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Bradford USA: Guardian 4, 5, 6

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Gary W. Graley, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    This arrived from a friend out west for a visit, just so I could see what a beasty blade these Guardian 4 from Bradford Knives USA look and handle like. Wow, it is a sizeable knife! It does dwarf the Guardian 3 in most all respects.

    Excellent machined G10 scales that are approx. .585" thick, very grippy
    Blade length from scale to tip is 4.625" with 4.125" Cutting Edge
    Overall length 9.1"
    Blade thickness .165"

    While some may want to have a full flat grind, this has a very high grind so I didn't get that feeling that it needed to be higher at all, on the Guardian 3 being a smaller blade, it seemed to warrant that and I think benefitted from that type of grind. But this is a nice high flat grind, down to quite a thin edge, about .023" at the edge bevel shoulders.

    The sheath is a leather sheath with a plastic insert to help prevent cutting through, myself I feel the handle could be inserted a little further for better retention, I have plans to make a snap strap for my friends sheath before I send it back to him, just for a bit of added security. Bradford USA also offers a Kydex sheath as well, but if you are in the woods, trying to keep quiet, hunting mode as it were, leather doesn't transmit noise as readily as kydex might if you bump against some brush or sticks as you are walking.

    Here are some shots of this knife, very cool, I'm liking this larger size, word tell is, there might be a Guardian 5 and maybe a 6 in the works but...that's just hearsay and not admissible in court ;)


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    Overall one heck of a knife right there!

    Here's some links to a couple other Bradford USA knives

    Guardian 3

    Gatsby

    edited to add that the title changed with the bringing in of the 5 and 6 models on May 23, 2015 :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  2. javareload

    javareload

    2
    Nov 29, 2013
    Nice commentary and pix. Thanks
     
  3. Lost Cosmonaut

    Lost Cosmonaut

    936
    Mar 10, 2011
    Love my Guardian3, need to get off my butt and get the 4 ordered. Fantastic work he does over there. I need to see if I can go visit his shop.
     
  4. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks javareload, being in Seattle you could probably bike over to see Bradford!

    Forgot to add this video that Gideons Tactical did of this knife, the one he had was with S30v steel, but this N690 took a very nice sharp edge!

    [video=youtube;x_Pjsl7nUSs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_Pjsl7nUSs[/video]

    G2
     
  5. sodak

    sodak

    Mar 26, 2004
    What a beast, but a great looking knife! Glad you like it!
     
  6. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks man and it IS a beast, but she's not mine, a friend sent it out so I could take a peek at it, glad he did !
    G2
     
  7. flash900

    flash900 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 17, 2010
    Thanks, Gary.

    Is that the Sabre grind?

    Any thoughts on N690 steel vs S30V?

    Is the choil as sharp as it is on the G3s? My choil bit me and I haven't used it since.
     
  8. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Technically they both are Saber grinds, just you have the option of getting an unsharpened swedge ground in on one version.
    And the choil isn't that sharp on this, but along the spine near the tip it was a bit crisp, but that's easily remedied.

    As to the steels, this N690 took a very nice sharp edge, I've not run it through any paces, since it's not mine :( but from the steel makeup, I'd say it was pretty good stuff.

    G2
     
    Sublimis likes this.
  9. Llasi

    Llasi Basic Member Basic Member

    763
    Mar 1, 2013
    It looks great.
    I am very happy with my Guardian3. Coming soon I will ask one Guardian4. Is it possible in M390?.
    Thanks for the review.
     
  10. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I've been eyeing the Guardian 4 since I became aware of it. Thank you for the review and photos, I may have to start pinching my pennies, as it looks like 2015 may be an expensive year.
     
  11. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks guys and just remember, pace yourself, it's only Jan 14th...you have a long year ahead yet ;)

    G2
     
  12. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I know. SHOT show hasn't even come and I've already got a list. Gonna eat a lot of beans and rice this year.
     
  13. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Beans and rice, at least it's somewhat healthy diet, lots of folks eat that every day :)

    I came up with a design for the strap, I'll get some photos up later on tonight but it worked out pretty well, you could toss the knife in the sheath to someone and not have a worry it would come free and yet when needed you can unsnap it and get to the knife quickly and also the strap is clear of the knife's passage too, best of both worlds ;)
    G2
     
  14. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Gave this some thought on how to make it, fixing a strap to an existing sheath isn't always an easy task.

    I wanted something that would be easy to open and once open it would be free of the knife area, so I didn't want to bring the strap across and back to the edge side of the sheath. Typically you want your strap end to be a trailing edge kind of thing, so as you are walking forward it doesn't present itself to become unsnapped by any objects you might come up against, branches, bushes and 'stuff'. SO, for this I took advantage of the empty area of the spine of the sheath, since it folds around the knife, there is a gap between the sheath and the spine of the handle, just room enough to place a snap fitting, a bit tight but it fits. I did trim down the sides of the snap so it would fit in there evenly, full round wasn't a good fit inside, but ok on the outside. So I roughed up the surface of the sheath's leather behind the strap area so I could glue that strap in place, and I put two vertical lines of stitching to keep it in place. You don't want to do a horizontal as that can shorten the sheath's life span, making it like a perforation across, so vertical helps keep that leather strong.

    When open the strap falls aside, fairly wide, giving a lot of room to draw the knife and also return it. Returning the knife, you can close the snap one handed, the end of the strap wraps around the sheath and the tip of the strap is pointed in towards your body, which should help keep it from becoming unsnapped as you walk through the brush.

    You do need to trim the original sheath area so that it follows the contours of the knife handle, that way the strap will wrap close to the handle and prevent it from being able to fall out.

    I think the original design might have been modeled after a kydex style sheath, which would work well with just a small bit of that handle in the sheath, but not so much when it's leather.


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    G2
     
  15. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Overall shot on the belt, you can see how the strap's snap folds around to the spine edge of the sheath

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    G2
     
  16. Raj

    Raj

    424
    Jan 22, 2003
    Very good thinking, execution and finish.I like that very much.
    Beautiful pictures as usual.
    Very nicely done Gary.
    I See that the Guardian stays close to the 0770 for protection:D.
     
  17. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Thanks Raj ;) and yes I thought that was a decent method of retention for that sheath now, if it were kydex, then that small of an area would probably have held well, but being leather, it didn't take but a very light tug and it was free, so if you ever took a tumble, you might have injured yourself...possibly.

    And yep, ZT0770cf hanging around to keep the other knives in line :)
    G2
     
  18. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Yesterday was a banner day at the G2 home, a few knives arrived, one being this lovely Bradford USA Guardian 4 with Toxic Green/Black scales, at the end is a paracord lanyard of my making.

    They offer these in S30v and N690, this one is the N690 and arrived really nicely sharpened, very toothy and cuts extremely well.

    [​IMG]

    G2
     
  19. LG&M

    LG&M

    Dec 19, 2005
    I just went through this thread again, very nice ,good photos & Info. Thanks
    I like the overall design of the Bradford knives. Maybe one day I will own one.
     
  20. Gary W. Graley

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

    Mar 2, 1999
    Most welcome, he makes some pretty nice stuff for sure, and coming out with more all the time. I'd recommend getting a kydex sheath if you decide to pick up a Guardian 4.
    G2
     

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