Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blackjack Panga

I just put a Blackjack Panga on eBay.  It was made at the original Effingham, Illinois company.  

long slender blade of blackjack's panga
Blackjack's Panga with the original black box

The Panga was made for two years starting in 1991 and fizzling out in 1992.  It’s estimated that only 1200 of these knives were made.

The blade is made from 420HC steel.  According to that fountainhead of knowledge, Wikipedia, 420HC is a higher carbon content 420 stainless.  The HC stands for "high carbon" and it can be brought to a higher hardness than 420 and should not be mistaken for it.  Buck Knives uses 420HC extensively.

Blackjack, it seemed to me, wanted to be the factory version of Randall Knife.  I have a Randall in a display case and a similar new Blackjack.  Based on appearance and feel, they have succeeded.  But Randall has this cache: handmade, served in Vietnam and a favorite of our Armed Forces.  I have a friend who told me when he went in the service his father gave him a Rolex watch and a Randall.  He’s been hooked ever since and has quite a collection.

With Blackjack you can buy the same knife as a Randall, pay half the price and get it today and not after the five-plus year wait Randalls routinely have for a “custom” knife.  But somehow the original Blackjack Company never took off.  Maybe that’s because they were copying and not creating their own signature look.  Whatever the reason Randall remains HOT! 

The Panga was billed as a machete.  I’ve swung a more classical, heavier machete and it’s clearly a job for the young and energetic.
not traditional logo of a dagger through a ace of spades
Note traditional logo of daggers through an ace of spades!  Looks like crossed swords!
Based on that experience I’m not sure the Panga’s edge would hold up to clearing vines and cutting brush.  It may have well have been designed for a more specific use in the jungle like butchering fish, cutting small vines for rope and discouraging other people.  It looks like a long butcher knife. 

But I could be wrong.  Blackjack used to advertise the knife cutting a 1-inch manila hemp rope suspended in mid air.



The sheath and the panga machete
The sheath looks a little raggy, but it's NIB?  Not a good design!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you sold it ? Most prpbaply.. otherwise please email to info@dharmatools.com. Thanks a lot & best regards !!