Smith & Sons Mudbug lockback folding knife review

I’m constantly on the hunt for great work related gear. Being a home inspector for a pest control company, my gear is subjected to brutal environments. From extreme heat in the summer time, to well below freezing attics and crawlspaces in the winter time. My gear needs to be able to keep up with me, and exceed my expectations.

One of my most used tools is a good solid work knife. I’ve been through many different knives  over time, and never found a good balance between size, versatility, utility, and looks that I just loved. Until now that is. I’ve been rocking a Smith & Sons Knife companyMudbug for almost four months now. It has quickly become my go to work knife, and the favorite lock back knife that I own, bar none.

What makes it so great though? And how did it stand up to the wear and tear of my job, and the testing that I put it through? Make the jump to see.

Smith & Sons Mudbug Review

Initial quality-

The Mudbug came to me in a beautiful high quality brown cardboard box, wrapped up in a paper, and a Smith & Sons “flag”. The box said it all right on it “Proudly Crafted in the U.S.A”, and the Smith family that makes these knifes exude confidence in their product.


The initial quality of the Mudbug was perfect. It is made of 1095 carbon steel(one of my favorites), and sports a 3 and 5/8″ sodbusterstyle blade. It is fairly thin, at only .108″ of blade thickness, for a hard use knife you might think that is too skinny, but I found it perfect. My Mudbug came with paper smooth micarta handles, and they are just something else to look at. There is zero blade wobble, and no back and forth movement, which on an old school lockback design is impressive.

Smith & Sons Mudbug
just look at that handle!

Testing and Use:

Through my extensive use of the Mudbug I have never had it fail me. I have used it for food prep, cut into sheet rock walls, trimmed paint, cut insulation, cardboard, and EDC’ed it daily. Due to its thin blade it cuts like a champ, and can make quick work of just about anything. However, it’s also long enough that when used with a lanyard, you can use it to chop small limbs off branches as well.

For food prep I sliced into my favorite vegetables, Zucchini and tomatoes. It was able to make exact slices, and quarter a Zucchini superbly. Due to it’s length it was almost like using a small kitchen knife. The Sodbuster design really shines in almost any use. You have a sharp tip, nice deep belly, and long cutting edge that gives you the best of all the different features. I was also able to cut translucent slices of tomato with the Mudbug, which is a feat unto itself.



Smith & Sons Mudbug
The ribeye was so good I forgot to take pictures of the Mudbug cutting it…but it worked great!

Next up we had some EDC type tasks, cardboard, rope, and bungee cord. The Mudbug FLEW through rope and bungee, it was the best knife I’ve tested at either one of these tasks. I credit this to the long cutting edge, and the deep belly of the knife. The cardboard is slightly less zippy, but not exceptionally slow and it has processed dozens of boxes for me over the months I’ve carried it. We have a new baby on the way in a few weeks, and with a new baby comes tons of cardboard boxes from all the crap really important stuff that we need…

Smith & Sons Mudbug

Smith & Sons Mudbug

Smith & Sons Mudbug

Now onto the fun testing stuff! I’ve used the Mudbug to make some fuzz sticks for prepping fires, whittle wood, and chop small branches(less than 1” in diameter). I also used it several times to cut holes in sheetrock, cut fiberglass insulation, and generally beat the crap out of it in my inspections. My knife can be used for anything from light prying to using the butt end of it to hammer an attic hatch door back into place.

Smith & Sons Mudbug
perfectly good fuzz sticks for a small pocketknife!
Smith & Sons Mudbug
awesome tip strength.


Smith and Sons mudbug
you know…just popping holes in sheet rock to find the plumbing traps
Smith & Sons Mudbug
great in attics to cut insulation

The Mudbug is the classic knife that is just at home in the field, or in the office. It would make a good gentleman’s knife due to it’s single blade construction and great looks, but it really shines the dirtier it gets. The more wild the area, and the more patina on the 1095 blade the better it looks.

Overall impressions

The Mudbug is an exceptionally well made knife, that was created to fit a specific purpose. From Smith & Sons website;








I think that Smith & Sons NAILED it with their Mudbug. For $79.95 you get exactly the above criteria. In addition you can purchase a leather belt sheath to go with it, but I just opted to pocket it in the coin pocket of my work pants.

Smith & Sons Mudbug
the Mudbug is in the tip pocket. you can see the lanyard hanging out.

You also get the added benefit of purchasing a product from an unbelievable family. They are all involved in the product, and stand behind their name on them. While the Mudbug might be your first purchase from the Smith’s, it definitely won’t be your last.  I highly recommend you get on their pre-order list for a Mudbug, they have some coming in next month! To pre-order the Mudbug click here(if you do, let them know I sent you!.

Follow Smith & Sons on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on their products.

(This originally appeared on Rugged American Gear – Jake’s personal blog)


  1. mnblade says:

    “… the Smith family that makes these knifes exude confidence in their product.” Err, they may take pride in the product (as well they should — it’s a great knife), but they don’t MAKE them. These were manufactured for them by Great Eastern Cutlery in Pennsylvania.

  2. PeterK says:

    Yeah, that’s a beautiful knife. Nice review.

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Smith & Sons Mudbug lockback folding knife review

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