There are a lot of knife makers out there, and a lot of them say they are making fighting or defensive knives. And while some of them are, most are not. It takes a special blend of things to make a real, hard use, defensive knife package. If you look, you will see that most knives fall short in at least one of three areas. Sheath, ergonomics, or understanding of how the blade style should be used.
Xavier Knox hits on all of these. I became aware of him through Kelly McCann. Kelly is one of the top instructors in real world combatives, and when he chose Xavier to make a few of his designs, I had to take a look at what this guy was offering. The blades that Xavier makes for Kelly are the Canis, the Nasty Bastid, and the Gouge, and having had a chance to handle these models, I am really impressed, from the great design by Mr. McCann, but especially by Xaviers execution of them.
It has not been a secret that I favor Reverse Grip Edge In or Forward Grip Edge Up for my method of knife work, and as I was checking out Xaviers work, I saw that he made a few models in this manner. So, after some messages and talking, he was kind enough to send me one of his Slim Pik models. What impressed me, and made me see that Xavier understands knife combatives was the fact that he makes a trainer to match the knife, and, as important, a sheath for the trainer. This is so important for practicing every facet of knife combatives, but is more often than not, ignored by most in the community.
So, when the package arrived, which was a funny story in itself, I was immediately impressed, and that just grew over these months of carrying and testing this knife, and even more so with the trainer. The fit and finish is incredible. You can tell that the handle of the knife was given serious consideration, and tested.
Retention, draw, and security in the hand are excellent, among the best I have experienced. And this is the most important aspect. The handle is the interface for the knife user, it is the part you are in contact with. It needs to inspire confidence in the fact that you won’t ride up on the blade during use, yet remain comfortable while using it.
The handle is a skeletonized tang that is cord wrapped, very grippy and rock solid in a good grip. A plus for me, is that it was a full sized handle. Since, as the name implies, this is a thin knife, the lack of bulk in the handle is made up for by the length, which gives added security and control while it is in use. The blade is a reverse edge design very much like the Disciple, but with a back grind that aids in penetration. The edge is great and precise, even though the knife is not designed as a slasher.
It goes to point for use in RGEI instinctually, and lines up with the natural angle of the wrist and hand for a very strong ‘pikal jab’. But to me, where this knife shines is in FGEU use, like the Clinch Pick or the Sakit that I reviewed previously.
This is a very up close style of knife use, point oriented, and this is the best use of the Slim Pik. One of the reasons for it excelling at this style of use is the thought and design Xavier put into the sheath. Multi-positional with the included “Pull the Dot” loop, I find it basically disappears when worn at the 11:00 position just to the left of your center line angled slightly downward. From here, it is a smooth draw due to the nice work on the kydex, and ample length of the handle to aid in a full grip on the draw. The great news is that the trainer also has all of this excellent work, so it operates in exactly the same way, so training is seamless. I cannot recommend this package enough.
Xavier makes so many other models and kinds of knives and accessories, that you’re sure to find a lot to meet your fancy or needs. I am also fortunate enough to own One steel and one G-10 version of his Dragonscale grind Thumb Daggers, which are great hideaway last ditch defensive tools. Xavier also brought to reality the design of the Vixen, from my Brother, so his work is broad based, he listens to what the customer wants, and then makes it happen. So, I would recommend checking him out on Facebook at Echo.Delta.Charlie Knives & Tools, take a look, and if you want to enjoy some great edged tools, contact him. I am more than confident you will be happy with your choice.