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RJ Martin Handiman and Kozuka -- Initial Impressions

I'll be posting a more full review, but this is an excerpt from what I wrote in the "Next..." thread on the general forum here:

"Well, my answer would have been the Handiman and the Kozuka with the drop point blade (both from RJ Martin) -- I say "would have" because I just actually acquired them. R. J. was very kind to indulge me by allowing me to visit his shop. Needless to say, I am blown away by the Handiman's drop-point recurved blade, and also the drop point smooth-belly blade on the Kozuka.

"For the first time in my life, I was terrified to do the shave test because when I just touched the blades to the back of my hand the hair just fell off without my trying!!!! We're talking *beyond* scary sharp!

"The Kozuka mahogany sheath with magnets is one of the best designs I've ever seen -- I can draw the blade completely silently. I also had the opportunity to handle his DA folder and the Quickening FB -- the Quickening, in my opinion, could cut an arm off without a problem -- it's that tough and sharp. If I could have afforded it, I'd have taken home all these pieces! But at least I have the Handiman and the Kozuka. All of the pieces can easily be described as perfectly balanced and very solid to hold, with flawless fit and finish -- and both cut better than anything else I've owned.

"I'll post further stuff in Reviews, but for now, if you are interested in R.J.'s stuff, start ordering now from him and Les Robertson, because I feel he is gonna be the "next guy" on the very top of the custom biz, and he is already getting backordered!"



P.S. The Kozuka has already become my main carry blade, with the Handiman as my backup. My folders have been retired.
Jan 21, 1999
I just got his Q38 D/A and I can confirm the quality of the construction, the blade, and the awesome "feel" of his knives. A question - do you carry the Kozuka as a neck knife, or
on your waist?
Neck knife right now -- RJ is making me a clip sheath so i have the option of changing my cary mode...

I have to say it's by far the most comfortable and *accessible* neck knife I've ever worn. It sits perfectly against my chest so I don't notice it at all, and then when I want it, I can *very* discreetly reach up and remove it effortlessly and *silently* fron the sheath by gently pulling down.

The magnets and the mahogany hold it in place perfectly (I was shaking the knife upsaide down and it wouldn't slide out), but it also comes right out when I directly pull on it. It's the *sweetest* combination of retention and withdrawal qualities I've ever seen in a sheath. My Kozuka has the drop point amooth-belly blade -- in the pic on RJ's site, it's the one all the way to the right.

More soon...

I too am a big fan of the man and his work. The only gripe I have about the Kozuka is that it is so (*#%#% sharp that I'm always afraid of brushing it against my hand and lopping off a finger by accident. :)

I've have a double-ground quickening and the Q36 (38? the 4" model) in my sights next.


Hee Hee -- that's the kind of gripe I wish I always had on my other kinves!!!

I held the single-ground Quickening (was going to buy it at first, too -- but not enough money), and it felt *solid* and very well-balanced, like everything else he makes. RJ combines aesthetics with practicality seamlessly on every piece I saw and handled. The Quickening will easily take off a man's arm in my opinion, and it looks as if it is built to take lateral stress, too. RJ said it was designed with the assistance of an FBI agent friend of his, and Les Robertson.

I played with the Q38 DA folder, too. All I can say is that it is the first time I've held a custom auto (I own a BM Autostryker) -- and it felt smooth and solid -- you can almost feel the perfection of engineering there. Nothing in production folders that I've handled comes close to it in terms of fit, finish, and action.

I know I'm gushing a bit about RJ's stuff -- but it's that good IMHO. He wil be the next top gun in the custom knife biz -- mark my words. He's already backordered quite a bit, so order stuff soon...

Anyway, I'm taking up wayyyy too much bandwidth these days, so I'll stop here for now.


My posts in the custom knife forum in the Neck Knife recommendations thread parallel your thoughts on the Handiman.

As I expressed to Mr. Martin; I use knives to make a living, sharpen constantly, and am very proud of my edges.

The edge on the RJ Martin Kozuka redefined sharp for me.

I have a longer kozuka on order (a kydex sheath due to bacterial concerns of the kitchen). Seriously gonna have to watch the fingers with this one.

I'm in line for a Q38 also, better get in the queue.......

I know what you guys mean when you're talking about sharp and resisting buying more!

Yep, the Kozuka is awesome. Best small fixed blade I have ever had the delight to carry. Worth every penny. Great guy too, always answers my esoteric emails.

Don't be shy about laying out the money. You won't be dissapointed in the product or its maker.
Would you mind sharing the length of your "longer" kozuka and what the price was? I like the kozuka but felt it was a wee bit short when I handled it.

The longer kozuka blade will be ~5.5 inches.

Requested a longer kozuka instead of the kwaiken because of the thinner (re:5/32") stock and narrower profile...better for food products.

I'd have to check my notes for the exact price, but just over $300.00.

Listening for the UPS truck............