Ok, so after trying unsuccessfully to acquire a few of the previous REX45 models, my friend Enactive kindly snagged a REX Chief for me and shipped it over the Pacific to Australia.
Thanks heaps for that mate, I’m really liking this knife and steel!
Initially, I wasn’t that interested in the whole Native family, as I have a few Seki knives in HAP40 which suit my needs just fine.
It was really the steel which tempted me to try the Chief.
The build quality is excellent. Enactive graciously sent me the knife with the tighter lockup out of the two REX45 models he acquired from different sources. There’s barely any perceptible up and down movement in the locked blade - it feels almost as rock solid as my Chinook 4 with the Powerlock.
It’s the tightest Spyderco backlock I have, although the G10 and Pakkawood Dragonflys and HAP40 Stretch come close in that regard.
The opening and closing action is smooth and authoritative. The opening feels a bit different to the knives I’m used to which have ‘Spydie humps’- like the pivoting action of the thumb describes a bit tighter of an arc. I don’t personally have any issue with the knives which have thumbramps and raised Spydieholes, but I am looking forward to exploring the uses of a blade which is less wide and more nimble in turning cuts, like a paring knife or petty knife.
I’m currently either closing it with two hands, or depressing the lockbar with one hand and brushing the blade closed against my leg.
Designwise, it feels as sleek and elegant as I thought it would be. Like the Military and the Police 4, this knife packs a good amount of blade into a very unobtrusive knife to carry in the pocket.
The edge seemed quite well rendered. The battery on my digital calipers was flat so I couldn’t take a behind the edge reading, but the edge angle measured 17.5 degrees per side on my goniometer. I used it for a couple of days at work, and was pleased with the edge, before thinning it out on the Atoma benchstones.
The knife is comfortable in different grips, although the lack of chamferimg on the edges of the G10 scales seems like a strange omission, considering other Golden knives like my Lefty Millie and Maxamet Para 3 have very comfortable chamfered edges.
The pocket clip was on the wrong side too
, so I swapped it out with a Lynch clip for lefty carry.
Overall, I’m excited by this knife and look forward to using it at work and for general knife duties, as well as some kitchen work.
The mods I’ll perform will be to smooth over the edges of the G10 scales, sand underneath the clip pinch point so it is less of a pocket chewer and thin out the edge, of course.
Here’s some comparison pics and one of the early results of playing with it for food prep:
Millie and Chief
HAP40 Endura and Chief
Police 4 and Chief
Emphasis and Chief