Vosteed Raccoon Crossbar Cleaver folding knife review – budget knife of the year contender?

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Vosteed Raccoon Cleaver 01

REVIEW – A few months ago I reviewed the original Vosteed Raccoon Button lock and shortly after the Raccoon Crossbar lock version which has become one of my favorite EDC knives since. The Raccoon lineup is now expanding once again by adding a cleaver style blade. Let’s see what it has to offer.

What is it?

The Vosteed Raccoon Crossbar Cleaver is Vosteed’s newest everyday carry knife which brings the line up to 25 variations now. The Raccoon series already had plenty of options to choose from such as micarta, G10, or aluminum handles and Sandvik 14C28N or Nitro-V steel, along with black powder coating or not but they all sported the same drop point style blade. The new Cleaver style blade adds another blade shape to the line up and you can choose the new blade with either a button lock or crossbar.

Vosteed Raccoon Cleaver 02

What’s in the box?

  • The Raccoon Crossbar Cleaver with green micarta handle
  • Soft case with small Velcro patch
  • Support card, wanted sticker, spare lock springs, cleaning cloth

Hardware specs

  • Model: RCC32VWM4
  • Blade Material: Sandvik 14C28N
  • Handle Material: Micarta in black or green
  • Blade Shape: Cleaver
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Finish: Black coated stonewash or Grey Stonewash
  • Hardness: HRC 60 +/- 2
  • Lock Mechanism: Crossbar lock (non-adjustable tension)
  • Opener: Thumb stud
  • Overall Length: 7.60” or 193.00mm
  • Blade Length: 3.25” or 82.43mm
  • Blade Width: 1.08” or 27.32mm
  • Blade Thickness: 0.118” or 3.00mm
  • Handle Length: 4.35” or 110.57mm
  • Handle Width: 1.10” or 27.95mm
  • Handle Thickness: 0.50” or 12.70mm
  • Weight: 3.01 oz or 85.33 g
  • Pocket Clip: Stainless, reversible, tip up
  • Country of Origin: China

Design and features

The Vosteed Raccoon Crossbar Cleaver sports a very usable 3.25” cleaver style blade in 14C28N steel which is a good mid range steel made by Sandvik in Sweden. It’s known for good toughness, corrosion resistance, and ease of sharpening.

The Vosteed Raccoon cleaver is nearly identical to the drop point Raccoon. One change is the cleaver did not come with a tin case or large Vosteed patch. It does come with spare crossbar springs which the drop point did not but the price has stayed the same at $59.

Vosteed Raccoon Cleaver 05
Handles look identical from the drop point version on top to the new cleaver style below

The only difference in the actual knives that I can tell is the cleaver does not have a back spacer now and despite using what seems to be the exact same steel liners the cleaver’s crossbar lock is not adjustable although the drop point version is.

Performance

The cleaver style or sheepsfoot blade is a little heavier duty than the drop point. It also puts the tip and cutting edge lower which helps with wrist alignment during cutting tasks. The cleaver has a very usable edge and belly shape for easy cutting. The subtle stonewash finish has a nice pattern to it.

The ball bearings on the pivot are buttery smooth and have zero play. The crossbar lock feels very solid and secure. When closed the blade nestles nicely in the handle and has a sleek profile.

The crossbar tension is not adjustable although the drop point version is. I found the tension perfect though and it was nice that they included two replacement springs in case they do wear out.

The micarta handle is very comfortable and fits the hand nicely. There is a lanyard loop and the pocket clip is reversible.  It sits nicely in the pocket and is easy to withdraw.

What I like

  • The cleaver style blade feels more heavy duty than the drop point
  • Ambidextrous

What I’d change

  • I’m a big fan of flippers so I’m hoping a Raccoon Flipper is in the works

Final thoughts

Vosteed Raccoon Cleaver 118

The original Raccoon button lock was my instant favorite and then the crossbar version has been my daily work carry since. Vosteed then says we’re not done yet and adds the Cleaver style blade which shows their commitment to improving previous designs and not just moving on to a new model. The Raccoon is already such a great knife that at this point the only thing I can hope for is they add a flipper version on the next one. For $59 the Vosteed Raccoon is in my view a top contender for the best budget EDC knife of the year. Vosteed has hit a home run with all 25 variations of the Raccoon and the Cleaver just gives you another great option.

Price: $59.00
Where to buy: Vosteed website
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Vosteed.

1 thought on “Vosteed Raccoon Crossbar Cleaver folding knife review – budget knife of the year contender?”




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  2. My overall impression is a nice looking knife at a reasonable price. I would describe it as more of a sheepsfoot than a cleaver. I see you do describe it as such later in the article. Which makes it a bit more versatile and useful than a true cleaver. I also really like the clip point look shown in the “wanted poster” that comes in the box. Is that a current or coming option? Except for some specific applications I find either a drop point or clip point more useful than a sheepsfoot blade.
    It would be nice to have D-2 steel as another low cost option. I personally find it easier to sharpen, and it has a nice look. A bit more satiny even without giving it an intentional satin finish. This would also rock in S35VN.
    As to the backspace present on the original model, it probably made the handle more structurally sound. But it will be easier to clean without it.
    I’ve never had a knife with an adjustable crossbar tension. I didnt even know that was a thing? I’m not sure whether to regard the two replacement springs ad an added bonus or a sign of potential problems to come? I’ve never received those with a knife either. And I’ve owned a lot of knives. But as they say, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
    The handle shape and micarta scales stand out as the best part of this knife. Micarta is my favorite handle material. When done right, retaining the rough, grippy canvas texture. Some companies like buck, on its pro series, screw it up by polishing it smooth. You may as well save some money and buy the cheaper phenolic version. In contrast I love the texture of their richlite micarta-like scales on their alpha series of fixed blades. I also love the finger guard and choil. It looks like a very secure grip
    This looks like a well made and attractive knife for the price.

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