Ontario Knives And Robert Carter Spells ‘Home Run’
By Pat Covert
Ontario’s Robert Carter 2quared is overbuilt to tackle heavy chores. Its modified Sheepsfoot blade is
made of D2 tool steel. The backside of the handle sports an Integral Lock blade securing mechanism
and machined titanium pocket clip.
For years Ontario Knives was known for classic military and rugged outdoor fixed-blades. They dabbled in tactical folders but didn’t strike gold until they brought custom knifemaker Robert Carter on board. Robert is the grandson of Mel Pardue — one of the craftsmen who were in on the ground floor of the modern tactical knife revolution, beginning in the early 1990s. Who better to learn from?
Carter’s 2quared tactical folder collaboration with Ontario is indicative of how far the company has come in the past two years. Robert’s first effort with the company was his Carter Prime design — an instant hit among knife users due to its sturdy build, excellent material make-up, and affordable price tag. The new 2quared model continues this trend in spades. With a handle shape not unlike that of the Grim Reaper’s extended index finger, the 2quared starts off aggressive right out of the gate. To add to its ornery charm, the large 4.875″ handle is made of titanium with thick frame slabs that smack of “overbuilt” — a Carter trademark. The overall sculpting of the frame is nicely done and sports a subtle bead-blasted finish. The robust folder features an Integral Lock blade securing mechanism along with a fully machined pocket clip — features both found on today’s better-made offerings.
Then 2quared’s wicked, deep-ground modified Sheepsfoot blade looks as if it’s seeking out its next Christmas ham. It’s 3.625″ in length and made of D2 tool steel — often referred to as “semi-stainless” due to its high chromium content which helps prevent corrosion. To further aid the cause, the 0.200″ thick blade has a black stonewashed finish and rolls out via a flipper located at the back of the handle.
This is no “gentleman’s folder.” At 8.5″ overall, the 2quared is for those who like a hefty folding knife that makes no bones about its presence. The large handle and thick frame slabs will accommodate ample-sized meat hooks yet, despite its size, the 2quared weighs in at a very manageable 6.2 oz. — a full ounce less than your old Buck 110 — thanks to the weight savings from the titanium frame.
The Sheepsfoot blade is traditionally known as one of the best “hard working” styles, and in modern tactical times has been found to be a very efficient combat blade. The blade’s deep hollow grind adds an extra dollop of slice-ability to the equation. What you end up with is a multi-purpose blade that will not only handle heavy daily chores, but will get you out of trouble in a less-than-desirable situation.
Perhaps the best reason you’ll like 2quared is its price. Suggested retail is $199.95 — very reasonable and somewhat rare in a knife of this size exhibiting excellent materials, loads of features and superb fit and finish. Ontario has basically taken Carter’s custom tactical folder and made it affordable for the masses without sacrificing its attributes. Two of the trickiest aspects a manufacturer faces in teaming up with a knifemaker for a collaboration is choosing the right design and following through with an end product customers will buy in droves. Ontario has succeeded on both fronts with the too-cool Carter 2quared.
Ontario Knife Co.
Ph. (800) 222-5233
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