Friday, January 30, 2015

First Impressions: Lone Wolf Harsey T2, Ranger blade, Walnut scales

The follow up review for this knife is finished, you can find it HERE.

I finally got it!  My ideal knife as described when I started writing about knives.  I've been wanting to get my hands on one for quite a while now, and I finally got the exact one I wanted.  Now I present SO MANY PICTURES! ALL THE PICTURES!
My new Lone Wolf T2.  I decided that the lovely French Walnut handle scales should be photographed with the lovely French Walnut stock of the Weatherby Centurion II I was recently gifted. (the Weatherby is lovely and worthy of lots of photos itself, but I don't know enough about guns to write about them)

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I have described the Lone Wolf Harsey knives as my ideal everyday carry (EDC) knife.  In the past I had been most interested in the T1, but with my recent purchase of the Fantoni HB02, it seemed a little silly to get another knife the exact same size an so similarly shaped.  The T2 is larger than the T1 and the HB02 (but smaller than the very large T3), but not so large that it won't fit in my pocket.

Lone Wolf Knives was bought by Benchmade a few years back.  After the merger, Benchmade made the Lone Wolf brand into an outdoor knives brand so they wouldn't be in competition with Benchmade's main line.  The T1, T2, T3, and D2 knife lines (designed by Harsey) were discontinued.  So unfortunately these knives are hard to get these days, and can be pretty spendy since they are mostly treated as collectibles these days.

Before I go on, I want to point out that this is my third William Harsey designed knife.  I have had the privilege of having him explain various aspects of his knife designs, and I really like the way he approaches knife design.
Lone Wolf Knives T2, top; Fantoni HB02, middle; Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn Covert Folder, bottom
(I just want to say that I think the Gerber AF Covert is not very photogenic.  I think it is a much better looking knife in person than it looks in my photos.  Of course it's meant to be a hardworking knife, not a beauty queen.)

I feel like there is a perceptible sameness to these knives (which is probably why my wife says they all look the same to her).  The AF Covert is essentially a small folding dagger, but designed to be capable of more than just perforating things.  The Fantoni has a modified spear point blade.  The modification retains the piercing character of the blade, but provides a lot more belly and brings the knife a more general use feel.  This one sided profile extends to the handle and changes the overall feel of the knife.  And then the T2 up top keeps that same beefy heavily jimped appearance of the other two, but the blade is a full flat grind (Lone Wolf called this blade shape the Ranger blade).  The T2 also came in a modified spear point like the Fantoni, as well as a Tanto option, but the Ranger is the style I really wanted, and I am happy to have it.

The Ranger blade shape is really optimized for more general slicing/camping/hunting uses than the modified spear point, which is why I like it.  Thankfully the Ranger also preserves that Harsey appearance for the overall shape of the knife.  I don't know how to describe it, but there is some minimalist utilitarian beauty to the knives he designs, and I dig it.  In this case, with the walnut handle, the utilitarian-ness of the design is toned down a little.  I find that nice for a knife I plan to carry a lot.

The T2 is a big knife, and it feels big, but not so big or heavy that it is a problem to carry in the pocket.
The best compliment that I can give the T2 so far is that I find myself wanting to use the knife for everything.  Even in the kitchen I find myself just wanting to use the T2 for everything, even when other knives would be better suited to the task.

A large part of why I want to use the knife for everything is the handle, both it's shape and material.  Most of the pocket knives that I've purchased have had some kind of modern grippy material for the handle.  The Fantoni is the closest knife I own in design to the T2, so I tend to compare them.  The Fantoni has the grippiest G10 handle I have ever felt.  It is very nice to use, but it has a lot of precise edges.  The T2, in comparison, melts into the hand.  The smooth wood handle feels natural and comfortable in use, and the shape and jimping allows the grip to feel very secure without having the super grippy finish of other knives I own.

I just like the aesthetic match of the two tools.
Even my wife had to admit that the knife was very pretty and the handle felt nice.  She much prefers this one to the other knives I've purchased.

The T2 is a liner lock.
The T2 is a liner lock, which is my favorite lock style.  I understand the appeal of other locks, particularly the frame lock, but the liner lock is for me.  The thing I like most about the style is that the handle scales can be more similar on both sides of the knife.  I find that when I like a material for the handle, I kinda want it on both sides.  Plus I like the way it looks.  The T2 has a nice beefy stainless steel liner.  The metal of the liner is not as thick as the titanium liner on the Fantoni, but seems totally adequate, and there is not so much metal in the handle that the knife feels heavy.

I wanted to show a close up of the lock-up.  The liner lock engages fully, but early (early means that it doesn't travel too far over).  This means that as the knife gets used, and the metal wears down, the lock-up will remain solid for a long time.

The jimping on the handle is very similar to the Fantoni, but of a single depth, rather than the progressive sizes.  

Just love the handle

The blade is CPM-S30V stainless steel.  A very nice steel.

William W. Harsey Designer

The blade is perfectly centered when the knife is closed

The clip on the T2 is tip down, which is what I prefer since I like to carry in my back pocket

The jimping overall on the handle and blade are not as aggressive as the Fantoni, but does provide plenty of grip.

My pretty new knife

The open design of the handle makes cleaning a cinch

The shape of the handle and blade makes for a very ergonomic tool.

Plenty of handle, even for me. 

The Fantoni and the T2 side by side. I really love both of these knives.  As you can see the Fantoni has seen some use.  I'll be writing a follow up review for the Fantoni. 

The knife still has the factory edge.  Apparently the guy I bought it from really did just park it in his safe.  The handle was flawless, no marks on the blade, and no gunk anywhere in the knife.  The edge was literally hair shaving sharp.  I am quite grateful to the guy that sold me the knife.  When he said it had just been in his safe I assumed that he probably used it a little, but I could see no evidence of use when I got it.  Lucky me!

So now I have all the folding knives I want.  I want to do more reviews, but I'm not sure how I'm going to swing that, since I really don't need more knives.  I do have a couple of low cost knives that I plan to review, but we'll see what the future brings.  For now I feel very satisfied in my knives.

1 comment:

  1. Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is extremely
    helpful. Thanks for sharing!