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Newt Livesay Uij

Mar 19, 1999
Okay, I promised Bob Irons et al I would do a practical review of the Uji, a nasty little tanto made by WCK (Newt Livesay). I asked Bob about the G-45, which is a tactical neck piece with a bargain basement price tag, one thing led to another and a review is born!

Let me start by saying this is not an unbiased review. I love the Uji. I love its lines, its fit, its finish, its weird curved blade (more on that later), its single grind tanto profile...not much to criticize here, unless you want me to cry about the maker's mark being all but invisible. I am not advertising every time it comes out of the sheath, so I do not care about that.

The steel is 1095 and for those of you who want to demand a pricey exotic steel like ATS-34 or VG-10, let me remind you the Marines actually use their knives and have done so for over one hundred years. It still works for them. It will do for me. If you are concerned about rust coat it in WD-40. The handle is a beautifully shaped green canvas Micarta with five retention grooves milled into it, which grab my hand a lot like the AF fighter. The handle is held on with Epoxy and brass riviets, and features a lanyard hole, though I feel this is a wasted effort on a hiedaway knife. Put one on yours if you want it.

The fit and finish (very subdued) are excellent, especially when you consider this is a fifty dollar HAND GROUND knife. Newt has not built it to be pretty, only functional. Never mind brushing me off as a neanderthal who drinks wine from the screw-top bottle, I do like the good stuff, jusdt as I appreciate a darryl Ralph folder or a Bogezewski Raptor, but I would not carry one with express intention of using it.

The sheath is a minimalist piece of kydex, loop the paracord around your belt and tuck the sheath in your pants. Not only does this work well, but it also leaves the sheath dangling form your belt while in use, easy to find and re-sheath your knife while NOT stabbing yourself in the kidney. I carry mine as SOB to the right of my spine and it disappears there nicely. Too many great knives come with a sheath that sucks. Not here, baby.

To the fun stuff:

I would of course prefer the whole screaming demon testing route, but in doing this last night, I realize that part of my domestic bliss is NOT pissing her off during ER by yelling Banzai and attacking the rope held to the rafters in the basement. Sheesh, you figure she would understand by now...

My targets are as follows: Empty Leinie cases, made of heavy cardboard, empty Coke cases and a few pieces of scrap wood make good test media. Not having the resources of Lynn Thompson at my disposal, I will make do.

The blade cuts weird if you are not used to it. It has a strange bent to the right, by design, and did not cut with a simple flick of the wrist. It took some practice to get the blade to slash into the target, but when I got the angle right (practice practice practice!) it went into the target like a demon, opening up the Leinie cases like nothing. If I hit the target where the grind lines meet near the point, the blade would be drawn into the target and simply shear it apart. The curve make for a wound that tears itself apart, that is correct. I will send Sweetie away for a few days soon and try it out on some pot roast or similar meat. Look for this.

As for penetration, the knife easily went right into either the lightweight pepsi cases or heavier beer cases easily to the hilt. It has a little drag due to the tanto design and the curve, but once you are in, it can easily cut its way out again and leave a nice cone shaped hole in the process.
It does very nicely stabbing into pine boards, despite the lack of a guard. I will experiment with this more as well, as I am not yet totally comfortable with the Uji in this regard, but it makes a mess of soft stuff. I stuck repeatedly with intent from soft to medium to rather firm into the wood and never once feared i would slide down the handle onto the blade, in either fencing, hammer or Icepick grips. It will never be as secure as a knife with a guard, but the lack of a guard will surely make me more studious about such matters.

I will do more testing as the weeks go by and will post back periodically when I do, but I highly recommend this knife as an excellent carry piece, curiosity (it is far more than that) and a far superior choice to many other (pricier) options available in the small tanto/ fixed blade realm. This is only my opinion, but you owe it to yourself to check this one out. Mine was a five week wait and worth it. Next time, the rope, meat and 4x4 tests...
Nice review. Sounds like the Uji is worth a serious look, particularly for the price.

Look forward to hearing about the meat cutting, rope and 4x4 testing.
You got it! Yeah, Bob, look hard at this knife. Maybe I can do hard cutting tommorrow, Sweetie off golfing w/ parents during mid-day. Nice for her to come home to me being a bloddy mess, eh? Big stupid grin on my face...empty beer bottles...the original review I typed at home (just bought computer, not online there as of yet) was even more detailed and lengthy. English and Philosophy degrees will do that to you.

Hey, I noticed you are looking for one of those pragmatic arts, or systems, it sounds like. Go to the Comtech Home page and find the entrance to Mdern Knives magazine, online publication. Inside the premier issue you wil find a great recipe for building a slammin' jammin' trainnig partner for empty and not so empty handed training, far better than the punching bags I make due with. As for systems, look for a hybrid if you can find one, a sort of greatest hits compilation. Mine combines elements of boxing, Muay Thai, American Kickboxing, Kenpo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Hapkido, Silat, FMA, name it. I would like to add more trapping and slapping.

Hard solo practice on this sort of apparatus will make it easier to transition to partner or Bad Guy, but my training partners and I do not like going home with big holes in us or concussed for that matter. The above styles lend themselves well to practice on such equipment with imagination.

Also, try tapes from Comtech, Kelly Worden, mike Janich or Bram Frank to name a few, all good people. Maybe also Vee Arnis Jitsu, looks like a souped up version of my own peculiar mixture.