Several years ago, Hogue teamed up with Allen Elishewitz to produce knives that were of custom quality, but without the $600+ price tag for most of Allen’s beautiful pieces. The line has since expanded to include 4 different folders and one fixed blade, each available with different blade lengths and options.
The EX-F01 is the sole fixed blade in the lineup and is available in both a 5.5″ and 7″ blade. Your first impression when you pick it up is that it is a pretty serious piece of equipment. Designed with survival and woods use in mind, it is balanced really well for both slicing and chopping. Personally, my two favorite features of this knife are the removable grip panel where you can store some various items, and the thick spine that can be used for a strike surface for flint or other fire starter.
My normal EDC knife is a drop-point EX-o2 with a flipper for opening. This is the best knife I’ve ever owned by far. It opens extremely smooth and easy and locks solid when its open. One of the cool features that are built into Hogue folding knives is the manual safety lock, which keeps the blade open even if you press the button or liner lock. While a thumb stud is available, I prefer the flipper for it’s ease of opening, but also, when combined with the already deep finger groove, it makes for an excellent hand stop if you need to use the knife as a defensive tool. Also, the other end of the handle sports a glass breaker, which I’m sure can also work well as a defensive tool if need be. The 154CM Stainless that the blade is made out of does a great job holding an edge, even after doing ugly things like opening boxes, prying staples and and cutting telephone wire, at least that’s what I heard from a friend…
My next knife (which hopefully will come soon) is going to be an EX-04. They debuted these awhile back, but are just now getting production ramped up. I knew I had to have one as soon as I saw it. It just looks way too badass not to own… Look for a review soon!