Today, I am taking a hands-on look at the Vosteed Raccon. It is a standard folding EDC knife, but what caught my attention was the cross-bar lock and budget-friendly price. I want to know if these two things can actually be found on the same knife!
Vosteed has only been on the market since 2021, but has already made a splash with several other popular pocket knives, such as the Nightshade and Gator, both of which I also picked up for future reviews.
When you’re shelling out your hard-earned bucks on a knife, you’re looking for reliability and function, not just a pretty face, and I think Vosteed nailed it here in the Raccoon. If you want to save some time, the Raccoon has a definite buy and thumbs up from me; as you can see, I own three of them.
Unboxing & Presentation
The first thing you’ll notice about the Raccoon is its attractive presentation. Vosteed packages the Raccoon in a sturdy metal box emblazoned with its logo. I have made fun of knives before for the fancy box and stickers. I find it useless, but if you dig it, you will be excited to have another knife patch for your jean jacket.
Once you get the box open, you see a small, black case that holds the knife safely inside. The front of the case has a soft surface that will attach to velcro on your outdoor bags, belt, or other gear.
After unzipping the case, you find the knife wrapped in a small plastic case to keep it even safer during shipping. The knife itself is compact and feels good in the hand once you take it out. Later, we’ll talk about how well it deploys, locks, and handles, but there are a few other accessories that come in this container that show a strong attention to detail.
At the bottom of the metal box, you’ll find the instructions, which give pretty basic maintenance steps in four languages, as well as safety guidelines in English. It also includes warranty information in case you run into any problems. Surprisingly, it also includes a velcro Vosteed badge, a cleaning cloth, and a hilarious Old West card featuring a knife-bearing raccoon.
Now, none of these accessories are essential. The cleaning cloth is easily the nicest thing, but you could probably sharpen and lubricate this knife with any sharpening cloth. However, it’s little things like these that make manufacturers memorable. If the knife is as good as the presentation, Vosteed is likely to go far in the industry with a strong blend of excellent design and effective balance.
Blade and Body
The Vosteed Raccoon’s body is utilitarian, with a black Micarta material holding the metal blade and control gear, as well as the belt clip. These all feel strong and durable, and the knife has a pleasing weight in the hand. That said, this isn’t one of those knives that will wow you with looks. No, what matters most with knives is their blades and how well they work.
The blade is about 3.25 inches, which is just under half of the knife’s overall 7.6-inch length. The 0.118-inch depth feels impressive, and the 14C28N steel is impressive. This metal is the golden standard for knives thanks to its high resistance to corrosion and long life. Just as importantly, the blade has a good 3-to-1 ratio of length to height, that’s critical for a utility knife.
This ratio gives the Vosteed Racoon a strong balance, one that looks and feels well-proportioned and easy to use. The comfortable handle fits well into most hands and provides excellent control. With a nice diagonal cut on the plunge line, the blade narrows to the sharp end quickly and creates a compact and efficient knife design.
Deployment and Locking
Color me impressed by the blade and presentation, even if the body isn’t anything to write home about. How about the deployment and locking? In a utility knife like the Raccoon, you want and deserve a blade that deploys quickly, locks smoothly, and folds back into itself quickly. For example, when cutting rope, you want a knife that can get in and out of your way quickly.
Well, the raccoon opens and closes quickly and has a slide-lock system that I know might make some readers groan. Before I review that, I want to say that the blade itself uses thumb studs on each side of the blade to make deployment easier. You shouldn’t have to touch the blade itself when opening it. Even better, I found the thumb studs easy to use, and the blade deployed smoothly.
As for the slide-lock, I was happy. I think Benchmade was the first to have a cross bar lock, not 100% sure, but that is the style here so if you ever had a Griptillian or Bugout, you know how the lock works. This system isn’t always well integrated with other knives, but it felt easy and effective with the Raccoon. Simply sliding the locking bar down unlocked the blade without any jerking or difficulty.
Frankly, it’s one of the best slide-lock systems I’ve seen on a knife, and if more manufacturers hit this quality level, fewer people would complain. The thub studs for the lock stand way to proud of the knife scales. In a perfect situation they would be almost flush or slightly raised from the scales, but here they are quite a bit higher than they need to be. Not a deal breaker, but should be noted.
In my field tests with the Raccoon, I was consistently impressed with how well it handled and cut. The ergonomic handle fits smoothly in both my hands, and the unlock button was smartly kept out of the way, minimizing the risks of accidental deployment. Even better, I found the simple blade design worked well for multiple cutting situations you would encounter in your daily grind.
For example, the sharp point was perfect for piercing through tough packages or puncturing sharp wood surfaces. The Raccoon slid through paper and cardboard with ease and even did reasonably well with thinner particle boards. Surprisingly, it even cuts through food well. As far as an EDC knife, the Raccoon excels in all the needed categories.
All in all, it was a great little knife to have around. No, it’s probably not going to take the place of your specialty knives any time soon. However, its excellent blade balance, smooth ergonomic design, and compact size make it an EDC pocketknife. I’ve used it to do everything from cutting the plastic bands off my kids’ toys to cutting through ropes in my deer blind. That utility usage makes it a great all-around knife for general use.
The Vosteed Raccoon more than lives up to the quality set by the Nightshade LT and perhaps even surpasses it. While the body itself is pretty basic, the quick deployment, finely balanced blade, sturdy Micarta scales, and easy deployment and locking make this an easy choice at just $60. I think that any serious knife nut will love this one.
Alan Dale is an experienced backpacker and adventure sports athlete who pays the bills by writing. Married with a small brood, Alan often has his kids in tow on many of his adventures.