One to Watch: Ontario Wraith
Tony Sculimbrene 06.14.18
Almost any company can make a good expensive knife. The more dollars there are on the price tag the nicer the blade can be. When you don’t have to scrimp and save every design penny, designing and producing a production knife is a lot easier. This is one reason why there are so many bad cheap knives. This is also why I am genuinely excited when I run across a good budget blade.
Ontario has long been known as the company that makes fixed blades. As one of the oldest knife companies in the US (check their new logo–an “O” with 1889 in it), they have a history of making just about everything. They have also retooled their folder line up recently, collaborating with third generation knife maker Robert Carter. Also in this new line up is a small gem of a budget blade called the Wraith.
The Wraith is a great everyday carry knife, with a small 2.6″ blade of 1.4116 steel housed in a shapely FRN handle. The knife sports a lockback and a thumbstud. The blade itself is a very simple, flat ground drop point. In all, it looks quite humble. But in the hand, things are different. Thanks to some three dimensionality to the handle and a well-shaped index notch, the Wraith feels amazing in the hand. It also comes razor sharp out of the box. The price tag is a very competitive $19.95. Think of this as as Ontario’s answer to Ka Bar’s Mini Dozier. It even has the simple clip with recessed attachment point.
The overall size and weight of the knife is ideal for EDC. The steel is not the hardest stuff on the planet, better known for being the blade material in Victorinox Swiss Army Knives. But as a cheap carry or a first EDC you can do worse–this is a steel that just about anyone can effectively sharpen on any sharpening system.
What: Ontario Wraith folding knife
When: Out now
Where: Available at most knife retailers for $19.95
Made in the USA? No
Highlight: Budget price, great handle design