Pros: Materials, Sharpness, None
Cons: Overall Quality
This is a very nice piece of history and a nice piece of Damascus. The steel is nicely patterned and finished, with the serial number etched in the back side of the handle. The knife (letter opener) feels small and delicate in the hand, but the handle is big enough for the chores of separating envelope flaps, and the 'choils' on the top/bottom of the blade just above the handle provide more than enough grip/control for even the most unruly package. The blade is extremely sharp, especially given its designated use - they must have some extraordinarily tough paper in Solingen! The blade recurve is just the right shape to 'feed' the envelope to the cutting surface, and the thin profile of the blade and tanto tip mean that you can open an envelope in one smooth motion.Comes in a sturdy box with a nice leather sleeve.Now the 'but'. The 'filework' referenced in the item description is on the top of the handle, thing is it's not filework - it's crudely applied 'dents', and you can clearly see the raised metal around the 'filework' where this material has been displaced by the pressure applied to make the dents. It's a small point maybe, but it actually detracts from - not adds to - the finish of the piece as the dents are not symmetrical on both sides, and the 'pushed up' material disrupts what would have otherwise been a smooth finish to the top of the handle. This is what makes it a 4.