If you’ve gone knife shopping on Amazon recently, you might have noticed that something strange has happened. The site has become completely inundated with cheap, off-brand, knock-off made-in-China knives.
Most of them appear to be either generic knives with a random brand stamped on them, or they’re near-exact copies of more established knives. In any case, this troubling trend begs the question: are any of these knives actually worth your money?
We’re going to be taking a look at a few of these mystery knives in the near future, starting with today’s review of the Eafengrow EF107 Fixed Blade Knife.
What the Heck is an Eafengrow?
Fair question! There are so many of these knives on Amazon with names nobody has ever heard of that one can’t help but wonder where in the world they’re coming from.
All I can tell you for sure is that Eafengrow is a registered trademark of the Shenzhen Yifeng International Trade Co., Ltd. of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. So it’s no surprise that the Eafengrow EF107 is made in China. There’s a sticker that says as much right on the box.
Eafengrow EF107: First Impressions
I’m not one to automatically balk at a knife because it’s made in China. Even respected brands like Spyderco, Kershaw and CRKT source at least some of their knives from China, so there’s no reason to write them off as long as there’s good quality control in place. But with a brand I know virtually nothing about, a healthy amount of skepticism is warranted.
But on first impression, I like the look and feel of the EF107. It feels rock-solid and comfortable in my hand, it perhaps a little heavier than I expected. Though this could be called a budget knife at around $30, it looks really good, and doesn’t have any of the red flags that would ordinarily scream “cheap knock-off”.
Measurements & Specs
The Eafengrow EF107 Fixed Blade Knife measures 8.45 inches from end to end, which includes a 3.85-inch blade and 4.6-inch handle. It has a blade width of 1.25 inches and blade thickness of 4mm. The knife weighs 6.35 ounces, which isn’t exactly heavy, but it feels heavy for its size.
It’s marketed as being made of D2 steel with “black titanium” which I take to mean it has a titanium nitride coating. The stonewash finish is handsome, and hides scratches and dings nicely. The scales are G10, and the sheath is lightweight Kydex.
Blade Shape & Grind
The EF107 has a drop point blade, though the drop is so subtle that the blade almost appears to have a straight back until you look at it more closely. It’s a nicely shaped blade, with plenty of belly to the cutting edge that makes it very good for slicing. The blade also has a sabre grind with a flat secondary bevel.
Sabre grinds have their pros and cons, and they typically don’t cut quite as smoothly as a full flat grind due to greater blade resistance. The main advantage of a sabre grind is that it makes the blade stronger, which makes sense given that D2 steel, despite its many winning qualities, can be a little bit brittle.
Steel Type & Sharpness
Okay, let’s talk about steel. A lot of these “mystery brand” knives say they’re made of D2, but testing some of them reveals that they’re actually something else, often 8cr13Mov. So it’s hard to trust that a cheap D2 blade is really D2.
That being said, the YouTube channel LuvThemKnives sent a bunch of newer Eafengrow D2 knives in for testing, and they were all confirmed to be genuine D2. The EF107 wasn’t one of them, but those results give me a bit more faith that the composition of this particular blade is really what they say it is.
That being the case, is D2 good steel? I’d say so. One of the main advantages of D2 is that it’s exceptionally hard, often around 59 to 60 HRC, which gives it really good edge retention and wear resistance. My Eafengrow EF107 came respectably sharp right out of the box, but D2 can be honed to a scary sharp edge with a good sharpening stone.
The downside of D2 is that its impact toughness isn’t quite as impressive as its hardness, making it a bit prone to breaking or chipping. As I mentioned above, that makes the sabre grind a good thing, and it helps that this blade is quite thick at the spine.
Where corrosion resistance is concerned, D2 is intermediate between carbon steel and stainless. It doesn’t rust like crazy, but you’ll want to keep your blade dry and oiled.
Handle & Grip
The Eafengrow EF107 has G10 scales, which are available in either green or black. They look great, and are very durable and water-resistant. It’s lightly textured, which gives it a modest amount of extra grip, though I might like it better if it were textured a little more deeply.
That said, it’s a very comfortable handle. The full tang of the blade is visible all around the scales, and at first I thought that might make it uncomfortable, but the tang is fully smoothed and rounded off, so it doesn’t bite into my palm at all (worth noting, the spine too is rounded, and will not spark off a ferro rod). There’s a usable lanyard hole at the exposed end of the tang.
One complaint I’ve heard multiple times about this particular knife is that the handle is too small. I’ll admit it’s on the compact side, but it fits well in my average-sized hands. If you have smaller hands, you might honestly love this knife, but if you have extra-large mitts, you’ll have a hard time getting comfortable with it.
Sheath & Carry
The Kydex sheath that comes with the Eafengrow is one of my least favorite things about this knife. I know some people like these sheaths, but I find them bulky, cumbersome and cheap-feeling.
It can be adjusted for either vertical or horizontal belt carry, which is a plus, but I just can’t make myself like it. It holds the knife fairly securely, but with some audible rattle. It’s fine, but if I were to carry this knife on a regular basis, I would consider upgrading to a better sheath.
Final Thoughts on the Eafengrow EF107 Fixed Blade Knife
Look, I was ready to hate this thing, but it’s not a bad knife. Really, for a fixed blade in the $30 class, the Eafengrow EF107 holds up pretty well against some of the heavy hitters in its price range and genre. One thing that makes this a good buy is that it’s more of a jack-of-all-trades than a specialist knife. It’s marketed as a “compact outdoor field utility knife,” and it can fill a lot of different niches.
Its corrosion resistance and good slicing blade make it an effective hunting knife, and the sheath, despite not being my favorite feature, makes it a solid tactical or EDC knife. It’s a decent camp knife too thanks to its wear resistance, though its inability to make a spark makes it a no-go for me as a bushcraft knife.
Still, at the end of the day, there are more pros than cons with the Eafengrow EF107. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced fixed blade for everyday carry, I can’t offer a lot of good reasons not to choose this one.