Southwire EdgeForce Hawkbill Pocket Knife Review

Southwire Hawkbill
PTR Review
  • Pro Review 8.8

The price and material selection makes this a no-brainer over other stainless steel blades that lose their edge quickly on cable stripping. Just keep in mind that D2 is rust resistant, but not a true stainless steel.

Overall Score 8.8 (out of 10)
PTIA 2018 Winners Sqaure Logo

Regular readers know that we geek out (as the kids say) over pocket knives. While we use most of our tools only on the job, we carry our knives all the time. The day you forget your knife is the day you realize how often you actually use it. Although the drop point blade is probably the most common knife blade shape or design, there are several others to choose from. Consider the just-plain-cool look of the Hawk Bill blade design. And, wouldn’t you know, I’ve got the brand new Southwire Hawkbill Pocket Knife in hand.

Let’s cut to the chase!


  • D2 blade steel offers better edge retention
  • Excellent value at $25
  • Hawkbill blade is perfect for pull cuts and cable stripping


  • No spring or bearing to assist with deployment

Editor’s Note: Check out our best utility knife article for our top picks in this category.

The Cutting Edge

Although beauty is in the eye of the knife-holder, I must say the Southwire EdgeForce Hawkbill Pocket Knife is a handsome creation. The matte black handle and stonewash black oxide-coated blade cut a classy profile.

Southwire Hawkbill

Two thumb studs allow deployment with either your left or right hand. With no bearing or spring assistance, it’s tougher to open than knives that have it. Just keep in mind the $25 price to keep things in perspective.

Once open, a liner lock keeps the blade securely deployed without the slightest wiggle.

The main attraction is the blade’s steel upgrade to D2 from Southwire’s 8Cr13MoV steel version (model HBKN). D2 steel holds a better edge without making the knife too expensive.

Southwire Hawkbill

The verdict: this knife is guilty of staying remarkably sharp! It held its edge even better than I expected. I’ve opened a ton of cardboard packages with it and I’ve stripped back a lot of wire over the last several weeks. I can’t see a nick in it. Even that handful of times where I got a tad too aggressive with the wire stripping and hit the copper, it didn’t make a dent in the blade.

One thing you will want to remember is that D2 is still not true stainless steel. It will resist rust, but it can still oxidize.

Southwire Hawkbill

Additional Features

  • Rubber overmold on the base of the handle adds comfort and security to grip
  • Reversible belt clip, tip up only
  • Tether hole

Price & Value

Here are a few other popular Hawkbill folding knives you’ll see running around the job site along with their respective prices:

  • Klein Tools Cable Skinning Knife (replaceable blades): $21 for the knife and blades, $10 for a 3-pack of replacement blades
  • Milwaukee Fastback Hawkbill Knife (unspecified stainless steel blend): $14.97
  • Southwire Cr13MoV Hawkbill Knife: $14.97
  • Southwire EdgeForce D2 Hawkbill Knife: ~ $25
Southwire Hawkbill

So what do you get for the extra $10 or so over the others?

It’s just the D2 steel. But that’s significant on a couple of fronts. D2 holds its edge better than the other steels in those knives, so you have a fighting chance of using it longer, even if you nick the copper from time to time.

If you look around the major players in the knife industry and see what they charge for D2 knives, it’s even more eye-opening. A non-assisted folder like this one starts around $30 and more feature-rich models can run over $500. Getting your hands on D2 for less than $35 is a big win.

The Bottom Line

There are a bewildering number of knife choices out there, but the Southwire Hawkbill Pocket Knife has become my everyday carry. I use it all the time at work and home and it definitely has an edge over the competition!

Check out more Southwire EdgeForce D2 Knives!

Southwire Hawkbill Pocket Knife Specifications

  • Item Number: HBKND2
  • Open Length: 7.24 inches
  • Blade Length: 2.6 inches
  • Depth: 0.45 inches
  • Weight: 0.25 pounds
  • Price: $34

Related articles