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Old 11-27-2012, 06:38 AM
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kilogulf59 kilogulf59 is offline
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Default Okapi Knife

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I have an Okapi knife and it’s like a blingged out Opinel…go figure…but it works!

Stolen verbatim from the web…

“The Okapi is a lockback or slipjoint knife originally produced in 1902 for export to Germany's colonies in Africa. The knife takes its name from the okapi, an animal which had recently been discovered in the Belgian Congo.

The Okapi knives are no longer produced in Germany; in 1988, Okapi South Africa (then trading as All Round Tooling) bought the trademark and tooling and began producing the Okapi line of knives in South Africa. The South African Okapi lock back knives are produced with carbon or stainless steel blades, with or without serrations. The most commonly found Okapi knives in Africa are made of resin impregnated wood (usually cherry) and the blades are made of 1055 carbon steel.

Due to the use of Okapis by criminals they have been nicknamed "the Saturday night special" of knives. In Jamaica, they are both a tool and one of the more favoured of the "ratchet knives" carried by rude boy hooligans. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was known to carry for years a large Okapi lockback he was given in Jamaica.”

The blade on mine is about 4-inches or so and it’s just a cheap working knife but, it is fairly well made…personally I’d be afraid to stab with it as the blade is only held in the wood frame and by a little pin but rumor has it people do…at least in Murambi Village, Father, son stabs 'thief' 13 times with an okapi knife http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-...api+knife.html , where ever the hell that’s at?

The last two pictures show the ratchet locking mechanism...pretty slick and a bit cumbersome until one gets used to it...I close it a bit differently than this but until the Mrs. gets home there'll be no pictures of that.

If you can get one cheap I'd say do so...if nothing more than to see a different style of knife from a different culture...
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:53 AM
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Very cool. I have the Cold Steel version, and am intrigued by the ring lock concept. IT has held up under some pretty stressful conditions, and seems tough. I have been wanting a traditional version for authenticity's sake, but until now I did not know a brand to look up. Thanks for the review!
Old 11-28-2012, 07:54 AM
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I'd imagine that the CS would be better quality. They are making copies of many of the odd, lesser known work knives...

Here the Cold Steel Kudu...for those of you who haven't seen one...

Blade Length: 4 1/4"
Blade Thickness: 2 mm
Overall Length:10"
Steel: German 4116 Stainless
Weight:2.4 oz
Handle: 5 3/4" Long Zy-Ex™

In South Africa, an inexpensive ring lock folder is sold everywhere. It's a good design, but it's constructed from sub-standard materials, is poorly made, and is horribly overpriced. And yet, millions of these knives are sold there each year. Well, we thought we could do better, in the quality of materials, cutting performance, and in price.

The Cold Steel Kudu, takes some cues from its South African competition, but our version is vastly superior. Ours has a German 4116 Stainless steel flat ground blade, heat treated to Rc 56-57 for better edge holding ability and ease of re-sharpening, and a thin razor sharp edge.

For safety, we have thoroughly tested the locking mechanism and are well satisfied it will hold the blade rigidly open until you decide to close it by pulling up on the ring attached to the back spring.

The handle of the Kudu also reflects our dedication to making an effective and affordable folder. It's made of 43% glass reinforced Zy-Ex®. This material has proven to be extremely strong, and is stiff enough to complement the blade and spring when locked open. Plus, the gripping surface has a wood grain texture for traction and features an attractive polished steel Kudu horn emblem for a little extra flair! We think the Kudu represents an unbelievable value. It’s ready for anything and makes a wonderful work knife, utility knife, bait knife, or hunting knife.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:27 AM
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That is a nice little ring lock, OP. I thi I the reason why it has not caught on is because of the lockbacks and the liner locks, among others, which are one handed or more familiar. It's still pretty.
Old 02-21-2015, 07:40 AM
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The cold steel isn't a patch on the original i have both
Old 04-26-2015, 04:37 AM
Elandyr Elandyr is offline
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I have one of these. It's a good looking knife. My blade has more of a satin finish than the one in the photos. The quality isn't very high, and you practically have to make the edge bevel yourself - it's very poorly done.

The lock is similar to a slip-joint spring holding the blade open. The spring is very strong, it closes with a snap, but I wouldn't trust it to stab anything - it's not a true lock. I fear for my fingers should it ever fold - the spring would help it cut me.

Used for slicing, it's very good, and you can sharpen it on just about anything. I haven't used mine enough to say how the edge holds up in prolonged use.

Update: I checked mine today and I see it doesn't have a lock like the one in the photos, just the spring holding it closed or open. I think it may be the smaller model.

Last edited by Elandyr; 04-26-2015 at 12:58 PM.. Reason: Updated after looking at the knife again


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