The Al Mar Engraved Hawk with Cocobolo wood handles presents a new version of the very old Barlow design. Folding knives with tear drop handles and wide bolsters originated in Sheffield, England, in the 1600’s. Popular in America since the revolution, the usual company trademark is blade style. Al Mar chooses one that perfectly matches the curve of the handle — the arc of the lockback extends through the tip of the spear point blade. The look is very balanced and efficient.
The Hawk, a mid-sized folder with a closed length of 3-1/4 inches, is big enough to be a practical pocket knife. The 2.5-inch blade balances well with the handle, long enough to be functional and strong enough for leverage. Al Mar describes the flat ground blade of AUS 8 high carbon stainless steel as rust resistant — the slight reduction in corrosion resistance means an increased ability to hold a good edge. Since the Hawk is sharpened with a simple double bevel at the factory, many owners will immediately want to improve on that. Be careful when sharpening if you intend to retain the logo unscathed.
This beautiful and well-made knife sports complex engraving on the stainless steel bolster, in contrast with the plain riveted cocobolo hardwood handle slabs. Heavy use could damage the engraving, but a scratch here and there won’t damage anything truly important. A small but handy practical touch is the lanyard hole — pass a wrist loop through it if you plan to take the Hawk fishing.
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