REVIEW – A folding pocket knife has been part of my every day carry since I was ten years old, before I even knew what EDC meant. Not a day goes by without me using whatever knife I’m carrying, whether for opening packages, cutting loose threads off my shirt, or slicing up an apple. I have a number of knives that I’ve collected over the years, some high-end and some inexpensive, that I rotate in and out. The quality and usefulness of a knife is not always directly related to its cost though. My favorite knife cost me $26, yet I have knives that cost much more which I rarely ever use. It’s always nice though when a high-end, handmade knife with a steep price tag delivers on the promise of quality. The Office #1 Samurai folding knife from Romance of Men comes pretty close to doing that. At $199, the Officer is a bit pricey, and I have some questions about the inclusion of a fake leather sheath that doesn’t fit the knife, but the design, materials, and the way it practically floats in your hand might make it a worthwhile purchase for some.
What is it?
I reviewed the gray titanium version of the Officer #1 Samurai folding knife made by Romance of Men. The Officer is an assisted open, liner lock folding knife with a blade made from M390 steel and a handle crafted from lightweight titanium alloy. Romance of Men is based in China and specializes in Damascus steel blades, but they also have a line of steel folding knives like the Officer.
I was pretty disappointed with the delivery and boxing of the Officer. It arrived in a simple padded envelope, the sheath was packed loose and the knife was in a hard cardboard box with a ripped top. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but when you’re paying this much for a knife, presentation is important.
What’s in the box?
- Officer #1 Samurai Folding Knife
- Polyurethane leather sheath
- Overall Length: 6.8 in Open / 3.9 in Folded
- Blade Length: 2.9 in
- Blade Material: M390 Steel
- Blade Thickness: 0.11 in
- Blade Hardness: 61 HRC
- Handle Material: Titanium alloy
- Weight: 2.3 oz
- Sheath: Polyurethane Leather
- Folding mechanism: Assisted open, Liner Lock
Design and features
I really like the look and feel of the Officer. It has a futuristic design with nice sharp angles and a grey matte finish that helps increase grip.
The Officer comes with a turquoise colored bead attached to it on a small strand of polyurethane leather.
The pictures of the Officer on the website for Romance of Men appear to show the bead is crafted from turquoise, but the one attached to the knife I received was just turquoise-colored plastic.
The fake leather strap for the bead attaches to a small loop built into the body of the Officer. The strap is pretty useless and actually broke when I pulled the knife out of my pocket during testing. Not a good sign of quality.
The Officer has an integrated pocket clip and a nub at the top of the knife which engages the assisted open. The pocket clip is incredibly stiff, but it might just need a few months to loosen up a bit.
The Officer is held together with Torx head screws which are frequently used on folding knives of this type.
The blade of the Officer has no serrations and is made of high-quality M390 steel.
M390 steel is used in a lot of higher-end knives due to its resistance to corrosion, ability to maintain a sharp edge, and overall strength.
As for the edge of the Officer, it is indeed razor-sharp and arrives that way right out of the box.
The blade itself is 2.9 in long which is perfect for an everyday carry knife.
The full open length of the Officer is just under 7 in, also a perfect size for a daily use knife.
The Office comes with a polyurethane leather sheath decorated with what looks like fake snakeskin. The sheath has a small snap on the front.
On the back of the sheath is a belt loop. To be honest, I’m pretty baffled by the inclusion of the sheath though.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the sheath to snap shut with the Officer inside.
I tried a number of different times and could never get the snap close enough to engage.
Maybe the fake leather needs to be heated or stretched more, but I don’t even really understand why the sheath was included with a knife that has an integrated pocket clip. Never mind the fact that the futuristic lines and design of the Officer clash pretty hard with the faux animal skin brown sheath.
To open the Officer, you press lightly on the nub on the back of the knife.
Since it is an assisted open knife, the Officer will swing open with ease. The nub then rotates around to act as a finger guard, preventing your hand from slipping forward onto the sharp blade.
The liner lock snaps into place and keeps the knife open until you engage it again to close the knife.
Opened or closed, the Officer felt great in my hand. I was continuously impressed with how sturdy the knife felt despite its incredible lightness.
The use of lightweight titanium alloy for the body was a smart decision.
Either hand gripped the Officer naturally with my fingers resting in comfortable positions.
The pocket clip is pretty stiff as I mentioned, and the Officer sits higher up than most of my pocket knives, but it was easy enough to retrieve when needed.
The blade’s M390 steel holds a wicked sharp edge as was evidenced by my quick shredding of an innocent piece of paper. Be very careful when handling this knife.
I regularly used the Officer for a few weeks without any major problems aside from the strap breaking off pretty early on. The blade is thinner than most of my other knives, but that’s more of a personal preference. After all of that use, the Officer has retained its edge without any signs of wear.
What I like
- Sleek design
- Very lightweight
- Great build quality and edge
What needs to be improved
- Integrated pocket clip very tight
- Knife doesn’t fit into the included polyurethane leather sheath
- Design of sheath clashes with knife design
The Officer #1 Samurai Folding Knife from Romance of Men will definitely make its way into my every day carry rotation. I really like the futuristic look of the knife as well as how the build materials keep it light in my hand yet super durable. I do question the usefulness and design of the polyurethane leather sheath as the removal of it could lessen the Officer’s $199 price tag, but others might appreciate its inclusion. Check out the Officer along with the other knives being offered by Romance of Men via the links below.