U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- If you’re new to hunting/camping/backpacking and looking for an economical folder and stone to sharpen it with, check out the Smith’s Consumer Products Trail Breaker Combo and Diamond Combination Sharpener. I had a trip lined up to the Silvies Valley Ranch in Seneca, Oregon and thought this would be a good time to check it out so I grabbed one to take along and test.
I had just wrapped up a trip to the Professional Outdoor Media Assn. Conv. in Franklin, Tenn., flown home and was going to grab my wife and run over and check out the Silvies Valley Ranch. But upon arriving home my wife had broken a tooth and had to run in and get a root canal and had to come over a day later. At the lodge, after dinner, it was a beautiful evening so I did a photoshoot while the lighting was good and the Ranger Captain Shai Allen graciously agreed to hold the gear for me which explains why my wife, which helped me test the gear wasn’t in the picture.
Anyway, with all of the above said, let’s start off with the 4-in Diamond Combination Sharpener which is Smith’s #1 selling sharpening stone. And for good reason. It has a fine diamond stone on one side and a coarse stone on the other so it is a reversible stone that will take care of your knife sharpening needs. As hard as modern knives are you will need to use a diamond stone or you will work all day on a knife.
Another nice feature is that the stone pulls out and you can stick the stone end into the handle. Which makes it compact so it is easy to pack into the backcountry on a backpacking hunt or if you pack in on horses. It can also easily be stored in the side pocket on your truck door or on your boat.
The only downside I see is that it is only 1-inch wide. I love the Smith’s 2 ½” x 6” fine diamond stone. Maybe I’m just more used to it since I’ve used one for over 20 years but to me, it is easier to sharpen your knife on. But the combination stone was designed to be more compact and does exactly what it was designed to do.
Now for the Smith’s Trail Breaker Folder. It has a lot of features that make it a functional EDC. To maintain a firm grip, Smith’s put finger grooves on the liner lock and it has a finger guard and a slightly indented finger groove in the handle. It also has thumb grooves on the top of the handle. The thumb grooves end about ¾’s inches from the edge of the handle. It’d be nice if the thumb grooves extended to the edge of the handle to further enhance your grip but with all four of these features, I feel like that I have a firm grip on the knife. (It also has grooves on the tail end of the handle for your palm.
To finish up on the handle, the back slopes slightly downwards which I found to make it comfortable to use. It is a full-sized handle so it fits my hand perfectly. I think the handle is long enough so that if you have big mitts that it will fit you as well. The pocket clip can go right or left-handed and the handle also has a hole for a lanyard if so desired.
Smith’s Trail Breaker Blade
The Smith’s Trail Breaker has a 3 ½-inch blade which is my favorite size. It has a drop point but the last 2-inches of the spine is slightly ground down so you have a definite point which allows you to perform all of your stabbing jobs.
My Smith’s Trail Breaker came from the factory with a good edge which always is the first thing I check for on a knife. You have to be a little suspect of a manufacturer that sends out dull knives, don’t you? The blade is opened by thumb studs.
The MSRP on the Smith’s Trail Breaker Combo is $39.99. The MSRP on the Smith’s Trail Breaker is $24.99 and on the Smith’s Combination stone the MSRP is $21.99. So if you buy them separately the final cost is $46.98. So buying the combination you save $6.99. And as is usual, we will close with the specs.
Smith’s Trail Breaker specs:
- Custom Handle w/over mold
- 3.5” 420 Stainless blade
- 8” overall length when open
- Liner lock
- Ambidextrous thumb studs
- Reversible pocket clip
- Lanyard hole
4-Inch Combination Diamond Stone Specs:
- Coarse and fine diamond stones in one compact sharpener
- Soft grip rubber handle
- Thumb guard
- Sharpening groove for fish hooks and pointed tools
- Micro-Tool sharpening pad
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”