A.G. Russell Airweights

Mar 8, 2000
Has anyone ever handled or even owns one of the AG Russell "airweights". They come in two models according to AG's catalog. HE says, and I quote " made by one of the finest handmade knifemakers in Japan." And the price is under 100.00, for either the "brute" or the Personal. Does anyone have any experience with these linerless knives? Can micarta hold up all by itself? Thanks.
AG Russel seems to be an honest man. I've purchased a few things from him, and always felt I've gotten a fair deal.. However, this knife you're talking about (I don't have a current catalog) wouldn't seem to be THAT sturdy. It all depends on what type of use you are going to put the knife through. What will you use it for?
i have been to the showroom several times and i am always pleased with my purchases.as a matter of fact,i was thinking of going up there tomorrow if they're open) to look at a lockback damascus(
http://www.agrussell.com/agrussell/a340-da.html ) damn thats a good looking knife

and ill handle one of these airweights to see what its like,etc. i'll let you know.
I was planning to use it for everyday carry. Something different, without clips or thumbstuds. It seems to be advertised as a high quality piece. I would like to know if you see one, what you think. The advertisement claims that it is smoother than a linerlock. Also, what is AG's store like? I would love to see it some day.
Maurice - I saw the post on that Damascus Lockback. Nice looking piece. Beautiful damascus and wood. And the same price that the one I was looking at. I may have to reconsider!!!
David Z,

I don't own either of the Airweights but have handled the smaller one. These knives are *very* sturdy and will not loosen up on you. Micarta is much stronger than FRN, for example, and will not weaken over time. Also, the pivot pin is bigger than those on most folders and, therefore, should remain secure with no "play."

Depending on your uses, the "weakest" part may in fact be the ATS-34 edge treated to 60-61 RC. I cannot recall its "edge geometry" but AG Russell does tend to like his sharp things very sharp -- and therefore possibly with a very acute edge. If so, it will likely perform very well on most materials but may be prone to "microchipping" on harder substances.

The blade stock on the smaller is 1/8" and the bigger is fully 3/16" -- the thickest stock I am aware of on ANY folder. So they are designed, at that level, for "hard use." But the Micarta handles, while equally sturdy, are also given a very smooth rather than rough (e.g., bead blasted) finish. I suspect it may become slippery when wet, sweaty, or oily. That, and the lack of any small guard, recessed index finger cut-out, or even traction grooves, makes for a very clean and elegant, but somewhat impractical design, IMO.

On the other hand, AG Russell also has the very best warranty I know of -- truly "no questions asked." You can buy it and try it out -- you can't know if it is the "right one" for you until you give it a go. If it doesn't work for you, AGR will take it back with no quarrel, just for the price of shipping.

I'm not encouraging you to "take advantage" or their warranty for a temporary look-see. But it does indicate their belief in their products -- and it's that level of service that keeps customers coming back to AGR.

My .02 -- happy holidays,

PS: Where are the Airweights listed for under $100? I've not seen them below $199 or thereabouts.

[This message has been edited by storyville (edited 12-28-2000).]
david-sorry,i went up there today and forgot to look at teh airweights.but your right,that damascus folder is SWEET! i wasnt sure about the quality at first,but the lock up is solid with no play at all,the damascus looks real good,and the wood is perfect...you realy might want to reconsider.
forgot to add...
his store is small,but nice.the showroom is rectangular with glass display cases all around.packed FULL of knives.they carry only high quality brands.the people are extremely pacient and friendly.they le you look at the knives before you commit (cant do THAT on-line)nice store.if your looking for anything special then they probably have it.
Ihave one I think its called featherlite. I like it. Very light weight and good ergonomics for me. I got the AUS-8 for $35. It will flic open. No clip, though.

Roger Blake
Storyville -- I just got my Winter 2001 catalog from AG. They are on page 23 for 99.00 and 94.00 each for the Brute and the Personal respectively. I have in the past bought knives just to see them. But I never send them back, I just re-sell to freinds , relatives, or workmates, or send it to Ag for comsignment. It usually costs me some $$ loss, but that is the price of curiosity. There are no real cutlery shoppes in the area.
Maurice, I am glad you liked the damascus knife. You didn"t say if you made the purchase. Let us know.
Anyone else?
oh yeah...duh.
im gonna go pick it up this weekend,i'll let everyone know how it holds up.
Maurice -- When you go to pick it up, if you remember, ckeck out the airweights for me. Let me know what you think of them.
Thanks , Dave
lmao.david, i went today....they were closed,i was a little late.ill go up monday afternoon.ill make a note of it.
david z,i went today and picked up my knife.im all smiles about this one.

the airweights are awesome,go ahead and buy one.they are light (hence the name) lockup is as solid as i have seen,teh micarta is smooth as ice,even where the pins hold it together.there are NO rough spots on this knife at all.easy to open even without a thumbstud.no clip, very nice knife.i might have to pick one up myself.
Thanks for the report. I will send my order out tommorrow. Glad that you got your item.