Even though my Busse knives collection is quite large, I still keep getting his knives here and there. Not because I feel an urge to have every single one of his models, which is fine and perfectly understandable for a knife collector, but I don't collect like that, which is also fine. So, anyway, like I said, once in a while a new model pops up and I can't deny myself the pleasure of having it. By the way, Jerry and crew are quite productive in producing wide variety of the different models. So, that happened with the Boss HG55 as well. The other day I saw the announcement on bladeforums.com Busse sub-forum and few days later when it became available I went for the LE(Limited Edition) HG55. By the way I got lucky that time, as usual it is quite some time between the announcement and the actual knife sales. As usual LE-s go for sale first, and at this time I was more interested in LE version, so I've forked out 397$, well, plus shipping :), and the knife was mine, if I am not mistaken in a week or so. For the stats, my LE is #8.
General- Boss HG55 officially is a fighter knife. Although, in my knife collecting years I have seen very wide variety of fighting knives and you could say it can look pretty much anything, so just because this knife is called a fighter doesn't mean anything in particular. The knife arrived in a standard cardboard sheath, as Busse Combat doesn't offer sheath as a default option. Besides, at the time when I was buying it there were no sheaths offered at all. That's pretty much standard practice these days with Busse knives. Can't say it's all exciting, but on the other hand back then there were bunch of different wishes what the good default handle was supposed to be and in the end defaults were dropped altogether. However, there are plenty of custom sheath makers that can provide pants for your beloved Busse and other knives from wide variety of materials and at very reasonable prices.
As for the Boss HG55 origins, it is a revision or remake of the earlier Busse Boss knife designs which was circulating around in early 1980's. Therefore, it rightfully belongs to the Old School Busse category. Considering that I wasn't collecting knives at that time, I missed out on it back then ;) Besides at that time it wouldn't be INFI steel, most likely A2 or D2. Anyway, revisited design means improvements in all areas. New steel, new handle, new technology used for all that. As for the HG55 I am assuming that stands for Hog and 55 is for 5.5" blade. Although, I might be wrong on that one. Edit 2013/12/20 - Yes, I was wrong about HG :) As I was informed by fellow knife enthusiast, HG in the name stands for Hollow Ground. One more mystery solved.
So, overall, as I see it HG55 is pretty utilitarian design. It can serve pretty well as a hunting and utility knife. Obviously, using ¼" thick blade with 5.5" length might have its own specifics, but Busse knives are traditionally made that thick and thinner blades are rather exception. As I said above, it is a long clip blade, quite heavy for its size, thanks to its ¼" thick blade. Balance is pretty much even. HG55 also utilizes CBT (Corrugated Bevel Technology), but not the LE model. In case you are wondering what that CBT is and looks like, take a look at the Busse hell Razor review and the photo shows those corrugated bevels.
Blade- Blade geometry is really long clip point. Long in this context, refers to the size of the clip, and not the blade, as 5.5" blade isn't really that long, but rather medium size. Of course any blade made out of ¼" steel is probably qualified for heavy duty use. A blade that thick, made of the Busse proprietary INFI steel is probably overqualified. I won't be discussing INFI steel or its properties here again, I wrote more than two dozen reviews and quite a few of them discuss those properties and behavior under various use conditions, so you can check the Busse Knife Reviews for more on that topic.
As for the rest, the blade has very nice satin finish to it. Initial edge on the knife is 40° included, which is what Busse combat usually puts on their hard use knives and more often on their not so hard use knives too. Plus it is their recommended edge angle. Personally, I think 40° is too thick for many knives and cutting jobs, however that number is the makers recommendation and unless you feel you have enough experience with sharpening and INFI steel it's better left alone, which doesn't mean you have to abandon the blade maintenance ;) It means leave the original edge angle alone and use it that way. Once you get the feel what the knife and INFI can do, and then experiment with it.
Handle- The Boss HG55 handle is both, Busse style and somewhat different from the modern style Busse handles. Apparently that difference is caused by its roots in Old School Busses. Today's Fusion style handles look noticeably different, there are plenty of photos on this site of all styles of Busse knives and their handles. Anyway, the handle is more squared geometry compared to Busse Fusion line or even the Old Busse Combat Line knives I have. On the other hand, handle construction is still full tang and the material is textured micarta. LE models had special handle slabs, named Tiger Hide. Combat line which was offered later had all the additional features and options available, which included various handle materials including black and Tan canvas, Black, Black and Green and few more micarta slabs.
As far as handle ergonomics go, it feels pretty good in hand. So far, I haven't used the knife for anything serious, so I am not ready to judge its qualities neither for heavy duty use, nor for prolonged use, but both aspects will be reviewed and reported here, as soon as I fine the time to use the knife for at least an hour, and preferably something heavy duty. Although, cuting cardboard for couple hours or more does provide quite objective feedback on the handle ergonomics, especially when the knife looses its initial sharpness.
- Model - Boss HG-55 LE
- Blade - 140.00mm(5.51")
- Thickness - 6.00mm
- Width - 30.00mm
- OAL - 273.00mm(10.75")
- Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
- Handle - Micarta
- Weight - 324.60g(10.98oz)
- Acquired - 03/2009 Price - 397.00$
- Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;
Last updated - 12/20/13