Today I am going to be taking a little bit different of an approach, I am looking at several products from one manufacturer. I picked up several knives from CJRB over on Drop this fall as they seemed pretty solid and simple without being cheap. Instead of working on individual reviews for these knives I thought it would be a little more revealing to examine the products as a whole, especially as they begin expanding their line. For those of you that do not know CJRB is a relatively new line coming from Artisan Cutlery that is aimed at quality products with an affordable price tag. For me, this is my first introduction to Artisan Cutlery at all so I think it was a pretty good way to get my foot in the door. I picked up the Talla, Briar, and Centros. The first two are both flippers in the carbon fiber option, while the third is a thumb stud option in G-10. Let's take a look at the types of knives offered by CJRB.
Currently, all models come in D2 which is a great option for a midrange knife and really allows them to cut costs without sacrificing quality. The blade shapes vary widely depending on the model. All three of my knives cam razor-sharp, so I hope that this can be expected of any model you might pick up. When it comes to the scales, the design will change but all models feature a selection of G-10 and some also come in carbon fiber or copper editions. The carbon fiber options that I have feel rather slick but do look nice in appearance, it's just something to think about as far as grip. The G-10 has a decent amount of grip on it and I have not had to worry about losing it out of my hand. Another common thread that runs through this line up of knives is the exclusive use of liner locks. It will be interesting to see if CJRB expands its offerings in the future. My favorite part is honestly the deep carry clips that each knife comes equipped with. I have expressed my preference for deep carry clips plenty of times and CJRB has not let me down, there is a little bit of the body that sticks over the edge of your pocket but very minimal so I am very happy. I only wish that the screws would have been recessed so that they don't catch your pocket. Lastly, these knives come equipped with ceramic ball bearings for the pivot which makes most of them incredibly smooth and quick on deployment. Overall, CJRB is offering some really solid quality at the $50 price point, they are making good overall knives that are well designed for a very affordable price. Even though you may not be getting the fanciest of materials or an advanced locking system, they have really made sure that everything is well put together, and I have not had any quality control issues. Everything feels sturdy and like it wants to be used.
I just wanted to briefly touch on the three individual knives that I own. The Talla was my first acquisition and for the most part, is a solid knife, The large Wharncliffe blade feels almost like a cleaver (which is an option with the Crag). The overall size makes the Talla feel ready to be used and put to the task. However, that also comes with the drawback of being a little bit sluggish on the deployment. The initial action feels smooth but then the mass of the blade catches up and slows down the momentum. Next, we have the Briar, I actually only went with the carbon fiber on this model because I forgot that I had done so with the Talla. The Briar is extremely quick when deploying and feels extremely agile in your hand. I have found that it feels almost like a dagger despite the fact that it definitely is not one. Lastly, we have the Centros, which feels very similar to the Briar. The only real difference for me is the change from a flipper to thumb studs as well as a slightly different sized blade. Other than that it has the same feeling of precision and balance.
If these knives are up your alley check them out here.