The Smith & Wesson Hawkbill rigger is differnet than most other currently produced riggers. The most dramatic difference is the conspicuous use of hawkbill blade rather than a coping or sheepfoot blade. While pruners have often gone to sea, the use of a hawkbill blade on a marlins spike knife is rare. Persons familiar with S&W pruner will quickly realize all they did was modify the frame slightly and add a marlinspike.
Two nice features( at least at first glance) is that the hawkbill and marlin spike both lock in the open position. Howver, these features have design flaws which some users may find annoying..The bail's lock position for the marlin spike is shown in the image below and at the top of the page. As you may well imagine this puts it in the way of operationg the marlin spike. To complicate the matter even more; the width and shape of the hawkbill blade also makes it difficult to use the marlin spike. I assume you can get used to it, but I think most people will flip the bail up out of the way when they use the spike rendering the locking feature useless. Even then the huge hawkbill blade makes it difficult to use the spike.
The hawkbill blade is not as sharp right out of the box as I had hoped. As you can imagine, the curved blade is also more difficult to sharpen than a straight sheepfoot. Still the blade is a good length and there are numerous advantages that come with a hawkbill blade, for one the curve manages to grab rope more easily and depsite being slightly duller it is going to ge the job done fairly quickly. If you're a fan of hawkbills, you'll probably like this blade more than a sheepfoot. The liner lock is looks somewhat weak, however it has been holding up, so far. On the bright side, if the liner-lock fails, the blade is held open and closed with a very strong slip-joint spring, meaning it will still funtion fine as non-locking pocket knife. On the negative side that back springs means both blade and spike require two hands for operation.
A final problem, at least for me, is how thin this knife is. While the slender build makes it ideal for back pocket carry, the stainless steel scales and the slender design makes it somewhat uncomfortable to grip tightly for a long period of time, especially bare handed.
Despite the short comings, the knife is inexpensive, well finished, and construction if sturdy. If you want prefer a hawkbill, it is the only game in town, at least with a marlin spike.
Bail in marlin spike locking position
Pattern: CKMAR, Hawkbill Marlinspike