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Neil Blackwood American Ninja
Custom Fighter Knife Review

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Blackwood
American Ninja

Neil Blackwood made American Ninja. First time I saw this beautiful blade on Neil's website. Not that I do a lot of knife fighting, but I liked this one a lot. I've contacted Neil in 04/00, got a prompt response from him. A week or two we were discussing details. The major diffrerence with the original model was my request to have G10 handle scales instead cord wrapped one. Also, I've decided to experiment with D2 steel in this knife and asked Neil to harden it to RC 62. Neil honestly warrned me about the limitations imposed by high hardness levels, expecially with the larger blades, however the intended use for this knife was cutting and slicing, but no chopping, D2 doesn't have high toughness anyways, besides less likely that I'd be using 5 inch long blade for chopping, so finally he agreed on HRC 62. Approx. 3 months of impatient waiting and the knife arrived.
    The full package, included the knife and the Kydex sheath. The sheath is very nicely done and fits the knife perfectly. No rattling and the knife is held secure. From the beginning it was slightly difficult to draw, but after some use it became absolutely ok. As usual new kydex/concealex sheaths have this symptom, which is absolutely ok and goes away quickly, unless the sheath does not fit well.

The recurved blade, like I have mentioned above is 5 inches long, fighter style, slightly dropped point. Has plenty of belly to do well with any cutting/slicing applications, plus the recurve is a real good help with that. Although, recurved blades are quite tricky to sharpen freenahd, when you have something like Edge Pro Apex that is not a problem at all ;). Overall blade geometry offers good stabbing performance too. The blade is quite thick - 0.18 inches and overall, Ninja is rather a heavy piece. The blade spine is nicely rounded and has notched thumb rest at the handle junction, (check out the pic). Personally I like those notches, IMHO they help quite a buit with cutting, however many have a strong opinion against :)
The ballance on American Ninja is perfect. Almost at the fingerguard, though still forward to the blade. The holes on the blade doesn't serve only decorative purpose (though, IMHO they look cool, according to Neil:...there is 12 holes in the tang the sizes of the two larger ones in the blade. This removes quite a bit of material out of the tang and provides the lively feel.. Well, it does feel very ballanced :)
    The handle is made of G10, durable and solid, with a lanyard hole. Ends are nicely rounded, so the handle feels "at home" in hand. To use some colors in the handle was Neils idea, so I've chosen red spacers, I think worked out great ;)
    So far I haven't used it for any serious cutting, whenever I have something to say I'll update the page as usual.

Specifications:

  • Blade - 177.80mm(7")
  • Thickness - 5.08mm
  • OAL - 311.15mm(12.25")
  • Steel - D2 60HRC
  • Handle - G-10
  • Acquired - 07/2000 Price - 450.00$

Last updated - 09/01/11