Yesterday, Josh was malcontent and murmuring about how no one had Aussie accents in Mad Max: Fury Road. Today, he’s reviewing a cleaver. While these may be unconnected, we’re okay with him being an ocean away and upside down for the time being. Maybe he’ll change his tune when the Aussie-language dubbed version comes out.
I love my knives and am always on the lookout for new and excellent blades to add to my collection. I was browsing through my email newsletter from Global Gear (who have supplied me with a number of other things in the past, from my M48 Walking Axe to the Zombie Outbreak series of nylon costume gear, to Mainstay foot rations) and up popped a rather tacti-cool looking cleaver. One of my ladies was looking over my shoulder and exclaimed, “Oh, you need THAT.” As it happened, I was thinking the same thing. I placed an order and shortly thereafter, this arrived in the mail for me.
This is the MTech xTreme Tactical cleaver.
At about 30cm (12″) overall length, 15cm (6″) of that is the heavy chopping 440 stainless blade. The blade is black finished and extends as a full tang with integrated finger ring the entire length of the piece. The textured black G10 handle is affixed with a large nut at the throat of the handle, and with several others along the length, to ensure a really firm attachment. 440 steel is a middling steel for high-end knives, but bear in mind, this is a cleaver.
The knife weighs 525g (18.5oz) but is very nicely balanced, which is especially important for any blade I intend to use extensively. This one, in particular, has found a lasting place in my household kitchen knife collection, but also as a camping and adventure camp knife. Its rugged construction, with the G10 handle being waterproof and resistant to cuts and scratches, is very hard-wearing. The black finish on the metal parts hasn’t shown any significant wear either, which is nice.
The blade is very sharp out of the box and has a gentle curve to it, so it is easy to maintain. The edge is neither too fine nor too shallow to be both an effective cutting and slicing tool and allows it to be a resilient chopper. It is fluted in six places on either side to ensure an easy cutting action is achievable by providing airflow along the surface. Like a big cheese knife. A very, very big cheese knife. For big cheese.
I’ve had no problems cutting vegetables, frozen items, or even slicing steaks from a haunch of beef, Gangs of New York style. I have had a perfectly serviceable Chinese cleaver on my knife-block almost since I left home, and they come in very handy when breaking down carcasses or even big veggies like pumpkins, but the MTech Tactical cleaver does it with a modern flare. The skeletonized handle lets juices and any other muck through to keep your grip solid and well placed. The gentle contour of the handle is well suited to carry the index finger and gives very precise control over both cutting AND chopping action.
I trusted the edge and handling enough to use it to dispatch a rooster from the most recent batch of chookens. The last thing I want is to make a mess of ending any of my creatures, especially if I’m then going to be eating them (he was delicious). The MTech didn’t disappoint and made a clean cut, trimming feathers on either side.
I can’t say that the finger ring really does anything for me. I suppose if I had hands like a hill-troll they might, but it’s just too big, and too out of reach for it to be of any practical use for me.
The Cleaver comes with a black nylon belt sheath with utility pocket and includes both a press-stud retention strap and a three press-stud spine closure, but also a single loop to sling the knife if needed. I was a bit disappointed by this because it neither offers much in the way of protection from the pointy corner edges of the blade or the edge itself, but it also lacks any really secure attachment options.
That all said, this is a very functional blade in a rugged and modern style, and I find it very useful both in the home and in the field.
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