Visually Appealing Thanks To A Distinctive Rasp Pattern On The Blade And Attractive Handle, The Manzano Proves A Sharp Operator.
Old-school knives often have a classic look, and it’s even better when you can tell what the original material or tool was before it was transformed into a blade. When using recycled steel, more time is involved to prep the material for its new life. Can it be hardened, will it forge, will the steel take a polish?
Paul Gonzales did his homework in producing the Manzano Farrier Rasp Blade. There’s no doubt as to what the blade was before it became a knife.
Manzano Farrier Rasp Blade Edge Assessment
To assess the original edge, I sliced 20-pound-bond copy paper. The Manzano performed smoothly, making a zipping noise as it went through the paper. The knife’s weight made the push cuts easy to control.
Heavy Cutting With The Manzano Farrier Rasp Blade
Next up, single-walled cardboard. At the start of the slice, the cardboard parted smoothly. The sliced strips crinkled from the grind bevels as the cut went deeper, maybe due a little bit to the rasp pattern in the steel. The Manzano’s sharp edge cut smoothly.
I used some dense foam left over from my Kydex press for the next test medium. I had great control over the slices using push cuts. The edge easily passed through the foam.
From there, on to 8-ounce leather. The Manzano was very aggressive skiving the material, producing nice crunching noises on each cut. The mirror-polished blade slid through the leather with ease. Paul did a nice job abrading the steel by the choil so there were no sharp edges where there shouldn’t be.
Firesticks were next. It was very simple to make smooth, fine curly-cues, as well as larger coarse ones. The handle is contoured perfectly for my hand for deeper cuts. The edge performed great while whittling wood.
For splitting larger wood I used a chunk of 2×10 and the dead-blow hammer. The Manzano parted the wood in two smacks with no excess shock transferred to my hand. The knife was very comfortable to use in this manner.
It was time for my favorite test material, sisal rope. Positioning half-inch sisal on my cutting board, I started with push cuts. The Manzano crunched its way to 200 cuts with no signs of stopping. That was plenty for my hand. There were no hot spots with the handle and the thumb notches were grippy but not sharp. This is a very comfortable knife to use—or did I already say that?
Time to stress the edge and check its toughness with the antler chop. I gave the medium 20 hard whacks, flinging chips all over my work bench. The results? The antler was chopped up and there was no damage to the edge. Kudos on the heat treatment.
Manzano Farrier Rasp Blade Edge Retention
Finally, it was time to return to the 20-pound bond paper. The Manzano didn’t skip a beat, slicing smoothly. I caught the paper with the choil/sharpening notch a few times, tearing it a bit. That was on me.
Bring the grind up closer to the spine for smoother slicing.
The Manzano is a great performer—classic looking all around and a very comfortable daily user. It’s made to cut.
Paul Gonzales warrants his knives against defects in materials and workmanship as long as the knives have not been abused. For more information contact Gonzales Blades 505-480-7982.
Manzano / Paul Gonzales
Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Blade Material: Farrier’s rasp
Blade Temper: Differential
Handle: Kirinite synthetic
Handle Liners: White G-10
Handle Pins: Nickel silver
Weight: 6 ounces
Overall Length: 7.5 inches
Sheath: Belt pouch design in 8-ounces leather
Weight of Sheathed Knife: 8.5 ounces
Maker’s Price: $200
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