This small form factor fixed blade is a special edition of the Raidops LJ4M2MD from their “Little John” series. Manufactured for Singapore based sporting goods store Hornest, it features translucent Jade G10 scales instead of the standard opaque black G10.
Although a small knife, measuring an over-all length of 6.5″ the Little John has a hard use quality. Its full tang construction is built around a .2″ thick slab of D2 tool steel that gives it great lateral strength along with a healthy weight of 8.6 oz.
The blade is a classic drop point profile. The primary bevel is a shallow hollow grind followed by a wide secondary bevel. Although the stock is extremely thick, the wider edge bevel produces a keen cutting edge that is still backed up with material right to the tip. The result is a strong blade that slices surprisingly well despite its stout profile.
As a functional detail, a heavy texture has been ground into the blade flats along with deep jimping on the blade spine. This allows for extra traction when leveraging your other hand or thumb on the spine and flats. The final details are the Raidops logo, steel type and hardness on one side and the Hornest logo on the other. Both are tastefully laser etched leaving a subdued, gold coloration.
Hardened between 58-60 Rockwell the steel should be reasonably easy to maintain. D2 is known for being tough thus difficult to sharpen but it is often hardened to 60-62. The slightly lower Hrc and deep choil should make it much more painless to keep up. The semi-stainless blade benefits from Parkerization, improving corrosion resistance while producing a glare-free matte grey finish.
The handle of the knife also uses robust materials. Two thick G10 scales have a deep corrugated texture for great traction and are fastened with over-size allen bolts for strength. The grip is further improved with a deep finger groove and lightly ground edge scalloping that helps to lock the hand in place. While this handle only accommodates a three finger grip, its width and combined ergonomic features allow for confident and comfortable use. For easier deployment there is a lanyard hole. A lanyard can also serve to extend the grip and is often employed on knives with a small handle profile.
For carry the Little John comes with a Kydex sheath. Made from one piece in a fold-over construction, the assembly is simple but effective. Retention is excellent and holds the knife in place with a satisfying click. This is essential as the knife ships to be carried handle down with the supplied carabiner. The fastening eyelets are appropriately spaced for an optional Tech-lock for attaching the sheath to a belt or webbing. A small amount of night-glow resin in a hole midway down the sheath adds a nice detail. This should make the knife easy to find in the dark without looking gaudy.
All-in the Raidops Little John (LJ4M2MD) is a competent knife. It has a unique combination of modern materials and finishes coupled with an almost primitive texture that gives it an unusual but fitting balance of design elements. While the build quality comes at the cost of extra weight the small footprint should still allow it to comfortably fit the role of a compact back-up or sport-utility knife. This would be a perfect tool for those who like the combination of a small size tool that can still take on hard tasks reliably. Its overbuilt quality, glow in the dark detailing and jade G10 should also appeal to the modern outdoor gear fanatic.
If you are interested in the Hornest Special Edition Little John it can be found here.
Overall Length : 6.5″ (165 mm)
Weight with sheath : 8.6 oz (245 g)
Blade Length : 3.0″ (75 mm)
Blade width : 1.2″ (30 mm)
Blade Thickness : 0.2″ (6 mm)
Steel: D2 with Parkerized finish
Hardness : 58~60 Rockwell
Made In Korea