The Reate Horizon D is the fourth model in the Horizon line from Reate. Getting bang for your buck is something we all want, right? Well there are not many places offering more bang for your buck than China at the moment, especially with the pound doing so badly. With a number of Chinese makers and manufacturers upping their game over the last few years now’s the time to dip your toe in and try the water, it’s lovely. There is something to suit all budgets and tastes and up near the top of the table in all areas are Reate Knives.
Reate is the child of Chinese Knife whizz David Deng, designer, maker and business man extraordinaire. Not only are Reate coming up with their own winning designs they’re also acting as a mid-tech manufacturer for other brands as well, including Todd Begg’s Steelcraft series, a major coup for them indeed.
The Horizon D comes in two flavours; one’s an all titanium affair and this one is a titanium and carbon fibre cocktail. It arrived snug as a bug in a well-made padded and branded knife case. This is a nice touch and needed really for a knife of this level. Once you open the pouch the knife sits in a little pocket inside a plastic bag, dust and lint free. There was also another little bag containing spare screws, and even what looks like a spare lock bar insert.
A quick look at a few specs from Reate on the Horizon D in carbon fibre
Blade Material: Bohler M390
Handle Material:6AL4V Titanium
Clip and pivot Material:6AL4V Titanium (anodised)
Specs don't always tell the full story though, so let me tell you it's a big knife. Look!
Once you’ve got it out and have it in hand, you want to try it out. Finger at the ready and go. There is a perfectly sized flipper tab on the back with enough jimping on to provide plenty of grip. With a light switch type action you need to overcome the strong detent to get the blade to pop open. It then goes with a thunk. It’s not the fattest flipper out there but there is a lot of force behind it due to the size and weight of the blade. It’s very nice and feels very reassuring; however your finger will get a little sore after a while if you play with this too long. This is because of the strong detent you need to overcome. Once you overcome that detent though it’s smooth, it’s really smooth. This is due to Reate’s multi-row bearing system.
The blade has a nice profile and a light stonewash, a nice combination that works well with the titanium and carbon fibre. One thing that doesn’t work well for me is the fuller in the blade. I’m not really sure what its purpose is. It doesn’t really flow with any of the other lines on the knife and feels like a very imposing feature on the blade, which is also visible in the closed position. To me it feels like it’s on there because they could. Fuller aside the large slab of M390 works well. The grinds are spot on and the blade was razor sharp out of the box. The thumb ramp could have been a bit bigger in order to prove really effective but doing this would have had a negative impact on the blade profile, which would have been detrimental to the knife.
The face side is a wonderfully tactile carbon fibre with a matt finish. It feels like it’s one step away from allowing you feel the individual fibres that make up the slab. Some of the nicest carbon fibre I’ve felt. It’s been machined extremely well with both smooth and faceted sections side by side. This same level of finish is applied to the lock bar side as well. Both side’s work wonderfully well in appearance together and more importantly provide enough grip without being rough. The handle is finished off with blue anodised screws with anodised pivot’s and pocket clip. Very professionally done, there’s no question of that. I’m not sure I like the timascus effect on the pivot and pocket clip though. To me they feel a little bit distracting and don’t feel like they sit well with the overall feel of the knife. I would have much preferred pivot and clip to match the screws and back spacer. Again though, this is just style preference and has no bearing on the actual execution of the knife. With a lock made of titanium we all know the problems that can ensue with lock stick but Reate have been on the ball here with a steel lock bar insert, even providing you with a spare. Open, the lock sits at about 25% and disengages smoothly with enough resistance to feel secure.
Security is something that’s further ensured with the ergonomics of the handle providing a very secure grip, with a nice deep finger choil in conjunction with the flipper tab working as a finger guard removing any chance of your hand sliding up in use. Reate have spared no expense when it comes to the Horizon D model and this really shows, both in the premium materials and the level of finish they’ve achieved. I’m mightily impressed with what Reate have managed and hope they continue to produce fantastic pieces at a fair price.
This retails around £360 at present and feels like a lot of money for a Chinese made knife. I know I probably wouldn’t have laid out this kind of money for a Chinese made knife until recently and if I hadn’t have acquired this knife in the fashion in which I did I may not have been lucky enough to make the discoveries I’ve made. I think we’ve come to a point where we need to move away from thinking about a knife as “Chinese” and start thinking about the fantastic piece’s that are being produced that happen to be made in China. If this knife had been anywhere else we would all be raving about what a bargain this is. Forget China and think, I’m getting a large slab of M390 sandwiched between premium handle materials running on a multi-row bearing system made by a manufacturer who happens to be Chinese and is deemed good enough to make mid-techs for one of the world’s most sought after makers. Bargain? I think so.