AG Russell Honcho?

I looked at this and think it is a great idea. Still there are a few things I would change.

First, I am not sure the pocket clip is really necessary. It is a cool thought though. It seems to be poorly placed though. A little higher would be much better.

I think for a kitchen knife, even a folding one, ATS-34 is not the best choice. Perhaps in 440C or AUS-8 for a more affordable knife or in CPM440V (or 420 or 3V or VG-10) for a more upscale knife. I think corrosion resistance is essential for any food-related knife.

Just my thoughts. I haven't held one or anything.

I would like to hear James Mattis' thoughts on this one.


Clay Fleischer

Picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue...

MPS got an evaluation copy, which he sent to me, which I ended up buying from AG. I'd give this knife mixed reviews. For me, it very nicely fills a niche.

The good thing is that the blade is very well done, thin-bladed, good shape, nice thin edge.

The sheet metal handle is not optimum for everyday kitchen use, however. And depending on how you hold it, your knuckles may hit the cutting board, so for some situations you need to switch your grip a bit.

In all, it's a good kitchen blade with a handle that can be awkward at times.

Okay, so why did I buy this knife? It fills the need for me of a minimal-sized minimal-hassle travel kitchen knife. If I'm going to a hotel, or out to a picnic, or on a dayhike, I *could* carry my full-sized santuko or chef's knife, but I never do. Just too big and cumbersome to hump around. The folding santuko, I just throw in the bottom of my bag and I'm off. Anywhere from a company picnic to family bbq, it's at home, and even the most knife-squeamish people think it's neat.

My forthcoming TTKK will be carried a lot also for these occasions as well, and I'll carry one or the other depending on space and knife-squeamishness limitations.

Thanks for the review Joe. I've been staring at my catalog picture for a couple of weeks, ttrying to make up my mind. I'd also like to see a different steel, but it'd probably go way up in price then too.
As Joe mentioned, I got one of the first couple of prototype Hochos to test and evaluate. Joe wound up with that one, and AG, out of sheer generosity sent me another one.

Like Joe, I'd give the Hocho very mixed reviews and for exactly the same reasons.
It is by design a knife for the specific niche of being a traveling foldable cutting board prep knife.

I find that the blade is superb for cutting veggies on a board, but the handle has so many sharp edges that using it is not particularly pleasant. The pocket clip is totally superfluous, and in my estimation is there only because the screws that hold it on were needed to secure the liners.

A word about those liners is in order. To secure the large, very sharp blade in the handle when the knife is folded, the liners on each side feature detents that fit into a tiny hole in the blade near the tang. It's an interesting design that I've not seen anywhere else, but the travel of the detents across the bead blasted ATS-34 blade leave noticeable, but harmless arc travel marks.

That gets us to a partially bead blasted finish on an ATS-34 kitchen knife. While others have reported all sorts of horror stories with ATS-34 rusting worse than any other stainless blends. I've simply not had that experience even though 80-90% humidity is the norm here. In fact, I've been using another of AG's ATS-34 fixed kitchen knife prototypes for months and haven't seen the first bit of rust at all. Likewise, just recently a Benchmade Eclipse was returned to me after it'd been left sitting outside in the rain for a couple days, and it has only one barely noticeable spot near the pivot. I have not used the Hocho long enough to know what effect the bead blasting will have on it's eventual proclivity towards spotting, but garlic, tomatoes and onions haven't phased it, yet.

The blade is very well shaped for it's role as veggie slicer supreme, but despite the opening hole, this is not a one hand knife.
Nor is it a prybar or a chopper.

For those of you who might see a need for a dedicated folding santoku shape, you might consider holding off for a few months. (That's all I can say.

What I've noticed with our Hocho is that with regular usage and time, the blade has developed a moderate amount amount of lateral play. We have used it every day for several months now along with our other kitchen knives for food preparation, and had been very pleased with it until recently. That is not to say that I refuse to continue using it; It came very sharp, and the edge is easy to maintain. But, as others have mentioned, the handle IS kinda funky with all it's edges, never mind that enigmatic clip.
I might add that we, to the best of my knowledge anyway, have never used the blade to chop, and have always used it on a wood cutting board.