The Combat Utility Blade (CUB) from Steve Woods and Wilson Combat has immediate curb appeal. The CUB’s good looks are deceptive, belying the true ruggedness and precision of its design, construction and utility.

Steve Woods, a superb photographer by trade, began making knives in 2000. Currently the holder of a Journeyman’s stamp from the Bladesmith Society, Woods developed his passion for knives by starting with a basic knife kit and learning the craft through trial, error and apprenticeship. His photographer’s eye for balance and proportion comes through in his designs. As soon as it is removed from the sheath, the CUB begs to be used. Like a sports car that looks to be going 100 miles per hour while standing still, the CUB’s heavy shouldered blade and tapered starburst-patterned handle gives it the appearance of a spear point in flight.

Knife Details

The CUB’s practical/tactical drop-point blade is 4 inches long and made from CPM 154 stainless steel. Carrying an HRC rating of 57-59, the highly corrosion-resistant, matte bead-blasted CPM 154 was originally created for the manufacture of jet turbine blades. Though similar to the more common S30V, Woods chose the metal for its slightly better field-sharpening characteristics. The blade features a thin, flat-ground edge, tapering from a thick spine of 0.15 inches with an index finger choil and thumb notch just forward of where the blade exits the handle.

Unlike the blade’s subdued finish, the CUB’s 3D-machined G10 handle is an explosion of texture and chromatic contrast. Offered in black, black/green or black/gray, the two-tone G10s highlight Woods’ variation on Wilson Combat’s iconic starburst-themed pistol grip pattern. Cut more sharply and at a closer interval than the pistol grips, the lines reach out to the user’s hands and provide multiple minor purchase points in the palm, complementing the major points at the index finger and thumb. The grip panels, secured by Torx-head screws, feature inset medallions from Wilson Combat and Rock River Iron Works, Woods’ smithing shop. The CUB’s rounded pommel extends 0.4 inches beyond the grip, features three lash-point holes and comes shipped with a braided, hollow paracord fob and a white skull-sliding bead.

The CUB’s custom sheath is made from two-piece molded Kydex that covers the blade and 1.5 inches of the handle. The Tek-Lok universal belt attachment is affixed to the sheath via Phillips-head screws and can be reversed to suit user preferences. As the belt attachment is below the handle, the CUB rides close to the wearer’s hip and not down the leg. This set-up allows the knife’s 9-inch overall length and 8.4-ounce weight to move with the user and not ride below the lower cuff of a jacket.

Pages: 1 2 3
Show Comments