Best Budget Knives: Brother Knives 1601 (Manix 2 XL Style) from Gearbest Review - Budget tactical user knife!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Brother Knives 1601 (Manix 2 XL Style) from Gearbest Review - Budget tactical user knife!

I received this one a couple of day ago, and I would like to share my thoughts about it.
I have to admit that first impressions out-of-the-box weren't great - the knife was dry inside (no lube) and stiff. It also had a little blade-play. Also, I didn't quite like the looks of it in person, it was too big, fit and finish weren't great.  I disassembled it, polished the washers, lubed and tweaked the pivot, and the mechanics improved by a mile! Then I tried to use the knife and really understood it's purpose.
This is not a knife to put on a shelf and to look on. This is not a perfect EDC knife. But this is one of the best tactical/user knives I've ever used! Few things contribute to that:
1. Ergonomics - very broad handle and excellent Manix 2 XL forms and gimping placement + pretty good grippy G10 (for a Chinese knife).
2. Very good sharpness out of the box and blade geometry.
3. Awesome lockup and mechanics.
4. Usability - I must admit, I sometimes baby my knives, especially the more premium ones. I mean I use all of them, but if I have some tough task - I will not take an expensive knife with ti handle (if I have a choice). But with this knife - I am really willing to truly hard use it and not feel any remorse, a lot more than my Ganzo folders. This is a very important quality for a knife, especially for a tactical one.
Few cons:
1. The opening hole had some sharp edges, that I smoothed using a sharpening rod.

2. The liners aren't skeletonized (could have saved a lot of weight).
3. Fit and finish aren't perfect.
4. Pocket clip placement isn't optimal.
Overall I'm very pleased with the knife, especially after I worked on it for a while and made those little improvements. I recommend it, especially for people who really use their knives and people who would like to try the awesome design of the Spyderco Manix 2 XL.
The knife can be found on Gearbest: BROTHER 1601
Genuine Manix 2 XL here: Spyderco Manix 2 XL 


  1. I laughed my head off when I read that you tend to "baby" your knives - I'm guilty as well. I also have quite a collection of tactical knives and I can't help but play favorites on some them. I pay particular attention to the blade material used and the handle. Some handles are not quite smooth and rough edges are a no-no for me. I prefer a comfortable grip on the handle and I do invest in quality gear to be able to enjoy the outdoors without fear of inadequate tools. For more on quality knives, this page has written a lot about the best products: