Carson Large Model 4 -- 1st Impression

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Jan 21, 2000
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This big folder has the smoothest, most solid action I've felt on a liner lock. I'd just about given up on finding a truly unyielding liner lock -- everything I've tried to date has had at least some slight blade play. This one is dead solid, whether the blade is opened gently--even delicately--or thrown open hard.

The workmanship on the 420V blade is precise, from the symmetry of its grinds to the evenness of the bead blast finish. Kit does his own heat treat, leaving the blade at about 58 RC. Working this steel is not easy, and many knifemakers won't attempt it. As an aside, Kit offers blade options in the toughtest, strongest, and most corrosion resistant materials available, without regard to the difficulty involved in working the material. I have a forged Cobalt 6B alloy fixed-blade hunter Kit collaborated on, which is one of my most highly prized pieces.

The clip style blade on this Model 4 is very wide and substantial for its handle size--an excellent blade-to-handle ratio, with a very beefy, broad-bellied blade for heavy work but with a good thin point for the delicate stuff. Ergonomics of the handle are subtle, sure and very pleasing.

This knife has bead-blast titanium bolsters and micarta slabs--more detail and pics on Kit's website. Nothing flashy here--an all-performance workhorse.

I've been doing quite a bit of trading on the exchange forums over the past several months, and I've had a chance to look at quite a few folders from other makers in the $300-$600 price range. Many of them are prettier than the Model 4, with all kinds of exotic materials and blade/handle designs. But none of them has moved me to put up an impression here on the Reviews forum for quite a long time--this one did it. Just thought I'd share that reaction.

--Will
 
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Sam--

Yep...a sure 'nough, "pure D" 10X.

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I know that feeling
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Mabye I should just get another. Art is selling his large M4 on the FOr Sale forums... hmmm... what else can I do without this month...

Red

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"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
 
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Will - congrats on your M4 acquisition. You cannot go wrong with this classic Carson! Now you know what us M4 owners know
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Proud member: AKTI, NCCKG, NCKK, and SCAK


Living life on the edge
 

ARtsig1

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Those model 4's are SWEET indeed! Red, according to doctors you can go for 30 days without food. Thirty days without food! Just think how much you could save. BTW, as far as I know the Model 4 is still for sale.



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Art Sigmon
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Php. 4:13

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword"
Heb. 4:12
 
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Darrel--Classy response.

I look at the numbers of posts of the respondents to this thread, their global geographic distribution and status (two moderators), and I almost feel like a newbie again. Hasn't happened to me in a while--nice to be surprised by a knife. I have to admit, it appears you guys have been at least one up on me for a while.

One other thing that impressed me about this knife was that I bought it second-hand from an owner who had two identical M4's. So not only was it a random example, but from my own experience I know if I was in that owner's shoes I would try my best to sell off the one that had a flaw, if any flaw were to be found. Can't find one thing wrong with this one, though.

A few months ago I ordered a small M4 in Stellite 6K from Kit, no bolsters or liners, carbon fiber handles, inlaid titanium lock. You can bet I'm now chomping at the bit for that little featherweight!

Thanks to all for the congrats.

-w
 

Bronco

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Feb 25, 2000
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Will,
Congratulations on the acquisition of your first Mod 4. Being as your the proud owner of what has to be, blade for blade, one of the greatest collections of serious performance, hard use fixed blades in existence, I'm glad to see that you now have your own example of what is certainly one of the all time greatest working folders.

How appropriate that you would open your review by mentioning the unbelievable blade lock up that Kit somehow manages to engineer into his folders. I have a large Mod 4 that's nearly identical to yours, with the exception of having carbon fiber handles, and I still marvel at the way in which the liner lock is so smooth that it doesn't even appear to be contacting the blade tang, yet the lock up is as solid as could possibly be hoped for, and has remained so after a year of hard use. Enjoy it, Will, it's definitely a keeper.
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Semper Fi

-Bill
 
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Bill--

And yet ANOTHER moderator checks in. Thanks for the kind words about my collection--I've been more than lucky in assembling a few very satisfying hard-use blades, as you say. Nice to find such an elegant hard-use folder in this Carson.

Sounds to me, though, like the Bronco M2 Camp Knife has put you and Jerry Hossom in a league of your own, when it comes to heavy-duty users.

Thanks again for your congratulations.

-w
 

Bronco

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Feb 25, 2000
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Will,
Appreciate the kind comments regarding the camp knife, but it's going to have its hands full keeping up with your Millenium Mesquite Mauler.
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Semper Fi

-Bill
 

Professor

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Apr 6, 1999
Messages
3,386
She's a sweet one, no doubt about it. Fit and finish that puts the Sebenza back into the production category, and the only moderately-priced custom I've ever handled that does so. Certainly not a knock to my Seb, but high praise for both knives!

Professor.
 

ARtsig1

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With all the accolades (sp) I decided I just couldn't part with my large model 4 and have taken it off the forums. Just went down and got it out and EVERYTHING that EVERYBODY said is true! Hard to beat a Carson!

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Art Sigmon
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Php. 4:13

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword"
Heb. 4:12
 
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Sep 30, 1999
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I love my model 4. Smooth and rock solid lockup. There are some knives you just know will be like that. Carson,Ralph,JWS,Terzuola come to mind.Now Will, don't throw it in a draw, use it. Enjoy it.
 
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Professor--I agree with your comparison to the Sebenza. The massive integral locking bar on the Sebbie, and the precision with which it's constructed, make for a solid piece of equipment. I carry one tucked in my briefcase. But for its size, the Sebbie is something of a chunk--can't compare with the sleek, graceful overall package of this Carson. Thanks again for selling me an exquisite piece of craftsmanship.

-Will
 
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May 25, 1999
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Congrats, Will
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Only down side is that you WILL want to buy MORE of his knives!
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Kit's my favorite maker. I love all of his knives I own. I have some put away for my daughter for when she is older.
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I never heard of ceramic bead blast until I got my first medium LH Model 4 - worderful stuff. Its a nice patina NOT course like std BB. Kit's turned several makers to using it, I wish they would ALL use it.
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Not only does he make sweeeeet knives, but he is always willing to help out newbie makers and other senior makers with folders.
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I'm proud to own and use Carson's knives.
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Ray 'md2020'

ATKI member #A001042
 
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Art wrote:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">With all the accolades (sp) I decided I just couldn't part with my large model 4 and have taken it off the forums. Just went down and got it out and EVERYTHING that EVERYBODY said is true! Hard to beat a Carson!</font>

Art, I was beginning to wonder why you were selling it in the first place
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Proud member: AKTI, NCCKG, NCKK, and SCAK


Living life on the edge
 

JKS

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Jun 22, 2000
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I too am a big Carson fan. Fit and finish is great, and the action of his blades blows me away. Flawless lockup, easy release, smooth! Can't recommend Kit's knives enough.

-John-
 
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