Reinventing Tradition: Finch Knives Adds Juice to Classic Folder Patterns


The old saying “There’s nothing new under the sun” suggests everything we call the latest and greatest is derivative of a forebearer in new trappings. Finch Knife Company takes no exception to this thought — rather, they have embraced it by taking classic folding-knife patterns and modernizing them to the hilt. The brainchild of Spencer Marquardt and Steve Laughlin, the company is located in Stilwell, Kansas — about as far from the high-tech hotbeds of America — this budding company has set the pocketknife world on fire. On Finch’s invigorated patterns, you’ll find modern features such as flipper opening mechanisms, liner and frame locks and blades that roll out on bearings smooth as butter on glass.

Red Hot Sodbuster

The Chernobyl Ant is Finch’s tribute to one of the oldest working knives in the pocketknife stable — the Sodbuster. At 7″ overall with a 4″ handle, this folder is a good size for an EDC that won’t make you miss your tactical carry. The Ant’s 3″ blade is a deep-bellied drop point of Swedish-made 14C28N stainless steel manufactured by Sandvik, one of Europe’s premier steel makers. Rather than using nail nicks in the blade for opening, Finch puts flippers on all their knives — a modern touch popular on many tacticals. The flick of a Finch flipper reveals a key reason for the company’s popularity — their actions are mind-bogglingly slick and smooth. A stainless-steel liner lock secures the blade and thumbs out of the way for deployment.

The Ant’s handle is a comfortable “just right” 4″ in length. Finch typically offers three options for handle scales. Our version is traditional red jigged bone, nicely done in a tight pattern. A Finch Knives trademark escutcheon tops the front scale. For carry, there’s another modern touch in the form of a tip-up pocket clip, removable if you want to carry it loose on the pocket — old style.

Chernobyl Ant

Finch Knives escutcheon

Gunner’s Delight

The Gunstock pattern is a favorite of old firearms enthusiasts and Finch has taken this revered design and upped its caliber with modern features. Dubbed the Hatfield, the profile has the familiar rifle stock profile as the original pattern from decades ago, but with the super cool elements Finch loves to exploit. At 3.5″ closed, the Hatfield is very pocket-able, but there’s a pocket clip out back should you choose to keep it at the ready. Our model is showing Bocote Wood scales, an homage to rifle stocks of old, but in true Finch fashion, there are more modern options.

The ever-present Finch flipper is there to roll out the Hatfield’s 2.75″ 154CM stainless steel clip-point blade. A classic long-pull nail nick has been added should you prefer to access the blade forerunner style. Two other features — a bird’s-eye pivot and a stainless bolster at the base — hearken back to yesteryear as well. For serious firearm aficionados, the Hatfield is sure to be a hit around the range or gun shop. Just be sure it doesn’t end up in another pocket than your own.


The Modern Hunter

The Finch Model 1934 is an updated send-up of the legendary Folding Hunter pattern. Like the Chernobyl Ant, this model has a 4″ handle and 3″ blade. Finch chose 154CM stainless for the cutting chores, a steel found on upscale tactical knives over the years and still favored by many knifemakers and manufacturers today. The Model 1934’s blade — which rolls out via the company’s slick flipper — is a deep Clip Point style that serves well for utility and protection. Blade lock-up and deployment are handled by a beefy frame lock on the backside of the handle.

The Model 1934 featured here has stainless steel bolsters and dark tan jigged bone scales. A stainless tip-up pocket clip is located on the backside of the handle, removable for loose pocket carry. As usual, Finch offers scale options for their upscale mud bug. If you like your pocketknife to go the extra mile farther than the standard fare, the Model 1934’s added half-inch offers you more chore options with only a smidgeon of extra weight.

Hatfield Bocote

Pint-Sized Powerhouse

The Lucky 13, also referred to as the VooDoo — is one of the company’s early releases and remains a popular choice for Finch fans. At 3.5″ closed, this knife is sized more like a gent’s folder, but don’t tell the VooDoo’s beefy 2.4″ hard-working Wharncliffe blade that. Here again, Finch chose 154CM stainless steel to do the slicing and dicing and once again, a flipper offers opening in a snap. That said, the blade has an old-timer nail nick as a deployment option.

Shown here is the VooDoo decked out in smooth white bone scales accompanied by stainless steel bolsters. Out back is a rock-solid frame lock with a stainless pocket clip for high pocket carry. Pint-size powerhouses like the VooDoo are often called “runts” in the tactical folder world, and this Finch offering can bestow unto you the same hard-nosed utility in spades.

Chernobyl Ant Pocket Clip

Returning The Favor

The Reciprocity is the most modern looking in the Finch aviary, resembling the early tactical folders of the 1990s when the genre was getting its sea legs. This is one of the company’s larger 4″ offerings. The Wharncliffe was rediscovered back then as a very capable blade for both hard use or combat and still finds its way on many tactical knives today. The Reciprocity’s version is 3″ of 154CM stainless steel with a flipper or long-pull nail nick option. The blade rolls out slick ’n smooth and locks up vault solid thanks to its sturdy frame lock on the backside of the frame.

The Reciprocity exhibits further resemblance to those early neo-modern tacticals through the use of carbon fiber scales and a beefy top bolster for added strength, and — of course — there’s a pocket clip for quick access. There’s nostalgia to be had in the Reciprocity — with all the goodies of modern tactical fare.

It’s hard to find a new niche in today’s crowded folder market, but Finch Knives has done just that — not only making throwback knives fun and interesting again, but doing them with quality and hardworking attributes.

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