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Reviews > Knives > Folding > Deejo Custom Knife > Test Report by Andrea Murland
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, Europe, and Nepal. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, and prefer to be hut-based for overnight trips. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
Weight/closed length: 27 g, 9 cm closed
Handle: Wood, Juniper
Finishing: Grey Titanium
Inscription: not all who wander are lost
DescriptionThe Deejo is a stainless steel folding knife which locks open. The blade, handle, and belt clip are made from 2CR13 stainless steel. When closed, the edge of the blade sits in a groove in the wood of my handle, and the design on the blade is visible. When open, the blade sits against the blade stopper, which prevents it from opening any farther than to 180 degrees. To keep the blade locked open, part of the handle “springs” into place behind the blade, under the screw joint. Deejo calls this the “liner lock” safety locking system. To close the knife, I have to push this section of handle back out of the way. There’s an imprint of the text “PRESS” where I need to push to make sure I get it right. My chosen inscription is visible on the handle with the blade open.
The Deejo came with a small carry bag which perfectly fits the knife. It also came with some instructions, most of which are quite self-explanatory. There is a note that the screw on the hinge should not be tightened or loosened, as it includes a glued joint. Trying to adjust the screw can cause the glue to break and then the screw to frequently need adjustment. The safety notes are what I’d expect for a knife – that it’s sharp, to open & close it with two hands, and not to pry things with it.
The Deejo website shows a number of pre-configured options available, but the knife is fully customizable, which is the process that I was able to go through – the details of that are in the following section.
Customizing & OrderingI was able to fully customize my Deejo on the website before ordering it. The website was intuitive and interactive, allowing me to choose options in any order I wished, and showing me a preview of how the knife would look with those options. The price also updated as I changed options. I was able to rotate the knife to see it from multiple angles at each stage, as well as view the knife closed and open.
The first choice that I made was the size of knife. There are three sizes available, named after their weight and closed length. I wanted something light and small, but not so small as to not be useful, so I chose the middle size of 27 g/9 cm. Choosing the size also determined what other options were available to me.
For handle options I was immediately drawn to the natural-looking wood options, though I did toy with the idea of a bright colour to make it easier to find if I dropped it. I settled on juniper wood as juniper is a plant that is native to the area where I live.
The inscription was an easy choice for me as a bit of a Tolkien geek. As I type in the inscription the site counts down the number of characters I have remaining, so it’s easy to know if a chosen text is too long. There are five fonts available.
Picking the tattoo was by far the hardest part for me. There are 69 (I think) different options. I narrowed it down to four, polled a few friends, and finally settled on the “climbing” tattoo. A few of the tattoos include printing on the handle as well, which then disabled the option for an inscription. The tattoo list was the hardest part of the website to navigate for me, as there is no way to quickly scroll through the list and pick one that I wanted to see; the only way to get to a specific one was to click through the list one-by-one until I got to it.
Once I’d picked the tattoo I wanted, it was a quick choice to pick my grey titanium finish. It was simply the one that I thought looked best.
Here is what the website showed me for my customized Deejo:
Initial Impressions & Trying It OutThe knife arrived very rapidly from France after I placed my order, which was pretty impressive. It shipped the day after I ordered. Once it arrived, I was immediately struck by how beautiful the knife is. The construction, customization, and tattoo and wood make it look very classy. It also feels very light in my hand.
I tried the knife out to cut some semi-hard cheese, something that I’m likely to be cutting on the trail. The knife had no trouble cutting the cheese at all. The knife is comfortable to hold, with my thumb sitting behind the screw joint and below the wood handle, and my forefinger sitting just in front of the bump on the belt clip.
SummaryThe Deejo is a customizable stainless steel folding knife that is visually striking as well as promises to be perfectly functional for cutting. So far I can’t think of anything I don’t like about it.
Field ConditionsI have taken the Deejo Knife on two backpacking trips as well as a three week long camping road trip over the past two months.
Five-day hike (The Rockwall): This hike totalled 55 km (34 mi) of backpacking, plus about 12 km (7.5 mi) of day hiking. The trailhead elevation was 1340 m (4400 ft) and the camps ranged in elevation from 1700 m to 2050 m (5580-6725 ft). Overnight temperatures got as low as freezing and weather conditions varied between hot sun, rain, and hail, with hiking temperatures up to 25 C (77 F).
Three-day hike (The Skyline): This hike was a 44.1 km (27.4 mi) backpack, with days 12.2 km (7.6 mi), 17.4 km (10.8 mi), and 14.5 km (9.0 mi) long. We started at 1700 m (5580 ft) and finished at 1150 m (3770 ft), with camps around 2050 m (6725 ft). It froze both nights and weather was partially cloudy with lots of smoke, with hiking temperatures up to just below 25 C (77 F).
Road Trip: This car-camping trip included 17 days where I did some food preparation of my own, usually breakfast and lunch. Elevations were around sea level and daytime temperatures were typically around 25 C (77 F).
On both backpacking trips, I used the Deejo to cut salami and cheese for lunches. On my road trip, I expanded the menu to also include pickles and cucumbers.
ObservationsThe Deejo has worked well for me as a knife for backpacking and travel. The most important thing: it hasn’t had any trouble with cutting any of the things that I’ve used it for. It easily slices through salami with medium pressure and some back-and-forth movement. Semi-hard cheese has been easy to slice with simply a medium push, and the knife has been consistent in achieving a slice of cheese rather than squishing it, something that I was quite impressed with after the cheese had been in my pack in warm weather for five days. Cucumber posed no challenge. The largest slicing challenge that I’ve had has been finding surfaces to cut on, both from a cleanliness standpoint and also with the knife in mind. I was always hesitant about taking the knife all the way through when I was trying to cut on a rock, for fear of dulling it.
The knife is comfortable to hold in my hand and I like the size that I picked – big enough to do what I need while hiking, but not bigger than necessary. I did notice that I find that my thumb sometimes sits right on the “PRESS” mark, so if I exert any pressure the knife wants to fold. Thankfully when that happens I’m also exerting force to cut, which keeps the blade open, so it hasn’t had any effect on my ability to cut or safety.
The knife is generally easy to wipe off, though I did have some cheese get stuck around the screw for a few days. It’s easy to wash after the fact as well.
There are a couple of things that I noticed while testing the Deejo that surprised me. They are less a reflection on the knife itself than my personal backpacking style, but they influence my thoughts about the knife overall. I am usually in the habit of slicing my salami and cheese at home before backpacking trips, so that all I have to do at lunch is eat it. I found the extra step of having to slice it actually discouraging me from eating that food. Rather than having a morning snack, my crackers/salami/cheese lunch, and an afternoon snack, I’d burn through both snacks at my first two breaks and only bother with the slicing option when I was out of the easier options. My backpacking partners on both trips had simple lunch food, so I felt like having to produce my lunch was holding things up. The other thing that I noted was that the Deejo was an additional item to carry rather than a replacement. I’ve never carried a simple knife while hiking, but always carry a multi-tool. Although the Deejo is vastly superior to the knife on my multi-tool, I still carried the tool in case I needed any of the other functions on it.
One final thought: every time I open the Deejo knife, I pause to admire it. It really is a beautiful piece of work.
SummarySo far the Deejo has been up to any cutting task I’ve set for it. It is comfortable to use, light, beautiful, and functional. I have yet to determine how it will fit into my backpacking kit on a long-term basis, but right now I am looking forward to taking it into the cooler temperatures of fall to test.
Field ConditionsAs winter has arrived this year, my use of the Deejo knife has scaled back. I have taken it on one further overnight trip, as well as five day hikes.
Overnight hike: This quick overnight hike was only about 10 km (6.2 mi), with a 600 m (1970 ft) elevation gain. The camp was at 1860 m (6100 ft) on snow. Overnight temperature was about -5 C (23 F), with daytime temperatures around freezing. I used the Deejo knife to cut salami and cheese.
Day Hikes: The five day hikes that I took the knife on ranged in length from 10 km to 17 km (6.2-10.6 mi). High temperatures ranged from around freezing up to about 15 C (60 F), and they were all on trails. I didn’t use the knife much on any of these trips, as for day hikes I tend to pack lunches that don’t require preparation. One time I used it for cutting up an apple in the field.
ObservationsI have continued to enjoy having the Deejo in my pack. Everyone who sees it admires it as a beautiful piece of very sharp work!
The knife continues to easily cut cheese, sausage, and fruit. It is easily cleaned at home, though the texture of the pattern on the blade doesn’t wipe off on fingers as easily as the smooth side of the blade. The knife looks as good as new after a few months of use and being carried around.
Although I enjoy having a lightweight, sharp knife with me for cutting up lunch, I found that I couldn’t replace my multi-tool with just the knife. I think that the Deejo will probably spend more time in my day hiking pack than my backpacking pack, as I’m not willing to backpack without a few more tool options.
SummaryThe Deejo knife is comfortable to use, light, beautiful, and functional. It cut everything that I put in front of it with no trouble. It doesn’t fit into my backpacking gear, but I will certainly continue to use it!
Beautiful & Customizable
Good cutting performance
Comfortable to hold
Can’t replace anything I’m already carrying
Thanks to Deejo and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this beautiful knife!
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Reviews > Knives > Folding > Deejo Custom Knife > Test Report by Andrea Murland
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