When we began our 100 Knives in 100 Days Giveaway, I had honestly never heard of Citadel Knives. They are a Cambodian company, which was founded in the 1990s, known mostly for swords, but entering the knife market of late. Today we are giving away their Phan Thiet friction folder, donated by the folks at CAS Iberia.
Sale Creek, Tennessee’s CAS Iberia is a multifaceted company with a reputation built upon thirty years of importing superb Japanese swords, reproduction and role-play edged weapons, and high quality knives from the best foreign manufacturers. Currently these include Russia’s Kizlyar Supreme, Cambodia’s Citadel Knives and Swords, and Casstrom of Sweden.
The Phan Thiet is has horn handles, from water buffalo I believe. The blade is DNH7 steel, a carbon steel which is used by companies including Boker.
Specs (as provided by CAS Iberia)
Blade Length: 3″
Handle Length: 4″
Thickness at Guard: 4mm
Blade Steel: DNH7
It even has some attractive filework on the back spacer.
The carbon steel blade is extremely sharp. I was curious as to what the fit and finish would be like on a Cambodian knife. After all, companies are looking for alternatives to China as ironically the Chinese have gotten too good, and consequentially are becoming too expensive. For the most part it is good, though there is a small crack in the horn scale which can be seen in the picture.
The ergonomics are great. The thumb tab is comfortable, and the horn handles are chunky and fill the hand. The finish is smooth, and I noticed no hot spots.
As Citadel is a somewhat obscure and newish brand, I was unable to find anything by way of on outside review. That said, I have a feeling folks will be hearing more about Citadel in the years to come.