I've been writing equipment reviews for over a decade now. I've been lucky to come across a lot of good gear and I've always sent back "the crap." Yes, there's been some of that. I've had one previous experience where I was sure I wasn't going to like a piece of equipment and, through the testing, it surprised me. Now, here I am reporting on a piece of equipment that is a perfectly good piece of equipment - but I'll be givin it away. It's just not for me. What I'm talking about is the Wharn-For-Duty knife from 5.11 Tactical.
I received this knife along with several other items from 5.11 Tactical: three knives and three lights total to be exact. I'll be reporting on the tests for all of them but today we're going to focus on the one piece I got - this knife - that, as good as it is, simply isn't welcome in my pocket. Why? For the same reason I don't wear side-zip boots: it just ain't me. Understand: there is absolutely nothing wrong with this knife. It performed well through all of the testing. It's just not for me.
At a measured overall length of 6.75" and sporting a 2.35" inch straight cutting edge the Wharn-For-Duty is nearly the perfect size for a general service pocket knife. With a grip of about four inches, the handle is just big enough to fill my palm but not so big as to be uncomfortable in your pocket. The knife has a steel liner lock inside of the ergonomically shaped grips with a finger groove for your index finger, unless you like a really aggressive forward grip in which case the groove fits your middle finger well while you put your index finger in the deep choil.
The edge on my test knife is straight and the curved tear-dropped shaped thumb hole is easily accessible for either hand. The steel clip can be attached on either the right or left side, so you can put it in either pocket, but it only attaches at the pivot end. Based on the training I received, that makes this knife designed primarily for carry in a chest pocket or inside your waistline. Obviously it CAN be carried clipped in a pants pocket,but it doesn't draw out easily positioned in your hand for quick opening.
Designed by Mike Mellekamp of BladeTech, it is a handy little blade. But will it cut?
Like every knife I test, this one went out back with me to my shed. I pulled out fishing line, twine, 1/2" rope, 1" nylon webbing and some of that ugly yellow plastic rope boaters use. It had no issue at all cutting through the fishing line, twine, string, or kern mantel rope. It DID, however, take some work to cut through the plastic yellow crappy rope. It passed through the 1" nylon webbing in a single pull. The edge on the AUS8 steel blade, after all the testing, was still quite serviceable and, after I cleaned it, I used it to cut my steak with dinner.
MSRP on this knife is $29.99 on the 5.11 Tactical website. A Google search of "5.11 Tactical Wharn For Duty" found some listed as low as $23. That's a darn good price for a knife like this.