Traditionally a pocket knife consists of a folding knife, maybe even a slip joint. So why would someone carry a small fixed blade. Strength, simplicity, and cost. Fixed blades are inherently strong because they are only one piece, there is not lock or pivot to fail. Also a one-piece design is very simple which leads to the last point. Simplicity usually leads to less cost. Today I am going to take a closer looks at the Evans Knife and Tool (EKT) Companion.
The Companion was developed by Brian Evans, a custom knife maker, who decided to make a mid-tech knife. The definition of a mid-tech is somewhat debatable, but I consider it a knife designed by a custom knife maker then produced by a manufacturer in small batches. The subject knife of this review is version 1 produced in China with an $84 price tag. Brian has since lost his Chinese manufacturer and is currently planning to make a small batch of knives made in the United States. This time the blade steel will be CMP 20CV. Check out his current Indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/evans-knife-and-tool-companion-usa-made#/
Overall length: 6”
Handle length: 3-1/8”
Tip to scales: 2-7/8”
Cutting edge: 2-3/4”
Blade height: ¾”
Blade stock thickness: 1/8”
Blade steel: S35VN
Overall handle thickness: 0.56”
The Companion comes with a small kydex sheath. The eyelets are spaced for a Tek-Lok. I have seen many people on bladeforums.com fabricate leather belt loops or other carrying methods. I choose to carry mine with a County Comm 20” rubber necklace as a neck knife. The carry options are limited only by your imagination and DIY ability. The knife snaps into the sheath with an audible click and retention is fantastic, even when carried inverted as a neck knife.
Another feature of the Companion is the ability to change the scales. The knife comes with black G-10 scales. Blue, red, pink, orange, or jade G-10 scales are available for $10 each. Carbon fiber scales can be purchased for $35. I find the G-10 scales to be very comfortable with just the right level to grit to add enough traction. The carbon fiber scales look the best in my opinion, but are a little too smooth. A tool is even included with the knife to facilitate scale changes. I just use an allen wrench to loosen the chain ring fasteners. The scale fit and finish around the blade tang is great. There are no gaps along the length and the transition around the handle circumference is smooth. A lanyard hole is located at the end of the tang. I tried adding a small lanyard to extend the grip, but found the bare knife much more comfortable. Nevertheless the hole is there if you desire to hand something from your knife.
The knife came shaving sharp. I have been able to maintain the S35VN edge on my Spyderco Sharpmaker with the ultra fine ceramic rods. I have used this little knife for numerous tasks. It is great for food preparation. The fairly thin blade stock makes for a great slicing tool, say hello to easy diced tomatoes and mushrooms. Food prep is where fixed blades shine, it is so easy to clean, you can even remove the scales for cleaning. No peanut butter in the pivot here. I used the knife for some small gypsum drywall repairs. Cutting drywall is a great way to dull your knife which happened. However I was able to restore the edge easily. Other typically everyday tasks like opening and breaking down cardboard boxes is accomplished with ease.
So far you may be thinking that this author considers this knife to be the best tool to grace mankind. There are some negatives thought. The small choil before the blade edge is one. I wish it was slightly larger. I have yet to cut my finger on the very back of the edge, but I feel like it is possible. The other negative I have noticed, if you call it one, is slight discoloration under the scales. I do wear the knife against skin so it is exposed to sweat. So far everything has easily wiped off with a Tuff cloth, but it should be noted as a place to keep an eye on and perform some preventative maintenance.
Lastly I would be remiss if I did not mention the need to check your local laws before you begin carrying a fixed blade knife, especially concealed. As long as carry is legal I think you will find small EDC carry convenient. As a neck knife concealment is fantastic, this little knife disappears under a t-shirt.
Give small EDC fixed blades some thought. The EKT Companion is a great tool and worth the price in my opinion. You may be able to find some of the S35VN versions on the used market or check out the current Indiegogo campaign. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment below.