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G-45: You get what you pay for

Apr 24, 1999
A couple of months ago, someone did a review of the Newt Livesay G-45. B/c of that review, I ordered one and would like to share my thoughts about it. Like the other review said, the sheath is small, and the knife itselt is smaller than the STIFF KISS, made of 1/8" 1095, has a 2/12 blade and flared handle. As for praise, I'd temper my initial disappointment w/ the amount I paid for it: $26.95 (that includes shipping) from Closequarters.com. For all you bang-for-the-buck folks out there, I'll give you this much advice: Go get a STIFF KISS, or if you're in the mood to spend 10-15 bucks more, a REKAT Fang or Utility. They're better knives right outta the box. You can get both from Discountknives.com for, from what I've seen, the best prices and delivery time. REKATs aren't in stock right now, though. Anyway, on w/ the review.

The knife IS light, and you won't even know it's there. However, the Kydex was a little tight, and resheathing it took a lot of practice. Also, the edges weren't radiused so the handle surface dug into my hand. The powder(?) coating scratches easily, and the knife wasn't very sharp. Additionally, grind was kinda funny--a chisel but not. The other side seemed to have a little sharpening done on it,which didn't help the knife's initial cutting ability. I knew this knife needed a bit of a makeover, then.

So that's what I did. First, I removed the powder coating (Dremel away!). After that, I took off the cordwrap (I prefer to tie my own). Then I radiused the edges with a sanding sponge and some medium grit sandpaper. Then, I ground down the blade a little thinner (it was kinda fat). Last, I drilled a hole in the handle a-la thong hole, then rewrapped the handle like I like it, tying it off w/ the newly drilled hole. Voila! A little sweat, some swearing, maybe a nick or two, and a lot of Dremel later, I have a great knife. Oh yeah, I redid the edge with a DMT medium and fine stone. Now it cuts REALLY well.

Good things, then. Well, the steel is great, can't complain about that. I like the handle, especially the round finger guard and the butt notch. After drilling a few holes in the sheath, the knife resheaths easier now, and the overall outfit is light as a feather and prints less than a STIFF KISS and about the same as a REKAT Fang. As for the blade itself, once sharpened, it's stayed that way, even after cutting into boxes, some wood (actually, a bookshelf--don't ask), and stacks of newspaper. Also, the blade's tip is strong and sharp (got the pinpricks to prove it--a result of clumsy resheathing!).

Overall, all I can say is that you get what you pay for in this knife, I guess. I mean, you get a lot better quality w/ the STIFF KISS, plus a multiple carry system along w/ it (the G-45 only comes w/ paracord, now belt clip or anything) and I can get that for $20.00 at Discountknives.com (shameless plug for them!). So, my suggestions to Newt, if he were to read this and not hate me for it would be: 1) Radius the edges more 2) Drill a thong hole in the butt for cordwrapping freaks like me! 3) Make a belt clip for it 4)Try black Kydex and cord (cosmetics--details!) 5) Grind the blade a little thinner (again, this is more of a cosmetic, personal preference thing).

Don't get me wrong, I like this knife (I like almost all knives) but had to put a lot of work into it to REALLY like it. Which is no problem for me, but like I said, you could get a knife you really like, sans modifications, w/ the STIFF KISS or REKAT Fang. Well, there you go, my review of the G-45.

Thanks for the detailed review. As a non demel user, I think I'll pass on this one, skipping the wait that seems to be out there right now for a Livesay.

Actually, the wait for this knife was only a couple of weeks. Not bad for a "custom" knife. I got mine from Closequarters.com, I called them b/f I ordered to make sure they had some in stock, so the wait was actually for their order processing time.
Thrawn, as livesay fan, it is nice to hear some contrary stuff about his work. I own a Uji and a pair of the NRG non-mag pieces he makes. The Uji is a great balde and I really like it a lot. I did a mini review (take that with a grain of salt) of it about three weeks ago in this sector, go find it. As far as you doing some work on it, it is nice to see there are other folks out there like myslef who feel that a knife can be modified by the user without destroying its functionality. I personally hate the stiff Kiss and mainly b/c I felt as though one good poke would send my hand over the edge. My Uji, which has no guard, does not give me the same feeling. I have large impact-trauma conditioned paws, not so delicate anymore, and the Kiss seemed WAY too easy to slip on. I don't expect that any $20.00 neck piece will be perfect, that I will have to customize it a bit, but it sounds like good stuff you did to yours. I will probably go with a Woo instead of the G-45 (bullsh$t, I'll buy both) but yes I feel that re-sharpening is always key no matter what it is I buy. Newt's knives are tough and dependable, like a chevy, and like a chevy, they are inexpensive enough you can experiment a bit to find out how you like yours.


Didn't like the STIFF KISS, eh? I can see how you might feel that your hands would slip, I get the same feeling, too, that's why I wouldn't stab something w/ it unless it was soft. I have heard a lot of good things about Livesay's stuff, and maybe I expected too much outta a 22.00 knife. Then again, isn't that what Newt's known for (making great knives at dependable prices). I read your Uji review, and thought it was good. In fact, your opinion on that knife raised my expectations (and eagerness to buy) a Livesay knife. It seems you and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to modifying a knife w/o destroying its function. That's what really struck me about eh G-45, you could say. It didn't look too impressive (kinda like the Milennium Falcon) at first, my fiancee said it was ugly (then again, she said the Desperado I've got looks like crap). However, I felt that there was potential under the surface. Taking up what I'd now call the "Livesay challenge," (influenced by Livesay fans like you), I endeavored to make the knife's form fit w/ its function. So I did all that stuff w/ it, and it still held up. In fact, after regrinding the blade, it's holding an edge right alongside w/ my REKAT Fang ATS-34! So there you go, like you said, Newt's knives are like Chevy's. They can be modified to taste, but, ugly or pretty, they still get the job done. And judging by what I paid for it, I think the initial disappointment, set up by high expectations, has not only been overcome, but has been replaced by a sense of satisfaction, kinda what you get when you do a kit. Anyway, glad you liked the review, despite the seemingly disappointed tone.
Thrawn, nada about diasppointment. I like opposing viewpoints, in fact that is why I box ( that an I get to pound on someone and be pounded legally )but it seems to me you found your G-45 after playing with it some. I like fixed blades for this reason, that if I want to tool around with it I am not going to wreck the lock.

I plan on at some juncture making the handle on my K-Bar a bit smaller so that it feels less to me like holding the fat end of a bat, but I do not want to unravel the washers. At $35 I can probably buy another just to do this operation eh?

Yeah, the Uji is not perfect, but lotsa blade for the buck. Feels secure in my hand and I appreciate you reading it. Not my intention to pry, but can you really pick a soft versus hard target during highly adrenal moments as we speak of? Kiss seems too easy to slide up onto the blade. Bram Frank suggests not sharpening the rear inch or so of any knife sans guard for that reason. I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about the hand over that Cold Steel serration...

Yeah, carbon 1095 will hold as well as ATS 34. Its more about the re-profiling you did, not the steel. They both hold very well in my experience. Glad to hear satisfaction is there. What can we do about that trailmaster that is overweight and badly balanced?

You box, huh? Good deal, boxing's a great fitness route and makes self defense easier, too. I've taken lotsa martial arts myself, and have always encountered (good) boxers to be excellent evaders, counterpunchers, and all around fast w/ the hands. Is your Kabar a full tang? If so, hell, just take the handle off and redo it yourself w/ some other material. I'm also a fan of fixed blades, but more of a fan of "city knives." As for my G-45 and its steel, they're both doing great, but are still sitting backseat to my REKAT Fang. Ah, and now the question about being able to pick a soft target even in high speed, simultaneous movement situations...Yes, I can pick. Besides that, I wouldn't stab like the guy in Psycho, my stabs are more like jabs, they're snappy, and I'd only be penetrating w/ the first 1/2 inch or so. But stabbing w/ a STIFF KISS wouldn't be my preferred method of attack (slashing the weapon hand always is, then the gutting begins!) If I were to stab and do it, w/ any guardless knife, I'd do it in the reverse grip (that means getting close!) w/ my thumb on the pommel for security. I know what you mean about imagining slipping onto some Cold Steel serrations (shiver). Lastly, I wouldn't know anything about CS' Trailmaster, other than that if it's too heavy and not properly balanced, don't buy it!
Or if you have, pawn it off to someone else and get a Busse or something.
Box, Thai, FMA, whatever, its all good. I'm one of those boxers who may not move a lot on you, more like I'm good a being in one piece and closiong off your part of the ring while mine gets bigger.

My stabs...not like psycho either, but I like to go to the hilt, so after my flick six inches in, you twist the blade ninety or so. As Dr. Gyi put it to me, what caliber it that???

who says I cannot carry a full six or seven inches in the city? Just kidding, I like four or five to carry max, but wait till I get my bagwell...

So you do more than box? Cool. I wish I could carry even four inches around. I liver here in Washington (state), and the max is 4 inches. However, anything 3 and over is suspicious, and two might even be pushing it if you're in Tacoma or Seattle. Besides that, I'm filipino, and over here, we have a bad rep for being in gangs and doing stupid things like that. Fact is, the smaller the blade is and the less threatening it looks, the easier I can get away w/ saying it's a utility knife. Hell, at least I'm not living in California. As for the Bagwell, wouldn't that be sweet to be able to carry around and not worry about catching hell from a cop? Right now, I'm doing some sketches for a sub 2-inch utility blade (fixed). This isn't a fighter, it really is a utility blade, but it could be used for last ditch. The fact that it can be used in this capacity really is based on my speed and aspiration to develop more skill than I currently possess, not on an average Joe's ability. What really would be nice to have for a small, effective self-defense tool would be on of Black Cloud's Philippine Box Cutters or maybe a Szabo Kerambit. Especially for the former, you could put that baby in reverse grip, trap some idiot's arm, and open him up like a zipper! Wow, that was graphic. Anyway, that knife I'm trying to design would only really be used to "defang the snake" rather than throw down. Hey, wasn't this conversation about the G-45? Weird how things can take tangents.
Yeah, that part about sharing a heritage can really be a pain in the a$$, no? We have had some recent gang issues here at the office and the lousy aftertaste is that any time I see a couple kids hanging out I get paranoid. I sympathize with you, not right but we have it everwhere and my European ancestry is no better than anyonme else when it comes to accepting another skin or hair type. I had a teacher once with this theory about it only taking one idiot to prove a sterotype right, just use him as an example. Problem was teacher was a lousy husband, macho A$$ of a true "guy" and also a wrestling coach. Funny how Freud works, eh?

I am playing tonight with a guy who is a Prensas black belt as well as a student of Bando under Dr. Gyi. I hope to make it a regular thing as I am real good at hitting and breaking things but my trapping and slam jam needs work. I like the zipper thing, let's also get in the part where we bounce the head off the pavement or wall or bumpers after helping the knee to become small pieces. Your FMA background, now I understand the thing about little nicking type sticks, they can be turned into seven inches deep easily. Change footwork is all. I am in Chicago area since you ask.

Bagwell told me about carrying Hell's Belle through heavy casino security w/ no questions asked. For that fixed blade thing, the way my eyes work it is called a box cutter isn't it? Last time I opened a box with my Endura, I ripped apart the coffee table inside officer, so I got this...train hard, bleed less.

Hey, I am about six two and German background. Folks always think I am a cop or some black bag guy, especially when I project GO AWAY. Short hair to the point of near brush cut and wire frame glasses or my favorite, the dark aviator sunglasses. I am just your everyday friendly real estate/ mortgage broker in khakis and a polo yuppie knida guy, who is not ready to be easy pickings for my house keys or car. What was that about tangents? Never heard of her.
Got hung up for a few days while I was moving out of my apartment. Wow, you're studying under some intense martial arts types. Presas is one of the guys I'd like to study under. Do you have one of those Black Cloud box cutters? How much did you pay? I, too, have tried opening boxes on tables w/ my Delica, Endura, or whatever knife I was carrying at the time, and at least for the first two, they cut through more than the box. Oh well, that's what buying cheap furniture is for, I guess. I know what you mean about getting paranoid around a few kids. Over here (I'm back in my hometown, now) I just want to kick the hell out of all these stupid punks b/c I know they think they're better than everyone else, and besides that, they've got no respect for anyone. You could get through casino security w/o so much as a "what's that for?" w/ a Bagwell? That's interesting. My trapping's a little shabby, but I'm hoping I can find a training partner to let me fix that.
trapping, we don't need no trapping here, just us and our shotguns...I guess they are a bunch of wild boys, but that's what life is about, so my father in law says. Actually, considering he is Korean Immigrant his english is nearly as good as mine and his korean...well, I can almost converse with him as long as I tell him my pants are delicious. Wait, the kimchee is good, I wear my pants.

Bagwell can pull it off (bowie) in casino, trick is not to let them see it, why they call it concealed carry, me thinks. Maybe I will be able to by X-mas. Prensas travels a lot, find him in the area. Do you pay with worden at all? I do not have Filipino Box Cutter, but I will...