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Friday, 03 May 2024 15:21

Kizer Sheepdog

Written by

Products define a company, it may be their best selling item, or could be the first one they released. Examples of this would be Benchmade and its Griptilian. Spyderco and the Delica, or perhaps Buck and the famous 110. All of them defined that company and will forever by synonymous with them. When it comes to Kizer, I feel no other knife put them on the map as much as the Sheepdog. This Chris Conaway collaboration has spawned, a mini, an XL version, and many more. It's design is so popular that I feel helped define the company.

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One of those new iteration of the Sheepdog sports a thumb hole instead of a thumb stud, dropped the flipper tab, and added a button lock. The only Sheepdog I've played with is the Mini. It was a nice little blade, but I didn't like the flipper tab getting in the way when closing the knife. The flipper tab was kind of large, but a defining characteristic of the original Sheepdog. This fresh take on a proven model comes with a blade Length of 3.25", a handle length of 4.37", for an overall of 7.62".
The blade is 154CM, it's not a fancy new alphabet steel but does a decent job. Handles are micarta, and weighs in at 4.50oz

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Being comfortable is essential with any pocket knife. A handle can make or break a design, transforming it from amazing to mediocre. So, as a result I'm huge on comfort and with my reviews touch on those nuances that affect the user. The Sheepdog's handle design has remained unchanged, with the expectation of shrinking or up sizing it in other models. The handle features a swell in the middle so it fills your hand giving you a good purchase. While the very pronounced finger guard that keeps your grip locked in. The micarta handles are nice, I've really become a fan of this material. It's a combination of the fabric feel to the handle, mixed with the warmth it can have over steel and alloy handle materials. The grooves along the handle scales make for additional texture on which your fingers can dig into when putting the knife to work.
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The new button lock makes disengaging the lock a joy to use. Over the last year I feel I much prefer button locks and crossbar locks. I've been a huge frame and liner lock guy over the decades. They're simplistic, and no nonsense. I didn't see why we would need an overly complicated system to keep the blade in a locked position. After being introduced to button locks and their variants, I now prefer them. I think that stems from my appreciation that my hand is never in the way of the blade when when closing. This small but very important change has reduced the potential for injury. I am a very clumsy guy, there's various reasons for this. But, to have that element removed gives me a sense of comfort. Operation is simple, pressing the button unlocks the blade, and allows it to close. There is those that feel button locks are no where near as strong as other designs, but I don't plan on doing anything crazy to warrant a lock failure.
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The blade on the Sheepdog is a modified sheepsfoot, could even be considered a cleaver of sorts. I love the angular profile mixed with the gentle belly curve. This reduced belly means that a lot of cuts are very tip centric. Due to the blade shape I tend to use the front third more than anything. The shape makes it great for dispatching boxes, and other fiberous material. This blade screams utility, it's excels when working on those around the home projects. The steel though older does a good job holding an edge, and touches up easily. The blade isn't a great all purpose shape like a clip, or drop point. But it does a great job where those two lack. I do find opening the blade via thumb or Spyderflick way more friendly, and satisfying over the old flipper tab.
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The new breed of Sheepdog shows it's true to it's lineage, packing the same features that made it successful. It's a good knife that would be good at work as well as everyday carry. It lacks that standard blade shape so things like piercing can be a little tricky. However, it's solid, and will beg for more.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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