I noticed that there were quite a few questions about the differences between the prototype and the production Forward Observations x Half Face Blades SEAF Jr so I thought I'd do an in depth comparison backed with pictures. After getting in the production, I decided to compare it to the pre-production (prototype) SEAF Jr. I had.
Some differences I’ve found are a deeper grind going 3/4 the way up the blade on the production versus halfway up the blade on the pre-production, the placement of the F (Forward logo) flipped from one side to the other side, Jimping is thinner and more even, Cerakote of course being featured on the production versus the stonewashed pre-production, the false swedge on the production model, and the kydex sheath has a completely different profile and design compared to the slim pre-production sheath and is missing the drain hole. A lesser known difference between the prototype and production models are that the prototype ones were all hand ground versus the CNC milling used for the grind on the production model.
It has a much deeper sheath with a larger bolster guard that covers the blade securely and has a very nicely contoured thumb ramp. It makes for a great and intuitive thumb drive to reliably create enough leverage to get the blade out. When unsheathing the blade, I have noticed that it’s not easy to get a full purchase on the blade. When drawing, the shroud for the sheath covers the underbelly and bolster of the scales when the front of your hand (or back if reverse grip) is trying to be in the actual position you’d hold the knife in. If it was trimmed/sanded down to match the profile of the blade like in the pre-production model, it would be perfect! While Cerakote isn't my favorite blade coating from an aesthetic standpoint, but it is quite durable and non reflective which is fitting for the use case. Stonewash is my favorite looking coating but it’s not nearly as water/corrosion resistant as Cerakote so I see this as a pro in overall features and function even though it may seem like a con to some.
The change in grind is excellent and it feels “slicier”than the pre-production.
The swedge also looks great and adds to the visual interest from a design standpoint.
The Jimping found on the spine was decent on the pre-production but it wasn’t anything to write home about. The new thinner ridges in the Jimping gives the perfect amount of grip!
The SEAF Jr. (and full size SEAF) is an excellent blade and I highly recommend it!