Welcome to Bargain or Just Cheap? This series will review budget friendly knives for a variety of uses in a short format. All of the knives will cost less than $50 (in most cases, much less) and will be purchased out of my own pocket. I’ll buy them, carry them, and use them in an attempt to determine if the knife is a bargain or just cheap.
I have already reviewed the Steel Will Modus in a past installment of Bargain or Just Cheap?. That knife is one that started to change what I expected from an affordable Chinese knife. As good as the Modus is in terms of a stylish EDC knife, the Cutjack is better. If the Modus is a great knife, the Cutjack is verging on “classic” status.
Steel Will offers the Cutjack in two sizes – the 3″ bladed C22M and the 3.5″ bladed C22. Like the Modus, they also offer it in a more upscale model with upgraded materials and blade steel. This review will be confined to the more budget oriented C22 and C22M models both of which features excellent textured FRN scales and a D2 steel blade.
The blade is a flat ground, drop point design with a flipper tab that acts as a guard and a large choil meant for chocking up. That large choil is a big part of the magic of this knife because it is actually very comfortable to use. The handle design works very well with the choil which means that the knife can feel very compact when folded but offer a handle that feels very roomy when opened. Couple that small-in-pocket-but-big-in-hand design with a very slicey blade grind, pocket-friendly scales, and a 3 ounce weight… You are approaching EDC perfection.
Steel Will’s liner locks are excellent in my experience. They lock up fully but early enough that you will get years and years of use out of them. They also do great work with flippers on phosphor bronze washers. The detent also seems to be perfectly tuned for great flipping action without the need for bearings. The action on these knives also punches well above their weight class. It locks up strong and flips well.
I think the cheaper and smaller C22M is the pick of the litter unless you need the extra size of the C22. The C22M, being smaller, really optimizes the advantages of this design.
Bargain or Just Cheap?
The Steel Will Cutjack is an incredible knife. It is a bargain at $60, let alone the $38ish you’ll actually pay. The Cutjack is lightweight, deploys smoother than many flippers costing significantly more, and offers a lot of cutting performance in a compact package.
I am using Amazon as the price baseline for this series. All knives were purchased by me from Amazon: Steel Will Cutjack Series
Our goal is to represent knives for a variety of uses from EDC, to outdoor, to tactical knives. Do you have a favorite affordable knife? Let us know about it in the comments!
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