In the past, Portland, Oregon’s Coast Products was best known in the Northwest as the source of all the glass front knife displays once found in local hardware stores across the region. A couple of decades ago the company started expanding from a local to a national wholesaler of cutlery.
In the last few years they have moved beyond offering other cutlery company’s lines into designing and importing their own private brands of knives. The big news this year was the introduction of the “Rapid Response” line of tactical folders. Given that everybody has an assisted opener in their catalog these days, it takes something special to impress me, but Coast has managed.
To start with, both the S.A.T. (Smooth Assist Technology) assisted-opening mechanism and the “Maxi-Lock” blade-locking system were designed by legendary custom knifemaker Ron Lake. The blades on S.A.T system knives have a roller bearing mounted into the blade that contacts the assisting spring. When the spring moves the blade out of the handle it rides on this roller bearing, greatly reducing the amount force required to open the knife. Unlike many other assisted openers, the mechanism also offers open-frame construction that allows debris to be easily cleaned out of the knife.