View Full Version : Review - Mike Davis "Line knife"/ Tom Mclean Saya

07-20-2013, 11:58 PM
This is my first review I have ever posted, So hopefully goes well:)

A couple months back I bought the 240mm "Line Knife" from Mike Davis, It exceeded my expectations. I liked it so much that I sent it away to Tom for a saya ( I felt like it deserved a saya) The saya turned out to exceed my expectations to, that's why I felt the need to do a review.

First up is the Mike Davis 240mm "Line knife", ( gyuto/suji cross without the funny name) with red eucalyptus handle, musk ox space, and afican blackwood ferrule/ end cap.


When I frst received this knife, I was amazed. the profile is like a suji, but it has a taller heel height and is thicker at the spine ( as far as I know, I have never owned a suji, yet :biggrin: ) but with a really nice taper to a fine point. The knife is made out of 1095 steel with Mike hamon. I really like his hamon and I dn't know if he did this on purpose but the hamon breaks for a bit and that is where he put his makers mark (the jollyroger) I think it looks great.

Edge Retention 7/10

I have not used or owned any knives in 1095 steel before so it is a little hard for me to evaluate this part but Mike did say to me it is similar to white steal ( I can't remember if he said 1 or 2). I found that the edge lost its super sharp edge fairly quickly, but a few strops on some leather did bring that sharpness back. The edge seemed to want to plateau, it wasn't razor sharp but still had a toothey enough edge to slice tomatoes. After the first day of work the edge did need a little touch up so I wanted to just touch it up on my red aoto, and it got sharp fast!

Sharpness 10/10

Wow! can this knife ever get sharp, i'm not the greatest sharpener in the world, actually not that good at all. But I could get a really sharp edge on it with my red aoto. I was slicing tomatoes like salty does in his videos ( not nearly as thin as him)

Blade profile 10/10

I have never owned a suji before ( unless you count the global g-18) but I instantly fell in love with this profile. Amazing for slicing meats on the line, and just as versatile when you are prepping. The blade has a nice thickness to it and feels really sturdy, has a really nice distal taper down to a fine point. It has a convex grind, the spine and choil are rounded and polished.

Handle 10/10

I didn't notice this in the pictures when I bought it ( probably because I was excited) but the red eucalyptus is striped, so it has a really nice 3d effect to it. The handle is almost perfect, everything is completely smooth except one little part where the muskox meets with the blackwood. You cant feel it when you are holding it, but if you run your fingernail along the bottom of the knife where they meet, you can feel a tiny ( and I mean tiny) bump. other then that it is amazing.

overall 10/10
Mike did a superb job! I am for sure going to be getting a custom knife from him now ( when I get more funds :biggrin:) He does some amazing work and this blade became my everyday "Line knife" it replaced a konosuke hd2 210mm petty and my 240mm yoshikane.

Now on to the Tom McLean saya.

When Tom posted that he was going to make saya I was excited. So when he asked me what I would like for materials all I said to him was match the saya to the handle as best as you can, and WOW did he ever do a good job!


I ended up taking more pictures with the saya on because for some reason I just couldn't get good pictures of the knife ( I really need to learn how to take better pictures)

F/F 10/10

The Fit and Finish on the saya really turned out nice, smooth to the touch, no rough surface anywhere.
The wood on the main body ( I forgot to ask Tom what the materials are) has an almost stripped appearance to it, the grain on it is amazing!. The ebony pin ( I think) really compliments the whole piece. The finger groove feels just like the rest of the body, and the contour really makes it easy to slide the knife in and out, and very stylish. the saya is a nice friction fit so no need for a pin, but looks amazing with one.

Design 10/10

I only have one other sandwhich style saya, that would be a Eamon Burke saya. I personally would say that Tom did a way better job,(I don't mean to step on any toes) but I am only saying this because the saya I have from Eamon was bought from the place we don't mention, so it was not a custom fit saya ( I bought the saya for a tojiro bread knife at a different time then when I bought the knife)Toms design is amazing, for a sandwhich style saya, it is thin!

overall 10/10

Tom did an amazing job, hands down. all I said to him was match the materials to the handle, and he deffinetly did a way better job then what I could hope to do (which I hope to try one day) It really is an amazing saya, if you want to pretty up one of your favourite knives, or even just need some protection for a knife, I would recommend getting one from him.

07-21-2013, 12:25 AM
Great review and pics. Thanks for sharing.

07-21-2013, 12:30 AM
Nice review, CanadianMan!

07-21-2013, 12:38 AM
Great review. A couple talented craftsmen!

07-21-2013, 12:54 AM
Good to see ya having fun with that Davis Trev, I miss rocking the line with you my friend. Just not the same without you. Oh and great review. How is the spine? I know my Davis has a really wide spine with a super sexy taper to the edge, looks big, but she works just fine.

07-21-2013, 09:43 AM
Thanks guys!!

I'm having lots of fun with the Davis, The spine is very similar to you mini scimitar, nice and thick abov the heel with a really good taper to and extremely fine point, such a thin point it I couldn't photograph it.