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Bradford USA: Guardian 3 and 3.5 Variations: Saber, Flat, Wharncliff

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Gary W. Graley, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    I want to preface this that I had one of the other Guardian 3 with the regular grind, a very nice knife, excellent carry and grip, but I do love a full flat grind, I just do ;) And so when I sold the other one soon after getting it, that was hard to do as it was a nice size knife, I figured that Brad Larkin of Bradford USA might just see and wonder what was up. So I emailed him my thoughts, and some reasons on his knife. He responded back pretty quickly and said I must have been reading his mind, as his last batch of Guardian 3's he made some Full Flat Ground versions and asked if I'd be interested in one of them...well yeah ! and fast forward to yesterday, she arrived and is such a beauty. Same overall dimensions as the previous with the exception of the blade grind, which allows to have a little thinner grind at the edge.

    She arrived pretty sharp, cutting receipt paper cleanly, popping through paracord as well, but those that know me, I do like to put my own edge on, and so do a lot of other knife knuts. But for those that don't, I think you'll be pleased at the edge they are putting on their knives now, as Brad said he was using a different method than before, so they should show a marked difference.

    Ok first I'll show the one I sold, again a solid knife and while it has a little thicker edge, for a lot of people that would be a positive as it can withstand more abuse if pressed into that hard of service. But for those that like a thinner grind with a full flat ground blade, I think you just found your knife, it's very nice. The sheath is the same and retains the knife well, as I've been saying for a while, I've gone paracord lanyard crazy lately and love using the Diamond Knots, one is just past the end of the handle, so you can hook it with your pinky to help draw the knife with, and another diamond knot ending the loop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The scales I chose are the Toxi Green with Black G10, nice looking and very grippy!

    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot showing in the sheath, there is a belt loop on the back that provides horizontal carry

    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot looking straight onto the edge, ground down nicely

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks again Brad, solid little knife right there,
    G2

    Some links to other reviews of Bradford USA

    Guardian 4

    Gatsby
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    Sonnydaze and schmittie like this.
  2. harronek

    harronek Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 29, 2013
    Gary
    How big is it in the hand ?
    Is it a comfortable handfilling size ?
    From a visual point of view I much prefer the flat grind , I dont know enough about blade shape and geometry to comment further .
    Lovely knife :thumbup:

    Ken
     
  3. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks guys it's a smaller size knife here's a video, I believe its Brad Larkin doing the presentation



    Of course this is showing the original grind but the size is the same
    G2
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  4. Brew-Jitsu

    Brew-Jitsu

    Oct 22, 2012
    Nice! I sold mine for financial reasons, but I'd definitely choose the flat grind if I purchased one again.
     
  5. sodak

    sodak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    Nice! I'm going to have to check this one out!
     
  6. Bradford

    Bradford

    148
    Sep 27, 2013
    Thank you VERY much Gary for sharing these incredible photos! I very much appreciate your comments on the edge and sharpening and it carries a lot of weight coming from you :)
    I have now made these FFG models available under the Guardian3 customs page.
    http://www.bradfordknives.com/#!guardian3-customs/cvkw
    More pictures to come soon.
    Thanks!
    -Brad
     
  7. deskil

    deskil

    Dec 26, 2012
    My Guardian 3 (with the swedge, like the first pic above) averages .021" behind the edge. I'm curious about the flat ground blade measurement (should be thinner, immediatley behind the edge) and how much of a performance gain is realized.
     
  8. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Sounds like your knife was ground pretty thin, these, at least the one I have, measure just a hair above that, about .024" or so, of course my caliper expertise is limited but it comes in around that mark, but it still slices very well. I know that Brad is aiming for a thinner grind so I'll let him chime in on what the 'store' currently has available.

    I didn't think at the time to measure the one I previously owned but I know that it was quite a bit thicker at the top of the bevel. So for me this is a better slicer overall.

    G2
     
  9. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    I've got a FFG, dark stonewash, & OD green from the second run inbound. Anxiously waiting to try it out. Folders are getting too hard to manipulate with older hands and some loss of tactile sensation. Smaller FBs seem to fit right in there as everyday users now so this one's hopefully gonna be an everyday knife.
     
  10. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    :confused: FFG vs saber doesn't impact thickness at the edge, it impact thickness behind it on the primary grind. It sounds like he sets these in the 0.020 - 0.025" range, pretty stout so it should be able to handle some rough use :thumbup: I think I'd prefer the swedge for prying-strength...
     
  11. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    I was looking at where the top of the grind line is compared to grinding it all the way up to the spine, so looking at a cross section, the lower area is limited to where the grind starts, higher up should allow for a better V shape?
    G2
     
  12. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    One thing on this sheath, it is just horizontal carry, I've been carrying on my right hand side above my right front pocket, and drawing it out towards the back, instead of being a full cross draw, if I were slimmer...maybe I'd wear it over on my left side ;)

    I had an idea to be able to still use that sheath but wearing it vertical, so I made this belt loop adapter. You slide the one end through the belt loop and then fold it down and snap it into place. Also, if you needed to remove it, say to leave it in the car while you go into the store, you can just unsnap and remove it from your belt. It's about 1 1/2" wide piece of leather with snap fastener.

    If you go to make one, put the underside snap on first and then when you fold down the top, the bottom snap will mark the leather where the top snap needs to go.

    Here are some quick shots of this taken tonight;

    [​IMG]

    as you can see here, your belt would hit the bottom of the loop so it shouldn't unsnap the snap

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Quite the handy knife, hope you guys/gals enjoy yours when they arrive !

    G2
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  13. sodak

    sodak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    That's real nice, looks like you've done this before! :D
     
  14. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks sir, it's been used a couple times on sheaths that were only horizontal type carry, allows for the vertical option, sometimes you just like a change, also for me it's more natural to insert the knife from a more vertical angle, but this way you have an option.
    G2
     
  15. J D Wijbenga

    J D Wijbenga

    942
    Oct 17, 1998
    Nice score Gary! I can see why you would prefer the FFG model. That look like a great cutter!

    Good idea on the sheath too.
     
  16. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks and it is a very handy size, those scales provide a really good grip, I've been using it a lot lately on some leather work, great little cutter. And having the sheath vertical, for me, is easier to return the knife as I slide my index finger down to the tip to guide it into the opening of the sheath and then the blade drops into the sheath and I just have to push it down a little further to get the handle inside, seems safer to me doing it that way :)
    G2
     
  17. Tmack

    Tmack

    Apr 29, 2014
    I've been holding off as long as I could for one of these , but it may be time. That grind looks great, but I do like the original design as well.
     
  18. Bradford

    Bradford

    148
    Sep 27, 2013
    Gary, I love that vertical "convertible" option! Very creative and the logo/pattern is really cool too! You have a great eye ;) How is the height at the hip with the extra leather loop? Do you find the knife getting in the way, like when you sit it the car?
    -Brad
     
  19. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks Brad and nope, not a problem in a car or sitting down in the house, reason being that the adapter has a wider open area for the belt and allows it to 'range free' kinda so it's there when you need it, and when you go to sit down you can angle it if you feel that's necessary. Here's a couple quick shots worn on a belt, one just as it hangs from the belt and the other I tilted to show you the latitude it has, so there's no hard fixed feeling with it, you bump into something, it'll move or worse cases, the snap will come undone.
    And I found that it's not too hard to re-snap the sheath if you had removed it to go into someplace not knife friendly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    G2

    and that embossing, Celtic Knot, is one of my favourites, a lot of detail in that, raised areas, textured background and the circle to anchor it all

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  20. sodak

    sodak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    Just got mine today in the mail, Brad, you hit a home run here, love this little blade! Thanks!

    http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q203/sodak_photos/P1000952_zps11246a61.jpg
    http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q203/sodak_photos/P1000953_zpsd70301a0.jpg

    It came nice and sharp, and while I haven't had time yet to test it, I'm not too worried about M390 holding its edge... :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014

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