Rambo “First Blood” Knife review

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If you’re looking at buying this knife you can BUY THE RAMBO FIRST BLOOD KNIFE NOW FOR $79.99.  That includes free world-wide shipping!  We often get contacted by residence of the UK about whether they can import the knife, yes, UK citizens can purchase the knife.

 

KnifeOverall SizeBlade sizeHandle sizeBlade materialHandle MaterialPrice
Rambo First Blood knife
Rambo first blood knife
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13.75 inches9 inches4.8 inchesStainless steelWire cord wrap
High

Check Amazon price compared to MY PRICE.

 

The origins of the knife

At the time, there were lots of rumors going around about all the potential knife makers that Sylvester Stallone approached to design a knife for the movie.  One of more “out there” rumors was that Stallone decided to create a knife for the movie himself.  The first bladesmith that was approached to create the knives was master knifemaker, Bill Moran. He was assigned to make a prototype but decided to turn down the offer of making knives for the movie.  Bad decision!

 

SlyWall2
Stallone’s wall of knives in his home

The bladesmith that ended up producing the knife was master knifemaker, Jimmy Lile from Arkansas.  Jimmy Lile was a bladesmith from 1970 and he passed away in 1991.  He made a total of thirteen knives for the movie.  Six were used in the movie and seven he kept.  Later, he went on to make 87 more but they all had differences from the movie knives.  The most famous difference was that he used 12 saw teeth compared to the 14 that were on the actual movie knife.  Other differences were the grind and finishes, but I won’t bore you with.

 

LILE-SLY
Jimmy Lile and Sly showing off the knife

 

 

John Hill is now the owner of Lile knives.  He creates an accurate handmade version of the knife that was used by Sylvester Stallone in First Blood.  John has been a huge fan and collector of Jimmy Lile’s Rambo knives for decades.  To make it even better he has an impressive engineering background and even has high end custom gun smithing in his repertoire.  He is known for being obsessively accuracy.  His First Blood replica knives cost over $2,000 so if that’s what you’re after, go for it but there are much cheaper options available.  Check out the latest price here.

 

On to the review

I’m not reviewing the $2,000+ Hill made version because I just don’t have that sort of cash to spend on one knife.  I’m reviewing this edition.

The design

The Rambo First Blood Knife based its design from the survival knives used during the Vietnam war era.  These types of survival knives were mostly used by pilots and is common to Randall 18.  They wThe theory is that if your plane has gone down, you could be anywhere, you could be behind enemy lines, you could be stuck somewhere really remote and need to survive for days until rescue arrived.  What was needed was something that could help you survive in these circumstances.  Enter the survival knife, a big sturdy knife that included a small survival kit to help you survive the situation.  The survival kit is composed of needles, matches, surgical knives, fishing lures and thread.  Check out the examples of Aviator knives from the Vietnam war era below.

Aviator knife 2

 

Aviator knife

 

marbles-jet-pilot-survival-fighting-knife-viet-nam-era-usa-made-in-gladstone

 

The First Blood knife used in the movies, coming in at 14 inches is even bigger than the Aviator knife that the vets used.  In First Blood, Rambo uses both his hook and fishing wire.  The former is used in sewing up a deep gash right through his arm.

 

Rambo First Blood knife
Rambo First Blood knife

 

The knife is manufactured from stainless steel and is painted with a sand-blast gray.  On the bottom of the knife, there is a compass.  It’s on the inside of pommel/screw on cap so you can still use the pommel.  The handle is wrapped in green nylon cord.  Inside the handle is waterproof sealed compartment that contains a survival kit.  This kit contains fishing wire, fishing hooks, matches and other necessities.  The blade guard even has a Phillips screwdriver on one end and a flat head screwdriver on the other end.

In the movie and in this replica the sheath has a sharpening stone in a leather pouch on the front.  They’ve thought of everything, the survival kit even has a “Survival Kit Silencer” which prevents noise caused by the survival kit moving in the handle of the knife.  The packaging for the knife is really high quality and has a custom EVA foam insert so that the knife doesn’t move much in transit.

The knife comes really sharp which I appreciate.  On top of the blade are the fourteen-saw teeth that can be utilized in cutting meat, metal, wood and barbed wire.

After the movie was produced, Jimmy Lile decided that the knife should have twelve teeth instead of the fourteen used in the movie.  The number of the teeth represents the four years that were spent by Rambo in the army and eight male members in his own team.  That’s why many replicas have 12 teeth but this replica is identical to the actual movie knife, having fourteen teeth.  Other than a knife, Rambo used a bow and arrow as a weapon.

My concerns before purchasing the knife

There were five major concerns that I had when purchasing this knife.

  1. How accurate would this knife be when compared to the original 13 movie knives that Lile made.
  2. Balance of the knife because it has a hollow handle.
  3. The construction and finish.
  4. Functionality.  Will a hollow handle knife handle the punishment I want to give it?  Many people buy these knives because they’re collectors but I prefer to use my knives, I just can’t help myself, I need to put a knife to the test.
  5. The quality of the survival kit.

How the knife turned out

I must admit that I expected a fairly average knife and that you were paying a premium because it’s a collectible Rambo knife.  Boy was I wrong.  What this piece does is pretty spectacular.  The grinds, finish, and polishing are excellent but the first thing you notice is the size and weight.  At 14 inches, it’s just huge.  It looks as if someone held it under a microscope and detailed everything to get the accuracy of the original Lile knives.  You only have to look at the screwdriver on the blade guard and the added flared bevel at the tip in order to see the passion that someone put into this knife.

I have had many knives, many of them from custom makers, so I would know a well made knife when I seen it and this is definitely one of those knives.  Everything about the fit and finish was obsessively complete and perfect. The attention to detail on the knife and considering the price, when compared to others just made it even better.  It’s fairly sharp out of the box but if you like your knives razor sharp, it will need a sharpening.  It’s a really well balanced knife which I wasn’t expecting because of the hollow handle.  The handle and guard are very sturdy and sheath very well made with diamond sharpener which works effectively.

The best part about knives like these is they’re fun.  It sounds crazy but I feel invincible with this knife in the woods.  When I’m out camping with my friends, my friends love testing the knife out and it’s a really great talking point as well.

Quick comparison to the other Rambo knives

rambo knives comparison
The Rambo knives side by side.

Even though the Rambo 2 knife looks the same, it has its differences.  The knives used in Rambo 3 and 4 are completely different.  For the third movie, he carried another Bowie knife which I have reviewed here.  The main difference is the move away from the hollow handle to a hidden tang handle. For the fourth movie, he carried a small machete.  For a more in depth comparison to the other knives check out our home page.  If you like the look of Rambo knives (bowie knives), check out what I consider to be the best bowie knife – The Cold Steel Natchez Bowie.  That’s a really expensive knife so if you’d prefer an option that is easier on the pocket, check out the best budget bowie knife.  If you’re looking for a survival knife with a hollow handle that contains a survival kit but isn’t associated to the Rambo franchise try the Maxam Survival knife.

 Where to buy?

Or you can BUY IT NOW FOR $79.99 from my online store.  That includes free world-wide shipping.

Or you can buy from amazon.  For the version with Sly’s signature click here.

After the “First Blood” movie knife, there came the Rambo 2 knife.

You can also try knife-depot.com or bladeops.com.  You can use coupons at both these sites to either get something for free or get a discount on your order.  Check this page for knife depot coupons and check here for bladeops coupons.

Rambo First Blood Knife
4.8 / 5 stars