When people think of Strider Knives, they typically think of ridiculously overbuilt, brutish cutlery. The company’s reputation is built on knives that will not let users down when they are in dire situations. Once you put a Strider knife into your hand, you will understand why that reputation exists; these blades are so solid and inspire users with a sense of confidence that few other blade makers can.
If memory serves me, Strider introduced the AR & GB series back in the mid- 1990’s. Both knives are built identically, with the only difference being their blade profiles; the AR sports a spearpoint blade while the Strider GB boasts a tanto blade.
It’s well accepted that the spearpoint blade design makes for a good slicing knife. So why bother with the tanto profile?
The tanto gives us two cutting edges, both straight. Surprisingly, I’ve discovered over the years that the tanto also does a great job in slicing chores. It also is a superb stabber. And with the Strider tanto profile, the forward tip is more obtuse, which makes for a more durable edge that is great for stabbing into things (anything, including metal), as well as prying.
Now we all know that we’re not supposed to use our knives to pry with. We also know that the world is slightly less than perfect, and we sometimes have to make due (pry) with the tools at hand. Well, it will take quite a bit of abuse to harm the tanto tip of a Strider knife.
From the factory, the tip of Strider tantos usually is not terribly sharp because it’s not meant to be. It’s for stabbing and prying. The tip of my personal knife was sharpened at a more shallow angle by the previous owner, and it is darn sharp.
Strider GB Construction
The blade of the knife is just a hair over four inches and is 3/16” thick S30V steel that was heat treated by Paul Bos, the Master of Heat Treating. It is a Full Flat Grind, which is great for slicing. The overall length of the knife is 9.5 inches with a weight of around 9 ounces. It is not a small knife, and you will know that you’re carrying a large folder in your pocket. The goal was to make a folding knife that is as strong as a fixed blade, and I’d say Strider succeeded!
This folder is a Titanium liner lock, with a very thick liner. The current lineup of AR/GB folders is in the framelock configuration. Personally, I like the old school liner lock Striders, though I’m told by friends who have them that the newer framelocks are the cat’s pajamas.
Everything about the Strider GB is massive; the standoffs that hold the frame together are huge. The pivot screw, likewise, is massive. The handle is large and the scales are made of G-10, which is flat and grooved, offering a positive grip that won’t slip from your grip.
To help with grip, there is jimping on the back of the handle as well as the spine of the blade. It is also on the butt of the handle should you use the knife in a reverse (ice pick) grip. A large choil is also incorporated so that the user can choke up on the blade for more control. My hands are on the smaller side, and although the handle is large (it will appear to those whose hands resemble bear paws), I have no trouble gripping the handle comfortably.
There is a titanium pocket clip that is reversible for either side and carries the knife tip up in the pocket.
The method of opening is via thumb studs that are on both sides of the blade and which work very efficiently. The action of the Strider GB blade is buttery smooth and it locks open with a satisfying “Thwack”!
It’s Got a Good Reputation
The GB is popular with people in law enforcement and the rescue field because of its durability and ability to be used in prying as well as slicing.
This isn’t the sort of knife I normally reach for if I’m opening a letter or a small package; it is meant for serious cutting tasks and jobs for where things need to be destroyed. Words that do not come to mind here are “subtlety” or “delicate.” It is a beast, pure and simple (which is how it was designed, as we mentioned).
When I carry the Strider GB, I always carry a smaller folder in case I need to perform a smaller, more precise cutting task. If I needed to pry open a door or window, and I didn’t have a proper tool for the task, I’d reach for my GB without hesitation, which explains its appeal to the law enforcement and emergency services community.
When I pick this knife up, it just makes me smile. I love the overbuilt, massive feeling that it conveys.
If you’re in the market for an overbuilt tactical knife that won’t let you down during the Moment of Truth, check out Strider Knives, Inc. Their folders are second to none.
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