Genesis. If you're reading this you know what that is. I don't have to say "knife" or "LT Wright" because the name Genesis is synonymous with the quintessential bushcraft blade. You might own one - I certainly do - and it's because of that knife I'm doing this review. But this is not an article about the Genesis, it's the Illuminous 5 I'm writing about. Allow me to explain. Like so many others, I bought a Genesis. For what it is the knife works great; lightweight, nimble, easy to hold, cuts wood like a chain saw, it pretty much does anything you would want from a bushcraft knife. But for me there was always one problem, it was on the small side. Not the handle mind you - that always fit my XL paws rather well - it was the blade I felt was lacking. Size matters, right? I longed for a beefier version, a Genesis on steroids if you will. LT Wright makes the Gen 5 version, which has a blade almost an inch longer, but I couldn't fall in love with it for some reason. There's also the Gen 6 with its... you guessed it, 6" blade... but that just looks kind of awkward to me. What I wanted was something longer than the Genesis 4.25" blade but also something taller as well. To my eyes the Gen 5 and 6 don't have the right proportions. Enter the Illuminous. At 5.5" long the blade is now getting into my wheelhouse (5.5" - 6.5" is what I'm most comfortable with). It's also taller from edge-to-spine so it looks more balanced. And the pièce de ré·sis·tance? It's 5/32" instead of 1/8". Longer, taller, thicker. Insert your own joke here. Before going any further let me give you the specs: Overall Length: 10" Sharpened Edge: 5.5" Steel: 5/32" CPM-3V Grind: Scandi ground to 0° then hard micro buffed edge Handle Length: 4.5" Handle Material: Micarta "hard micro buffed edge"? Sounds like marketing mumbo-jumbo to me. I'll explain why it isn't in a minute because I want to talk about the handle first. The handle? Yes, the handle. As mentioned previously, I wear XL gloves. That's a problem when it comes to most knives because designers tend to forget people like me exist. I have to pay very close attention to the handle size and shape when buying a knife as far too often they simply won't work for me. Now to be fair my hands aren't the size of Andre the Giant's... I actually met the man many years ago - and yes his hands were really that big - but regardless I do have issues with a lot of knives. When I first saw the Illuminous 5 I thought "saaaaay, that could work" but then I looked at the spec's; handle length is 4.5". Sigh. The Genesis is 4.75", and when using a hammer grip the handle is almost completely invisible to me, so how is something 4.5" going to work? Especially when there is a parrots beak on both the front and back? I do have knives with a 4.5" handle, and I can get some of them to work, but they don't have the parrots beak. Despite my trepidation I decided to give it a shot. Boy am I glad I did. Here is what my meathook looks like holding the knife... Despite the fact you can't see the butt of the handle it's amazing, the thing simply melts into your hand. It's thick and beefy with perfectly sculpted contours. My fingers are not squeezed together like I feared they might be, they're held firmly in place which creates a very secure grip. The micarta on my particular knife isn't polished smooth - thankfully! - so even when working hard or sweating I didn't feel like it would slip out of my hand. Pinch grip is very comfortable even though there are no thumb scallops like on the Genesis. If you're the type that uses a chest lever grip than this is your knife. The webbing between my index finger and thumb nested up against the front parrots beak perfectly, creating a secure and comfortable resting place. The rounded butt end rolls across your chest effortlessly and doesn't dig in anywhere. There isn't a single hotspot no matter what type of grip you use. The transition between micarta handle scales and blade tang was seamless, completely imperceptible. Close your eyes and run a fingernail over the two surfaces and it feels like one solid piece. Handle comfort and feel are often terribly overlooked in knife reviews and I can't understand why as it's such a critical component. No matter how good the edge or blade steel it's all pointless unless the handle is usable. The Illuminous gets 5 stars in that regard. So the handle passes with flying colors, but does the blade as well? For me the answer is a resounding "yes". Right off the bat I was happy as it came surgically sharp, and I do mean surgically sharp. OK so it's not a scalpel, but what it did to phonebook paper should be illegal. It shaved off slices smoothly and cleanly, without even a hint of drag. It just had that sound, and you know what sound I'm referring to. It's that "sshhhfffftt" noise from a wickedly sharp edge sailing through very thin paper. Cuts of 45 degrees, 80 degrees, front of the blade, back by the handle, swirls, it just didn't matter; everything was like the proverbial hot knife through butter. But a scandi grind isn't there to make little slivers from phonebook paper, it's designed for wood processing. What I found was the Illuminous loves to chew through wood. You want to hog off huge chunks of the stuff? This is your knife. I always setup a couple of skills challenges whenever I go into the woods - trying to improve my knowledge - but when I'm testing a knife those challenges are heavy on cutting tasks. One of those are try sticks, something I do for every knife review... Another is to process firewood. One of the other things I added that day was making a new walking stick. Not too far from where my camp is there's a small stand of thin, surprisingly straight little trees. Most of them have only a few branches within 20 feet of the ground - they seem to be concentrated toward the top - so they're perfect for making a walking stick. I selected my victim, which was about 2" in diameter (remember, XL hands), and then used the Illuminous to beaver chew around the base. Angled in at 45 degrees I was easily able to use my weight and push cut very deep. Walking around the entire thing I did that several times and within about 30 seconds I could easily push the sapling over. After dragging it back to camp it was time to get busy. First order of business was to delimb it. If branches aren't much ticker than a pencil would they still be called "limbs"? If not, are they twigs instead? Was I detwiging then? Either way the Illuminous laughed at this task. We all know a scandi expertly does wood - that's its main goal - but I was a little surprised with how easy it sliced off some of those limbs/branches/twigs. With a simple flick of the wrist it amputated them from the trunk, even ones thicker than a pencil. My Genesis would have struggled to do that. The Illuminous has more weight and heft of course, which proved very beneficial here. Where that also helped was with the nubs all over the trunk that I also sliced off. There was at least 20 of them but all were gone in short order. Obviously that was using the edge of the knife, but having done that it was now time to flip it over and use the spine.