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.

BlackJack Knives - Model 1-7 - Saber Handle

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Big Mike, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Big Mike

    Big Mike

    Aug 30, 2006
    BlackJack Knives “Classic Blades” Model 1-7.

    Saber Handle, Black & White Ebony, Single Quillian Guard.


    To quote Mike Stewart:

    "The Blackjack Knives Model 1-7 is fast in the hand and razor sharp."

    Here are the Model 1-7 posted specs:

    Overall Length: 12 Inches
    Blade Length: 7 Inches
    Steel: A-2 Tool steel @ 58rc
    Blade Thickness: .215 Inch
    Weight: 9.775 Ounces*

    Measured specs from this saber handle 1-7:

    Overall Length: 12 Inches
    Blade Length: 6-7/8 Inches
    Cutting Edge: 5-7/8 Inches
    Blade Height: 1-3/16 Inches
    Handle Length: 5-1/8 Inches
    Blade Thickness: .218 Inch

    *My Saber Handle knife is lighter then the posted specs.



    This knife started life as a standard Model 1-7 with a large Double Quillian Guard. I quickly modified it by removing the top quillian and slightly shortening the bottom quillian. Back when Mike Stewart owned BlackJack, the 1-7 with these modifications was know as the “Hunter” model.

    To quote Mike Stewart again, in reference to the "hunter" model:

    “They were made in pretty large numbers back in the Old Effingham Blackjack Days.”

    The comments and opinions in this review reflect the use of the modified knife.

    Blackjack Knives - Model 1-7 - As Delivered.

    Also of note: This Saber Handle design is one of two standard design for the Model 1-7. Approximately two thirds of the knives are delivered with the Pommel style handle, the remaining Saber style. So instead of the Aluminum pommel, this handle ends with just the polished block of Ebony.


    It was my love of the BlackJack Knives - Model 14 - HALO Attack, a knife that is an integral part of my camping/ bug-out/survival gear, that got me interested in the slightly smaller Model 1-7. When I saw this knife up for sale at a very attractive close-out price, I could not pass up the deal on this sweetheart of a knife.


    On to the review:


    This knife features a razor sharp convex edge, as is usual from the knives coming out of the shop of Mike Stewart's Bark River Knives, the manufacturer of BlackJack Knives “Classic Blades” Series, which they make for the BlackJack owners (Blue Ridge). Fit and finish on these knives is also first rate, as good as the edge is sharp.


    As always, I started my testing in the kitchen.

    The handle on this knife is unusually light for a knife of this size, that combined with the ability to slide way up on the handle gives this knife the kind of balance that really shines in everyday cutting tacks like cutting fruits and vegetables, as well as enough blade for bigger task like breaking down primal cuts of meat.

    I used the knife extensively on vine ripened tomatoes and soft stone fruits (always rough on knife edges). It sliced like a demon and held its own against my thin bladed kitchen cutlery, in fact it took the abuse of stone fruits better then the knife I usually use. For a tough A2 blade like this even the de-boning of joints and cutting of cartilage was as easy as removing silver skin and other unwanted material.


    Big Mike
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike

    Aug 30, 2006


    Moving outdoors:

    Taking this knife out in the woods was a pleasure.

    The 1-7 seemed to be able to handle most of the tasks I might ask my HALO Attack to accomplish, but in a lighter and easier to carry package. The blade on the 1-7 is only about half an inch shorter then the HALO; but the combination of shorter blade and sheath, and the light weight handle construction, are noticeable on the belt.

    This knife was no slouch in the field, and I would say it's comparable to most 7” Bowie knives. I put this knife to the test doing many camp type chores like whittling and light baton work. While whittling the knife felt good in hand and was easy to control as the blade bit as deeply as I cared to push it. When notching, or other pressure cuts, the large choil does take up some precious real-estate; but, as mentioned later in the review, the choil has it's own rewards; and, on this knife, works for me. A few snap cuts on green wood, and some time spent under the bat reducing seasoned oak to kindling, proved this fighting knife converted to civilian duty up to the job. But, in respect to that savagely beautiful block of B&W Ebony, I did not beat on this knife as hard as I might.

    That said, the 1-7 did take my hard use without issue, and still thin sliced tomatoes when I was done.




    The Knife In Hand:

    The conversion to a single quillian guard really changes how this knife works in hand.

    Without the top guard my hand is free to slide much farther forward, allowing me to comfortably find that neutral balance spot; worked this way, the knife seems to move effortlessly.


    The circular cut-out on the spine of the knife just in front on the guard looks sexy enough in the website photos, but really starts to make sense once that upper quillian is out of the way. My thumb could easily slide forward into that cut-out when extras pressure was required.


    The generous choil on this knife is big enough for my large forefinger, and works well with the features mentioned above. In fact, utilizing the choil and thumb cut-out together, or sliding around to a pinch grip, really lets me appreciate this knifes great balance.


    All and all, I find the single quillian guard a win-win situation; giving up little of the versatility of the original design, yet allowing the hand to comfortably slide into alternate grips.

    The all important Sheath:

    The sheath is a very sleek set-up, befitting the overall nature of the knife. Made by Sharpshooter Sheath Systems, the leather and stitching are of high grade materials. The knife fits the sheath very securely, and it seems to be a very safe package.


    This style of sheath uses a strap with a snap as a retention system. The strap crosses over the guard and fastens in the center of the sheath. This style of strap is much preferred to a strap that goes around the handle, as those will often let the knife slide out a bit when inverted; very dangerous. The strap has a very handy feature, as its designed to be slid under the belt loop portion of the sheath when open, keeping it safely out of the way when drawing and re-sheathing the razor sharp blade.


    The large belt loop will accommodate the largest belt, and there is a small flap with two holes at the bottom of the sheath to allow for a tie off point. I appreciate the large belt loop, as I often use very wide belts in the field. I never tie a knife off to my leg, but I can see using the lower tie down point for lashing the knife to a pack or other gear.

    If there is a downside to the sheath, it's in it's use on the belt, and it's a problem that plague all sheaths of this size and design. Even though the sheath is designed to hold the snap strap out of the way, it's hard to be sure it's where it needs to be when blindly deploying or re-sheathing the knife, as one does from the hip. Also, the sheaths small throat opening dictated by the relativity narrow blade (short edge to spine) can be hard to find when trying to get that razor sharp blade back into it's safe haven. This is always a problem with blade longer then my index finger, especially when I can't see what I'm doing. This will improve over time as the sheath breaks in, and I get use to the maneuver.

    In Conclusion:

    Overall I find the BlackJack Model 1-7 to be savagely usable for a knife it's size.

    The knife may be designed as a fighter, and I'm sure it would excel in that role, but it works equally well pulling the kind of duty a camper or woodsman might throw at it. The “Hunter” modification only furthers its appeal in civilian use, it's a real user.

    Big Mike
  3. rpn

    rpn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Thanks for the write up. I keep looking at the Blackjacks when the Randall itch sets in and don't read a lot about them. Classic looks and glad to know they are workers too! :thumbup:
  4. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Great review. That's a keeper, like anything out of Mike Stewart's shop.
  5. tholiver


    Feb 22, 2003
    Sweet! I still have my Japanese made Blackjack Anaconda II bowie from the 90's. Always liked the look of the 1-7! I need to try one of the new Blackjacks!
    The pics above with the double guard modded to single make me want to do the same to my SOG Trident. I love the Trident but the top guard really inhibits the comfort and utility of the blade.
  6. Cfin


    Jun 22, 2011
    Well done article Big Mike and what a good looking knife. I love my Blackjacks especially my Stag Hunter Blackjack old style. Can't wait to try it on some whitetails.
  7. mistwalker

    mistwalker Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thanks for the post. I've been looking at the Black Jack Classic 7 with leather handle. I seem to have a weakness for leather handles...

    WILLIAM.M Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    Excellent review

    Thanks Bro

Share This Page