Pros: Handle Material, Overall Quality, Handle Feel, Blade Material
an excellent hunting knife
Task: skinning and boning a bull elk. The knife: not a bad thing to say about it. The blade shape was excellent for all purposes. The handle does not get slippery and its shape prevents your hand from sliding off and onto the blade. Your hand touches no metal--greatly appreciated when it's around zero. BTW the locking mechanism on mine was perfect.The steel: For those of you who don't do this, it's a big task--takes me right at 3 hours to do it by myself. Not all of that time is cutting, but an awful lot of it is. Tends to dull knives: heavy hide, cutting hard directly down onto bone, scraping along bones to separate meat. The blade performed very well and was able to complete the task while remaining reasonably sharp. Note that it did dull down and I would not have wanted to do a second elk without sharpening it. However, sharpening it was a breeze. I was expecting a fight, but this steel feels good on the stone and really likes to take an edge. A bit surprising. Comparing it to other knife steels I have used to work up elk over the years, it is (naturally) much better than the old 440C knife (Rigid) I used for many years. With 440C this is a 2 knife job. Recently I have used a VG10 knife (Fallkniven) to work up 3 elk. The ZDP blade is incrementally better: both knives can do the whole job, both dull down and need to be sharpened. The ZDP blade dulls down a bit less. One interesting note. ZDP appears to be only semi-stainless. I noticed after about an hour that the blade was darkening slightly. Nothing much, really, but not what you would expect from a lot of steels. Apparently all that carbon is turning a lot of that chromium into carbides.