22-Gram Backpacking Knife

If lighter is faster, then the newest backpacking blade from French knife-maker Baladeo, the aptly-named 22 GRAM, is a speed freak! The $30, fully stainless, locking-blade pocketknife weighs an insubstantial 22 grams — light enough for even the most hardcore weight weenies.


The 22 GRAM knife unfolded

For the last few months, I’ve tested the forgetably light knife from the woods to the dinner table, and it has performed like any good pocketknife should. For light-duty jobs like slicing summer sausage, cording, packaging, or even fashioning roasting sticks for s’mores, the knife has been more than adequate. Some will frown on the skinny handle, especially for any type of serious or sustained cutting chore. But that’s not what the knife was designed for.

While it is merely a handle and blade — no sheath to fold into — the blade lays close to the handle when closed and does not pose a cutting danger when not in use. It locks securely and closes easily. Folded, the knife is about 3.5 inches long and it unfolds to about 6.7 inches with the blade out.

22 gram knife.jpg

Folded up (above) and with belt clip showing

Though it’s made from 420 stainless steel, typically a low-grade, the well-machined blade has held up better than expected. However, straight from the box it lacked the sharpness I expect from a new knife. A few passes on a whetstone brought it up to spec. And when dulled, the edge was quick to sharpen once again — one perk of the 420 stainless.

One improvement I’d like to see is either a thumb post or fingernail groove along the blade to aid in opening the knife. And for the record, this knife is made in China, though not all of Baladeo’s knives are. At the $30 price point, I think it is a good buy for the serious backpacker whose mantra may read something to the tune of: “Less is more.”

—T.C. Worley will confess that he has cut multiple toothbrushes in half to save weight in his backpack.

Posted by Via Cigo - 01/04/2011 02:45 PM

I saw this knife at the OR show and it freaked me out- the frame lock tab sits right under your index finger when holding the knife and it’s flexible. yikes. On thicker stock, no problem. But on this light weight number, it’s an accident waiting to happen, IMO

Posted by Tom Faranda - 01/04/2011 03:03 PM

No way to open one-handed? A serious disadvantage.

Posted by Ben - 01/04/2011 03:40 PM

So how long does the blade last? It doesn’t lose weight if I have to carry a stone in my pocket with it.

As a sidenote, adding 30 grams in a 20lb pack constitutes a 0.33% weight gain.

Posted by Jeffzx9 - 01/04/2011 03:45 PM

On some items, I’m willing to compromise function for weight savings. A knife is not one of them, because frankly, it can save your life. This is a “cute” knife that will get an inexperienced backpacker into trouble.

Posted by T.C. Worley - 01/04/2011 04:03 PM

Via Cigo: I had the same concern when I first began testing, so I approached cutting shores with caution. I’d still say that used correctly, the knife is still a fair amount safer than a non-locking blade.

Posted by mike - 01/05/2011 02:17 PM

Just got this knife as a Christmas present. At 0.9 oz, there are lighter knives (Gerber LST @ 0.6 oz or any number of razor blade knives if you are comfortable with that). The knife holds nice in the hand and it does firmly lock into place. I’m not too concerned about accidentally disengaging the lock.

I will say that I am not a fan of the single bevel grind that is necessary to make these type of liner lock knives safe-ish.

The model I got from backpackinglight unfortunately was defective from the manufacturer and is in process of being replaced. The single bevel blade was not flush up against the handle when closed. There was almost an 1/8” gap between the handle and the knife blade when folded…. dangerous.

BPL was very prompt in sending out a replacement.

Posted by Tiny - 01/07/2011 03:23 AM

Why this rather than one of the CRKT KISS models?

Posted by koolaidguzzler - 10/21/2011 12:56 PM

Potentially too slippery under less than perfect conditions. The consequences from slicing your strong hand in the woods is greater than whatever potential weight advantage.

Posted by Matt - 04/18/2013 06:59 PM

Wow, so light yet functional. Hope it holds an edge! For those already lugging pounds of weight on their backs it will be a godsend.
Maybe a candidate for the Best Pocket Knife.

Posted by Bill Bernhardt - 06/03/2013 02:08 PM

Wow that thing is pretty slick! It’s light weight, decent quality steel, great design, and at a good price. Can’t wait to try it and add it to my best pocket knife comparison chart.

Posted by Dave - 08/28/2013 01:46 PM

Nice! I don’t know if I would want to rely on this knife in a survival or emergency situation, but it looks like a great little knife for sure. I’ll definitely be adding to my best pocket knife buyer’s guide. Thanks!

Posted by John - 09/12/2013 12:41 PM

If you don’t carry a gun while trail running, carry a GOOD knife. I’m talking at least 4 inch blade, mounted inverted (Nam style) on your left backpack/hydration shoulder strap, ready for draw.

Posted by Jake - 10/06/2013 03:30 AM

I don`t think you can fix problems with violence, so I don`t think carrying pocket knives with you is the solution. However, if you really must, a Bark River Rogue Ivory should do the trick. Is not really a pocket knife, is a bit longer I think, but it will do the job.

Posted by Michael - 12/04/2013 08:18 AM

Nice little knife but the handle looks so slim too me. Visit here

Posted by Dave - 01/07/2014 11:21 AM

Looks like a really cool little knife for us backpackers. I don’t think I could forgo my <a href=“http://mybestsurvivalknife.com”>best survival knife</a> and just use that when out on long hikes, but I’m sure for many who weight is extremely important, it would be great!

Posted by Matt - 01/20/2014 12:40 AM

I love this knife. For the blade length that weight is incredible. If you are a weight weenie when it comes to backpacking, it easily could be the best folding knife for the money.

Posted by Garret D - 01/28/2014 11:43 PM

Definitely a cool concept. Not a knife I’d take with me into combat though. In the service we stay away from anything that keeps the blade exposed when it’s not in use. Hope it’s got a good case that it won’t cut through.

Posted by Dary James - 02/27/2014 10:36 PM

I agree that a thumb post is the only thing that this knife was missing. With the stainless steel knives I think that they might get too slippery to do without one. It is a nice knife thought.

Posted by Greg - 03/18/2014 02:42 PM

I have never seen such a simple and modern style knife. It looks really cool. I will add this to my best folding knife review. Thanks for your article.

Posted by Sebastien - 04/07/2014 04:04 PM

Extremely Light and functional. Definitely it will hold a edge! It is wonderful, it has style, and it is simple. It is a good candidate for the best edc knife or best folding knife
Love it!

Posted by Dianne Owens - 04/15/2014 07:56 PM

Awesome review! Thks for sharing. What do you think is the Best Hunting Knife? Cheers

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