The Druid series from Steel Will certainly lives up to the first criteria of a good neck knife. These knives ship literally hair-shaving sharp with full-tang construction from 9Cr18MoV steel. That means a Druid knife will resharpen well and hold its edge for a good while.
Now, onto the first thing you notice when handling these knives: the handle. The skeletonized handles give the knives an extremely thin profile, making them light and easy to carry and conceal.
When I saw the skeletonized handle, I cringed a little. My large paws never get along well with meager knife handles. I never feel like I have enough control, and the steel always gets slippery. But the thing that makes the Druid design different is a big old finger recess near the base of the blade on all three models. It’s a place for the index finger to sit, snug and secure (and the right place for maximum blade control). The spur that sticks out between the index and middle fingers provides tension through the rest of the hand, making for a surprisingly sturdy and reliable grip for such a small blade with no scales, especially on the Druid 281, which has the largest handle of the three. Even without a traditional guard, the hold is secure for slashing and stabbing actions as well as more delicate cutting tasks.
Now, the last qualification for a neck knife—the sheath. It’s only a neck knife if it has the ability to stay there securely when doing any number of things and be drawn easily and quickly when needed. The Druid comes with the good kind of Kydex sheath—the kind that’s perfectly molded to the knife and doesn’t hold on so tight that you break the ball chain holding it to your own neck trying to pull it out. There’s just the right amount of friction so the knife isn’t going to go anywhere when you don’t want it to, but little enough so that it can be drawn with minimal effort.
If you don’t want to use the Druids as neck knives, the appropriate grommets and slots are included so the sheaths can be affixed to any web gear, belt or strap with a simple length of paracord.
The Druid is an exceptionally solid neck knife, especially when you consider it’s available in three sizes and two point styles. The Druid 281 has a clip-point blade and an overall length of 6.89 inches. The Druid 282 has a drop-point blade and a 5.92-inch overall length. And the tiny Druid 283 features a drop point and an overall length of just 5.31 inches.
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Steel Will’s Druid knives fit all of the criteria of a good neck knife. They’re light, compact and feature quality steel, full-tang construction. The small blade on the 283 model arrives hair-shaving sharp, and it’s easy to keep that way.
For more information, visit steelwillknives.com or call 877-969-0909.
Specifications: Druid 283
- BLADE LENGTH: 2.28 inches
- OA LENGTH: 5.31 inches
- WEIGHT: 1.59 ounces
- BLADE STEEL: 9Cr18MoV
- HANDLE: Skeletonized steel
- SHEATH: Kydex
- MSRP: $40
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