As a rule, for an Every Day Carry (EDC) folder, I like a blade between 3.5-inches long and 4-inches long. That length just seems to fit my daily needs more than anything else does. However, I’m not closed-minded about most things, and I’m always open to new ideas. So, when CRKT sent me the new Jumbones Blackout for a possible article, I wasn’t all that excited about it. “Gee, another long-blade folder that I won’t carry…” was my first thought. But I was wrong! But that was simply a first impression, and in short order, I changed my mind, and thought to myself “Why didn’t I request a sample of this folder, immediately?”
The original Jumbones was quite the folder, got one, and love it. The Jumbones, is designed by Jeff Park, in Hawaii. He is under the tutelage of Ken Onion, probably one of America’s most well-known custom knife makers. If anyone is familiar with Ken Onion’s designs, you know he knows his stuff. He comes out with more new designs all the time – and I don’t know how he does it…his brain must feel like it is ready to explode at times, with all the information locked-up inside.
Some specs are in order on the Jumbones Blackout, first off, it is a really big folder, with a blade that is 4.85-inches in length and made out of AUS 8, this is one of my favorite blade steels. AUS 8 is a very affordable steel to use – and that means prices are kept down a bit. Secondly, AUS 8, takes and holds a great edge a good long time, and is easy to re-sharpen as well. It doesn’t chip easily, like some blade steels do – another point in it’s favor. Overall length of the Jumbones Blackout is 11.00-inches when opened, and closed 6.13-inches. Now, that sounds like a lot of knife – and it is – but when you place this folder in your pants pocket, it simply does NOT feel that big at all. The pocket clip allows for this folder to really get down deep in your pocket, yet is easy to draw the knife as well.
The blade has a Black Titanium Nitride coating, that helps protect it from the elements, as well as giving it a very stealthy look – the handle is made out of black 6061 Aluminum. Very cool-looking, to say the least. This model is only available with a plain edge – no serrations – and that’s not a bad thing. I know a lot of users don’t like serrated blades, but they work. However, in a knife with a blade this long, I think the serrations wouldn’t work as well as they do on a shorter blade. The blade locks open with a liner lock – very common type of lock on a folding knife.
To open the blade on the Jumbones, you simply apply a little pressure to the “flipper” on the blade, and the IKBS ball bearings make that blade open extremely fast. The design on the Aluminum handle scales resembles that of a dog bone, thus the name – Jumbones! The knife is really secure in your hand when opened, too.
This folder is very sleek, to say the least, and it feels extremely nice in the hand when opened. It is also very fast if you are forced to use it as a self-defense weapon as well. In the movies, we’ve all seen people involved in some kind of altercation, and using a knife, and in no time at all, someone is dispatched with a single stab to the body. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t work that way, most knife fights involve a lot of “slashing” back and forth and up and down. If you sever the muscles and tendons in your opponent’s forearm, that body part isn’t of much use, and odds are good that the fight will be over. The 4.85-inch long blade on the Jumbones Blackout, really allows you to reach out there and touch someone.
The knife – any knife, is first and foremost a tool, and in an emergency, it can be used as a weapon of last resort, if that’s all you have with you. Still, I view knives as a tool first, and different knives have different uses, so keep that in mind. My own, CRKT OC3 fixed-blade that I designed, was actually designed to be used as a weapon – and my intent was to get it into the hands of our military personnel – and it was well-received. The double-edge design, was meant to slash going side-to-side, or up and down, and of course, as a stabbing weapon as well. However, a lot of folks who purchased the OC3 used it as a camp knife, as well as for dressing out big game – and they loved the double edge design – saying they didn’t have to stop halfway through dressing out big game to re-sharpen it. Sadly, CRKT discontinued the OC3 after two years on the market, and I still get requests from folks, asking where they can find one to purchase – but the few that are available are only on the secondary market.
One of the tests I do on all the knives I get for testing, is cleanly slicking through some thick blackberry vines, and I’m sure many readers are sick of hearing about this type of test. However, it is a great test if I do say so myself. Blackberry vines are very tough and fibrous and hard to cut through, and doing so with a single swipe of a knife blade, is something to behold. Many smaller blades, simply won’t get the job done. The Jumbones, came from CRKT with a super-sharp blade – hair-shaving sharp – and because of the long blade, it easily sliced through some of the thickest blackberry vines I used it on – there is a long cutting edge on a blade that is 4.85-inches long – the vines were no match at all.
Stabbing the Jumbones up the handle was also no task. It easily, stabbed through stacked cardboard boxes without any effort. And, one thing I don’t usually mention is the lock – the liner-lock held fast, no worries about it giving way and closing on my fingers. Poly rope is tough stuff to cut under any circumstances – a lot of knives, will simply slide off this slick material, and those that don’t won’t cleanly cut through this material without a lot of effort. The Jumbones, handled the yellow poly rope without any problems.
I used this CRKT folder to open some cardboard boxes, that UPS, FedEx and USPS being to me all the time. Because the blade is so long and so sharp, I used extra caution to make sure it didn’t cut too deeply into those boxes – cutting whatever it was that was inside of the boxes.
Before I close this out, I wanted to once again, mention how nicely this folder stayed clipped to my cargo pants pocket, and it was riding deep in the pocket. However, not once did I feel the knife was too long or too big to fit comfortably inside my pants – at only 5.60-ounces, I honestly forgot the folder was “parked” in my pants pocket – really!
I really like the Jumbones. They do make a smaller version – and whenever I get the funds, I’m going to purchase another one or two – just to have as spares – and I really do lose a lot of knives that I get for testing for articles. It is hard to explain, but sometimes, they just grow legs and walk away from me, or I put them down outside and can’t find them – that is, until I mow the lawn, and you hear “clang, bang!” and the mower blades find the knife. This has happened a few times. Once in a great while, someone will beg me to sell them a knife sample – that doesn’t happen. If it is someone I know well, I may gift them with a knife sample – but that’s rare. My oldest and youngest daughters, both like knives and halfway “collect” them as well. And, once they find a knife they like, it stays with them – period!
If you’re in the market for a new folding knife, one that is big, and can handle many of the chores you’ll use it on, then take a very close look at the new Jumbones Blackout, it might be exactly what you are looking for. Full-retail is $160 on this model, but be sure to shop online, and I’m betting you’ll find one, brand-new for a lot less money. Even if you didn’t – and ended up paying full-retail, you can’t go wrong with this monster of a folder, it’ll get the job done, whatever you apply it to. Check one out, soon!