Damned Designs Basilisk Review: Wide And Wicked

Damned Designs Basilisk Review: Wide And Wicked
The Basilisk’s wide blade and thin edge and handle—the grip is a half inch at the thickest—result in a knife that cuts well and does so in a jiffy.

The Basilisk is a lightweight fixed blade that cuts well above its weight class.

I’m really liking the wider blade of the Basilisk* by Damned Designs. The full flat grind combined with the blade’s ample width makes for almost perfect edge geometry—a thin edge for slicing with enough meat behind it for added strength. The thinner blade stops any binding while slicing thicker material like cardboard.

Basilisk in sheath
The fold-over Kydex sheath is first class.

The G-10 slabs have enough texture for a good grip. The Basilisk is a solid EDC knife. It uses Sandvik 14C28N stainless for blade material, a great using steel.

But how well does it cut?

Basilisk Sharpness Test

A baseline edge check using 20-pound bond copy paper went fast. The blade was very sharp from the factory. I’m glad I have calluses on my fingers as the Basilisk nicked them twice because I was slow getting them out of the way.

Light Cutting Duty

Single-walled cardboard was the second test medium. The blade sliced very smoothly and was aggressive its entire length. The cut strips laid straight due to the flat grind, so no binding on this one. I slowed the slicing down to save my fingers and all went well.

Damned Design Basilisk cutting leather
The thin edge and flat grind produced excellent curlicues for a firestick.

Eight-ounce leather was next. The Basilisk was very aggressive cutting animal skin. I could hear it slice its way through. The handle shape made it easy to control each cut’s width while also being comfortable. I also did some skiving. The Basilisk skived very quickly and evenly. Man, this knife is sharp!

Heavy Duty Cutting

Time for making some firesticks by whittling curlicues. The thin flat grind produced excellent wood curls. The thickness of the curlicues was eminently controllable. However, when I went in for deep cuts the edges of the G-10 handle were a bit hard on my hand.

Damned Design Basilisk vs rope
A total of 225 crunching cuts made mincemeat of the half-inch sisal rope.

Next up: half-inch sisal rope. The Basilisk made 100 crunching cuts before I had to don a glove to cover a hot spot. The knife dished out another 125 crunching cuts before I stopped. The edge showed no signs of slowing down. Total: 225 crunching cuts.

Toughness Tests

I batonned the Basilisk through some aged hackberry, a tough wood when dried. I whacked the rear, middle and tip of the blade spine for four complete splits. It worked excellent, with no damage to the edge or knife overall other than some wood smears on the stonewashed finish.

Basilisk vs wood
The thin edge and flat grind produced excellent curlicues for a firestick.

To really push the edge/heat treatment, I grabbed an old whitetail deer antler. After 30 hard whacks on it I checked the edge for chipping. There was none to be found. Heat treat is on the money for sure. Excellent job.

Edge Retention

Time to check the final edge with the 20-pound bond paper. The Basilisk still sliced smoothly even though the paper was getting damp from it raining all day. There were a few tears in the paper from the dampness.

Suggest Changes To The Basilisk

I would soften the handle edges a bit more.

Basilisk chopping antlers
After 30 hard whacks on the deer antler, the author checked the edge for any chipping. There was none to be found. The heat treat is on the money.

Final Cut

The Basilisk is a very nice knife, excellent for EDC or camp. It’s definitely a top pick on my list.

Damned Designs Basilisk Specs

Knife Type: Fixed blade
Blade Length: 4.25”
Blade Steel: Sandvik 14C28N stainless
Blade Width at Widest: 1.75”
Blade Finish: Stonewashed
Handle: G-10
Handle at Thickest: .5”
Weight: 7.25 ozs.
Overall Length: 8.75”
Sheath: Kydex fold-over
Weight w/Sheath: 11 ozs.
MSRP: $75

*The basilisk is a legendary serpent king that killed those who looked into its eyes.

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