In the spirit of full disclosure, I must begin this article by establishing that I have believed for a long time that RJ Martin is one of the top tactical knife designers in the world and has been for many years. RJ, who in a past life was a materials engineer, deeply understands edge geometry, handle comfort and how a tactical knife should be designed to hold up to hard use. In short, he gets it. Kershaw Knives also gets it. Over the last decade they have joined the ranks of premier tactical knife makers with a relentless quest for great design, overall build quality and the ability to take on new and fresh concepts.
The Rogue automatic knife design with Kershaw is a great example of Martin’s knife design artistry and Kershaw’s own highly evolved manufacturing skill. From the anodized aluminum handle to the racy recurved blade, this is one hard-use auto that easily held up to the toughest tests.
RJ Martin has been engineering some amazing products for years. He was the lead designer for several helicopter projects for Sikorsky during his 17-year tenure there prior to retiring to full-time knifemaking in 2001. Compared to helicopters, knives are pretty simple fare, but it still takes an artist’s touch to design one that is functional and attractive. RJ has that flair. The Kershaw Rogue has some very nice qualities: anodized aluminum handle with “grip tape” anti-skid inserts, a reversible, low-profile pocket clip and a safety. This knife, however, is all about the blade. The blade is sublime—effective and racy with a pronounced slice-enhancing recurve.