Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

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polaria
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:36 pm

Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by polaria »

Disclaimer: I know the Exiled Cutlery is a controversial business, but I want to do a honest review with no sides taken. I don’t know the guy who made this knife, neither do I know the guys who hate him. So if you expect drama, there won’t be any of that here.

Well, here it is from all sides, open and closed:

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Note, the scratches in the blade are my own. It came out clean and with very thick oil on it.

Brass handles in sandwich construction, layered 1095 carbon steel blade and stainless steel pocket clip. Everything attached together with double sided screws. The latch is brass and has a small rubber washer on the top that makes the latch fit tight when the knife is opened or closed. I’ve actually heard that these were originally sold as assemble-yourself kits and the piece I’m holding in my hand looks and feels the part. Everything is unpolished and several finishing touches you see in factory produced knives of this price are lacking. Still, everything is assembled solidly and there is not much play anywhere so it also flips beautifully.

The blade comes out of the box (or plastic cylinder) with crap sharpening, but as its carbon steel it didn’t take much to sharpen properly. Just so you know, for me “properly” means the knife has to be able to slice cleanly through normal copying paper and has to be able to bite into a thumbnail under the knives own weight. So it means really sharp. It also keeps sharp pretty good. After sharpening it I actually tried to purposefully dull it by drawing the edge along pieces of brass, the handle of my pig-iron kettle ball and a large bar of stainless steel. There was no damage to the blade and it came out almost as sharp as it started. I also tried to bend the blade between pieces of wood, holding the handle far back just to see if the handle fittings would loosen or the blade would bend. No effect on that one either. I saw a review where someone had dulled the blade by cutting a cradboard box. I don't know, maybe cutting fabrics is worse for it.

Now, I did watch a couple of other reviews from youtube beforehand and they really were sharply divided. Some said it is basically a good knife, some say it’s a fake piece of shit. There were also three claims that I’d like to address here.

It is not Damascus steel, it’s a fake:

This claim, I’m afraid, is wrong. The blade shows the layered (Damascus) pattern from all sides, front and back, all the way down to where the handles are attached. You can also feel the pattern if you slide a nail down the flat or the back of the blade. When testing the blade I sharpened it enough to actually remove quite a lot of material from the edge and looking at the newly sharpened edge with magnifying glass I could see the pattern continuing there. I don’t know any cheap ways to make a fake layer pattern that feels correct and continues under the “skin” and factory-made bars of layered 1095 isn’t that expensive nowadays. Faking something like that would probably cost a lot more than just getting a cheap piece of layered 1095 for a real thing, so it makes absolutely no sense at all.
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It’s a piece of shit:

Well, this depends a LOT on what you want of a knife. If you want a shiny toy that fits with your iPhone, then yes, I guess it is a piece of shit. If you want a no-nonsense, unpolished tool that fits with your Harley chopper then you’ll love it. If you intend to use the knife a lot and actually own a screwdriver this knife also comes with the option for easy do-it-yourself maintenance. It is easy to disassemble and you can fasten the screws as tight as you want to fit your own flipping requirements.

There devil, I suppose, is in the details here and lot of the details certainly look unpolished and unfinished. See for yourself:
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It’s a fake Benchmade clone:

Nope, not really. Would be if they claimed to be Benchmade, but the ECC stamp is quite different. Would be if they asked the same prices as Benchmade but these are nowhere near. You can buy a fistfull of these for the price of a genuine Benchmade. It isn’t a clone of any of Benchmade models, neither does it claim to be a Benchmade. It is a real knife and good enough construction and materials so it can be used pretty much for everything the more expensive ones can be used.

It's made of chinese parts:

Maybe it is. Can't say. Frankly, I'd care more about where the parts come from if the knife performed badly in use. But it doesn't. It flips better than cheapos and it cuts better than cheapos. It also stands to abuse better. If it is assembled from chinese parts, then they sure did it better than the guys in china who assemble knives from the same parts.


Too Long, Didn’t Read Version… or, all the important questions:

Can you flip it?

Yes you can. The action is smooth and fittings are very good.


Is it pretty?

No.


Does it fit with my iPhone?

Absolutely not.


Is it sharp?

Not out of the box it isn’t. The sharpening was not finished, but with as few as half a dozen swipes with a diamond sharpener at both sides I could trim my nails and cut a single sheet of paper cleanly.


Can I open a wooden ammo crate and then cut open the soft-metal ammo containers with it?

Sure you can.


Does doing it ruin the blade?

No it doesn’t. The steel is of good quality, the blade is thick and the handle fittings are tight enough to take the abuse. Though as with any carbon steel blade you might have to re-sharpen it if you intend to shave with the knife.


What is the single best thing about the knife?

The blade. I know it comes out of the box sharpened like shit, but it is fine material and doesn’t look too bad either. You can sharpen it razor sharp and it keeps the blade as well as any carbon steel even when I purposefully scratched it against brass, pig-iron and steel.


What is the single worst thing about the knife?


The latch. The mechanism is very clever as it uses a small rubber washer to fit the latch the tight and there is nothing really wrong about it. However, as I carry knives for use as tools and do so many times quite removed from the nearest store where rubber washers are sold I’m a little worried of what I would do if the washer broke somewhere out there…

:wink:
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wazu013
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by wazu013 »

Thanks for the review. It looks like he addressed one of the main issues I had with the first lot of FU42's he made around a year ago. The pivots were to long so you could not take the slop out of the blade and they were loose and just rolling around. His response was I can grind them down myself but when I tried I found that both screws were cross threaded and or stripped when they assembled the knife so I made new holes and put my own pivots and screws with some great washers. I probably spent more on these items and with my time I'm sure I have more invested in the knife then he does. Now on your knife he doesn't fit the latch making you use the rubber washer. That would be unacceptable to me but it does fit the motiff of a half done tool. Finally I should have tossed it when I got it instead of making it right. I guess I was a little fooled as to where the knife was made. It is Chineese and maybe thrown together in Denver, maybe? Now the knife is in my drawer with the rest of the CCC butterflies and autos I bought like a fool :roll:
Thanks again,
wazu013
“The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.”
polaria
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:36 pm

Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by polaria »

wazu013 wrote: Now on your knife he doesn't fit the latch making you use the rubber washer. That would be unacceptable to me but it does fit the motiff of a half done tool.
Yeah, the more I think about the latch, the worse it seems. Since I actually carry a knife in my right hand pocket using the clip the rubber washer fit is a really bad thing. If it would break then I could not carry the knife that way anymore since there would be a constant risk of the knife opening in the pocket with blade pointing up... a REALLY bad thing next time I'd put my hand into that pocket :(

Plus, the piece is so heavy that carrying it in the bottom of my pocket (without using the clip) simply doesn't feel right. In this case that little washer will probably result in me simply not carrying this knife, but moving on to something safer.

I still go by my initial opinion of this being something that is a good tool and suitable for day-to-day carry with this caveat: "just remove the clip and carry it in the provided pouch"

wazu013 wrote: Finally I should have tossed it when I got it instead of making it right.
I don't really mind doing some work on my blade to personalize it, but that latch issue is just something I'm sure as hell not fixing myself. :P
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dark2023
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by dark2023 »

Why not just put it in the watch pocket of your jeans, facing up without the clip?
This is the magic incantation congress uses to constantly violate the 10th Amendment - "...the manufacture, sale, transportation, distribution, possession, or introduction into interstate commerce of such shall be prohibited"
polaria
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:36 pm

Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by polaria »

dark2023 wrote:Why not just put it in the watch pocket of your jeans, facing up without the clip?
Good idea. If I did use jeans in work. Which I don't. I'll change the caveat to "just don't use the clip" :D
Wisdom
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:39 pm

Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by Wisdom »

I wasn't sure where to post a review for exile cutlery. Then I came across this. Normally I don't post anything good or bad.
I love this knife though! I've never had anything with ballbearings, or a spring latch. It's just super solid and I like the feel of it. Not my favorite flipper but will definitely be my edc knife from now on. I received mine yesterday assembly was a breeze, fine tuning and blade work took a minute. But this is why I bought the knife. I wanted an all around good knife, tuned and sharpened to my likeing. I'll post more pics once I put a mirror polish on everything.
Just a side note I believe exile gets a bad rap because people buy without doing any research. If you read through the page, the man is super blunt. If you're not somewhat machanicly inclined piecing together a completely unfinished ballisong probably isn't for you. I'll be buying many more I haven't had this much fun since doing model cars as a kid.
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whippersnapper
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by whippersnapper »

Glad you are happy with your flipper. That's the important thing. Welcome to the forum! We need more interest in this balisong section.

PS- I'm pretty blunt too and imo Exiled gets a bad rap because he is a nut case jackass..lol
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ILikeStilettos
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by ILikeStilettos »

Is Exiled Chad, or somebody else with a bad rep?
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Luke_of_Mass
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by Luke_of_Mass »

No it's John Benson, the guy who got sued by Benchmade for selling knockoffs...

He goes by roadsideimports and Rubensblades is a known associate.

Glad this guy is happy with his knife, though.
Knee-deep in the hoopla...
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whippersnapper
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by whippersnapper »

Last I knew it was JB (John Benson i think).

Chad does repairs and conversions for him.
“When tyranny becomes law rebellion becomes duty”
sammy the blade
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by sammy the blade »

He has some long strange posts here. Don't know if he got banned or what but he hasn't made a post in quite awhile. Think he went by Autoknife or something similar because there is another Autoknife who is a respected member here.
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JimBrown257
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by JimBrown257 »

First post new members are usually the ones to have good things to say about Roadside. Weird that.
Denam9090
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by Denam9090 »

JimBrown257 wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:04 am First post new members are usually the ones to have good things to say about Roadside. Weird that.
Only for the first few times for the beginners. I was one of the last dudes who bought something from him. a boker kal 74 with aus8 til his site went bye bye
sammy the blade
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by sammy the blade »

He's could be in jail somewhere.
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Denam9090
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Re: Review of Exiled Cutlery Retro-Fly

Post by Denam9090 »

Oh well. I can order more boker kal 47 or other button lock knives, and either carry them manually or convert them.

But ya. There are better dealers to go to then him
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