Medford Experiences

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Hi all,
Looking for a high quality non-flipper with that hydraulic Chris Reeve feel. I'm good with bronze washers, and actually prefer vs bearings. I've got plenty of flippers and moving away from them on this one. I've got several Chris Reeves and Emersons. I tried a few ZT Hinderers but never did it for me, plus the non-flipper versions are rare and usually only 3" blades. Would love a Reate Liong Mah Warrier 2 V3 if it wasn't a flipper and had washers instead of bearings.

So I started looking at the Medford knives. I don't want one of the big wide or super chunky ones and not a mini either, it has to fit the pocket with room for fob, money clip etc. Looking to keep things 5oz max with a 3.2 - 3.7" blade, or close to that. The Slim Midi caught my attention but I've heard the lock is hard to get to w/o the cutout. That being said I've heard may complain about Sebenza's also being hard or hurting fingers, which I don't find.

One thing I did notice on many if not most Medfords is that the lock engagement surface is exposed (proud) on almost every model. For those of you who have had them, do you find this to be a place of concern? Not sure why you would expose the most critical part of a locking knife to the elements and/or hard surfaces if dropped or banged on something. Yeah, it's very hard steel, but from a design standpoint I scratch my head.

Anyway, just looking for input and other options I may be overlooking in the Medford line-up or from a completely different maker. Wish I would have tired a Strider back in the day.

Cheers,
Hawk
 

Heirphoto

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Okay, my take good and bad about Medfords and this is coming from a guy who has owned (and mostly liked) 6 of them in the past few years.

Most are more of a design statement for chunky than actually ergonomic useful tools. The Slim Midi and the 187 series, to me at least make the most sense from a user standpoint but design wise are the least dramatic looking knives.
If you buy new you will never get close to what you paid back if you resell or try to trade. If you buy used you still may be lucky to get back close to what you paid, so there is that.

The projecting lock face is odd for sure but on the bright side the part the projects the most and is most likely to get hit if dropped is the high side of the ramp. That means it is the furthest side to lock up on and you would need to be at 90% to 100% engagement before that part of the ramp will be contacted by the lock bar, so while an odd setup it is not as horrible as it first seems. That and most Medfords I have owned come at about 10% to 15% lock engagement at best which is really way more early that I desire. Never had one slip though but I never used any hard. Had plenty with stick at times.

Every one has felt good in the hands as I like the chunky feel. Mine were all well built and at least in theory cool looking knives a bit unlike many out there. That said my last one was mailed off in trade just today for a Hinderer Half track. It was a nice Medford 187F but I just did not want to scratch up the PVD blade and wanted to try a Half Track.

If I were going to own another it would be a Slim Midi or another 187 series, likely a 187RMP again. But, crazy as they look I would take a Panzer at the right price despite how odd they are. Glad I owned and tried them but most are just not the knife for me. In the end a CRK is what finds its way into my pocket 90% of the time, occasionally a Hinderer XM-18
 
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You'll get the feel and build quality in my opinion. Not on par with CRK and Shiro, but the tier below. The action you're looking for is there in spades. Second to none for smooth, tight and glassy washer action. All the stuff I've had has been great. My only problems were with designs and not construction or fit and finish. Love the hand ground hollows that all his blades have. Makes each one kinda special. When I had a bunch of Medford's I had a feeling my favorite two were ground by the same guy. Had some telltale marks and characteristics. Even the biggest chunkers are ground really thin at the edge which surprised me a lot the first time I got to handle some at a shop. I like the bespoke aspects when I'm paying that much.

The best designed Medford I've had was the Strider AR .75, and that is ultimately why I don't have any in my collection at the moment. For as good as the build quality is the designs are a little sophomoric, but improving with every iteration. I'll be watching everything they come out with.
 

Dadpool

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One thing I did notice on many if not most Medfords is that the lock engagement surface is exposed (proud) on almost every model. For those of you who have had them, do you find this to be a place of concern?

I've owned a total of five Medfords and still own three of them; those three are among my favorite knives. I haven't found the proud lock surface to be an issue in day-to-day carry and usage.

My three are all outside of your specific interest due to weight (3/3) and blade length (2/3), so my feedback may not be that useful. But I will say that I keep returning to the brand, and patiently haunting the secondary market for them, because they bring me joy.

The action is fantastic. Construction is flawless -- and at this price point I am extremely fussy about my knives. They cut better than they slice; they're heavy (I like heavy knives); the designs are polarizing. On paper I really shouldn't like any of them...and yet, I do. :D

nG186Lz.jpg

Praetorian Genesis T

Au5LCBp.jpg

TFF-1

znxN8gx.jpg

Praetorian G
 
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I've only handled one of the giant praetorian models, and that had multiple washers on each side of the blade. The owner had it for a while so it was broken in and a smooth action, but I wasn't impressed.

Check out Spartan Blades, they just released a 3.25" version of their Spartan-Harsey Folder. The initial run sold out, bu they might start showing up at dealers soon. It sounds like something that you would like: https://spartanbladesusa.com/shop-all/spartan-harsey-folder-3-25/
 
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The MKT micro/slim/G models of the praetorian and the Hunden are great edc. The praetorian G in g10 is the heaviest folding knife I carry and it is less the half inch thick so it still carries pretty well. The exposed tangs have never phased me. I’ve never thought about it. I do have a fat daddy as well but to me that is definitely a novelty in many ways. MKT isn’t very fidgety (except for the slim) and I think that lets down some folks. Most MKTs can be had <400 on the secondary and that’s where I’ve purchased them. At the price range, I think MKT rocks when lookin at other options in the 300-400$. The action is always nice and smooth, with a crisp open and close. I prefer washers to bearings also.
 
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Thanks everyone for all the great feedback and experiences. I'm hoping to find a semi-local shop that has some or the Medford line for review.
Is it me or does it feel like there aren't many (if any) companies trying to work their way into the CRK market?
 
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Thanks everyone for all the great feedback and experiences. I'm hoping to find a semi-local shop that has some or the Medford line for review.
Is it me or does it feel like there aren't many (if any) companies trying to work their way into the CRK market?


I'm not sure what you're saying. Medford doesn't even approach CRK's level of manufacturing perfection.
 
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I like the Medford (Only the Slim Midi Marauder), but be aware that for 6️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ bones, you can’t do ANYTHING to the knife. I think that everyone here knows about Medford’s strict warranty policy, but I feel that it goes way too far. I tried to get a simple replacement for my scuffed PVD coated pocket clip on a Slim Midi. I was more than willing to pay for it. I received this answer... 4751527B-8C9F-4837-9219-E95E8FA79447.jpg B3B7DF8C-5C82-4C4F-B886-B54C64648667.jpg
 
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Ratcreature

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I only have one experience with a Medford. I was looking for something similar as you are and opted for the slim praetorian. First, it’s on bearings, not washers. Which I didn’t realize until after I purchased. I thought that all non-flipper Medford’s were on washers so that was my mistake. I really liked the the knife build, quality and carry size. I would have kept it but unlocking the knife was a terrible experience. Like you, I have no issue with CRKs. This knife had the worst lock stick I have ever experienced. That’s usually ok cuz I have had to break in a ti frame lock before. But this was just painful due to the lack of cutout and only able to get a small part of my finger on the lock. I would actually like to get another some day that’s already broken in. Besides the lock it was pretty nice but still not as good as crk. A lot of design choices on the knife are for looks not usability IMO.
 

evilgreg

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FWIW, I'm a Medford-hater but I'd honestly say the build quality and action on my Medford feels very similar to a Sebenza. No lock stick (though the lock interface is very sketchy looking), no play, super tanky and smooth, tight action.

If you want a model that isn't quite as ridiculously, stupidly tactitarded and boat-anchor-ey, check out a 187 RMP. I've carried and used this one a bunch, and the "vulcan" blade coloring is long gone:

6unBZK7.jpg


3.2" blade, 5.2oz and as likeable as any of them that I've handled. It did come with a letter saying it would spontaneously self-destruct if I added oil to the pivot or disassembled it or used it to cut things or looked directly at it, though.
 
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I like Medford, but be aware that for 6️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ bones, you can’t do ANYTHING to the knife. I think that everyone here knows about Medford’s strict warranty policy, but I feel that it goes way too far. I tried to get a simple replacement for my scuffed PVD coated pocket clip on a Slim Midi. I was more than willing to pay for it. I received this answer... View attachment 1436089 View attachment 1436090


What a joke. I actually laughed out loud reading that.

Pocket jewelry nonsense. Pass on the Medfords.
 

Quiet

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MEDFORD IS MILES AHEAD OF CRK YOU CAN TELL BECAUSE THEY DONT MAKE THE SAME KNIFE OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR 31 YEARS :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

This comment shows that:

A. You don't understand anything about Medford Knife & Tool.
B. You don't understand anything about Chris Reeve Knives.

But hey, thank you for joining up today just to defend Greg all in caps, I'm sure he'd be thrilled. :rolleyes:
 
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My local B&M carries Medford and seems to usually have 8-10 in stock. The last time I was in there I handled them and they were completely lackluster. There was not a thing I liked. Their stock ranged from big crazy thick to the teensy ones. They were all (comparatively) not usable designs and, like others have mentioned, nowhere near as well finished as a CRK.
 
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Greg Medford seems to be a man extremely passionate about machining and manufacturing things. Those things just happen to be knives, and it shows. They often don't cut well, the ergonomics are odd, and some of the overall design choices go against the grain.
 
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