I bought and returned both the Brute and Personal with black micarta handles. They were the "Made in Japan" models. I was unhappy with what I would describe a "weak and lazy" lock. I have never handled the hand-made versions which AG also sells as the Brute (with coral Rucarta), the Airweight Folding Hunter (black micarta) and the Airweight Personal (black micarta) and would hope these would be of better quality at $195 apiece. I would spend the extra cash and get the hand-made one. His unconditional guarantee would allow you to return it if you weren't satisfied. Hope this helps.
It is peculiar knife, excellent materials but not ideal design to match. It has just about thickest stock for folder blade 3/16 in., which suggest hard work but it has slick handles and no guard, therefore it is uneasy in hand compared with other hard worker folders. My friend ordered it but returned it, this was some years ago. But it is also very attractive especially with coral micarta.
LAG3 what do you mean by "a weak and lazy" lock?Is it that the lock doesn't feel that strong-the blade doesn't snap back too hard when closing or does very light pressure on the lock release close the blade?I've heard AG uses a coil spring to hold the lock back.Do you know anything about this?If he does maybe the coil is'nt strong enough.
The "walk and talk" just wasn't there. They do have a coil spring. I had another custom made folder (briefly) with the coil spring lock and just didn't like the "feel" of it. None of them snapped closed and just didn't "thunk" open. I don't believe the lock would have closed on my fingers, but it was kind of gritty upon opening (even after cleaning and oiling) and the blade wobbled a bit when closed. I had the same problems with two other lockbacks from AG. I agree with the comments on the THICK blade too. It really is too thick. I still think about ordering one of these (but for another $150 I will get a custom from Crawford or a Small Sebenza), but I would go with the Airweight Folder Hunter or Personal as they have 1/8" blade stock. The last time I looked at the website they were still there. I even called and they had a few in stock (last year some time). Again, their guarantee is unconditional. I'd be interested in hearing if you get one and what you think of it.