Ray Laconico’s designs are everywhere. Its probably easier to list the companies he HASN’T worked with than those that he has (Benchmade, Spyderco what are you two waiting for?). Over and over again he has produced nice blades that are some slight variant on a few forms. They are simple designs, with clean lines, and nice blade shapes. The most Laconico of all his knives though, is the Old Guard design—a straightforward thumb stud knife with a drop point blade. But like all Laconico’s its simplicity is not a deletion of things, but instead work with a foundational form over and over again until it is both simple and functional. When the Old Guard was released in a mini form I was intrigued. Time and again I would arrive too late to the site to score one. Then last fall the stars aligned and I got one not just in ZDP-189, a favorite steel of mine, but also in yellow linen micarta. Its a knife as beautiful as it is simple AND, unlike with other chase blades these days, it is a tremendous value. If you like knives, you will like the Mini Old Guard. This is a great knife, but I am genuinely interested in seeing how well it can score on the scoring system.
Classic lines, but somehow so classic as to seem unremarkable to me. I really like Laconico’s Kizer Ursa Minor and Artisan Centauri, but this one leaves me flat.