The Mtech Hunter Wood Knife, 9″ of full tang stainless steel, is a very tempting example of a good looking and low priced hunter/skinner sheath knife. The simplest types of knives, like the Hunter, can be easily manufactured with modern processes. If you start out with good steel, which actually is Mtech’s best feature, you can wind up with an inexpensive but good quality knife.
Mtech may not go into the advanced cryogenic hardening processes that some makers use, but the old tempering methods served well for centuries and no one noticed any problems with them. It’s in the fine details that you find the differences between a bargain blade and a high cost specialty knife.
On the Hunter, the most obvious cost cutting is in the cheap rivets that hold the bolster to the blade. In a higher quality piece you’d not even see the rivets unless you knew to look for the hairline evidence–they’d be solid metal, hammered into place and polished clean. The punch rivets on the Hunter should be replaced with something better, a task most of us are handy enough to do at home.
The other obvious improvement needed would be to the grind of the blade, a labor of love which most knife fanciers expect. From an expensive product line you’d expect a delicate hollow grind that only needs a touch-up — the Hunter will take a little more time.