REVIEW – The FreeTiger FT51 pocket knife is one sharp cookie – cutter. Sorry if I said that in a previous review, but I was immediately impressed with the sharpness of the blade on this knife and the ‘no cheap feel,’ knowing this knife costs under $30. How will it stand up to my normal daily use for a month? Will its parts and pieces stay tight for the duration? How will the blade edge hold up? Let’s do the review.
What is it?
The FreeTiger FT51 is a folding pocket knife.
What’s in the box?
- FreeTiger FT51 knife
- Drawstring pouch
- Promotional card
- Overall length: 8.07”
- Blade Length: 3.54”
- Handle length: 4.61”
- Blade width: 1.1” (widest point)
- Blade thickness: 0.12”
- Blade material: K110 steel
- Handle: G10 / Carbon fiber
- Hardness: 59-60HRC
- Surface: sanding
- Weight: 3.9 ounces
- Ball Bearing System
- Liner Lock
Design and features
The FreeTiger FT51 CF (carbon fiber) knife has a nice, sharp edge. The blade and handle material, and all the fittings and operation of the knife give no clue to the low price of this knife.
I always check for factory debris or oil on a new knife. The best ones don’t have any, and the FreeTiger FT51 was clean and clear on arrival.
The FreeTiger FT51 was paper-edge-cutting-sharp out of the box, and needed no edge touch-up. The FT51 has the longest blade of any of my folding knives.
The flipper opening process became easier with a day of use, yet the knife never developed any looseness or rattle of any parts. The blade has no side-to-side movement if I check for play when it is open. When closed, the knife is appropriately tight and secure.
The FreeTiger FT51 is not a speed-opener blade. The flipper tip made me ‘ouch’ a few times if I didn’t land my fingertip on it just right. I found that a wrist-flick while pulling on the flipper tip usually made for more certain blade deployment.
The flip opener tab can cause pain if the finger lands on its edge. I’ll probably sand the edges down a bit with my belt sander sharpener.
Late in my testing, there were times I’d attempt to open the blade, and as my fingertip dragged down the center of the flipper tab, the blade didn’t deploy. That was less than comfortable on the ol’ fingertip. The knife always seems to open more surely with a solid wrist flick.
The FreeTiger FT51 Pocket Knife is nicely machined, and there are no cheap-feel, sharp areas on the knife handle or blade to nick the hand or pocket, which might be expected for a knife in the sub $30 price range.
The pocket clip is a touch more aggressive than it needs to be at the tip. I can feel it prominently when removing it from a pocket quickly. It could probably cut my hand in a fight with a bear, not so much from being sharp but because it’s, well, prominent. I bent the tip of the clip a bit downward towards the knife handle, which calmed it down. The clip metal is made of cheaper material, as you can see from its edges in the photo above.
During my testing the FreeTiger FT51 Pocket Knife held its edge as I did home chores requiring a sharp knife.
What I like
- Unique look to the blade
- Price is great
- Performance of the knife was near perfect throughout the review testing
What I’d change
- The flipper tab needs to be calmed down a bit
- The pocket clip edge would be better if bent a little toward the knife handle
Just before submitting this review, I checked the FT51 edge by cutting the edge of printer paper and it still shaved slices of paper. I didn’t cut cinder blocks during my testing, but I opened boxes, cut nylon webbing, cut a plastic coffee can in half (for a craft), and used the knife daily as my EDC knife. I think the FreeTiger FT51 CF would be a worthy purchase. While it isn’t a ‘speed opener’ pocket knife, I think it would serve you well if you’re prepared to open it two-handed or by practicing a strong wrist-flick while pulling on the flipper tab.