I bought a Deka in the middle of June and, somewhat to my surprise, it’s become one of my most carried knives this past month..
The Deka is my second Hogue (the first was the Ritter RSK MK1-G2). I had some familiarity with Hogue as a gun company.. but I’m very impressed with Hogue as a knife company based on what I’ve seen so far. The quality of materials used and fit & finish on the Deka (and the RSK) is excellent. I get that the ABLE (Axis) lock isn’t for everybody.. but I quite like Hogue’s implementation of it. Very smooth, with a solid lockup. The lockbar studs (and thumbstuds) provide a good purchase and are easy to operate.
I took a chance on the blue G-mascus model over the basic black.. it’s a little busy for my taste, but it’s growing on me. The milling on the scales looks pretty cool (I think) and provides great purchase on the handle.
The Deka’s ergos are.. decent. Not great, but certainly not bad either. I feel like the ergos would work a bit better for me if I had smaller hands. It wouldn’t be my go-to for any sort of heavy work, but I find the knife comfortable enough to handle for basic edc tasks.
I’ve found the complaints of palms being cut by the tip of the knife when closing it to be largely unfounded. I can see how it might happen if you get an odd grip on the knife with the butt-end of the handle seated deeply in your palm.. but I’ve not found it to be an issue in practice with how I normally hold and close the knife. I’ve tested, at slow speeds, closing the Deka in a way where the tip of the blade would contact my skin.. in order to do so, I need to hold the knife in a way that is pretty awkward for me. I’m not saying it’s impossible to be cut.. but I haven’t been yet..
As it compares to the Watu.. the knives are similar in overall size. The Watu’s blade is ground thinner and it is a bit “slicier” than the Deka. I find that the Watu has better ergos, but I like the Deka a little bit better aesthetically.. something about that classic clip point shape.. the Deka does have slightly more sharpened edge (maybe a quarter inch.. I didn’t actually measure that, I’m just eyeballing..). Both knives carry well and perform reliably as edc knives. Both are great knives, they're just different from each other..
Overall, the Deka is one of those knives that that doesn’t really excel in any particular regard, but the combination of its attributes make it pretty excellent (in my opinion) as an edc knife. Good steel, user-friendly design, nice intermediate size, good blade shape with sufficient cutting edge, decent ergos, easy to operate lock.. wrapped up into a USA-made package with excellent materials/F&F with a $140 price-tag = a great knife! It’s an easy recommendation for me to make.. if you’re at all interested in it.. buy one!
Here’s a couple of comparison pics..
..well, that escalated quickly..