You almost expect the James Bond theme music to kick in when you open up the Cardsharp 2. It is, after all, a pocket knife delivered in a package thinner than a CD case. And it is from Great Britain. So it may as well have included a self-destruct instruction manual that turned to vapor after you read it. I would reference Q here, but apparently the Powers that Be in the James Bond film franchise world want to get rid of stodgy old (and cleverly funny) John Cleese's Q in favor of some "adorkable" young jackass. I am sure he is a good actor (actually, no I am not) but the witty back and forth is not the same when cool Daniel Craig is chatting up some super geek more at home in a WoW dugeon raid than a spy machine shop. Bring back John Cleese (he was a perfect recast after the first Q died). Oh....sorry for the tangent.
Anyway, the Cardsharp 2 is an upgrade to the original Cardsharp. The new feature is a safety disk that holds the blade flat to the card portion when the knife is in credit card mode. Here is the product page. Here is Dan's review:
Here is another review. Here is the review sample of the Cardsharp sent to me from Iain Sinclair.
This is one of the cleverest designs I have ever seen. The folding mechanism is ingenious and the knife as deployed is actually quite useful in its shape. Here is a picture of the knife fully unfolded and locked together:
This design allows this knife to go anywhere your credit cards can and for that, it is something to consider. A knife that lives in your wallet is a knife you always have on you.
Fit and Finish: 1
The materials are not bad. Really, it is hard to imagine what else you could use, given the knife's shape and size. The handle is plastic and it is bendable plastic at that, but when locked together, it is surprisingly stiff. Not confidence inspiring, but definitely useable.
The jimping mantra has made it all the way across the sea, as the Cardsharp 2 has purposeful jimping. The fold of the handle also provides something of a choil a real plus on a knife this thin. Again, surprisingly grippy for the size, shape, and materials.
Carry, well, carry is sort of a different issue here. You can carry this, literally anywhere. There is officially no reason not to carry a knife on you now. They are the same size and shape as a credit card:
I carried my review sample for over two weeks in my wallet and it was none the worse for wear. I was concerned that it would bend the blade or break and neither happened. I did have the chance to use it a couple of times out and about and it attracted stares of curiosity, not concern.
The no name "surgical steel" does not inspire confidence in the blade steel choice, but performance-wise it has been fine. Better than 420 HC, about on par with 8Cr13MoV (from Kerhsaw). I suspect it might be Krupp 4116 steel, as it takes an edge well, is cheap, and often the steel in use when people throw around the label of "surgical steel" but that is just a guess.
Blade Shape: 2
Perfectly fine spear point blade with an ultra sharp tip. This is a precision knife, not a hacker and the fine tip is helpful in the likely chores the Cardsharp 2 will be facing.
It is a full flat grind, which is nice, of course, but the thing I like about the Cardsharp 2 is the very large and very steeply angled secondary bevel. This allows for a very shallow angle and that, in turn, allows for a very sharp edge. That is a really unexpected nice touch on a knife that looked like it was more style than substance. I wish Benchmade and Spyderco would use such steep grinds on their knives.
Deployment Method: 1
This is not a speedy knife, but as a back up EDC, it doesn't need to be. In its role, the deployment method is fine. Not great, as there is some bending and clicking that doesn't hit perfect every time, but certainly good enough.
Retention Method: 2
The knife's shape is its retention method--it is a credit card when folded. That, in my mind, is about as convenient as you can get. And since it is in your wallet it is pretty secure. One issue, though, is that it may be a problem if you go into secure areas a lot. I had to run it back to my car as I was in line to go inside a secure facility once.
Plastic flaps seem a little flimsy when compared to the power of a compression lock or the might of the awesome Tri-Ad lock, but they did actually do their job, quite well. I liked it a lot.
Overall Score: 16 out of 20
Well, this is not the usual. But sometimes that is a good thing. I really did like the convenience of a wallet carry knife with a real blade. Most of the "card tools" out there are really junky and none have a three inch blade. It is not a hacker. I'd probably avoid cutting anything tougher than an apple, but in the role of a back up EDC blade, one that lives in your wallet, the clever design was great. The steep angle on the cutting edge was a pleasant surprise and it held up well during the testing period, opening many late Christmas packages. I would never use it as my primary blade, but as a "set it and forget it" wallet knife it is quite nice.
The kind folks of Iain Sinclair have given me permission to give the review sample away. I make it a policy not to keep review samples, so here is your chance. Post a comment to this review. After a week, I will choose one at random and that commenter will receive the knife for free.