For some of our wounded warriors, the hardest battle begins when they get home. This knife is designed to help.
by Leon Pantenburg
I love L.T. Wright knives – I’ve tested several and they’ve always been way above par. My Genesis is my go-to bushcraft knife, and the Next Gen is another well-used tested performer. The whole line is bulletproof and ready to go to work.
But the company outdid themselves when they designed and produced the HERO (Helping Everyone Reach the Outdoors).
“All too often our veterans and public safety professionals get hurt in the line of duty and L.T Wright want to do something for those men and women that allows them to return to the outdoors after an injury or loss of a limb.” – from the company website.
A proven knife design was adapted to provide a way for someone with missing fingers or limited grip to safely use a knife, the company claims. L.T Wright added a hook near the blade that accepts an elastic lanyard that will assist the user in holding on to the knife.
The HERO was featured on the cover of the December 2015 Blade magazine.
I ordered one to check it out. It has been used for various bushcrafting activities and worked quite well.
Out of the box, the knife was shaving-sharp, and showed the superb quality I expect from L.T. Wright.
Here’s the good stuff:
Blade thickness is 1/8-inch and that’s a good choice for an overall knife. The D-2 steel is tough and combined with the thickness, the blade should be virtually unbreakable. (Don’t go trashing your HERO blade and sending me a photo. Anything can be broken if someone tries hard enough!) I like e thinner blades, but that is strictly personal preference, based on how I use knives.
Blade length: Different tasks require a variety of lengths. IMHO, the three-to-four-inch blade is the do-it-all length. It is short enough to be handy, but long enough to do just about anything.
Steel: The D2 tool steel is tough and holds an edge well. It is easy to sharpen, and should not get stained badly over regular use. Clean your knife after using it, and there will be no problems.
The elastic lanyard helps secure to handle to the hand.
Handle: The design here is incredible. Designed so it can be readily grasped, the handle is easy to hold, and big enough to be safe, The elastic lanyard can be hooked around the back of the hand to secure the handle to the hand.
Point: The narrow spear point is an excellent choice for a utility knife. It would be my first choice for a bushcrafter, or a knife that might be called upon to do everything.
Sheath: A sturdy leather dangler sheath makes for easy, comfortable and safe carry.
I took the HERO on an Oregon mule deer hunt the first weekend in October, and it was used for gutting and skinning on a nice buck.
The handle never got slippery, even though it got really bloody. The design of the handle kept it from slipping in my hand. The knife was handy. The HERO is not designed to be a hunting knife but it worked well.[/caption
The ticky other stuff: This knife is designed for bushcraft, and as such, is not going to make the best hunting knife. There is not enough belly behind the point to make the HERO a superior skinning knife, and I want more of a drop point for gutting a big game animal.
The Scandi grind is good for woodworking and such, but is not the best choice for a knife that will be used for slicing. IMO, a convex grind is the best overall grind.
Do you need a HERO?
It’s a great knife. I like it a lot. But I have a lot of other, more specialized blades that work better, for me, on different tasks. I use the best knife for the job.
But the HERO could be the best choice for the person who had problems holding a knife, and who needs a good, overall-use knife. The HERO could be the difference, for that person, of being able to use a knife outdoors or not.
And that’s the idea behind the HERO – to provide a tool that can help overcome some physical challenges. In some instances, the HERO may be the very best knife for the job.