Puma 4-Star Review
Puma has been making knives since 1769 and their experience shows up in there products. Puma offers the 4-Star in a number of different handles but I have the wood handle, so that’s the one I’ll be reviewing today. The Puma 4-Star is a traditional folding knife and perfect for EDC (Every-Day-Carry) purposes or fishing. It’s easy to carry, simple, elegant and sharp. Don’t let it’s good looks fool you, this pocket knife is German engineered and hand crafted; it is durable enough to withstand hard work.
What can this knife handle?
The Puma 4-Star is built for tough jobs and long use. It is a perfect as an EDC and can handle any job that’s too small for a larger fixed blade knife. Cutting through thin rope and chord, cleaning fish, making kindling, and opening boxes are just a few of the many tasks this knife is suited for. It’s lightweight and compact, so it’s no trouble to carry around. The D1.4 Solingen Stainless Steel is decent, and the lockback design and superb construction make for a sturdy knife that won’t wiggle or snap. The wood handle looks great and is strengthened by stainless steel bolsters. Certainly, there are jobs that are too big for the Puma, so don’t go over the top with stress tests and the like, but if you exercise some common sense the Puma 4-Star will be an excellent knife for you.
Construction and Blade
As mentioned before, the Puma 4-Star is made of D1.4 Solingen Stainless Steel which is similar to 440A Stainless Steel. No, it’s not the best steel in the world but it gets the job done and works fine in an everyday use pocket folder. Reaching between 55-57 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, each knife is custom proofed to ensure it’s quality. The steel keeps a good edge and is sharpened easily. It is also highly rust resistant, which means your Puma will still look good years after you purchase it.
The knife is fairly lightweight at 4.1oz and is easy to carry at only 4 inches closed. When deployed, the knife is 6.9 inches long, with a 2.6 inch blade (plently of blade for a knife of this class). The blade itself is a drop point design and is 3mm thick. These traits give the knife a stronger tip, and make the Puma 4-Star excellent penetrater.
Handle, Grip, and Feel
The Puma 4-Star’s handle is made of Cocobola wood, held in place by a metal bracer. Cocobola is a hardwood from Central America with a reddish-brown color to it. The wood is extremely dense and hard and can be polished to a glossy sheen. This Sheen, along with the rounded ends and fine shape, give the 4-Star a memorable, classy look.
The fine texture of the wood and it’s solidity, provide a stable grip for your knife. It should be noted that the Cocobola handle is not as “grippy” as some of the artificial handles out there. Your hand isn’t going to slide off if you’re are being careful and not pushing the knife too hard. However, if you try and make the knife do something it’s not designed to do, or if you aren’t careful you could lose your grip. It’s not really a problem if you’re responsible. The aesthetic’s of the Cocobola handle far outway its drawbacks in my view.
Puma chose a lock-back design for the 4-star’s. Lock-back’s work by way of a locking arm with a hook that fits into a notch on the back of the blade behind the pivot. When the knife is opened, the knife draws the hook into the notch, snapping the blade into place. These locks are some of the strongest around, and ensure that the 4-Star isn’t going to break during heavy use.
The final verdict is that the Puma 4-Star is a great little pocket folder and a good pick-up for anyone looking for a knife in the EDC class. There are higher end folders available but Puma makes good knives and while I would have preferred a different steel, it’s still well made. It’s greatest advantage to me is it’s look. If you like the nostalgia of old-timey looking knives, look no further. The Cocobola handled Puma 4-Star is for you.
Check out the Puma 4-Star at Knifehog.com.