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Hoback Knives Kwaiback Fixed Blade Knife Review

Hoback Knives Kwaiback Fixed Blade Knife Review

Posted by admin on Jul 6th 2017

This knife is made by Jake Hoback Knives. In 1990, Jake started making knives in his back yard. He would pound out the knives on a huge chunk of steel with a framing hammer and fence post nails. His next step was working a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop with his best friend. At this point in his life, he was hooked. He loved making knives. In 2003, he started professionally making and selling knives and the company has only grown.

Jake Hoback knives has been producing the Kwaiback flipper knife, which has become a huge hit over the years. Because the Kwaiback flipper was so popular, Jake decided to use many of the same characteristics of this knife, but make it into a fixed blade. This brand new knife is sure to be a hit.


The Blade:

The blade on this knife is carved out of M390 steel. This type of steel is one of the newer steels around. It is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and is considered a super steel. Bohler-Uddeholm uses third generation powder metal technology that has been devolved specifically for knife blades to produce a steel with fantastic corrosion resistant properties. This powder metal technology also keeps the steel very hard and gives it great wear resistance properties. Bohler-Uddeholm has added chromium, vanadium, tungsten, and molybdenum to the steel which assists the blade in getting crazy sharp and having superior edge retention abilities. Sharpening this steel is pretty difficult, so you might want to get the assistance of a sharpening professional to avoid ruining your blade. A unique aspect about M390 steel is that it has been called “MicroClean”, which means that it can be polished to a true mirror finish. This steel has been finished with a black Diamond Like Coating. The DLC is one of the hardest coatings that a knife can have. This coating reduces glares and reflections and helps to reduce wear and corrosion on the blade. The DLC is actually bonded chemically to the surface, so while most coatings have a tendency to scratch off, the DLC will last longer. Hoback Knives has actually finished this blade twice. After the DLC is added, the blade on the Kwaiback also goes through a stonewashed finishing process. This process is completed by tumbling the blade around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. This finish helps to hide scratches and also gives it a less reflective nature. The stonewashed finish adds a textured, or mottled, look to the blade. Because of both finishes, the resulting color is a light black, or charcoal colored blade.


The M390 steel has been carved into a tanto blade shape. Tanto blades have a rich history behind them; the shape is the same as the traditional Japanese short sword. But in the 80’s, Cold Steel revamped the traditional shape and popularized the new American tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is popular with military personnel and law enforcement groups because of the strength and ability to cut through almost anything. The thing about the tanto blade shape is that it doesn’t excel at everything, it is not an all-purpose knife, and it is not versatile. But it does one thing and it does that one thing better than any other knife shape. The tanto can stab through tough materials better than any other blade shape. The tanto blade shape was designed to be an excellent fighting knife, but the tanto is also a great option for outdoor purposes and survival situations. The tanto gets its shape from a high point with a flat grind, because of these two things, the point is incredibly strong. The shape a good amount of metal near the tip, so the point can actually absorb the impact from piercing tough materials, while other blade shapes would snap under the pressure. Because the tip is so strong, this blade shape is a suitable option if you need to pry with your blade. Because the blade is thick and the point is strong, this blade will also do well at chopping. The sharpened edge of the tanto blade shape meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. Because there is no curve, there is no belly, which also means slicing is going to be trickier. However, because the blade is slightly upswept, you can manage some slicing with it. Because you cannot slice, this blade is not going to be good for your everyday knife. Because there are two primary bevels to the blade, sharpening it will take time, patience, and practice. However, once you get it down, it is relatively easy. In fact, once you have it down, you can even sharpen it on a stone. People usually have a love/hate relationship with tanto blades. While they are not the traditional blade shape that can accomplish a variety of tasks; what they are good at, they excel at. If you are looking for a super strong blade that can pierce through almost anything, and would make a decent survival knife, look no further than the tanto blade.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a vague term that is used to refer to thin strands of carbon that have been woven tightly and then set in resin. This material is extremely strong, yet lightweight. Unfortunately, this material is also brittle. The carbon fibers are woven together in one direction, so they are crazy strong (stronger

Hoback Fixed Kwaiback
Hoback Fixed Kwaiback

than many types of steel) in that specific direction, but will start to break apart when pulled or stressed in the other directions. Carbon fiber has a tendency to break, chip, or crack when hit on sharp or hard objects. Another thing about carbon fiber is that it takes a lot of work to make, so it is on the expensive end of the spectrum. Because of the labor and cost put into carbon fiber, this material is usually saved for the higher end knives. The carbon fiber on the Kwaiback fixed blade is black. There are two deep grooves carved going down the middle of the knife to cut down on weight and add a little bit of grip. When talking about the handle on the Kwaiback fixed blade, Jake Hoback Knives has said, “The carbon fiber handle gives that touch of modern to an ancient design, while being comfortable for hard use.”


The Mechanism:

This version of the Kwaiback knife is a fixed blade. Fixed blades have many advantages to them. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how great a fixed blade really can be. Many people get caught up in the advantages of folding knives and the disadvantages of fixed blades. But both styles of knives have their own advantages and their own set of disadvantages. So let’s start with the negative. Fixed blades are not as discreet or easy to conceal as a folding knife, it’s possible, but you can’t just shove it in your pocket. But, a fixed blade is a stronger knife that is more durable. There is not a plethora of moving parts that can rust, break, or stop working. And since fixed blades are usually thicker and longer, they have more power behind them; more strength behind them. Fixed blades are also much easier to maintain, because there are no innards that are open to getting dirty or wet. For the quick clean, all you have to do is wipe down the blade/handle. When you want to really clean your knife, all you have to do is oil the blade. Fixed blades are also the best for survival tools. Because they have so much strength and durability behind them, they can cut, dig, hammer, and even pry. Fixed blades are also great for using as a tactical tool, because you can get it out and into action quicker than a folding knife.


The Sheath:

The Kwaiback fixed blade comes with a black kydex sheath. Kydex is a thermoplastic material that was original used to make holsters. Kydex is one of the most durable sheath materials that you are going to find. Kydex can go in many environments, including salt water, without its quality being compromised. However, many people don’t like this sheath material because it has no personality to it. Basically, it is a lump of plastic. Another bummer about kydex is that it is a loud material. When you are unsheathing your knife and replacing it, it is going to make a lot of noise. In fact, if you are trying to be discreet, this sheath is going to give you away. The last bummer about the kydex sheath is that if you are continually drawing your knife and replacing it, it will dull the edge of your blade. So while the sheath is crazy durable, you do have to weigh the cons and see if that sheath is worth it for you.


The Specs:

The overall length of this knife is 9.64 inches. The blade on this knife is 5 inches long with a thickness of 0.19 inches. The handle on this knife is 4.64 inches long. This knife weighs 5.7 ounces, without the sheath.


Pro of the Kwaiback Fixed Blade:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is a super steel.
  • The steel is very hard and has great corrosion resistance properties.
  • The edge retention on this steel is excellent.
  • The steel has been finished with two different finishes, so the steel is more durable, more resistant to rust and wear, and the stonewash finish hides scratches.
  • The blade has a tanto shape, which is absolutely exceptional for piercing through hard materials.
  • The tanto shape is also great for tactical and survival purposes.
  • The carbon fiber handle is super strong.
  • The fixed blade is exceptionally strong.
  • The fixed blade gives it the ability to do tasks such as digging and cutting.
  • The fixed blade is easy to maintain.
  • The fixed blade is not likely to break, because there are no little parts that can break or stop working.
  • The kydex sheath is durable and strong.


Cons of the Kwaiback Fixed Blade:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is hard to sharpen.
  • Fixed blades are larger than folding knives, so they are harder to have with you at all times.
  • Kydex sheaths have the tendency to dull your blade edge over time.



Jake Hoback, of Jake Hoback Knives, has loved making knives since 1990, when he would make knives in his backyard. He eventually got a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop and was immediately hooked. He started making and producing knives professionally in the early 2000’s and we are so glad that he did. Jake has produced a variety of exceptional knives that are loved in the knife community. One of those knives was the Kwaiback flipper, that had such a following, Jake decided to produce a new version but this time, a fixed blade.

To perfect this fixed blade, he started with a super steel that has great edge retention and fantastic corrosion and wear resistance. This steel is tough and strong. Next, he carved the super steel into a tanto blade shape, which is the perfect option for survival and tactical knives. This is a strong blade shape that is going to be able to pierce through almost any hard material. To add a little bit of modern to the traditional blade shape, the handle is made out of carbon fiber. As a cherry on top, the Kwaiback fixed blade comes with a kydex sheath. This new knife is going to become your new favorite if you give it the chance.