If there was one knife at the SHOT Show 2013 that I could have bought outright, it would have been Coast Product’s FX350 folding knife. I asked…they said they could not, would not, should not sell me the prototype in my very hands. Oh, despair, curse my wretched lot in life!
Coast Products is expanding its line of knives. Knife and Tools Catagory Manager and designer Doug Hutchens toured me through a display case full of offerings, giving me his thoughts about each one and showing off their special features.
Still, I kept coming back to that FX350. It had a leaf-shaped blade. Maybe that was it. In my Asian heritage, the leaf profile has both strong utilitarian and combative connotations. Coast’s flat ground 9Cr17MoV blade was 3.5” in length and coated in a beautiful smooth gray Titanium-Nitride. The 9Cr17MoV blade steel is an upgrade from the 5Cr15MoV used in the Coast Rapid Response folder, which has been a great everyday carry for me.
I may have been drawn to the earthy brown CNC contoured-machined G10 handle scale on its stainless steel frame. The texturing of the scale, the deep jimping on the fore and aft of the handle, and the overall shape of the knife’s grip guaranteed a sure hold.
The frame lock thunked home solidly when the blade was swung open via the dual thumb studs. I smiled. Twisting my hand on the knife would not cause the frame lock to budge. A deep carry pocket clip moved to the tip-up or tip-down position for right side use. FX350 had a sturdy feel. Its weight is 5.1 ounces.
Drama aside, I was really drawn the look and feel of the FX350. The whole design was just pleasing to the eye and to the hand. The Ti-Ni not only coated the blade, but the 420J liners and pocket clip. Mr. Hutchens said the MSRP would be only $36.00. I can envision Coast Products FX350 as a rugged EDC knife for utility chores, or as a defensive companion. Either way, it will surely get the job done with stylish looks.