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Review of The Talisong, By Eldon Talley

jjhamilton Mar 14, 2015

  1. jjhamilton

    jjhamilton JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    Mention a channel balisong to any enthusiast and ears will perk up, first thoughts would be the iconic 4x series. Now add Custom Channel Balisong and all eyes and ears are upon you! There just isn't many option out there for such, but now thanks to Eldon Talley there's one more in the short list of options!

    Eldon, an established custom maker started his dream of making a balisongs many years ago, by his own admission he is a balisong enthusiast that dates back to the PCC catalogs. I was directed to his IG by another member here (WyldStyle) to witness as that dream became real!

    The Talisong specs are impressive, and lead to a custom built like a custom should be, one word, Quality. Closed length 5.67, Open 9.63 of Ti Channel that combines to a very light 4.46 oz.
    The pivots are heat treated 416ss with 64 thread per inch screws. Handling rotations are 3/16 ID 1/4 OD 416ss heat treated bushings....that's right channel construction with bushings! The washers are 440 hardened SS with 56-57 Rockwell.

    Blade metal is CPM 154cm with 416ss heat treated tang pins...no kicker pin here!
    Handles of course channel Ti 6AL4v

    Now read that and tell me that doesn't say quality material! Now I with the way this handles.

    As mentioned CPM154cm steel, this Proto sports utility blade which has very nice and even hollow ground, thick blade stock tat tapers down to a very sharp tip. Eldon has on his roster a clip point weehawk and in the exit run plans to do a tanto grind to the joy of many. This knife sports a nicely engraved "Talisong Proto"

    Specs aside, they are silky smooth to the point you don't even think about them. Absolutely very minimum handle play and that's after countless flipping. Eldon told me recently he is getting even less handle play with the knives now as I was thinking any less and people may mistake them as bearings! In this pic check out the big pivot screws and the relation to how they sort of recess into the handles...neat and exact

    Channel Baby! And perfect! A solid and regal Bronze ano! Not a single visual flaw to be found, not in any of the 21 holes per handle. Yeah 21! With 7 holes on the face of both sides of each handle and 7 down the channel side of each handle. Visually this is stunning, flipping wise though here are where the downside falls. The handles are super light and with that gorgeous thick hollow ground blade they are no match in balancing the knife. Along with the holes and due to the unique latch system, the weight just isn't there. I can barely Chaplin the knife and its a scary task considering this knife is "custom sharp"!! Now the radius of the handles are perfect, very comfortable and make fanning and ease.
    Hate it or love it, it works great. Personally I like it visually and effectively....something different. Flipping wise it never got in my way at all...but two sides coin, it also contributed to the loss of weight at the back end of the handles. Now one little cool nugget about this latch, and collectors & EDC guys take note! This latch is not a roll pin, it is a solid piece of titanium shaped to form the "pin". According to Eldon, this run of 30 he is currently doing will be the only ones to have this latch, the next runs will be different.
    Milling a Channel Balisong
    Now let's talk about building a channel balisong. Most of us know a lot of material and work (read expense too!) goes into a milled channel balisong, so this is more for the new guys...and something interesting to ponder for the rest of us. Eldon sent me a slab of Ti that was intended to be a handle, but as is life an issue arouse during the milling process which rendered this material unusable. Look at the amount of material that is cut away and lost during the milling process and think about this times 60. Ask yourself, isn't $700 (base for utility blade, $25 for ano, $25 for "weehawk") a deal!!! I think so!! Also this isn't some sit on the bench in the garage mill, this takes an industrial machine...think six figures!
    For the Flippers
    Ok guys so Eldon and I discussed this in length, this model just is not a flipper. Thankfully Eldon is committed to making a flipper model. Some of the suggestions he made: Slightly reducing the blade stock, drilling one less hole in the Ti and doing latch less, leaving the bottom ends of the Ti solid.
    The other idea he came up with is a SS handles version, this would be leaving all the same. With the amount of material he currently removes with his hole pattern...I think this might be worth considering. I suggested weight should not be above 5.1oz and Eldon felt comfortable this could be done with SS handles. He wants your input, so let's hear it...Remember this is a professional custom knife maker wanting to make you a custom channel, bushing driven balisong made for flipping. You have his ear and his abilities at your service, make magic!! Discuss in this thread an lets get this ball rolling!
    Eldon is not going to leave you out! He is planing to also make inlay models with natural materials like stag, using Damascus blades. Also some exciting and interesting info Eldon and Shawn Greacen (Balibalistic) are planning to do a collaboration for some of these knives.....need I say more!?

    So in summary, if this model isn't exactly what you are looking for, be it flipper or collector, Mr Talley has exciting plans for us all and I just can't see anything negative about that!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2015
  2. Andy T

    Andy T Gentle Giant JDBA Official Member

    Great review! Great looking Bali as well, looking forward to seeing more from ET!
  3. mag1

    mag1 No More Mr. Nice Guy Brigade Member

    I learned some things
  4. VashHash

    VashHash JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    I'd personally love to see it in latchless form and with less holes I'm thinking take the holes out of the side and maybe have 5 holes in the handle to give it a little more ass. Solid ends on a channel bali just look so good in my opinion. I'm all for SS too i like em heavy. Do you have a vid yet JJ? Also thanks for the review.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2015
  5. jjhamilton

    jjhamilton JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    In the works!

    **Flippers please don't forget to post up your thoughts on the flipper model!!***
  6. silkworm

    silkworm Silky Devil JDBA Official Member

    Beautiful knife and a great review. I'll have to get on the list. :ross:
  7. PS-RagE

    PS-RagE "R" for Adventure JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    Great review! Thanks for taking the time to "put it on paper" (much better photos than last review too BTW :manganr:)
  8. laughingbuddha

    laughingbuddha JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    Awesome review JJ (apart from the typos :devilfinger:)

    Firstly Woohooo! I really like the sound of this.

    Here are my thoughts from a flippers perspective.

    Get rid of the latch. It's not needed for flipping but handy if you want to EDC. My personal preference is a clip with no latch. Clip with no latch has the best of both worlds. You can still carry, using the clip. It sits in the corner of your pocket and doesn't open. When flipping the clip is used as a visual aid for the bite handle. My AA and Replicant both run with this set up and it's the tits. Latches are just annoying when flipping... Some are less annoying than others but overall they're annoying. I'm also not a fan of how the forked handle on the talisong looks.

    Weight distribution is key! Don't get to worried about the overall weight, just worry about the distribution of it. For example the AB and Rep are very similar in weight although the Rep feels a lot lighter and is noticeable quicker to flip. The AB weighs 5.1oz and flips excellent. The Kimura weighs 5.4oz and flips like crap. .3oz is not enough to make that bigger difference but how you distribute that weight does.

    Having a heavy knife with short handles is horrible. But a heavy knife with longer handles can be good.

    If you are doing Ti channel, I'd suggest getting rid of the holes along the side of the handles and using thinner blade stock. Id suggust that you try and keep a decent about of unmilled area at the ends of the handles for weight. You may find that you can keep the thicker blade stock if you just make the adjustments to the handles maybe.

    For SS channel you'll definately need thinner blade stock and all of those holes. But if the overall weight can be kept below 6oz I think it could be really good. Handles would need to be AB length though. 42 length or shorter wouldn't be that good.

    Anyone know what the Roton weighs?
  9. Takeiteazy3

    Takeiteazy3 JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    Very nice review, Haven't heard much of the Talisong but def. has my attention now. I love how the handles are shaped, looks like a comfortable flipper.
  10. Area965

    Area965 JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    Great review JJ. Thank you for taking the time to write it up.

    I am looking forward to handling one soon, and even more so on the flipper model.

    THEONEANDONLY Drunk on the Blood of Saints JDBA Official Member

    I like the idea of a latchless Ti balisong. less holes at the end for more more weight, not a fan of SS handles.

    But if he decides to make a sandwich Ti balisong, the spacers would need to be SS for good weight balance...

    The fact this one isn't exactly the best flipper actually works well for me, as one of the first 30, I really wanted to keep it mint. but thats hard to do when they flip well...
    jjhamilton likes this.
  12. Rover

    Rover Rock N' Roll Outlaw JDBA Official Member

    Roton is around 6.8 oz.
  13. RRTvette

    RRTvette Gonna ventilate you JDBA Official Member

    Great review! I personally prefer all mine to be latchless.
  14. Mpsecare

    Mpsecare Owl Man

    I don't really like the plain holes.
  15. Ryanol

    Ryanol SnarkMasterFunkyFresh JDBA Official Member

    Couldnt the balance simply be solved by switching from 5/32nd to 1/8th?
  16. VashHash

    VashHash JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    we need more weight. :devilwag:
  17. 42flipper

    42flipper JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    This thread "does not" suck!! :thumbsup:
  18. jjhamilton

    jjhamilton JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    He can't reduce the blade stock by so much due to the mill I believe. The issue will need to be solved through handle change mostly
  19. AnthonyTheAbyss

    AnthonyTheAbyss Godzilla Size Member JDBA Official Member

    Great review. Great information.

    How about a video review next time?

    ***I hate reading lol
  20. jjhamilton

    jjhamilton JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    Thanks Anthony and everyone
    I've tried doing vid reviews, but I start rambling unless I'm reading off basically what I've written....so instead of doing a vid rambling with less info or just reading a paper....anyways the emphasis is on the knife and the maker not me!

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