Lost in the sea of knife brands may be Petrified Fish. The Mini Beluga offers a simple, pocket-carry option. But is it worth charting a course to reel one in for yourself? We tested it to see.
The number of knife brands has exploded in the past few years. Sorting through them, especially in the budget and entry-level price range, is incredibly challenging. There is so much stuff out there that no one person can have a reasonable sense of what new stuff is worthwhile.
In and among all of this noise is Petrified Fish, a brand that has a few designs in its product catalog, all with steels that are D2 or better.
The designs look solid and the prices are right, but there is so much competition. The Mini Beluga seems to be a good, straightforward exemplar for the brand. Let’s see if it is worth your time.
Petrified Fish Mini Beluga: Review
Mini Beluga: Specs
- Steel: 14C28N
- Grind: ¾ height flat grind
- Lock: Liner Lock
- Blade length: 2.99 in.
- Handle length: 3.81 in.
- OAL: 6.8 in.
- Weight: 3.37 oz.
- Price: $50-54
- Country of origin: China
The basics of the Mini Beluga are promising — a simple blade shape with decently thin stock, a 3D-textured handle, and a clean over-the-top pocket clip.
The knife deploys with a front flipper. The size is also spot on, right at 3 inches. The groove near the top of the blade is not only stylish, but it is also grippy enough to grab a thumb and allow you to open the knife with ease. As a blueprint, this is a good one.
The hidden lanyard attachment point is a nice, higher-end touch.
The implementation here is decent, but there are nagging issues. The pivot came loose through a few weeks of use and carry. It is not a big deal, as you can easily tighten it and, if necessary, apply some Loctite. That said, this should be unnecessary, even on an inexpensive knife.
Additionally, the front flipper is quite touchy. If you hit it too far down the spine, you get a failed deployment that causes a bit of thumb pain.
As a result, this is not as thoughtless an opener as the ceramic bearings would suggest.
I am also not sold on the all-belly blade shape. I like a bit of belly, but some straightaway is nice too.
The product page calls the blade stonewashed, but it is clearly a bead-blasted finish.
Finally, the clip is a bit squared off, making it less than subtle in the pocket.
Petrified Fish Mini Beluga: Conclusion
The knife is solid but not terribly exciting. The touchy deployment is a lowlight and while not expensive, the knife does not measure up to the better Civivi designs.
It’s not a must-have, but worth a look if you’re on a budget and looking for a simple, but not ubiquitous, design.