Southern Grind Bad Monkey - REVIEW

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BR101
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Southern Grind Bad Monkey - REVIEW

Post by BR101 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:27 pm

Today we're gonna look at the Southern Grind Bad Monkey collection. Up until about two weeks ago I had never heard of Southern Grind. I was browsing the forums and stumbled across the satin drop-point Bad Monkey and said, "Damn, that’s sharp looking." So, I Google searched the company and found myself looking at their tanto version as well. After reading the specifications on the knives and a little about founder Zac Brown (of Zac Brown Band) and his Camp Southern Ground project, I was sold on one of these knives. Now the hard part, did I want the drop-point or the tanto version? Well... I could resist, so I got them both!

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Specifications: (Drop Point)
Overall Length - 9.25"
Blade Length - 4.00"
Blade Thickness - .130"
Blade Steel - 14C-28N, RC 59-61
Handle Length - 5.25"
Handle Material – Twill-weave carbon fiber
Weight - 4.97 oz.

Specifications: (Tanto)
Overall Length - 9.125"
Blade Length - 3.875"
Blade Thickness - .130"
Blade Steel - 14C-28N, RC 59-61
Handle Length - 5.25"
Handle Material - Twill-weave carbon fiber
Weight - 4.97 oz.

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Looking at the business end on these two Southern Grind knives, you'll see the traditional drop point style blade on the bottom and the tanto version on the top. Both knives are constructed out of Sandvik 14C-28N steel. This is great quality steel that is corrosion resistant and fairly easy to maintain as well. Both knives utilize the Emerson wave feature for fast blade deployment. The drop point version features a tumbled satin finish, giving it a beautiful two-tone look.

On the tanto version, I went with the Cerakote armor black finish. If you're not familiar with Cerakote, it is a ceramic-based finish that can be applied to all sorts of metals, plastics, polymers and even wood. Cerakote enhances a number of physical performance properties including abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, impact strength and hardness. Some companies use DLC coating and I'm not a fan of that. It scratches easily and doesn't stand up like a good quality Cerakote job. And the guys at Southern Grind have perfected their Cerakote process.

Out of the box, both knives came shaving sharp! Since these are the first knives I owned with the Emerson wave feature, I haven't yet perfected that deployment method (I'm working on it). The blades do ride on bronze phosphor washers, so if you choose to deploy the blade using the ambidextrous thumb studs it comes open smooth and fast. Both knives have a flat ground main grind. The drop point, I feel, is more ideal for the EDC person, due to having a belly that will perform better for slicing stuff. The tanto does have its pros too, such as a strong tip and a upper sharpened swedge which increases the piercing strength.

The Bad Monkey folder is offered in a couple different configurations. You can get either a drop point or tanto blade shape, configured plain or serrated, and finished in either tumbled satin or Cerakote armor black.

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The jimping on the Southern Grind Bad Monkeys are awesome. Bare handed, gloves, and wet conditions, the transition from the handle onto the blade is very comfortable on the thumb and allows you to get a firm purchase on the knife for making precise cuts. The jimping is well executed on these Bad Monkeys!

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The handles on the Southern Grind Bad Monkeys are constructed out of carbon fiber twill scales, titanium liners, nice pillar standoffs and proprietary hardware holding the handle together.

The ergonomics of the handle are great, the top of the handle has a down swooping body line that contours the inner palm and really allows you to get a real firm purchase without any hot spots. Even in reverse grip it feels great. The carbon fiber twill feels great as well; you can actually feel the weave unlike some other knives that use a real glossy style carbon fiber material. I was expecting to see the liners skeletonized but they’re not. But don't let that discourage you; this knife is light and well balanced. It comes in at under 5 ounces and has a 4" blade, which is astounding. And to finish off the handle, you'll see a generous sized lanyard hole on the back.

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The pocket clip on these Southern Grind Bad Monkeys are one directional. They are tip-up right hand carry only. At first I was skeptical whether or not I'd like the short clip, but you'll be pleased to know the knife sits in the pocket secure. Just enough of the knife sticks out that I am able to easily remove the knife with speed and accuracy each and every time!

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My final conclusion on the Southern Grind Bad Monkey Folders: As a EDC knife, the fit and finish are first rate. The styling is simple yet the form is pleasing and easy to use. There is only one thing I dislike about this knife, and it's a minor dislike. They use proprietary hardware so your regular torx driver won't work on these knives. They do sell the tool kit for about $15 bucks. Each knife does come with a Southern Grind leather keychain, paracord bracelet and a leather koozie. If the keychain, bracelet and koozie are of no interest to you, maybe they would substitute those for the tool kit (no promises).

Other than that, these are great tools made right here in the good ole' USA - Peachtree City, Georgia to be exact. Give one of these a try for your next knife purchase here - http://shop.southerngrind.com/SearchRes ... p?Cat=1814" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Southern Grind Bad Monkey - REVIEW

Post by DarkPhoenix » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:46 am

Great review. It is a very cool looking knife.
I feel like you eye-ballin' me, dawg!

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Re: Southern Grind Bad Monkey - REVIEW

Post by Storm Crow » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:24 am

Zac Brown came by my table at the Blade Show this last summer as he made his rounds and asked a question about my forge finish. I didn't realize who he was, though I knew he had a booth there. My fiancé just about had a hissy fit. :mrgreen:

Didn't know they were making folders now in addition to their machetes. I'll have to check out their website again.
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Re: Southern Grind Bad Monkey - REVIEW

Post by JackBauer » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:52 pm

Cool review of some cool knifes but too pricey for folder imho

Did you purchase both? Pay retail price?
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Re: Southern Grind Bad Monkey - REVIEW

Post by cricketdave » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:25 pm

For there price point they need to upgrade the steel, the 14c28n is low cost stuff. For a knife that costs more than an Emerson it should have at least as good a steel as the emerson if not better. Bump that to s35vn or elmax and it would be closer to a good price. For less money you can grab a zero tolerance and have much better steel, which for me is the important part.
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Re: Southern Grind Bad Monkey - REVIEW

Post by Woods Walker » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:21 am

I liked the drop point better.
Up until about two weeks ago I had never heard of Southern Grind
Then this is really an initial impressions review as you don't have much actual experience with them.
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