RunningDog Gambler

Apr 5, 2000
I've read good things about RunningDog here, so I checked out their website, and decided I liked the gambler. I emailed Mike and asked if they had any in stock. He told me they had the one they made for the catalog pictures - this one has the extra filework and the camo MCS sheath. He made me a great deal, so I PayPal'd him the money on june 29. July 3rd it arrived at my house (fast!!).
On to the knife - it's 3/32 stock, diamoned cord wrapped, 3 1/2" 1084 steel blade with an asymmetrical flat ground blade (basically a right hand side chisel grind with a bevel on the left side to make the edge). One swwweeeet knife! The black moly coat is smooth, substantial and regular. The filework on top of the blade is very well done, and extends half the length of the spine for keeping your index finger secure during fine work. The paw print is a really nice touch (and hard to do I'm sure!). The diamond pattern cord wrap is substantial - it looks good, and I don't care what's on your hand (oil, blood, butter, etc.) your grip is not going to slip. The concealex sheath extends to cover about 1/3 of the handle and is just right - secure, but not difficult to pull the knife. There are eyelets for neck carry, as well as a screw on attachment for vertical and horizontal belt carry.

The first test I do on every knife I buy is completely unscientific. I have several feet of half inch "plastic" rope. It's not the nylon cotton feel boat rope - it's the stuff that has strands that look like plastic (maybe someone can tell me what it is?). I bought it years ago for tying down stuff during a move. The rope is TUFF, and slippery. A difficult test for most knives. Results with comparisons:

knife # of cuts needed

rapala 6" filet 1
Livesay Little Pecker(3" blade) 6
CRKT Point Guard (3 1/2") 3
Spyderco Endura (4") 3
BK&T Campanion (5 ") 6
CS SRK (6") 4
Kabar (7") 4
RunningDog Gambler (3 1/2") 2

So, the only knife to do better is the filet knife!! And the filet knife is twice as long and many times thinner. Also, the Gambler had a high polished edge (slick), my other knives are sharpened with a DMT coarse (325 grit) - I like toothy edges.
As for slicing other objects (cardboard, paper, etc.) Again, only the filet knife does better. None of this is scientific, but it's enough to impress me!

Overall lentgh is about 7 1/2", and the blade is big enough for use as a primary camping/utility knife. However, it's lighter than my Livesay LP, and since I like neck carry, this is how I carry it. The cord wrapped handle might print a bit if you're skinny with a tight shirt, but the weight won't bother you.

The asymmetric flat grind seems to solve the problems associated with chisel ground blades(crooked cutting) - I don't have any problems cutting exact straight lines, and the aggressive angle up to the spine really improves slicing over my other knives.

I'm a big fan of 10-hundred carbon steels, but Mike will do just about any steel you want (they're even planning CPM3V). Good people, and Mike answered all my questions very quickly.

Give'm a look, you won't be disapointed.
And thanks everybody, I never would've known about them without this form!

p.s. their site:

[This message has been edited by OccamsRazor (edited 07-07-2000).]

Cougar Allen

Buccaneer (ret.)
Oct 9, 1998
That rope sounds like polypropylene. Does it float? If you tie a square knot in it and pull will it untie itself?

I hate the stuff ... good idea to use it for test cutting ... that's about all it's really good for IMHO.

Good review -- of course it's unscientific; if you want to do a really scientific experiment you have to wear a white coat and do it in a laboratory with colored fluids bubbling in fancy glassware and a sewn-together cadaver lying on a table ready to rise up and lurch when lightning strikes the accumulator.

-Cougar :{)

P.S. I almost forgot the 50s vintage computer with at least one reel-to-reel tape drive spinning back and forth -- two or more of those drives are better if you really want to be scientific about it; they really dress up a laboratory....



Gold Member
Basic Member
Feb 25, 1999
I like a bodiless brain floating in a clear container to be present during really scientific testing.