R.E.K.A.T. Pioneer II

Feb 7, 1999
I'm going to purchase a PioneerII within the next month and I would like anyone who has one to let me know their opinion, pros and cons, or whatever.. Thanx
I love the Pioneers. They are the Humvee of hard-use folders. I like knives of just this size, just enough blade to accomplish about any cutting chore, and no bigger.

The ergonomics of the Pioneers are excellent. The handle is thick and shaped in such a way to lock it firmly in the grip without the use of a bunch of abrasive ridges and serrations. Edge to handle, and tip to handle relationships are excellent. Another benefit of the extremely efficient size of the Pioneer is that the butt of the handle nests into the cup of your palm when gripped saber style, enabling a very efficient transfer of force from the wrist to the blade, completely removing the need for a thumb rasp, er...ramp, of any sort.

The Rolling lock is a good design that will absorb an amazing amount of punishment before releasing. I have a newer Pioneer, a Pioneer II I imagine, that I have beaten mercilessly on the spine with a tree stake, and it will not release. I have an older one though, that will release if you beat it hard enough, long enough. No folder lock is perfect, though the Rolling lock is one of the best.

Another cool thing about the Pioneer, depending on your point of view, is that they are to some extent hand-made, and have a lot of character that way. My new Pioneer came with two very different profiles on the two handle slabs in the guard area. A little judicious filing got them pretty close to matching, but be assured that each Pioneer is going to be a little unique from all the others. I like that myself.

The blade grinds vary also. My older drop point has a nice thin edge, and cuts very efficiently, while the edge on my new clip-point is thicker, and will need some edge angle reduction to cut as well. Blade grinds on both knives are very symetrical, surprisingly so considering how much variation there is in other places.

The bottom line is that the Pioneers are an extremely strong, ergonomic, and efficient folding knife, somewhat hand-made, for a heck of a price. They walk the walk and talk the talk prouder than anything I have handled short of a Sebenza costing twice as much. Huge value in terms of tough cutting tool per dollar. I recommend the drop point, or the swept point. The clip point has the same edge and tip shape as the drop point, so it might as well be called the hump-back instead.

Harv, Thank you for a great evaluation on my future purchase. Does your new one have the lock release on the side of the scale? Did you recommend the drop point over the clip because of strength? I was going to get the clip, just cause I like clip points, but if strength is an issue I would get the drop. One more question..about the swept point..how is it for everyday cutting tasks? I ask because I never used one but they do look good. Thx again.

Is the PioneerII the one with the scale on the side? Does it have the new clip? Any pix online?

I heartily agree with pretty much everything Steve said. These are impressive knives. I got my first one used after hearing Bill McWilliams discuss his thoughts on them and have been heartily impressed.

The clip point and drop point are both very similar, similar enough to make you wonder why they make both models. I think I like the clip point better if only for esthetics sake.

The clip is the weakest part of the knife, but there are supposed to be new clips on the new models.

The ONLY thing I think would improve this knife (other than a different clip) is a full-flat grind. But then, I think that aboout every knife.

CD, I called the company and they told me that the lock release was on the side just like the Carnivore. I haven't seen a pic and I'm not sure of the new clip, but I'm going to get both the clip and the kydex sheath. I'm sure that I will love the knife. Thx for the reply.
Clip point vs. drop point:

My drop point is older and has nice lines. The idea of a drop point is to have an in-line point that is fairly broad and strong. The idea of a clip point is to achieve a finer point. Perplexingly, the Pioneer clip-point blade spine rises a little bit before the start of the clip. The end result is that the point is of about the same angle and location, i.e. the edge and point have virtually the same shape as on the drop point, so the only effective difference is that the clip point blade has a hump. I don't see where that enhances anything. It is just a different shape. Not only that, but the clip is not straight, but has a slight drop to it. Maybe that was Bob Taylor's objective though, to provide a clip point for those who demand it without changing the functional geometry of the blade edge and point.


I love the "old" Pioneers and have three of them (2-drop & 1-clip point).
The best descriptions have already been made. However, I like Steve's comparison to the HumVee.
I'm not afraid to use them, get them dirty, wet, muddy, etc. Just wash em out with warm water followed by WD-40 & compressed air blowout, followed again by a dab of almost any oil on the pivot. None of my blades or any other areas of the knives have stained or rusted. I changed the edge angle of all of mine from ? to 20 degrees. Those blades are HARD!!!!. Better have some diamond stones.
I'd kinda compare the Pioneer to my Browning Citori and my Remington 850 pump.
The Citori is a more refined shotgun, but the 850 goes out in the field, rain, fog, snow....it's a working gun. The Citori goes inside at the first sight of rain, and really only gets used for skeet shooting.

If I get rich (?), I'll get the Pioneer II. But my heart is already set for the Carnivore.
Great knives !!! Too bad hardly anyone knows it.
I thought about the Carnivore Bill, but I think a Pioneer will suit my needs a little better and not look so intimadating at work.. Thx for your input, it is well taken.