There are a variety reasons for choosing a folding blade knife for everyday carry. You may want something smaller or more manageable. Perhaps you don’t need a whole lot of blade to do your job. The Hogue EX-02 straddles the line between folding blade and fixed blade due to its size. The blade is 3.5 inches long which isn’t abnormal, but it has width and thickness. It was built to do a lot of work and get most jobs that you need done, done.
When I opened the package my first words were “that’s a big f*cking folding knife“, and indeed the width is the first thing you notice about it. The width as its thickest point measures at about 1.3 inches. Add to that the blade thickness of .15 inches and you have yourself a fairly hefty folding blade. The blade is made of 154CM which works well for this knife. Many would argue that S30V would have been a better choice, however I would counter that 154CM has many of the characteristics of S30V while being slightly easier to sharpen. On a knife being used constantly, this is something I’m always looking at. Further while 154CM doesn’t hold an edge quite as well, it’s holds an edge better than 1095 which I’ve had no problems with. In short – the steel is good to go.
The handle is thick and constructed of the ubiquitous G10 which I’ve always been a fan of as it performs well in all environments that I’ve used it in up to this point. The clip on the knife is heavy-duty, long and the screws have lots of room to screw in and bite into the metal. I’m my time using the knife so far, I’ve seen no evidence that the screws will be backing out anytime soon. On the same side of the retention clip is a simple blade lock. Once the blade is opened the lock can be clicked up and it will prevent the blade from collapsing accidentally. A good feature for a heavy-duty use blade.
Finally the blade has a generous thumb assist to help open the blade, once opened, the blade features a deep choil prior to the start of the blade to ensure that your hand will not slip down onto the blade in slick environments or when performing hard work.
What it comes down to is that this is a folding blade knife designed for heavy work. It performs this work well and the mechanisms and steel used are strong. Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get a good product, you simply have to put good engineering and materials together. The Hogue EX-02 is a fantastic knife from my time using it thus far, and it will likely serve you for a very long time.