We recently talked about an incoming CJRB prototype, the Chord, but it didn’t arrive alone. The Ekko is another new everyday carry proto for Artisan Cutlery’s budget label, landing in a different size class with a very different blade shape.
Whereas the Chord came out with a solid rendition of a drop point, a blade shape that has never really been out of style, the design team at Artisan aimed for something a bit more trendy on the Ekko. This is a modified sheepsfoot blade, where the typically straight edge is canted up to give it some belly, and the tip elongated to keep piercing power on a parity with other popular profiles. Once again Artisan crafted this blade from AR-RPM9, their budget-focused powder metallurgy steel. When they first brought it out in 2020, Artisan described AR-RPM9 as a formulation that used the advantages of powder metallurgy to deliver a high value steel, rather than something that simply aimed for maximum performance at the cost of, well, a reasonable cost.
I go back and forth between CJRB and Civivi as my favorite budget Chinese brands. This looks like a good one.