TEST SERIES BY MIKE PEARL
INITIAL REPORT - July 07, 2018
FIELD REPORT - September 18, 2018
LONG TERM REPORT - November 13, 2018
Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
5' 9" (1.75 m)
155 lb (70.30 kg)
I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season, learning to be a four-season backpacker and year-round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: www.deejo.fr
Listed Weight: 0.95 oz (27 g)
Listed Closed Length: 9 cm (3.5 in)
Listed Blade Length: 8 cm (3 in)
Listed Open Length: 17 cm (6-5/8)
Listed Thickness: 0.9cm (0.35 in)
My measurements confirm listed measures.
Finishing: Grey Titanium
Weight / Closed Length: 27 g / 9 cm (0.95 oz / 3.5 in)
Handle: Wood in Exotic Ash
The Deejo Pocket Knife comes in a variety of customizable configurations. There are three weights 15, 27 and 37 g (0.5, 0.95 and 1.3 oz) which translates to closed length of 7, 9 and 11 cm (2.75, 3.5 and 4.3 in) to choose from. The blade is available in three finishes: mirror-finished steel, grey titanium or black titanium. Handle options range from none (naked), plastic in eight colors, wood in five species or carbon fiber. The 15 g (0.5 oz) knife does not come with a handle option. A fine engraving or tattoo over one side the blade or blade and handle allow for selection from 68 options or no tattoo. Lastly up to 35 characters of text are available to inscribe on the handle to complete the customization.
Before receiving the knife I visited the Deejo website to create my very own custom knife. The site is very interactive and displays a new image of the knife every time a change is made. I was able to view the knife open or closed. The site allowed me to click and drag the knife rotating the image and making it viewable from any angle. Even selecting the weight changes the size of the knife displayed. Wondering how close the image compared to the actual knife I measured the image on the screen. It was extremely close making me feel more confident in the choices I was about to make.
The most challenging part of the process was selecting from the many tattoos available. So I moved on to weight and by default knife length. I knew I wanted the wood handle options so that eliminated the lightest one. Between the next two weights I went with the 27 g (0.95 oz), 9 cm (3.5 in) knife. My thought being I have never needed a big knife while backpacking. So I saved a little in weight and the small knife takes up less room in my pocket or pack.
Next I moved on to the handle and went with wood. I find all the wood varieties attractive and narrowed it down to two. I then considered the finish and really liked all three. But I soon ruled out black titanium as I was concerned about dropping it and losing it, especial if at night. So down to two woods and two finishes I starting going through tattoos. This was the most time consuming and I narrowed it down to six. At this point I was somewhat overwhelmed so I took a break.
When I revisited the site I was able to settle on a tattoo. This then made it much easier to select a finish that I liked with the tattoo. The wood selection became apparent for the way it looked with the blade finish. I did not go with an inscription as nothing sprang to mind, customizing is one thing but creativity is another. I easily clicked my way through the purchase and shipping pages and awaited delivery. This was probably the most fun internet store front I have experienced. The ability to select options, see the change and then view it from any angle made choosing the exact knife I wanted more assuring.
The Deejo knife arrived in less than a week. I removed a small black box with "deejo" printed on it from a plastic shipping bag. The box looks like one fine chocolates or quality ink pens are packaged in. Opening the box I found folded boxboard containing two stickers, a catalog of knives, instructions pamphlet and a small storage bag. Under the boxboard the knife is held snugly in a perfect fitted foam block. The package is just as detail orientated as the website. The level of the package makes this feel like more than just a knife. The package has the appearance of a gift. If I received this as a gift I would think it quite special.
The bag provided fits the knife perfectly and cinches closes with two drawstrings. The knife itself looks great. The shape and styling is very cool and rather artistic on the tattoo side. On the opposite belt clip side it's "naked" and looks utilitarian but still stylish.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
A Deejo Guide is found in the neat box containing the knife. The guide explains the parts, use, care of and warranty of the knife. Four illustrations show six labeled parts of the knife. Six illustrations show four functions of using the knife. These are all very clear and easy to understand. I would go as far as to say even without the illustrations and descriptions. But they are nice and show a well planned and designed product with attention to details.
The use directions also fall into the obvious, common sense category for me. Care instructions again fall into this grouping with the exception of the warning not to adjust the screw on the hinge. The screw is coated in thread lock glue. Damaging the thread lock could result in the blade coming loose.
The warranty is lifetime protection for the original customer from defect in material or workmanship. Damages from normal wear and tear, alterations, misuse, neglect, accident or service by non-authorized service centers are not covered under this warranty. After reading this I now understand why all the other "common sense" stuff is listed.
TRYING IT OUT
The knife is incredibly light. It easily swings open and locks in position with a gentle click. It closes just as easy, with a light press of my thumb the blade folds back down. Just before closing there's is a slight friction point and the blade stays securely in the closed position.
I am left handed and holding the open knife feels comfortable. My thumb rests nicely at the bend at the top of the belt clip. My index finger wraps around the opposite side and comfortably rest on the screw joint. My remaining fingers comfortably wrap around the handle with my pinky finger just barely hanging over the end.
The knife feels natural in my hand. I can easily move my thumb from the position described above to the back of the knife just behind the blade for applying pressure to the blade.
After doing this I switch to my right hand, being a lefty in a righty world has trained me to do this with just about everything. Now my index finger cradles in the bend at the top of the belt clip. My thumb rests against the screw joint. The tips of my remaining fingers rest comfortably against the wood handle. I find the knife much nicer to hold, open and close when held in the right hand. Additionally removing the knife from my right pocket makes opening the knife easier than from my left.
I think this would easily change if the handle, screw joint and belt clip all traded sides of the knife. Considering the degree of custom selection available providing a left or right hand option would truly personalize this knife for me. It looks very doable as the various parts are all removable. It appears they could simply be reassembled on the other side. The only mismatch would seem to be the tattoo on the handle and blade would no longer be on the same side. However I will adhere to the instructions provided and not modify the pocketknife in any way.
After gently cleaning the blade with mild soap and water I put it to its first use. I cut up a small apple for a snack. The knife slices through easily. It's so small and light it felt more like I was cutting with my hand than a knife. I still took great care to keep my other hand out of the way. The blade looks very sharp with an excellent edge to both sides. I was able to control and move the blade at various angles to cut close to the core of the apple. After I was done I rinsed and wiped off the blade. The tattoo is very noticeable as it's raised from the blade and textured. There was a slight rough feel against the towel reminiscent of light sandpaper.
The Deejo Custom Pocket Knife is a very cool, simple but elegant and functional knife. The customization process is interactive and slick. I like that it provides a very realistic view of what the knife will look like when delivered. The knife looks well made with quality materials. It opens, closes and cuts extremely smooth and near effortlessly. I would like to see a left-handed option made available at customization. I am excited to getting out on the trail with the Deejo for some outdoor use.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Mts. Flume and Liberty - Lincoln, NH
Distance and Elevation - 11 mi (18 km) from 1500 to 4450 ft (457 to 1356 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lb (7 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 78 F (25.5 C) breezy and clear
Balch Hill - Hanover, New Hampshire
Distance and Elevation - 5 mi (8 km) from 525 to 950 ft (160 to 290 m)
Temperature and Conditions - 80 F (27 C) hazy and humid
Monadnock - Sunapee Greenway, New Hampshire - Five days / Four nights
Distance and Elevation - 52 mi (84 km) from 1200 to 3165 ft (370 to 965 m)
Pack Weight - 38 lbs start / 28 lbs end (17 / 13 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 78 to 50 F (25.5 to 10 C) sunny and pleasant except for one night into
morning of heavy rain
I am listing only the hikes that I used the Deejo on. However I have carried it on several more hikes and even day to day, around town and home. At these times the Deejo safely and comfortably clips to my pants pocket or is stowed inside my pack hipbelt pocket.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
First thing, this knife is super light. I barely notice it when clipped to my pocket. While held it feels light and the handle compact but still ergonomic that the blade feels like part of my hand. Second thing is it is very sharp. It gently and smoothly slices through everything I have cut. I move my hand and the blade moves right along with it.
The first on trail need for a knife happened while hiking up the very steep rock slide on Mt Flume. I met two hikers coming down which shocked me as going up was difficult enough. Making matters worse one of them had a broken shoelace. They were trying to fix it with duct tape, having no spare laces. In my "emergency kit" I had enough parachute cord to tie a hundred shoes. The Deejo was called to action carefully cutting away the duct tape and slicing through the cord. Hiking boot fully functional again the two hikers were very appreciative. They were also impressed with the design on the Deejo blade, commenting that it was really cool.
On every hike I am looking for interesting things in the woods. One of my favorites are mushrooms for their interesting shapes, unique colors and particularly because some of them are edible. Weather conditions this summer have been excellent for mushrooms. On one of my local hikes I spied a large bloom of chicken of the woods mushroom. This is a fairly safe mushroom to pick as long as it is growing on a hardwood tree. Lucky for me it was and I had the Deejo at hand to trim several pieces from the large cluster. I even used it once back at home to cut the mushroom into strips for cooking.
I like having and feel a knife is an essential item while day hiking. That said it is rarer and more random that I use one day hiking. However on an overnight backpack I probably use a knife once a day. On our five day hike of the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway I used the Deejo many times. Although it was much less glorious as there were no shoelace rescues or wild foraging. But I cut lots of cord at the trail shelters as much of it was old, messy and poorly hung. We strung up new sections each evening to hang various items. At one of the shelters I brushed a battered board the wrong way while hanging some cord. I ended up with a splinter in my finger. I wiped the Deejo and my finger with an alcohol swab. Then very gently with the point of the knife opened the skin just enough to get at the splinter.
The Deejo participated in meal time as well. We had on-trail lunch of Bavarian bread, summer sausage and smoked Gouda. The Deejo made preparing this gourmet feast easy and fun. I don't leave coffee at home when backpacking. The best instant coffee I have found is Starbucks Viva. But the packets are small and early morning I sometimes find it hard to make a neat tear at the provided seam. Instead of risking spilling any precious grounds I used the Deejo to slice the top of the packet off. Thus insuring I can easily pour the entire contents into my cup. Maybe there's some coffee Deejo connection as to why I like this knife?
Every use of the Deejo has been satisfying. It opens easily and smoothly. It locks securely in the open position allowing for safe confident use. It is simple to unlock and smoothly closes. It remains closed when not in use, never slipping open. It stays in place when clipped to my pocket and is easy to remove when needed. And best of all it remains as sharp as when first used.
The Deejo Pocket Knife has served me well during Field Testing. It is unique and stylish even eliciting a complement. It is well made and sturdy. It remains in like new condition without visible wear to the blade. There is no loose play in the hinge joint. I have been nothing but happy with every cut I have made with this knife.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Long Trail, Vermont - Six Days / Five Nights
Distance and Elevation - 93.5 mi (150.5 km) from 328 to 4395 ft (100 to 1132 m)
Pack Weight - 37 lb start / 24 lb end (17 / 11 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 67 to 40 F (19 to 4 C) sunny and pleasant to cloudy and windy to drizzle and
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Not a whole lot to add after this phase of testing. The Deejo continues to be a sweet little pocket knife. I carried it on another week long hike using it much the same way with the same great results. The one additional task I used the Deejo for was fashioning a water bottle shower.
I use a 12 oz (355 ml) plastic bottle with a plastic screw to make it easier to draw water from shallow or slow moving water sources for filtering. This same bottle I use for rinsing off at the end of each day's hike. To make a nice spray of water I poke several holes in the plastic cap. Then by either inverting the bottle or squeezing I can spray and rinse myself with a simple portable outdoor shower.
I used the Deejo to make the shower for this hike at the first night's camp. The point on the Deejo is very fine and sharp. It very easily made nice holes with a little pressure and rotating of the blade. Proving once again the Deejo is functional as well as fun to use, making neat useful things out in the woods.
The Deejo Custom Pocket Knife was really fun to personally customize online. It was even more fun to put to use while hiking and backpacking. This knife is very lightweight yet sturdy and handled every task I put it to nicely. I cannot think of anything negative to say regarding this knife. It does what it is made to do and it does it very well. The blade was very sharp right out of the box and has remained so throughout this test. The Deejo is in like new condition showing no signs of wear. I have floated back and forth between several knives I own when considering which to take when backpacking. This is no longer an issue after using the Deejo. This will be my go-to backpacking knife for many hikes to come.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
This concludes my Long-Term Report. I would like to send my appreciation to Deejo and BackpackGearTest.org for making this test series possible.
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