Arrived for Testing: First Edge HR-1 Fighting Knife

Self-defense knives

The First Edge HR1 is an example of a “Self-Defense First” oriented blade

I want to start by thanking David Andersen, Dan Zimmerman, Todd Hunt, and David W. for holding down the fort while I was out west fishing and visiting TOPS and ESEE. I will be writing about the trip in the coming days, in the mean time check out our Instagram (@knifetruth) to see a sample of what I experienced (both fish and knives). Upon my return last night, I found a package from First Edge USA, containing their new HR-1 Fighting & Backup Knife. (and training-knife)

It is the brainchild of martial artist Ryan Hoover, who just happens to be a friend and training partner of the owner of the Krav Maga studio where I take classes – Terry Bullman ( Both are 2nd Degree Krav Maga Black Belts, and with Terry’s help, I will be testing the HR-1 as I learn from an expert the best way to deploy the knife in my own self-defense strategy.

The HR-1 is made from Elmax steel, same as the 5050 Survival Knife I reviewed, and the 5150 Field knife reviewed by David). It has a retention ring more typically found in a karambit, but instead of a hawkbill-blade, it is a tanto. Not only is a tanto blade regarded as a legitimate self-defense shape, it is more practical for EDC use than the former. Thus, I will put the HR-1 through our typical battery of tests as well.

Ryan Hoover poses with the HR-1 at BLADE Show

I have carried the HR-1 all day today, and I have been practicing a left hand draw constantly. I have noticed that I am getting both smoother and faster already. The sheath has a fixed tab that ensures it stays put on your belt or IWB. The handle protrudes more than my Kim Breed when worn IWB, and is a touch irritating against my bare skin. I have a feeling that I will get used to this with time. Frankly, since there is no prohibition in Tennessee against wearing a fixed blade, there is no reason why I couldn’t have it outside my shirt if it became a problem. I did find it more comfortable worn between my shorts and belt, and is just as concealable under an untucked t-shirt. Or I could add a bead-chain and wear it as a neck knife if I were so inclined.

As the video above shows, the knife is meant to compliment the deploying of a firearm. It is comfortable to hold alongside my Kimber 1911 or Glock 17 in this manner.

I look forward to testing this knife, not only for the novelty of testing such a defensive-oriented knife, but also because I will be learning a new set of skills from Terry. It will be interesting to integrate video footage of said training into my review.

Stay tuned folks. This one is going to be fun knife to review.

Be sure to check out @knifetruth on Instagram for pictures of my TOPS and ESEE visits, as well as some trout-porn like this toad of a brownie from the Madison River.


A reader pointed out that the picture of the actual knife and trainer at the top of the post is not visible to those who are looking at the “mobile” version on their phone. So here it is again for those who are doing so:



  1. cmeat says:

    sushi grade.
    one of the most iridescently beautiful shore lunches.

  2. Killjoy says:

    Prices (even an estimate ).
    Sheath construction?
    Carry options?
    I have been looking for something like this. I wonder what a handle wrap look like?

  3. diver says:

    Looks like these guys just copied the Extrema Ratio NK3K

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Arrived for Testing: First Edge HR-1 Fighting Knife

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