Roaming through the chaotic isles of the big knife-show in Atlanta, Georgia, a maker by the name of Jake Hoback caught my eye. We spoke briefly, but his work said it all. Jake regards himself as an ’80s kid—as do I. Jake started pounding out knives in his backyard in 1990, on a huge chunk of steel with a framing hammer and fencepost nails. Eventually, Jake graduated to working with his best bud at his dad’s blacksmith shop in Virginia City, Nevada. Jake said that from there on out he “was hooked.” He started professionally making and selling knives in 2003 and has been going strong ever since. Jake Hoback Knives currently resides in Henderson, Texas.

Meat

According to Jake, the Meat’s blade was made with tip-breaking people in mind. A 3/4 height flat grind to a secondary convex grind at the tip provides an extremely stout tip and a very clean cutting edge. This knife has been chosen by several people for interior door breaching and will do well in any environment that could cause tip breakage. The blade steel is CPM 3V, with an HRC of 60-61 and developed for use in tools that receive a lot of shock and impact along with some abuse. The steel can be a replacement for high-impact S7 steel. Jake chose CPM 3V because it works well with his theme of “hard work.” At 5 inches long, the blade has a thickness of 0.2 inches and an attractive acid stone-washed finish. The knife’s notch was basically created as a simple cord cutting area of the knife. The handle length is 4.5 inches, and the material is C-Tek, which is an aluminum, honey-comb, composite material.

The high grind of the Meat made it an excellent light chopper on saplings at or under 1-inch in width. The knife bit deep enough, but not too deep for establishing a stop cut, with just a short flick of the wrist, in green wood for tarp stakes. The notch on the blade actually works well as a definite place to strike a ferrocium rod for fire craft. The sharp edge produces a shower of sparks like no striker I have ever seen. Even though the knife was meant for rugged work, I was tempted to try it out on food. To my surprise, it fared well on potatoes, peeling carrots, slicing cheese and, of course, meat. Using the Meat, I could imagine it with a 9-inch-long blade for maximum chopping power without compromising the utility aspect of its origin. Who knows, maybe Jake will make one for the big-blade lovers out there.

Find out more at jakehobackknives.com

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