Sarge Knives TK Retro has throwback looks, but modern performance.
The TK Retro from Sarge Knives reminds me of my first fixed blade.
The blade was pitted and the leather handle was cracking. Still, the knife field dressed many squirrel, rabbit and game birds throughout my childhood. It was an excellent camper’s or outdoorsman’s knife.
As for the TK Retro, like my first fixed blade, the stacked-leather handle still gives my hand a warm feel. It has a 440C stainless steel blade to make its good looks last even longer. However, how does it cut?
TK Retro Sharpness Test
The first test medium was 20-pound bond copy paper. The TK Retro started slicing and made nice, clean cuts in the stationery. Using the knife’s weight, I employed push cuts. There were no “bad starts,” just smooth slicing.
TK Retro Light-Duty Cuting
The TK Retro bit deep and smooth [into drywall], with minimal bending of the cut pieces. I could feel the cardboard’s layers with each cut. Edge performance was nice and aggressive. The handle provides a very secure grip.
Leather skiving followed. The blade audibly crunched the leather with each cut and made it easy to control the width of slices.
Heavy-Duty Cutting With Sarge’s Fixed Blade
While camping, I was splitting firewood for the weekend. My wife, Melissa, wanted to start the fire so I showed her how to make fire sticks. She took to whittling very quickly and did four of the sticks to aid in her fire starting. She used the TK Retro to make some very nice curlicues. Before I knew it she had a beautiful fire going—excellent job on her part! I was surprised to see her whittling over her bench that she had painted. She seemed to feel very confident using the little fixed blade.
I had some dry hackberry wood to split for kindling. A dead blow hammer and the TK Retro made short work of the task. I didn’t see or feel any edge/knife damage while batonning the edge through the wood. The guard acted like a guide for my hold hand, keeping the wood away from my knuckles. The leather handle absorbed the vibrations perfectly.
On the half-inch sisal rope, the TK Retro crunched its way to 82 clean cuts before the edge started to slide. I did find that the guard had a sharp edge that needed softening a bit. It would create a hot spot on your hand after a while. It was an easy fix with some sandpaper.
The last test for the edge consisted of a series of chops into a whitetail deer antler. After 20 hard whacks, I expected to see some minor edge chipping but there was none. The edge was as sharp as when I started. Sarge Knives nailed the heat treating.
The guard and buttcap need to be softened a tad. They will bite you after a period of hard use.
The TK Retro is a very nice medium-use knife great for game or camping.
Sarge Knives TK Retro Specs
Blade length: 3.5 inches
Blade steel: 440C stainless
Blade finish: Mirror polish
Handle: Stacked leather
Fittings: Stainless steel
Construction: Full tang
Weight: 4 ounces
Overall length: 7 3/8 inches
Sheath: Brown leather pouch w/snap and belt loop
Weight w/sheath: 5 ounces
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