When Reader “Switchblade” writes a review, he goes all out. Well maybe he is slipping a little. His review of the Cudeman “Green Beret Cadet” had 52 images. This one only has 36. I am joking of course. I couldn’t be more happy to include Switch’s work alongside our regular writers. This is another great one – HCA.
Knife Review. Jeo Tec Model #7
This brand of knives is designed in the USA and made in Spain. But unfortunately I could not find out exactly which company is the manufacturer. I suspect it is one of the larger names from the Albacete area. Also, I think this brand is aimed primarily at North America.
They offer a 100% money back guarantee and their knives come with a lifetime warranty against defects in manufacturing and/or materials.
The company has a good selection of different outdoor knife designs and models on their palette.
But let us see the subject of this review, the #7 model, which is their most popular knife to date.
- Steel: Böhler N690Cobalt Stainless Steel @ HRC 56-58
- Total length: 260mm
- Blade length: 135mm
- Blade width: 36mm
- Blade thickness: 5mm
- Weight: 290g (+125g for the sheath)
About the steel:
This Austrian made steel has excellent properties to be used as a knife blade. It has very good wear resistance and edge holding ability with excellent corrosion resistance while it is still durable.
The N690Co is similar to the Japanese VG-10 material. But the added cobalt content creates an even more uniform steel structure and allows the production of a fine cutting edge.
Components of the Bohler N690Co steel:
- C – 1.08
- Si – 0.40
- Mn – 0.40
- Cr – 17.30
- Mo – 1.10
- V – 0.10
- Co – 1.50
This particular model is my first hands on experience with the Jeo-Tec brand. The knife, the sheath and a little ground to air signal code card arrive in a cardboard box. It is a well designed, good looking, medium sized outdoor belt knife.
The model #7 has a robust, full broad tang construction. The balance point of the knife is about on the first Allan screw behind the guard, making it pretty much neutral. The drop point blade has a full flat grind with a secondary bevel. (Let me mention here, that the factory edge was somewhat obtuse and a bit uneven. It still had a good working edge, but was not hair-shaving sharp. Other than that, the fit and finish was good all around.) There is a fair sized finger choil for better close up control and this choil works well together with the “valley” in the spine. By the way, the spine has a sharp 90 degree angle along its full length, which is a very useful feature for scraping a ferrocerium rod or other materials as well.
This particular model has a desert sand colored micarta handle and the handle panels are removable via the stainless steel Allen screws. There is an integrated finger guard which houses a front lanyard hole and the extended tang at the butt of the knife has another lanyard hole.
These micarta panels have some subtle 3D surface texture to enhance and provide a safe grip. This handle feels good in the hand and it does provide a very secure grip even when wet. Here is an “in hand” photo collage to demonstrate this in the most common holds and also to give you a size reference.
My model #7 version has a strong cordura sheath, that is Molle compatible and belt mountable as well. The knife has a minor rattle in the sheath, but sits in there very secure with the retention strap and snap button engaged. This sheath has a roomy, non adjustable storage pouch as well. I find this sheath design a little bit bulky for my taste, although it is not a deal breaker (YMMV). But I know that they also offer a beautiful leather sheath for this model, which is not as bulky.
The package includes a nice, Jeo-Tec branded tin box, which fits right in the pouch of the sheath and can be used to store a little survival kit.
I like to use my equipment for a while before I form and share my opinions. So, I have been using this knife for about three months now for all kinds of tasks and tests, out of doors and around the house. And I would like to share my observations and experiences (grouped by field of applications here) with everyone who is interested.
As usual in this part of my test regime, I tried to get as many different materials as possible for cutting subjects in order to get a better idea about the potential and capabilities of the given knife. These materials included fibrous matter
such as, two different kinds of kernmantle type rope…
…and braided polypropylene rope.
Still with the fibrous group, some 20mm wide nylon webbing…
…a 25mm variety…
…and a strong, 55mm wide construction anchor.
For plastic materials I have used PVC linoleum welding cord…
…8mm diameter soft PVC hose…
…and hard, thick walled PVC tube.
The next group is rubbery stuff, like double walled and reinforced pneumatic air hose…
…and another rubber hose.
A piece of leather, which would also fit into the fibrous materials…
…and finally some newsprint slicing.
The model #7 had absolutely no difficulties with any of these cutting and slicing tasks and it performed pretty good in this part of my test regime.
My next group of assignments is a very important domain for an outdoor knife.
Woodwork and Field use:
Let us start with a whittling photo collage. Points on a stick, notches, tent/tarp stakes, trap triggers, etc…
This blade was working very nicely, separating thin wood slices and chips or larger pieces as it was needed. The finger choil proved to be a useful addition for finer, close up work.
In my opinion, producing good feather-sticks is an important skill for fire making and also a very good exercise for honing our knife-skills. So, let us see some feather-stick photos…
I think wood splitting or batoning is another important part of fire preparation and it is also useful for a number of other purposes as well. This knife handled the task well, as the following photo collage and pictures can attest to it.
…and harvesting fatwood.
Like I said earlier, I find a sharp spine useful for instance to make fine scrapings for tinder. In this case from fatwood..
…and then igniting the scrapings with sparks from a ferro-cerium rod (utilizing the spine of the blade) and creating fire.
I did test the strength of the blade tip on a few occasions as well. For example, here I used the knife for getting rid of some thick bark and to pry open a dead log looking for punk wood. This blade has a strong point due to the geometry and the 5mm thickness.
The knife carried out all these kinds of work with ease and proved to be a very useful tool.
Last, but not least I put my #7 model to work in kitchen service and took some photos of these chores.
Cutting up some carrots, parsnips and celery…
…jalopeño, red bell pepper and cabbage.
Dividing a Chinese grapefruit or pomelo…
…and slicing some Hungarian farmer salami.
Of course this blade is not a chef’s knife… But I can tell you, it can do a decent food processing job and it will handle all camp cooking assignments as well.
The Jeo-Tec #7 model is a well thought out design, robustly built from good quality materials in a useful, capable size. It is also easy on the eyes (IMHO). My particular model had the little edge problem in the beginning and I decided to change and re-profile the secondary bevel to about 33-35 degree inclusive, during my testing. With this new edge the knife works a lot better and easier. This N690Cobalt steel with the given heat treatment can perform well with this angle, even with the heavier tasks, no problems there at all. The knife can take on hard, demanding jobs, such as splitting and/or preparing firewood, but it will do a respectable food handling task, as well (thanks to the full flat grind). Also, I was happy with the edge retention and corrosion resistance. The knife suffered no damages, nicks, rolls or anything like that, no stains, rust or patina, whatsoever. This blade stood up to everything I threw at it and passed with flying colors. Maintenance of the knife is a breeze, since it has a stainless steel blade and synthetic handle. The handle is comfortable providing a secure grip. I did not experience any hot spots during my usage.
All in all, it is a nice, versatile package (with the sheath and tin box) and it will do a lot of work and serve well as a bushcraft, survival or general outdoor blade. My experience with this brand so far is positive and I can definitely recommend this knife for consideration.
Thanks for reading!