Since the company was launched in 2014, Steel Will has created a very impressive lineup. The Argonaut 800 is part of their medium-price-range outdoor series. This series is my favorite because you get a lot of knife for your money. All the knives in the Argonaut series are made in Taiwan, something that was important for me since most knives made in Taiwan are of good quality. The knives in the outdoor series are made with good materials and they are not too expensive, so you don’t have to be afraid to use them hard. As soon as you take the Argonaut out of its very nice packaging you can tell that this knife was made for heavy-duty use.
The card with the Inspection Date speaks for the companies good quality control.
According to Greek mythology the Argonauts were a group of heroes that traveled with Jason on his quest for the golden fleece.
I can easily imagine taking this knife on an adventure, for example a long backpacking trip or a 4×4 overland tour.
The thick spine in combination with a nice saber grind and the full tang construction inspire confidence (according to the manufacturer the tang has no sharp corners that could create weak points). Due to the built quality and robust design I have zero doubts that the Argonaut will hold up to hard use just fine.
I have used the knife in the kitchen to cut vegetables and fruits. Of course this knife was not designed to be a kitchen slicer but the geometry is good and slicing onions and oranges was no problem at all.
The sharp edge and ergonomic handle make carving fine feathers a breeze. The edge runs close to the handle which helps too. The gap is just large enough to use it as a finger choil.
The AUS-8 steel is no miracle steel but it is a very good compromise between edge retention, robustness, ease of sharpening and cost. Overall a very good choice for a knife that has to be maintained in the field. It is comparable in performance to the well proven 1095 carbon steel.
The Argonaut 800 has a very nice handle that feels super comfortable. The design reminded me of the handle on the Gerber Harsey Hunter.
The handle is longer than that on a standard Ka-Bar USMC so even guys with very large hands will be able to get a full grip.
The top and bottom guard protect your fingers from sliding on the edge. A very important feature when using the knife with cold or wet hands. At the same time they are not too large to prevent you from putting your finger in the choil or your thumb on top of the spine to get more control. Additionally the Argonaut 800 has a subtle palm swell which increases comfort and security.
The sheath rides nice and low on the belt so the handle won’t poke you in the side. As a lefty I enjoy very much the versatility of the well fitted injection-molded sheath. By removing the two screws you can turn the sheath into a lefty sheath.
I added some loctite so the screws won’t come loose in the future.
The sheath holds the knife by friction and has a double snap as a second security as well. The belt loop can be opened, so you can remove the knife without taking your belt of.
Overall I am very impressed with this knife. If you are looking for a heavy-duty user in the size range of a Ka-Bar I think you can’t go wrong with the Argonaut 800. It performs very well for all the tasks that you could ask from a field knife, does not break the bank and in my opinion is a very pleasing knife to look at.