RMJ Jenny Wren incoming! Ideas & Expectations?

archieblue

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Mar 19, 2001
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Man I've had lots of fun with my JK Knives "Urban Hatchet." I had to get a JW when I saw they were available. Everything I've read about them seems carry-able, capable and...well...fun! Also it looks like a no nonsense great little tool. I'd love it if they were half the price but there does not seem to be anything else out there quite like the lil Jenny Wren in overall usefulness or just plain simple looks.

I bought the hawk for fun though. Several years ago I went to a BBQ at a friends house which turned out to be a bunch of us felling a big ass tree at his house. The trunk was probably 3' across at the base & it was an all day ordeal. Somehow we began throwing a couple of hatchets at it and it was pretty frikkin fun! I was somehow immediately good at it! Through years of taking several opportunities of throwing my Knives of Alaska Hunters Hatchet and finally breaking the handle I looked for a better alternative and found JK's offerings and I'm soooooo glad I did! That's just the no BS majority of what I do with it. But I've taken it on several multi day river and camping trips where it's been fun AND useful! Also (no offense JK) the sheath is good for little more than storage. Over the years I've REALLY grown to appreciate a well designed and made sheath with my knives & I'm really looking forward to the rig that RMJ has developed.

The JK is O1 steel and it has been pretty impressive. I've missed my target and hit limestone several times. The edge is pretty banged up and I'd certainly have to send it to a pro to get anything resembling a nice looking edge back but it is still very functional. I can get it sharp albeit with some pretty big teeth here and there! I'm really looking forward to seeing how the RMJ holds up.

I'll post my findings sooner or later but I can't post pics right now because I'm off the grid and only using my iphone for interwebs right now and for some reason tapatalk won't let me post pics.

Until then I'd love to hear what you folks might expect out of it for my uses! For such an expensive tool there really seems to be very little info on these.
 
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I just got a Shrike this past week. Very impressive. It is pretty heavy duty feeling, so I imagine the Jenny Wren will be impressive also.
 
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Congrats on a great purchase. I love my JW, carry it quite often, but never thrown it. IMO, throwing is just a fun skill, so I throw cheap hawks, like the SOG Fasthawk. Even then, I sort of choose the location with respect to the edge. I try to throw in an area clear of rocks, gravel, roads, etc.. a few simple precautions help preserve your hawk's edge.
Ryan has said that the JW throws very well, for such a short hawk.
 

archieblue

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Joined
Mar 19, 2001
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3,156
Yeah I know its dum'ern snot to throw any quality cutting instrument. I certainly wouldn't throw any of my knives! I had Mr. JK make my Urban Hawk sans handle material & I did a Strider type cord wrap so I can easily bring the handle back to "as new." I pretty much bought it for fun with much of that leaning toward throwing it. Hell, half of the reason I was pretty brutal on it from the get go was just to see how the cord held up!

Who knows... There's a good chance that I'll get the Jenny Wren in my hands and decide that I'm not willing to chip up the G10. But just by looking at the design of the JW it seems like it will be a bit more head heavy... always good for this type of tool! Either way I don't have enough financial room to bang 'em both up. If the JW really "speaks to me" I'll likely get the edge of the Urban Hawk fixed up and let it go. Of course either way I'll keep which ever one who's steel I prefer. I'm a stainless guy for the most part (which I know is not a good idea for a Hatchet/Hawk) so I don't know diddly about O1 vs. 4140 except O1 is a tried and true tough cutting steel and 4140 is what steel bike frames are often made of.

Either way the RMJ JDub should be here tomorrow and I'll continue to update this thread!
 
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Throwing is fun, but like crash up derby, maybe it's best done with something cheap. I've been wanting to find some more SOG Fasthawks at a good price. I got mine for $20 during Christmas a couple of years ago. I would like to get a couple more so I don't have to walk so much when throwing.

I'm about 6' tall, just a bit over. With the shoulder strap, I can wear the JW under my left arm and nobody even notices. I've gone bowling with it under a button down shirt. Yes, I have a CCW permit, so I also carry a handgun. Point is, it's small enough to be very packable. It's not "the most perfect" hawk, but it conceals well. You'll find it lacks some "power" compared to longer/heavier hawks. But, I don't want to carry those around, unless I'm in the woods.
 

archieblue

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Mar 19, 2001
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3,156
Ok. Thoughts so far!:

My impressions in order are: The hawk is pretty nice! For the price tag I would have thought the finish would be a little better. There were a few burrs where the sharpened beard and spike transition into the handle which I removed with sharpmaker rods. The machining of the RMJ skull & cross hawks and the Wren are pretty lacking as well IMO. LOTS of burrs/machine marks. I was able to clean them up a little. The sheath was kinda slapped together leaving unfinished, mismatched edges. I was able to get them finished with varying grades of sandpaper. Looks nice now.

I was surprised by the weight! It's perfect. Not too heavy or too light.
The grinds on the head are excellent & certainly nice looking. The geometry of each seems very appropriate for their intended/possible use
They did a great job with sharpening. Every part of the head is sharpened, and sharpened well.
The G10 slabs are well done. The machining is perfect. The pattern is perfect. The thickness is perfect. The overall handle shape is great. The swell at the bottom is perfectly executed. There were some G10 burrs inside the holes. I made a little scraper/chisel out of a small mesquite stick and smoothed everything out no prob though.

The thing begs to be used. I chopped up a 2x4 & cut a hole in the end with the spike. I split a 2x4 cutoff and carved a peg in the end. I did the same things with my JK knives Urban Hawk minus cutting the hole. There were a couple of differences. The JK is O1 steel and the edge is 30degs inclusive. It's also a little heavier. I have not sharpened the JW yet so I'm not quite sure what the edge angle is on the main bit edge. I'd guess 40degs inclusive.

The JK out chopped the JW by a tad. The JK took 72 chops to make it through a 2x4, the JW took 75. The JK's edge angle allows for more angles of cutting so, not by a huge margin, it did a little better at making the peg end. It also works a little better as an impromptu knife. I found the JDub's handle to be more comfy. For these uses I also found the slight difference in weight to be welcomed on the JW. I feel like I could swing it for a longer time period.

I sharpened the edge of the JK before I started. It still has several chips from past abuse but it was sharp enough to slice paper. These tasks did not show much at all edge damage on either except for a ~1-32nd" flattened spot on the JDub. There must have been a little rock imbedded in one of the 2x4s I reckon because it happened early on and never again.

I expected the coating on the JW to hold up better than it has so far. Every little chop polished & removed the coating. From handling/using, the handle/tang coating is quickly polishing off as well. I'm not sure if there is a better coating out there but I'm not impressed with this one. On the up side, in a Strider-esque way, this thing wants to look used!

I'll be posting a vid on my YouTube channel fairly soon. I'm stuck with using Tapatalk right now which won't let me upload pics!
 

archieblue

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Mar 19, 2001
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3,156
Oh, and I haven't thrown it yet. I'll wait until I'm in an area where mis throws aren't very likely to hit rocks! Though it's not really fair if I REALLY want to do a comparison with the JK Knives Urban Hawk.
 
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