Jake Hoback Kwaiback Midtech Folder Knife Review
Jake Hoback is a well-respected, popular knifemaker that started making custom knives years ago as a young lad, and started professionally in 2003. His first big hit was the A10 folder, and the Kwaiback is probably his biggest hit yet. This is the Midtech version of the Kwaiback, which is influence by Japanese martial arts and of course his stout faith in God – probably the two most noticeable influences on this knife. I also have to say that this is one of the coolest knives I have picked up in a long time – I am very happy with it!
The Kwaiback is named after the Japanese Kwaiken knife, with its beautiful upswept 3.75″ blade and piercing point. The stonewashed blade is double-hollow ground from CPM S35VN stainless steel, and features a flipper opening system riding on Jake’s “Hoback Roller Detent” (HRD) system. The system was created by Jake but is not patented, but instead “open source” and free for anyone to use, so long as Jake is given credit for it. It gives the knife an exceptionally smooth opening combined with the Caged Bearing Pivot (CBP) system that the blade pivot rides on.
The blade is super sharp, and cuts very well and because it is only slightly upswept, still has decent tip control. All edges on the blade spine and flipper area are radiused and smooth to the touch. The thick jimping is grippy but nice on the hands.
The thick, machined titanium handle feels fantastic in the hand, and features two deep grooves for added grip on the front face and one groove on the lock side. The stonewashed finish on the handle matches the blade so the knife has a consistent look over the whole thing which is nice. The Hoback Roller Detent screw is visible on the locking bar and can be adjusted. Pocket clip is reversible from left to right hand, tip-up carry only. There is some nice deep wide jimping on the back of the handle spine that is a nice touch and gives some extra grip as well.
Fit & Finish
While this is not the most well-finished knife out there, the fit is superb. The flipping mechanism works like a charm, and fires smoothly and quickly. The HRD also allows makes opening smoother, and helps give the flipper the extra kick to open. Absolutely no play, in any directly, and locks up “solid as a bank vault” as they like to say. The finish level is not high, and that’s exactly what also makes the knife so cool to me. Like Strider, Jake almost intentionally makes it rougher, with specks and marks in the titanium, along with machining lines still slightly visible in the handle grooves. The full custom versions of this folder are much more well-finished and command 4 times the coin!
Overall, the midtech Kwaiback is one badass folder, and might be my favourite EDC folder in my collection. It ticks all the boxes and feels so amazing in the hand, while sporting a full-size 3.75″ blade it doesn’t feel too big in the pocket. Combined with the solid craftsmanship and top-of-the-line materials, it is a superb choice for anyone looking for a midtech folder in this price range for EDC or even collecting.
Blade Materials: S35VN
Blade Length: 3.75″
Handle Materials: Titanium
Overall Length: 9.125″
Weight: 6.6 oz.