Camillus CUDA EDC A.G. Russel D2 Folding Knife Review

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Camillus CUDA EDC A.G. Russel D2

Official name for this knife is CUDA EDC, where CUDA stands for Camillus Ultra Design Advantage, and EDC stands for Every Day Carry. The original EDC was a collaboration between Camillus and a custom knife maker Darrel Ralph. If I am not mistaken it was first introduced in 2001. EDC is based on one of the Darrel's designs also called EDC. While custom EDC is made of D2, CPM420V, Talonite etc, the factory knife originally was made of 420HC, which is on the low end in the steel list. I've handled CUDA EDC several times on different gun and knife shows, and I really liked the design, it's a small, neat knife. Well designed and suited for every day carry. It's small enough no to be annoying when clipped inside your pocket, yet it's beefy, recurved blade is a very efficient cutter for most every day cutting applications.
    The only reason that was stopping me from buying EDC was the steel choice. To be more exact the absence of one. 420HC stainless is not something I would consider for my knives, unless it's a diving knife probably. To be fair, I have to note two things: first, Camillus was very quick to respond to the customer demands for the better blade material, and in a matter of few months 154 CM EDC appeared, secondly, and this applies not only to 154CM blades, Camillus blades in high end steels very often are the best package deals you can find on the market. ~65$ for 145CM frame lock folder is really hard to beat. And 85$ for D2 frame lock is a very good deal as well. Later, for Camillus 125th anniversary limited edition EDC was produced, that one featured black coating, titanium nitride coated screws, clip and gold etching on the 154CM blade. And one more addition to EDC family was Talonite EDC. For those who like talonite, this is the one. Anyway, like I said I didn't want 420 HC, and I am not a fan of 154CM or Talonite either.
    Finally in October 2001, Will Fennel of Camillus Knives announced D2 EDC, special edition made for A.G. Russell exclusively - click here for the reference Bladeforums thread. Now this one was interesting. I own couple other blades in D2, such as Blackwood American Ninja and SIFU D2, so far my impressions were very positive. Therefore, I've decided to get one.


 - EDC is a relatively small folder, with a slim profile, and really lightweight, thanks to the skletonized handle too. That makes it almost unnoticeable when carried. Fit and finish were almost perfect, especially considering that it's a factory knife and it's price. Easily beats more expensive blades from many other brands. Execution is flawless, except the edge grind, which wasn't that much of a concern anyway, as I sharpen all of my knives myself. No uneven grinds, mismatched lines, anything. The blade perfectly centered. Although the blade had slight horizontal play, it was fixed by tightening the pivot screw, approx. 1/4 turn. That's it, no other notes. The action is very smooth. Actually it's smoother than most of my folders, including Sebenza[that one probably needs a break in and a better lubricant] and some of my 940 Osbornes, 710 axis is still smoother, probably because I use it a lot. Overall, CUDA EDC is a very good package in general, and especially for the price.


 - EDC's slightly drop point, hollow ground, recurved blade measures almost 3 inches, 2.95" for the stats. As I've mentioned above the knife is slim, obviously the blade is relatively thin too. Though depends what you'd call a thin blade. It's .115" thick. If you compare that to kitchen knives, than I guess it's not very thin :) Otherwise, for a folder knife on today's market it is thin. I find it just fine. I find recurve useful on most of the knives, and for a small folder it is even more preferable.
    I've only been using it for couple weeks, but I really like this small knife. Obviously I didn't go out to chop down a tree or two with it. Something serious is yet to come, all I've done so far was just some eveyday stuff, envelopes, packages, cords, etc. The results are fine, but that's not really something hard for the knife. I've had very positive results with my custom Blackwood American Ninja which is made of D2, except Neil hardened it to 62 HRC, as I've asked. EDC is hardened to 60 RC on the Rockwell scale, and the heat treatment may not be as consistent as custom maker would do, but I'm expecting EDC to perform very well. We'll see shortly.
    By the way the D2 is produced by different manufacturers, e.g. D2 used by REKAT in their special edition SIFU is different than the one used by Camillus. According to Will: Darrel's choice is CRUCIBLE's AIRDI-150 D2. This is a very clean and consistent version of D2 available from our neighbors @ CRUCIBLE STEEL. Plus, Camillus, Crucible and Darrel worked together to refine the heat treatment process until everyone was happy. All that together gives the hope that the D2 used in EDC will perform very well :).


 - Slim, well designed, 420HC stainless steel handle is comfortable for both, normal and reversed grips. It also has pretty well defined indexing and traction grooves. All that provides quite secure grip, even when you need to apply significant effort during cutting. The clip is mounted above the pivot (EDC is a Tip Down carry), and as the rest of the knife is well machined and executed.


 - EDC is featuring the integral frame lock. Same type of the lock used on Sebenza and many other custom knives. Frame lock is if not the strongest then definitely one of the strongest folding knife lock systems available on today's knife market. Properly executed frame lock is practically impossible to disengage accidentally, and so far I haven't seen any failure reports either. It's simpler than the Axis lock used by Benchmade, yet many prefer Axis, myself included. That doesn't mean anything negative regarding the frame lock, just Axis lock offers smoother action, easier to use, and doesn't wear itself. To be more exact Axis is adjusting itself to parts wear, while frame lock may have problems due to parts wear. I haven't had any frame locks long enough to provide any credible info, however that topic has been discussed occasionally on the Bladeforums. My understanding is that the lock bar eventually wears, rubbing the harder blade tang, which in turn leads to lock overengagement and the blade wobble. I think it's gonna take quite some time until this happens. Chris Reeve apparently addresses this issue by heat treating the locking bar contacting surface, not sure what the other makers do. If you're interested I suggest you check out Chris Reeve Forum at Bladeforums. You'll find quite a bit of the info over there regarding frame locks in general.

  • Model: #220 EDC(Every Day Carry);
  • Blade: D2 Tool steel, 60 HRC;
  • Length: 2.95" Thickness: .115";
  • Open: 6.85" Closed: 3.8125";
  • Weight: 3 oz.;
  • Handle: Skeletonized 420HC stainless steel;
  • Lock Mechanism: Integral Frame Lock;
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime;

Last updated - 05/19/19

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