Review: Ganzo Knives
No matter how many knives I have, I seem to get the itch to buy another on a regular basis. Owning several expensive knives with high end steels, I find myself always feeling hesitant to use them. Concerned about dulling them or chipping the blade, they spend most of their time in the drawer. This might not make a whole lot of sense, but I did have every intention of using them daily when they were purchased. However when it came time to actually use them, I didn’t want to lose that nice factory edge and unblemished steel finish.
So I began a quest for for a DECENT inexpensive knife that would serve me well. Criteria for my search included minimizing any buyers remorse or hesitation to use the knife in any abusive cutting tasks that may present themselves. After much searching, I came across Ganzo knives:
Based on information off their website and internet forums, Ganzo Knives was founded over 20 years ago. Looking at the many models they offer, it becomes obvious they have had some success copying other knife maker’s designs. While these copied designs look strikingly similar to other manufactures models, they are always marked with the Ganzo or Firebird logo and to my knowledge, they have never tried to pass them off as counterfeits. Lately, however, they seem to be moving away from mimicking others and are coming up with their own designs.
The Firebird line of Ganzo knives is their brand that is made for the USA Market. When I was doing my research, the combination of these knives having so many great reviews with most models being priced under twenty five dollars drew me in. Measuring in at a little under 4 3/4″ closed, with a blade length of approximately 3 – 3/8″, I settled on the Firebird Knives F760 for three main reasons:
Reason Number 1: G10 Handle Scales – G10 is probably my favorite handle material. Original developed for circuit boards, G10 is made from epoxy resin and fiberglass. Extremely tough and slip resistant, G10 is impervious to most chemicals and usually found on knives at much higher price points. The texture of the G10 and the jimping on the top of the handle help to maintain a positive grip, but are not aggressive enough to restrict my hand from easily entering my pocket.
Reason Number 2: Deep Carry Clip – For some reason, knife makers don’t seem to favor the deep carry pocket clip. The last knife I purchased with a deep carry clip similar to this model was the SOG Flash 2. I loved the way it rode in my pocket, but was extremely unimpressed with it’s edge holding ability. The Firebird Knives F760 rides deep and comfortably in my pocket. With just the clip exposing itself, it draws little attention and nicely conceals the knife.
Reason Number 3: 440C Steel Blade – While not considered an exotic steel, 440C has proven itself as a very competent knife steel for decades. I wanted a knife with a steel that had good edge retention and would stand up to daily use without the need for constant sharpening. I was extremely unimpressed with the AUS 8 steel that came with my SOG knife. Maybe I received one with poor heat treatment, but it seemed to become relatively dull in a short time span. The same goes for the 420 steel bladed buck knives I have had. This maybe the reason I am so gun shy about using my expensive knives. Not knowing what heat treatment Ganzo or Firebird knives use, I convinced myself this knife was worth trying due to many other purchasers’ glowing reviews.
Experience: Upon receiving the Firebird Knives F760, I was very impressed with the craftsmanship that went a knife selling at this price point. The blade was perfectly centered in the handle when closed, and it was shaving sharp. The G10 handle is beveled at the edges to feel comfortable in the hands and lays flat with no gaps between it and the steel liners. The washers that hold the blade in place contain caged ball bearings to allow smooth and quick blade deployment. Initial open and closing of the knife was met with slight resistance. This soon smoothed out and now the action is buttery smooth. The knife can be flipped open and closed extremely quickly. In most cases, this action is faster than an assisted or automatic knife. Because it does have bearings, the knife may need to be disassembled for cleaning and lubrication at some point if used in very harsh or dirty environments. Blade lock-up is solid with an ever so slight amount of blade play.
Usage: After using the Firebird FB760 for about a month now, I can tell you I am extremely impressed with this knife. Most of my cutting tasks involve cardboard, which is very good at wearing down sharp edges. Initially, I was expecting the blade to cut well and then dull to the point where it was ripping and tearing. This, however, has not been the case. While not shaving sharp anymore Ganzo must have done their job in preparing this knife steel because it just keeps cutting. After slicing through many feet/boxes of cardboard, I am still able to slice thin strips of paper as a cutting test.
The blade of the Firebird Knives F760 came with a gray coating. Again, for the price I was not expecting too much out of this and I was not surprised when I noticed scuffs in the coating after slicing through my first box. What did surprise me was that the scuffs did not get worse and the coating is not coming off. Most of the marks on the coating appear to be removable by buffing the blade with a smooth cloth rag.
With the internal bearings, this knife can be easily opened and closed with one hand even when wearing gloves as a hard flick will overcome the retention force to open. Closing simply requires pulling on the locking pin and the blade will falls back into the handle with the assistance of gravity.
For the money, these knives are a steal. Even if you already have an everyday carry knife, I would definitely recommend purchasing one of these as a back-up knife or an accessory to an emergency kit.