Why the Swayback is such addictive ?
Why it always kicks my favorite folders out from my pocket since I have received it ?
The contoured titanium handle is something which is needed to be taken in consideration. In my humble opinion the Swayback’s handle makes all other tactical folders feel flatter.
The Swayback is very deceptive. It looks like a gentleman/lady folder, delicate piece of cutlery but in fact it is mega sturdy and offering a very long edge. The other folder I know in that category is the Nilakka.
Bothe very deceptive designs which are hiding their horsepowers under a beautiful hood. Both also provide a thin edge on a robust blade. So it is really a low profile EDC knife with long powerful edge.
Also there is a special mention for my faithful Ed Schempp Bowie which is again hiding his real utility under a gentle and refined design. But don’t get fooled, those are workhorses, wolves under sheep skins.
Which also means, you can display your Swayback in every situation between coffee and champagne.
There is nothing aggressive in its beautiful curves.
The thin long blade is really a sharp finger in my book. The fact the Swayback is not wide like a Shaman for example, makes it very agile once in the cutting material.
The wharncliffe got this particularity, only the point get in contact with the board or the plate where you are cutting your food. The edge is kept ultra sharp thanks to the absence of belly.
Of course the blade will be carved and the hard point won’t dull easily.
The very clever hidden choil is also something I genuinely love in this design.
A thin long blade is something really handy when cutting fruits or carving vegetables.
The straight edge offers a lot of control when cutting vegetable, oignons or even strong with the edge toward yourself. The narrow blade is easy for curved cuts. You can change direction of your cut during the cut.
It makes it also a great peeler.
Tip works great for opening wallnuts. It does not feel like a fragile Ronin’s tip.
As the kitchen and food preparation are my main battlefield in those lockdown days, the Swayback has proven to be a very reliable “couteau d’office”. When I needed more belly, I was always reaching for my Serrata.
So I had to also compared how the Swayback was behaving when whittling hard wood. Many whittling knives are wharncliffe, there must be a reason.
Lil Native S30V (reprofiled and sharpen by JD), Yojimbo in CPM M4, Swayback in CTS XHP, Nilakka in S30V and Shaman in REX45.
As I always found, steel + geometry + heat-treatment makes the blade.
Swayback’s CTS XHP got less vanadium carbide than S30V and I’m able to make it reach über razor level easily. It cuts the wood’s fibers like REX45, leaving some sort of patina on the wood.
Once in the wood it is really aggressive.thanks to its thin edge. It goes deeper than the Shaman for example which despite its reprofiling and edge thinning can not match the Swayback’s.
The Swayback’s edge has not chipped once. It has rolled under the factory edge but nothing the white ceramic of a Double Stuff has not cured easily. I have found it reacts very well to white ceramic and leather but also Jade. It is a really fine grain steel on a thin edge and the idea it to have it reached razor level all the time.
It cuts deep and with some kind of “TAK TAK” noise in its aggressiveness. It is hungry and I have been able to cut rods in chestnut’s wood in a matter of seconds. This is really impressive.
It also means the handle is confortable when cutting hard material.
Which was not a evident looking at the “swayback” of the handle butt.
Compare to my good old Para 2 there is nothing to hurt the skin between the thumb and the index. This absence of jimping is a big plus in my own experience !!
Comparing the handle’s back between the Sebenza (straight) the Spydiechef (bended).
A full titanium handle is really pleasant when you need to clean it and keep it rust free as Titanium cannot rust. The idea of Chris Reeve was brilliant has it offered the possibility even to sterilized your tools.
The Swayback shines in the Pikal’s Grip or any Reverse Grip with the edge up or turned toward the user. I haven’t found any issue when used in hammer grip in hard material but using a knife with the edge toward you is very polite and safe for people around, especially with kids running around. It forces you to refine your motor skills and to stay in control of all the cuts. Especially with a very sharp blade like this one.
Because it stays sharp for a very long time…
As the edge only encounters matters it cuts and no board or plate, so you can keep your edge fresh. Something already noticed on the Yojimbo2:
The Wharncliffe blade makes powerful cuts from tip to heel.
Eventually it is a knife you can get addicted to. In this is my case. Now my Paramillies feel so flat and square. And there is always a grin on my face when that Swayback’s sharp finger long blade goes steady in a push cut. Wharncliffe folders are really something you can get hooked to once you get used to.