Best Budget Knives: CIMA 1 Survival Knife Review - Sheath Happens!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

CIMA 1 Survival Knife Review - Sheath Happens!

This time it's the turn of one of the most popular budget knives out there - the CIMA 1.

First impressions:

The knife arrived in a CIMA branded cardboard box.
Out of the box it was reasonably sharp, but had a few issued with the sheath - it had some scratches on it (even a small crack) and had pretty bad retention.
Plus I really hated the clip CIMA 1 came with (springy steel clip) - it made the knife heavy and uncomfortable.
So I took it off and put a tek lok on it (the key was to use the long screws of the original clip).
Plus I glued a piece of rubber inside to fix the retention.
The knife felt much better after that.

- Blade length: 3.85"/9.8 cm.
- Cutting edge: 3.75"/9.5 cm

- Total length: 8.26"/21 cm
- Weight with the sheath: 10 oz/284 g
- Weight without the sheath: 7.26 oz/206.6 g

1. The condition of the sheath and the clip it came with.
2. Pretty thick grind and uneven sharpening.
3. 7Cr17MoV steel.
4. The CIMA 1 is relatively heavy for the size and the balance is off.
5. The design was borrowed from ESEE/ONTARIO RAT series.

1. Genuine Micarta handle - best quality and a reason to buy this knife.
Micarta handle is pleasant to touch and provides great grip (even when the hand is wet).
It also absorbs moisture.
2. The looks - are great IMO (kudos to ESEE).
3. Awesome ergos, including the gimping and the finger choil.
4. The blade coating is quite durable (not cheap paint).
5. Full tang construction with a skull crusher/window breaker at the end.
6. Price.

I admit I expected more from this knife. Maybe I just got a lemon.
But still - I think the CIMA 1 is worth the price (after the improvements to the sheath) as it will perform and you wouldn't feel sorry for it.
Plus that micarta handle is awesome.

Check out the CIMA 1 here: CIMA 1 Survival Knife
Or on Amazon for faster US shipping: CIMA 1 on Amazon

Competitive option:

Ontario RAT 3: Ontario RAT 3 Survival Knife

Video demo:

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