Gordon Rigging Knife


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The Gordon Rigging Knife sells for around $5-$10 and is probably the least expensive of all riggers on the market today. Despite being dirt cheap, it isn’t too bad a knife. It is designed to be one of those knives that people are going to buy to abuse and throw away. While it wouldn’t be my first choice to be stuck on raft in the middle of the ocean with, I would trust it to take care of heavy chores where I’d rather ruin a $5 knife than risk screwing up my $50 knife. The knife is based on the current UK MoD NATO clasp knife (VN21307).  Gordon has simply replaced the can opener with a shackle key and given the main sheepfoot blade a slightly different profile.

The main problem with the knife is the point on the marlin spike You’re going to want to hit the tip with a wet stone for a few minutes if you plan on using it to punch holes or even loosen knots. Once this problem is resolved, you'll find the marlin spike pretty useful. It snaps to the half stop and full open position reasonably well and is easy to use.

The serrated sheepfoot blade is going to get the job done but once it gets dull, because the knife is so inexpensive, I’m just going to give it a few passes on a medium grit wet stone and re-profile the serrated edge to more simple straight edge. The blade opens and closes smoothly and has a nail groove on the reverse side to make it easier to open. The groove really isn't necessary as there is enough blade exposed for easy opening without it; still it is a nice touch.

The shackle key is wide enough to be practical and works fine as a bottle opener if you know how to use it. It also opens and closes smoothly and with a good snap.

The flat head screw driver is what you would expect. You don't get any reach on the blade, however because it is integrated into the handle, you're not going to loosen the front pins much when applying torque to a screw. It makes for a nice feature. There is a reason it has been on British Pattern Riggers for over 80 years. It works!

The overall fit and finish of the knife is remarkably good and the satin finish is a nice touch, especially considering the very low price. The Gordon is one of those knives that you’re going to like simply because it was there and got the job done. You’ll probably have more respect for the knife after you’ve abused it for a year and then have fond memories of it once it gives up the ghost.

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gordon3 Pattern: 97222 Rigger’s Knife
Origin: New Style British Military Pattern
Manufacturer: Gordon
Country: China
Closed Length: 3 ¾ inches
Blades: 4
       1) Sheepfoot - 2  3/8 inch
       2) Marlin Spike -  2 1/2  inch
       3) Shackle Key - 1 ¾ inch
       4) integrated screwdriver
Blade Steel: Stainless Steel (440 or equivalent)
Handle: Stainless steel
Shield: none,
Pins: Stainless steel
Liners: Stainless steel
Bail: Stainless Steel
Bolsters: None