That Ranger is nasty looking! As I recall I have made only one in this variation. Thanks for sharing Gus!
First of all, a HUGE HUGE "Thank you" to Kymedic45 who graciously sent his outstanding Apache to me so I could check one out first-hand!
Secondly, here are some comparison pics of my OKT Hunter and his Apache. The Apache handle is curved a bit more but that could just be customization/variation. As commonly stated, the Apache blade is about 1/8" shorter and the tip drops a bit more to the center line. I would say that the handles are almost identical in all of the widths and contours. Note that the pictures and difference in materials are a bit of an illusion - they really are the same.
Bottom line is that I would choose and recommend either one, the differences are minimal/subtle but I do think I prefer the Apache just a tad more with the drop of the blade tip.
It would be awesome if we could get some close-up shots of the different types of hammer texturing that Chris does on the blade flats.
Sent from my MotoE2(4G-LTE) using Tapatalk
I recently acquired two new Osprey knives from DLT Trading (Eric was a pleasure to deal with the way.) The models I picked up are the Razorback and Ranger. I decided that this occasion was a good excuse to post some comparison photos with similar size Fiddleback knives to show a sense of scale with other knives you may be more familiar with.
First up is the Razorback shown with my Bushcrafter and my wife’s Bush Hermit. The blade on the Razorback is taller with a more centered spear point than the other two.
The Razorback has more noticeable Coke-bottle shaped handle contouring than the Fiddlebacks.
The balance point is just a touch behind the center of the first finger depression (choil?)
Back to back photos show that the top of the handles are of similar length.
Looking at the bottom handle comparisons, you will notice that the effective handle length (i.e. “distance from the center of the first finger depression to the back corner of the handle.”) on the Razorback is shorter than the other two due to the forward pommel angle.
I like all three of these knives for different reasons. The Razorback is definitely a keeper in the rotation.
Moving on to the Ranger, here it is with my Fiddleback Woodsman and Duke.
The blade on the Ranger has a little more belly than the other two. The hammer-texturing pattern on this blade is one of my favorite patterns that Chris does.
The Ranger has perfectly neutral balance.
Back-to-back photos show that the blade on the Ranger is slightly longer and the handle is a little shorter than the Woodsman and Duke.
Switching to the bottom handle comparisons, you will notice that the effective handle length on the Ranger is shorter than the other two due to the more acute forward pommel angle. The Ranger handle also has taller “m” curves on the bottom than the Woodsman and Duke. The handle height on the Ranger is slightly less than the others too.
Overall, I found the handle on the Ranger comfortable and roomy enough for its blade size. With that said, I still prefer the more open feel of the Woodsman and Duke handles. The blade shape on the Ranger strikes me as a better all-around shape than the other two given the belly and tip placement above the centerline.
My plan going into this particular comparison was to pick two of these knives to keep and let one go. In the end, it came down to the fact that I like the handles better on the Woodman and Duke. In the end, a good friend of mine in Arizona wanted this Ranger more than I did, so it has moved on to his collection. I am sure that you will be seeing more photos of it soon.
The Fiddleback Woodsman is a wonderful blade an one that I would find hard to replace with any knife in that size range. It is one of those profiles that you can get a lot of use from both at home or out in the woods. I am also fairly confident the Duke would be held in a similar position and become a go-to field knife, though I have yet to handle one. I really like the the production Duke and have been holding out for either a surprise run of 3V or a nice custom shop Duke. Maybe one of these days one will pop up that I want to try for.
I have been intrigued with Chris' Ranger for some time and finally have one coming in the near future. It is a knife that I am fairly excited to try. Like you the Duke, if I owned one, would be the knife I would make the comparison to. The addition of the Woodsman is a nice touch. The more I look at the Ranger, and these photos with the handles are helpful, the more I think I am going to love it. Some pretty knives you got there.
I cant believe I forgot to respond to this post. I glimpsed at it once and it slipped my mind. Thank you for sharing your comparisons of the Ranger, and Razorback with other more familiar models.
I enjoy reading about my work as well as others through your perspective. I like how you pointed out the unique but subtle differences between the blades.
I am pleased you like the Razorback, and I look forward to anymore indepth analysis you may have to offer.
I can say that I am slightly disappointed that you didnt like the Ranger enought to keep it. (just ribbing you)
I do however understand that it had nothing to do with the quality of the blade, just a personal preference of style on your part. Reading this did allow me to gain insight on designing future blades similar to the Ranger that would be more appealing to you and others for the reasons you pointed out.
I appreciate you taking the time to study and analyze my work, and sharing what you find with all of us. I know I am not the only one who respects your opinion and appreciates your council and friendship.
If I may offer one suggestion from a users perspective, I would like to see you apply small radii to the front and back corners and edges of your handles. I am not suggesting doing away with the unique lines of your handle designs, just wishing you would soften the edges a little to eliminate potential hot spots in use. I hope others will chime in here with an opinion one way or another on this subject.
Keep growing and evolving Chris. You are the knife maker that I most closely follow now. You have a very bright future. Thanks for sharing your creative process and wonderful knives with us.
One of the reasons that Phil and I have so many knives that have moved between us is that we usually come to the same conclusion about what knives we buy, really like, and use. Of course, we love to discuss these attributes at length over good food and beverage. Through his generosity I have been able to acquire several OKT knives over the past month(s). I have been working on some other posts that will be up in the near future focusing on mid to large sized-knives and I definitely wanted to throw a Ranger in the mix. As with all of Chris' knives, fit and finish are exceptional. Here are the four I currently have in my possession:
Kind of a boring review on my part, but I don't have much to add to Phil's comments on the Ranger. I absolutely agree with his opinions. The Ranger fits my hand well, but I certainly fill the grip. If my hand were any larger it wouldn't work as well. It is one of the lightest and well balanced 3/16 knives in that size range that I have held. For that reason, and the tip position (as Phil pointed out) I think I will keep the Ranger Chris! The other thread I'm working through has taken far more time than I though because I want to include as many "in the field" shots as I can. One knife that will be discussed there is the Fiddleback Forager. I find the comparison interesting between the Ranger and the Forager because the shape of the blade's cutting surface and tip placement are almost Identical. The handle and the balance couldn't be more different. An interesting comparison to play with for sure (more to come). The 3/16 Ranger is actually lighter than the Forager even though the Forager is a 5/32 TT.
My next statements must be preceded by the comment, "I am not a knife maker, nor do I play one on TV". However, I also agree with Phil's comments about the radius on the scales from a functional standpoint. I've had more than 100 Fiddelbacks pass through my hands and only 2 have this feature. I still own both. One BC and one Woodsman. Here they are:
The woodsman also has the pommel radius-ed:
I'm not sure a radius would suit the lines of the Osprey knives I own. However, I have an AA forge that approaches the same functional issue in a different way with more of a bevel:
I think it would be difficult to do but a bevel on the edge of any of the OKT knives that was perfectly symmetrical and really accented the geometry of the existing angles would be a thing a of beauty and add a lot to the functionality.
It's really about the only thing I might want to see changed on the models I have so far. Most of you know I am a huge fan of the BC family of Fiddlebacks and that is primarily because of the rounded pommel and the comfort that adds to the grip for me. As such, I think I've been gravitating toward the Mamushi's grip, but I really like all of the blades. The Raptor is a slicer extraordinaire! I can't wait to see some of the new designs which combine the other blade geometries with the Mamushi and Trailhand grip (I'm lumping these together Chris, I'm not sure if they are really related).
The Trailhand is next on my list for that very reason.
115 + 115 = 230
For Sale - Fiddleback Forge Knives
These the in depth commentary you guys do! Much appreciated. Also the pictures are wonderful!
Thank you for taking the time out to add your thoughts and pictures as well. I apologize I never got around to replying to this sooner. I did however take a mental note of you suggestion about the acute angles on the knives, in regards to there being sharp corners. I alleviated this problem I believe by softening the edges. I did not do so to a point to where I thought it changed the overall aesthetics of the knife. I look forward to reading more of your posts and digesting your thoughts on my various profiles.
BTW that FN Herstal is a weapon I have always admired but never had the opportunity to handle.
Thank you for sharing with us!
I knew that “K” Raptor #2 was scheduled to be delivered today, so I took along a standard Raptor to work for comparison when the “K” arrived.
What follows are some quick indoor cell phone pics to point out what’s different. The lighting and photo quality is not great, but you will get the general idea. I’ll add better pictures later to do justice to Chris’ exceptional fit and finish work.
Here is a standard shot with the “K” Raptor on top. The taller guardless blade height in the back and upward tilted handle on the “K” are immediately noticeable.
A stacked shot with the blade edges lined up to show the differences in handle orientation.
I prefer the rounded pommel on the “K” vs. the angled flats on the standard Raptor. Hey Chris, I noticed that you put a small radius on the edges around the pommel. Very nice improvement in feel without changing the look you want.
Another view with the handles more closely aligned to show the difference in blade angles relative to the handles.
What all this means in relation to kitchen work on a cutting board:
On the standard Raptor, my fingers bottom out about half way back on the cutting edge.
On the “K” variant, my fingers bottom out almost to the back edge of the blade. The upward tilt of the handle makes a huge practical difference in utility here.
On this shot, I was pressing down on the tips of both blades to show another view of the difference in handle angles.
I have been a huge fan of the Raptor since I got my first one in 2015. My opinion of it has only gotten better since then. The new “K” variant takes this model to a new higher level in my eyes. A lot of improvements (taller guardless blade, upwards tilted handle angle & rounded butt) with no downsides that I can think of. Chris said the “K” stands for kitchen variant. For me, it means that I have found my “King” Raptor.
Great job with the design tweak and flawless finish work Chris. You better get busy making more of these!
Thank you guys for the time and the information on the comparisons. Great stuff here.
I am glad you like the subtle improvement, this was a result of you guy's giving me feedback thank you!
I found my self doing this same thing with the patterns. I made this one and a regular Raptor side by side in the same batch. It was nice to be able to compare and contrast the differences myself throughout their creation.
What kind of pad is that you have there with the measurements on the bottom? That looks very useful.
Thank you very much Phil!
I plan on incorporating this model in my regular rotation.
I am super pleased to hear you like the design tweaks I made and you view them all as improvements!
The pictures and comments you posted tells me again something I already knew, we view things through a similar lense.
I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to post pictures and your initial thoughts.
I look forward to seeing what you have to say when you compare and contrast the handful of Raptors you have in your possession.
Thanks Phil for your diligence and time. This was very useful information, as I have definite plans on adding to my EDKK kit . I wondered if you have an Engineering background because of your eye for details as they apply to function.
Chris the more I look at the Raptors, in particular the K-Raptor, the more I see potential multiple uses, especially for boning out larger quarters of game, or even filleting fish. I've attended a few Matanzas in the last couple of years. And this requires a variety of blades for the various tasks. The K-Raptor looks to fill the bill for some of that work. Looking forward to getting one in my hands
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by varga49; 01-28-2017 at 10:28 PM.
I designed the Raptor with the intention on it filling a variety of roles. I wanted to make a knife that was a good B&T but also large enough and capable of processing medium to large game as you stated above. Lastly but just as important as the previous reasons are the offensive, defensive aspects of the knife. Even though the Raptor is a trailing point it also has a centerline point and I adjusted the geometry in such a way to allow the best of both worlds in this blade. I would like to think the Raptor is a Persian, B&T, Skinner, Fighter Hybrid if that makes any sense?
The evolution into the (K) Raptor was spurred by feedback from customers using the knife in the kitchen. I had not thought of it before as a knife that would be useful in the kitchen other than processing animal proteins. After digesting the feedback for awhile I decided it was time to make a separate variation as opposed to changing the model entirely. The (K) Raptor in my opinion is an evolution away from the offensive/defensive functionality and more towards utility/kitchen.
Both work excellent in all the roles I discussed but each variant optimized for a different mindset of use.
What is a Matanzas? I looked it up it just gave me a location in Cuba. I am fairly certain that is not what you are referring to.
I am glad that you find my observations, comments, and photos useful in making your plan(s) for future knife purchases. I strive to provide objective data, observations, and opinions about what features I like or don't like, so that potential buyers as well as the knife maker have something to think about. We are lucky that Chris is open and receptive to customer feedback and ideas as part of his passion for making the best knives possible.
In answer to your specific question, I am not an engineer. I have worked in aerospace manufacturing for thirty-two years with all of it focused on complex machined parts. The first twenty-two years were in purchasing and the last ten years I have been a quality assurance manager that helps plan how to make things right. I also lead the investigation into what happened and how to fix it if something goes wrong. I have to apply skills in blueprint reading, geometric dimensions & tolerances, technical reading & writing, understanding manufacturing techniques & processes, and combine that with a curiosity to understand why things work or don't in the bigger picture. Some of that experience spills over into how I analyze and write about knives.
Your comments about the potential roles for the Raptor & "K" Raptor are right on. I recommend you try one, particularly the "K" variant, if not both eventually. I think you will be very impressed with its versatility.
A Matanza is a traditional New Mexican celebration with its roots in the many regions of Spain. It begins with the slaughtering of an animal, usually a young ram culled out of the herd or sometimes a hog is brought to slaughter. This is an "all hands on deck" event, everyone, men women and children are put to work doing something. Blood sausages or pancakes or both are made. Pozole and tamales are made. Several cooking fires are going with different things being made and of course big cuts of meat are roasted over a wood fire. Good home made spirits are usually shared (after the blade work is done!) I've participated in about 4 in the last 6 years. In Canada of all places! Its quite a fine experience and can last up to 3 days sometimes.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)