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I first learned about Sentinel Gear Knives from my friend Jack Richland at Black Scout Survival. He turned me on to their compact, fixed-blade knife designs, and I was instantly impressed with their concealed carry capabilities. I began talking with Matt, the owner and knifemaker behind Sentinel Gear, and eventually ended up with one of his most impressive designs, the Skoll.
Persian blades are mostly known for their upswept, curved design. This geometry offers certain advantages on the battlefield, including the ability to deliver powerful chops, draw cuts, and penetrate underneath or around armor. The Skoll is Sentinel Gear’s modern twist on the classic Persian blade design.
The Skoll is made from 1084 high-carbon steel. For those not familiar with 1084, I’ll give a quick rundown. 1084 is sometimes preferred by knifemakers because of its consistency during heat treating. The more well-known 1095 is more finicky and less forgiving during heat treating. Everything else being equal in a finished blade, it would be impossible to tell 1084 and 1095 apart without metallurgic testing. In other words, 1084 performs the same as 1095 after treatment, but is easier to work with.
The Skoll is a compact, 5/32”-thick, full-tang knife measuring 6 7/8” long. The three-inch, chisel ground blade comes as a single edge with a 1 5/8” false edge, or as a double-edged blade like the one shown here. The advantage of the chisel ground is that only one side of the blade needs to be sharpened, as opposed to a V-grind, making is easier to maintain a consistent sharpening angle. Once, a burr forms during sharpening, some gentle stropping with a leather strop or heavy cardboard on the back side will hone the edge.
The Skoll’s modified Persian blade is an excellent penetrator. The tip of the Skoll is directly in line with the pommel, which place the point in perfect alignment with hand. When used in a reverse grip, the back-curved blade digs into the target following the natural ark of strike. When I tested the Skoll against Level III soft body armor, the blade passed easily through the panel and continued to cut through the Kevlar during the withdrawal.
The handle scales of the Skoll are made out of durable textured Micarta for a sure grip. The handle is shaped to conform to the user’s hand, ending with an extended half-guard to prevent the hand from sliding across the blade. A black powder coat gives the Skoll a beautiful finish while protecting its high-carbon steel from the elements. Like any high-carbon steel, 1084 is prone to rust if not cared for, so a light coat of oil along the exposed edges will go a long way.
Sentinel Gear also specializes in Kydex holsters, so it comes as no surprise that the Skoll comes with a quality Kydex sheath. The sheath is equipped with an adjustable angle belt clip for inside the waistband (IWB) carry. The knife is small enough that it rides comfortably as an appendix carry. I chose to experiment with the sheath configuration a bit and ultimately opted for a horizontal carry using a bicycle inner tube to secure the sheath to my belt. I cut a smaller piece of tubing to act as sort of a retention band that I positioned at the back of the handle. This band pulls the handle against the belt and helps conceal the blade under a shirt.
In the relatively short amount of time I have spent with the Skoll it has become one of my favorite knives. I always recommend carrying a fixed-blade for defensive use, and the Skoll’s compact size and excellent design make it an ideal EDC blade. Since receiving the Skoll from Sentinel Gear, it has hardly left my side (appendix to be exact). In my opinion, the Skoll is primarily a reverse grip knife, and the double edge version that I received makes it even more versatile because it offers the added capability of powerful pulling cuts. Of course, some overly-regulated states and municipalities may frown upon “high-capacity” edged devices, so check your local laws before you decide which variant to go with.
The Skoll can be purchased through the Sentinel Gear website for $220.00 ($230 for the double-edged version). Be sure to check out their social media accounts as well. They can be found on Instagram and Facebook.
Photo Credits: Chad McBroom