I had been eyeing the new Rescue models ever since the original blue 93mm model came out. Sure, the Rescues don’t have the conventional drop point or any point at all and at first they may seem a bit specialized. At least, that was my first opinion about the Rescue models. However, since my Kiwi I have learned to appreciate the wharncliffe point for everyday use. Furthermore, having a Dodo taught me how to properly sharpen serrations. So when I needed a cheap cutting machine with limited prying capability, the Rescue became a viable option.
Indeed, the Rescue blade is not a proper wharncliffe. The wharncliffe offers a very fine and solid point, suitable for picking out splinters and excellent for cutting out articles. In addition, my experience with a Kiwi, showed that a wharncliffe does pretty much everything that my drop point blades used to do. Apart from cutting on a board to slice op veggies for example, I can’t think of anything that the drop point does better than a wharncliffe. Besides, I wouldn’t want to use my tiny Kiwi for cutting up the tomatoes and veggies for dinner! Anyway, the Rescue 79mm’s blade is much more practical than you’d think. Opening envelopes, cutting out articles, fruit for lunch can be done just as easily as with my Delica, Dragonfly or Kiwi . The serrated edge is really pretty thin, shaving hair and slicing paper is easy with this knife. But this thing really shines when cutting up cardboard boxes or other stuff that can be ripped open. Of course, the Rescue doesn’t rip but cut and slice, but the handle and new thumb serrations behind the opening hole allow you to lock on the handle and it won’t let loose.
The Rescue’s main refinements (compared to the Rescue jr.) can be found in the user interface, i.e. the parts you hold on to. The opening hole is nice and large (Military size), there are thumb serrations, a boye-dent has been added and the clip well has been reinforced. The clip is old school ambidextrous; the same set-up as the Delica and Endura type folders. Actually, with the other handle improvements I wouldn’t mind a wire clip on the new Rescue 79mm. I know the wire clip isn’t everybody’s favorite, but it is so comfortable for the hand when using the knife since there are no sharp corners on a wire clip. In fact, I think the clip is a bit sharp at the corners. Maybe I am getting used to the wire clips, but this really struck me as a first handled the knife.
I will admit the Rescue is not a sexy knife, it’s a pretty funky looking knife especially with the blunt tip and pronounced hump on the blade. Yet, it works so well. This knife looks like a folding saw or a knife only good for ripping apart stuff. Indeed, the handle will let you rip through rough materials without losing your knife in the process. However, the edge is really refined, it is a slicer. Plus, I feel it shares much of the advantages of the traditional wharncliffe blade. Sure, it doesn’t have the same sharp tip, but the sheepsfoot’s ‘corner’ works equally well in cutting out articles and sharpening is really easy. There’s no worrying about rounding of the tip on this knife.
Over the weekend I used the Rescue 79mm for kitchen duty. It functions much like a standard paring knife, with a surprise or two. Cutting up veggies and making thin slices of cucumber went really well with this folder. Especially when considering the relatively thick blade and saber grind. Those serrations are pretty amazing; the serrated blade does not slip off the vegetable and a push cut is all that’s needed for see-through cucumber slices! And in left-handed mode, the slices easily fall to the side. I’m definitely going to get a couple of Spyderco Kitchen knives, these serrations work really well in the kitchen, let alone on a thinner flat ground blade. In a pinch, the Rescue 79mm worked really well in the kitchen.
Although the knife is probably a no-brainer for people in firefighting or fishing, where a sharp serrated edge and a sheepsfoot blade particularly shine. I would also urge all you Spyderco fans out there to consider this folder as a left- or right-handed accessory to your main plain edged folder. The Rescue 79mm is very thin and lightweight, and all the serrations you could ask for in such a small package. And it comes in three different colors (orange, black and blue) to suit all flavors. If you don’t want to carry an extra full-serrated folder, then I am sure the Rescue 79mm will be a welcome addition to the gear bag.
I wouldn’t carry this piece as my main carry folder, I am just too accustomed to a plain edge but I think it is a great budget-conscious secondary folder. I will use my Rescue as a regular utility companion to my blue forum Native III (yes I have a color fetish, you should know that by now!). It really does everything I demand of such a knife, the blunt tip does not get in the way. In addition I will use the Rescue 79mm for all those tasks that could be to tough on my main carry knife’s finish; when serrations are best, a little prying could be necessary, or where the knife has a more than average chance of being lost. It’s just one of those unassuming folders that does much more than you’d think, but will go unnoticed by many.