Category Archives: Folders

Got a Hogue X5 3.5″ Pocket Knife with a Wharncliffe Blade for Father’s Day!!

Well, my wife sure surprised me this year — she bought me a Hogue X5 pocket knife (SKU 34569) at Smokey Mountain Knife Works when we stopped at the store on Father’s Day. I carried it every day until we returned home on Wednesday.  For some reason I did not get more photos of the knife new out of the box.  The photos I am showing are all after 2-3 days of being in my pocket with keys walking all over the place.

I must say that I am disappointed that the finish on the frame scratched in a few places but this knife was always intended to be a working blade and not a shelf queen.  Standing up to keys is the least of my worries really.  It is interesting to note that the top of the blade that was exposed to the keys also shows zero wear relative to the frame.   We’ll see how the finish holds up over time.

I’ve been a fan of Hogue knives for a while – especially after a good friend bought one of their fixed blade models.  I had a chance to look it over carefully when it was brand new about three years ago and it was very well made.  He took it to Alaska and California used it a ton camping and climbing.  As for me, I’ve wanted a Hogue but the right opportunity never seemed to pop up until now.

So this is a almost new out of the box review 🙂  Let me start by saying that the X5 family of blades are very well made.  I was trying to decide on whether to get another Zero Tolerance (ZT), a Benchmade or the Hogue and finally settled on the Hogue that you see.

The 3.5″ blade is 0.15″ thick and is made from CPM154.  This is the CPM manufactured version of Crucible’s 154CM that folks into knives like – it’s relatively easy to sharpen, tough and corrosion resistant.  In short, the business end of the knife is made of excellent steel that is 57-59 on the Rockwell scale hard.  The blade was cryogenically treated and then finished in a black Cerakote.  By the way cryo treatments are fascinating.  Click here to read a great write up about them.

The profile is a stunning looking wharncliffe style.  Wharncliffe profiles have always caught my eye and there is a bit of history to them.  The Viking Seax blades are the first knives I have seen with this profile that is the reverse of most knives.  In terms of the name we often use today, the first Lord of Wharncliffe came up with the design in the 1800s and had Joseph Rodgers & Son him some pocket knives.

The blade is a spring-assisted flipper and it opens very smoothly.  You can see the round blade release button and a sliding lock behind it.   When the lock is engaged, the button can’t be pushed and blade is securely locked open.  I like spring-assisted blades by the way as I am always in some weird position trying to open boxes, working on machines, etc. where I can only get one hand free.

The frame of the handle is aluminum with a black G-mascus  G10 insert.  When closed, the knife is 4.75″ overall yet weighs only 4.66 oz.  I really liked the combination of size and light weight. Plus, the frame is remarkably thin so it fits in your pocket nicely and doesn’t feel like a boat anchor.


Now this knife is pretty new to me right now.  I haven’t cut anything yet but definitely will be as I have quite a list of stuff to get done and I’ll be cutting open boxes, plastic tubs, etc.  I’ll post updates plus I want to compare it to my ZT 350, my favorite EDC blade but I want more mileage on the X5 before I do that.

6/28/2018 Update:  Used it to cut 4″ diameter corrugated drain tube and a bunch of boxes.  It is very sharp – I didn’t touch the blade up.  Still going strong.  Like all flippers, when I got dirt in the action it wouldn’t flip until I blew it out.  Last comment – it has a real nice feel when I am using it – not awkward at all.  I wear XL sized gloves just for reference.

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Hogue HO34569-BRK X5 Button Lock Wharncliffe (Sports)

Closed: 4.75″; blade: 3.75″ L CPM 154 stainless L standard edge L black finish; handle: black L aluminum; other info: extended tang L lanyard hole L pocket clip. Wharncliffe blade. Black G-Mascus G-10 handle insert. Black nylon zippered storage pouch. Boxed.


  • Category name: locking-knives
  • Country of origin: USA
  • Brand name: Hogue

New From: $189.99 USD In Stock
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April 2017 – My EDC Knife is a ZT 0350BW


A while back I screwed up the blog and re-posted an old post about my every day carry (EDC) knife being a Kershaw Compound.  While that was a great knife, I did eventually replace it – with my daughter’s approval.  I have always liked Zero Tolerance knives.  Think of them as a higher end brand to Kershaw.  Both are owned by KAI USA, so I think it is fair to say that.  In the past I owned a ZT 200 and that was just way too big to be an EDC.  It’s a huge folder but not something I wanted to lug around in the shop all the time.  I actually sold it and wound up buying a ZT 350.  The 350 is way slimmer and lighter but still has assisted opening.  It’s a hair over 4-1/2″ long when closed and about 7-5/8″ when open.  It’s about 0.518″ wide not including the belt clip and my digital scale says it weighs 6.2 oz.

Size and weight are important to me because I keep this in my front pants pocket.  I don’t want a ton of weight dragging down jeans, sweats or shorts nor do I want to have it really noticeable or uncomfortable.  On that last note, big and heavy knives suck in the front pocket – they need to go in a belt sheath, which I don’t want to wear unless I am camping or hunting.

The knife is designed by Ken Onion, who happens to be one of my favorite designers.  In addition to the very ergonomic handle he designed, the blade is made from S30V steel, which is excellent.  Now this is not a safe queen.  I dug back in my records and I’ve been using this since 2015.  I can’t tell you how many boxes, cords, ropes and plastic pails this thing has opened.  I don’t recall ever using it to pry things open but suspect it would hold up pretty well.  The following photos are of the blade in April 2017 and I didn’t bother cleaning it up.  The ZT black finish has held up remarkably well.

The S30V steel really holds an edge but it can be a bear to sharpen.  If you want a working edge, a Lansky Blade Medic pocket sharpener or diamond rod can help.  If you want a razor edge, I would recommend a Ken Onion Work Sharp (KOWS) belt sharpener or it will take forever by hand.  I use my KOWS all the time because it is quick and easy but do take both the Blade Medic and the rod on camping trips.

The only maintenance, other than sharpening, that I have done to it is blow it out with compressed air and then use a precision CLP applicator to lubricate the blade’s pivot pin.  I think I’ve only needed to do that once or twice max.

So, there you go – that is my current EDC and I highly recommend it.


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Zero Tolerance 0350BW; EDC Folding Pocketknife; 3.25” BlackWashed Crucible S30V Stainless Steel Blade; Textured G-10 Handle with SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, Liner Lock, Quad-Mount Pocketclip; 6.2 OZ. (Sports)

Premium-built by Zero Tolerance in the USA, the G-10 Folder 0350BW is versatile and powerful, created durably for razor-sharp cutting. With a compact precision blade, the 0350BW is the perfect EDC for any outdoor activity, delicate and accurate task or household need. Non-reflective black Tungsten DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coats the extremely durable, corrosion and wear resistant S30V stainless steel. SpeedSafe Assisted Opening allows the blade to deploy quickly and easily using the ambidextrous thumbstud or flipper. The high-performance blade is paired with textured black G-10 scales for a secure grip and excellent mechanical strength under the roughest conditions. The quad-mount pocketclip is convenient for left or right-handed, tip-up or tip-down carry. The liner locking system prevents the blade from closing during use and provides a secure way to safely fold the knife. With a utility design to conquer any task, the 0350BW is the ideal EDC for any user, anywhere, for any job.


  • High performance and premium quality S350V stainless steel makes the recurve blade extremely durable and resistant to corrosion and wear
  • Non-reflective black Tungsten DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) blade coating and black G-10 handle cleanly pair together to make a sleek, smooth, aggressive knife
  • Quad-mount pocketclip convenient for left or right-handed, tip-up or tip-down carry
  • EDC folding pocket knife ideal for use as a survival tool, during precision cutting, self-defense or tactical use, or as the perfect gift
  • General all-purpose knife great for everyday tasks while working, camping, fishing, hunting, utility or outdoor activities

List Price: $140.00 USD
New From: $140.00 USD In Stock
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My Every Day Carry Knife – the Kershaw Compound (Back in 2014)

Kershaw Compound Folding Lock Back Knife

A few guys asked for details about my every day carry (EDC) knife.  It’s a basic Kershaw Compound but what makes it special is that my youngest daughter bought it for me as a birthday gift when we visited Smoky Mountain Knife Works a few years ago.  It is trades off size and weight such that it fits great in my pocket.  It uses their SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism, which is fast, reliable and does not open in your pocket.  I had a Gerber FAST years ago that I eventually gave away because the stupid thing would open in my pocket all the time.  Kershaw’s design is simple and has never opened accidentally on me.

At any rate rate, the blade is 3.5″ long and I opted for a plain edge so it would be easy to maintain – I sharpen it both on my Spyderco SharpMaker and my Work Sharp Ken Onion sharpening system.  I can’t even guess how many boxes I have opened, plastic containers I have cut open, etc.  Despite being used an absolute ton, look how it has held up:


I figure the pretty good edge retention, strength and corrosion resistance can be attributed to the 8CR13MOV alloy they used. With the heavy use I touch the blade’s edge up maybe weekly or every other week – it’s more “as needed” than scheduled depending on how much I have used it and how it feels while cutting.

The handle is in great shape and the liner lock is just fine as well.  It’s overall length when closed is 4-5/8″

In general, Kershaw is my favorite folding knife maker and am also a fan of their high-end Zero Tolerance folders (the parent company, KAI, owns both groups).  You get a great blade at a great price from either brand – Kershaw or ZT, and I definitely like my Compound – not to mention my little girl bought it for me!

If you are interested in getting one, the bad news is that they have been discontinued but they are still available from a number of sellers on Amazon:

Post Edit: This was back in 2014.  I really liked the Compound but use a ZT 350 now as it has much better edge retention but I did have to explain the change to my daughter 🙂  I’ll write about the ZT 350 at some point.