1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

J. Rosa Custom in S90V with carbon fibre scales and textured kydex sheath.

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Rapt_up, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Rapt_up


    May 4, 2012
    I bought this knife some time back from the forum here.

    Steel: CPM S90V @ 60-61 HRC
    Heat Treat: Done by Peter's
    Handle material: Carbon Fiber/Orange liners with stainless corbys and G-flex thick epoxy
    Tang: Full Tang
    Blade Thickness: .175" with Full height flat grind
    Blade Length: ~ 3-7/8"
    Cutting Edge: ~ 3.75"
    Blade Height @ widest: 1-9/16"
    OAL: ~ 7-7/8"

    I thought that the event of the first sharpening of this knife was a suitable time to post a review. This is a little big knife. :D Small enough to be EDC'd (in my opinion) and yet big enough to be hand filling and handle larger tasks at least for midsized folks.
    First impression when I received this knife was that it was solid. It’s hefty for its size. Second thing is the handle is very comfortably shaped. Everyone who has handled it has commented on how good it feels in the hand.

    The kydex sheath Jim Rosa supplied is done in the Carbon Fibre surface textured material and looks really sharp with the carbon scales. It also has a house made loop/clip that allows the sheath to be slipped onto a belt without undoing the belt and the loop holds securely once it’s in place.
    IMG_0884 by rapt_up, on Flickr

    The knife came with a sheet explaining that this is a “value priced knife” and as such has a lower level of fit and finish to match a “working” knife and a budget price point. This by no means says it is poorly finished, in fact It’s about ideal from my point of view in terms of balance. I have no problem paying for performance, but I don’t see the need to pay for high levels of finish I either have to baby or sacrifice when I start using the knife. Since I’m a knife user this suits me perfectly and I wish more makers offered this as an “option” with knives. Certainly a plus in my book and something I appreciate.
    IMG_0885 by rapt_up, on Flickr
    IMG_0887 by rapt_up, on Flickr

    The knife came from Mr. Rosa, hair whittling sharp with a moderately steep/durable bevel on its full flat grind blade. It is a great cardboard cutter, breaking down boxes so fast and easily it’s actually fun to use for this. After some weeks of use and such there is a large pile of cardboard slices waiting next to the woodstove for colder weather to warrant their use as fire starter. I have also made a fair number of feather sticks for campfires and marshmallow roasters for the kids in this same time. It has been my camp/hike knife for a month or so now.

    In this time I also spent some time learning to use my paper wheel sharpeners, so a couple days back I took the plunge and put this knife on the wheels. WOW! It’s clear that S90V at this hardness is not your average knife steel. Compared to even quality production knives at good hardnesses this is still something else. It’s not hard to sharpen, but material removal is much slower than anything else I’ve put on the wheels. Its actually nice because it makes it easier to control. After a couple passes to lower the bevel angle slightly I deburred the edge on the compound wheel. At first I wasn’t sure I was having success as it just didn’t seem to be getting as sharp to the touch as my other knives… Boy was I wrong…

    At one point I must have barely grazed the skin on the back of my thumb, not sure how or when , but knew it had happened when I noticed the blood oozing from a oblique “shaving” slice in the skin. I hadn’t felt a thing. So I tried it on newsprint, it just glided through it easier and with greater ability to cut curves than even a very thin, and narrow Henckels boning knife. The S90V is now too sharp to whittle hairs they just cut when the edge catches.

    Since then I have massacred another mountain of boxes (10 or so full size cardboard boxes cut into approx 3"-4”x 10” strips, 25-30 boxboard boxes cut into similar size strips) without any loss of easy push cut ability on paper or cardboard. The knife has lost its hair popping edge and is again “only” hair whittling sharp, which is in my view phenomenal since most commercial knives would have been duller than that after one box.

    Overall this is a really great value in a working knife, suitable for daily use with excellent edge holding by any standard, but especially so when the price point and features are considered. I will be watching for J. Rosa's future offerings. :)
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  2. Rapt_up


    May 4, 2012
    An update on this knife... Since that sharpening I have not sharpened it. Sure its not hair whittling sharp but its still sharper than most people's knives (not counting us knife fans), it still slices paper, and it spent the whole winter of 2012 cutting up boxes for the woodstove. S90V done right is one amazing steel... And yes I have since bought a second J Rosa knife in S90V.... :) And it should be even better, since its a thinner blade for more slicing type work.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016

Share This Page