The Paul Defender from Lone Wolf Knives won Blade Magazine’s 2009 award for Overall Knife of the Year. Termed the Gentleman’s Tactical Folder by the manufacturer, the Defender is a collaboration between Lone Wolf’s designers and Paul Poehlmann, inventor of the Paul Axiel lock.
What you’ll notice first is the beautiful Lone Wolf design expressed in cocobolo wood handle slabs and a tapered dagger blade of 154CM high carbon stainless steel. Lone Wolf knives have a distinctive look based on frontier concepts as much as function. Even though the Paul Defender does resemble the Applegate-Fairbairn fighting knife in silhouette, this is a much sleeker version of the tactical dagger with perks WWII’s commando experts never imagined.
Internally, the Paul Defender utilizes one of the strongest blade locks available — the Paul Axiel lock — for safe use and safe pocket storage. The single-edged and flat ground 3.9-inch blade locks in both open and closed positions automatically and opens with true one-handed simplicity. There’s no double-action required — no lock to unlock before you swing the blade out with your thumb. In fact, unless you see it done, you may not stumble onto the trick. There’s no thumb stud and no thumbnail notch — not even a thumb loop to spoil the appearance of the blade.
The lock button located on the pivot bearing frees the mechanism. Grip the pivot bearing of the knife blade with finger and thumb, and point the handle upward. Squeezing this axial button holds the blade steady while the handle swings free and falls back to the palm. Fully opened, the blade locks until the axial button is pressed again.
The Paul Defender may be rigged for either left or right hand use by removing clip and cocobolo handle slabs and reversing the grip layout. Precision screws make the operation simple, but you’ll need a special screwdriver to fit. The Defender also comes in other versions with handle slabs of G-10 or black carbon fiber. Prices vary with material types.