A Simple Strider Knife for Hard Use
A Simple Strider Knife for Hard Use
Let me start off by saying I have a thing for knifes. I’m not sure if it is their simplicity, or their all around general usefulness, or maybe it just appeals to the more primitive part of my brain. One knife I own epitomizes all three of these aspects, my Strider WP tanto point.
This knife couldn’t be more simple, it is a solid piece of S30V steel with an edge, a point, and wrapped in 550 cord. It has proved itself to be exceptionally useful with it’s thick blade and sharp edge.
It has cut anything I have put before it, and also pried and bashed it’s way through jobs no knife should be asked to do and come out no worse for the wear. What could be more primitive than a sharpened hunk of steel with a piece of rope wrapped around it for a handle?
Let’s start by taking a look at the knife itself. It’s 7 3/4” of S30V steel with a 3 3/4” Americanized Tanto point blade as popularized by the late Bob Lum. One of the more impressive things about this knife if the width of the blade. It’s 1/4” across except for where it tapers down for the point, compared to most knifes this is massive.
My EDC folder is a Spyderco Endura Wave and it has a fairly thick blade at only 1/8”, half that of the Strider. The blade on the very popular Benchmade Griptillian is even thinner. With the blade being this thick it is not a problem to use this knife for more than just a little light pry work. The butt of the knife is squared off and with it’s width is well suited for occasional bashing. I have actually used the butt of this knife to hammer in tent stakes and deal with errant nails sticking out where they should not be.
The blade also has a very attractive tiger stripe pattern that is hand applied to the blade. This tiger stripe pattern has become a de facto trademark of Strider blades. Even the blades put out by Zero Tolerance that are a collaboration with Strider have this pattern. I am not entirely sure what this coating is made up of but it sure works good. I have pretty much abused this knife and it still looks brand new. Plus you cannot discount the CDI factor of tiger stripes.
I am also a big fan of the handle wrapped with 550 cord. The knife is available with several different colors of cord wrapping including olive drab, black, and coyote like mine. It is a double wrap pattern that Bryan demonstrated on a previous “knot of the week” segment. This makes the handle big enough to fill the hand but not be too bulky. I do wish the handle was just a hair longer to fit my hand better but it’s girth is just about right.
It comes from Strider with a enough cord hanging off the back to put your wrist through and use as a lanyard. I actually shortened the cord on mine down significantly, I have it mounted to my IBA and the cord was too likely to get caught on things or tangled. The cord can easily be removed for anything you might need cord for including attaching the knife to a pole for use as a makeshift spear if needed. I don’t anticipate ever doing this, but it’s nice to know the capability is there.
Finally, let’s take a look at the included sheath. It’s a custom molded piece of fairly thick Kydex made from a single sheet folded over and riveted together. It’s very rigid and wide at the opening making re-sheathing of the knife very easy without looking. The sheath is screwed to a Tek-Lock from Blade Tech for attaching to different size belts.
I’m a big fan of the Tek-Lock’s, they have an adjustable bar on the inside to make it fit different size belts but still fit snugly enough not to move around. One thing I found is that if you remove the belt adjustment bar you can barely fit the center section through a loop of PALS webbing and then reattach the adjustment bar to put it on any MOLLE gear you might have. I’m not sure if it was designed this way intentionally or not as Blade Tech also sells a separate MOLLE-Lok but this process works for me.
The way I use this piece of kit is mounted to the front of my IBA slightly left of center line where it still can be reached with either hand, but can also be quickly grabbed by my left hand in a weapon retention scenario as a “get off me” tool. It is still easily accessible to my right hand if I ever need to get to it for more mundane (and common) tasks such as cutting or prying. I do hate carrying an expensive knife like this but good kit is seldom cheap and this knife was made to be used.
The Strider WP is one of Strider’s most inexpensive knives and is a great knife for those who need a true hard-use tool. While it’s still not cheap, I consider it a lot of knife for the money. After using this knife for a few years I have a real craving for one of Strider’s folders but I’m still not sure about EDC’n a knife that costs that much and I refuse to buy a safe queen. Maybe one day…
Keep up the good fight
Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming Rob Kroupa as an ITS Contributor. Rob is Active-Duty Air Force stationed in Alaska, a fellow Texan and ITS Plank Owner. Be sure to check out his blog at tacticaltexan.wordpress.com