Large or small, the new Grayman Sub-Saharans are indestructible CQB fixed blades bred for harsh battlefield conditions.
If there is anything I’ve come to expect of Grayman Knives it is that they are going to be as virtually indestructible as you can reasonably expect a knife to be. That said, in my opinion, most of the company’s knife designs we have reviewed in the past seemed to fall more on the “utility” side of “combat/utility.” Then Grayman sent us their latest trio of specially bred for close-combat models, the “Sub-Saharans.”
As with past models, the standard blades are straight U.S.-made .25-inch-thick 1095 carbon steel with double-beveled, double-edges, matte black GunKote finishes and green G10 handle scales. The press release for these knives lists their blade lengths as 5, 7 and 10 inches but to my practiced eye, this seemed a little off. My own measurements came up with 6.5, 8.5 and 11 inches for the blade lengths. I’m guessing this all might depend on where you measure from, but I was counting everything in front of the handle scales. I noticed the press release states the knives come in Kydex sheaths but the ones supplied to the magazine were in heavy leather pouch-style scabbards. When I asked about this, I was told the two smaller knives normally ship in Kydex scabbards and the largest version in a nylon one. Leather is a special-order option for those that would prefer it. There is also a 3/16-inch-thick 12c27 Swedish stainless alternative on all three models as well. Prices run from $270 for the smallest model up to $430 for the largest. Weights in the sheaths run 20 ounces, 25 ounces, and 41 ounces.
Cross Country Workout
Having a seven-month-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever pup with boundless energy that needs to be burned off, I have been taking him on long walks around our timber stand. Rather than use the established trails, I lead him across country, up and down hills and through whatever underbrush present itself—the exercise is helping both of us. At some point along the route I’m always presented with a web of evergreen blackberries, hazel thickets, and bracken fern blocking my path. When the three Grayman knives first arrived for testing, I started my hikes by carrying the smallest model. Frankly, the 6.5-blade version proved to be a good knife but a rather poor substitute for a machete. The 8.5-inch model was much better and would usually handle most of the vegetation encountered. The full 11-inch model is a real chopper that handles like a Filipino bolo and will easily take the place of hatchet or short machete.
Large or small, the new Grayman Sub-Saharans are indestructible CQB fixed blades bred for harsh…
by Len Waldron / May 1, 2011