The Ganzo brand of knives is Chinese and cheap, but also a surprisingly good amount of quality for how little they cost in comparison to other knives of similar style. I bought a few for Ganzo G726 “stocking stuffers” for some of the guys I work with and I figured I’d buy myself the G720 since it looked interesting.
First impression: Damn, this is a big knife.
Second impression: Damn, is that a 3/16th thick spine on the blade? Nice!
After playing around with it, and working the action a couple times, doing some box deconstruction (always a fun chore around the holidays) I started going through some youtube videos of people doing knife reviews of the G720. Videos of people using a folding knife to baton through wood, and other “hard use” things that I don’t recommend for folders. Eventually almost all the reviews say the same thing, over the course of beating on the knife, the axis lock mechanism failed to keep the blade tight. In one case the axis lock spring mechanism failed as well. But, for a knife that costs around twenty bucks, still a recommended buy.
Having a little familiarity with the axis lock mechanism, I would never use folder with an axis lock to baton through wood. The axis lock traps the blade between a fixed round post (to stop the opening) and a spring loaded round post (to stop the closing). That is it, two very small points of contact that are made from significantly softer steel than any blade steel worth being called blade steel. The axis lock is made for smooth one hand opening and closing. The axis lock is fine for knives that you need for self defense, or for skinning a deer, or for cleaning a fish, but it isn’t something you want to beat on with a club unless you absolutely need to.
With that out of the way, it’s easy to see why people beat on the G720, it’s a big knife that looks like it should be able to take it. If it were a liner lock, it would do better as the points of contact are a bit more substantial (and the Lionsteel SR1 that the G720 is modeled after comes with a linerlock although they call it a “frame lock”) which would withstand pounding a bit better. But at 150 to 300 bucks depending on model and features, the G720 is literally a very small fraction of the price.
So what does your 23 bucks in my case buy you?
A 440C stainless steel blade. This is not the hottest, newest ultra steel to run through the knife world, but it is a true workhorse if properly heat treated. Much better than a lot of the “XcrvXXMoV” grades coming out of China these days in terms of edge retention and corrosion resistance. Also better than AUS-8 which if done well is ok, and if done poorly is awful. 440C is actually pretty close to ATS-34/154CM in terms of edge retention and performance.
Full length stainless steel liners/frame. Many entry level folders use bare Zytel as much as possible for some reason, so full length stainless is a nice feature.
All torx construction except for the glass breaker holding the pocket clip in place. Unlike my cheap “Sogzilla” knife (made in China) the screw head recesses are all properly centered on the G720.
Textured G10 handles, in the “mudder” style grip. Seriously a good grip.
So for 20 bucks you get a really big folding knife, the blade has a really good belly for chores like skinning, but is tough enough that if you beat on it the first thing to break is the axis lock. That’s a helluva good deal.
If you are looking for a tougher lock, The Ganzo G742 has the same 440C blade profile, but in a liner lock version, and it can be had for cheaper than the G720. https://www.amazon.com/Ganzo-Tactical-Folding-Handle-Orange/dp/B01C33FOWU/ref=pd_sim_200_69?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01C33FOWU&pd_rd_r=9GFNH074XV923DW2KADE&pd_rd_w=tfWmi&pd_rd_wg=i23NT&psc=1&refRID=9GFNH074XV923DW2KADE