A.G. Russell’s Wharncliffe Lockback

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Russell Knives

The Wharncliffe Lockback, decked out in brown Jigged Bone scales, is built like a tank but has Rolls-Royce good looks.

When A.G. Russell passed away in October 2018, the cutlery world lost a true icon. Founder of A.G. Russell Knives, Russell was best known for being an entrepreneur and a pioneer in mail-order knife sales. A.G. was also a cutlery historian in both custom and factory knives.

Often overlooked, however, was his keen insight into knife design and many of his creations ended up in his catalog — as well as his Rogers, AR retail stores. The A.G. Russell Wharncliffe Lockback was one of his last — and one of his finest — creations.

Russell Knives

The robust 1/8" backspring locks the Wharncliffe blade up tighter than a drum.

Old School Updated

If you’re one of those users who still prefer a traditional pocketknife as an EDC, the Wharncliffe Lockback is sure to delight your heart. It’s a folder of an old pattern, resembling the old Coles Whittler-style in a single-blade, Jack-style configuration. The handle has been thoroughly modernized and fitted with a stout lockback mechanism to keep the blade secure.

Russell had a tendency to “overbuild” his traditional folders and this one is no exception. The Wharncliffe Lockback’s 3.15" 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade (sporting a long nail nick) is strong and locks up like a bear trap via a 1/8" thick backspring. The 3.85" handle has brushed 440 stainless steel bolsters and a “badge” shield gracing brown Jigged Bone scales. (India Stag, White Bone, and Black G10 covers are also available.)

Why You’ll Like It

The A.G. Russell Wharnecliffe Lockback, with its overbuilt construction, is a workhorse dressed to the nines. The Wharncliffe blade pattern is considered the best of the bunch for all-around utility — and is surprisingly effective for self-defense. This blade will carve wood, strip wire, slice through packing tape, cut shipping straps, and take on a multitude of tasks. This 3.2 oz. folder is no dainty gent’s knife — it just looks as handsome as one. MSRP as shown is $79.95, a very reasonable price for this wolf in sheep’s clothing.


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