Knife review : Havalon Piranta Edge


This review consists of :

Introduction, Specifications and User Feedback

Maker : webpage, basic specifications / manufacturer copy:

Our best seller for field dressing and skinning, the Piranta-Edge in easy-to-find blaze orange. It's always sharp - just replace the blades and go!

Features Include:

You'll appreciate the light weight of this skinning and caping knife: less than three ounces. And no need to carry extra knives, heavy files, stones or other sharpeners.

The common praise tends to be :

A few issues which come in in various YT videos :

A few specifics on this one :

A couple of comments :

As an aside, considering how easy the term "abuse" gets thrown around for folding knives, this looks to be the obvious solution if folding knives are to be restricted to light cutting only.

Stock cutting

The initial sharpness was high to extreme :

As shown in the image on the right, the edge is cleanly formed reflected in the very high measurements on the light threads.

However as the blade is only 0.020" (about half a mm thick) then it can not actually do many of the stock cutting tests such as cut thick ropes or woods because it doesn't have the lateral strength. Keep in mind that this blade is actually made of thinner stock than the actual edge of a lot of knives.

Utility

The Piranta has no problem zipping through :

The main concern with utility isn't as much what is cut but how it is cut focus has to be given to avoiding lateral forces on the blade to avoid breaking he blade. In particular

Using it for an extended period of time for lots of utility work then it starts to become an experience in refining knife skills. After using the Havalon then the skills gained allow much faster and efficient work with heavier built knives.

Food

As the as-boxed blades are extremely sharp there is no issue with making even the most demanding cuts sharpness wise in the kitchen. It cuts through fine materials like green onions easily and does so with a trivial amount of force. It doesn't have the length of course to make large slices in tomatoes and such readily but they do sell larger handles and blades as well.

It also easily

And all the other miscellaneous small utility chores in the kitchen without pause.

As a paring knife it is truly excellent :

The only downside is again the short blade which makes it difficult on larger potatoes and other vegetables. Similar on dicing and other work, if the cuts are deep enough to hit the blade guard then the blade will bind heavily so multiple shallow cuts are needed.

The Havalon was designed to cut meats and so it does very well and can even be used, with some amusement, to cut up a roast for Sunday dinner. The problem is again simply :

Which forces multiple cuts to be made to separate the meat. Note they do make a model with a longer blade which would be more appropriate if such work was required on a regular basis.

As an example of using the Piranta as what it is actually meant to do it was used to break done some poultry, chickens and turkeys. A few details :

The only downsides is that it can not do even minor bone cutting such as cutting off the wing tips. The joints have to be separated as the blade will simply start to flex if pressure is applied to attempt to cut through the bones.

Field

The pictures at the right show the before and after of a common task for general yard maintenance which is to clear ingrowth away from the primary growth which in this case is removing alders from around pine, spruce and juniper trees.

Of course the ideal tools for such user are :

But knives can be quite capable as well and in general are much more frequently carried.

It is quite a simple task :

Now of course a knife with a thicker blade does allow more force to be used and thus can work more efficiently here but still with a little care to take from twisting the knife there is no problem in :

Alder is of course a soft wood, however the same can be done on harder woods it simply takes more care to avoid loading the blade laterally. Havalon also makes a slightly thicker blade which in general would be a more sensible choice if this was desired for more utility type applications.

On harder woods there are no issues with general work such as debarking. The nice thing about that is that the edge in the section of the holder itself can be used because this isn't deep cutting. On some of the thinner barks this works well for making slight slits. For heavier barks the leading edge has to be used.

The only barks where it becomes a bit of a problem are the very heavy and thick spruce barks which are both difficult to take off and the sap would not be something to be nice to get around the blade holder. However for those barks it is trivial to use the Piranta to make a small bark spud which is basically a flat spoon and used to pry off such barks.

In general for wood carving and craft work, the Piranta cuts exceptionally well and easily cuts seasoned woods trivially again as it has :

There are no issues in making points, notches and general shaping of wood.

for general fire starting, no issues in making fine shavings as again the sharpness and cutting ability is a very high.

Grip

Ergonomics : the grip is in general very comfortable :

There are only a few areas which could benefit from improvement :

Security : this is one of the common complaints about the handle as it lacks the common features such as :

However it is well shaped and :

In general an argument could be made that there is an issue for security however the response is obvious in that as this is basically a holder for scalpel blades there is so little force used that retaining a grip in general isn't a practical limitation.

However if the cutting is done under stress, rushed or there are issues with skill or experience - it could be an issue.

Durability : the grip is made from Zytel which is more stable than wood under most weather and is also impact and chemical resistant. Materials such as G10 and Micarta are more durable under more extreme conditions but for the general type of work this folder is used it is unlikely that durability would be a problem. The only real concern is the adhesion of the inserts. Time will tell how long they stay in place.

Clip : the clip unfortunately is tapped for only one option, right hand tip down.

Construction : the zytel handle is held together with T5 micro-torx. The standoffs are likely to be points of criticism compared to some of the common extremely heavy ones used in many folders, but again considering how this one is meant to be used there is no way they are a weak point and making them heavier would not be a functional benefit. The pivot is adjustable and rides on a teflon washer.

Miscellaneous : the blades are held in place by a simple shape retention. It simple is needed to slightly lift up on the bottom of the blades to take them off. It can be done with gloves and even with the grip a bit covered in blood and oils, but a small multi-tool does make it a lot safer.

Sharpening

If desired, the blades are easy to sharpen. The simplest solution is to just sharpen them while attached and grind the leading section taking care not to grind the holder against the stone. The can also be taken off and held in hand and sharpened.

However given the very low cost of replacement an argument could be made that the cost of abrasives and time is more than the cost of a replacement blade. Regardless the steel :

Edge Retention

To check the edge retention a standard trial was ran on cardboard :

Fine DMT
Sharpness # runs 15% 10% 5%
cardboard cut (m)
60+ 0(12) 1 2.4+0.0(0.3) 5.6+0.0(0.7) 20+ 0( 3)

This is with the as-boxed edge and more runs will be added in time which will smooth out all the random and systematic deviations inherent in such cutting and give a much more stable result.

However from that one run it has :

It is also as noted extremely trivial to sharpen even on natural stones.

Overview

Overview :

Comments and references

Comments can be emailed to cliffstamp[REMOVE]@gmail.com or by posting to the following thread :

and/or the YouTube Playlist.

Most of the pictures in the above are in the PhotoBucket album.


Last updated :
Originally written: 13/04/2013
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