I have several of Ritter's RSK's in both sizes. Now he is having them made by Hogue, still using the Axis lock as Benchmade's patent expires in 2016. Curious how the new one compares with the Benchmade models.
First Look: Doug Ritter RSK Mk1-G2 Folder First Look: Doug Ritter RSK Mk1-G2 Folder Building on the success of the first-generation knife introduced in 2004, Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter returned to the market with an all-new redesign of his successful RSK Mk1 ambidextrous folding knife. Now, consumers can take advantage of this exclusive, second-generation blade made by Hogue Inc. and available from Knife Works: the RSK Mk1-G2 ABLE Lock Folder.
After the discontinuation of his Benchmade-produced line of knives, Ritter said he entertained offers from a number of manufacturers in the blade industry, finally settling on a partnership with Hogue, Inc.
"In Hogue, I believe I have found a partner who understands my goals, is dedicated to producing world-class knives in the U.S. with customer service second to none," Ritter said. "They are also committed to helping Knife Rights continue to forge a sharper future for all Americans."
In working with Hogue, Inc. engineers on the design and production of the new RSK Mk1-G2 ABLE Lock Folder, Ritter focused on how to make the already-popular configuration of the RSK knife even better. One design element he noted in particular was the AXIS lock, an ambidextrous mechanism patented by Benchmade. However, the patent expired in 2016, allowing Ritter and the Hogue team to incorporate the design into their new blade.
Therefore, the "ABLE" in the knife's name stands for Ambidextrous Bar Lock Enhanced, noting several improvements added to the design by Ritter's team. First, the internal mechanisms of the lock are built with a smoother finish and improved geometry, all aimed at providing enhanced performance. To this end, Ritter also teamed up with W.C. Wolff Co., a company well-known in the industry for its springs. Wolff provides the springs used in Hogue's line of automatic knives, and the team turned to the company to supply the springs used in the RSK Mk1-G2 locking mechanism.
The other critical element found in the RSK Mk1-G2 blade is the 3.4-inch drop-point blade, the same design featured on the original RSK Mk1 folding knife. The blade is made using Böhler-Uddeholm M390 high-carbon stainless steel and treated with a stonewashed finish. The blade is also treated with a cryogenic-finishing process in order to meet a Rockwell Hardness rating of 61-62.
Other features found on the Doug Ritter RSK Mk1-G2 ABLE folder include black scales machined from G10 laminate with a radial-checkered pattern that offers enhanced grip and an aesthetically pleasing look. The knife also features dual thumbstuds and a reversible, deep-carry pocket clip made of stainless steel. The suggested retail price on the knife is $179.95.
Here's some background from the KnifeWorks website:
Ritter explained, "when Benchmade advised me in the summer of 2016 that as part of a restructuring that they were no longer going to produce my RSK knives, it was quite a shock. These highly regarded knives have been my primary source of income for the last decade. That income is what has allowed me to spend the majority of my time on Knife Rights' efforts to free knife owners from irrational knife restrictions. This has resulted in 29 bills repealing knife bans enacted in 21 states, eight anti-knife bills defeated and numerous litigation victories in the past eight years. The sales also support my Equipped To Survive™ site and my participation on numerous national and international safety and survival standards committees. Walking away from Knife Rights and ETS due to the loss of knife income simply wasn't an option I would consider."
Ritter continued, "a number of knife companies approached me after I announced that Benchmade discontinued production, eager to take on this successful line of knives." In the end, Ritter has teamed with Hogue, Inc. to produce the next generation RSK® Mk1-G2. Ritter said, "in Hogue I believe I have found a partner who understands my goals, is dedicated to producing world-class knives in the U.S. with customer service second to none. They are also committed to helping Knife Rights continue to forge a Sharper Future for all Americans."
Jim Bruhns, Hogue Managing Partner, said, "We couldn't be prouder to partner with Doug to manufacture his highly regarded knives. That this will allow Doug to continue to fight for our rights is just icing on the cake for all of us at Hogue who one hundred percent support Knife Rights."
_________________________ “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”--Adam Smith, born June 16, 1723
Posts: 14568 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004
Interesting that Benchmade's Axis Lock patent has expired. I expect we'll see a number of knife makers incorporating it into their designs now. Which is a good thing, as I think it's much better than the traditional liner lock system.
I was really interested in this knife, but canceled the preorder after waiting more than 30 days. I did email their customer service to find out when it might ship but they were unable to provide any delivery information, and only mentioned that they had over 350 preorders and the shipment they received only had 70 units. I ended up ordering a custom g-10 griptlian with M4 from benchmade for 10 dollars more than the hogue using their military discount. If they ever become available as an in-stock item I might still pick one up just because of the blade shape.
Even the Losers Get Lucky Sometimes
Posts: 340 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: December 19, 2009