Knife review: A54 by A. Wright & Son

With a pocket knife and a pen in your pockets, you are ready to start the day

With a pocket knife and a pen in your pockets, you are ready to start the day - Credit: Archant

A traditional knife with a lot to offer, says Phill Price

I was once approached by a gentleman of a certain age, who, like me, values a good knife and puts them to hard work every day. What upset him was that I mostly write about more modern designs, featuring stainless steel blades and synthetic handles, and locking designs that protect my delicate little fingers.

All his life he’s used English-made, non-locking folders with carbon blades, and needed me to know that they were everything a countryman could ever need.

So, with this gentleman in mind, I contacted Sporting Cutlery, who suggested that I take a look at just such a knife made by A Wright & Son in Sheffield.

I had to confess I had no idea you could buy an English-made knife these days, other than from top-end specialists. I was even more surprised to learn that it cost not much more than £30.

The carbon steel, spear-point blade lives between brass plates, topped with buffalo horn scales and uses a friction lock, making it legal to carry. If there’s a more traditional ‘gentleman’s daily carry’ than this, I can’t think of it.

Easy carry

Being so slim, it’s comfortably carried in your trouser pocket, although I’d worry about coins damaging the lovely finish on the buffalo horn scales. If you used it to open a box or peel an apple, I don’t think anybody would give you a second look. It’s not a threatening thing at all.

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What it needs is respect and TLC. Being a carbon steel blade, it’s easy to sharpen and hold a good edge, but will corrode if left wet. If, for example, you used to gut rabbits, it would need a good wipe down there and then, plus a good wash and drying when you got home.

The brass plates and buffalo horn need care too, but I don’t see this as a rough and tumble field tool. This, for me, is the simple knife that lives in your pocket for all those little daily jobs, like cutting string, opening boxes and splitting feed sacks. These are generally clean, dry jobs, so damage and corrosion aren’t such big concerns.

Knowing this fine knife is made in England gives it a real pleasure of ownership, and its compact dimensions and non-locking build mean it can be safely carried with you all day, as long as you’re sensible. It’s a lovely thing and reminds me of the knives I had as a kid.

RRP: £31.96

Model: A54


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