Sanrenmu (or just “SRM”) is a Chinese manufacturer which is well regarded among knife enthusiasts. So much so that it can be hard to find their products at times. Almost all of their products are in the $10 range and compare well to knives costing 5-10 times as much. Sanrenmu is rumored to make products for American manufacturers such as Spyderco.
The Sanrenmu GB-763 is a budget axis lock folder which is very well regarded in the EDC and knife communities. It has G10 scales and is very light weight. I believe it is the only axis lock in their lineup. Both the lock and thumb studs can be accessed from either side of the knife, meaning that it’s ambidextrous.
Notable aspects of this knife include the bottle opener on the blade next to the thumb studs and a removable steel insert for a lanyard.
My sample was purchased from exduct.com, and took a month to the day to arrive at my door. I see it’s now available from Amazon.
The blade is a hollow ground, drop point skinner made of 8Cr13Mov steel, which is a common (and decent) steel for Chinese knives. Mine came with a razor edge. I must be getting old (or I just have too many knives) because I didn’t shave off any hair to test it. The blade also has some very course jimping on the spine.
The handle is made of the same textured G10 material found on about a billion other knives. Hey, why mess with a good thing. It’s light and has a good feel, even wet. The handle has a clip which can only be mounted tip-up, but it can be moved to either side. The back of the handle has the same course jimping on it as the spine of the blade. When opened, the jimping has a nice range to it.
The handle screws are allen head, unlike the Torx head screws found on similar knives, and even other Sanrenmu models. The lanyard rings (is that what they’re called ?) are removable as well.
This knife uses an axis lock, similar to (and some say copied from) Benchmade models. It can be opened with the thumb studs or using the “axis flick” by pulling the lock back all the way and flicking the knife open with the wrist. I read somewhere where this lock is even an improvement over the Benchmades.
The best thing about an axis lock to me is that it can be closed without putting one of my fingers in harm’s way. Other than that, and maybe the fun factor, I don’t have any strong opinions about this type of lock.
This is a well designed and thought out knife. I’m not sure I like or need the bottle opener since I’m worried it could catch on things in my pocket (though it hasn’t so far), but the groove seems to feature into the design of the lockup to give it a little more stability.
The tip-up carry isn’t my personal preference, but I’m in the minority. This knife is clearly designed for people who know and appreciate knife design.
Fit And Finish
Overall superb. Mine came with no noticeable flaws of any kind. None of the common scratches, nicks, or tool/machining marks that would normally be expected with a budget knife such as this one. I’m a generally critical person, and I can usually find something wrong with anything. But the the fit and finish on this knife is about as good as I’ve seen for any knife. The blade is even perfectly centered.
I’ve been EDC’ing this knife for about a week. The axis lock is fun to play with, and overall has a great feel to it. It opens smoothly and has no discernible play to it. The knife has been great around the house. I took the clip off though, and I may take the lanyard rings off too.
After a week carrying this knife and playing with the axis lock, I can see what the hype is about. I’m seriously infatuated with this thing. Another reviewer said it best: This isn’t just a good knife for 13 bucks. It’s a good knife at any price.
We’ll see how I feel once the honeymoon period is over. I already feel the little bit of extra weight. It’s 2 ounces (minus the clip) versus 1 ounce (also minus the clip) of my Spyderco Dragonfly. An extra ounce doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s double the weight of the Dragonfly with only a little more blade surface.
But at 2 ounces, this knife is a lot of knife. My first Sanrenmu was a 704 which I gave to my dad, thinking I could buy another one any time I wanted, not knowing that they’d stop making them for a while. I don’t think the 704 has left my dad’s side in the year he’s had it. Now that I found a reliable source of them (exduct.com) I intend to work my way through just about all of Sanrenmu’s models.