General - Finally it has arrived :) Busse Combat Satin Jack CG(Combat Grade). The wait has been long, but
in the end well worth it. Obviously I wouldn't be upset to receive it earlier, but Ok, it's here and I am really happy :). For the small history of the Satin Jack series you can
check the Satin Jack LE review, I won't repeat it here. It is a really different blade from Busse Combat and I was very interested to
check it out. Have to say here, SJ greatly exceeded my expectations, which were already high ;)
To me, Satin Jack is a medium, general utility, heavy use fixed blade. I think SJ fits its niche perfectly. It is neither too heavy to carry it around, nor too big to be a concern for your next camping or hiking trip. Yet it is plenty tough for practically any cutting application you could throw at it, and does good job with light chopping as well. That means for a knife of its size. Obviously SJ won't out-chop Battle Mistress, Steel Heart, or even Natural Outlaw that has the same length, but wider blade and eHandle. Nevertheless, like I said it does pretty good with light chopping too, and I prefer SJ over the blades mentioned above for everyday, and not so everyday cutting tasks. SJ size, weight, and handle style make it perfect or close to perfect, versatile and stout, medium utility knife.
Fit and finish are excellent. I don't have any complaints in that regard. No uneven grinds or any other visible defects. The spine is very well polished(it's not coated). Same with the out of the box sharpness, very good sharpening job. SJ CG was able not only to cut through the free hanging paper without any problem, but could shave in both directions not irritating the skin. SJ CG comes with standard cordura sheath with a kydex insert. Blade is secure, no rattling, though the strap isn't really tight and the knife will fall out of the sheath when held upside down. That's the only complaint I'd have about it.
Blade- Like all other SJs, SJ CG has a straight, flat ground, 6 inch long blade. The difference is the finish and the edge. In general new Busse Combat Grade blades all have standard crinkle coating, and SJ CG is no exception. The edge on SJ CG is also Busse standard Asymmetrical Grind i.e. semi-convex, while both, Satin Jack LE, and Zero Tolerance Satin Jack both feature Zero Edge. Obviously Zero Edge has higher cutting performance, but semi-convex edge is stronger and therefore more durable. I didn't do much comparative cutting with different SJs, but to get the feel a few slices on cardboard were enough. For everyday use, especially when I expect some rough material cutting I'd rather use semi-convex edge. One more important aspect to me, I can maintain semi-convex edge, no problem, but maintenance of the zero edge is a problem to me. I don't have neither necessary skills to do it free handed, nor the proper equipment to do the job :) In the future I hope to learn that, but for now that's the way it is.
Blade material is Busse proprietary INFI steel. In short it's a very good steel, combining very good toughness and wear resistance. I've written more regarding INFI in my other Busse Knives reviews and you can find a lot more on Cliff Stamp's web page and Bladeforums.
Handle- SJ has a straight handle. One of the few in current Busse lineup. While eHandle is superior for chopping, SJ series straight handle is more versatile. Also folks with smaller palms probably will find it more comfy thanks to its smaller size :) Currently all CG line knives have canvas micarta handle slabs. Canvas micarta is rougher then the paper micarta used in Satin Jack Limited Edition, but it's not rough to be uncomfortable even for prolonged and heavy cutting. Matter of fact a lot of people prefer canvas micarta ver the paper one, as it provides more secure grip.
I haven't used SJ LE enough to encounter grip security problems, but clearly SJ CG has a better grip. For the reference, like all other Busse knives SJ handle has exposed spine. So, if you plan to cut high voltage cables with it, donno why, but anyway, you'd be better off using glows, or better yet a proper tool :) As of the cold weather, bare metal can be a problem but again, if it is that cold apparently you'll be wearing glows most likely. In short I am fine with those handles as they are.
Prolonged Use- Since I've had my SJ only for couple weeks, I don't have a lot to report. Last weekend I've has some work to do at my house, so for initial testing purposes I've chosen SJ CG. Overall, I've been using SJ CG approximately for 3 hours. Not continuously though. Nevertheless, in the end I didn't have any hot spots on my palm and fingers. The use included cutting different materials such as: cardboard(the eternal testing substance :), plastic packaging, old carpet and wiring. Next task was prying. I've used SJ to pry out old splinters and latch plates. SJ did very well as expected, obviously those latches and splinters were no challenge for .25" thick INFI blade :)
Next I've used SJ as a chisel. Mainly due to the mere absence of such instrument at that moment. Apparently the chisel would've been easier to use, but for experimenting and because I had no chisel anyways, SJ was the only option. In short it did just fine. After I was done with all that, the edge on SJ was still shaving, though not in the opposite direction and would miss some hair. Obviously there was some edge degradation, but nothing important. To restore the edge all it was necessary some 10-15 strokes per side on the CrO loaded leather strop. IMHO an excellent performance. I really liked SJ handle versatility during all that ordeal. It was comfortable in all grips, and the choil adds a great deal to SJ convenience for finer cutting tasks. In short SJ like other Busse blades is on nuclear tough piece of metal. I'm really pleased with its performance and usablity. Surely, it's gonna be my #1 user knife for a while. As a note, once I've cleaned the blade there were no visible marks on the knife whatsoever. Obviously there will be many later on, but still, it speaks a lot of SJ and its finish durability.
- Model - Satin Jack CG;
- Blade - 152.40mm(6")
- Thickness - 6.35mm
- OAL - 285.75mm(11.25")
- Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
- Handle - Micarta
- Acquired - 11/2001 Price - 350.00$
- Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;
Last updated - 09/01/11