Bob Hankins Fighter Review

Burke

Platinum Member
Joined
Feb 25, 1999
Messages
3,159
Bob Hankins (bobH to forumites) recently posted a picture of a very nice small fighter here at Bladeforums. I saw it and asked if it was still for sale, to which I was told “It’s already gone, but I can make you a similar one.” I told Bob I was interested, he quoted me a price, gave me a few options (ATS-34 or 5160, what color micarta, false edge or no?) and the waiting began. It’s finally over, I got my new knife, and I’m very happy with it. The finished product is a little under 9” overall, with a 4” handle, and approximately 4 ½” sharpened edge; the balance is full thickness between the end of the handle and beginning of the grinds, providing a bottom guard for the hand. There is an unsharpened (due to MA law) top edge measuring 3”.

Overall Impressions: This knife is thick; the blade is 3/16” of differentially hardened 5160. This lends it a nice feeling of solidity in the hand and a comfortably handle-heavy balance, between the index and middle fingers when held in a hammer grip. The handles are also nicely contoured out of light brown linen micarta, that appears very natural and affords a nicely secure grip. It is very secure with regard to thrusts and cuts, as well as withdrawals due to the shape, and is sufficiently thick and rounded to be comfortable for prolonged, hard cutting. In fact, I was showing it to a friend tonight, and he commented on how comfortable the handle was, and how nicely it fit his hand. It’s a little on the short side, and doesn’t fit my hand very well when hearing heavy gloves, but I think that’s to be expected given the size of the knife overall.

Blade: The blade has a slight recurve to it, that I feel noticeably enhances slicing performance. It’s just barely enough to be noticeable, and should sharpen up easily enough on my Spyderco Profile. Blade finish is a very nice satin, and grinds are very good but not perfect (one edge grind starts a hair before the other at the hilt and one of the grinds on the false edge has a slight wave). However these are barely noticeable imperfections that have absolutely no effect on the function of the knife and that I wouldn’t even notice if I weren’t searching for flaws in the context of this review. I really like the aesthetics of this knife as well; the blade and handle appear well-balanced, and the overall impression of the knife is just “clean.” The edge came very sharp and evenly ground, with a high polish, and given my experience with other 5160 blades I should have no trouble maintaining that edge.

Sheath: The sheath is by Stellar Rigs ( www.stellarrigs.com ), and is a very heavy-duty piece of Kydex. The knife is held securely by the bottom edge of the blade, and is released by pushing the lip of the sheath out with the index finger while drawing the blade. Without doing so, I have been unable to shake the blade out of the sheath, or even to draw it. I have no qualms about trusting my knife to this sheath. It is held on the belt by a J-clip, which seems fine, though I would slightly prefer a G-clip, with its greater security.

If you’re looking for an attractive, high-quality, reasonably priced knife, give Bob a shout at pamhankins@qwest.net. His designs are first rate, he’s an honest man and a pleasure to deal with, and his fine workmanship completes the package. Bob also wanted me to let you know that, though he’s been making knives less than a year, he stands behind his knives 100%, and if you don’t like the knife, you may return it in new condition for a refund. As always, I welcome questions and comments either at brkriete@yahoo.com, or in this thread.
 
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RHankins Available knives
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