Schatt & Morgan Swayback Clasp Knife - Part Two
The Swayback Clasp is well made. The blade is centered. The scales fit well with no gaps. The pull is strong with a very distinct half-stop. The top of the blade when closed sticks out far enough that it is easy to get a thumb and forefinger on it in a pinch grip to open it. The highly polished steel is a little slippery, though. It helps if you get part of the long nick is in your grip. The nail nick is accessible, but the pull on the knife makes it a bit of a nail breaker.
The knife feels good in the hand with just the right amount of weight and heft. I have large hands and the tapered handle just seems to fit. The relatively slim design carries well in a pocket, too.
- On day one, I was wearing nylon swim trunks working in the yard and forgot it was there. I cut two very thick zip ties, a 2 liter bottle, and a croissant. The zip ties cut easily, but I was worried about the blade closing. It turned out not to be a problem at all. I cut the bottle to make a bailer for the footwells on my waverunner and thought I might have a problem penetrating with the Wharncliffe blade. Again, no problem. The croissant didn't slice as well as I might have hoped, though. It seems like this is more of a utility working knife than slicer.
- On day two, I cut a chicken sandwich, an apple, some grape stalks, a couple of plastic packages, and several bags of mulch. While it cut the food, the Swayback Clasp blade tended to stick more than I'm used to and the food tended to adhere to it. (I suspect that may be due to the etching.) The knife was perfect for opening the mulch bags, though, and felt as safe as any locking blade. Cleaning it up afterward, however, I found the blade extremely difficult to open or close when wet.
- On day three, I was on an airplane and the Schatt & Morgan stayed at home.
- On day four, I cut open several bags of top soil. Again, no problems with the blade staying open, but I accidentally dropped the knife when wearing soft cotton jersey gloves. The bone handles felt slick.I could open the knife easily while wearing the gloves, though. After several bags, I could feel the knife getting dull and starting to rip the plastic, rather than cut it. (I'll sharpen it tomorrow.) Again, when I rinsed it off, I couldn't open the blade very easily when wet. I tried the nail nick and actually did break the edge of my nail.
- On day five, my attempts to restore a razor edge with my Spyderco Sharpmaker failed, no doubt due to my poor sharpening skills. I'm getting some help with that from Richard J. and the knife will be on the way to the next participant this weekend.
Overall, I was impressed with the quality of this knife and it's ability to do some heavy work. Thanks to Jujigatame for lending me his knife and for BladeForums giving us a place for it to happen.