I often see a lot of wonderful stuff at SHOT Show in Vegas each year, but this past year I only saw two issues that I totally had to have. 1 was a pistol that I not too long ago picked up and strategy to assessment, and the other was a knife: the Jackal, by musician Zac Brown’s Southern Grind blade shop.
The Jackal caught my eye at first since of its distinct blade shape. It is like a bigger version of a single of my favourite pocket knife blades, the blade on the Leatherman Skeletool CX. When I picked up the Jackal and held it in my hand, I was sold.
Functions and specs
The Jackal runs a high-carbon 8670M steel, which has a reputation for getting challenging as nails and a wonderful edge holder, but also for rusting quite swiftly — hence the coating on the blade. For their 8670M Gran Daddy blade, the web site says: “Blade cut from reclaimed carbon metal sawmill blades for superior capability that’s also environmentally friendly” — I don’t know if this applies to the Jackal, too, but I assume it does.
At any rate, the steel seems to have a solid reputation on-line as an L-6 option, at least if you sustain it and/or coat it. It is one of those locations where you are trading off functionality (durability and edge holding) for corrosion resistance.
The grind is a flat grind, and at .21″ at the spine is thick sufficient without having getting more than-the-leading Busse thick. The blade thins out rapidly to the edge, and this is 1 of the causes it is very good that they went with such a hard steel, even at the expense of rust resistance. This implies you get the efficiency of a thinner edge but with plenty of toughness.
The blade comes sharp out of the box with a factory edge, but I went ahead and stropped it a bit ahead of using it.
The match and finish on this blade are impeccable. The grinds are perfect, and there are fairly a few of them for a production blade. The handle slabs mate perfectly with the tang.
The G10 handle slabs are held on with 3 regular torx screws, and the finish of the handle has a lanyard hole with a glass breaker.
The Kydex sheath is a compact but extremely well-believed-out small piece. The belt clip is held on by two Chicago screws and can be removed and placed on the other side, so you can carry on either side with this sheath. You can also use the clip to rig up the sheath for horizontal carry.
The sheath also sports an molded drain hole at the bottom, a nice touch that shows how considerably thought went into this.
The Jackal clicks securely into the sheath and stays there with no rattle.
The Jackal’s packaging appears fantastic, and you can inform that Southern Grind took this element of the acquire encounter seriously.Field Test and Use
Like other knives its size, the Jackal is not a chopper. If you’re looking for a chopper, purchase a hatchet. (Truly big knives are weapons that can also cut and chop, they’re not ‘choppers’. Hatchets are choppers.)
The Jackal can do wood processing — carving, making feather sticks, batoning, and the like. I identified it competent for those tasks, and the superior ergos mean that you can just maintain making use of it and there are no hot spots on the manage, and your hand does not get tired.
Where this blade truly shines, though, is as a game knife. I employed it on whole chickens and fish fresh from the pond, and it just does genuinely properly in this role. The blade is thin sufficient and has sufficient sweep for the kinds of strokes you do when fileting and skinning, and the steel is difficult adequate that you can go by way of bone with no a hint of harm to an edge.
The deal with retains a solid grip, even when covered in blood, slime, and water, and in basic the knife just functions extremely well for game.
General, the Jackal is the excellent length for a survival knife, and even though it does not appear like what you generally believe of as a “survival knife” it is versatile sufficient to fill that function well. This actually shines as a hunting knife — in truth, I believe of it more as a hunting knife that can do double duty as a survival knife (vs. a knife like the Fallkniven F1, which is a survival knife that can function as a hunting knife).
The 8670M steel holds an edge properly and sharpens without having as well significantly difficulty. It’s not as aggressive a cutter in wood as one particular of my CPM 3V knives, which makes me want Southern Grind would offer you a CPM 3V version, but I’m pleased with the current steel. The black PVD coating nevertheless looks wonderful even soon after use and abuse.
As you can see in the shot under, I can get my thumb up more than the best of the ramp, which gives me a ton of manage over the tip and the edge for carving.
The jimping on the ramp is very good without having getting as well aggressive.
The grind on this knife is top-notch, specifically for a production knife. There’s a lot going on right here, with a partial bevel at the top exactly where a swedge would be. This is most likely done mostly for aesthetics, and it does appear genuinely good. But the partial nature of the “swedge”, if you can contact it that, also tends to make the knife stab a tiny much better without really providing up considerably tip strength.
The other issue about that best bevel not becoming a complete-blown swedge is, all of the bushcraft sorts who are obsessed with batoning can baton away with no the swedge chewing up their stick. (I do not get the batoning obsession, I honestly don’t. I spent a massive portion of my youth in the woods, and was a Life Scout, and never ever as soon as heard of batoning until I started reading knife testimonials on the web.)
I’m not big on the side-to-side tip testing, since no knife is created to do that and it amounts to abuse. But I did do some digging in wood with the tip and it held up fine. I’m confident it would stand up to abuse.
As for the deal with — again, the ergos are just wonderful. I can’t say adequate about how comfortable this knife is. The scalloped G10 is grippy enough, and the scallops are such that they function like finger grooves — my fingers fall correct into the scallops when I grip the knife.
This match amongst the scallops and my hand makes for a genuinely distinctive really feel that’s difficult to describe — it is like the knife is somehow custom fit for my hand. Of course, your mileage might vary, but the scallops are wide sufficient that they can account for a range of hand sizes. My dad tried the knife out and located it match him actually properly, also, and his hands are smaller than mine.
As I talked about above, there’s a nice lanyard hole at the finish of the blade, and with the way the metal goes to a point it seems to kind a good tiny glass breaker or skull crusher, possibly by design.
The Jackal is currently my preferred, go-to blade for work around the property. The Jackal’s “current favorite” status is partly simply because the new nonetheless hasn’t worn off, but it is also due to the truth that I actually get pleasure from operating with it, and I’m not afraid of busting it or breaking it. The 8670M is just not going to break, and if it does then the reality that this is a normal production knife with no customizations indicates that I can replace it with no wait.
Also, at $ 230 retail it’s not going to break the bank if I have to replace it. I like that this is a widely obtainable factory blade with a custom level of fit and finish and superior efficiency that is not priced in the stratosphere.
The replaceability element has also produced the Jackal my go-to knife for trips of any sort. If the blade gets lost or stolen, it’s not going to ruin my week — I will not be happy, but I can often choose up yet another one particular precisely like it. So this is the knife I throw in my suitcase when traveling — it’s like the Glock of my knife collection. It is a tool that does precisely what it’s supposed to do, and it’s difficult as nails.
Now, the Jackal is not the One particular Knife I’d grab if if I was headed into the unknown — that would probably be my Busse SARGE 7 LE — but if the Jackal were the knife I had on me in any type of circumstance I’d be perfectly comfy and wouldn’t really feel underequipped.
From the packaging to the knife to the sheath, there are just so numerous small details that were thought out and perfectly executed. Everywhere you look, there’s a function or refinement that tends to make you smile. In all, it’s a marvelous piece of industrial design. The group at Southern Grind genuinely outdid themselves.
Southern Grind has a real winner on its hands with the Jackal. This must be on anyone’s brief list of all-objective fixed blades.