Jake Hoback, of Hoback Knives, makes some absolutely fantastic knives. These are high end, premium grade blades for EDC. These are the kind of knives you can take to hell and back. The OSF, or open source folder, is one of the most popular. The knife is a simple design, but a very effective one. The OSF Hero series is at its core an OSF knife, but they’ve been designed to honor the men and women in the military, as well as first responders. As one of two Marines who write for the Loadout Room, I was quite honored to receive the Marine variant of the OSF Hero series.
The OSF Hero has a 3.5-inch blade made from CPM-S35VN stainless steel. S35VN is a material improvement on S30. It is a steel that can get extremely sharp and the OSF Hero comes very, very sharp from the factory. This steel is also extremely corrosion resistant and very strong. It’s a thick .1875 inches. This thing looks more like a pry bar in the back than a knife. The steel is also heat treated to blend in with the handle.
The blade uses a modified sheep’s foot blade that looks a little like a Wharncliffe to me, but I’m not a knife maker. The tip is less for stabbing and combined with the generous belly of the blade you get a solid slicing and cutting blade. The unconventional tip will allow you to stab when necessary, but it’s not the most conventional stabbing tool. It’s great for working in situations where you want to avoid accidentally stabbing when cutting.
It slices through meat, paper, cordage, rope, and more with ease. It just glides through cardboard to the point where it’s almost cathartic to cut with this knife.
The OSF knives, and by extension the OSF Hero series use titanium frames and full thick handles. As you can see on the Marine variant of the OSF Hero the handles feature a worn cerakote finish of scarlet and gold, the USMC’s official colors. The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor in the middle are laser etched and incredibly detailed. It looks absolutely gorgeous.
In practical terms, the handle fills the hands and allows an excellent blade to handle ratio. The rear backspacer is large enough to allow safe and effective use of the knife but is compact so I get a nice sized handle. The handle is smooth and lacks any kind of stippling, but the large grip makes it easy to hold.
The OSF Hero – A Treasure or an EDC?
A knife like this is hard to classify. It’s made to last and to work as a tool. Without a doubt the craftsmanship and engineering put into this knife makes it one helluva great EDC knife. At the same time its tough to classify when you are looking at something dedicated to the finest fighting force in the world. The color, the laser engraving make it easy to classify this knife as a collector’s item. However, cerakote is tough and laser engraving isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The OSF Hero is a mighty fine knife. Something that walks the line between beautiful form and perfect functionality. The OSF Hero is an amazing knife and one that shows that craftsmanship is still alive in 2019.