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Lone wolf knives: where the old meets the new.

Scarcely 10-years old, Lone Wolf Knives is still a newcomer to the cutlery scene, but an interesting marketing approach has given the company a strong sense of tradition. Lone Wolf jumped into the knife scene by recruiting two long time innovators--Bob Loveless and Paul Poehlmann--as collaborators on their early offerings.

Loveless is known as the godfather of the modern hunting knife and Poehlmann gained a reputation decades ago as a technological genius for his unique locking design on the "Paul" folder. Once the company had knives by both of these noted custom knifemakers in the line-up, they brought another well-known artisan on board. Already geared toward the higher end of the market, they started adding custom, limited edition versions of the Loveless and Paul knives dressed up by Native American craftsman David Yellowhorse, who had already made his mark adorning Case and Buck knives with exotic materials such as sterling silver, turquoise and coral.

With hunting knives by Loveless and gentleman's folders by Paul firmly entrenched in the line, Lone Wolf turned to custom knifemaker and designer Bill Harsey to take the leap into the lucrative tactical folder market. Harsey, who already had a track record of successful collaborations with Gerber, Boker and Chris Reeve Knives, brought both experience and design expertise to tile table. Shortly thereafter they launched the Harsey T-series of tactical folders and several variations of the initial offerings have been added since.

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Lone Wolf's Loveless fixed-blades and Harsey T-series folders represent the company's diverse range of offerings from traditional to contemporary knives. We'll take a look at both of these two knifemakers' contribution to the Lone Wolf line here and give our fellow GUNS readers some added insight into the applications of each.

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Simply put, Bob Loveless knives are the most sought after and desirable of all custom cutlery today. Loveless re-wrote the book on hunting knives in the 1960s by highly modernizing old designs and introducing exciting new technology. In the market today, entry-level Loveless handmade knives start in the $5,000 to $6,000 range with older, rarer versions commanding many times more. Lone Wolf's versions will cost you considerably less (less than 200 bucks) and have Bob Loveless' full seal of approval. In fact, the famed knifemaker worked closely with the company on their design and a special steel. Sandvick LV-04, a closed-die-forged, high-carbon stainless steel, was developed just for use in their production.

True To The Originals

The Loveless Utility Knife and SemiSkinner models are both "integral" designs. The blade, tapered tang and bolsters are all manufactured from one single piece of steel. As you may have guessed, this is a machining nightmare, but the end result is an extremely stout and sturdy knife with an greatly reduced chance of failure. With no soldering seams and mismatched metal parts, it also makes for a clean and attractive package.

At 9" overall the Utility Knife is the larger of the pair, sporting a graceful 4.5" clip-point blade and Loveless' trademark green canvas Micarta handle, fully sculpted with red accent spacers. The deep hollowground blade is satin finished, as is the rest of the exposed steel on the knife. Loveless' ergonomic handle design has been copied by many a custom knifemaker and manufacturer over the years.

While most of Loveless' fixed blades have been lumped into the hunting category, he also designed fighters and the Utility Knife is considered a crossover knife for both sporting and tactical use. The clip-point-style blade, known for its versatility, is common on both hunting and tactical knives and 4.5" of blade will handle a wide variety of light- to heavy-duty field chores.

The Loveless Semi-Skinner is the hunter's answer to carrying a useful field knife and the blade excels in skinning and dressing game. One of Loveless' greatest strengths is to take a blade and design it for optimum performance. In this case he blended his classic drop point with a pure skinning blade to create a balanced hybrid of both styles.

The 8.5" Semi-skinner has a 3.5" blade with the same integral construction and handle materials found in the Utility knife. The "humped" tip of the blade is designed for gliding under flesh without snagging organs underneath while the main edge of the blade can be efficiently used for other dressing and field chores. Both the Semi-skinner and Utility knife come with a top-grain cowhide belt sheath and a padded, zippered storage pouch. Both the Loveless Semi-skinner and Utility Knife sell for $189.95.

Bill Harsey is known for his tactical designs, but his many years as a hunter and lumberer in the Pacific Northwest has given him insight into designing knives for a wide variety of duties. Originally offered as "tactical" folders, the T1 and T2 models are true crossover knives just as comfortable doing field chores, as they are strapped to an officer's belt and, with wood handles, you'd be hard-pressed to tell these aren't state-of-the-art hunting knives.

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The Rangers

The Harsey T2 Ranger in natural Cocobolo wood handles is a handful of cutter at 8.65" fully opened. The 3.9" blade is a drop-point design, the hunter's favorite for dressing game popularized by none other than Bob Loveless. The beefy liners are made of stainless steel with a liner-lock to firmly affix the blade during use. The sculpted Cocobolo handles are finely finished and the open-frame construction makes cleaning the knife a snap. The blade action is crisp and the business end of the knife locks up tight as a vault door, while the fit and finish is as good as it gets on a production knife. The blade is made of CPM S30V stainless--a premium, top-shelf blade steel developed by Crucible Industries specifically for use in hard-duty knives.

The 7.2" Harsey T1 is a smaller version of the T2 Ranger and is available with Rosewood scales. The 3.2" T1 blade is a drop point, but differs from the T2 with a false edge on the back spine. If you don't need a large knife around the camp, the T2 is an ideal companion capable of dressing small game and performing light chores. Both the Harsey T1 and T2 folders come with a clip for pocket carry and either can be had in synthetic scales at a reduced price. Not shown is the T3 Tactical, a monster of a folder sporting a 4.8" blade and opens to a bountiful 10.7". Suggested retail for the T2 ranger in Cocobolo is $219.99, the T1 in Rosewood is $129.99. Knock 20 bucks off for textured nylon scales or upgrade to the T3 Tactical (synthetic scales only) for $299.99.

You'll pay a little more for a Lone Wolf knife, but the difference in construction, materials, and finish are top of the line and the company extends a lifetime guarantee on all their knives.

LONE WOLF KNIVES

17400 SW UPPER BOONES FERRY ROAD

SUITE 240

PORTLAND, OREGON 97224

(503) 431-6777

WWW.LONEWOLFKNIVES.COM
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Title Annotation:OUT OF THE BOX
Author:Covert, Pat
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:1172
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