Case Lightweight Hunter Fixed-Blade Knife Review
W.R. Case & Sons has been making knives here in the U.S. for over 120 years. They’re currently owned by another beloved company, Zippo. Growing up, Case knives were always a household name. My brother is a very loyal fan of the Sod Buster series of knives, and it seems my dad always has a Case Trapper in his pocket. On Christmas mornings I was always pleased to find a Case pocket knife in my stocking. Their knives are tough, affordable, attractive, and in my experience they come with a very sharp edge. However, until recently, I’ve never owned any of Case’s fixed-blade offerings.
A while back I acquired a case knife Lightweight Hunter with a gut-hook blade. It sports a 4-inch 420HC Tru-Sharp blade. The rear of the blade’s spine has a small dip and some moderately aggressive gimping. It’s a nice feature that improves grip and controllability. The knife’s handle is a comfortable, ergonomic, hard molded rubber. It features a diamond pattern and the Case XX logo. It provides a positive grip, even when gloves and snow are thrown into the mix. The knife weighs in at an impressive 4.5 ounces. It comes with a simple nylon sheath with a plastic liner. It has one strap with a snap to secure the knife. The sheath is rather cheap looking and feeling. Glue is visible along the edge of the sheath. The plastic liner is visible protruding from the bottom tip of the nylon. The knife’s blade rattles loosely and loudly against the hard liner. The sheath is the biggest fault I’ve found with the knife.
Like many people, I test the blade’s edge by shaving a section of my forearm. I was delighted to find the knife gliding through the hair, leaving a small bald streak across my arm. The obvious next step was to take the knife into the kitchen. After washing the knife, I was once again pleased to find that it slid through a number of tomatoes with little effort. Even after I softened a tomato under the hot faucet, the knife effortlessly sliced through it. A block of cheese proved no match for the knife, and a few minutes later I had made myself a delicious sandwich.
As the day wore on and the outside temperature fell, I decided it was time to start a fire. I tried my hand at some light batoning. I used the knife to split a block of wood into several equal portions, and then shaved kindling. I was rewarded with a warm fire in the stove. The knife worked fabulously, sliding through the wood just as it had cut through the tomatoes. That evening I used the knife to cut some frozen beef ribs apart as a treat for the dog. Again, I had no issues.
Over the last couple weeks I’ve been using the Lightweight Hunter as my go-to knife. I use it in the kitchen, the garage, outside, everywhere. The blade still sports a decent edge, and will probably make it a little further before it requires sharpening. Its handy size and comfortable handle make it easy and enjoyable to use.
This knife’s moderate size and very light weight make it a fantastic general-use blade. While the sheath could be vastly improved, it’s a fairly easy problem to remedy. In the future I intend to wear the knife to work. It will be interesting to see how the rubber and nylon withstand the various chemicals I use from day to day. This knife won’t replace my trusty Ka-Bar as my go-to do-it-all knife, but I’m very impressed. The durable steel and comfortable handle make this knife a good value if the buyer is willing to replace the sheath.