knife

Medford Proxima

 Medford Knife & Tool is a semi-custom knife shop in Arizona. I say semi-custom because every knife leaving the factory is ground by hand. These knives are not what you find at the local sporting goods store. I talked with them at Blade Show West last year. A few weeks later they said they would send something to review. I was really happy when the “Proxima” showed up.

 Wow, what a knife the Proxima is. The first thing I noticed was the heft. It really isn’t too heavy at 8.2 ounces on my scale, but it is stout. Medford shipped this knife in a plastic, reusable, waterproof case also. Along with it came care, maintenance, and break in instructions.

 The Medford Proxima is a flipper style knife. So on the back of the handle sits the flipper. The flipper is attached (built on) the blade. By pulling it backwards, it “flips” the knife open. Medford designed the proxima to be smooth, but still have resistance. So I have to flick the flipper pretty noticeably to kick the knife open. They don’t want the blade so loose that it just falls open or closed. There is also a a recess cut into each side of the blade so you can open it with your thumb, or as one would with a regular folding knife. The flipper also has grooves on it to give your finger some traction while “flipping.” Once the knife is open, the flipper doubles as a guard to keep your hand from sliding forward during stabbing motions.

 Construction of the Proxima starts with the blade. Medford uses S35VN Stainless steel as blade material. The S35VN steel gives the Proxima excellent strength, edge retention, and wear resistance. This does make the blade a little harder to sharpen, but it is well worth it. I have not sharpened my blade, and it is still very sharp after 6 months of use. The blade is of the drop point style with a false tip. But even more important, is that the blade is 3/16” thick and almost 4” long! The false tip gives the blade a nice point. Every blade at Medford is ground by hand and the Proxima is no different. The hollow grind looks beautiful and allows years of sharpening before the blade edge gets really thick. I am also impressed with how the tumbled blade looks. It is not polished, but not dull either, just good looking.

 Now onto the Proxima’s frame. The frame is the other part in what makes a knife, a knife. Starting with titanium as material, this particular knife has some faded anodizing. The non-locking side has a purplish-blue fade to a bronzish color on the inside. On the locking side, which is a standard style frame lock, it has a solid purplish/bronze color. Both sides are also tumbled, and not polished. This makes for a really nice looking knife. The non-locking side also has some grooves and a finger cut-out for a good grip. The locking side also has some grooves on the lock, both for increased grip, and too help with unlocking the blade. There is also a hole for attaching a lanyard, if that’s your thing.

 This particular Proxima uses Stainless Steel hardware. Other options (colors, materials) are also available. The hardware is basically the spacers and screws that hold the knife together. It’s functional, and that is all that really matters. The pocket clip could also be included as hardware, but the standard clip is brushed titanium and held on with 2 screws. This clip is probably the stiffest clip I have ever used, and I love the amount of tension it has. This is where I have a slight flaw with the knife. The clip can not be moved, it comes in a tip-up position. I would have at least liked another option for if you carry it on your right side. The only problem I have had with the knife also includes the clip, it came loose on me after about a month. I put medium strength thread locker on the screws and have not had a problem since.

 When I go to use the Proxima, it just works. I just flip the blade out, it opens smoothly, and start cutting. The handle shape and size let me get an excellent grip if I need to do some real work. The spine of the blade also has some gimping that helps me get good downward force with my thumb. The flipper does stick out a bit, but that’s what makes it useful for me. I’ve cut everything from packing tape to pallet strapping (the plastic type) and the knife still cuts great. I expect the Proxima to last me around 5 life times, it is built that stout.

 So, if you are the type to use or buy $500 knives, definitely go check out Medford Knife & Tool. This Proxima is built like a tank. It is all US made and built by actual people, not just machines. I am not one to spend this kind of money on a knife, but after seeing and using the Proxima, I see why someone would. Go check MKT out, they have some really cool and functional knives.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Heavy use, semi custom knife

Target Market:

Knife collectors, Military, Law enforcement. Anyone wanting a tough knife

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Large Flipper

  • Overall Length - 8.75"

  • Blade Length - 3.875"

  • Cutting Edge - 3.625"

  • Blade Width - 1.25"

  • Blade Thickness - 0.19"

  • Blade Material - CPM-S35VN

  • Handle Length - 4.875"

  • Handle Width - 1.25"

  • Handle Thickness (total) - 0.62"

  • Handle Material - Titanium

  • Weight - 8.40 oz.

  • Thumb groove for optional opening

  • Gimping on top of blade and on Flipper

  • Titanium Pocket Clip

  • Individual serial number

  • Lanyard slot

  • Frame lock

  • False tip

  • 100% made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Many, go look for yourself

What others are saying?:

Nothing really found

Link to other reviews:

Texas Knives on YouTube

Price point:

MSRP = $575.00

Retail = $575 at BladeHQ

I need it now! Availability:

Medford Knife & Tool

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • 100% made in USA

  • Smooth function

  • Flipper

  • False tip

  • S35VN Stainless

  • Large useful blade

  • Good ergonomics

  • No blade movement when locked open

Cons:

  • Price (for some)

  • Pocket clip came loose

  • Pocket clip has only one location

Score: 8.50 Great

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Work Sharp - Ken Onion Edition

 If you carry a knife, of any type, then you need a good knife sharpener. The people over at Work Sharp Outdoor have supplied me with just that. Welcome the Ken Onion edition knife and tool sharpener. I talked with them at the Blade show West and they kindly sent this out for review.

 The Work Shop Ken Onion Edition (WSKOE) is an electric sharpener. To sum it’s looks up, it resembles a handheld angle grinder. On the side is the belt/knife guide area, this is where all the magic happens. Then there is a handle with a trigger system. Then up front is the motor assembly. One can use this sharpener by holding it, but setting it down on a bench or table works best. The belt/sharpening assembly can also be rotated around to different angles by a spring loaded push button release.

 This little handy sharpener comes with everything you need. The excellent instructions give you an idea of what belt/belts to use for each task ,along with what angle might work best. The WSKOE comes with 5 belts. Basically they range from extra course to extra-extra fine. The extra course belt is basically for shaping metal. I used it to reshape a knife that the tip had broken off. It made fast work of it. The extra-extra fine belt is more of a polishing belt, used to give a mirror like edge. It is also super easy to change the belts. Just push up on the spring loaded tensioner, pop the belt off and slide a different one on. I may have tried polishing some fire control parts with it also, of which it worked quite well.

   To further enhance the sharpening abilities, the WSKOE has even more features. The trigger system uses variable speed and can be locked in whatever speed one wishes. There is also an edge guide that folds out for use with longer knife blades. I used the edge guide for big kitchen knives and hunting knives. Also on the belt head is an angle adjustable guide. This guide keeps the angle of the sharpening blade somewhat controlled. It is adjustable from 15-30 degrees. As mentioned earlier, the whole belt sharpening system can be rotated. I didn’t use this feature, but I can see where it would be useful for sharpening my lawnmower blade, or just general grinding on something larger.

 This sharpener works. I must have sharpened almost every knife we own, including kitchen knives. It is very quick once you get the hang of it. I only found one thing I didn’t like about it. The blade angle rest takes some getting use to. When you are sharpening the knife, you rest the cheek of the knife on the angle guide and pull the knife through. If you put too much pressure on the angle guide, you can overtake the spring and get a sharper angle. After a little use, this wasn’t a problem. Also when using the angle guide, the guide ends before the tip of the knife is guided in. This meant that I had to freehand the sharpening of the tip. Not a big deal, in fact I did take the angle guide off and sharpen some knives freehand, which also worked well.

 I really don’t even know how I sharpened knives the old way. I was actually looking for things to sharpen. The WSKOE does use a standard 110-120V wall plug in, so it isn’t cordless. Replacement belts are easily found, a couple of local sportsman stores have them. Other sharpening adapters are also available through Work Sharp Outdoors.

 The Ken Onion edition sharpener is top notch. Some might say it’s a little pricey at $130, but if you want sharp knives, it might not be. There is a small learning curve, but once mastered you will have sharp knives forever. Go check out Work Sharp Outdoors, they make all kinds of knife sharpening tool.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Powered Knife Sharpener

Target Market:

Anyone who wants a fast knife sharpener

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 15-30 degree edge angle

  • 5 belts from 120-6000 grit

  • ¾” wide belts

  • Variable speed (1200-2800 SFM)

  • Speed lock

  • Adjustable head

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

NA

What others are saying?:

⅘ stars on Amazon

Great little sharpener. Beautiful convex edges. Tape the sides of your blades to avoid scratches.

I really like the Ken Onion Work Sharp. I purchased it because I wanted to try convex edges on my knives without the risk of ruining them while learning to do it freehand. My first attempt on the Work Sharp involved a brand new Ontario Knives Rat-1, an inexpensive, well-made knife with a pretty AUS-8 satin finished blade. In just a few minutes, I was able to produce a razor-sharp, beautifully mirrored edge. I also produced a LOT of UGLY scratches on that pretty AUS-8 satin finish because the metal particles that come off the edge during sharpening build up on the angle guides. When you pull the knife through as instructed, you get scratches. I honestly don't mind if my knives get banged up during use but I just can't see defacing them during sharpening. It's just not necessary. A quick search of Blade Forums confirmed others have experienced the same problem, especially with highly polished finishes. After reading a bit further, I decided to use painters tape on a different knife to protect the blade. Problem solved, a perfectly sharp convex edge in minutes and not a scratch to be seen. Other sharpeners like the Apex Edge Pro actually suggest this method. It would have been nice if the Work Sharp folks had done the same. Despite that issue, if you want to try convex edges, (they really are better), the Work Sharp is a great little machine at a fair price. I highly suggest reading the instructions carefully and taping the sides of your blades. Cheers and thanks for taking the time to read my review.

Link to other reviews:

The Truth About Knives

Price point:

MSRP = $129.95

Retail = $129.95 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Work Sharp or Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Quickly sharpens knives

  • Adjustable grinding angle

  • Mirror cutting edge

  • Edge guide

Cons:

  • Angle guide

  • Learning curve

Score: 8.5 Great

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