Rugged, Functional Schrade SCH104 Folding Knife – Review
So, while I was at SHOT Show this year, I visited the Schrade booth and was impressed AND surprised by the total rebrand of the company and their new lineup of knives and survival tools.
AND with the great response we’ve gotten from our review of the Schrade SCHF9 survival knife… I decided to take a look at more Schrade gear over the coming months…
So today we’ll start by taking a quick look at a tough, NEW tactical-looking folder from Schrade – the SCH104L.
The Schrade SCH104L is a smart looking, rugged and functional, folding pocket knife that comes in 2 versions… the SCH104L which has a 100% fine edge AND the SCH104LS which has a partially serrated edge.
The blade is designed to open with one hand for lefties or righties through the use of solid metal thumb studs on either side of the blade.
This knife is totally manual and NOT spring assisted in any way.
The blade snaps securely in place through the use of one of the thickest frame locks we have seen to date…
The knife has an OPEN length of about 8.5 inches or 21.5 centimeters.
AND it safely stores in the handle by pushing the frame lock to the side with one hand and closing the blade with the other… AND has a closed length of about 5 inches or 12.7 centimeters.
The SCH104L has a drop point blade and is about 3.7 inches or 9.4 centimeters long from handle to tip.
This blade has some nice lines, with a false edge on the spine and a primary bevel that give it a bit of a tactical or fighting knife look.
For blade steel, Schrade selected 9Cr18Mov, high-carbon, stainless steel for this knife… which is about the same steel composition that is used in the Bear Grylls Ultimate PRO survival knife and is similar to 440B and AUS-8 stainless in edge retention, hardness and corrosion resistance.
So 9Cr18Mov is a very good quality steel for a knife in this price and performance category.
The blade is further protected from corrosion with what seems to be a durable matte-finish, titanium coating.
My knife came shaving sharp and still is after a few weeks of everyday carry in my pocket and has performed well in a boatload of cutting tasks.
The width of the blade steel is well over an 1/8 of an inch or about .14 inches or 3.6 millimeters which is quite a bit thicker than many folders in this size range.
On the blade spine toward the handle…. you will see a thumb cutout for better leverage when doing fine tasks and a few rows of jimping on the handle for added grip.
The blade on either knife is attached to the handle using a single, thick pivot pin. And my blades had no wiggle between the knife and the handle even after several weeks of use.
The back of the handle and frame lock is made out of the same steel and coating as the blade and has a rugged steel pocket clip that holds the knife firmly in the pocket.
Now just to make things clear… this pocket clip is not designed for belt carry.
Belt carry clips normally have deep, defined indent so that your knife stays put on your belt and does not easily slip off.
Pocket clips are normally smooth at the end and fasten the knife to your outer pocket… yet make it easy to slide it out of your pocket when grabbed with the thumb and forefinger.
On the other side of the handle the knife has an inner stainless steel frame for stability and strength with a nicely contoured and textured black G10 handle on the outside.
Both sides of the handle have a matching forefinger cutout and ergonomic curve that fits my other fingers nicely.
Although this knife can certainly be used in your left or right hand… it is decidedly more comfortable in my right hand.
However, the knife is actually more resistant to slipping in my left hand as the G10 scale side of the handle is naturally gripped against my palm.
But regardless of what hand you use… the knife should function well.
For extended use… your hands will thank you for gloves due to the exposed pocket clip and hex bolts that slightly rise above the handle surface.
The knife is held together by 3 posts with hex nuts on either side of the handles.
And finally you will see a lanyard hole toward the butt of the handle.
So we rate the SCH104L and SCH104LS at a solid 4 out of 5 stars in the $30-$40, medium-sized folding knife category for their quality, high carbon stainless steel, attractive and durable coating, the extra thick frame lock, large and thick blade, their design and details, precision fit and finish, and the rugged, functional styling. We also like that this knife is offered in both a 100% fine edge and partially serrated version.
We took off a star because in an extended use, or survival situation this knife can be a bit rough on your hands because of several rounded but slightly protruding hex nuts and the extra large pocket clip on the back side of the handle.
So Who is this Pocket Knife for?
The Schrade SCH104L and SCH104LS are very affordable, stout and handsome pocket knives for everyday carry, hunting, fishing, camping, backpacking, general daily use… as backup survival or emergency knives and either knife would also make a great gift.
If you want a smaller, super lightweight and more compact pocket knife for everyday carry, check out my review of the Bear Grylls Compact Scout Knife.
If you want a Tactical / Rescue Knife… check out the Gerber Hinderer Combat Life Saver.
If you want a pocket folder for hunting… check out the Buck Vantage Force Hunting Knife…
And if you want a sweet folding knife for survival and bushcraft… check out the Gerber Gator – fine edge – drop point knife.