One of my favorite parts of AG Russell stuff was the catalog. It wasn’t just a list of knives, but micro-editorials by AG and Goldie (and whoever else wrote the copy) about knives. Often times the Russell’s encyclopedic knowledge of knives and the knife industry would drop into this or that paragraph about some random knife. One tidbit that I learned there was the history of the button lock. Originally it appeard only on very high end knives as the machining tolerances needed to make it work properly were very small. Without a machining whiz, button locks were either extremely expensive (Russell’s post came in the context of selling a William Henry knife) or non-existent.
But the machining revolution continued apace since that catalog and we now have budget knives that have flawlessly functioning button locks. One of the first of those was the CJRB Pyrite. As CJRB is want to do, they produced two versions initially, the budget stainless steel handled version and an uber nice high end edition with sculpted Ti handles. Since then the Pyrite “platform” has been iterated upon dozens of times. They had a Kickstarter with high end versions of the knife, they have new blade shapes, and now there are “mini” versions. These iterations are all made possible by the fact that once you have the geometry and dimensions for the button lock, the thumb stud, and the pivot locked it the rest of these things can be changed to an almost infinite degree. Essentially, the Pyrite can be anything now from a massive tanto to a miniscule wharncliffe. All of this is possible because now, even budget makers can readily pull off a button lock.
I have a Feldspar. CJRB Knives are a bit heavy, since they cut the corner of skeletonizing liners in favor of price, but the action is snappy and the finish is good.