When you open a white box with the red blackhawk, you think perhaps it will be the latest handgun from Ruger. In this case, I found a quality edged tool with a lot of purpose and more than a little eye appeal. Ruger firearms are respected for workmanlike function, durability and accuracy. Ruger knives are functional and rugged, and they have the proper geometry for cutting chores. This is a winning combination. Bill Harsey designed these knives for Columbia River Knife and Tool, Ruger’s partner in producing them. CRKT has a good reputation and is among my favorite makers.
The first Ruger knife I tested was the Go-N-Heavy folder. It isn’t a pocket knife but a sheath knife, although it may be a good fit in some cargo pockets. The knife weighs a solid 10.25 ounces. This is a heavy knife with good heft and balance. The folder features a liner lock and thumb-opening stud. The liner lock makes sense in this type of knife, as it imparts great strength to the lockup. Open the blade, and a portion of the liner pops into place to lock it open. This section of the liner is tensioned to offer spring fit to the blade.
There is a good ratio of steel to steel in this locking arrangement. I conducted the usual test of rapping the back of the blade against a hard wooden desk and carefully testing the lock. A half-dozen hard raps failed to dislodge the Go-N-Heavy lock. When conducting such a test, be certain your hands are out of the way of the blade in case the lock fails. (If you test enough folders, you will experience a failure to lock.) Even when cutting with a knife that has been properly vetted for reliable locking, I like to angle the blade in such a way that lock failure isn’t invited. After all, these are not fixed-blade knives, and introducing a mechanism into a knife results in greater complication.
Twin opening studs allow for a rapid deployment. The geometry of the knife is such that it may be snapped open and locked with a minimum of wrist action. When open, the blade is some 5 inches long. It is stainless with a satin polish. The blade features a serviceable high grind. The edge is sharp and ready out of the box for most chores. The drop point is a useful type for hunting and skinning knives and will serve well for skinning, chopping and slashing if need be. While a knife makes a poor crowbar, this blade is as sturdy as any folder blade available. It features serrations just off the back of the opening studs. When engaged in close chores such as preparing food or skinning small game, even cutting patterns, the Ruger offers good control.
The Go-N-Heavy knife is large for big chores. Still, it could be used for peeling an apple. When space is limited on the belt, the Ruger folder on the hip in a handy pouch would be a great all-around edged tool for many chores. When I tested the knife in cutting chores and also during a number of martial arts workouts with a heavy grip, my fingers did not deactivate the liner lock.
The pivot of the Ruger knife is smooth. The handles are designed to mimic the forend rail of the Ruger 5.56mm rifle. They are aluminum and hard-anodized black. A synthetic spacer at the rear of the handles creates a recess for the knife point. A good part of the Ruger Go-N-Heavy is the well-designed sheath supplied with the knife. When I tested the Ruger Go-N-Heavy, the knife demonstrated a good heft and excellent balance, and it presents the blade edge properly for cutting chores. This is a heavy knife well suited to outdoors cutting chores. Yet, when carried in the well made belt sheath, this knife isn’t a drag on the belt. Overall, I find the knife to be well made, useful and well worth its price.
The Ruger Accurate
The Accurate is a traditional hunting knife. This design is available with both a drop point and a rising clip blade. I chose the rising clip blade. The grind is high, and the edge is excellent. In common with the Go-N-Heavy folder, this knife features a blade of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. RC hardness is 58-59. All stainless steel is just that, stain-less, but the combination should give good service. The handle offers excellent retention in normal cutting chores. I find the Accurate to be a good, solid knife for field chores.
I think this is the story of the Ruger knives. They are going to be popular with those who appreciate a good value in a working knife. While Ruger firearms fans will purchase the knives, anyone needing a good knife should take a hard look. Will you?
Are you a knife fan? Would you buy a Ruger knife? After all, these are being made by CRKT. Share your thoughts in the comment section.