Maybe it just needs some breaking in, but it feels "gritty" when you work the cutter back and forth. It looks like there is a burr around the opening that is causing the grittiness. I will take it apart and clean it up (at least they made it easy to take apart), but I feel that a Xikar cutter should not need to be taken apart and "fixed" right out of the box. It would probably fix itself over time, but considering that the blade scraping over the burr is what would 'fix' it, I prefer to save the blade and remove the burr with some fine sandpaper. Overall, it's still a good cutter, but not quite as good as I expected from Xikar. The Xikar MTX (scissor multitool) is a FAR superior cutter for basically the same price (it's a couple dollars cheaper as I write this). This is not a bad cutter, I think the MTX just spoiled me - that is probably the best cutter I've ever used. So, if you just want a V-cut, this is a good one; but if you want the best cutter out there - this isn't it. I considering knocking another star off because of that burr... "Average" seems about right though. It's a good cutter, but not really anything to brag about.