Review: Randall Model 1 Fighter

The legend surrounding Randall Knives is heady and well worth study. I am by no means an expert on Randall knives but I know something about quality. Quality doesn’t come cheap. There are a number of makers making very good knives based on the Randall design.

Then there is the real thing.

For some reason folks buy Randall knives and don’t use them but break them out occasionally to admire the fit and finish. That isn’t my idea of enjoying an exceptional knife, but to each their own. I don’t spend five to six hundred dollars on a tool not to use it! The original Randall knife designed by Bo Randall is the Model 1 Fighter. This knife was produced in the Randall Shop in Orlando Florida. The shop is still owned by the family. The Model 1 Fighter features a 7 inch blade and brass hilt. 

The Randall Model 1 weighs 9.2 ounces, depending on handle material, and is right at 12 inches long. My six inch blade version is shorter. The supplied leather sheath is also handmade in the United States of America.

The Randall- let me get in this early- is currently on a five year back order. There are shops and businesses who order quantities of the knives on a regular basis and these Randall knives set you back what I feel is a reasonable premium to get the knife right now. If you are young- I am not- five years may fly by. There are Randall knives for sale with many options. I like Stag handled Randall knives. Any other grip material is still a Randall. The blade on my knife is tool steel. If you are genuine active duty military Randall has a process that shortens the wait to a few months. Have deployment papers and Army ID ready. 

I like both the Model 1 and the Model 14 but there are reasons I prefer the Model 1. The Model 1 features a top choil which makes for better stabilization when you are using the knife as intended, as a fighting knife. The Model 1 features a slight arch in the grip I find comfortable- or maybe comforting. The Model 1 simply feels lively in the hand as Bo Randall intended. The difference is slight and if you find a Model 14 at a good price then you should grab it! Literally and figuratively- but if you have a choice then think hard about the decision.  I think perhaps the reach of the seven inch blade may be superior as a fighting knife. For me the knife accompanies me on the trail often. Knives make poor crowbars but otherwise the Randall is a fine edged tool that won’t let you down.