Enlan EL-01. Outstanding knife

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s.c.
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Enlan EL-01. Outstanding knife

The Enlan EL-01...what an outstanding value.  It is a large liner lock with the typical 8cr13mov blade steel.  The ergonomics and fit/finish compares with models costing MANY times more.  I especially like it because it seems to be an original design. 

As with every other SRM/Enlan/Bee knife I've ever handled, it was a little dirty and had the nasty yellowish lube.  After a thorough cleaning and oiling (I like mineral oil because it's food safe), the knife opens incredibly smooth with rock solid lockup.  It is the smoothest opening knife I own (I've owned many Benchmades, Kershaws, Spydercos, and a few William Henry).  The G10 scales offer good grip with no rough edges anywhere.  They line up perfectly with the liners.  I like that it doesn't have thumbstuds as it makes sharpening much easier, plus using the flipper is a lot of fun. 

My main complaint with the knife is the proprietery 3-hole pivot...and maybe the pocket clip could've been positioned better.

The detent does a great job keeping the knife closed unless deliberately opened.  Here's a short clip of me vigorously shaking the knife: 

http://tinypic.com/r/25rid07/7

 

Like most flippers, the flipper acts as a finger guard in the open position for greater security. 

The pocket clip could have been placed a bit more towards the rear, but it's sufficient.  While a bit of the handle is exposed when in the pocket, it does make it easier to retrieve.  The clip itself is solid, catches the pocket easily with good retention.

The liner lock is quite substantial and engages early with plenty of room for wear.  Disengaging the lock is smooth and easy but requires delberate action.  I have no fear that the knife would close during usage.

The blade is perfectly centered.  I've had many knives that cost much more from well respected companies that can't get it centered from factory like this:

I think it would compare nicely with the ZT0200 as they're both non-assisted liner-locks with a flipper.  Unfortunately I don't have one, but here's the EL-01 next to a ZT0350cb and a ZT0551.  Both the ZTs have superior blade steel but cost 10-20 times more.  The fit/finish, action, lock-up, etc. are all equal.

 

Edited by: s.c. on 06/07/2011 - 03:20
fishinfool
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Awesome review s.c.!  Hopefully mine gets here soon. 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Huny74
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Thanks for the presentation, s.c.

I always thought the EL-01 is a somewhat ugly knife, but your pics make it look much better compared to the online-shops'.

Gotta take a closer look at this one...

Kokopelli
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God it really looks good. Where can we get the exactly identical one? Any links and promotions? 

Oxy Moron
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DB has both the 01A and 01AB, as well as the (far less attractive, IMHO) 01B. They're all priced the same and they have mixed my orders up more than once so that's something to look out for. Exduct has them in stock as well. And the A is $9.95 plus S&H, which comes out to be about the same as what DB charges, but with better customer service.

how2
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That ZT0350cb looks nice but $175!!!! Cry

Is these a simillar Knive with the same design?

Vectrex
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Exduct (5% discount available (4DEAB5B1819A5) + promotion price of 8.99 = 8.54 , but no free shipping ~15$), Discovery Bargain (read dealers experience first), Ebay, Ali-express... link to the shops are HERE.

Got one from Exduct and 2 from Discovery Bargain here, the same good quality. Excellent knife, best one I have quality-wise , but rather large and bulky.

Thoth
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Great review, I got myself a couple, one I left stock and the other I modified and it is now one of my favorite folders.

The first modification was to make a emmerson wave hook  on the thumb ramp, it works perfect opens fast when I want to and can still be removed from the pocket without deploying.

The second mod was to convex and mirror polish the edge,  I recomend this to you all, it is literally razor sharp and it is super easy to mantain the edge, just strop in leather with white compound, no need for fancy sharpeners.

Removing the shoulder between the primary and secondary bevels makes a LOT of difference in the cutting performance.

el-01 a

el-01 b

el-01 c

s.c.
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how2 wrote:

That ZT0350cb looks nice but $175!!!! Cry

Is these a simillar Knive with the same design?

The regular ZT0350 should be much cheaper.

Oxy Moron wrote:

DB has both the 01A and 01AB, as well as the (far less attractive, IMHO) 01B. They're all priced the same and they have mixed my orders up more than once so that's something to look out for. Exduct has them in stock as well. And the A is $9.95 plus S&H, which comes out to be about the same as what DB charges, but with better customer service.

I've found exduct to be a reliable seller with very good customer service.  There may be other sites that are slightly cheaper, but I've read enough reviews to pay the small premium to stay at exduct.  I've got an EL-01B as well and find it just as appealing.  What's amazing about it is that everything on it is black, not just the blade.  The clip, liners, pivot, screws, and barrel spacers are all black. 

Thoth wrote:

 

Great review, I got myself a couple, one I left stock and the other I modified and it is now one of my favorite folders.

The first modification was to make a emmerson wave hook  on the thumb ramp, it works perfect opens fast when I want to and can still be removed from the pocket without deploying.

The second mod was to convex and mirror polish the edge,  I recomend this to you all, it is literally razor sharp and it is super easy to mantain the edge, just strop in leather with white compound, no need for fancy sharpeners.

Removing the shoulder between the primary and secondary bevels makes a LOT of difference in the cutting performance.

Funny, I ordered multiples just to do the wave mod on one of them too.  The shape of the thumb ramp makes it look like a natural mod. 

esrevenge
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s.c. wrote:

k it would compare nicely with the ZT0200 as they're both non-assisted liner-locks with a flipper.  Unfortunately I don't have one, but here's the EL-01 next to a ZT0350cb and a ZT0551.  Both the ZTs have superior blade steel but cost 10-20 times more.  The fit/finish, action, lock-up, etc. are all equal.

 

I cant wait for my EL01 to arrive, I should have ordered an all black version too.

 

Anyway, is the quality between the EL01 and the ZTs really equal?

 

I also have a Spyderco Delica which cost me around $70 (with the black plastic handle), and I think my SRM710 is actually a nicer knife too, in all regards, and it only cost me $7.  The blade length of the 710 is even a bit longer than the Delica, even though the SRM has a shorter handle.

s.c.
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esrevenge wrote:

s.c. wrote:

k it would compare nicely with the ZT0200 as they're both non-assisted liner-locks with a flipper.  Unfortunately I don't have one, but here's the EL-01 next to a ZT0350cb and a ZT0551.  Both the ZTs have superior blade steel but cost 10-20 times more.  The fit/finish, action, lock-up, etc. are all equal.

 

I cant wait for my EL01 to arrive, I should have ordered an all black version too.

 

Anyway, is the quality between the EL01 and the ZTs really equal?

 

 

After taking it completely apart, cleaning it thoroughly, oiling it, and carefully putting it back together...yes, it is on par with the ZT EXCEPT for one thing:  The screws are much easier to strip on the Enlan as they're softer and not as deep. 

Smelly
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esrevenge
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s.c. wrote:

After taking it completely apart, cleaning it thoroughly, oiling it, and carefully putting it back together...yes, it is on par with the ZT EXCEPT for one thing:  The screws are much easier to strip on the Enlan as they're softer and not as deep. 

 

I see...the screws would be a minor thing for the factory to improve upon, maybe it would increase production cost by 30cents or something.

 

Still these knives are an excellent price without the middle man, or US mark-ups...thanks for the review and your pictures!

 

 

 

esrevenge
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Smelly wrote:

http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?105662-Ah-San-Ren-Mu/...

 

WOW thanks for that link.  I love SRM knives so much, Im going to read all 81 pages when I get a chance Laughing

Smelly
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esrevenge wrote:

Smelly wrote:

http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?105662-Ah-San-Ren-Mu/...

 

WOW thanks for that link.  I love SRM knives so much, Im going to read all 81 pages when I get a chance Laughing

 

There are one or two threads on Enlan, Navy and Ganzo too.

 

There is also quite a long Sanrenmu thread on Bladeforums but I don't think it has been added to for some time.

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Thoth wrote:

The first modification was to make a emmerson wave hook  on the thumb ramp, it works perfect opens fast when I want to and can still be removed from the pocket without deploying.

Great mod!  Bee/Enlan should take note.

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Thoth wrote:

The second mod was to convex and mirror polish the edge,  I recomend this to you all, it is literally razor sharp and it is super easy to mantain the edge, just strop in leather with white compound, no need for fancy sharpeners.

Removing the shoulder between the primary and secondary bevels makes a LOT of difference in the cutting performance.

Thoth, how did you hollow grind the blade without wrecking the temper?
Vectrex
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Convex is the complete opposite of hollow grind (concave).

boomhauer
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JohnnyMac wrote:

Thoth wrote:

The second mod was to convex and mirror polish the edge,  I recomend this to you all, it is literally razor sharp and it is super easy to mantain the edge, just strop in leather with white compound, no need for fancy sharpeners.

Removing the shoulder between the primary and secondary bevels makes a LOT of difference in the cutting performance.

Thoth, how did you hollow grind the blade without wrecking the temper?

I think he meant that he convexed (rounded the opposite way of "hollow") the grind itself, on the very edge.

Kokopelli
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Vectrex wrote:

Exduct (5% discount available (4DEAB5B1819A5) + promotion price of 8.99 = 8.54 , but no free shipping ~15$), Discovery Bargain (read dealers experience first), Ebay, Ali-express... link to the shops are HERE.

Got one from Exduct and 2 from Discovery Bargain here, the same good quality. Excellent knife, best one I have quality-wise , but rather large and bulky.

 

Thanks for the links Vectrex. Just got one from Exduct. 

Thoth
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JohnnyMac wrote:

Thoth, how did you hollow grind the blade without wrecking the temper?

As Vectrex said I did the opposite of hollow grinding, the edge instead of a perfect V is now like a gothic arch.

Since I just convexed the edge not the full height of the blade and because I did it by hand with sandpaper and leather heat was not a issue.

I could have used the belt sander, in that case all that was needed to not ruin the heat treat is to mantain the blade cool while grinding, it is important to not use gloves so that you can feel the heat, and dunk the blade in water every couple passages on the belt. Also is important to notice that because the edge is much thinner than the back of the blade it will heat much faster.

The method I used is similar to this one:

 

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Thoth , Great mod !

I convex all of my blades except my Moras .

What I do

 

Kokopelli
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So this is called convexing? I usually put a sanding paper disc on my Dremel and use this to convex my edges. Hand must be trained a little to keep the angle on that little machine but it is easily doable. Don't think I am doing it on a $100-200 blade, though. 

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Kokopelli wrote:
So this is called convexing? I usually put a sanding paper disc on my Dremel and use this to convex my edges. Hand must be trained a little to keep the angle on that little machine but it is easily doable. Don't think I am doing it on a $100-200 blade, though.

I think I'll try that. What (speed) level do you use on the Dremel? Slowish, I suppose?

καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

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Can't remember the speed but slowish, 2nd or the 3rd setting on the lower end.  

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boomhauer wrote:

Thoth wrote:

The first modification was to make a emmerson wave hook  on the thumb ramp, it works perfect opens fast when I want to and can still be removed from the pocket without deploying.

Great mod!  Bee/Enlan should take note.

I'm sure they'd love to. Smile Trouble is Ernest Emerson was smart enough to patent what is, in hindsight, a very simple, straightforward idea. He (or his patent lawyer) just made it seem like the best invention since the microbrewery, while sticking to the legal basics which is one reason why the patent is still valid.

See for yourself. I guess that's the main reason you don't see wave-style hooks on a lot of knives, even 12 years after he filed the patent. And I think that's a shame because it's a great feature. Most legitimate knife makers simply don't want to be sued.

My old Commander is still a favorite of mine and I really want one of those waved Enduras. I just don't want it bad enough to pay 65 bucks for one. Wink

s.c.
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Oxy Moron wrote:

boomhauer wrote:

Thoth wrote:

The first modification was to make a emmerson wave hook  on the thumb ramp, it works perfect opens fast when I want to and can still be removed from the pocket without deploying.

Great mod!  Bee/Enlan should take note.

I'm sure they'd love to. Smile Trouble is Ernest Emerson was smart enough to patent what is, in hindsight, a very simple, straightforward idea. He (or his patent lawyer) just made it seem like the best invention since the microbrewery, while sticking to the legal basics which is one reason why the patent is still valid.

See for yourself. I guess that's the main reason you don't see wave-style hooks on a lot of knives, even 12 years after he filed the patent. And I think that's a shame because it's a great feature. Most legitimate knife makers simply don't want to be sued.

My old Commander is still a favorite of mine and I really want one of those waved Enduras. I just don't want it bad enough to pay 65 bucks for one. Wink

I can't imagine a U.S. patent stopping a Chinese company from make waved knives, considering these companies make axis locks, spyderholes, and "inspired" designs.

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Oxy Moron wrote:

I'm sure they'd love to. Smile Trouble is Ernest Emerson was smart enough to patent what is, in hindsight, a very simple, straightforward idea. He (or his patent lawyer) just made it seem like the best invention since the microbrewery, while sticking to the legal basics which is one reason why the patent is still valid.

See for yourself. I guess that's the main reason you don't see wave-style hooks on a lot of knives, even 12 years after he filed the patent. And I think that's a shame because it's a great feature. Most legitimate knife makers simply don't want to be sued.

My old Commander is still a favorite of mine and I really want one of those waved Enduras. I just don't want it bad enough to pay 65 bucks for one. Wink

Yes, what s.c. said.  Same goes for Michael Walker's linerlock, for that matter.  While I sympathize with the patent holder, the fact is such designs get copied mercilessly - especially by the Chinese.  Heck, I have a copy of the Emerson Commander from DX - the manufacturer not only copied the wave feature, but the entire knife and packaging.  SRM may be in a slightly different position, being an OEM supplier to various US companies, and is therefore held to a higher standard of conduct.  But the knives we have been buying seem to be intended for the Chinese market anyway, which might insulate them from some criticism.

I was just putting myself in the place of a savvy Chinese project manager when I saw that nice, tall thumbrest on the EL01. Smile

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This'll probably be my next budget knife, after the postal strike around here is dealt with. Haven't owned any Enlan blades yet.  Thoth, what did you grind with?

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jekostas wrote:

This'll probably be my next budget knife, after the postal strike around here is dealt with. Haven't owned any Enlan blades yet.  Thoth, what did you grind with?

 

Postal strike in Canada is no big deal.  Its a rotating strike in different cities, then it will only deliver on M-W-F.  I ordered some knives a few weeks ago, and they were both delivered to me fine yesterday.

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esrevenge wrote:

jekostas wrote:

This'll probably be my next budget knife, after the postal strike around here is dealt with. Haven't owned any Enlan blades yet.  Thoth, what did you grind with?

 

Postal strike in Canada is no big deal.  Its a rotating strike in different cities, then it will only deliver on M-W-F.  I ordered some knives a few weeks ago, and they were both delivered to me fine yesterday.

 

Perhaps, but it's an exceptional excuse to keep me from spending money as well.

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