Chop, Cut — Even Pry — With Tough ‘Utility Knife’

Don’t use your knife to pry.

starnettle knife
That advice is pretty standard, and usually founded. Knives are made for cutting. If you want to pry, get a crowbar.

But understanding that a lot of people do pry with their blades, as it’s often the only tool handy, Ragged Mountain Knife Works has built a tool they say can handle prying tasks while still doing the job of a fixed-blade knife.

The Starnettle Everyday Utility Knife is constructed from American-made 5/32″ D2 tool steel stock. It has a three inch modified sheepsfoot blade and an overall length of seven inches.

On top of the blade is a fire-notch to be used as a striker that can also be used to help in prying tasks — something you just shouldn’t do with most knives.

The knife is hand made in Connecticut and ships with either a kydex ($250) or leather ($300) sheath.

The knife looks like a useful tool for all kinds of tasks, and the burly construction is a bonus for people who need a tool they can count on every day.

We got in touch with the designer of the knife, Nick LeFort, to find out more.

starnettle knife

Can you give us a quick explanation of your choice of steel?

So why did we choose D2 tool steel over the myriad other steels on the market? In short, it’s really durable and affordable – which means we can get a quality, reliable knife in our customer’s hands without breaking their bank.

It’s hard to work with — you burn through belts grinding it, and it’s a bear to sharpen to a razor’s edge — but it’s a hearty steel that you can really beat the snot out of and it will beg you for more, and it holds that edge for a decent length of time. On top of it, the abrasion resistance (aided here by stone washing) is top notch. In 10 years, this knife will look the same as it does right now.
utility knife
Is it really intended to be used for prying, and how much force can you exert?

In regards to prying – if the Starnettle was a 12″ Bowie, you’d snap it in half using it to pry (unless it was 1/2″ thick) because there’s a high level in carbon in the steel.

With the actual Starnettle being 5/32″ thick and 7″ long with a big bellied sheepsfoot blade, it’s just the right size and shape to get between a couple of pieces of old pressure treated wood, nailed together eons ago, and pry it apart.

In fact, that’s what I did this spring with some 19 year old PT top decking with wet swollen and rusty nails – and it worked like a charm. No flexing, no bending – the tip didn’t snap off; and when it was all said it done – the knife still looked and acted like it was brand new.

In fact, that’s the same knife we’ve used in all the campaign photos and I carry with me as an EDC. So, though I don’t know the actual amount of force it can take – I know that for it’s size and shape, it’s the right balance to be a powerhouse that won’t disappoint.

The Starnettle is raising funds on Kickstarter now. Pricing ranges from $250-$300 and the project is fully funded.

tagged: #crowdfunding

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Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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