Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife Review

Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife

Jake Hoback knives has a history that proves how much this company actually loves knives. Jake Hoback, the founder of this knife company, first started making knives in 1990, in his back yard. He would pound out the knives on a huge chunk of steel with a hammer and fence post nails. After that, he and his best friend got a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop. It was then that he was completely hooked. Finally, in 2003, he began professionally making knives. His most popular knife is the Kwaiback knife, so recently, Jake Hoback Knives has released a couple of new versions. One of these is the Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is carved out of CPM-20CV steel. This steel is produced by Crucible and considered to be a super steel. This steel is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel, which means that you will get a combination of wear resistance and edge retention. Not only that, but because the steel has such high levels of chromium, the steel is going to be much more resistant to corrosion. This steel requires very little maintenance to keep its good qualities and great edge. Unfortunately, this steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, so a beginner is not going to be able to sharpen this well. In fact, you will probably want the help of a professional sharpener.

The finish on this blade is an acid stonewash finish. A stonewash finish is when the manufacturer tumbles the blade around in an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. An acid stonewash finish is when the steel undergoes an acid treatment that works to darken the steel before the steel undergoes the stonewashing process. The acid oxidation actually will enhance the steels rust resistance because it places a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. The stonewash finish hides scratches very well. Another benefit of the stonewash finish is that they are low maintenance and they maintain their original look for long periods of time. This acid stonewash finish creates a very rugged, textured, almost mottled look on the blade. The resulting color of the blade has a matte gray look to it.

The 20CV steel has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape was inspired by the Japanese Samurai swords. In the 1980’s, Cold Steel revolutionized this steel and made the American Tanto blade shape a popular blade shape. While many of the blade shapes are all-purpose, versatile, and can perform a variety of different tasks, the tanto blade shape specializes in only one task. The Japanese Samurai sword shape was designed to pierce armor, and the tanto blade shape is still made for piercing through hard and tough materials. The tanto blade shape has a high point with a flat grind. Because of this, it has a very strong tip. The strength behind the tip is what allows it to pierce through the hard and tough materials. Because there is a lot of metal towards the tip of the blade, the tip can absorb the impact from repeated stabbing. This repeated stabbing would cause most blade shapes to snap. Not only does the strong tip allow for piercing through hard materials and repeated piercing, but it also allows the user to o untraditional tasks with this knife. You can hammer, pry, and even dig with this knife if needed. That is why the tanto blade shape, and this specific knife, is such a great option for your survival and tactical scenarios. The sharpened edge of the tanto blade shape meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, instead of the traditional curve. Because of the lack of curve, there is no belly to this knife. The lack of belly is one of the main reasons that this knife is not ideal for an everyday knife; you cannot slice well with it. But, the traditional Japanese Samurai swords could make excellent slicing motions. The tanto shape will also be able to slice a little bit, but you shouldn’t rely on this knife to do your slicing tasks. Because there are two bevels to the tanto blade shape, sharpening this knife can be a little bit tricky at first. However, once you get the hang of it, sharpening this knife is fairly easy. The edge is a straight, plain edge, so you can actually sharpen this knife with a stone. While this knife is not going to be able to serve your every need, it has the strongest tip out of all the blade shapes. This blade shape does what it is designed to do, and it does that well.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of solid titanium. Titanium has some definite benefits to it. One of these is that titanium has the best corrosion resistance out of any metal. Titanium is a lightweight metal, but it is actually extremely strong. Titanium is heavier than aluminum, but much stronger, so the extra weight is worth the exponential strength that you get. However, because it is stronger, it is more expensive to machine. Titanium has a unique quality to it, where it feels warm to touch. While aluminum would bite into your hand during the winter, titanium will feel warm and won’t hurt your hand in cold environments. Titanium is a slippery material, so to add texture, Hoback knives has etched two deep grooves going down the length of the handle. Another bummer about titanium is that it is prone to scratches. To combat the ease of scratching, Hoback knives has anodized the handle. Not only does the anodization process result in a stronger and more durable material, it also adds color to the titanium. This version of the Kwaiback knife, the anodization process has made the metal into a bronze handle. The Kwaiback has a unique handle shape, it is very rectangular with an angle at the butt of the handle. There is a deep finger groove on the handle towards the blade. Even though the handle is very rectangular, it is comfortable to use, even for long periods of time.

Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife
Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife

The Pocket Clip:

This knife has been outfitted with a pocket clip. The pocket clip is titanium and anodized bronze to match the rest of the handle. This pocket clip can be carried on either the left or right hand, but it has only been drilled to carry the knife tip up.

 

The Extras:

This version of the Kwaiback features pivot thrust bearings, a Hoback Roller Detent, a stainless steel lock insert with over travel protection and cold formed bearing races.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a mid-level flipper. The flipper was added to the knife market in the mid 1990’s. This opening mechanism is quick, easy to use, and is a very low maintenance way of opening the knife—even one handedly. The flipper is normally located on the spine of the knife as part of the blade. You deploy the blade by using your index finger to pull back on it. Having the flipper mechanism has a few advantages, one is that you get to keep your hands at a safe distance from the blade. Another advantage is that you get an added finger guard once the blade is opened. The flipper will usually swing around and end up underneath the knife to offer protection from accidents. Many people prefer the flipper mechanism because of how it keeps your fingers safe. The flipper is similar to the thumb stud opening mechanism, except it is safer. If you are a worrier, the flipper mechanism is probably closer to your tune.

 

The Specs:

The overall length of this blade is 3.75 inches long. The blade has a thickness of .1875 inches. The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long with a closed length of 5.25 inches. This knife weighs 4.6 ounces.

 

Pros of the Kwaiback Bronze Flipper:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is a super steel.
  • The steel gives you great wear and corrosion resistance with the steel.
  • The steel keeps a fine edge for long periods of time.
  • This steel is strong and tough.
  • The finish is an acid stonewash which gives the steel better corrosion resistance and hides scratches really well.
  • The tanto blade shape has a strong tip that can pierce through hard and tough materials.
  • The tanto blade shape is exceptional for your tactical or survival needs.
  • Because of how strong the tip is on the tanto blade shape, you can hammer, dig, and even pry with your knife.
  • The titanium handle is extremely resistant to corrosion, more resistant than any metal.
  • The titanium handle is very strong, but doesn’t weigh the knife down.
  • Titanium actually feels warm to the touch, so using this knife in a cold environment will be just fine.
  • The handle is comfortable to hold, even for long periods of time.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, making this knife ambidextrous carry friendly.
  • The flipper mechanism keeps fingers safe and out of the way of the blade.

 

Cons of the Kwaiback Bronze Flipper:

  • The steel on the blade is one of the trickier steels to sharpen.
  • The tanto blade shape has no belly, so being able to slice with this blade is almost out of the question.
  • The tanto blade makes this knife not a good option for your everyday carry needs.
  • The tanto blade shape is not versatile.
  • Titanium does not provide you with the best grip out of the knife handle materials.
  • Titanium is prone to scratches.
  • The flipper mechanism takes a little bit of getting used to.
  • The tanto blade shape is tricky to sharpen until you get the hang out it.

 

Conclusion:

Jake Hoback loves knives. You can tell that not only through his history of making knives in his backyard, but also through the level of quality that his professional knives have. Especially with the Kwaiback. This knife has a rich history, not only is the blade inspired by the ancient Japanese Samurai’s, but Jake has modernized this knife to the point of perfection. Since the Kwaiback was such a popular knife and such a huge hit, Jake decided to revamp it and release a few new versions. One of these brand new versions is the Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper.

This knife is truly a masterpiece. Jake started out with a super steel that has great edge retention and excellent corrosion resistance properties. This is a tough steel that requires very little maintenance to keep the good qualities that it has. The next step was choosing the perfect blade shape. Because the super steel has been ground into a tanto blade shape, this knife is great for tactical, survival, and fighting needs. The tip us strong enough that it won’t break, even with repeated piercing. The tip has a good amount of metal near the tip, which results in having one of the strongest tips that you will ever find on any blade. To accompany such a great blade, the handle also had to be superior. Jake chose to use titanium because it has the highest level of corrosion resistance properties out of almost any metal. This characteristic helps cut down on maintenance time as well. To combat the scratches, the titanium has been anodized to a modern bronze color. This handle is what brings modern day knives to such an ancient blade shape. The pocket clip is reversible and has also been anodized to a bronze color to match the handle. This knife has a flipper opening mechanism, which works to keep your fingers safe and out of harm’s way.

Jake has said, “4 generations of Kwaibacks and this is by far the greatest of them all! All of the newest tricks and features are on this Kwaiback. All of the strength of the first two generations, but so lightweight it will blow your mind.” Jake Hoback Knives has taken all of the favorite characteristics of the previous Kwaiback versions and combined them to make the perfect Kwaiback. This knife is a needed addition to your collection.

 

 

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