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MOD Razorback review by Fred Perrin

Oct 16, 1998
Masters Of Defense:
Massad Ayoob's RAZORBACK

Maîstre Es Surins
directed by
Jim Ray and the Power Rangers have provided to us five very personnal knives.
Thanks to Jim Ray's kindness we have the chance to evaluate all of the MOD collection.
By alphabetic order, this is the first of the five reviews we will provide about this great knife serie.

There four categories concerning knives used as weapons:
1/ Elimination duty: daggers, ice picks... (no need of a super sharp blade)
2/Utility Military Knives: all purposes blades like Kabar, Chris Reeves FB, Ontario, some Cold Steel and
Mad Dog Seals ATAK etc etc...
3/Duelling Knives: the Circle of Death. A guard, a long and light blade randall#1, Argentine, Straigh Shot (2
Keating design), Bowies (Bagwell), John Sailley etc etc...
-Self Defense Knives: smaller, sharp and solid enough to stand in a fight: Doziers, Bud Nealy, James
Piorek, R.J. Martin and many others for the Fixed Blade and Butterfly Knives, Spyderco, Benchmade and
so on for the folders...

The Razorback, designed by Massad Ayoob, is the only fixed blade of the MOD's.

The 3.85" tanto blade is really narrow.
We have immediatly noticed the three grooves, one on each side and one on the top.
Their main utility is surely the best way to keep the blade dirty. We don't believe it could help to remove the
blade easily from a wound. Also it could give more rigid feel to the blade. But this last work much better on
well forged technics.
The steel is 154CM. The blade is also thicker than for the MOD folders. It's rigid, HC 60, and thick 0.184".
(The ground is low on the blade which makes it feels thicker.)
Out of the box. The blade is really sharp.
The power cut is not bad but it could be much better if the blade was grounded higher and hollower.

But the Razorback is a pure Self Defense Knife: solid, sharp, and with a great feel and balance

It's easy to forget that simple fact: the quick slashes with a sharp blade are much efficient.
The tanto shape gives a solid point but as far as I am concern I know this is one of the less efficient blade
for thrusts. But again, no human body is enough armored for the Razorback.
The lenght of the blade is a perfect choice for its self-defense purposes as you can hit any vital organs.

Also the bead blasted blade got all "address and zip codes" written in bronze letters with the MOD logo.
This is nice for collectors but it can be really embarassing if you need to explain to cops or judges that you
wanted to use your Razorback to spread butter on your french roll unless the things get tough (unless you
got a really good attorney...).

The handle is black anonized 6061T6 aluminium. The handle creates a kind of false guard where you can
rest your thumb. The grip is sure thanks to the checkering grooves. The slighty curved handle is really
ergonomic and the busk at the end assures a great control during outward slashes. This is a must in
filipino, hammer, fencing grip. Also these checkering grooves close to the busk shows us how serious the
designer are about self defense tool conception.
(The general busk shape could be improved for better control in the hand palm. I prefer how big cutter
handles are made if you see what I mean but this is a matter of personnal taste).
I like the feel with wet hands thanks to the three grooves on the sides.

Three screws give you the possibility to clean the tang. AFAIAC, I don't like to disassemble knives.
But if you afraid of rust. You can put epoxy on the tang and forget about it.

No lanyard hole. That could be a detail for you but in "action" a lanyard is a real plus, really important in
fact. First with the lanyard you cannot lose your knife and remember. Not **** no lies. In the 15th century
ALL weapon was provided with lanyard. There is a reason.
(BTW put your thumb in the lanyard and make a loop around your fingers, like a buckle. Don't put you
laynard around your wrist...)

An important point for fixed blade is the sheath. This one is a must !
The razorback kydex sheath got a kydex belt loop you can remove. great advantage for left hand people.
The possibilty of carrying provide by the sheath are numberless. (Inside pants, outside, neck carrying,
strap to a shoulder etc etc...)

A detail I have noticed on the Razorback's add is the name Hank Reinhart
I have the chance to train with Hank. He is a great specialist about Main-gauche and Rapier.
No doubt then than the razorback is not design as a utility knife but as a weapon even against dogs
(lanyard... I miss the Laynard... we could remove the last screw to put a lanyard... or around the butt...)

If you want a reliable self defense tool.
This one is just fine.

Fred Perrin
A very good, insightful review. Fred caught a number of possible problems, including the thickness of the spine and edge, the question of the grooves, the tip geometry, and the etching on the blade (which James Matthis has pointed out goes directly against Ayoob's previous advice). Fred caught the good stuff about the knife, too.

The tone of the conclusion, "If you want a reliable self defense tool. This one is just fine." seems to be the lukewarm Thumb's Up that this knife should get, and I'm pretty much in agreement with that conclusion. The "Period." part confused me, in English it's a flourish to add emphasis, but how do you add emphasis to luke-warmness? I'll make believe it's not there, so I can continue agreeing