By Steve Hanner
When you manage a farm, you end up going in multiple directions every day and often with a handful of tools, bags of feed or square bales of hay. As many of you know I carry a knife every single day and the easier the knife is to locate, open, close and then put away quickly sometimes makes all the difference in the time it takes to get something done. That urgency is what got me looking at a new knife offering by A.G.Russell called the Button Assist Lock.
First a little history on the name…War Eagle Blades. In the 1970’s A.G.Russell did sell a brand called War Eagle, but that was War Eagle Whetstones from his farm on War Eagle Creek in Northwest Arkansas. As you may know A.G. Russell has placed his trademark on knives designed by top knife makers and designers for many years. War Eagle Blades come from unknown knife makers or designers and but come with the same guarantee offered by A.G.Russell.
The guarantee is what told me it would have quality and the Button assist lock on this knife is what intrigued me to buy the knife. The Button assist lock was pioneered in 1991 with a Japanese made City Knife, designed by a Japanese designer and sold by A.G.Russell. This same Button assist lock is on the knife I am using right now.
The War Eagle Blades Button Assist lock folder opens as any normal knife equipped with a thumb stud opens. Use the thumb stud to open the knife completely or you use the thumb stud to open about 30% of the way and then you can snap your wrist and the blade opens and securely locks in place.
Now for the close and this is where the Button Assist comes in handy. First press the button and disengage the lock. release the button and finish closing the blade. You cannot close the blade entirely until you have released the button. This helps to keep you fingers out of the way of the blade, different but safer than a standard liner lock. The knife can be closed against your pants, a door, a shelf or whatever is handy. It is one-handed opening and closing at its best and absolutely no auto assist. It’s safe because your fingers never cross the blade on the close as the knife settles back into the handle. As I said earlier, in a normal day I may be carrying feed bags or buckets, tools, equipment or square baled hay and with that one free hand I need a knife! I need that knife opened and closed easily.
The handle of this knife is black G-10 which offers a very usable surface and the black G-10 almost looks to be outlined with a white underlay. There is some gimping at the top of the knife for your thumb and at the bottom of the knife. It all assists to keep your hand where you want it to be.
This is a sabre ground, drop point blade made of 8Cr13MoV steel, hardened to 57-59 Rc. The blade length is 3 3/8 inches. It has a black TiNi coating and the blade is in good proportion to the rest of the knife. It is an ideal size for the things I do on the farm. The knife also has the convenience of a lanyard hole so you can even strap this to your wrist or hang it from your neck. It also includes a right handed tip up pocket clip, if you choose to use the clip.
I have had the chance to use this knife for about two months and use it for virtually every knife related farm chore there is to do. It has only required a brief sharpening touch up on the blade. The knife opens and closes well and still looks to be new. I would recommend this for rotation as an Every Day Carry knife.
Where to buy: http://www.agrussell.com