Karambit Knife for Hunting? A Comprehensive Review of the Smith & Wesson SW955 S.S. Full Tang Karambit

June 6, 2022

Smith & Wesson knives are well-known and respected among knife enthusiasts for their quality construction and impeccable designs. The SW955 S.S. Full Tang Karambit is no exception, offering a versatile and useful design that is perfect for collectors, outdoors enthusiasts, and wild game hunters alike. This full review will give you insights into whether this karambit knife qualifies as a quality hunting knife. So, what makes this knife so special? Let's take a closer look!

Who can find value in karambits?

The karambit is a unique curved blade that has various uses. Anglers, hunters, campers, rock climbers, law enforcement, first responders, search and rescue units, military personnel, and martial artists may see particular value in this curved blade.

Karambits are a versatile tool that can be used for many purposes, from hunting to everyday tasks. As a result, it can be a helpful asset for a wide range of people. For example, karambits can be an excellent choice for hunters or bushcrafters looking for a reliable utility blade. The curved design of the blade makes it ideal for slashing motions, perfect for breaking foliage and field dressing. Plus, the finger ring provides extra security against slippage.

In addition, karambits are also well-suited for more mundane tasks, such as opening boxes or cutting rope. That's why they can be an invaluable knife to any toolkit. So if you're looking for a versatile hunting knife for everyday use, karambits are worth considering.

First Impressions

The Smith & Wesson SW955 High-Carbon S.S. Full Tang Karambit looks sleek and sturdy, as expected of a full tang knife. The black handle has a noticeable texture for better grip, and the finger ring looks smaller than most karambits on the market. Unlike most karambits, it doesn't have a double edge, so you may have to sharpen the spine if you need it. 

The straight blade is made of high-carbon stainless steel giving it its black color. Plus, the package also includes a Kydex sheath. Overall, the Smith & Wesson SW955 is a well-designed and good-looking knife.

Utility and Hunting Use of Karambits

The karambit is a well-known combat knife, but it's also used to cut ropes, wires, etc. Its primary purpose is self-defense; however, it may also be used as a utility and hunting knife. The best karambits are compact, concealable, and cut with little effort while performing on par with premium hunting knives.

karambit knife - Smith & Wesson SW955 Karambit

Smith & Wesson SW955 Review

The Smith & Wesson SW955 High-Carbon S.S. Full Tang Karambit is a top-quality knife perfect for anyone who wants a reliable and durable blade. The knife is made with a full tang of high-carbon stainless steel that extends the entire length of the knife for maximum strength and durability. The blade also underwent heat treatment for lasting sharpness.

Its handle is specially designed for a good, nonslip grip, and the finger ring provides added security during use. The included sheath keeps the knife securely stored when not in use. Whether you are looking for an addition to your knife collection or need a reliable everyday carry, the Smith & Wesson SW955 High-Carbon S.S. Full Tang Karambit is perfect.

Product Inclusions

  • Smith & Wesson SW955 Karambit
  • Kydex Sheath with a Breakaway Chain and Belt Clip

Product Specs

  • Overall Length: 8.50 inches
  • Blade Length: 3.75 inches
  • Cutting Edge: 3.50 inches
  • Blade Thickness: 0.11 inch
  • Blade Material: 8Cr13MoV
  • Blade Style: Trailing Point
  • Blade Grind: Hollow
  • Blade Finish: Black Stonewash
  • Edge Type: Plain
  • Handle Length: 4.75 inches
  • Handle Thickness: 0.48 inch
  • Handle Material: GFN
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Weight: 4.00 oz.
  • User: Ambidextrous
  • Sheath: Kydex
  • Knife Type: Fixed Blade
  • Model: M&P Shield
  • Model Number: SW995

Blade Design & Durability

This karambit is a full tang knife which means the whole blade extends to the end of the handle. So it offers several advantages over a partial tang or rat-tail tang knife.

  1. It provides greater strength and stability, as there is no separate handle that can become loose or detached.
  2. It offers better balance, as the weight is distributed evenly from the tip to the hilt.
  3. It is easier to sharpen as the whole blade encompasses the handle.

The SW955 is straighter compared to typical karambits that have curvier blades. This design makes it more efficient for field dressing and bushcraft. Because of this design, you also don't have to think about the perfect angles when slicing or cutting.

Sheath Design & Material

The sheath is made of Kydex, a thermoplastic material widely used for gun holsters and sheaths. It's rigid, able to protect your blade from external pressure, and highly resistant to corrosion.

Some users report that the sheath fit is tight and makes it hard to draw the knife. But applying proper technique and knowing where and how to draw the knife can make up for this drawback.

Remember, though, that a tight fit is better than a loose one. You don't want your knife becoming loose inside the sheath and falling out when you least expect it. 

Edge Retention

8Cr13MoV steel is a popular choice for knife making due to its excellent edge retention. This type of steel can retain its sharpness even with constant use. Additionally, it is relatively easy to sharpen, meaning that you can maintain a sharp edge with relatively little effort. 

8Cr13MoV steel also has good resistance against corrosion, which makes it ideal for outdoor applications. These qualities make 8Cr13MoV steel an excellent choice for those looking for a long-lasting knife.

Handle Design & Functionality

Most karambit handles have a large finger hole that can be difficult to hold and grip, particularly when your hand is wet or slippery when you’re field dressing an animal. In addition, it can pose a serious safety hazard, as it increases the risk of the knife slipping and causing injury.

The well-designed handle of the SW955 has a slightly smaller finger hole that adds more security when handling and drawing the blade. This essential safety feature makes the knife more comfortable and safe to use.

The contoured handle also fits snugly in your hand, and the textured surface provides a secure, slip-resistant grip. The finger hole is positioned for optimum control, and the blade is well balanced for effortless slicing maneuvers.

Smith & Wesson SW955 Price

You may be wondering how much you should expect to spend after reading all the goodies. The best part is that this karambit only costs $25.49 on Amazon.

However, it's important to remember that you usually get what you pay for when it comes to knives. Cheaper knives are often made from lower-quality materials and don't hold their edge as well as more expensive options.

When it comes to finding the best value for your money, you'll want to look for a knife that strikes the perfect balance between price, design, and performance. And the SWJ55 karambit takes it home in all those areas.

Reasons to Buy

  • Full-tang design makes it stable and durable
  • A straighter blade provides more flexibility in use
  • Includes a Kydex sheath for better blade protection
  • Surgically sharp edge—great for processing wild game
  • Great value for the price
  • Easy to carry with its compact design
  • Premium look and feel
  • The sheath has multiple holes for various carrying options

Reasons NOT to Buy

  • The sheath can be too tight for inexperienced users
  • Finger hole may be quite small for people with large fingers
  • Single-edge blade

Is a fixed blade better than a karambit folding knife?

There is no simple answer to whether a karambit folding knife is better than a fixed blade karambit. Both types of knives have unique characteristics. For example, a folding knife is more compact and can be easily carried in a pocket, whereas a fixed blade knife is generally more durable and can be used for a wider variety of tasks. Ultimately, the best type of karambit knife for you will depend on your preferences and needs.

Smith & Wesson Warranty of Quality

Smith & Wesson warrants that its registered products don't have manufacturing defects within the span of the product's life. The Smith & Wesson Company will repair or replace for free any registered product or part that is found to be defective under normal use and service for the duration of its lifetime. This warranty doesn't cover standard use, mishandling, and modifications of their products.

Final Verdict

So what's the conclusion? Is the Smith & Wesson SW955 a good hunting knife? Yes. It's a high-quality hunting knife that can be used by anyone who wants a reliable blade—especially hunters. It's great for field dressing and skinning wild game due to its straighter blade and sharp edge.

It also has a full-tang make, which means it’s strong enough to withstand heavy usage. The edge retention is also impressive, so you can rely on the knife to stay sharp in any situation.

Its handle design is snug and provides a good grip. Our only suggestion would be to revamp the sheath's fit. Overall, this is a mid-tier karambit at an affordable price. Smith & Wesson SW955 should definitely be at the top of your list if you are looking for a quality blade that you can trust. 

We hope this article convinces you to buy this cool karambit. Be sure to read our other articles for more recommendations on the best karambit knife for your needs. And we also have kitchen knives and hunting knives buying guides for every size and price range.

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