Though relatively young as a company, Reate Knives has already made it clear that they are a formidable and admirable knife-making brand. Between their stand-out designs and advanced use of modern technology – such as 3D CNC machined parts and a proprietary low temperature tempering technique – they’ve singlehandedly proven to the everyday carry world that not all things manufactured in China are made cheaply by cutting corners. In fact, more and more big name knife designers – like Liong Mah, Tashi Bharucha, and Todd Begg – are collaborating with David Deng and his team. Having dedicated themselves to both good quality and clever innovation, this company’s offerings are, at the least, worth a second glance – that is, if you aren’t already smitten by the first.
One such product is the Horizon-C, a third iteration in their line of Horizon-model knives. And the first to take a step away from the design of the original, picking up cues from elsewhere in the Reate catalog. We’ve taken an in-depth look at this knife, from end to end, and have put together the following review of this third-generation Reate Horizon-C folding knife.
At first glance, this knife is – in a word – intimidating. When folded, the Horizon-C is just shy of 5 inches in length and about 1.75 inches across at its widest point. And the imposing silhouette is only compounded by the combination of its almost black tumbled handle with a satin-finished silver blade, clip, and hardware. The drab glint of the satin silver amongst the matte dark wash of the handle gives the impression that this knife was forged more for some futuristic warrior-class than present-day everyday carry enthusiasts. And when it is opened, those initial impressions do not dissipate.
Opening to a considerable 8.74 inches, the Horizon-C’s complete design reminds us that it is meant to be used. The blade features a deep fuller – also known as a blood groove – on both sides which follows through to the sweeping lines on either side of the handle, making this knife look more like a fixed-blade than a pocket folder. And we aren’t complaining a bit.
While very easy to handle, this knife is a bit substantial for your average minimalist carrier – weighing in at a hefty 6.34 ounces – and is slightly imbalanced, with the bulk of the weight falling on the handle side. After having handled it, however, the burden feels like a minimal drawback overall.
The blade features a sturdy drop tip and is made from CPM S35VN – a very high-quality stainless steel made by Crucible Industries. Flat-ground with Reate’s proprietary low-temperature tempering technique, it comes razor-sharp from the factory and promises to stay sharp through repeated use, thanks to Crucible’s inclusion of alloying elements Vanadium, Molybdenum, and Niobium – metals which help add to strength and edge retention of the steel. The length of the blade is 3.75 inches and the width of its back – about 0.75 inches at the widest point – makes it seem larger than it is.
The blade folds out from the handle via a rather large protruding flipper that – when the knife is open – seamlessly lines up with the handle grip, acting as an extended finger guard. It also features some minor jimping – a series of notches meant to increase grip – as does the lower back of the blade. Although, in the case of the back jimping, the two notches seem to serve more of an aesthetic purpose than a utilitarian one. It also feels very secure, completely lacking in play. Overall, the blade does not disappoint and handles very well.
Get A Grip
The handle of the Horizon-C is, in our opinion, is the true stand-out feature of this knife. Were you to take away the excellence of the finish and dumb down the styling – hell, you could even make it pink – the overall quality would still remain. The 6AL4V titanium construction is as tough as they come and the inclusion of a super-sturdy frame lock is a stroke of genius. And, with a bit of applied pressure on the flipper, the multi-row ball bearing deployment makes extending the blade smooth as silk without feeling cheap or flimsy.
The one issue we’ve found emerges when closing the blade – though, who would want to? The frame lock is affixed with a detent ball which is great for reducing friction between the blade and handle when folded, but offers up some resistance when trying to close the knife, especially one-handed. Still, the issue feels more like nit-picking than a truly valid complaint.
Though there are a few minor issues, the complete picture of the Horizon-C by Reate is of an extremely worthwhile pocket folder. The sturdiness and quality of both construction and materials more than makes up for its minimal drawbacks and, so long as you aren’t overly concerned with size, this knife is certainly a worthwhile addition to any collection or set of gear. And that goes double when you consider that a comparable knife made virtually anywhere or by anyone else in the world could potentially cost double the price. Our final verdict: stop thinking about it and go get one.
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