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Enlan M028

Posted by Varyag 
Enlan M028
October 08, 2014 02:12PM






Dimensions are as follows:
DEPTH 15 mm
HEIGHT 94 mm
WIDTH 26 mm
BLADE LENGTH 71 mm
PRODUCT WEIGHT 69 g
STEEL 8cr13mov

Price: 8$

The most attractive feature of the knife are the decorative ridges that the liners have. They look unremarkable in the photos but they have a pleasing tendency to catch the light and sparkle giving the whole knife a somewhat jeweled appearance. The blade is well ground, nicely polished and easy to sharpen. It cuts about as well as you’d expect for a hollow ground blade of this thickness (2.4 mm thick) . However the aesthetic choice of having a swedge and a grind that starts a third of the way down a blade that's not wide in the first place sacrifices some performance needlessly and leads to a knife that sticks in deep cuts and is perhaps overbuilt for its apparent purpose - to be a nice looking "gentleman's folder" while being sub-optimal as a cutting and particularly slicing tool.

However, its hard to fault the knife for this considering that so many knives today are built to look good first and foremost at the cost of efficiency.

After lowering the edge angle to 17 degrees per side using the Lansky, I used it to peel apples, a task it performs well, but not as well as an Opinel. I opened some packages with it, cut some cardboard, sharpened pencils and other menial tasks. Its a small knife, that can accommodate a four finger grip for rough work but a three finger grip is necessary for anything requiring precision. The ridges are an ergonomic issue because even rounded, they dig into the palm with harder work and can be unpleasant.

The lockup started at 30%,. I gave it a few hard whacks and it moved a tiny bit towards, say 40% but won't budge further. I suspect that the lock is saved a bit by the lightness of the blade, so however hard you hit it, there is not enough mass to really damage the liner. However hard I squeeze it I can't get the lock to fail so, for its performance is satisfactory for a knife of this size and the use its likely to see.

So the good:
+good value for money (cheaper than an Opinel?!)
+attractive decorative ridges and overall pleasing design
+good balance of size, weight and blade length
+solid overall construction
+8cr13mov, easy low maintenance steel, razor sharpness needs to be maintained but remains functionally sharp for quite a while

Towards the more neutral traits are the pakkawood scales. Mine came fairly dark brown and subdued so they could easily be mistaken for real wood at first glance, which is a plus. On the other hand, the scale on the non-locking liner ( does not extend as much towards the ridges as the other one. In other words the scale is slightly smaller, which leads to more of the ridge protuding over the edge. I estimate the discrepancy to be just under one mm.

The neutral:
-large variation in handle color (something to keep in mind)
-one scale is slightly smaller than it should be
-pivot is mounted upside down

However, the knife has a major shortcoming that has to be corrected. At first glance the blade is well centered and even though the detente is strong and deployment somewhat stiff – it functions well. After a hundred or so openings and a bit of carry I noticed the clip loosening and the centering moving toward the non locking liner. It turns out that the clip screws protrude so far from the liners that they push t the brass washer upwards and into the knife. As the pivot loosened from all the flicking I subjected it to, the detente and the screws exerted more and more pressure on the blade to move it off center. So:

The bad:
-you will need to disassemble the knife and file down the clip screws (take that opportunity to mount the pivot the right way up, to clean the knife and keep in mind that the screws have thread locker on them and if its one of the strong thread lockers you may not be able to open them without stripping – one of the screws that holds the scale in mine would not budge)
-you will need to play around with the pivot tightness until you get decent centering
- it will take a while for the action of the knife to smooth out (many openings), so that it is both smooth and remains centered
- the clip screws come undone over time so either loctite them or live with it
- the protruding ridges are uncomfortable if you hold the knife tightly – they dig into your palm. I tried some wood whittling with it and it hurt my hands more than necessary
- the brass washer needs polishing with some fine sandpaper

Bottom line:
This knife is really good value…if you’re willing to fix its shortcomings. The final fit and finish is rough in spots and an area of cost saving but that's the only major shortcoming of an obscenely cheap knife.This knife is inferior in finish to 30-50$ US brand knives on average, but at least equal or superior in construction (depending on model naturally). After all, Kershaw had a lot of issues with liner lock knives failing, but this one endured the pressure of hitting the spine on the corner of a table hard enough to leave visible indents in the wood - without deformation or failure, and the lock barely moved.

I mean, 8$? Seriously?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2014 02:20PM by Varyag.
Re: Enlan M028
October 08, 2014 03:41PM
I like its aesthetic.

Re: Enlan M028
October 08, 2014 03:53PM
NIce review. And agreed, with OS, the aesthetic is clean.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'
Re: Enlan M028
October 08, 2014 04:37PM
For $8, that's awesome. For $20 it would still be good.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Enlan M028
October 08, 2014 05:02PM
Yes that is a pretty knife.

www.theflatearthsociety.org

BIGFOOT FINDS YOU, YOU DON'T FIND BIGFOOT!



IT IS THE E-NEP THROWING BROTHERHOOD
Re: Enlan M028
October 08, 2014 05:13PM
I have an EL-02, it's amusing that it has almost all of the same issues that you have with this one.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Enlan M028
October 08, 2014 07:44PM
Quote
Varyag

The most attractive feature of the knife are the decorative ridges that the liners have. They look unremarkable in the photos but they have a pleasing tendency to catch the light and sparkle giving the whole knife a somewhat jeweled appearance.

Ha, I thought the same thing about all the pimp jimping on my Manix 2.

I also have an EL-02 with similar f&f issues, but still way more than I expected for the $.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2014 07:46PM by Apophis.
Re: Enlan M028
October 09, 2014 12:24AM
That's in line with Enlans reputation as good value for money but still second to SanRenMu in overall fit and finish.

I have a SRM and a Ganzo incoming, so I'll compare them all when they arrive.
Re: Enlan M028
October 11, 2014 12:03PM
I've a question here. I was eating chicken the other day with this knife, cutting through leg and probably, on occasion, making contact with bone or cartilage. After eating I noticed that the curved part of the blade, towards the tip, that I had been using most - had folded in places. Now, I know I sharpened this knife somewhat clumsily and that the edge leans towards on side more. So is that edge damage the result of the apex taking more stress because it isn't perfectly straight or the steel being unable to take a 17dps angle?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2014 12:04PM by Varyag.
Re: Enlan M028
October 11, 2014 12:14PM
Quote
Varyag

After eating I noticed that the curved part of the blade, towards the tip, that I had been using most - had folded in places.

Do you mean the edge bevel actually bent or the apex was just squashed down?
Re: Enlan M028
October 11, 2014 12:40PM
Just the apex. Visible only under direct light. Repaired in 5 or so minutes with Spyderco Doublestuff "fine" ceramic.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2014 12:42PM by Varyag.
Re: Enlan M028
October 11, 2014 02:14PM
Lol I also have an Enlan with similar F&F issues. I think it's the norm. Funny thing is I use it in the yard and I mean hard chopping, I've even batoned with it and it held up great no play. I can't even tighten the pivot anyway bc of there proprietary screws so it's not like it got play and I tightened it back . The liner lock is beefy and must be set perfectly for it to endure what I put it through. I can highly recommend them for beaters.
Re: Enlan M028
October 11, 2014 02:36PM
That angle should be high enough to take light contact with chicken bones, however not with plates. The sharpening angle will only mildly affect direct compression anyway, it more so prevents lateral collapse/twisting. In general I would wait to see if something repeats itself a few times before concluding anything as it could have been something other than the bones, the sharpening (leaving a burr), or other similar factors.
Re: Enlan M028
October 31, 2014 01:22PM
Looks very nice! Great review! Are you planning to do any cutting/edge retention tests? I was looking at a Enlan/Bee, Sanrenmu, then I saw a Ganzo. That's what I had in mind of getting until I heard on another forum about the Lansky World Traveler or Responder, and the Colt CT591. So many good knives for so cheap! Glad to hear that they are not junk!
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