You’re probably not going to feel sorry for me, but the biggest issue I face here is having all this cool stuff in front of me 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. If it’s not something I’m researching to answer a customer’s question, someone from purchasing or marketing brings something up that leads me straight to another item that I didn’t realize I needed until that moment. It’s hell, let me tell you.
For example, Hogue entered the field of knives, and we, being a Hogue retailer, added them to our site. I received the notification from purchasing, and I looked them up online.
Dang, that’s one nice looking knife! I have a thing for drop-point fixed blades, and the photos of the Hogue EX-F01 made me all tingly. Made in the U.S.A, too. Because I have the strength of ten men, because my heart is pure (cough) I was able to shake it off and go on about my business here.
First I received a spec sheet. Just a single page. With a photo. A color photo. The seed that had been planted by looking at the Hogue website had now germinated.
Shortly thereafter, we received catalogs from Hogue for our department, to familiarize ourselves with the products. If you’re reading Tactical Store Blog, you probably have drooled over a few catalogs in your time. Gear catalogs are essentially porn, and this was no different. The photography was very well executed, showing these desirable knives in the best possible light. Again, I had to draw upon my reserves of strength to tear myself away, and return to my duties without ordering one right that very moment.
But, to temper my resolve, I took one of the catalogs home. Hey, I can handle this. Temptation? Pfffft. I have nerves of steel. Do your best, Hogue.
That geminated seed now had the benefit of a light shower.
Then one Saturday, I was wandering around Barnes & Noble while my wife was returning something or other somewhere else in the mall, and I saw the cover of Knives magazine beckoning seductively to me. What was on the cover? Yep, the Hogue EFX-01. Will this inhuman testing of my will never stop?
That sprout now was exposed to bright sunshine and warm weather.
Two days later, I’m back at work, and I’m running the inventory, checking to see if we have wrap-around finger-groove Hogue grips for a 1911 in OD green. Here is where it all fell apart for me.
Foolishly, I had neglected to enter the search terms “Hogue” AND “grips”. I had entered only “Hogue”, and when the returns were presented to me, there it was: There was a 1H-KN-EXF01INDP-35159 in inventory.
For those of you who don’t speak Planetese, that’s a Hogue 35159: EX-F01 7in Fixed Drop Point Blade A-2 Black Kote G-10 Scales – G-Mascus Black. Aw, it can’t hurt to take a peek, can it? You know – just a quick glance so that I can be ready for any questions the customers might have. That’s my job, right?
Right. That sprout was now like that beanstalk that Jack had his issues with.
Within about 10 minutes of visiting the warehouse, I had filled out an employee order, and one interminably long, nerve-wracking day later, it was mine. Having no magic cow to trade, I used cash.
So much for my will power, resolve and strength.
I own a few high-end knives – a couple of Chris Reeves, among others. As far as I could tell, the coating on the Hogue EF-X01 was identical to the Kal-Gard that is on both my Reeve Shadow IV and my Reeve Green Beret 7”. Hogue lists the coating as KG™ 2400 Series GUN-KOTE. KG industries was formerly known as Kal-Gard, so my initial impression appears to be correct. While my Reeve Green Beret has never cut anything (except my finger), I have abused the Shadow IV for over a decade, and the finish is unaffected, so I believe the Hogue EX-F01 will maintain its rakish good looks just as well as the Aviator IV has.
I’ve never owned a knife with an edge like the Hogue EF-X01. Not only was it amazingly sharp, the edge was so highly polished, I could see my reflection in it. It was obvious that someone, somewhere had taken pride in their skills. Like any good new knife owner, I soon had many bald patches on my arm.
Here’s the only thing I might have done differently (except for buying it sooner). Unless you stumbled on this blog by accident, or you’re an HR director reading this because you were alerted that an employee was reading a blog with the word “porn” in it (5th paragraph), you know that Hogue has a certain way with wood. Everyone else has seen the striking handgun grips that Hogue manufactures in a variety of wood types. Just a few days after receiving my own EX-F01 with the black G-10 scales, I needed to check dimensions on a product in the warehouse. On the next shelf up, I saw the same box that my EX-F01 had come in, and I took a look inside.
At this point, I knew for sure that Hogue was targeting me, personally.
The scales on this model weren’t the sleek, dark black G-10 that I, as a suburban-Chicago dwelling part-time commando prepper need, but these beautifully figured examples:
Seriously, how can anyone be expected to resist?
I have been told that at some point, Hogue is likely to sell replacement scales for the EX-F01, but as I have been a victim of Hogue’s relentless psychological campaign against me, I know what I must do.
Order a second EX-F01.