the sheath. The g-10 scales fill up my medium-large hand and then some. Any bigger and it would be an issue, but acceptable especially in light of the extremely effective checkering.
In case you were wondering if something this massive can take a fine edge, yes it can. I shaved, sliced newsprint, and 100 linear feet of corrugated cardboard. This knife is so cool that I just had to start with actually testing it right away. In fact, I am going to take it fishing for the first time tomorrow.
The Elmax kept a terrific edge throughout the cardboard test, but make no mistake, this thing has some friction issues when it comes to cutting cardboard. The cardboard tended to accordion a bit, but through 100 linear feet of cardboard, the cut itself was clean. It was no longer arm-shaving sharp, but still did fine on newsprint. There was no sign of wear to the black oxide finish.
I even was inspired by last night’s episode of Forged in Fire to try slicing the edge of a book. Lacking a phone book, I tried an old paperback, (Larry Bond’s Red Phoenix if you are keeping score at home). It worked like this video we shared a while back.
I needed to do one final test for a knife that was worthy of its burliness. I took five solid whacks at a piece of 2×4 in my vise, and sent some serious chips flying.
I can’t wait to take this knife out to the woods and start really putting this knife to work. Apparently our friend Tim of EveryDayTacticalVids beat us to it. He posted this picture to Instagram this afternoon, even tagging @knifetruth in it. He just got one to review as well. I looked and he hasn’t posted a video yet, I will share it when he does.