Brad Duncan folder review

Aug 15, 2000
Basic Specs:
3 1/2" BG42 blade, titanium bolsters, G10 handle scales.
Closed length: 4 1/8" Overall length (open): 8"

A solidly-constructed folder, with a perfectly-fitted liner locking mechanism. One point to note is the thick (1/16") liner that locks up precisely behind the blade - very reassuring for those of us worried about lock failure. With dual thumb studs, the knife opens and closes smoothly throughout the opening arc with no rough spots. The ball bearing detent locks the blade closed with authority and the blade is perfectly centered between the liners. There is no detectable blade play in either open or closed positions.

The blade is ground almost perfectly in a symmetrical hollow grind, with even shoulders and finished in two-tones (bead blast flats and polished bevels). The titanium bolsters are bead blasted (keeps the fingerprints from showing) and dovetailed onto the black G10 handle scales. A full length stainless backspacer completes the "bulletproof" feel. This is one strong folder! Fit and finish is meticulous throughout and comparable with the work of established makers of tactical folders.

After handling and carrying it around for just a day, this knife has already become one of my favourites. I find the overall size just about perfect for daily carry. The handles seems to have curves in the right places and the palm swells make it fit comfortably to the hand. A little heavy (thick liners, full length steel backspacer) compared to my other folders of similar size, but the solid heft is reassuring if you ever need to use it closed as a makeshift "yawara". I also tried flicking the knife open. The knife will open with a strong wrist snap but I had to work at it - the ball detent does a good job of keeping it closed which is reassuring for those of us that don't care for this method of deployment.

The knife came with a very good, hair-shaving edge. Where I work, we always have loads of large cardboard boxes lying around which is how I usually test my new knives. After cutting through the corners of 4 or 5 boxes, the edge would still shave hair although it had lost a little keenness. The design of the handle works well, and did not put undue wear on my hands (usually the forefinger) the way a few of my other knives did. I also tried another test I usually do: stabbing one of the boxes (slowly at first!) to see if my fingers have a tendency to slide forward onto the edge. Am pleased to note that the flare at the bottom of the bolsters and the butt resting against the palm of my hand works well (as well as can be hoped from a folding knife without a true guard) to keep my fingers off the edge. Finger grooves would probably do better but I'm not really a fan of having them.

Overall, I am totally satisfied with this knife in terms of construction and function and at the prices Brad charges, is darn good value for money. One change I might want to make on this knife are to move the scalloped area on the bolster slightly to the rear (to better access the thumb stud). Also a "open" construction without the backspacer would reduce the weight slightly and make the knife easier to maintain (less dirt and crud collecting in the innards).

Andrew Limsk
Nice review Red ,sounds like you have a winner.Brad does build a good knife.
I had the opportunity to examine and handle a number of Brads folders at this years Blade Show. I have never personally seen a folder with an action as smooth as what he is now making. I own quite a few custom folders and have handled literally hundreds of them.
He is making me one in Bg 42 with Cf scales and I am excited about getting it. I dont know what else to say about the guy,(except that he is ugly as hell) but seriously if you get a chance to handle one at a show, you really should. He is making a DA for Pirela and appears to be hooked up with every dealer on the internet.
I wonder why? Certainly not his looks. No wonder they call him a monster.

Mike Snody