RAIDER KNIFE REVIEW
Raider Knife Review. 16 July, 2021 - Review by Eric Hoeppner,
(Owner and CEO of BaGawkian Concepts LLC)
Hello, my name is Eric Hoeppner, owner and CEO of BaGawkian Concepts LLC. I have been involved in the service of this great country for over 20 years with the federal government specializing in firearms, defense tactics, and knife skills... with prior law enforcement experience. I have had the opportunity to handle and own numerous edged weapons during this time.
I have been attempting to locate a new knife maker for over two years now. I was looking for one who didn’t wish to bleed the bank dry while producing a phenomenal product that’s not overpriced and extremely durable. I stumbled upon Mr. Tim Kell of T.Kell knives one afternoon by happenchance. I located Mr.Kell by typing in "East Coast knife makers." I looked over his web page and then proceeded to contact Mr.Kell via phone. Mr. Kell returned my call and after speaking to me for over an hour, I knew almost immediately, I had found my next knife maker.
Mr. Kell was extremely professional and accommodating from our first conversation till present. I was impressed with his product line up and couldn’t wait to handle one of his blades in person. The blade I first chose was the Raider. It’s hard to tell from pictures how the quality, fit and feel of an edge weapon will be. I prefer fixed blades the majority of the time for numerous reasons.
When the Raider arrived, I was first taken by the visual appearance and overall design of this particular knife. The Raider stats are 7.25 total inches, 3.25 blade length, 1.25 blade width and .156 thickness, 57 RC hardness, 1095 high carbon steel with Nickle Boron coating, YES, NIB!!
My blade came with the newer OD green Micarta grenade style handle for increased grip purchase. The blade was extremely sharp and fit beautiful within the kydex sheath that accompanies it. (At no additional cost I might add.)
Upon looking at the knife for the first time, it appeared a bit smaller than I first thought. I also thought the handle would be a bit short for my liking. Well let me be the first to state that I was truly wrong!
The knife is extremely well balanced and fit like a glove upon wrapping my mitts around it.
I will say that after having the distinct pleasure and opportunity to work with three other of Mr. Kell’s designs, they all feel like and extension of your hand and I couldn’t stop carry it around most of the day. You will have a hard time getting any of his blades out of your hands after purchasing one.
I am extremely good at breaking things as those who know me can attest. I questioned Mr. Kell about his “Lifetime” warranty and let me tell you, he will stand by it 100%, no matter what. It truly is, you destroy it, you get a new one. No questions. Try that with those other overpriced knife companies. Good luck! I digress.
The Raider testing started off with the usual cutting tests, paper, cardboard, rope, plastic, clothing, meat products, veggies, pool noodles, leather items, laundry baskets and items only available to military and police. I can say that the Raider went through all these items with ease. Do to it’s size, the blade is not designed to be used as a large chopper nor axe. I did take it outside and destroyed tree limbs, plants and branches. I hacked away at larger branches bigger than 3 inches in width. The Raider was able to make work of those despite not being the knife's intended purpose. The overall geometry and feel of the knife allows it to perform exceptionally well, with a very comfortable feel in the hand without your hand becoming fatigued.
The grenade texture of the handle allowed me to hold onto the knife during all phases of testing even with my hands, not always being dry, nor without chemical residue on them.
The Raider is an amazing cutter with a very clean blade texture and edge retention. I have touched up the edge a few times to date, more than a few months of besting it up. The fasteners hold the handle firmly in place and allows you to remove them for cleaning or even more slimmed lined profile during concealed carry. You can also swap out handles from his line up from blade to blade, another great option.
The Raider fits extremely well with tip up or tip down carry. The Raider is extremely comfortable to carry all day long with the sheath design. I truly have forgotten I had it on more than one time. The blade deploys quickly and easily with a simple push of your thumb on the top of the sheath.
The balance of the Raider is right near the front of handle which allows it to flow nicely. Cutting tasks are a delight with the Raider. The blade performs exceptionally well for being 3.25 inches long. It was also easy to touch back up to elicit more cutting of things. The price point that Mr. Kell charges is another major factor in my preference for his knives. Mr. Kell could easily charge 2 to 3 times more but chooses not to. You would be hard pressed to find any another company out there willing to stay within his price range for these high quality knives. Can you find others at his price range, yes, but not with his level of quality, finish,(NIB battleworn), feel, durability and warranty. I look forward to abusing more of his knives. This is money well spent that you can feel comfortable with and know if you need to protect you, your loved ones or just cut something up, it will not fail. Thank you and happy cutting, BaGawk.