Blades and Knives

UZI Responder I Partially Serrated Folding Knife

Black, partially-serrated blade folding knife with assisted opening

I prefer my EDC knife to be smaller than the UZI Responder I, but since my dainty Kershaw Chive had an untimely and very unfortunate camping accident, I just haven’t purchased a permanent replacement yet. However, the UZI Responder I is such a steal at $14.97, I had to give it a chance.

What first appealed to me—besides the price—is the partially serrated blade, spring-assisted opening and the nylon cord attached to the lanyard hole. I’ve always been a plain edged kinda gal, but I’ve noticed the guys around the office carry part serrated, so I figured I’d try it out. For the kind of money I didn’t shell out, I reckon if the UZI Responder didn’t become a favorite I hadn’t lost much.

The UZI Responder I folding knife has a 3.25-inch black stainless steel partially serrated blade, black G10 handle, black metal pocket clip and a spring-assisted opening. When the knife is open it is 7.75 inches long, closed it is 4.5 inches long and it weighs 3.8 ounces.

First Impressions

Pulling the UZI knife out of its cardboard box, it looks like it is going to be a hefty knife, however the holes in the handle keep the weight down. The finish is flawless and every edge is rounded and smooth. My fingers easily slip into the contours of the knife’s handle and my thumb rests comfortably atop the knife’s spine right under the blade in the curved thumb rest. Oh, yes. This knife fits quite nicely in my hand. I really like the G10 grip. It is slightly textured, but not rough, while at the same time grippy enough so that the knife feels secure.

Spring-Assisted Opening

To open the blade, the UZI Responder I has an ambidextrous thumb stud at the bottom of the blade and a finger lever on the spine. The finger lever along the spine activates the blade quickly and deploys it fully open, while the thumb stud requires more pressure than the finger lever to make the blade open fully. Both work without catching immediately. I have no problems activating the blade one-handed with the finger lever. However, even after a week of practice, I struggled with using the thumb stud one handed. Due to the pressure it takes to open the blade using this method, I’m not as quick to deploy it as I am using the finger lever.

Putting the blade back is a bit sticky and the liner lock is a bit stiff. The liner lock lever is also rough—it chipped the edge of my nail polish the first day I started evaluating the knife.

Overall, I find the knife easy to open and close one-handed using the finger lever, even with my small hands and fingers.

Blade

Fully open partially serrated blade folding knife UZI brand
After sticking it in wood, shaving bark, cutting paper, attempting to saw branches and throwing it around, the blade’s black finish stands up and proves itself scratch-resistant.

It is not as sharp as a Ka-Bar or Kershaw—two of the knife brands I have to compare the UZI to—right out of the box. The first day I had the knife it cut paper just fine. It stabbed cleanly through a Girl Scout cookie box and the plastic inside.

Getting the chance to take it to task over the weekend, I used it to shave off plenty of kindling-sized bark quickly and easily. Trying to saw a 0.5-inch diameter thick branch with the serrated edge was fruitless, though.

After sticking it in wood, shaving bark, cutting paper, attempting to saw branches and throwing it around, the blade’s black finish stands up and proves itself scratch-resistant.

Carry

The black metal gear clip has one position—tip-down. In bigger man hands than mine, the operator said the metal clip became uncomfortable when gripping the knife hard, but I never had that issue. The metal clip never dug or was painful while I was using the knife. Surprisingly, the Responder unobtrusively fits into the pocket of my skinny jeans and though it does create a bigger bulge than my tiny knife, it doesn’t get in the way.

Nylon Cord

The black nylon cord attached to the lanyard hole is thicker then my shoe strings, but has the exact same elasticity and strength. After the weekend of menial tasks, the cord started untwisting and after a week of carrying the knife, it came off completely. This is no matter; I planned to replace it with paracord anyway. Stretched out, the cord is 21 inches long.

Black partially serrated folding knife with metal pocket clip
The finger lever along the spine activates the blade quickly and deploys it fully open.

Conclusion

Though the UZI Responder is not going in my bug-out bag, I have happily carried it in my purse and jeans pocket every day. Even without sharpening, I am satisfied with it as it accomplishes simple tasks while camping and exploring the hunting lease. There aren’t many super small knives to choose from that don’t look manly and have an assisted opening. The UZI Responder I won’t end up as my every day carry knife, however, for the money it offers excellent value. It will be a great EDC knife for someone, just not for me.

Pros: price, finish, ease of opening, sturdiness, weight, generous finger grooves

Cons: cheap cord, no safety lever, needs to be sharpened

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Comments (8)

  1. I like the Uzi knives OK too, but I favor the ones put out by good ol’ Smith & Wesson also. I have a tanto blade folding “tactical” that I paid $11 for at Kmart, and I swear it’s the sharpest dang knife I’ve ever had. I think you could slice a molecule with that thing. Never had much luck with either Remington or Winchester’s knives tho. Don’t care for the traditional Buck’s either, as I’m always chipping their blades. Somebody gave me a Tasco folder with a black blade that is wickedly sharp too. It’s been my carry knife when I hunt or prospect for 20+ years.

  2. Yep, I too think the serrated blade, especially in an inexpensive knife, is more of a gimmick than a useful feature. If you have a need for a serrated blade–buy a fully serrated blade knife. Or at least just serrate the top of the blade, instead of taking up cutting space on the regular blade length.
    Having said that, I do like a serrated blade for cutting frozen meat and French bread.

  3. A serrated edged knife is fine for slicing into a fine steak, but, in all practicality, that type of blade is, for my uses, impractical for a “Pocket” knife. My hunting/survival knife has a very nice, practical and useful serrated/saw edge on top of the blade.
    I have zero need for the type of application a serrated edge, primary blade, implies for an everyday carry pocket knife. This knife, however nice and inexpensive, is simply to long, “Folded”. I will stay with my old timer at half that length, folded.

  4. I too wonder about this serrated blade business. I mean, I gather some people think they look badass and tacticool, but my experience has generally been negative.

    Often they can’t be sharpened on a whetstone, they can’t be used for close to the hilt whittling, a nice clean cut is impossible unless you use the somewhat more awkward approach of using the tip section, you can’t peel an apple, cleaning can be difficult with the serrations catching in whatever you clean it with, and the serrations will stab you if you put your fingers on the blade. (I know that might seem odd to some people, but sometimes placing a finger on the blade helps me in some situations. Note that I say “place” and not “slide”…)

    Maybe I’m just not seeing the upside, but I think the market for serrated pocket knives comes more from ignorant people who think they look cool than from “real” people. Please correct me if I am wrong. ;D

    1. I might add that my Leatherman Wingman has a serrated blade on it. One time I ended up drawing this thing facing a snarling dog. I gouged off a piece of finger in doing so on one of the serrations because in my haste I pushed against the edge trying to get it out ASAP. (A Leatherman knife is not intended to be quickly deployed…)

      The dog decided not to jump me after all and I spent the next couple of days annoyed at my missing finger tip. I can tell you that I would not have been so injured if it had been a straight blade, although to be fair, I would have been far better off if I had been smart enough to have a “real” knife on me I could open with a finger stud.

  5. Personally, I like the Uzi brand knives. They get the job done for EDC without costing several hundred dollars, and if I lose it I’m not out a lot of money. Granted, for heavy duty where it’s just going to be me and my knife against the world I go with a higher cost brand. I like CRKTs and still have one I bought in the PX at Camp Victory, Iraq in 2004.

    I’m not a big fan of the serrated blades. They may be good for cutting heavy rope and small branches, but they stick too often on other substances like cloth. Just a personal preference though.

    The real point is, just like someone buying a Hi Point if they can’t afford a more expensive gun, Uzi’s are good for the money. Every good person should have a reliable gun and knife, even if they don’t have a lot of money to spend.

    1. I use a pocket knife a lot, and like to never be without. It well might be just me, but it seems that the best way to lose a good pocket knife is to buy a real nice expensive one, and the best way to hang on to one is to buy a cheepie !! These USI knives are priced just right to have a reasonably good knife with some very useful features like one hand operation,…….but NOT like the serrated blade . They are harder to sharpen, and for MOST uses don’t cut as well as a really sharp straight blade. If your straight blade isn’t doing the job, it is time for it to visit the wet stone or diamond hone. Most of us who actually use a knife, aren’t as careful as we should be about keeping the blade clean. One day we are cutting bait, and the next we’re slicing an apple, with only a quick wipe across the pant leg for “sterilization” in between.. Point being, straight blades clean easier. With few exceptions, for my money and every day use, serrated blades are total gimmick…..

    2. Possomhead, you are a man who thinks like I do. What you say so true. Those of us who use our knives as tools every day, as opposed to just carrying the latest high dollar toy, know that a knife is a tool. And tools by their very nature get dirty and battered.

      Good comment.

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