CJRB Bowie Pryrite – Iconic blade shape in a pocket friendly format

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REVIEW – I love knives. A lot of us on the Gadgeteer staff do and I’m guessing you are too if you’re reading this. I love the uber expensive custom knives and the affordable folders you will actually carry on a daily basis. I’m not a knife steel nerd or snob so I’m not able to expound on the properties of any one particular steel or production method. Most of my knowledge comes from watching YouTube videos and Google searches, so take any of my “expertise” with a grain of salt. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the CJRB Bowie Pyrite. We haven’t reviewed CRJB often, but I was able to review the original CJRB Pyrite back in February of last year. You can find that here. It’s a great little knife, so when a new version came along, I was eager to give it a shot. Is it any good? Let’s check it out.

What is it?

The CJRB Bowie Pyrite is a new take on CJRB’s Pyrite with a classic Bowie style clip point blade of Artisan Cutlery own AR-RPM9 knife steel.

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What’s included?

  • Bowie Pyrite
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Zippered pouch

Tech specs

Click to expand

Blade Length 3.15″ (80mm)

Blade Thickness 0.11″(2.7mm)

Blade Finish Sand Polish

Blade Grind Flat

Blade Material AR-RPM9

Blade Hardness HRC59-61

Blade Style Clip Point

Handle Material Bolster+wood

Clip Material Steel

Pivot Assembly Ceramic Ball Bearing

Lock Type Button Lock

Overall Length 7.36″(187mm)

Closed Length 4.2″ (107mm)

Weight 97g/3.42oz


Design and features

The CRJB Bowie Pyrite I received has ebony wood handles but it’s also offered in rosewood and steel handles. Personally, I think the ebony wood is the best looking of the bunch.

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The Bowie Pyrtie isn’t a large knife despite looking like one. It’s overall length is a little over 7″ and in my big hands I get a three-finger grip unless I choke up on it and use the choil. The clip point is nice if you need to get in close. Resting my index finger on it and getting my middle finger in that choil certainly gives me finer control. I can see hunters and fisher people using it for skinning jobs and the like. That little bit of jumping is good too. Not overly aggressive. Just enough to give your thumb a little purchase.

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The Bowie Pyrite is a button-lock with a couple of grippy thumb studs making it fidget-friendly. It’s so fidget-friendly that it was banned from my living room because I wouldn’t set it down while watching TV. Man, my kids can be tough. This knife blade runs on a ceramic ball bearing but for some reason it’s not as smooth as I expected. The best way I can describe it is bumpy. It was pretty stiff right out of the box but did break in quickly after playing it with it. It’s still bumpy but opens and closes better.

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It has a non-reversible deep carry pocket clip. It’s pretty basic but the edges are smooth and it’s stiff enough to keep it in your pocket

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I really like the look of the metal bolsters with the ebony wood handles. I think it’s a very classy look, and if you look closely, you’ll notice the steel liners are rounded as well.

cjrb bowie pyrite 8The blade is dead center so good on you Artisan Cutlery.

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room that I saw pop up on YouTube over the weekend regarding Artisan Cutlery’s AR-RPM9. Here’s what Artisan Cutlery has to say about the AR-RPM9 knife steel on their About Us page on their website:

In 2020 Artisan Cutlery decided to formulate and manufacture our own steel due to an overwhelming demand for higher-performance steel for our value-oriented products. Rather than switching over to premium steel and significantly increasing the cost of our products, we sat down and discussed the merits of designing our own steel from the ground up that could meet the needs of our consumers without the high cost of most premium steel on the market. The result was AR-RPM9.

AR-RPM9 is powder-form stainless steel with properties that make it ideal for daily-carry knives. Boasting high hardness and superior toughness thanks to the powdering process AR-RPM9 stands toe-to-toe with several premium steel varieties and surpasses many of them in overall durability and corrosion resistance, but the biggest secret of AR-RPM9 lies somewhere else. We have done a huge amount of testing on AR-RPM9 in various forms both at our main facility with sophisticated machines and in the US with a variety of physical and chemical tests ranging from the mundane to the extreme. The thing that became most apparent about AR-RPM9 over the several months of testing was it’s exceptionally sharpenable, even after rigorous tasks that dulled the edge entirely it only took a few minutes to bring the blade back to a razor-sharp edge, but unlike most other steels that exhibit this trait, AR-RPM9 maintains that sharpened edge for an extraordinarily long time, meaning that this steel can be quickly sharpened and maintained in the field and be ready for a whole day of work without dulling out. We are always happy to see that our hard work designing and testing a whole new material has paid off so well, and we always look forward to hearing what our customers think when they try AR-RPM9 for the first time.

AR-RPM9 is a new proprietary steel designed by Artisan Cutlery that will be used for both folding knives and fixed blades. RPM9 has been formulated to offer balanced performance at a reasonable price point.Knives that are produced using this steel are: highly corrosion resistant, maintain a fine sharp edge for an extended period of time, and can be easily maintained and sharpened. We have used a powdered metallurgy process to keep the grain structure of this steel exceptionally fine which improves the overall quality and performance of the steel over time.

Then I was doing my usual YouTube surfing and came across this video from Knife Steel Nerds. Firstly, don’t look at the thumbnail below and think the blade broke. They cut the blade into sections for their testing purposes.

Not being a knife steel nerd myself, I can’t speak to the quality of the AR-RPM9 knife steel or whether Artisan is taking some liberties in their description of it, but I thought I needed to include this so you can make your own decision.

What I like about CJRB Bowie Pyrite

  • Affordability
  • Looks
  • Attention to details

What needs to be improved?

  • The bearing needs work
  • Clarification on AR-RPM9 steel

Final thoughts

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I think the CJRB Bowie Pyrite is a fine knife. It’s even a step up to the original in my opinion. It arrived centered and sharp straight out of the box, albeit a little stiff. The price, size, and shape make it good for everyday carry and I think it’s worth a look if you’re in the market for this type of knife. Just do a little research to decide if the knife steel composition makes a difference to you. This isn’t a safe queen and I think it’s fine as a working person’s knife. I’m not much of a clip point man myself, but I think the Bowie Pyrite looks great.

Price: $59.99
Where to buy: Artisan Cutlery
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by Artisan Cutlery. Artisan Cutlery did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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