In the past, It might have been good advice to stay clear of knives made by gunmakers. That said, today many gunmakers are in the knife game and the quality can be quite good. I first got my hands on the tactical line by Browning at the 2015 Blade Show. I actually got a pretty good run down on the line from Jared Wihongi an edged weapon expert and a member of the Black Label Pro Staff.
Overall, purely on basic design and aesthetics of the line I was pretty impressed. The Vanquish was no exception. I was first taken with the weight of the knife. At 3.9 oz this knife passed my first test to be a decent EDC. Just my personal opinion, but I like a light EDC knife for the week. I leave the heavy stuff for weekend carrying.
I’m also a sucker for a ring handled knife. What I like about this one is it features an upswept blade or a non-claw making it more versatile, in my opinion. It works well, in forward and reverse grip, unlike a traditional karambit which is excels in reverse grip and is a little clumsy forward.
The Vanquish features a non-lethal protrusion when the blade is in the retracted position. This can assist in hitting pressure points, various soft spots and can be used as a leverage tool. The Vanquish is clearly designed with self-defense in mind.
Blade steel is 8Cr13MoV and I’m sure it is competent to some degree. A lot of Chinese made knives come in this variety. One day, I’m going to torture test this steel to see how it holds up. But, for your average daily tasks it seems to be ok. I’m partial to either old school high carbon steels like D2, 1095 or Damascus and modern powdered steels like CPM or Elmax stainless varieties.
The knife design is a very simple design – just two slabs of G10, a mini liner lock insert, the ring, blade and fasteners. It is very minimalist in design reminiscent of a Spyderco. The country of origin is
China and the Vanquish can be acquired
on Optics PLanet for around $29.
Wrapping up, it would be nice to see a trainer version of this knife so self-defense applications could be safely tested. Overall, the Browning Black Label Vanquish is a light weight, good design at an affordable price. Almost too affordable… leading to the question: Do I want to bet my life on a $29 knife?
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Blade Style: Drop Point
Blade Length: 2 ¾
Blade Thickness: 3/16 of an inch
Blade Grind: Hollow
Blade Edge: Compound Bevel
Blade Steel: 8Cr13MoV
Overall Length: 7 ¾ inches
Weight: 3.9 oz
Handle: G-10 with finger ring
Where: Made in China