The Entrek Javalina Hunting Knife: An In-Depth Look

Founded by internationally known knife maker Ray W. Ennis, Entrek USA is an American knife company that produces very high quality, semi-production, knives.

In fact, Ray has been professionally designing and making knives since 1973 and, although his present line mainly focuses on tactical knives, it also includes several knives designed for wilderness survival, hunting, and general purpose use.

In addition, all Entrek knives are made from a very high quality stainless steel that is heat treated and then sub-zero stabilized in order to remove stress within the metal. Therefore, Entrek USA fulfils Ray Ennis’ vision of producing a custom quality knife at a production knife price.

Consequently, the Entrek Javalina is a well design and well constructed knife that features an overall length of 8 15/16” with an 4 5/16” drop point, sabre ground blade made from 1/4″ 440C stainless steel that has been heat treated, sub-zero stabilized, double drawn to 57-68 Rockwell and then bead blasted for a non-reflective finish.

In addition, the Javalina features a full tang construction with stainless steel quillions. It also features black canvas Micarta handle slabs which Entrek purchases from only one source in order to maintain uniformity. Last, this knife is supplied with a sturdy Kydex sheath.

Unlike the majority of Ray Ennis’ knife designs, the Javalina is obviously designed specifically for the purpose of hunting.

For instance, the drop point blade shape is widely favored over all other blade shapes by hunters because it is both highly functional for the job of removing the hide from harvested game animals and is aesthetically pleasing due to its graceful lines. Also, the drop point blade shape positions the tip of the knife closer to the center line of the blade where it provides the user with greater control when using the tip of the knife to perform delicate cutting or slicing tasks.

In addition, this particular design displays an arched spine which effectively makes the blade wider.  This in turn allows for a deeper “belly” on the cutting edge for an extended sweep to facilitate the long slicing strokes necessary to remove the hide from game animals like feral pigs and Javelinas for which the knive itself was named.

Plus, the primary bevel of the sabre grind starts close to the spine of the blade near the back of the blade and ends well above the tip which creates very sharp, yet relatively strong edge. Furthermore, the spine of the blade features “jimping” (grooves cut perpendicular to the length of the spine) just in front of the handle slabs for a more positive gripping surface when either the thumb or the index finger is placed on the spine to provide the user with more leverage or more control when cutting and slicing.

However, while the presence of a Ricasso is of far less importance on a hunting knife than it is on a dedicated wilderness survival knife, I still don’t like them and thus, the smaller they are the better.

Fortunately, the Entrek Javalina has a relatively small Ricasso so that if the user were to decide to use it as general purpose knife, then the Ricasso would not place the back of the cutting edge too far from the user’s hand for performing carving tasks.

On the other hand, I absolutely love the fact that it’s made from 440C which my favorite stainless steel for dedicated outdoor use because it contains enough carbon to hold an edge very well (.095% – 1.20%), enough chromium to be very corrosion resistant (16.0% – 18.0%), just enough molybdenum (0.75%) to combine with the chromium to form plenty of hard, double-carbide bonds which increases the hardness, toughness, wear resistance and abrasion resistance of the steel. It also contains just enough manganese (1.0%) to make the steel properly tough.

After shaping, each Entrek blade undergoes a rigorous regimen which consists of heat treating, sub-zero quenching to relieve any internal stress in the metal which might cause a weak point and then double drawing to a Rockwell hardness of 57-58.

Thus, the user is provided with a knife that strong, tough, corrosion resistant, holds an edge extremely well and will survive any task the user may ask of it.

However, I am not particularly enamored of the bead blasted finish. While I would certainly prefer to have this type of finish on a knife that I intended to use for tactical purposes because it does not reflect light the way a polished surface can, it also tends to hold moisture against the surface of the metal unlike a polished surface and thus, I am concerned that it would be more prone to corrosion than a polished surface would be even though the steel contains 16.0% – 18.0% chromium.

On the other hand, I do like the shape of the handle as it is very ergonomically designed for use as a hunting knife or daily carrier and I especially appreciate the use of canvas Micarta for the handle slabs (which Entrek purchases from only one supplier in order to maintain quality and uniformity) because it provides a very positive gripping surface, even when wet, and yet it is impervious to the absorption of moisture.

Also, canvas Micarta is highly abrasion resistant and it will not chip, crack, or split due to its laminated construction. In addition, the handle slabs are secured to the full tang with three, stainless steel, bolts and a stainless steel lanyard loop placed in the rear of the handle.

So, although the Entrek Javalina is not as pretty as many custom hunting knives that feature highly polished blades and fancy, natural, handle materials, the Javalina is every bit as well designed and well built as any custom hunting knife (and far better than many I have seen). Thus, if you are the type of hunter that favors functionality over flash, then the Entrek Javalina would be a truly excellent choice to fulfill your hunting knife needs.

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