By JustSurviving

silky-yoki-branchAt a first glance you could be forgiven in thinking that the Silky YOKI is some form of medieval weaponry forged from an elusive guild. However, at a second glance and looking at the design and raw precision of this Japanese made blade, you would have to have a third glance. At which point your hand would be gravitating towards the non-slip handle in an attempt to wield the empowering scrub hacker.
Well, enough of the dribble and onto the review.

The YOKI is a full tang chopper and made from an unspecified alloy steel. However, from my experience with Japanese made knives, I wouldn’t be worried about any quality issues regarding the metal parts. The overall thickness of the blade is 2.75mm and starts to taper approximately 5mm from the cutting edge.

yokiUndoubtedly the first thing you would notice on the Silky YOKI is the almost 90° curve or brush hook at the end of the 270mm or 10.6in blade. My initial thought was that the curve would have a negative effect on the swing action of the blade and the ‘sweet spot’ on which you try and cut a branch or tree as the chopper is quite top heavy. I did find this to be true when tackling bigger tasks/branches. Not in the swinging action, but where the blade hits the tree, in that, the part of the blade where you would find your greatest impact power is right on the curve. I have found that this then impacts on the energy you are spending hacking, as you are forced to aim your swings (depending on the size you’re attacking) at below, or right on centre of the blade, which for this chopper is just above the balance point. While I’m on this, I think it’s worth a mention that the ‘pointy’ end of the blade has been rounded off so that it won’t snap on you if said end where to ‘accidentally’ lodge into a hard piece of wood. The blade also has a hanging hole out for when you want to temporarily or permanently store it.

yoki-on-branchComing out of the packaging the YOKI wasn’t sharp enough to shave hairs off, however, I know it would have been able to quite easily cut your hand (no I didn’t test this), arm or any flesh really, so wear gloves and safety gear! I have found that it has kept its edge quite nicely after a bit of punishment, however, that’s no surprise due to the quality of Japanese steel.

silky-yoki-vegetationThe Silky YOKI is advertised to be used for bamboo cutting, pruning and forestry. I must say that it really does fulfill these labours. The curve or brush hook at the end of the chopper is a big help when you are clearing undergrowth or shrubs. The hook acts as a kind of scythe, as it will hook around the scrub you are hacking, cutting it from multiple angles. If the blade doesn’t cut it, the hook will ‘grasp’ onto the undergrowth and depending on the size, rip or drag it out. Pruning is a similar story as you have cutting access to basically every part of the branch and is a big advantage when compared to a flat edged machete.

yoki-apartWell enough about the blade, let’s discuss the other half. The handle is a non-slip rubberized handle and has a comfortable ergonomic feel. I have a relatively large hand and there is around an inch of extra space around my fist when I grip it. Now the actual grip is divided into two detachable halves. The top half covers the hind of the full tang blade and the bottom half respectively covers the other side. The bottom half also has large duel quillons for safety. Once the two halves have been removed it isolates the whole full tang blade. Usually with full tang knives the metal handle has a skeleton design to reduce the overall weight of the knife. However, the YOKI has full metal body giving the chopper more weigh in the handle for balance. For a survival modification, you could quite easily remove the rubberized grips and wrap the handle with a considerable length of paracord. I might also add that the blade and grips can be replaced. There is also a lanyard hole in the handle if you have a preference.

The sheath is also a quality piece of equipment and made out heavy duty nylon. All the necessary edges of the sheath have been very nicely riveted and the inside has had a plastic liner installed. The chopper is held in place with a Velcro flap and a press stud loop. Just looking at the sheath you can see that though has been put into the design with the stitching and lining. There is also a corresponding hanging hole in the sheath as with the blade and belt loop. Overall the Silky YOKI is a nicely weighted and designed chopper. It is able to easily fulfill any of its recommended usages and would more than likely be my #1, go-to tool for clearing away dense scrub.