My new collection of 50+ Chinese knives

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ToyKeeper
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My order of knives came in today (much to my surprise, since the tracking site said it was still in Hong Kong just a few hours before it showed up). The order included a black SRM 733, SRM 710, SRM 711, and a half-serrated Enlan/Bee EL-01.

The SRM 711 is a slightly larger clone of the CRKT K.I.S.S., 6.25” open as compared to 5.75” open. It also uses a harder steel than the original. I got it mostly because I always kinda wanted one (despite its inherently-unsafe design) and this was only $5. It’s unsafe because: if the blade opens even slightly, which isn’t very hard to do, it could easily catch on almost anything and cause damage or deep injuries. And while in use, it can only be held in one specific way to avoid letting the lock slip, so it’s risky to use. A friend of mine learned this first-hand and ended up with permanent nerve damage. However, it’s still a neat item even though (for safety reasons) I’ll only be using it to open postal mail.

The SRM 710 is exactly what reviews said it is — well-designed, well-built, sharp, effective, ergonomic, and boring. Its boring-factor is actually a good thing, since it doesn’t look like anything special and therefore shouldn’t attract negative attention. It simply looks like a generic knife… however, it is also a deceptively good generic knife. I don’t have a specific use in mind for it yet, but I may end up carrying it if the SRM 733 attracts too much attention.

The Enlan/Bee EL-01 (half-serrated) is just a tad bit too long to be legal for carrying in public where I live, and is too large for my EDC tastes anyway. However, it seems like it’ll be very nice for my intended use, which is a workhorse knife for heavy-duty tasks around the house and garage. I’ve already got a pile of boxes waiting for its attention, to be broken down for recycling. It’s large, but that’s a good thing in this case. It also seems to have the strongest locking mechanism, with the far edge of the frame lock naturally sliding slightly past the edge of the blade, so 100% of the lock is in contact with the butt of the blade. It’s a very grippy and well-built knife, and my only complaint is that its blade is a little off-center when closed. Its weight and flipper make it fun to fidget with, too, since it’s easy to open even with just inertia.

The black SRM 733 is my favorite, though. It’s slim, small, fun to fidget with, opens easily in two different ways, is just the right size for my keychain or purse clip ring, and is black so it won’t draw the eye. It looks a bit more threatening than the SRM 710 though, which might be bad in public. In any case, it has a terrific grip with a good finger guard, gripping it holds the lock closed, and it’s sharp and attractive and comfortable to use.

All four items are tight and solid, with absolutely no blade play or loose screws or significant imperfections (aside from the off-center EL-01 blade). All four easily slice through paper, cardboard, or even an entire magazine. I’m pretty happy with the purchase, especially since it all cost less than a single entry-level Spyderco would cost locally.

Also, by coincidence, I received a ceramic medium-grit sharpening stick today… so I should have no trouble keeping these knives sharp. (Lansky 8” Sharp Stick, recommended in another BLF thread)

FlashPilot
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Do you own a non-serrated EL-01 yet? You might find it much more useful in your everyday chores… unless your job is to cut lengths of rope all day. Wink I carry my EL-01 at the rear most part of my pocket, where the length stays in line with my thigh and remains forgotten & unobtrusive until called upon.

My 733’s took forever to receive because they are so popular. I agree… they are a fantastic budget multipurpose blade. I shaved my face with mine during a long camping trip. Results werent great, but it did the job without slitting my throat. :bigsmile:

Thanks for posting your observations. Interestingly, at least two spydies are manufactured by SMR, and I suspect that holds true with many other posh brands that we arent aware of.

SRM’s… such fantastic bargains.

SRM 733:

ToyKeeper
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FlashPilot wrote:
Do you own a non-serrated EL-01 yet? You might find it much more useful in your everyday chores… unless your job is to cut lengths of rope all day. Wink I carry my EL-01 at the rear most part of my pocket, where the length stays in line with my thigh and remains forgotten & unobtrusive until called

No, I only have a half-serrated EL-01. It’s my only half-serrated blade (aside from a 20-year-old Leatherman) and I got it that way because I intend to use it as a “beater” for heavy-duty tasks around the house. With the serrated portion, I can brute-force my way through things even if the smooth part gets dull. I won’t be carrying an EL-01 with me because I prefer smaller EDCs and it’s slightly too large for legal carry in public where I live.

All my other knives, including the fabulous SRM 733, are a smooth edge. I intend to be gentler with those and take much better care of them.

BTW, since one of my knives is black, do you know which solvents I should/shouldn’t use to clean the blade without removing the color?

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I use very hot water, a 3M white nylon scouring pad and Dawn dish washing soap to clean my knives.

ToyKeeper
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FlashPilot wrote:
I use very hot water, a 3M white nylon scouring pad and Dawn dish washing soap to clean my knives.

Okay. I normally use nail polish remover / acetone to get extra-stubborn gunk off of knives, but didn’t know if that would damage the black finish. As far as I can tell from testing and ‘net articles, it’s totally safe for the metal; I just don’t know about the black coating.
Deklan
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Has anyone used zippo lighter fluid? They seem to remove the sticky glue residue from masking and duct tape quite efficiently, but i’m wondering if they do any damage to the G10 and black coating…

FlashPilot
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The only way to find out is to test a small area to see if the finish holds up. Id probably treat the spine of the blade first. That way if the finishes was removed, you could treat the entire spine to make it appear that it was a deliberate factory 2-tone enhancement. Please let us know what you find out.

ToyKeeper
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I got my Tekut LK5050 ‘Dapper’ today from DealeXtreme. ( manufacturer’s page )

It’s better quality than I expected, though not as good as a Sanrenmu.

The good:

  • mirror-polished titanium nitride rainbow finish (pretty colors!)
  • 7Cr17MoV HRC 58 steel (comparable to type 440A, better rust resistance than 8Cr13MoV)
  • is light and thin and small (55mm blade, 137mm overall)
  • the blade locks open tight, at least in the forward/backward rotation direction
  • a detent keeps the blade securely closed; no matter how hard I shake it, it doesn’t budge
  • came sharp, though not as sharp as my Sanrenmu blades… passed the paper and cardboard tests, but not with a totally smooth cut. I haven’t attempted to sharpen it yet.
  • the colors are darker than they look in DX’s pictures
  • low price

The bad:

  • has a minor color blemish on the carabiner clip
  • the blade can wiggle a bit side to side
  • the frame lock only engages about 40%
  • the blade is slightly off-center when closed — at about the one-third mark between the frame pieces, instead of at exactly half
  • with mirror finish and no grippy elements, it’s a bit slippery

The ugly:

  • Mirror finish is very difficult to keep clean; it shows finger oils very easily, and even shipped with someone else’s finger oil on it. Just a cosmetic thing, but it’s a bit “ugly” in a cosmetic sense.

Other notes:

  • It’s smaller than I expected… but then, I didn’t look as closely at the specs as I thought. It’s now my smallest knife. The size and color help make it look non-threatening though.
  • DX took forever to get it to me, and they tried to cancel my order at one point.
  • I’m not yet sure if the rainbow finish can withstand life on a keychain… I’m kind of scared to try it because I don’t want to ruin the pretty colors.

Now I just have to decide whether to keep carrying my black SRM 733 or switch to this LK5050.

—-

Edit 2013-03-05: I finally removed the thumb studs and I’m much happier with this knife now. I had to hold a soldering iron on the studs for a while to melt the glue, and then was able to just barely turn the studs with needle-nosed pliers. The studs got pretty scratched up in the process, but that’s okay. The finish on the knife itself is still perfect. I’ve been carrying this on my keychain since I got it and it doesn’t have any noticeable scratches (though the mirror finish does pick up fingerprints easily). It’s small, it’s pretty, and it’s non-threatening, so it’s a nice keychain knife.

—-

Edit 2013-05-02: After about three months of carrying this on my keychain, it’s starting to show some wear on the finish. Mostly, the corners and edges are starting to wear off, and there are a few shallow scratches visible when shining a light at it (like what can be seen in the finish of most cars). However, I also keep a diamond-coated file on my keychain… so YMMV.

I think I’m going to order a few more, as gifts and possibly as replacements in case this one ever wears too far.

—-

Edit 2014-01-28: I’ve been carrying this on my key chain for nearly a year now (wow, has it been that long?), and it’s still sharp and pretty and nearly everyone who sees it wants one. Fortunately, I bought a bunch to give as gifts, so when they express an interest I can usually give them one. Color varies from unit to unit though. The off-center blade is now more off-center, all the way to the side as far as it can go, but that doesn’t seem to affect anything. The blade lock actually works better now than it did when it was new. Most of the corners and edges have lost enough coating to show the bare metal, but the large smooth areas are still quite colorful and the wear isn’t obvious. The knife has microscopic scratches all over, but again, it’s hard to see unless looking for it with a bright light. Fingerprints are still more noticeable than any of the permanent wear. It’s holding up pretty well, overall, especially considering the amount of wear it gets from being on a heavy and scratchy keychain. I got a second one to use when this one gets too old, but it looks like that won’t happen for at least a few years. I haven’t even needed to sharpen it yet (though, to be fair, I normally use my Enlan EL-01 for heavy-duty tasks and use this item for relatively easy stuff).

Also, FastTech now sells this item and some other Tekut knives. Some of the others are rainbow-finished too.

FlashPilot
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Thanks for the detailed review. Considering what you paid, Id say that you made out fairly well. If you dont like the knife, you can always gift it to someone else. Just point out that the the frame lock only engages by less than half and to exercise some caution while handling.

Like many others that collect cheap knives, I still havent found a decent replacement/clone for DX sku19366. Now, I wish I had bought more and not gifted the others.

FlashPilot
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I just had to laugh when I received the latest knifecenter email advertisement. For a measily $325 +shipping, you can own a… (get ready for a ridiculously long name) Darrel Ralph DDR Limited Edition Gunhammer Torpedo Assisted 3-1/2” Stonewashed M390 Plain Blade, Aluminum Handles. I’ll just refer to this as “the EL-01-like-knock-off” to simplify things. Big Smile

Sure, its probably a better knife in every way… but by how much? Under typical cutting conditions, will the blade maintain an edge 10% longer? Perhaps 15% longer? I seriously doubt it, and 20% would be wishful thinking. True, that its a beautiful work of art, but so is the $18 Enlan EL-01… which still happens to be my EDC of choice. One of mine has been beaten to hell and back, is easy to sharpen to a razors edge and holds that edge for a very long time. I wouldnt think about subjecting a $100 blade to such abuse, much less one that costs +$300… but thats just me.

The $18 (includes shipping) Enlan EL-01. IMO, still the best of the cheapies in a large robust do-all clip-on folder:

THANK YOU ENLAN!! :bigsmile: :bigsmile:

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doingoutdoor wrote:
Wow!!!!!

I love your Rosewood handle EL-01. Very classy!

MrCG
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Got a question for the knife experts : )

I think I…need* an Enlan EL-01. What´s the place to get it from quickly and for a good price?
Maybe you guys can compare it to the Ganzo G704- size, weight and overal feeling in the hand?

(* I don´t need it, but I want it ^^)

Freman
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I would recommend Aliexpress, Hello Gift Shop. (He posts here occasionally)

It’s bigger than the Ganzo and in my opinion feels better in the hand.

The rosewood scaled knife looks very nice, and feels better.

I squirted some CRC through the pivot and it freed up to the point that I can flip it open without any wrist movement.

MrCG
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Never heard of that Hello Gift Shop and Aliexpress wants ~17 USDs from me : /

Freman
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Well there’s this eBay seller for $15.59?.

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Haw about this one:

Link

Forgot to say, it needs to be shipped to Germany, I have no ebay account but Paypal.

Freman
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Well an eBay account is easy to get.

I think Ali should have free postage to Germany, they do it free to New Zealand.

Just checked, they do say free postage, which would save a couple of dollars on the one you linked to. Just remember to add a message to the seller specifying accurate details on the customs label. They do tend to put “outdoor tools” and undervalue if you don’t specify.

MrCG
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Am I missing something or is Ali more expensive thn DO from my link?

edit:

Has anyone experience with http://www.greatwalloutdoor.com ?

Freman
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Ali build the postage in, so you’re not paying separately for postage.

MrCG
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DO says

Quote:
For knife and battery,just can be shipped via Singapore post registered airmail with tracking number, free shipping
Freman
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In that case, go for it. That’s a pretty good price.

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An El-01 in the $15-17 range with free shipping is a descent price. There are several variations, so it will be worth a few extra dollars (if necessary) to get the version you most desire.

Enjoy!

MrCG
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Ordered it!

That`s the 5th knife reachable from my desk…

MrCG
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Links don´t work.

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posts deleted to help prevent the innocent from being scammed by the discoverybuying bastards and their band of crooked thieves. :Sp

MrCG
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Now they work!

Though they come too late ; )

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FlashPilot wrote:
They work on my end. Maybe limited by country? Anyone else?

Links work for me…and about to cost me more $ Shocked

No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.

My Reviews: Ma

Freman
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Sheesh, I just bought another EL-01, this time in yellow.

Darn you Enlan, why did you have to make such a good knife?

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Just say NOOOOooooo to Enlan! She’s a real sexy girl, but can you really handle more than 4 or 5? :bigsmile:

Freman
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FlashPilot wrote:
Just say NOOOOooooo to Enlan! She’s a real sexy girl, but can you really handle more than 4 or 5? :bigsmile:

She’s very insistent.

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