Patrolman revisited

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Oct 7, 1998
When I saw the thread about the Lynn Griffith's "Patrolman" pop up I
decided not to comment immediately and e-mailed
MD 2020 and asked if he would overnight the knife to me.

I've been interested in taking a look at Lynn's knives for some time but haven't had the
chance to since he doesn't do any of the shows that i attend.
I've always found Lynn's relentless self promotion annoying but also believed
he was sincerely trying to make a good knife.

Far too many things are posted to the forums by people that have never even
held the knife that they are either recommending or tearing apart.
I just received the package and upon opening it I liked the look of what I
saw. I've always liked and collected small utility knives.

The first thing i noticed and liked was that the scales were well fitted
and tight to the handle. The tang and scales felt even to the touch. One
scale is ever so slightly thinner than the other which is bothersome to me
but not unusual on a lot of knives. Unfortunately that's where the good points ended.

Looking at the blade just past the scales the plunge cut is uneven. It is deeper on one
side and undercut. The cuts are also on different angles on each side of the
blade and go all the way to the top of the knife. At this point is where
the blade should have been discarded. And most knifemakers would have done
so. It's not only that it looks bad, it's a serious weakness in
the blade.

The serrations as mentioned in a previous post are a failed experiment and
do nothing but waste a good portion of the cutting edge. The hand rubbed
finish on the blade is not well done.
I can see why the bead blasted finish is standard.

The kydex sheath is, well, a kydex sheath.

Why this is called a tactical knife is something i don't understand.
I suppose you can put a butter knife in a kydex sheath and call it tactical
and sell it since nobody actually knows what tactical means anyway.
Small utility knife or something like bird and trout would be more
appropriate. There is not enough heft to the handle to be able to get a good
hold on it for any hard use. I wouldn't recommend stabbing anything hard
with it because you'd more likely hurt yourself than what you stabbed.

If a tactical knife is a knife like the military would use for
defense/fighting I'll call this knife tactical when the navy seals start
fighting with a paring knife. If a tactical knife is a knife made for killing or
inflicting injury, going by statistics it's kitchen knives that most
people are killed or assaulted with, then tactical it sure is.

The knife is much more suitable for battling it out with a tomato than a
human. Of course if it was called a tomato knife it couldn't possible fetch
the price that it does. It just comes down to marketing. People can be sold anything.

To sum it up the Patrolman is a good design for a bird and trout type
utility knife. The overall workmanship is only fair and poor in places with a major problem with the way the blade is ground. If you're looking for a knife for defense
keep looking. There are much better knives for the purpose. For value I find
the knife extremely over priced. There are much better knives of better
quality that can be be easily found for less money.

As i already mentioned, call it tactical, add some endless self promotion
and people will buy anything. The proof of that sits right here on the desk in
front of me.

I trust Maddog2020's judgement on such things. If Ray calls it a tactical steak knife then it probably is a tactical steak knife. Since Ray works on CNC mills and such things he is probably in a better position than a lot of people to judge on what is acceptable and also what is possible. If the knife was my "failed experiment" then I would have destroyed it. I think what a maker deems acceptable to sell to someone says a lot about that maker.
Quothe paranoid9999 "I think what a maker deems acceptable to sell to someone says a lot about that maker."

I think it may say more about the buyer. I`ve never seen serrations on any of Lynn`s knives and doubt they`d be there unless the buyer requested them. Maybe Lynn doesn`t like these serrations either, but if that`s what a customer wants, why not give him what he wants? I think that`s a good thing for a custom knifemaker to do.

Quothe TomW "Of course if it was called a tomato knife it couldn't possible fetch
the price that it does. It just comes down to marketing. People can be sold anything......As i already mentioned, call it tactical, add some endless self promotion
and people will buy anything. The proof of that sits right here on the desk in
front of me."

I wish you`d take a look at the folks who post and moderate over at Lynn`s board. These people are NOT neophytes! Neither are A.G. Russell or KnifeArt, who both feature Lynn`s knives. The man is a talented knifemaker; so what if he has an ego? Why begrudge the man some self promotion? I see many makers promote themselves and others on this forum, but nary a glove is laid on them. Lynn`s an easy target. It`s a shame that one bad knife can wipeout the hundreds of others that are proudly owned by the "uninformed" buyers of Lynn`s stuff. If this one knife represented one half, or one third of Lynn`s output, maybe I`d have cause for concern. But this one knife represents a tiny fraction of a fraction of one percent of his output! Instead of scrutinizing the tactical steak knife and using it as the "proof" that Lynn is a poor knifemaker (but a master at marketing), why not attempt to get another sample of his work? I think that`s fair.
As far as testing another one of Lynn's knives, that may be easier said than done. I contacted Lynn on two occasions to try and get one of his MNK's for that small fixed blade review I recently did ( ) and he was nice about it, but he said he doesn't make knives available for review because he doesn't believe in giving something for nothing. I agree with this philosophy, although I would've sent the knife back in good condition after using it in the test! I've done it in the past and will probably do it in the future. I just wanted to see one of his knives for myself!

Like I said, the one Griffith knife I have seen, although briefly, seemed well made, but I didn't look at finer points. I held it for maybe 30 seconds. It was nice, but expensive.

My Knife & Sheath Pages:
Palmer College of Chiropractic
Sheath Makers Referral Directory
Madpoet (Mel Sorg, Jr.) Tribute page:
Thank you for touching on some points that I should consider. Hopefully with your input, I will show improvement.


[This message has been edited by Lynn Grififth Knives (edited 05-12-2000).]
To TomW- Would it be possible to post some photos of this knife, perhaps with some commentary? I wouldn't know a plunge cut if it jumped out of the forest and bit me in the leg. I would be interested in seeing what you are talking about. Afterwards Mr. Griffith would be able to comment on specific features of this knife and we would all be spared a flame war. Thanks.

The thorn stands to defend the Rose, yet it is peaceful and does not seek conflict
Chiro, do you actually see it as a negative when somone will not give you a knife to review? Regardless of the fact that you would return it, the blade would still be used and Lynn could not sell it as a new blade. As well considering that he has a backlog would you want him to bump someone off for you to have a blade?

The tactical point is a good one, but as has been discussed before what exactly makes a tactical knife has not been clearly defined. Lynn's knives have won tactical awards which should count for something. The point about the handle insecurity is very important but actual use rather than speculation would be nice.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 05-12-2000).]
I just saw the photos of the knife in question, no need to post again. I have to say that the knife didn't look very good in the photos.
Maddog 2020- have you any info on the South African makers you mentioned? Thanks

The thorn stands to defend the Rose, yet it is peaceful and does not seek conflict
Cliff, I didn't say anything negative about it! I simply stated that Lynn doesn't make a habit of sending knives out for review. As far as the MNK's go, at the time of the request he was blowing them out at his website and wasn't making any more, so there was no backlog to speak of on that particular model. I would never hold this against Lynn, as they are his knives! I was merely saving others, as well as Lynn, from trying to get knives for a test or review. If I had had the $50 or whatever the original MNK's were selling for at the time I would have bought one to test, but my budget didn't allow it. In all honesty, I am pretty light on knives, especially little tiny ones that are meant to cut with, not pry, etc. Slicing envelopes and the like doesn't take much of a toll on a knife, and the beauty of the beadblast finish is that they can be brought to new condition in a matter of seconds. Anyway...

My Knife & Sheath Pages:
Palmer College of Chiropractic
Sheath Makers Referral Directory
Madpoet (Mel Sorg, Jr.) Tribute page:
People keep calling this Patrolman a tactical steak knife. And now TomW says:
There is not enough heft to the handle to be able to get a good hold on it for any hard use. I wouldn't recommend stabbing anything hard with it because you'd more likely hurt yourself than what you stabbed.
If you're alluding to your hand sliding up on the blade, then you mush have some HUGE fingers. On my SUB Texan, the index finger notch, and overall shape of the grip, is secure enough (in my hand) that I would trust myself stabbing an oak tree with it while the grip was wet. I might break my index finger in a hard stab, but it ain't gonna ride up on the blade.

And as for tactical... I 'll need to see Lynn's knives disdained by someone who actually has some experience with "tactical" knife usage and/or requirements (like LEO or military) before I can take any criticism of his designs seriously. I don't recall having seen that yet.


[This message has been edited by rockspyder (edited 05-15-2000).]
I am going to speak to the topic rather than to the posters in this regard.

I had a beautiful hand-rubbed Patrolman. I didn't end up keeping it , not because there was anything wrong with it, but for 2 reasons:

1) I am not in the position financially to be buying knives right now; in fact I have been selling a few as I am moving out of state this summer -- in short, I needed the money;

2) the Patrolman didn't fit my hand the way I like. I am very, very picky about this, in part because one of my fingers was broken as a child and never healed correctly. I also have large hands and thus have some problem with smaller knives (which, ironically, I tend to prefer). I would like to add that I have gotten rid of several fine knives for this reason that I liked for other reasons, including a Mad Dog Lab Rat, a 12" HI Ang Khola, and too many folders to mention. In truth, however, the monetary reason was more substantial than this concern in my decision to sell the Patrolman.

The hand-rubbed finish on this knife was flawless. The blue g10 handles were excellently shaped. The texture was perfect -- just rough enough to be grippy. I actually prefer the texture on the Patrolman to the texture of my Rinaldi Chimera, which is also blue g10, but has a smoother finish. the knife came shaving sharp.

I never used it hard, I only used it on some mundane houshold tasks, which it performed excellently. Thus, I cannot comment on edge retention, tip strength, etc.

Furthermore, my interactions with Lynn were truly pleasurable. He is a great guy to talk to. He loves to talk knives, his or otherwise. There was never any pressure to buy one of his knives in any interaction, phone or email, that we had.

This Patrolman now belongs to my good friend, Greg Mete (Kodiak PA), so if you would like more info on this one, contact him.

Will I buy another Patrolman? Probably not, as that does not seem to be the model for me.

Will I buy another Griffith? Probably so, when money is not scarce anymore (if that ever happens
), I will probably snatch a Hunter or a Tracker.


Clay Fleischer
AKTI Member A000847

[This message has been edited by CD Fleischer (edited 05-12-2000).]
Hi Clay! Not to get off topic here but just wanted to let you know. I usually polish the Blue G-10 unless otherwise specified. It takes about 2 minutes in a bead blasting cabinet to get the texture you are talking about. If you want send it on back and I will blast it for you no problem. Hope all is well.

Take Care
Trace Rinaldi
Hey Trace! I am not really worried about it. One of the things I love about the Chimera is that due to the finger notches, security in the hand is not really a concern.

Thanks for the offer though!

Clay Fleischer
AKTI Member A000847
Fudo, I picked up my Arno Bernard's from a local NCCA show a couple of months ago. To my knowledge, Arno doesn't have a website, or e-mail address. So I don't know how to contact him directly. If you want, I can take some pictures of the knives and send them to you. I have heard of other BF members telling me that they see the South African makes at the NYC show (they bring fixed blades and folders to sell and that is all their money for the year to bring home to their families from what I am told, hence the exchange rate is to our benefit). If I find more info, I will e-mail it to you. Thanks for the interest.

Ray 'md2020'

ATKI member #A001042
TomW, I've never seen you say anything good about anyone or anything, ever. As for handling and using a lot of blades, your experience must be confined to factory knives because many of the "problems" you've noted are present on a great many CUSTOM knives. The difference in plunge angles is due to being right or left handed. Lots of very good knifemakers do the same thing. Factory knives lack this character because they are ground with jigs and fixtures.

Whether you like serration's or not is irrelevant. Many customers ask for them. As for one scale being "ever so slightly" wider than the other, so what? I have a couple customers who insist on that because they like a knife to fill the hand on one side. Regardless, it makes no difference at all in the feel or utility of the knife if there is a small difference.

As to whether the design is tactical or not, I'd remind you that more people are killed with butcher knives than all the tactical knives in the world, so I guess a knifemaker can call anything he wants a tactical knife so long as it fulfills his intended use of the knife. I seriously doubt you own tactically competent knife, since they are seldom "small utility knives". As a descriptor, "Tactical" is a term of use applied to knives used by law enforcement officers, many of whom are called upon to cut people out of seat belts and have other uses for knives that are seldom "killing" people. If I'm ever in a burning car, I sincerely hope the LEO has something besides a Sikes-Fairburn fighting knife to get me out of there.

As for Lynn's competence as a knifemaker, one of his "tactical" knives was judged best 'tactical" knife at last year's Professional Knifemakers Association show in Denver. That competition was judged by such people as Paul Basch of A.G. Russell, who is clearly one of the most knowledgeable custom knife experts in the world.

Tom, when "your" knives are as good as Lynn's knives, then you can talk. Until then, I recommend some Preparation H.

Jerry Hossom
Mr. Hossom
You have no idea if my experience with knives. Don't make assumptions. You're runing your mouth off without FACTS to back up your statements. I reviwed the knife honestly without making assumptions.
The knife was poorly made THAT IS FACT.
No matter how much anybody likes Lynn that is still a FACT.
Your statement that many knifemakers grind knives like that one was ground is not a fact. The grind on that blade SUCKS plain and simple. If you grind blades that way both you and Lynn had better take a blade grinding seminar. As far as my never saying anything good about anybody, that is a LIE. Please do not resort to lying to make lynns knives look beter, There is too much of that in the forums already. Your last statement makes the least sense of anything you posted.
Where do you get the silly idea that a person has to be a knifemaker to know what's right and wrong in a knife? As to what preperatoion H has to do with a review of a knife review is too stupid to comment on.
Next time think a bit before you run off at the mouth. Try to stick to facts. Try to accept another persons opinions on a knife that you haven't seen and know nothing about.
Flaming people for expressing honest opinions does not make it better.
A few facts:

Fact 1:
Tom you are entitled to your opinion

Fact 2:
Tom, had you bought the knife from me, I would have promply returned your money, after you let me know that was what you want.

Fact 3:
You did not buy the knife from me.

Fact 4:
You don't own the knife at all

Fact 5:
The knife sold for $200.

Fact 6:
I will gladly and promptly pay the current owner (kit carson) $200 for the knife, if he is willing to sell it to me.

Fact 7:
I offer a 5 day return option on any knife purchased from me over the internet. (Return is optional whether there is anything wrong with the knife or not, as long as it is unused)

Fact 8:
My return policy is included in a letter that goes with each knife sent.

Fact 9:
The original owner of this knife posted a very nice review of this knife, after he recieved it.

Fact 10:
It is one of approximately 11 knives that the person had bought from me.

Lynn Griffith-Knifemaker

See you at Blade Show (table 13c)
Griffith Knives Forum
Well, as the ORIGINAL owner of the Patrolman in question, I guess I will toss in my comments. As there have been a few threads pop up here, and on other forums, I am just going to point out things that have been said or implied. It would be to much trouble to search each post and quote directly from them.

First off, it was brought into question if it was ethical for somebody to buy the knife from me and then send it to others to review. That question was made in this thread, and then later edited out. First off, the current owner paid me money for the knife, so IMO he can do what he wants with it, he owns it. I dont think he did anything un-ethical or dis-honest.

It was stated in another thread that Lynn should contact the current owner to request some of the money being made on this knife. That to me doesnt make any sense, who is making money on it?

The recent reviews have been less than glowing, so therefore both reviewers knoledge and integrity have come into question. They simply pointed out faults with the knife, period. They made no false statements about it, they simply examined the knife, and stated thier findings. NOTHING wrong with that. If they had made a good review, would thier knowledge still be called into question? I dont think so.

I have also seen it asked if I requested the serrations. No, I didnt. The knife was already made, put up for sale, and I bought it. Did I like them? Yep. Do maddog2020 and Tom like them? Apparently not. Hey, different strokes ya know. Just because they dont care for them, does not mean im going to attack them and say they dont know anything. They are entitled to state an opinion.

Is it now going to be common practice whenever there is a negative review of a knife, for supporters to raise the call to arms against the reviewer? I hope not.

It was also asked in another forum why the reviewers did not attempt to contact the maker about the background of the knife. What difference does that make? I have reviewed a number of knives without contacting the factory/maker. If I have the knife in front of me, what more do I need? The current knife in question is a standard Lynn Griffith Patrolman. The only options are serrated, satin finish and blue g10 scales. What more do you need to know?

Do I myself like the Patrolman? Sure I do. Is the one in question worth the asking price? Or, for that matter is the bead blasted, black micarta one worth its list price? You be the judge, but dont attack those who say no. The cry of conspiracy cannot go out everytime something negative is said about a knife.

It is stated that the only way somebody would accept a critisism of the knife is LEO/Military type who actually has tactical uses for knives. That kind of silly. Does that also apply to those who say good things about it? If they have no LEO background, and therefore wouldnt know if the knife is bad or not, then how would that same person know if its good? The fact is, people know what they like and dislike in a knife, regardless of thier 'tactical' background.

As far as it being said that Tom can review the knife when his are as good as Lynns, thats stupid. Most knife writers are not makers. Hell, most people on this forum are not makers, does this mean none of them are qualified to review a knife? Give me a break.

To recap, Tom and maddog2020 found some faults with the knife. They didnt make them up just to be mean. Is it proper, every time a negative review pops up, to sound the alarm? Nope. Do you have to be a maker to be qualified to review a custom knife? Nope. Did they have some evil motive in mind when they reviewed the knife? Nope. Did they both give accurate reviews to the best of thier ability? Yep. Is anybody entitled to attack them and question thier integrity if you dont like what they wrote? Nope. Did I give the knife in question a glowing review? Yep. Does that automatically mean I know more than they do? Nope.

People opinions vary, get over it.

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