• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Bushcraft knife review: We check out the L.T. Wright Genesis

560 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

I bought this knife to field test and received no compensation for writing this review.

There’s a reason some knife designs become classics and never die out. The L.T. Wright Genesis is patterned on one of those knives, and I predict it is going to be very popular.

by Leon Pantenburg

This review comes out of the archives in 2013. I am as impressed now with the Genesis, after using one hard for years, as I was when I got my first one.

The L.T. Wright Genesis with the Bead Blasted Green Micarta handle. The blade is flat ground and made of A2 steel.

The Buck 110, the Nessmuk humpback, the Canadian “Crooked Knife” and the Mora Classic – all these proven designs show no signs of being replaced by newcomers. One of the most useful classic designs is the Kephart.

The L.T. Wright Genesis is based on a design popularized by Horace Kephart. Kephart authored the classic  two-volume set “Camping and Woodcraft” in the early 1900s. But Kepart may be best remembered for a sheath knife design he popularized and used for many years.

Horace Kephart

Horace Kephart

Kephart recommended a blade no longer than five inches. The personal knife he used for many years had a blade that was 4- 1/4-inches long, 1-inch wide and 1/8-inch thick. The handle was 4 1/4-inches long, and 3/4 inch thick, tapering to ½ inch at the front. Kephart wrote that the Marbles “expert” pattern knife was a good representation of what a knife should look like.

Enter L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives.  L.T. Wright and a friend of his started Blind Horse Knives a few years back.  Then, in 2014, Wright and his partner decided they each wanted to make custom knives and L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives was born.

The company catalog shows some beautiful knives, but L.T. Wright designs his knives to be used.

I ordered the Genesis Bead Blasted Green Micarta, with a  flat ground blade of A2 steel. The Genesis includes a premium American-made leather dangler sheath with a slot for a 3/8″ fire steel.

Unboxing the knife showed a hard-working, plain-looking tool. My first impression was “solid.” In the hand, the Genesis feels sturdy, tough and almost bullet-proof.

Here are the specifications:

  • Overall Length: 9″
  • Sharpened Edge: 4.25″
  • Steel: 1/8″-inch thick, A2
  • Grind: Flat Ground
  • Other Features: Thumb scallops, 90° Spine

After using the knife for several weeks, here are some impressions.

I like:

Handle: I got the blasted green micarta because it reminds me of  the weathered wood on pilings on the Mississippi River. The handle fits my (glove-size) large hands like it was designed for me. Micarta seems to get “grippier” when damp, and the handle should prove to be very secure when covered with fish scales, messy body fluids, blood etc. Extended whittling sessions didn’t reveal any hot spots developing.

The thumb scallops are perfect for placing your thumb when using the spine of the blade. A lanyard hole allows easy attachment of a piece of paracord to secure the knife. I will use this feature a lot when out in deep snow.

Point: The Genesis has a spear point, which puts the tip at the center of the blade. This is the best overall design for a bushcraft knife, IMHO. A spear point allows effective drilling in wood. (I used it while whittling out a fire bow setup. The point was perfect for drilling the initial holes in the wood of the hearth.)

This point is also useful for various fish and game preparations. I gutted a fish with the blade, and it worked great. For hunting, I prefer a drop point because of the greater curve of the belly makes a better skinner.

Steel: A2 is a tool steel, and it holds an edge really well. The knife came out of the box shaving-sharp, and it maintained that edge through various uses. A2 is harder to sharpen than high carbon steel, though, and if this is your first A2 blade, you may need need to do some homework.

Grind:  I like Scandi grinds on bushcraft knives, because they are easy to sharpen in the field, and the wedge created by the grind makes a better whittler/splitter if you’re working wood. But I ordered the flat grind because is it polished on the whole surface and this reduces drag when cutting. This is a great finish to the 1/8″ A2 tool steel, it makes for a superior edge.

Spine: The spine is ground like an ice skate with 90 degree angles. This, in effect, creates another edge. Whether you’re getting a tinder bundle scraped off a branch or striking a ferro rod off there, the 90-degree spine lets you save the blade for fine cutting tasks.

Sheath: The Genesis comes with a premium American made leather dangler sheath with a slot for a 3/8″ fire steel. I prefer a dangler on most of my rigid blade knives. I think they are safer, more comfortable to carry and easy to access. I also like a square-ended sheath. When someone sees it protruding from underneath your shirt tail or coat, they may assume it is a pliers sheath. Good urban camo.

Blade thickness: The 1/8-inch thickness is a good choice. Any thicker and the blade starts to get too fat, and it won’t slice well. The 1/8-inch is thin enough to be a useable slicer, and thick enough to take the pounding and wrenching a bushcraft knife might be subjected to. With quality, tough steel like A2,  there shouldn’t be any breakage problems with normal, hard use.

Made in the U.S.A: All L.T. Wright knives are made in Wintersville, Ohio.

Warranty: Each knife is backed by a lifetime warranty.

I’m hard pressed to come up with something I don’t like about the knife. It retails for $180 at KnivesShipFree. A variety of different handle options are available.

There is something appealing to me about efficient designs. I own, appreciate and use beautiful cutlery. But I see a practical beauty in a solid tool that can do the job. The Genesis is one of those tools, and I will be using this one a lot.

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