Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review: SAR GlobalTools - kiridashi

The traditional kiridashi knife is small and very portable blade from Japan, with a chisel grind and a sharp point, used as a general-purpose utility knife. These knives are carving/utility knives have their roots in woodworking. The name, kiridashi literally translates to “carve out” which would seem to support this origin. Regardless, they are found in many facets of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture being used in a variety of activities from everyday tasks like sharpening pencils to gardening.

They are often made with a handle wrap and sometimes scales and a scabbard, but are just as likely to be a single piece of steel.

This take on the classic is from my mate Spencer Alan Reiter of SAR Global Tools who works his metalworking magic from a shed in Louisiana and has brought forth such wonderful items as the Moonglow necklace signaling tool I wear 24/7, the SESS signalling dogtag I keep lashed to all my packs, and my favourite neck-knife, the OddJob.

The SAR kiridashi's are all one-offs, that Spencer builds from reclaimed stock left over from his other projects. Waste not, want not, and perfect philosophy for the creation of a kiridashi. The riddle of steel  rings in his ears.

Crafted from an offcut of CPM3V and is heat treated to a hardness of "dead nuts" 60HRC according to Spencer.
It's also sharpened to a razor blade edge along both its main cutting edge and to a very sturdy and substantial point. The geometry of the SAR kiridashi is is very similar to a scalpel and being one piece CPM3V its 165mm length it weighs only 30g, very dense and very good in the hand. With two holes drilled in the head of the blade for a mass reducing effect and three grip-enhancing drilled notched behind the head, and another in the tail end as a lanyard hole.

Worked over in the SAR workshop, you can easily use it knowing that you are using a high quality product.  You'd never know it was a one off recovered from workshop scrap. In keeping with the kiridashi's main purpose originally to be used as a craft knife, I wanted to show off it's practical application and the single, flat ground chisel edge which just works a treat as a wood whittling tool.

The blade can put it to many different uses. Here are some practical examples: general cutting, gardening, cutting zip ties, deburring and drilling holes, self defense, survival tool, the uses are almost innumerable. Anything you could want from a heavily over-engineered craft-knife. 

The SAR kiridashi's are set with a cord-wrap on the handle for enhanced grip on the thin metal spine, and come with a kydex scabbard along with a bead-chain necklace for neck-knife wear. 

Bear in mind that these are all hand-crafted, heat treated and sharpened in what is essentially a one-man shop, along with Spencer's philanthropic work in conjunction with the Run Rangers Run charity, in creating his Inglorious Bastards knives, re-purposed from antique files, so his time is hard to come by and the runs are small. Keep an eye out and be on the lookout for new knives such as the Kingfisher's that are coming out...


  1. Awesome review. As someone who served with Spencer in the Army and currently owns several SAR tools, I couldn't have said it any better.

    Spencer lives up to our battalion's motto of Deeds, Not Words! He is truly a master of his craft and I look forward to seeing what else comes out of his shop.

    1. good to hear. We've been on-line buddies for a few years, but there's only so much that words-on-screen can do. Good to hear I've captured some of the essence of the man, man! if I may borrow an appropriate saying ... RLTW


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