Hogue is best known for its outstanding firearms accessories, but Hogue also makes some of the best knives on the market. All Hogue knives are designed by custom knifemaker and former Recon Marine Allen Elishewitz. They are made using only the best materials and employing state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques.
The Hogue EX-F01 was designed as a combat and survival knife. It’s built for demanding tasks. The EX-F01 comes in two blade lengths: 5½ or 7 inches. It’s available with different materials and finishes for a low-key visual footprint. It’s available with either a drop-point or Tanto blade profile. Tanto blade models feature a saw back.
I went with the EX-F01 with 5½-inch drop-point blade with black finish and G10 G-Mascus® black scales. It’s the perfect size and blade profile for a survival knife or for use by a SWAT operator.
I was immediately impressed with the EX-F01. Fit and finish are flawless, and the knife came razor sharp. It is exceptionally comfortable in the hand and well-balanced.
The EX-F01 features a full-tang blade made of cryogenically treated .25-inch thick A2 tool steel. A2 is a high-carbon air-hardened tool steel that responds well to cryogenic treatment. It’s an outstanding choice for a combat or survival knife.
A2 is known for its toughness and edge-holding ability. It will hold an edge better than 01 tool steel and 1095 and is more corrosion resistant. It takes a very sharp edge and is fairly easy to resharpen. The EX-F01 blade features a durable, non-reflective black, green, or tan Cerakote® ceramic coating that provides additional corrosion resistance.
The blade features a unique swedge (false edge) grind that’s derived from the armor-piercing tip of ancient Persian daggers. It creates a diamond pattern that reinforces the tip and a large land for batoning.
The drop-point blade profile was my choice due to its all-around utility. The spine of the blade continues forward to the tip and allows the user to reference the tip toward the center of the blade for better control and eliminating any pitch momentum when stabbing. It also has a large belly for slicing tasks.
The weight of the EX-F01 provides ease of chopping and improved penetration. The butt of the tang has a tapered “skull crusher,” which enhances its close-quarters capabilities and provides a glass breaker for rescue.
The EX-F01 is available with handle scale options. The drop-point models are available with Hogue’s proprietary G10 G-Mascus with its multi-colored grain structure in your choice of Tan, Black, Dark Earth, and Green. For the more traditionally minded, the drop-point blade is additionally available with a cocobolo wood handle. Tanto models feature checkered G10.
The scales are 3D machine sculpted and feature a palm swell with a valley to conform to the user’s hand and to provide a secure, comfortable grip. To complement the grip, the blade features a serrated thumb-ramp for control and a large radiused finger groove in the handle.
The hidden storage spaces in the handle of the EX-F01 can be used to store small survival items. A Torx wrench nested in the handle allows easy removal of the scales to access the compartments. Milled recesses in the scales match up with the skeletonized compartments in the tang.
The EX-F01 has four holes—two in the front and two in the rear of the handle. The user can remove the scales and use the four holes to tie the knife to a piece of wood to make a spear. The four holes can also be used with cord to create an improvised D-guard knife to retain the knife in the user’s hand. They may also be used to attach a wrist lanyard.
With most knives, the sheath seems to be an afterthought. Not so with Hogue knives. The sheath that comes with the EX-F01 is absolutely top notch. Its design, materials, and workmanship are first rate.
The sheath is ruggedly constructed of heavy milspec Cordura® Ballistic Nylon with bar-tack stitching. The sheath is ambidextrous and jumpable. It has a hard plastic liner that retains the knife blade. Additional retention is provided by reversible dual milspec straps with snap closures.
The sheath is true MOLLE compatible with milspec MOLLE spacing. The MOLLE mount is plastic reinforced. The sheath has a firm belt mount using additional PALS webbing and milspec snap for standard belts up to 1.75 inches wide. The belt mount may be configured for raised and drop belt loop carry.
PALS webbing on the front of the sheath allows for the attachment of an optional Hogue Modular MOLLE Pouch. The sheath comes equipped with a length of 1/8-inch diameter paracord with retainer. The sheath and pouch are available in Black, Green, and Tan and are Berry compliant.
The optional Modular MOLLE pouch is also constructed of heavy milspec Cordura Ballistic Nylon with bar-tack stitching. It fits items up to 1.75 inches wide x 1.25 inches deep x 5.5 inches high. It has a drain hole with grommet in the bottom.
The Hogue EX-F01 is an outstanding fixed-blade knife that’s ideal for combat and survival applications. Suggested retail price for the 5½-inch blade models is $239.95, and $249.95 for the seven-inch blade models. All Hogue knives come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. The Modular MOLLE Pouch retails for $18.95.