Coast recently sent us their DX355 and DX356 folding knives to review. They are functionally the same, both being liner locks that have a secondary lock which prevents them from closing unintentionally once they are open. And both have G10 handles with nice checkering to give them a comfortable gripping surface that not only looks good, but assures they’ll hold up well to years of rough use.
Where the DX356 has tan grips, the DX355 has a black handle with the addition of four circular cutouts. A 9Cr18 stainless steel is used for the blade, which is designed to be easily sharpened without any special equipment but still hold an edge pretty well. The 3.5 inch blade and 8.125 inch overall length combine for a light 5.2 ounces. A deep pocket clip keeps them secure without sticking out all of the time while the extra lock on the back of the handle keeps you from accidentally closing the blade on yourself.
As usual, Coast has made these knives both useful and good looking. Lighter than expected, with great balance, and plenty of comfort in the hand are some of the first things that most people notice when they pick up these folders. A lot of this has to do with the materials used, but the shape of the handle is perfect for those with larger hands. Mine are a little on the big side and this knife fits great, but several people with smaller hands felt the same way. The thumb stud falls into place quite naturally, making it easy to open with one hand. Unlike most knives with pocket clips, the extra piece of metal is shaped in a way to be easy to clip on but keep out of the way of your grip. Despite being much larger than my normal carry knife, the DX355 sits in the pocket comfortably enough that it’s rarely noticeable. And that’s how it should be – unobtrusive until you need it.
These knives are fantastic in almost every way. I had no problem keeping a nice edge on mine, but if you’re not a fan of regular sharpening, you may want to look for one that has a longer lasting edge. Overall, the Coast DX355 or DX356 are great for camping, emergency kits, or even everyday carry. They work, feel, and look great, all with a modest $39.99 MSRP. coastportland.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Coast DX355 And DX356 pocket knives for free from Coast, in consideration for review publication