Well, my wife sure surprised me this year — she bought me a Hogue X5 pocket knife (SKU 34569) at Smoky 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.
10/6/2018 Update: This blade rocks. It has really held an edge and the finish on the blade has held up remarkably well. Only the handle shows evidence of scuffing so far.
If you are interested in how I lubricate my flipper knives, please click here.
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