S&W may be fairly new on the scene, but Jared Williams has been making knives for more than 30 years – long before his appearance on Forged in Fire and subsequent victory. He partnered with folks from the manufacturing and CAD worlds and launched S&W.
“My whole life was centered around building things, and I’ve always had a natural tendency toward knives.”
Jared made his first knife at the age of nine out of a piece of sheet metal and a willow branch. When he was 15, he bought a $35 grinder at Fred Meyer. When his shop teacher told him he could grind a knife out of an old file, it was the beginning of a life-long quest for tools and the motivation for a career in bladesmithing. “I don’t make knives for other people,” he explains. “I’ll take orders, but when I’m making that knife, I’m making it as if it’s for me.”
Jared’s knives are 100 percent guaranteed for life. Each one is hand-signed and no two are alike. His creations run the gamut from small blades to swords to exotic blades and ancient weaponry.
You can listen to Jared talk about the GO 2 in this video clip from their instagram page:
The GO 2 is available in either a tanto point (this knife) but also a spear point model as well. There are myriad color options for both the blade and handle.
I am a sucker for a unique mechanism. There are only so many ways to arrange and shape steel and scales before you start looking like, well… a knife. Like all the rest of the knives. So I truly enjoy getting to see something that is a little different. Especially when it is different and works as advertised.
The video clip from Jared above mentions that they are switching to a rolling thumb stud arrangement, which should smooth out the action. Even now it isn’t bad. Just a touch gritty where the stud slides unlubricated over the handle’s surface. I imagine that the paint will wear off and the action improve over time. The roller should fix what is the most noticeable negative about the knife.
Otherwise, the knife works as one would expect. It is possible to open the knife with just the stud, though it is so close to the pivot that there is little mechanical advantage in doing so. I found using two hands, and pinching the space under the “spring” is the safest and most reliable way to open the knife.
The grind geometry looks solid, and 1095 is a reliable, workhorse of a steel. Blade centering isn’t perfect, and there is a small but perceivable up and down play. Neither is an insurmountable hurdle to overcome, and hopefully it gets addressed in promised future model. I would love to see it in a titanium handle version. The integral steel handle is a bit heavy for the size of the knife.
Ergonomically, the knife fits my hand relatively comfortably. The biggest “hot spot” is from the stud, as I tended to pinch it quite hard to ensure it remained open. I have this issue with tabbed friction folders as well. I tend to push too hard on the tab to be sure I don’t accidentally close the knife. I have enough scar on my fingers that a little paranoia is not out of line. But I feel like the GO 2 “locks” up with more rigidity than most traditional backspringed slipjoints.”It’s not you, it’s me…”
Whenever I can throughout our 100 Knives in 100 Days Giveaway, I have tried to include an outside review. Somewhat to my surprise, given all of the knives where I haven’t found one, there are a couple on the GO 2.
We would like to thank Jared and the folks at S7W Metalworks for providing us with the GO 2 for today’s giveaway. Mark was the one who made the arrangements, I missed their booth at Blade Show. I will make a point of seeking them out next time.