Specifically the “MTECH USA MT-673 Fixed Stainless Steel Blade” sold on Amazon for a whopping 7 dollars and 64 cents with free shipping. I figured with the low price and free shipping that I’d buy one just for the experience.
Where to start. Made in China of some type of 440 stainless. It comes with a plastic sheath and a dog tag style black necklace. The handle scales aren’t glued in place, but somewhat held in place by the machine screws. The edge is not uniform, nor sharp. Still, what did I really expect for seven bucks and change?
To address the bad edge I worked it over a diamond stone for a bit until it became a bit more usable. The handle scales are loose enough to pry a finger nail under one side. I’ve been wearing it around my neck for the last two days, going out shopping, a three mile run around the neighborhood, and it seems to carry well and eventually I just forget about it.
So the good. You get a small knife that can do what small knives do, which is be there when you need them. The three finger groove minimalist handle works to make the most of the tanto blade geometry for stabbing.
The bad. Even at it’s low price point, I can’t recommend this knife. The tanto style blade is less than ideal for a survival knife for processing game, doing “bushcraft” chores, or preparing food. As a last ditch self defense knife the poor edge makes slashing less than awe inspiring, and stabbing with a less than 2″ blade isn’t the best option. I’ve got enough training that I could use this knife to “make space” in a clinch scenario, but drawing from a neck sheath is just a bitch when you are rolling with someone.
Alternatives in the affordable price range: For a survival knife that has a better characteristics as a defense knife, the C.R.K.T “SPEW” knife. Slightly larger, longer blade, a little beefier handle, or the Morakniv Eldris which has the best handle for a survival knife in the blade lengths suitable for a neck knife. For a defense knife one of the Kershaw Emerson CQC offerings with wave feature would be my recommendation, and yes that is a pocket knife not a neck knife, but you shouldn’t be carrying a defensive tool around your neck anyways.
Comments are open if anyone has any recommendations for a neck knife or defensive knife option they prefer.