Landi Bushcraft Knife

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Stayinsharp, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    Ok folks.... some of you may be familiar with this brand of knife. Landi Knives made and designed by owner John Landi. These knives are another choice in the mid tech category... not quite custom... but not large production like the esees and KaBars that are common today. I love a good knife at a great price. Especially one with the perfect recipe: O1 tool steel heat treated by peters hT, micarta handle, and scandi ground. But this knife isn’t just scandi ground... John has has these bad boys ground over at LT Wright’s workshop. Throw in the JRE leather that this knife came with and it seems that the Landi Bushcraft Knife is a close cousin to the LT Wright line up of knives but very different due to its design.
    Now that the introduction is over let’s get on with my First Impressions review.
    Let me start by stating I do not consider myself a “bushcrafter”. I do however consider myself a lover of the outdoors, doing general bushcrafty things, camping/backpacking, using knives, sharpening knives, and collecting (and buying selling and trading) knives.
    These are ratings based solely on out of the box condition-

    Fit, finish, and sharpness: 8/10
    This knife came to me extremely sharp. Grinding and shaping was done at LTWK. This sucker is hair whittling sharp. The spine is... well an LTWK spine and launches sparks from the firesteel. There are some corner near the Finger guard that are just as sharp as the spine- may cause discomfort in prolonged use so I’m gonna hit it with 2k wetdry to mend that. The micarta scales are flat on the sides and well radioused at the corners. One scale is about 1mm longer than the other. You cannot feel the transition from scale to blade to scale. The pommel is extremely smooth. The plunge line is perfect and the grind is even all the way up. The sheath came without any noticeable flaws as well and has great retention for now.

    Steel: 7.5/10
    I only rate this an immediate 7 right now without having gotten to fully test it because it’s O1 done by peters ht and I know what to expect. It’s the same O1 that’s used in the GNS and I’ve had one for years. It’s about the best quality O1 you can get. Sharpens relatively easily, holds an edge better than 1095, tough as nails, will roll instead of chip, and can strop up to be a hair splitter. The negatives are that it stains and rusts quickly and will need a touch up with ceramic rod or stone every once in a while. (I find that for every 10 uses and stropping I’ll do about 10 minutes of work on a 2k stone and 6k stone to bring the edge back on my GNS) I give it a 7 because it is O1. CPM3V by peters gets a 9.5....

    Blade Design: 9/10
    Remember when everyone was pissed at Mora for making their full tang in stainless.... those people should find one of these and buy it. The blade shape is that of a slimmed down and very sharp woodlore esq (or a slimmer GNS style) spear point. Apx 4.5 inches long and 1/8 of an inch thick.The cutting edge shape is very similar that of a mora companion. Once again it has the 90 deg spine that everyone wants. So to me so far the blade is almost perfect. The top seems as sharp as an exacto Knife. Only hard testing and time will tell if that’s good or bad.
    The balance so far is perfect!!!

    Handle design and comfort: 7/10
    I have a XL glove sized hand and find the length of the handle perfect! However, I am used to the handle of a GNS or Mora Garberg. Something relatively thick with a decent swell in the center and typically oval shaped. This handle is more reminiscent of an Enzo trapper meets Esee 4 (But a little thicker). The sides are flat but as previously stated the radiousing is done well and the handle is comfortable. It just doesn’t quite feel like a handshake if ya know what I mean. I think the finger choil is a bit sharp. But I will take care of that before giving the knife a good work out. The handle scales (a nicely done natural micarta)is affixed with epoxy and loveless bolts. I am very confident in the strength.

    Options: 7/10
    Here’s what I’ve seen offered.
    Handle scale choices- micarta, G10, natural wood
    Blade choices- flat ground with a convex secondary bevel, or scandi ground
    Sheath options- leather JRE or hand made kydex made by John.
    Model- 4.5” blade or 3.75” blade (apx measurements)

    Price, value, and Warranty: 8.5
    Ok disclaimer... I bought this knife myself from John Landi. He is an amazing person to do business with thus far and I have total confidence in him as a business man. I won’t mention the exact price I paid because I got this knife on sale but I will say that I have seen this new for 100.00 on his site and a bit lower elsewhere on sale. I do also know that you can find these on amazon and eBay new although those have cocobolo scales and are going for nearly 200.00. You can decide whether paying the extra to get natural scales is worth it. For me at the (around) $100.00 this knife is an amazing deal and probably one of the best carbon steel choices for a scandi ground Bushcraft Knife on the market right now. You may be able to get an even better deal on the secondary market although these aren’t very common knives. As for the warranty- John Landi offers a lifetime warranty on his blades.
    To sum it up: 100% lifetime warranty on a USA made knife designed and assembled by a lesser known knife maker (no offense to John)with the help from big time names like LTWK, JRE sheaths and Peters Heat Treat.

    Again- the above is my first impression and evaluation of the knife. I’m going to use this knife as my primary outdoor blade throughout the winter and post an update once it’s been fully tested and evaluated. Throughout the time I will attempt to o
    Thanks and I hope you’ve enjoyed the read.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  2. junglebum

    junglebum Member

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    Good looking knife
     
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  3. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    Oh yeah brother!!! for the price I don’t think you can get anything much better. I had to hurry and and do this first impression so I could start cutting with it... already started a try stick on an old poplar stick I had drying out
     
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  4. CWB

    CWB Member

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    Great review, thanks.

    John sells his blades too cheap. I just bought 7 PSK's and 1 EDC. they're A2 steel, micarta or g10 scales and only $59 with a kydex sheath and belt loops. Going to be doing a group order with my co-workers for 12 more. Highly recommend them myself.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    I agree. And I’m shocked there aren’t more reviews about his knives. Once people realize the value he prob won’t be able to keep up! I plan to do updates here along the way of my testing. If I knew how to do video editing I’d def film a little something with this one.
     
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  6. theJman

    theJman Member

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    It might be at least partially due to the fact their website makes it look like the company is out of business. I've been on it several times in the past few years and every single knife is always listed as out of stock. Worse, when you click on a link you get a 404 error (page not found). If your website is not a viable place to purchase product, or even get general information, it's likely to scare off pretty much everyone.

    I checked Amazon and found Knife Country USA has a storefront selling them, and they offer about a dozen different models. Most of them aren't even listed on Landi's website, another big no-no in this day and age (make something you don't even list?). The CT5 looked kind of interesting though, so I may pick up one of those and see how that works.
     
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  7. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    I agree brother. The website will definitely throw ya off. In my case I reached out to John through BF. I have just emailed him to see if he is ok with my putting his email in this thread.
    I can say that if you do have the pleasure to deal directly with John, you won’t regret it
    Thanks for reading.
    E
     
  8. CWB

    CWB Member

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    He's been selling them on bladeforums
     
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  9. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    That’s how I got into contact with him.
     
  10. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    CwB. Looks like you got a good hiking buddy too!
     
  11. theJman

    theJman Member

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    I ordered the CT5. According to Amazon it's expected to arrive sometime toward the end of November. I'll be traveling starting the 1st though, so it looks like I won't be able to use if for a few weeks.
     
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  12. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    Thats great! The CT 5 looks like an Esee 6 meets boker vox rould with better materials that both. Hope you’ll post a review once you’ve gotten it and put through its paces.
     
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  13. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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  14. theJman

    theJman Member

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    I have you to blame for me buying yet another blade! :p If the CT5 is solid though that's not such a bad thing, right? Yes, that's me justifying more money spent on my addiction... hello, my name is Jim and I can't stop buying knives!

    Landi fits my MO however as I am not afraid of taking a chance on the little guy, especially if I vet them out and it looks like they might be a hidden gem. I own knives from the likes of Allegheny Knifeworks, Alpha Knife, Blackfeather, EnTrek, Fletcher, Fremont, Hultafors, Jaktkit, SAZ, Terävä, Utility Tool, Dendra, TBS and Viper. Some of those names few (if any) have heard of, others people know now but didn't have a clue who they were a few years ago. I saw something I liked in every one of them, did a bunch of research on the company/products and then decided to take a chance if it all looked good. I only had a bad experience with the little guy once - with a company I didn't list - so as you can see my track record is pretty good. I'm hoping Landi keeps my streak going.

    The CT5 caught my eye because it has a blade length in the range I consider just about perfect, which is 5.5". I know some people have a problem with A2 but I don't, so the blade stock is fine. Well, except for being a little pudgy; I'm a 1/8th guy and not a huge fan of 3/16th (or thicker). The FFG will help, but from the pictures I found on the interweb it seems like the profile is still pretty wide at the secondary bevel. I won't know for certain until I get my hands on it.

    I find a sharp point to be beneficial, and the CT5 has that. So too is a nice upward sweep toward the tip, which often makes things like skinning and game processing easier. Jimping I could take or leave, but if it is part of the knife design it needs to be non-aggressive as I refuse to use gloves. Pictures suggest that's the case. I'm also on the fence about finger guards, but so long as it doesn't cause a hot-spot on my index finger then it's not an issue. I do have XL hands unfortunately, so that's always a concern. From the spec's it seems the CT5 has a 5" handle. Provided that doesn't include the extended pommel I should be good. Speaking of the pommel, I have found uses for that feature in the field. Not often mind you, but when I need to crush something it has proven to work surprisingly well. What I can't find is any indication of whether the spine has an acute 90 degree edge. That is really important for me, so I'm hoping it does.

    I will know shortly how the knife stacks up to some of my favorites, but regardless I tip my hat to you for having the stones to be honest. A lot of reviews read like sales brochures, never highlighting a single flaw unless qualified with some type of disclaimer/reason/excuse for it to be the way it is. I understand that situation for the most part; people tend to post something about a product they bought that works for them, not one that doesn't. You didn't sugar coat anything, and I respect that; if it was good you said it was, if it wasn't you said that too. I've published over 50 reviews on speakers and subwoofers so I know there isn't anything that's perfect. If I read an article that's all puppy dogs and roses I know it's likely BS.

    Your eval makes me understand that I'm likely to encounter some QC issues, and the little I could find on Landi knives implied the same, but it also seemed as though the general consensus was they were worth the money. I'll report back when I have knife in hand.
     
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  15. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to give such a great response on my review. If you decide that secondary is too fat you can send me the knife and I will thin the bevel down with stones and then reconvex the apex with a hard leather strop and different levels of wet dry.
    I love A2 by the way. Some are haters on A2 cause it doesn’t quite have the character of O1 and still stains more and is less durable than 3V. Purists tend to go one way or the other. But I say why not meet in the middle. A2 is more corrosion resistant than O1 but takes a similar razors edge. It stays that way for a decent time and to touch it up a very fine ceramic and strop is all you need. I find it chips less than O1 as well but does dull quite a bit quicker than 3v. In my experience LTWK has had the best A2 I’ve used- and they HT at peters. Soooo I have a feeling you’re in good hands.
     
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  16. theJman

    theJman Member

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    That's a very generous offer! I will keep that in mind if it seems the edge is too thick.
     
  17. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    Well she’s starting to get some use...
    Mors has once said when it comes to curls and feather sticks- 4 curls is passing for a student while someone such as an instructor should show proficiency with his or her knife by producing up to 20 curls. I got one with 19....
    Guess I need more time with the knife.
    (For my purposes I prefer to have soft wood curls off the stick and leave hard wood feathers on the stick- a technique I will go over in another tutorial explaining why)
     

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  18. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    Here’s my update so far. With light carving I have noticed the flatness of the handle scales hasn’t been uncomfortable at all. I’ve also noticed that the geometry of the cutting edge is easier to get used to than many scandis out there as it is pretty much a blend of a mora and a GNS (two knive that I have years of dirt time with). That said I only have done a very few carving tasks. I did some food prep on thanks giving with it as well but have no pics to show. Preliminarily... food prep- 5/10.
     
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  19. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    I also did use different grips as well to cut some Live pine.
    I used cheat lever to do what I call pedaling (cutting deep cuts all the way around a stick at an angle to sheer it into two pieces. On will be left looking like pedals on a flower)
    Worked damn good. No hot spots. It’s funny how there was that small sick of heart wood in the middle. Should make a quality tooth pick :D
     

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  20. Stayinsharp

    Stayinsharp Member

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    Got one.... 21 curls!
     

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