Not all ultralight backpackers carry a knife on a routine basis (myself included). Carrying a knife seems extraneous to me. I seldom need one unless I’m cutting guylines, cleaning fish, repairing gear, striking a fire-starting flint, shaping first aid tape, opening a food package, slicing cheese, or whittling up a pile of dry wood shavings.

Oh, wait. That actually seems like quite a bit of utility, actually (sic).

OK, so I may actually find a knife to be useful after all.

But I’m not a knife guy.

Which is code for I have zero interest in spending exorbitant amounts of money on a knife I’ll probably lose.

My criteria for a good knife are simple:

  • Sharp « so it cuts stuff;
  • Light « duh;
  • Small « so I can tuck it anywhere;
  • Cheap « so I can spend more money on gas to the TH’s;
  • Orange « so I don’t lose it!

Guess what, y’all – I found the perfect knife for me!

The Backnife Micro Utility Knife

Imagine a cutting tool that slices through Spectra cord like an as-seen-on-TV-tomato knife plowing through a pop can.

This is the idealized micro-Utopian vision of every ultralight backpacking enthusiast, and it’s the promise made by the Backnife Micro-Utility Knife.

Features & Specifications

  • Stanley-style carpenter knife dimensions and a trapezoidal shape. Old school. #MAGA!
  • Sharp! Blade made from zirconium dioxide ceramic. A material that sounds like a sound bite – it’s tweetable!
  • Injection-molded plastic housing (2 pieces) assembled with electrosonic welding. Made in Canada!
  • Adjustable blade length
  • Light! Weight: 0.23 oz (6.5 g) (verified on a NIST*-certified scale; *NIST is an agency overseen by the POTUS – this weight is not Fake News!)
  • Small! Dimensions: 2.5 in (64 mm) x 0.875 in (22 mm) x 0.14 in (3.5 mm). Will fit well in even the smallest hands!
  • Cheap! Cost: ~USD$12 (includes shipping & handling). Affordable for all tax brackets!
  • Orange! Color: Orange. A nice shade of orange, at that!


This is the extent of my performance review:

I cut up a bunch of stuff.

First, paper #FTW!

Then, tape, cardboard, aluminum cans, and on to fabrics (silnylon, then spinnaker, then DCF pack fabric, then pure Spectra). By the time I reached the fabrics, the Backnife was still making clean cuts.

But then the real test: pure Spectra cord, which isn’t handled well by most steel knives. Plus, Spectra dulls steel like you wouldn’t believe. After about one hundred cuts of Spectra cord between 2 and 4 mm in diameter, the knife was still making clean cuts.

Maybe there’s something to this white blade and its ceramic nature.

How to Get Your Very Own Backnife

Visit their website.


I didn’t ask for this knife. I didn’t even realize I wanted it until I got it.

It wasn’t on my Christmas list, nobody bought it for me, and I’m not making (much) of a fortune by writing a good or bad review for it! In fact, if you end up buying a knife as a result of reading this review, Phil’s gonna get all the money. That’s pretty awesome for Phil.

I received the knife as an unsolicited package from knife-maker Phil Cressman, a Canadian. It was in a Tyvek envelope, which I thought was cool because it was Tyvek.

In a way, you could say it was a donation I suppose. But I had no obligation to review it.

I did think it was a really cool product because it weighs a quarter of an ounce and was designed with a lot of thought.

So there. Go buy one. Support Phil. He seems like a decent guy with a great beard. Also, he’s Canadian, and that has to count for a lot! Go Phil!

*Phil is not a family member, and he does not have any tight, loose, medium, or undisclosed financial interest in, or Russia. (As far as we / Jeff / Robert can tell.)

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