RTFU

Last Resort Blades

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Updated: November 6, 2014
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By J.E. McCollough

You can buy a nice knife anywhere. Any mall has a knife shop where you can get anything from Swiss Army knives to Conan the Barbarian swords. Any Cabela’s or REI will sell you a Benchmade.

But does the pimply-faced teenager behind the counter really know anything about knives? Wouldn’t you rather deal with the guy who actually made the piece of steel you’re carrying?

Last Resort Blades is custom. Custom means you talk to Jason, the blade smith, personally. You tell him what you want, you collaborate on a design, and he delivers. Think of the knife you need, for skinning, camping, fighting, describe it to Jason and he can bring your ideas to life.

Jason is a Marine Corps combat veteran. He didn’t just sit on a FOB, he’s personally been in the fight. He knows what a warfighter needs in the field.

birds head

The Birds Head Fighter

He doesn’t stamp out blades and put an edge on them. Jason has his own anvil and hammer. He hand forges every single blade at his smithy/homestead in the mountains of Montana, and his wife hand-stitches every leather sheath. Each blade is given individual care and attention, and unlike most other custom makers he does not use machine tools, jigs, patterns, or a power hammer. Every blade and all of the handles and guards are hand-crafted and hand fitted in the old school sense of the term. The way your grandfather would have done it, if your grandfather made bad-ass knives for a living. With a hammer, a grinder, and a file.

Jason sent me two blades to review. Both are technically fighter knives but they are distinctly different and both are clearly multi-purpose.

The Birds Head Fighter  is a  slab-handled with beautifully exotic west African Shedua wood for the handle complete with nickel silver pins and lanyard hole. With a handle length of five inches, the Birds Head Fighter will accommodate both the smallest and largest of hands comfortably. Once you pick it up you will not want to put it down.

The blade for the Birds Head Fighter is differentially heat treated. The cutting edge is around 60 Rockwell (ie. fucking hard) with a spine around 52 (spring temper). This is what creates the hamon (temper lines) in the blade. This blade is ideal for slashing and chopping but should never be used as a pry bar. The edge and tip are too hard, too brittle. This is one bad-ass pig sticker and feels right at home in my over-sized man-hands.

hidden tang

The Omega Fighter

The second, The Omega Fighter, is a hidden tang knife. Now, a lot of people think a slab handle is stronger than a hidden tang, but this is a misunderstanding of how a hidden tang is mechanically fastened to the handle. This blade is fully heat-treated and tempered to about 56 Rockwell. This blade is tough and while it won’t hold an edge like the differentially heat treated blade, it is incredibly durable and better suited to all the dumb shit guys do to knives in the field.

And we all know the dumb shit guys do with knives in the field. Camping, hunting, or deployment, a knife is a tool, not just a weapon.

I’ve run my thumb down the spines of the blades Jason sent me, and they are powerful. Their heft is certain, you know without question you have the perfect tool in hand to accomplish your task.

A strong blade means confidence. It’s even better when the blade is exactly what you want. Last Resort Blades is specifically set up to put the perfect blade in your hand.

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