David Dempsey Japanese Style Fixed Blade

Reviewed by corwin99 on November 28th, 2010

I love Japanese inspired blades. I always have, and when I see them, I often can’t help myself from buying them. This was a similar case with this David Dempsey fixed blade. I received it in a trade along with a few other blades, and was quite impressed with the quality of the knife when it arrived. David makes a lot of Japanese style blades, and does a very good job with the grinds and the handle wrap.

David Dempsey’s knives tend towards the more affordable, as far as custom knives are concerned. A larger custom Japanese blade like this one might run in the $275 range from David, with smaller knives costing as low as $150. This one specifically is made from hand-forged 1095 carbon steel, and has a lizard skin handle, wrapped in the Japanese style with a Turks head knot for a semi-guard. The Turks Head knot is a nice feature.

The wrap is also epoxied, and done very well, without any of the epoxy visible from the diamonds. The wrap is also quite well done with symmetrical diamonds and great feel. Many knifemakers that don’t know how to wrap handles well end up with lopsided diamonds on the wrap, its a good thing for me David is not one of those makers. Having made many of these types of knives, he obviously has tons of experience wrapping handles.

The carbon steel blade is double hollow ground, with a beautiful long curved grind that goes straight to the tip. The blade is also quite wide, giving it a very substantial feel in the hand, and what feels like great control in a slicing motion. The blade is razor sharp out of the box, and slices through paper like nothing.

The hand rubbed flats are also very attractive, and meet the grind line in a perfect crisp straight line. Its a very satisfying blade to hold and appreciate. I would feel very comfortable having this knife in a self-defense situation as the wrapped handle provides exceptional grip. The knife is equally grippy with tactical gloves and the diamonds provide nice divots for your fingers when holding the knife.

The sheath is a Kydex one, with the retention friction applied to the turks head knot portion of the blade. The Sheath has a belt loop attached for horizontal carry. The sheath is very good at not marring the finish of the blade, which tends to happen with Kydex sheaths.

Overall a great custom knife for a very reasonable price. I’m not sure if David Dempsey is making too many knives anymore as his site appears to have closed down, and not many new blades are showing up from this maker. Its a shame since he makes some fantastic blades.

Blade Length: 4 9/16″
Overall Length: 9 5/16″
Blade Steel: 1095 Carbon Steel
Handle: Lizard Skin Wrapped

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