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Sunday, 30 July 2023 08:30

Finch Shiv

Written by

Located in northeast Kansas is Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, it opened in 1906 and was the nation’s first maximum security prison. Some of its iconic prisoners include “Machine Gun Kelly” and “The Bird Man”. This institution is the stage for Finch Knives latest release, the Shiv. A shiv is a homemade knife-like tool fashioned in prison. Created behind unimaginable walls by desperate and resourceful people.

The Shiv is a pretty compact EDC knife, coming in at 3.7" closed, blade length of 2.8", for an overall of 6.5". The knife comes in two variations, a satin blade with black G10 handle, or black blade with a jade G10 handle. The one we're looking at today is the black/jade variation.

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The handle is an interesting shape, reminiscent of an elongated bow tie. The shape provides just enough arc and curve in the right places to provide a comfortable grip. There's no jimping or thumb ramp, but a slight angle before the spine to give your thumb a nice place to rest. The handle flares out a little towards the rear and fits nicely in the palm of my hand. For a shape that devoid of the usual hallmarks in handle design, it's pretty comfortable.

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The sub 3" blade is Wharncliffe in shape and comes in 14C28N steel. Visually, the way the handle flows into the sloping spine is really eye catching. The utilitarian blade shape is great for everyday chores, and the acute tip great for detail work. Piercing is extremely easy for this profile, combined with the full flat grind it makes short work off those cutting tasks. Wharncliffe and Sheepsfoot blade styles are a great blade shape for most tasks but fall a little flat in situations that call for a blade that needs more belly. Say I want to prepare some celery for a soup I'm making, a normal blade would use the belly to slice through the vegetable. The Shiv's profile is very tip centric and you're going to end up using the first inch or so to do the cutting instead. Considering the design or namesake, I don't think food prep is going to be its strong suit.

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Opening the blade is done via a flipper tab, there enough jimping on the tab to successfully launch the blade every time. Like the Flint I reviewed, the tab has jimping on both sides of the tab, it can be a little pokey on my index when pushing the tip of the blade into material. Rounding out the Shiv is a milled titanium pocket clip. Out of the box it has enough tension that I'm able to get it over most pockets relatively easy. Due to the knife's smaller size, there are times I felt like the knife wasn't seated enough in my pocket, and I was afraid it wasn't clipped good. Doesn't help that I carry a lot of knives with a deep carry clip. There is something attractive and simplistic in a milled clip versus the spring variety.

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The Shiv is a pretty neat little knife that's attractive and good from a performance point of view. Quality and materials are typical of Finch, and they continue to impress us. Due to size and some design choices, it may not be the best blade for all situations.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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