A.G. Russel ‘Texas Ranger Commemorative’ Knife: Made In China?

A.G. Russell™ 2013 Texas Ranger®

A.G. Russell is a classy knifemaker, and this 2013 Texas Ranger limited edition looks like a nifty knife. It’s got all-stainless bolsters and liners, ebony Rucarta scales, and a 3.75″ 8Cr13MoV blade. So far, so good. Right?

Not quite. It’s Chinese, and it will set you back a cool C-note.

To put this simply, Texas Rangers + ‘Limited Edition’ + China + $100 = Does Not Compute.

Don’t get me wrong: I own several Chinese-made knives, and most of them have given me nothing to complain about when it comes to ruggedness or blade quality. My Big 5-exclusive Kershaw Beacon is still sharp and serviceable after several years, although the pivot screw does need a bit of tightening every few months. For a $20 knife it’s been exceptionally good.

But a $20 Kershaw from Big 5 doesn’t have any pretensions; it doesn’t style itself a Tier One-spec combat knife, and it doesn’t call itself a collectible. This knife tries, at least, to be a collectible. Is it? Should it be?

Scarcity, by itself, doesn’t make something more valuable. And A.G. Russell didn’t limit the run because they needed their experienced American craftsmen working on something else; they just told their Chinese factory to number each knife and stop the moment they hit four digits.

Nice knife; wrong idea.

comments

  1. B says:

    Reminds me of those Texas Ranger edition Derringers made by inmates that cost $900 for some reason.

  2. Matt in FL says:

    “A.G. Russell didn’t limit the run because they needed their experienced American craftsmen working on something else; they just told their Chinese factory to number each knife and stop the moment they hit four digits.”

    I really like this sentence. Well done.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      Much obliged!

  3. Daniel says:

    I believe -don’t quote me on this- most, if not all 8Cr13MoV blades are made in China/Taiwan. It’s basically an economical version of AUS-8. While this specific knife doesnt really interest me, $100 isn’t very steep for a limited edition knife. It seems to be a run-of-the-mill commemorative item for someone who insn’t too picky about their choice of knives.

    1. Nathan says:

      I prefer 8Cr13MoV to AUS-8 because I can get it sharper. They stay sharp about the same length for me

  4. Chris Dumm says:

    I’ve never had a bad experience with 8Cr13MoV, and I consider it a perfectly good steel. All my 8Cr13MoV knives were $30 or less.

    A $100 knife should either be really big and fancy, or made in the USA, or made with some fancy materials. This knife strikes me as none of the above and as such seems overpriced.

  5. duroSIG556R says:

    A.G Russel brand specific knives can sometimes really get up there in cost. This being an example.

    But seriously, 8cr13mov, 100 dollars?? Not a lot of value.

  6. Duncan Idaho says:

    After owning a Mora, I’m pretty skeptical of anything that doesn’t say “MADE IN SWEDEN” on the blade.

    If price was directly proportional to quality in the Mora line, I wonder what a 100$ Morakniv would do.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      It would shave aluminum and brass into foil, and chisel granite without dulling. And never rust or chip.

  7. PubliusII says:

    I can’t speak to the appropriateness of using a Chinese factory to make a knife commemorating an American institution, but it looks odd to say the least.

    On the other hand, while there are a great many flashy, junky Chinese knives — see any shop in your local Chinatown — they are by no means all crap. Two brands I have bought and used (Sanrenmu and Navy/Bee/Enlan) are well made and certainly give good value for the money.

    I also find they have some appealing designs. For example, Buck’s Colleague (325) and Scholar (326) models are actually Sanrenmu designs, made by Sanrenmu and rebadged as Buck.

    A few interesting models:
    Sanrenmu: 702/1602 (702 has a pocket clip; 1602 doesn’t); 710; 738; 603
    Bee: L04 (green pakkawood scales); L05-1
    Navy: K-611

    Sanrenmu has its own website and the knives are widely available via ebay; ebay’s the best place to look for Navy, Bee, or Enlan.

  8. Charles L Bloss Jr says:

    A.G. has made a different Texas Ranger knife for a few years. Each year the run is limited to 1,000 knives. I have not been able to look at any before 2012, but the latest knife called “King of the Woods” is the best I have seen so far. It is the 2014 model.

    1. Very Funny, Chris has never seen or handled one of these knives or he would not have talked about serial numbers. I serialized the first knife, the Kentucky Rifle in 11970, but none of the Texas Ranger series have had serial numbers.

      Anyone who looks at knives fairly will know that you can buy all the quality in China that you are willing to pay for.

      Chris should look at an A. G. Russell Knife made in China before he talks about them.

      all the best,

      A. G.

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A.G. Russel ‘Texas Ranger Commemorative’ Knife: Made In China?

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