Katz Knives Kagemusha Impressions

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At this SHOT Show this year, we saw dozens of new releases from popular knife manufacturers. But one unfamiliar brand stood out in particular for their collection of high quality, traditionally-inspired blades — Katz Knives. After we showed interest in their knives, they kindly hooked us up with some of their samples. We thought you’d enjoy some photos and first impressions of this unique-looking folder.
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Upon first glance, you’ll notice a slightly updated yet still classically-inspired design in the Kagemusha. It balances this tanky, almost over-built design with classy hand-finished wooden handles and brushed stainless steel accents throughout. At 4” closed length and 4 oz, it definitely imparts heft and presence in your hand (which is nice) but also in your pocket. Its included pocket clip doesn’t sit super-stealthy low, but it’s rock solid like the rest of the knife.

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Deploying the 3.5” blade with the thumbstud is effortless and buttery smooth. It’s a satisfying action, finishing in a solid, reassuring click from its liner lock. I felt zero blade play or issues with centering. Between the pivot and lockup, the internals of the knife seem to match its exterior fit and finish nicely. Out of the box, its proprietary made-in-Japan XT80 steel is razor sharp (it seems comparable to AUS-8 steel, a Japanese steel that takes a sharp edge but dulls quickly with use). Katz calls their blade a “Ninja Point,” but functions more or less like a clip point blade. 3.5” gives you plenty of usable cutting room. I like the ergos overall, but this knife doesn’t seem to be designed for extreme use. I could see the lack of jimping, finger choil, and the end of the clip being problematic if you need to really grip this thing.

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Overall, it’s an interesting design with superb fit and finish, smooth deployment, and usability. At $200+ you’re paying more for the quality and pleasant experience using the knife as opposed to high tech steels and features. If you can handle larger blades, this could be great as EDC or a unique change of pace to rotate into your carry.

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Discussion (7 total)

Great looking knife, I will be adding it to my collection soon.
Thanks for the review.
Beautiful knife! Someday...
Looks a lot like the Buck Alpha Dorado/Hunter series.....Cool blade shape though.
lol thanks for that catch — I was thinking "choil" while typing "jimping" and "chimping" came out!
I was having fun imagining what chimping was. Would you recommend this over something like the Benchmade Northfork which has similar styling, better blade material but is 75% the cost?
That depends… For general purpose EDC, the Northfork beats the Kagemusha in weight, size, blade length. Benchmade also uses more modern materials/steels if that's what you're after. My experience with the deployment of the Kagemusha and comparable Benchmade AXIS Lock knives is very similar, so it's a matter of if you like using your thumb on a liner or on the AXIS. Katz does have a smaller Kagemusha but overall the impression I get using them is more about a pleasant, high quality feel than a super optimized utility folder, if that makes sense. Besides the wooden-looking styling of the North Fork, they seem like really different knives.