RR: Gigand's $15 Mosquito Neck Knife

Jan 21, 1999

Anyone own this insect and care to give a mini-review? Thanks for any info

[This message has been edited by Titan (edited 30 March 1999).]
I "played" with a few of them at the knife show last weekend and they seemed to be well built. I seem to remember 3 different sizes and the med. sized one is what caught my eye. I think they are AUS8A but I don't remember. Sorry but that's about all I know. -AR
Titan, sorry... didn't realize that's a problem. Ironically, after looking at the Gigand neck knives and prices, I end up ordering the mosquito and the clip point though i had no initial intention...

thanks, good luck.


Please do tell us about the mosquito. It looks a bit like the Stiff KISS with a better handle. It's in the right price range too!

[This message has been edited by Bob Irons (edited 31 March 1999).]
FYI, I gave my impressions of their Tanto Guardian in the Gigand Knives thread. I won't repeat what I said there other than these are a really good value for the money.

I've had a Mosquito for a couple of months now. It's a chisel grind tanto, but other than that I like it -- and at least it's a right-handed chisel grind....

The magnetic sheath is trooly kewl. The handle is even better. It has a forefinger groove and ridges like filework all around both edges -- not fancy decorative work, just simple ridges, but that gives it a great grip for such a tiny knife. No, it's better than that -- it's a great handle, period. I wouldn't want it any bigger. I have large hands, too.

I would like the blade just a little bit longer, but you can do a lot with a 2" (5cm) blade. The steel is AUS-8A, which is quite decent stuff for a low-buck knife like this, comparable to 440B. It came with secondary bevels which I ground off, but factory edges are never acute enough for my taste; YMMV.

I use it quite a bit. The short blade and good handle make it a good choice for precise work. It's so thin and light I hardly notice it in my pocket and it's invisible when worn as a neck knife. It's also small enough to put on your keyring. The sheath is .330" or 8.4mm thick.

Have I left anything out? Oh, it came with a good well-polished shaving edge, if anyone cares. Also the blade is good and thick; I'm not at all afraid to pry with it. I don't think the hidden tang extends very far into the handle, judging from the blade-heavy balance, but it seems adequately strong -- hasn't broken yet, anyway, and I've been prying at things with it.

It comes with a black cotton neck cord and a clip like a miniature dog leash clip for attaching to a belt loop or wherever. There's a lanyard hole in the handle, too.

-Cougar Allen :{)
Well, folks, Cougar gave the load down.
Frankly, I like the look of the handle on the mosquito and the price, though I don't really care for tantos.

I like clip points and the 4 inch guardian is ultra cheap. So, why not add it on?

I'll let you know what i think though the more experience voices have spoken.

Titan, CONGRATULATIONS on the Military. You need worry about the mosquito anymore...

Well, I got the mosquito and the guardian (clip).

Mosquito first: Looks great in the picture. But reality is that the handle is just too small. No matter how I hold it, and I have small hands, I don't feel like I have a good grip on it. The chisel grind also doesn't seem to track straight for me when I try to cut something straight with it. I compared it to another bug i have, the Spyderco dragon fly. The dragonfly has about 3/8" more on the handle but is a thicker across and with more curvature. I feel very secure in the grip with the dragonfly. Also, while the dragonfly blade is about the same in length. the flat grind makes cutting so much better and easier. Then again the dragonfly is a folder and more twice as expensive.

I don't know if anyone is thinking of the mosquito as a social backup... DON'T! There is just no grip there for hard use. Now, if this knife came just 20% to 40% bigger, we got a serious tactical knife.

Now, the guardian. This knife I like. It's also chisel grind and I have the same problem getting it to cut straight. But, I would use this for utility... The blade stock is 3/16 thick and 3/4" wide but, as Cougar mentioned, the tang probably doesn't extend throughout the handle because it's forward weighted. The handle itself is on the thin side and has a slight index cutout, and a built in angled guard. From the bottom guard to the pommel, the handle measured about 3.5". It has checkering and ridges but with my small hand I feel like I have just a good enough hammer grip. Good thing the guard because I wouldn't be confident that my hand wouldn't slide up on a powerful thrust without it. The sheath comes with clip as well as a lanyard. Using the clip, the sheath seems set up for a cross draw or behind the back for righties. The magnets in the sheath holds the knife well but allows for an easy draw. I like it. I have to do some serious slashing and puncturing before I can say more... I do think the knife will serve amply as its name suggests as a good backup. I think this knife at it's price range is an alternative to the CR&K stiff kiss. Truthfully, I never handle the kiss but was never interested because I don't like the kiss' handle nor the bulky sheath.

Both the mosquito and the guardian came with less than razor sharp edges. But being AUS8, I think it will be easy to reprofile the edge to a sharper edge.


I guess that shows how individual anatomy makes a great handle for one person a lousy one for another -- I'm just glad you didn't buy an expensive knife because I thought the handle was great. Likely you can find somebody who likes it to give it to (hardly seems worth the trouble of sending it back for $15).

I think the tang goes a bit more than halfway into the handle, and I think that's enough. I think the currently popular idea only full tangs are strong is all wrong anyway ... certainly some knives with partial tangs or full-length narrow tangs are weak, but they don't have to be.

I'm trying to resist the urge to buy a Guardian, telling myself I'd rather spend my money on knifemaking supplies. Trouble is a little voice keeps whispering in my ear, "You can do both...."

-Cougar Allen :{)
Thanks for the reviews - Sing and Cougar.

I was considering the mosquito, but now I'm a bit confused. You, Sing, with smaller hands think it's too small and Cougar with larger hands thinks it's fine! Isn't that a fine stew.

Sounds like the guardian may have a little better consensus - thanks for the review Brian.

I should clarify. The mosquito has that "tactical look". If it were bigger, it could serve that purpose. But, being as small as it is, I can't get a grip I would trust. As a utility, I don't particular find the chisel grind to be as a good a performer as my dragonfly for general purpose cutting.

I've been slashing around with the Guardian. Again, it doesn't compare with my other knives (folders). I lent the knife to a friend who was cutting chicken breast. I noticed he was cutting at an angle. Didn't ask he whether that was due to the chisel grind. I did notice I can't paper straight with this knife. I can keep shaping the edge. I've pretty much destroy the finish already, not that this matters. Thickness of the blade, the clip point and the handle guard make this a good puncturer. I think the guardian can serve well as a tactical.

sing -- thanks for the review. I'm really excited about winnning the Military
, but I'm still in the market for an inexpensive neck knife.

How thin or thick is the AUS-8 blades of your mosquito and guardian?

Bob -- I knew you'd post here! if you do get to buy a mosquito or a guardian I'd also be interested in a comparative review with your KISS and your Wicked G-45.

Cougar -- thanks for your input!

I'm also interested in a comparison with the OE Wedge, CS Ready Edge and ParaEdge...
The Mosquito blade is thick: .097" (2.46mm). That's very thick for such a short blade.

The more I think about it ... I doubt it's anatomy. Sing, try gripping it with your thumb on the back of the handle -- like the way you'd put your thumb on the spine for whittling, but on the handle, not on the spine. Thumb and forefinger directly opposite each other, butt braced with your palm. Try some thrusting that way.

I've always liked small knives, and maybe I've learned how to grip them over the years -- maybe there's a trick to it that I learned so long ago it seems natural now.

-Cougar Allen :{)
Hey, Titan!

If you are still interested in the mosquito, I have found it at Discount Knives for $16.25 and I believe they take international orders.


Tea drinker and hellraiser from Northern Sweden, above the arctic circle.