Been hoping to see this one become available again. Very pleased to see it being offered in the consistently excellent White Bone. I have two from a several years ago, one with handsome tobacco brown jigged bone, one with man-made abalone scales, which to some might seem gaudy, but which I find to be appealing, like a colourful Oriental landscape, delicate, intricate and intriguing. Also noticeably slimmer than its ruggedly masculine twin.
The bone handled one is a distinctively impressive EDC when I am in the mood for its hefty presence. It always provokes amused disbelief then admiring approval when I allow trusted friends or workmates to have a look; invariably bemusement turns to respect as they examine the cutting edge. Then they want to know where I bought it. And yes, despite its portly contours, it is indeed well within the requirements to be UK friendly.
This pattern, and a similar one, is sometimes - and a bit bewilderingly, interchangeably, by some - referred to as Sunfish, Sleeveboard Sunfish, or, most intriguingly, Elephant Toe, or Elephant's Toenail, depending on manufacturer and to some extent, date of production. These latter designations have a fascinating story in the distant past in the heyday of African safaris. It originally was a cutler's response to a certain gentleman's request for a truly robust pocket knife that would endure the rigours of such a life without compromise or failure. Worth looking into its history online. So for a collector, this pocket knife is a fascinating link to a colourful "boy's own" time of adventures straight out of H Rider Haggard.
Actual use? The thick main blade would do very well for stripping bark from green wood, certainly is capable of standing up to reasonably hard use, and takes a pretty good edge indeed, as Rough Rider owners know. The ergonomic fitness is surprisingly good. The great breadth is compensated for by the knife's somewhat slim width. So it is a comfortable knife to use. Despite its hardy size, I don't think that batoning would be wise. I know that Rope Knives of yore were made for this, but appreciation for this unusual pocket knife would stop me. Along with common sense.
The main edge of the pretty abalone knife was, out of the box, very useful for whittling. Obviously for material removal rather than for fine detail. The size of shavings produced are matched only by my Mora 106 or 120. This is no exaggeration. This amazingly effective performance is due to a steeper angle on the edge. And it is laughably easy to maintain on my Spyderco Sharpmaker followed by ordinary stropping, with care to preserve the angle. So it gets quite a bit of use for rapid material removal or rough shaping, is pleasant to use for push cuts thanks to the thick spine beneath my thumb, and fits my grasp beautifully. Also, it smooths very nicely, turning large angular facets into subtle, then fluid, contours. Using this on seasoned hardwood is an absolute joy!
All in all, this pattern is a delight. Consider the reality of the listed specifications before you buy. Personally this has my unreserved endorsement.
The other Rough Rider White Bone models have been truly excellent, especially the magnificent Silver Select Stockman. My others: Barlow, Canoe, Peanut, all are very good. And ideal for gifts. As a brand, RR quickly established themselves in terms of astonishing value for money. A paradigm shift for pocket knives made in China.
The White Bone series, in my experience, raises the bar. Compared to the cost of a Case or GEC similar if not identical model, the cost of a RR makes it instantly more viable to anyone but the most determined, and affluent, collector.
Keep in mind that bone, being a natural material, may well have or very occasionally develop minor imperfections. This is normal, and only adds to character, certainly in my experience and opinion. Bone ages beautifully.
I am genuinely pleased that I bought mine, and anyone interested in this pattern will have a similarly enjoyable experience.
Especially so in dealing with the legendary Heinnie Haynes. Cheers!