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Survival knives

Review: L.T. Wright Knives H.E.R.O, a blade for special people

Review: L.T. Wright Knives H.E.R.O, a blade for special people

For some of our wounded warriors, the hardest battle begins when they get home. This knife is designed to help.

by Leon Pantenburg

I love L.T. Wright knives – I’ve tested several and they’ve always been way above par. My Genesis is my go-to bushcraft knife, and the Next Gen is another well-used tested performer. The whole line is bulletproof and ready to go to work.
But the company outdid themselves when they designed and produced the HERO (Helping Everyone Reach the Outdoors).blademagazineltwkhero_page_01

All too often our veterans and public safety professionals get hurt in the line of duty and L.T Wright want to do something for those men and women that allows them to return to the outdoors after an injury or loss of a limb.” – from the company website.

A proven knife design was adapted to provide a way for someone with missing fingers or limited grip to safely use a knife, the company claims.  L.T Wright added a hook near the blade that accepts an elastic lanyard that will assist the user in holding on to the knife.

The HERO was featured on the cover of the December 2015 Blade magazine.

I ordered one to check it out. It has been used for various bushcrafting activities and worked quite well.


  • Total Length: 8″
  • Blade Length: 3.5″
  • Blade Thickness: 1/8″
  • Handle Material: Black Resitin – Matte
  • Blade-Steel: D-2 Tool Steel Steel
  • Made in USA

Out of the box, the knife was shaving-sharp, and showed the superb quality I expect from L.T. Wright.

Here’s the good stuff:

Blade thickness is 1/8-inch and that’s a good choice for an overall knife. The D-2 steel is tough and combined with the thickness, the blade should be virtually unbreakable. (Don’t go trashing your HERO blade and sending me a photo. Anything can be broken if someone tries hard enough!) I like  thinner blades, but that is strictly personal preference, based on how I use knives.

Blade length: Different tasks require a variety of lengths. IMHO, the three-to-four-inch blade is the do-it-all length. It is short enough to be handy, but long enough to do just about anything.

Steel: The D2 tool steel is tough and holds an edge well. It is easy to sharpen, and should not get stained badly over regular use. Clean your knife after using it, and there will be no problems.

The elastic lanyard helps secure to handle to the hand.

The elastic lanyard helps secure to handle to the hand. (L.T. Wright photo)

Handle: The design here is incredible. Designed so it can be readily grasped, the handle is easy to hold, and big enough to be safe, The elastic lanyard  can be hooked around the back of the hand to secure the handle to the hand.

Point: The narrow spear point is an excellent choice for a utility knife. It would be my first choice for a bushcrafter, or a knife that might be called upon to do everything.

Sheath: A sturdy leather dangler sheath makes for easy, comfortable and safe carry.

I took the HERO on an Oregon mule deer hunt the first weekend in October, and it was used for gutting and skinning on a nice buck.

The HERO is not designed to be a hunting knife but it worked well.

The HERO is not designed to be a hunting knife but it worked well.

The handle never got slippery, even though it got really bloody. The design of the handle kept it from slipping in my hand. The knife was handy.

The ticky other stuff: This knife is designed for bushcraft, and as such, is not going to make the best hunting knife. There is not enough belly behind the point to make the HERO a superior skinning knife, and I want more of a drop point for gutting a big game animal.

The Scandi grind is good for woodworking and such, but is not the best choice for a knife that will be used for slicing. IMO, a convex grind is the best overall grind.

Do you need a HERO?

It’s a great knife. I like it a lot. But I have a lot of other, more specialized blades that work better, for me, on different tasks. I use the best knife for the job.

But the HERO could be the best choice for the person who had problems holding a knife, and who needs a good, overall-use knife. The HERO could be the difference, for that person, of being able to use a knife outdoors or not.

And that’s the idea behind the HERO – to provide a tool that can help overcome some physical challenges. In some instances, the HERO may be the very best knife for the job.

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Survival knives

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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