Coast Products Rapid Response Folder Review

Coast Rapid Response FolderBecause I legally carry a handgun in my right front pants pocket when I leave the house, I naturally tote a clipped folding knife in my left pocket.  I would never, ever, ever, never place anything into the same pocket as a holstered gun, so my utility knife rides on the opposite side.  A favored blade for this purpose is my Coast Products’ Rapid Response 3.0 folder.

Spoiler alert:  I honestly did not think I would like this Rapid Response knife as much as I do.  I purchased the larger Rapid Response 3.9″ bladed folder first.  It was just a bit big for my own daily tasks.  When the smaller 3″ bladed knife arrived several weeks later, I was immediately pleased.  It had the same rugged construction of its older brother in a package more to my liking.

While the larger knife’s blade thunks open, the blade assist technology snaps the diminutive 3″ blade forward with authority.  The patented opening method utilizes a leaf spring riding on a roller bearing to effortlessly transfer energy and fling the edge open.  The dual thumb studs outpace my opposable digit during deployment.

IMG_2008 IMG_2015 IMG_2014The Rapid Responses also make use of Coast’s Max-Lock, which is a sliding switch on the left side of the frame that locks the blade either open or closed.  This is a safety system that backs up the standard liner lock in these knives, making the folder imitate a fixed blade when the lock icon is visible.

Fiberglass-filled nylon handle scales have good texture.  They are affixed over stainless steel liners, providing the knife’s strong backbone.  The Rapid Response 3.0’s handle fills the hand.  A bit of jimping at the upper rear of the blade and a slight scallop allow your thumb to choke up.  Lastly, the handle halves have posts in lieu of a backspacer.  This makes cleaning the knife easier.

A clip point blade of 5Cr15Mov stainless steel is the sharp part of this folder.  As I said, I carry this knife for utility.  Though not a premium steel, the 5Cr15Mov maintains a decent edge and is no trouble to touch up.  I cut mostly cardboard, plastics, rope, and maybe some wood.  I have had this 3.0 folder for nearly a year and it has acquitted itself well.

All the metal parts of this knife, including the reversible tip-up deep carry pocket clip, are blackened.  I do not know if it is a form of black titanium or a PVD coating, but after much daily carry, all the fittings remain subdued.  Even the blade has stayed black, although it shows some slight surface wear marks.

IMG_2012 IMG_2017 IMG_2023Back in January of this year, I had the honor of meeting and hanging out with Rapid Response designer Ron Lake at SHOT Show 2013.  Mr. Lake invented the patented blade assist technology and Max-Lock used in this collaboration.  I find these mechanical innovations a welcome surprise on a knife that retails for only $38.49.  Shhhh, (whispering) you can hunt one down for less on the web.  Thanks Coast and Mr. Lake!

The Rapid Response folders come in a bead blasted or black finish.  The bead blasted blades are plain edged and the blackened blades are part serrated.  A tanto blade profile is available for either the 3.0 or the 3.9.

I can tell when I find truly good features in a knife, as it will be found in my pants pocket more than in the knife roll.  This is certainly the case with my Rapid Response 3.0 folder.

by Wilson

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