Ruana is one of the classic names in knifemaking. Founder Rudy Ruana became a full time knifemaker in 1952, and continued until his retirement in 1984. The company then passed to his son-in-law Vic Hangas who had joined Ruana in 1964. Ruana Knife Works is now in 3rd Generation family hands – Vic’s sons Mark and Mike joined the company in 1976 and 1984 respectively, and Vic retired after 55 years with the company.
Friday is Day 91 of our 100 Knives in 100 Days Giveaway. We will be giving away a Ruana Smokejumper to the lucky Free Registered User who leaves a comment here on this post. There is still time to leave a comment on our official 100 Days Giveaway thread as well. There are still several knives remaining which will be drawn from that pool of comments.
I will get back to the SmokeJumper in a minute, but first we want to share this article from our January 2019 issue of Knife Magazine by Stephen Garger. Click the blue box to launch the flipbook:
The Ruana Smokejumper:
The Smokejumper is from Ruana’s mid-tech Americana Series.
Inspired by designs from 75 years of knife making at our small Ruana Knife Works shop in Bonner, Montana, we are proud to offer our new line of Ruana Americana Knives. Our project and idea for this line of knives was in the works for numerous years, and come to fruition in December of 2012 in our joint venture with TOPS Knives of Idaho Falls, Idaho. We are grateful to work with the fine folks at TOPS to produce high quality, completely American Made knives. Ruana Americana knives are tested and backed by us and our partners at TOPS with the budget conscious knife collector and user in mind and are designed to our specs with the standards customers have come to expect from all Ruana Knives…
…Based on our most popular knife, the Ruana Smokejumper was originally created in the late 1930’s and later became a favorite knife for Western Montana’s brave parachuting firefighters that were first on the scene to battle forest fires in rugged and remote mountainous areas. The Smokejumpers would occasionally get hung up in a tree or have their parachute cord tangled during the jump and this compact knife would allow them to cut themselves free. The versatile Smokejumper blade shape has been tested throughout Montana, the United States, and other parts of the world. Its design is all any hunter, outdoor enthusiast, survivalist or anyone requiring an everyday quality cutting tool ever needs.
Specs (from Ruana):
Overall length of 7 1/4″ with sharp 3″ cutting edge
1095 high carbon steel finished to a Rockwell of 56-58 is protected with black traction coating
Ergonomically placed notches promote a solid grip
New Ruana logo exclusive to the Americana Series
Skeleton handle design makes ultra lightweight knife that weighs only 3 ounces
Seven feet of paracord creates a comfortable handle with backup rope for emergencies
Kydex sheet comes with sturdy chain, carabiner, and strong belt clip, providing a variety of carrying options
Serial number with corresponding American Made certificate from TOPS Knives
Additionally, sales of the Americana series knives benefit Project Healing Waters – a charity to which I have donated considerable time personally, teaching flyfishing to wounded combat veterans.
Being firm believers in keeping the American dream alive and the importance of our country getting back to the principles and ideas that made it great, Ruana Americana knives will help support American craftsmanship, workers, jobs and businesses with an entirely American Made, value added product that is built to last and backed with a money back guarantee. Additionally, Ruana Knife Works will support Americans who have sacrificed greatly by donating a portion of the sales proceeds from the Americana line to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. This great non-profit organization is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.
The Smokejumper is a minimalist, skeletonized fixed blade with a slight drop point. It is an interesting mix of Ruana and TOPS with the Ruana profile and the blade coating that is found on so many TOPS models. I know from experience how durable this coating has proven to be on several TOPS knives I have used.
The knife can fill many niches, depending on one’s need. It is a good size for fixed blade EDC, it can make a great backup for a larger bushcraft knife, but is robust enough to function as a versatile, primary blade for a backpacker looking to shave weight.
Ergonomically, the Smokejumper is a mixed bag. Lacking the guard of the original Ruana pattern, it attempts to add gripiness via jimping under the index finger. I am not a fan, as I found it to be uncomfortable in a firm grip, I imagine it can be quite rough on someone shaving wood for fire prep.
The cordwrap itself is comfortable, adding thickness to the handle and providing emergency cordage. The jimping on the spine is properly located and useful.
The sheath fits snugly, with both an included, removable belt clip, or it can be used as a neck knife with the included bead-chain.
I was unable to find a review of the Ruana Smokejumper, but I did come across this great video on Ruana Knives.
We would like to thank the folks at Ruana Knife Works. Not only for this knife for our contest, but also for spending the time with Stephen in the course of writing the article for Knife. If you didn’t read it, scroll back up and check it out.
Remember – the drawing for this knife will be Friday, August 30th, Day 91 of our contest. Leave a comment below to enter.