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Busse Hell Razor
Combat Knife Review

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Even though I've had more than my fair share of Busses, Jerry keeps coming up with the new designs that I somehow have to have. Hell Razor is one of those knives that one must have. Just wicked cool and at the same time it's a very functional blade. What more would you want from any knife :) First time I saw hell razor when the sneak peek photos were posted on bladeforum's Busse sub-forum. I thought it looked gorgeous. Then it took some time before it was finally introduced on the bladeshow and, after that I've had to wait few weeks to order and then till I got it. But in the end it was mine. Not so sure what was the inspiration for this knife, but whatever it was, worked our really well. Even few years later it is quite popular and demanded design. Well, all of Jerry Busse knives are in high demand, but this one is special to me, and I figure to many others as well.

General

- Hell Razor is a medium size combat knife. At least I consider 7" long fixed blade knife to be a medium sized knife. It was first introduced in 2005 for sales. list price was 287$. As usual, the knife was offered with numerous options, including various types and colors of handle. Not so sure if the limited edition was also offered at that time, never seen it for sale anyway, but later on in 2008 competition grade Hell Razor was produced, and later on I'll write up separate review for that knife. The difference is, at least one of the main differences is the satin finish for the competition grade knives. The original series combat grade Hell Razor has black crinkle coating and this particular model has magnum scale handles. Knife weighs 412.00g(13.93oz). balance point is close to the blade/handle juncture, little bit towards the tip. There is no sheath offered, so the knife comes with the cardboard cover on the blade. Sheath options include ordering one from several suppliers on the net, there's a few generic kydex/kevlar sheaths that fit the Hell Razor knife, or alternatively asking one of the sheath makers to make a sheath for your beloved Hell Razor. Custom sheaths materials vary for different makers, it can be in kydex, leather, or something else, don't know what exactly, I still haven't ordered mine. At some point I did try to get the sheath from one of the online retailers, but they run out of stock, didn't notify me for 2 months, and after that, I didn't want to reorder from them, but never made to order another one. However, I am definitely planning to get two, since I have at least two Hell Razors to keep, combat and competition grade.

As far as fit and finish go, it's a typical Busse Combat grade knife. Nothing really fancy there, super tough, Busse knife. Grind lines are even, handles slabs fastened well, no gaps, no loose parts, that'd be hard in a fixed blade wouldn't it :) No gaps between the tang and handle slabs.

Blade

- That's what makes Hell Razor one of the sexiest blades on the planet. Theoretically there is nothing complicated, just a drop point blade, but as usual it's all in the details :) The distinct feature of the Hell Razor is the corrugated flats on it. Basically it's the serries of the relatively narrow grooves, cut out below the center line, parallel to the edge, giving the blade structural strength and lightening it at the same time. Same as the fullers do, which by the way also exists on the knife, widest, but shortest groove on the blade, in the dead center. As far as affecting the cutting performance, those grooves can either be helpful of an obstacle. Well, not exactly an obstacle, but they can introduce an extra drag during push cutting, especially on the sticky substances which can get into the grooves. On the other hand, for slicing, less metal is in contact with the medium and that, plus the introduction of the air pockets between the blade and the cutting medium reduces the drag considerably, well that also depends on the medium too. Really soft stuff gets in between the grooves as usual and then instead of air pockets we get extra surface area in contact with the medium, because grooves have more surface area compared to flats.

Initial edge on the Hell Razor was ground to a standard Busse Combat 40° total angle. By the way, that 40° angle is what Busse recommends for their combat knives, at least for the blades intended for hard use. So, if you plan on heavy chopping, prying and all that, it's better to leave the edge at that. if you feel more adventurous, feel free to thin it down, or alternatively thicken it even further. Although, I have no idea why would one thicken the INFI steel blade further. For light use knives I do have INFO around 30° and it works fine, but the key here is light use. I could take some of the Busse knives below the 30° mark, but given the 58-60HRC Rockwell hardness, and abundance of superhard, well above 62HRC blades in my knife collection, I don't really see the point in having such a thin blade on a Busse, they're more of a hard use knives.

Handle

- The handle as I already mentioned above is magnum scale style. Full tang construction as in all Busse knives I have seen. Handle material is micarta as usual. Scaling is done to improve the grip security and prevent slippage. That part works perfectly, with the few tests I did on oily hands there were no issues with the handle slipping. The good news is the scales are aggressive just enough to keep your hand on the handle, but not too much to become a nuisance during even hard use, like chopping for example. The handle is approximately 5" long and around an inch wide. Ergonomics are pretty good. At least to my taste. I do like it in pretty much all grips. Proportions are good and the blade feels light and maneuverable. Can't say I've used it hard, but I did a set of basic test cutting and chopping. That's more or less is enough to get the feel how the blade handle works for you. In short, it was comfortable. Obviously, chopping or cutting for a few hours will give better input and understanding, but that sort of prolonged use is a separate category and needs more evaluation. Although, if there were any hot-spots on the handle, I'd most likely feel those even during 5-10 minute long session. Anyway, we'll see how it will work. I'll update this section once I get more data.

Usage

- As I said above, no serious use, just basic testing and cutting, but later on I'll update this review with those notes for sure. And after that more updates as the data comes in.

Busse Combat Hell Razor Knife Photo Gallery

Specifications:

  • Blade - 190.50mm(7.5")
  • Thickness - 5.00mm
  • Width - 44.77mm
  • OAL - 330.20mm(13")
  • Steel - INFI 58-60HRC
  • Handle - Micarta
  • Weight - 412.00g(13.93oz)
  • Acquired - 08/2005 Price - 287$
  • Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;

Last updated - 09/01/11