Holtzman’s Bloodline Survival Knife Review
The Holtzman Bloodline Survival Knife Scored an overall 8/10 during the Product Testing.
Several weeks back, Nathan Holtzman of Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival Gear asked me to review one of his company’s newest products, the Holtzman’s Bloodline Survival Knife. Being a survival instructor and small business owner (Texas Adventure and Survival School), I was more than happy to help a fellow small business within the same sector. However, I had never heard of Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival, nor Nathan Holtzman for that matter. But I wanted to test the Bloodline Survival Knife, to see exactly what it can do. My first actions after ordering the knife, was to review the Amazon page for the product, and google the knife to see what was in the public domain. However, I was a little surprised to find, most of the chatter on the knife was on a social media page, rather than Amazon. Nonetheless, it seemed people who had purchased the knife were more than happy. So, I had a certain level of expectations – to say the least.
My initial impressions of the knife was when Amazon delivered it to my home, some 48-hours after I ordered it, I will add I was slightly impressed that it was already available on prime delivery – considering the Bloodline was only released in the latter weeks of 2019. However, the contents of the presentation box were strewn all around the packing box. But, to be fair, Nathan did warn me this might happen. And, other then slight cosmetic damage to the presentation box, there was no obvious signs of other defects. I was slightly surprised at the weight of the knife, considering it is only just over 8.5” from the point of the blade to butt of the handle. Yet, I do like heavier knives, so in all honesty, this was not an issue for me.
After holding the knife for the first time I spotted a flaw with the design of the handle. Because, I notice the butt of the handle did not extend passed my hand, but rather it stopped just short of the end of my palm. In addition, I noted that there is a pronounced edge, which I knew would cause issues when used for prolonged periods, or when force was applied during routine cutting tasks. I then noticed that the ridges on the spine of the knife were also a little more pronounced then what they should have been, which again would cause issues to the user when cutting various items.
The aspect I did like of the overall package, was the fact that the sheath (which is kydex) could be changed from left to right carry, with relative ease. I also liked the fact that on the sheath, there was an attachment for the ferro rod and striker. The push button locking mount also was impressive to see on the pouch, as typically there is only a belt clip supplied with kydex sheaths, and you must pay extra for the push button locking mount. Another nice touch was not only the ‘thank you card/gift card’. But also, the fact that you get a step by step care and maintenance instructions flyer.
Putting the Knife to Work
For the testing phase of the product review, I knew that in order to make the data balanced and relatable, I would have to not only try the knife myself. But also, I got a collection of other people to try the knife, so I could get an ‘overall’ feel from people. That way, the information would have more substance, and would not be based on the viewpoint of one person. In this section, I will detail the most common pros and cons of the knife, which was found during the testing.
Safety Concerns – Firstly, in wet conditions it is hard to get a firm grasp of the knife. Also, when you have wet/sweaty hands, on occasions your hand can slide down towards the blade much easier, and if you’re not careful you can cut your fingers on the blade. Even with the scoring on the G10 metal grips, you still can’t get a firm grasp of the knife in wet conditions, despite Holtzman’s Gorilla Survival claiming you can on their marketing material. Secondly, the ridges on the spine of the knife are more pronounced then they need to be. In turn, when you are using the knife during tasks which require more force then usual in the down stroke, and you place your thumb on the ridges. Due to the square edges on the ridges, it is easier to break the skin on your thumb and for bleeding to occur.
General Edge Retention – Edge retention was one of the key factors for many of the people who tested the knife. It was found that after a short period of time (approx. 10 – 15 mins of continued cutting tasks), the edge would dull more quickly than was expected. We expected to have the edge dull during batoning, but not for feathering sticks.
Angle of the Edge – Another aspect we had issues with, which also coincides with edge retention, is the angle at which the edge is sharpened. According to the maintenance and care instructions which comes with the knife, the edge of the blade is set at 20°. Typically, 20° edges are only common on kitchen knives, because they knife would require sharpening more for heavy duty tasks. Hunting/survival/tactical knives normally have between 22° to 30° edges on the blade, since these angels are more durable.
Cutting/Batoning Tasks – When the knife was used for simple cutting tasks, such as cutting up paracord etc., it was found that the Bloodline was very well suited for these tasks. However, when we moved onto feathering sticks and stripping the bark from logs etc., it was hard to perform these tasks. Again, this was due to the angel of the edge. However, when the Bloodline was used for batoning wood, it was found that it was ideal knife. Also, when the knife was used to hack/chop into a thin branch, the knife surpassed expectations.
Is the Bloodline a Survival Knife – in reality, the Bloodline is an ok knife for moderate cutting tasks. However, to call it a survival knife is a bit of a stretch. The marketing page on Amazon also classed the knife as an ‘all round knife’ in the descriptions, yet to call it an actual survival knife is slightly misleading. Conventional survival knives have a much more defined edge on the blade, have much longer blades then just over 4 inches long. And, have handles which can be gripped in both wet and dry conditions.
I don’t normally cover the marketing materials within my product reviews, however, on this occasion I feel that it is warranted, soley due to the fact of the conflicting information contained on the Amazon selling page. Firstly, in the heading section of the knife, not once is the name mentioned. Instead, it is filled with key words to booster the rankings. Yeah, I get it. But it would be better to just see the name of the knife instead of structured key words, as its look more professional. Secondly, the general description and key points of the knife jumps around from one point to another. For example, it is being sold as the ultimate survival knife. Yet, it also claims to be useful for arts and crafts. It just does not make sense, and makes the product seem more suspect.
What I mean by point two, is it is a common trait for Chinese companies to fill their Amazon product page with all sorts of information and key words. When looking at the product page, it is very close to what I would expect to see from a rip off company, rather then a professional outfit. Finally, the claims made in the marketing material was very hard to substantiate during the product test. Ranging from military knife features (as it is not a bayonet which is technically a military knife) to alluding to the fact that using this knife in your adventures will make you safer. As we have seen in the testing, when the handle/your hand is wet, there is a real possibility that your hand can encounter blade during use, which will cause a serious injury.
Stick to one theme, and sell it based on the facts to keep people safe.
Overall, the Holtzman Bloodline scored 8/10. However, this high grade was only achieved due to the knife being more than adequate at everyday tasks and batoning. With respect to calling the knife a survival knife, that is a little less then factual. Also, the marketing material used on the Amazon page is also making claims which either has not been tested or has never really been looked at after the design was finalized. Again, the marketing material makes a reference that the knife is also good for arts and crafts. I mean yes, ok the knife really is ok for arts and crafts, and even some general gardening tasks, or even as an everyday carry, but to make claims that the Bloodline is the only knife you will ever need, is very misleading and not in keeping with the reality of what the knife can do.
Please view our YouTube product review for more details.