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Duane Dwyer Custom RK
Combat Knife Review

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Duane Dwyer RK

Story is the same, as of my another custom from Duane Dwyer, AL. I've ordered them both on BAKCA 2001 annual show. Both RK and Dwyer AL knife were prototypes at that time. I got both of them together on BAKCA 2002 annual show ;) Which was a quite surprise, I didn't expect them by that time.

General

 - I'd say I like RK the best out of my Strider knives. I mean visual appeal. It's a beautiful knife. As Duane told me he made only 3 RK-s total. Even though the design was well received he simply didn't have enough time to invest in his custom pieces while working for Strider Knives, which is understandable. Thanks to their popularity Striders are constantly backlogged, hence very hard to come. As of the name RK, I am not sure what does it stand for exactly. Duane mentioned that it is related to Russian nuclear sub "Kursk's" tragic story. May be something like "Remember Kursk"? I don't know, I'll have to ask. There were too many people on the show, so he couldn't finish the story.
    As far as the craftsmanship and execution goes RK is done just perfect. I didn't have any complaints regarding grinds, no flaws, comfortable grip, well made sheath. The edge is rather rough to my liking, but that's personal and I sharpen all of my knives myself anyways. Besides I like to change the edge angle from time to time to find optimal settings for the tasks.
    Overall, I'd describe RK as tough all around heavy duty use utility blade. At 5.5" blade length it's is a medium size knife. Although 1/4" thickness makes it one tough piece.

Blade

 - Length, 5.5 inches from the tip to the guards, including choil. RK features clip point, saber grind, bead blasted blade, made of Latrobe BG-42, and as usual it was heat treated by Paul Boss, one of the best, if not the best in this business. Cutting edge measures 4.75&quot. In fact it is longer, as RK has quite a belly and well defined recurve, which obviously increases edge length. Geometry-wise I like RK a lot. Looks very nice and should be an efficient cutter. Since I didn't have time to sharpen it and do any testing I can't say much at this point. Judging from past experience I think RK will do fine. Obviously 1/4" thickness isn't helping cutting ability all that much, but given the saber grind it should be ok for most of the cutting tasks, unless cutting thick medium, like cheese ;) For slicing recurved blades are well suited. As of the lateral strength, heavy leveraging, prying etc, I have no concerns. Obviously 1/4" thick RK will handle all of those without any problem. For the reference - Latrobe BG-42 steel chemical composition.
    Details such as a choil and serrations on the blade spine improve fine cutting ability. I've tried RK in several grips, for various cutting styles, it was comfy in all of them. Only when my point finger was in the choil and thumb was all along the blade spine the handguard was getting in the way. Though this style of the grip isn't very natural, thus doesn't really concern me. As soon as I sharpen RK, I'll update this page with cutting test data.

Handle

 - As usual Strider knives do not have fancy handles. However I find their G10, CF handles very comfortable. Unlike paracord ;) Since most of the time I do not like using glows while I work with the knife I prefer not very aggressive handle texturing. CF is rather smooth in that regard, and for some it may not be the material providing most grip security, however so far for my needs CF was doing just fine. Same for the RK. Handle isn't very thick, CF is nicely machined, no sharp edges or corners. Works very well for me. Besides RK features handguards to prevent your paws from slipping down on the cutting edge. In short IMHO it's just cool.

  • Specifications:
  • Model: RK:
  • Blade - 139.70mm(5.5")
  • Thickness - 4.76mm
  • OAL - 279.40mm(11")
  • Steel - Latrobe BG-42 Stainless Steel;
  • Handle: Carbon Fiber;
  • Sheath: Kydex;
  • Warranty: Unconditional Lifetime;

Last updated - 09/01/11