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My Real Steel E77 Knife After One Year of Use

Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives. He also has a martial arts background.

my-real-steel-e77-knife-after-one-year-of-use

Last year, I treated myself with a new knife, sort of as a birthday gift to myself. I’m short in budget during those times, hence I need to contend myself with budget folders. At the same time, I’m open to exploring new brands out there, and a friend recommended several brands to choose from. I was first attracted to Ganzo knives, but their design is giving me a bit of misgivings. I could consider buying Ganzos in the future, but the fact that their knives looks like a clone of more expensive ones turned me off. But this brand caught my eye one day, as I shop for a new blade.

Real Steel is a relatively new brand of knives. Being a fresh meat, it is still making a name for itself, yet as my friends said their lines are decent for the price. And pricewise, they are in the level of budget blades, like Kershaw and Coldsteel. And the blades are the ultimate beater. Their budget lines came out sharp from the box, and capable of enduring considerable punishment.

At least, that’s what they said.

And indeed, being dirt cheap it won’t hurt if I try. It joined my EDC rotation, and after a year of use this is what I could say.

The Real Steel E77.

My knife with my other EDC.

My knife with my other EDC.

Last year, I treated myself with a new knife, sort of as a birthday gift to myself. I’m short in budget during those times, hence I need to contend myself with budget folders. At the same time, I’m open to exploring new brands out there, and a friend recommended several brands to choose from. I was first attracted to Ganzo knives, but their design is giving me a bit of misgivings. I could consider buying Ganzos in the future, but the fact that their knives looks like a clone of more expensive ones turned me off. But this brand caught my eye one day, as I shop for a new blade.

Real Steel is a relatively new brand of knives. Being a fresh meat, it is still making a name for itself, yet as my friends said their lines are decent for the price. And pricewise, they are in the level of budget blades, like Kershaw and Coldsteel. And the blades are the ultimate beater. Their budget lines came out sharp from the box, and capable of enduring considerable punishment.

At least, that’s what they said.

And indeed, being dirt cheap it won’t hurt if I try. It joined my EDC rotation, and after a year of use this is what I could say.

Action

This knife got a wicked action.

This one opens like an assisted folder. To help with the opening, this knife features a flipper in addition to the good old thumb stud. So smooth is the action, that the knife will open with a gentle flick. In fact, we thought it got bearings for washers, but it got bronze instead when we opened it for cleaning. And a bit of mineral oil will even improve its already slick deployment.

And going back to the flipper, it doubles as a guard when the knife is open. It will protect your hand from slipping into the sharp blade, and at the same time it will stop the blade from closing into your fingers if the liner lock fails. And now that we speak of it, the blade is well centered and got no play. But the edge retention might not satisfy some people.

I’m pretty happy with this blade when I got it. It serves as an entry level to the Real Steel line. But a year later, is this knife still worth it?

How I Used It

My knife with the CRKT Tactical Key.

My knife with the CRKT Tactical Key.

Being an engineer by profession, I’m an urban working guy with lots of office jobs and warehouse tasks. Sometimes I’m expected to assist with the tests, so I will have a limited machine handling. When at the office, I usually use my knife like many of my peers out there. As a box cutter! Yes, it seems like opening boxes is the primary role of my blade. And since I got my keychain tools with me, my knife will see less and less action. But keychain tools are not ideal for cutting papers, and this is where my knife comes in.

But when the need arises, my knife won’t be limited to box cutter jobs. In the warehouse, we need a nice strong knife to cut hard plastic straps, tapes, or carton boxes. We also need a knife for cutting ropes. In the test area, sharp blades are ideal for cutting and stripping electric wires or plastic tubing.

My EDC knife is not food graded. I won’t let my dirty blade touch anything I eat. So, I won’t cut or peel fruit with it.

And the Results...

For a budget knife, it’s more than good enough for any light to medium tasks. My urban EDC jobs (at least in my case) never demanded an impressive edge retention, but even medium tasks for a folding knife needed a solid lock. In one case my Smith and Wesson knife got blade plays after just cutting cardboard boxes!

And so far after a year, the result is satisfactory.

Edge retention is enough for medium tasks. There is also no blade play or failed lock. The action remained smooth and the blade is still centered.

I could recommend the Real Steel E77 for EDC tasks. But we got a bit of a problem here that almost took me to the ER.

The Knife Won't Remain Close in my Pocket!

Firstly, we need to point out how we hated the E77 pocket clip. Aesthetically it looks bad. And it tends to bite hard on my pocket up to a point that I need to jerk it off to deploy my knife. But then due to the fearful folks around me, I never clip my knife to my pocket to begin with, so it was never really a big fuss. Everything is fine, until one day when things get bit bloody.

As it turns out, the smooth action of the knife means that it got poor detent when folded. It got a tendency to open when stored inside your pocket. And believe me, I don’t want something scary sharp protruding in places near my crotch! And one day I need to rush to the bathroom, then to the clinic after the knife opened in my pocket, ripped my pants, and sliced my little finger. I got a debilitating injury that lasted for almost a month. It’s a good thing that I could still lift weights and compete even with a busted finger. Right now, what remained is a lumpy scar.

And just to show you how weak the detent is, you could open the knife without using the thumb stud or the flipper. Just a flick of the wrist and boom! It’s open. Imagine the knife doing that inside your pocket.

Eventually I fashioned an impromptu quick release knife pouch from linen, to stop it from opening in my pocket as it sits there. I also did a bit of tweaking, to strengthen the detent a bit.

Overall

It’s a lot of knife for a little price. But be weary of the detent and I suggest you fix it. The Real Steel E77 is not a perfect knife, but not a bad knife either.

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