If you’re lucky enough to own one of the original Lone Wolf knives, like the Lone Wolf Paul Perfecto or the Lone Wolf Harsey T1 Tactical, maybe you should lock it in a vault somewhere. Lone Wolf’s concept of world-class design combined with small production runs of semi-custom folders and fixed blades targeted the collector as well as the user. A recent change in ownership shifted the focus towards knives for the outdoorsman — less artistic and more profitable.
In November 2001 several former employees of Gerber Legendary Blades formed a new company dedicated to precision manufacturing and perfect knife design. Jim Wehrs, the founder and owner of Lone Wolf Knives, had begun a lifelong fascination with blades as a boy with a pocket knife, and eventually became President of Gerber. After 13 years as President, Wehrs entered the semi-custom knife business. His intention was to blend modern technology with old-world craftsmanship, creating knives that combined beauty and function. To accomplish that, Wehrs partnered with two major knife designers — Paul W. Poehlmann and William W. Harsey. Poehlmann designed precisely built gentleman’s knives, and had patented one of the first one-handed opening systems. Harsey specialized in tactical knives, having designed the Yarborough knife issued to graduates of the U.S. Army’s Green Beret course. Lone Wolf’s production facilities in Wilsonville, Oregon, turned their best concepts into new products, using high grades of modern steel and fine natural handle materials. In October of 2010, Benchmade Knife Company acquired Lone Wolf Knives and replaced the unique Lone Wolf lineup with simplified folders and fixed blades.
Look for the original product line as well as the new offerings from Benchmade. You may still find the Paul Perfecto, Presto, Prankster or Executive for sale. Other knives from the old Lone Wolf include the U.S. 45 folder, built with a handle that mimics the familiar grip of the Colt .45 pistol; and the Harsey D2 Double-Action Automatic knife meant for military users. In the new series promoted by Benchmade you’ll choose from skinning, hunting and caping blades along with fixed and folding builds. The knives are good but the design is less than you’d expect from the old Lone Wolf.