Case Russlock knives

There were 37 knife patterns manufactured in the early to mid 1990s that make up the Case Classic line of knives. They are the product of Jim Parker's realization of a dream to replicate classic knives of many years past.
Sut Tatersaul
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Case Russlock knives

Postby Sut Tatersaul » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:53 pm

I just bought my first Case xx Russlock Knife, in amber bone stag. I am new to this type, and style of knife, and would like to find out all that i can about them. At 86 I have lost my ability to use this forum correctly. could anyone help me get the history of these knifes, and the proper use of them?
Thanks.
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby tallguy606 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:46 am

I have looked at Russlocks, but can't warm up to the projection sticking out of the tang. Seems like it would quickly wear a hole in your pocket. And I am not a "flipper" guy anyway. I like the Case mid-folding hunter, same size knife, almost same blade, but without the funny prong sticking out.

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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby treefarmer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:26 am

I'll say a hearty "Amen" to tallguy606's comments on the Russlock knives.
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby QTCut5 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:37 am

Ah, the famous (or infamous) Case RussLock...truly a "Love it or Hate it" pattern if ever there was one. Most of the response to/animosity towards the RussLock focuses on its distinctive, curved extended tang which definitely sets it apart and makes it unique.

Ostensibly it was designed as an OHO (one hand opener) knife, with the extended tang intended to be used as an opening lever; however, I have met precious few people (only one, actually) who have been able to open a RussLock with one hand. It's not really a "Flipper" and the design does not allow for an easy one-hand grip while using the lever to open the blade; it requires very strong and nimble fingers to open a RussLock with one hand (I can barely manage it with two hands).

Here's a bit about the history of the RussLock from Shepherd Hills Cutlery:

The RussLock (1953L) debuted in the 2000 Case Catalog, and was quickly a favorite among collectors with its unique style and beauty. This pattern features a liner lock mechanism, along with a gimped lever for convenient one-hand opening. The liner lock was Case's answer for a high tech knife. Designed by late Case Master Knifemaker, Tommy Hart (1930 - 1999), the sleek body style of the RussLock was inspired by the Jack Knife (028), a pattern that has been retired for over 40 years. The pattern was named after Case founder, J. Russell "Russ" Case. The pattern number (1953L) is a tribute to the year Russ Case passed away.

I used to collect RussLocks, but a few years ago my collecting focus changed and I sold off all but my two favorites; one custom MOP with the modified clip blade, and one stag w/red oval shield and drop point blade.

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You can see photos of some of the RussLocks I used to own in this thread I started a few years ago:
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=45808

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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby Sut Tatersaul » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:27 pm

Thanks everyone for your opinions, and History. QTCut5 i did look up your posts, and pictures. thanks for your kind help in providing me with the Info. that I needed. The russlock knhttps://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/ ... =329375ife, tho somewhat impractical, is just unusual enohttps://www.allaboutpocketknives.com ... =329376ugh to appeal to me. Here is mine.
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby QTCut5 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:02 pm

That's some very pretty amber bone you have there, Sut.

Out of curiosity, are you able to open your RussLock with one hand?

I found another guy who was able to one-hand open my RussLocks...he builds lava rock walls and does landscaping for a living, consequently, he happens to have very strong hands. Although he was able to open my RL with one hand, he did struggle a bit and he was only able to do it by placing his thumb on the lever while squeezing the handle between his fingers and the butt of his hand, with the back of his hand pressed tightly against his thigh...certainly not what I would consider "convenient" opening.

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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby Sut Tatersaul » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:46 pm

QTCut5:
No I can't open it with one hand. I'm sure I could have, when I was a young man, as I was able to cut standard 1/4" bolts with a standard pair of 9" Klein side cutting pliers, using only one hand, and won many bets, doing so. The Russlock, is just unusual enough, and looks great to me, to make it appealing. I'll probably never get another, but will defiantly keep this one.

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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby Steve Warden » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:00 pm

Gotta agree that's some nice lookin' bone right there, boys. ::tu:: ::tu::
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby Railsplitter » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:04 pm

Is the blade action pretty stiff on these Russlocks?

There's a guy on Youtube that makes it look easy to open with one hand. I don't know how to post a Youtube link but he holds the knife between his thumb and middle finger with the backspring facing upward and then rotates the lever with his index finger.

He makes it look simple but it's obvious that the blade action on his knife has little resistance.
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby TwoFlowersLuggage » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:13 pm

Railsplitter - if your youtube guy is the same guy I'm thinking of, he's also pretty darn good with a balisong, which makes him a whole lot more coordinated than me!
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby Railsplitter » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:18 pm

TwoFlowersLuggage wrote:Railsplitter - if your youtube guy is the same guy I'm thinking of, he's also pretty darn good with a balisong, which makes him a whole lot more coordinated than me!


I just went back and read the Youtube comments on his video. Every one of them asks how he got the blade action to be so smooth but I don't see an answer from him. He must have gotten lucky and got a really smooth one.
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby Railsplitter » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:35 pm

My wife gave me a quick lesson in Youtube video posting. Hope this works.

https://youtu.be/do1cNowJg-s
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby TwoFlowersLuggage » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:01 am

Hmm - no that's a different guy. Here's the one I was thinking of. He uses a different method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N3J3c5u-vE
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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby Sut Tatersaul » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:44 pm

I promised myself, that I was not going to start collecting anything again, but I have been reading, and observing the variations of the Russlock, and their intended use, discovered the drop point type, and off we go again. In reading the questions, on how some of the demonstrators were able to get their Russlock's actions, so light and smooth, I could comment on how the smoothness could be achieved. Fine valve grinding compound, or light polishing compound could be applied to the blade at it's pivot point, and the blade opened and closed until it's action became very smooth. The heavy spring tension, is another problem entirely. I can see no solution to that problem, short of removing some of the strong spring tension, by actual springing the blade's tension, in reverse, and that would be a tricky job. I do not think that the demonstrators of knives with extremely smooth actions will be likely, to give up their secrets. I have purchased two new Russlock drop point knives, and will post pictures upon their arrival.

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Re: Case Russlock knives

Postby treefarmer » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:39 pm

SUT T., This is a little off topic but your comment about cutting a 1/4" bolt with a set of Klein's made me think of a Gulf Power line foreman that could break a set of Klein's with one hand. He won a lot of bets over the years! I don't think there are many men able to do that anymore.
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