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Sunday, 23 July 2023 08:50

Orion Knives Cetus

Written by

Orion Knives is a fairly new company that's been around since 2019. David says Orion Knives combine his love of mechanisms and design. He found early on that he was fascinated with mechanisms and workmanship. The name of the company, as well as the logo, holds a special place for him as he has 3 boys and their favorite constellation is Orion. This was going to be the model name of the initial knife, but it turned into the name of the brand.

The naming of their products come from constellations, the one I'm taking a look at today is the Cetus. The Cetus (sometimes known as the whale) is one of the largest constellations in the sky. The name comes from the shape and look of the knife when in the open position rather than the size of the model. The curved spine provides a bit of an optical illusion as the cutting edge looks like a recurve. The edge is straight with a small belly at the blade tip providing ease of sharpening.

The Cetus comes in a couple different configurations, I'm checking out the stonewashed and black G10 version. Some others comes with a black blade as well as Amboya wood handles. I chose to go with G10 because I was afraid in my clumsiness, I'd drop this knife and have the wood crack, maybe I'm reaching, but with me you never know.

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The Cetus comes with an overall handle length 4.57 with a griping area of 3.95. The length and arc of the handle make this one of the most comfortable knives I've ever handled. Besides the subtle curve there's barely an index notch to breakup the shape of the handle. The handle does have a bit of a forward guard in front of the index area, this design element helps prevent your hand from accidently sliding forward and helps hide the flipper tab when open. One of the more interesting designs choices for the handle, is the show side is made of aluminum while the lock side remains stainless steel. There's is a visual difference between the two materials, and I'm sure there's some weight saving as a result. The G10 has some texture to it, but doesn't add any significant grip to the handle. I feel the shape and width of the handle make it easier to handle than any texture would (or is that wood?).

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The blade of the Cetus is of sheepsfoots style that's 3.6 inches long with a deep hollow grind. Sheepsfoot and Wharncliffe blades are all the rage right now, with a lot of pokey stabby blades out there it's kind of a nice change. Due to the shape, your less likely to poke something inadvertently and the robust tip can take some abuse. I found the hollow grind makes it a great slicer, it goes through stuff extremely easy. The blade gave me some difficulty in some situations, but it was due to blade shape and not sharpness. The blade comes in 14C28N, this steel is seriously blowing up as the go to for budget steels. It performs really well and it's nice to see something more stainless than D2.

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Deploying the blade is done via a flipper tab on back, it's a rather sloped tab with some jimping on it. I found I had to be deliberate in launching the blade depending on how I was holding the knife. The knife being upsidedown was easier to deploy than right side up. I feel the angle of the flipper tab doesn't give me enough to successfully launch it every time. The knife comes with a stylistic thumb hole and a fuller that can be used to middle finger flick. The hole in the blade is more artistic and not so much a true method for opening the knife. The hole is recessed some and really smooth so grabbing it with your thumb is less reliable than the flipper tab. On the upside the pivot bearings make the action super smooth and flicking isn't restricted in any way.

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The lock on the Cetus is a frame lock, although David refers to it as a hybrid frame lock. He feels that people can accidently put pressure on the lock bar when opening the knife, causing friction against the blade. The scales on the handle keep this from happening and also benefit by preventing over travel of the lock bar. I'm starting to see this some and it can be more attractive than an over travel stop or lock bar stabilizer.

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I love a well designed pocket clip and the Cetus has a extremely deep one. It has just the right amount of scoop at the end and it's anchored behind the handle scales making it flush and seamless with the design. I know I sound like a broken record but this is also another trend I'm seeing. I have no qualms about this and I'm happy to see companies adopting well designed features from today's knives.

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On the whole I really like the Cetus, it's just the right size for an everyday knife and it cuts really well. I love the style and the fact that Orion has a sort of theme for their knives. It has some slight quirks and they don't detract from the package as a whole. I look forward to seeing this company grow and seeing what else they have in the works.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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