A.G. Russell Knives’s latest release is the Swayback Jack, a high quality take on a classic pattern. The Swayback Jack is only the latest in a series of designs from the company’s late founder to be brought into production.
The Swayback Jack was a project that Russell began with his associate Phil Gibbs, who also worked to bring out Russel’s Sandbox Dagger design last year. Swaybacks are a popular traditional knife profile, and often seen with this single-blade, jackknife-style build. Judging by his “General Purpose” blade design, which he chose for his own personal everyday carry K-93, Russell’s taste in blade profiles seemed to align with wharncliffe-style geometries; Swaybacks often have wharncliffe blades so it makes perfect sense that Russell chose the shape for his own entry into the genre.
The edge length on this model’s wharncliffe blade is 2.88 inches. This is an adequate length for traditional everyday carry chores, and to showcase the particular utility of the wharncliffe, with its acute tip and straight main edge. Less traditional is the blade steel; A.G. Russell partnered with Maserin of Maniago, Italy for this one, and chose to make the blade from M390 super steel. This will ensure edge retention and rust resistance far beyond that of most traditional swayback models – not to mention many of the other traditional knives in the A.G. Russell lineup. Opening is done through the standard nail mark, and there is no half stop on this particular Swayback.
Speaking of, the back of this knife is properly swayed, and it has an extra large front bolster, almost akin to a barlow. Cover options are a trio of natural materials: stag, smooth white bone, or desert ironwood, and the weight varies slightly depending on which cover you choose. But, seeing as the range is 2.8 ounces to 2.9, that variance shouldn’t be a concern for even the most stringent ounce-counters.
Although he passed away in 2018, A.G. Russell’s name continues on in his Arkansas-based store and shop, which has been finding and releasing some of his archived designs, like the aforementioned Sandbox Dagger. The SeaMaster 2.0, a revision of Russel’s longstanding nautical knife model, is also on the way.
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