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Thread: United Cutlery Corp. FSO152C Review

  1. #1
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    Post United Cutlery Corp. FSO152C Review


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    I just received a new U.S. made Sharpfinger clone in the mail, and thought to post a review and side by side comparison of it and the Schrade Sharpfinger.

    This knife is one that can now be found in K-Mart and other major retailers, the Outdoor Life FSO152C by United Cutlery Corp., Sevierville, Tennessee. As you can tell by the use of the “152" in the pattern number (the same with the Camillus GP152), there is no attempt to hide the origins of the design, and in fact, like the Camillus version, an open attempt at filling a market niche for Schrade’s most popular fixed blade hunting knife. While you and I know that there are still NIB Sharpfingers on the secondary market, the passing of two years has for all intents and purposes seen them dry up on the primary market, i.e. brick and mortar stores.

    The FSO152C, as the last letter suggests, came in a clampack, all United’s own design, using the copyrighted “Outdoor Life” logo front and rear (licensed from Time4 Media, Inc.). The front of the card has a “Made in the U.S.A.” logo, repeated on the back along with “Sourced and Distributed by United Cutlery Corp.”. While it it not specifically stated as such, the knife is likely produced in United’s Arrowhead Cutlery plant.

    The sheath is a genuine leather item, top grain cowhide, well finished in medium russet, the same thickness and pattern as the original Schrade sheaths. They could possibly be sourced from the same manufacturers.

    Dimensionally and in profile, the Outdoor Life is very close to the original Sharpfinger. The grind is hollow like the last Schrades, with a very well defined grind line, not polished down to a smooth transition. Blade finish may appeal to some, but I don’t really like the “sandblast” frosted look myself. Admitedly the execution is very good... evenly done including the full exposed tang. There is no blade tang stamp. Rather, a faint, golden etch at the top of the choil has the made in USA logo, and in the tangstamp position, in incredibly small text, is etched “FSO152" over “Stainless”. On closer examination it does not appear to be an etch, but a screen print. The bladestock is thinner than the Schrade, and the actual steel is not specified other than “HC Stainless Steel Blade”. 420HC?? It is razor sharp right out of the package with a needle tip.

    The handle, rather than trying to copy the age old Sharpfinger brown dyed over cream Delrin, is black delrin, reminding me of the two Peterson Publishing promo knives I have, the 152 “Guns & Ammo”, and 154 “Hunting”. The sawcut is clean and well defined, the (nickle silver?) shield, slightly larger than the “Old Timer” shield, has the copyrighted “Outdoor Life” text, just as you see it on the magazine cover. The two compression rivets are set below flush, a detail I don’t like, but admittedly have seen on the Sharpfingers.

    All in all, I must admit that it is a good rendition of a Sharpfinger, with enough detail differences that a collector can tell the difference. Quality is up there, and it is an American made knife at a very good price. MSRP, according to United’s website, is $49.99, but it is easily found discounted to a much lower price. Or you can nab one off of eBay like I did for less than ten plus shipping. For comparison, the last MSRP on a Schrade 152OT in 2004 was $37.95, but ther were to be found for $19-24.


    Next I’ll review the UCC “Winchester G9447" Skinner, their branded rendition of the ill-fated 152OTX.

    Here is the same knife under the "Rigid" branding. It is also produced under the Harley Davidson brand.


    The 152OTX which was not produced:


    Codger
    Last edited by Codger_64; 09-07-2006 at 09:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Geat review as usual Codger ! Ever think of going freelance for some of those knife publications? Your input would definitely bring the quality up a notch or two.

    Eric

  3. #3
    Are the Winchester and Rigid knives USA made?

  4. #4
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    Good stuff Codger. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    don`t know about you guys , but i think that everything united cutlery makes is shit.

  6. #6
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    SIRGALANT, I understand where your opinion comes from. The fantasy knives and movie knives are imported by United's division specifically set up to do that (Tomahawk?). A lot of it is junk make in Pakistan, and lord knows where else. The Arrowhead division is a modern factory here in the U.S., and while I've not seen and reviewed their other products firsthand, I have this knife in my hand and while it is not a high end custom knife, it is a decent user on the low end price range. Rather than make blanket statements about products I've never seen, I prefer to examine a knife closely and judge it upon it's own merits.

    Mountainwind, yes, I am only reviewing the U.S. made copies of the Sharpfingers at this juncture. All I have mentioned except the TBLLC copy are U.S. made. I believe it is important for Schrade collectors to know what is out there in the way of pattern copies in order to avoid buying them by mistake, if one so chooses. Or to buy one intentionally as a user if that is one's choice. They are not now, and may never be collectables.

    Codger

  7. #7
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    i have seen plenty of united cutlery , especially their throwers and they are always shit , they can`t even get the grinds right , however i haven`t seen every single knife they have ever made , so maybe not all their knives are piss poor gimmicky crap

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIRGALANT
    ... so maybe not all their knives are piss poor gimmicky crap
    Exactly. They don't manufacture that stuff. They import it from other countries where it is made. This is the stuff you can find every day at flea markets and junk shops. But over the years they made enough from it that they opened their own manufacturing division with new state-of-the-art equipment, and hired some skilled workers to produce a line of U.S. made knives of higher quality, both in terms of materials and construction. The grinds on this particular example are near perfect, including the final grind. Fit and finish could be better, but seldom on a production knife in this price range.

    Am I telling you or anyone to go out and buy one? No. I am telling folks how they compare to the genuine Schrade Sharpfinger, how to tell the obvious differences, and make up their own mind which to buy. IMHO, United / Arrowhead made a decent pattern rendition in this Outdoor Life marked knife.

    I still prefer to buy the Imperial Schrade version, and except for review purposes, will continue to do so. I am in no way affiliated with United/Arrowhead, have never met or spoken to the owner, Mr. Hall, and he/they had no part in this review. The knife retails online for about $18, this one was snagged on eBay for $4.99.

    Incidentally, further research has shown several retailers refering to the bladesteel as 420HC.

    Codger

  9. #9
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    i understand your position codger_64 , as you understand mine . have a knife day

  10. #10
    Thanks for taking the time to give us your review Mr. Codger. It is nice to know that there are still some of the old patterns "Made in the U.S.A.".
    It's too bad the 152OTX was not produced, I think that would be my favorite.
    Thanks Rick

  11. #11
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    You're welcome Rick. United / Arrowhead makes several more Schrade pattens here as well, but you'll have to explore and identify them for yourself. We don't stand too much on formalities here, so perhaps like my other friends, you can call me Michael, or Codger, but leave off the "MR"!

    I was told that the 152OTX project was offered to a major chain as an SFO, but it was rejected. I agree, a pity. I think it was a good update to Henry's classic design that even he would have approved of.


    Michael Codger
    Last edited by Codger_64; 09-08-2006 at 07:48 PM.

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