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Busse Satin Jack LE 3/16
Combat Knife Review

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Busse Satin Jack LE 3/16 Busse Satin Jack LE 3/16

This limited edition Busse Satin jack, one of the old timers in my collection, however, it is one of the most used knives from Busse combat knives company, I'm referring to all types of Busse knives I have had in the past and own currently, and I've had a lot. At least for a single person, I've had and have a lot :) Well, it's never enough anyway, as Jerry keeps coming up with the new designs. Everything begun with the Busse Satin Jack limited edition which I have acquired first, and I really liked it, it was a different knife back then, those were the days of the Ergo Series, and a knife with more traditional style handle was a novelty. Next was the Busse Satin Jack Combat grade. After that came the Busse Zero Tolerance Satin Jack. As you can see I really liked the design, just like many other Busse collectors. So, when Busse combat finally produced a lean version of the already very popular Satin Jack model, I was very happy and jumped on it immediately. After a usual two week (Busse fans will understand that part) waiting period, I had it in my hands. For statistics, I got the number 202.

General

- In general this is a thinned down limited edition satin jack, it went from Busse standard 1/4" thick to lean 3/16". So, pretty much everything I said in my applies to this, also limited edition, slimmer Satin jack. Except the differences caused by thinner blade. Medium size, versatility, purely utility use knife. Same style, straight handle. In short, Satin Jack's simple, very clean design was slimmed down a bit, to more natural thickness for its size, and that's what made it so attractive to so many knife fans, Busse or not. As for the initial impressions and inspection, well it all went good. I was waiting for the knife really impatiently and then I got it. The knife arrived in standard Busse packaging, which means no packaging. I got it in the box, with a cardboard sheath. Although, I did get separate, cordura sheath with kydex insert for it.

Blade

- Busse 3/16 limited edition Satin Jack sports the same 152.40mm(6") long, ~30mm wide blade as the standard combat grade and limited edition 1/4" thick Satin jacks. Just its thickness went down to 3/16". The rest is unchanged, full flat grind blade, convex edge. Nicely machined, no grind marks, smooth satin finish. All there as it should be, on the limited edition satin finish knife form the Busse ;) Initial sharpness was quite good, Satin Jack LE slim could shave pretty much effortlessly. But I figured I could do better. Currently, I maintain its convex edge at around 40° total, as per Busse recommendation, since it sees everything from moderate to hard use. As usual, the final sharpening waterstone is either 8000-12000 grit Kitayama Japanese synthetic waterstone, or a Naniwa Chosera 10000x Super Finishing Synthetic Waterstone. After that stropping on the 0.5µm and 0.25µm leather strops finishes the job. Of course all that is followed up with plain leather strop ;) I am too meticulous with sharpening to skip that part.

Handle

- Same style, straight handle as on the rest of the Busse Satin Jacks I've had before that. This slim, 3.16" Satin Jack has the handle slabs made out of the paper micarta. At some point, I thought it would be too fragile and wouldn't provide secure enough grip, but as the time showed, my fears were unjustified. Paper micarta works just fine, and it's a lot more smooth, and gentle on your palms, compared to standard micarta. Grip security was tested few times, with intentionally oiled hands, and it was quite good. I can't really imagine having to work with palms like that, you can always wipe them of after all. Never the less, I didn't have any problems with slippage or even handle rotation. That's all can say in addition to what I already said about this handle in other reviews.

Usage

- I've had 3/16" Satin Jack LE since summer 2002. That's quite some time. Main use is medium/hard utility cutting. Occasionally, whenever I felt like experimenting on something, be it chopping dry wood, or cleaning the limbs on small trees in my backyard, Satin Jack LE served me well. Obviously, for chopping those things larger Busse knives like Gen. I Battle Mistress or FFFBM Battle Mistress, or one of the Himalayan Imports Kukris would have done better, but testing is testing, or sometimes I wanted just to use slim SJLE. Overall, it is almost a perfect knife for many types of utility work. That includes casual cutting in a garage, you know, the small things that come up, rubber tubing, plastic tubing, wiring, etc. At 40° total, the edge is strong enough to withstand all that abuse. Satin Jack LE also served well in the kitchen. No, it didn't do all that well for vegetable chopping, but as a boning knife and a smallish meat cleaver, it was above the average. Obviously, you have to keep in mind that this is a combat/utility knife (and combat knife has nothing to do with knife fights). In other words it's too wide for a good boning knife, and too narrow and light for a meat cleaver, never the less given those disadvantages it still worked pretty well. All that, including its size and toughness, makes it about perfect camping, or do it all knife. No problems with batonning and chopping, Satin Jack takes it all. So, to summarize hard use, it was used for chopping, batonning, prying and digging the soil. The last one was not really a good thing to do with any knife, but the slim Satin Jack LE took the abuse very honorably. I.e. two minor rolls which were fixed with the 1200 grit ceramic rod.

As for the more generic and campy use, I already mentioned boning, although I am not sure how often you'd have to do that on your camping trip. As far as slicing goes, slim Satin Jack really good for the knife of its size. Flat ground, convex edge does work really well for this types of work. I've tried to peel a few things with it, doable but no joy. Chopping crab legs, that was more suitable. Although, for slicing large portions of meat, slim Satin Jack was quite adequate. 3/16" isn't thin when it comes down to food prep, but blade geometry is still very important, which shows in what I was describing here :) Chopping vegetables, including parsley and broccoli was also an easy work. Finger clearance isn't all that big, and does pose a problem if you are cutting on the board with it, but it's nota kitchen knife.

Conclusions

- I love it :) Medium size, super tough knife and surprisingly versatile. as much as I like high hardness, super sharp thin cutters, if I am out for the camping trip, which happens very, very rarely, due to my work schedule and lifestyle, I am definitely packing both. I do prefer 3/16" Satin Jack over its 1/4" thick brother. Difference in thickness makes it lighter and easier to handle, plus it cuts better, especially with thick mediums. Compromise is mainly in chopping ability, but the difference in weight is not sufficient enough to make that difference dramatic. Remember, kinetic energy is the mass by square of the speed divided by two. In simpler terms, speed is far more important ;) That is given the same blade size and geometry. If you manage to get one of those puppies, consider yourself lucky. Satin Jacks have been discontinued long ago and, these 3/16" were a limited edition of that long discontinued model...

Specifications:

  • Model - Satin Jack LE 3/16;
  • Blade - 152.40mm(6")
  • Thickness - 4.00mm
  • Width - 30.50mm
  • OAL - 285.75mm(11.25")
  • Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
  • Handle - Paper Micarta
  • Weight - 290.10g(9.81oz)
  • Acquired - 06/2002 Price - 320.00$
  • Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;

Last updated - 09/01/11