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Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda is a retired LAPD sergeant with 34 years of law enforcement experience. He is the chief instructor of TAC-1 Defensive Firearms Training in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is a consultant for law enforcement training and litigation.

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former New York police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.

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Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.


Knife Review: Grayman Satu Folder

Don't be scared away by this folder's length and heft.

March 30, 2011  |  by Nick Jacobellis - Also by this author

The Grayman Satu Folder. Photo: Grayman.

The Satu folder from Grayman Knives may be the largest folding knife now in production that also happens to be amazingly comfortable to carry.

After making a well-rounded lineup of fixed-blade knives, Grayman Knives recently started producing its first folding knife, called the Satu. For those who aren't familiar with the company, the owner/operator of Grayman Knives has been influenced by the types of edged weapons that tribal warriors and villagers carry in places such as Darfur and Khartoum (in Sudan). This makes a great deal of sense, because East African warriors and tribesmen carry and use their knives in the harshest conditions imaginable.

Despite its size and weight (10 ounces), the Satu carries and handles just as well as if not better than a folding knife that's approximately a third smaller. The Satu folder doesn't have a partially serrated blade, a feature I've always preferred in a folding knife. Company representatives responded that they would accommodate customers who preferred this type of blade by making a future Satu model with a partially serrated blade.

The look, the feel, and overall construction of the Satu folder is very pleasing to the eye. Grayman knives are very functional in their design, yet they're still high-end, and custom made.

The Grayman Satu folder has a 4x1.5-inch blade that's 9 7/8 inches in overall length. The Satu is precision-machined from components such as titanium and CPM S30V steel that holds its edge after repeated use. The Grayman Satu folder is designed to be used with a super-rugged frame lock, meaning that an entire section of the lower portion of the frame must be moved to the left to enable the blade to be retracted into the handle. Frame locks are designed to prevent the accidental closing of a blade that's in use.

When you need to extend the blade on the Satu folder, you can do so with one hand by using your thumb to apply side-moving pressure on the round stud that protrudes from the lower portion of each side of the blade. As the blade begins to open, a slight flick of the wrist should be all the movement that's required to lock the blade in the fully extended position. You can also manually open or extend the blade.

Even though the overall size of the Grayman Satu is large, when you clip the Satu to the waistband of your pants or to a pants pocket, the relatively thin, wide and long overall frame makes this folding knife ride flat up against your body in a very comfortable way. I field tested the Satu by simply dropping it into my cargo/BDU right front-pants pocket. Once again, the long, wide and relatively flat design of the Satu makes this folding knife ride differently in your pants pocket than knives that are thinner and even lighter in profile and size. 

From an ergonomic perspective, the Satu fills my hand better than many of the folding knives I've tested. While there are several smaller folding knives that will probably be all the knife that you will probably ever need, the Satu folder is the type of knife that's made strong enough to serve as a folder while also being capable of performing the chores of a fixed-blade knife.

The Satu folder can meet the needs of a tactical team, officers who patrol border or wilderness locations, aviators, marine personnel, and search-and-rescue members. Legally armed civilians can conceal it, if they're authorized to carry a blade that's a tad longer than 4 inches.

The Grayman Satu folding knife carries better than some knives that are smaller in size and has the added benefit of being large enough to also serve as a fixed-blade knife in an emergency. It retails for $375.

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