Spartan Blades’ Horkos takes everything the author dishes out—and then some.
By MSG Kim Breed, 5th Special Forces (retired)
It is always a good sign when you enjoy the feel of a knife, and that is the way it is with the Horkos from Spartan Blades. Featuring a slim handle and nothing sharp except for the edge, it was very lively in my hand. The edge was extremely sharp out of the box.
Like Peelin’ Taters
The Horkos has a finger-notch choil so you can choke up on the blade for more control. This worked perfect for slicing through plastic board. I had to move my holding hand quickly so I did not shave off part of my knuckle! It was like using a potato peeler—real smooth and fast. I went to regular cardboard and the material did not last very long under the blade’s still razor-sharp edge.
My arm wore out before the edge did on the 3/8-inch sisal rope—160 crunching cuts. Next up: the ¾-inch manila rope. I hit 50 cuts before I started to feel the edge slacken somewhat.
The finger-notch choil came in handy once again as it made whittling pine very controllable and comfortable. After I built a nice pile of curly-cues on the garage floor, I locked a piece of pine in my vise and started whacking. The Horkos chopped very well even though the balance is in mid-knife. I like a bit of blade-heavy balance for chopping. The Micarta® slabs were grippy but did not wear my hand out. There were no hot spots as all the exposed steel is softened/rounded. I like this knife.
I cut some old river cane I picked up during high water this past spring. The cane was covered with silt and sand—just what I needed to challenge the Horkos. It cut the cane with no problem and I finally managed to put a few blemishes in the very tough SpartaCoat finish.
To The Point
The edge was still holding up and it was time to work the point a little. I proceeded to stab the Horkos into and through the Yellow Pages—746 pages plus another 3/8 inch into the underlying plywood bench top. It did not damage the tip and the knife held tight in my hand.
It was time to chop the nasty ol’ seasoned oak chunk. I used the Horkos to beat and whack on the log for 15 minutes without hurting my hand, flinging wood chips all over the driveway. Using my no-mar hammer, I beat the blade into the oak. It was a bad move. The oak grabbed the blade and I had a fit trying to remove the knife from it. I marred up the hammer but not the Horkos. This is a very tough knife.
To gauge the heat treatment, I did the brass rod test. The edge flexed in both directions without chipping or deforming, a sign of excellent heat treatment.
The last step was an old edge test used mainly on forged blades—chopping into a deer antler. After a dozen or so chops, there was a small flaw in the edge. I stropped it a few times and it straightened out. The knife would still shave hair. The knife passed every test, and then some.
I Would Like To See …
… a tad more weight in the front of the knife to make it just a bit blade heavy.
The Horkos is a great multi-use knife. Big enough for camping and handy for smaller jobs, it is an exceptional all-around knife.
Pattern: Combat/utility fixed blade
Company: Spartan Blades
Blade Steel: CPM-S30V stainless
Blade Pattern: Drop point
Blade Finish: SpartaCoat (DLC black or ZrN flat dark earth)
Overall Length: 10 7/8”
Blade Length: 5 11/16”
Handle: Textured canvas Micarta® (green, black or tan)
Sheath: Ballistic nylon w/protective insert, MOLLE compatible
MSRP: $335 ($365 w/sheath)
For more information contact Spartan Blades, attn: Curtis Iovito, Dept. BL4, POB 620, Aberdeen, NC 28315 910-757-0035 www.spartanbladesusa.com.
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