Our review of the Coast RX395 knife could actually be considered a month early. That’s because this new assisted opener would be ideal for National Preparedness Month. While not my first choice for every day carry, it’s great for the car, or your emergency kit. Of course, if you deal with emergencies on a regular basis, then maybe it could be your EDC. I’ll share the details, and let you decide.
First, the basics. It’s got a 3.75 inch (9.5cm) tanto-style blade made from 7CR17 steel. Overall length is 9.13 inches (23.2cm) when open, and 5.43 inches (13.8cm) when closed. You won’t forget you’re carrying it, with a weight of 6.31 ounces (179g). Textured nylon makes for a decent grip. Carry it tip-down only with the fixed clip.
So far, that makes it sound like a somewhat heavy, ho-hum knife. But don’t be so quick to judge. Rather than a camp knife or surgical tool, the RX395 is optimized for rescue work. Sure, the blade may not be the highest grade steel. That’s because it doesn’t have to be. By design, the tanto blade is more for pushing than slicing. Yet this one does slice well enough. Serrations on the blade will go right through rope and twine. You’ll find a seat belt cutter and glass breaker built into the bottom of the handle too. Suddenly, it’s sounding more like it’s made for serious business.
Coast added a few extra features to the blade, to increase its usefulness. Their Blade Assist Technology makes it quick and easy to open with one hand. Dual thumb studs simplify this task, for whichever hand you’ve got free. It opens quickly, smoothly, and with authority. If there is a concern about assisted openers, it’s that they might open by accident. Coast covered that with their Max Lock System. In addition to the liner lock, the Max Lock is a secondary lock that works when the blade is open or closed. So it won’t open until you need it, but it won’t close when you’re using it. This is a feature I’ve come to appreciate, the more I have seen it applied to Coast knives.
During my review period, I put the RX395 through all the usual tests. That meant rope, some garden hose, a bit of whittling, and plenty of cardboard boxes. I didn’t get to break a window, cut a seat belt, or rescue anyone. We might have to pick up some nylon webbing, just to add to our knife tests. But it cut everything I needed it to, every time. When it got dull, a few passes on a pocket sharpener, and I was back in business. If it happens to break, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty which covers materials and workmanship.
I carry a knife every day, and use them every day. As I mentioned, the RX395 wouldn’t be my first choice for EDC. But I would keep it in the car, probably get one for my wife to keep in her car, or maybe throw it in with a first aid kit. It’s tough, inexpensive (MSRP is $47, so it will probably retail under $40), and versatile. Positive locking, and one-handed operation are just bonuses to an already useful knife/tool. Find it and plenty of other knives, flashlights, and tools, at Coastportland.com.
I’d like to thank Coast for providing their RX395 knife for this review. Like all their products, it represents a great value. We don’t have unlimited funds, and you probably don’t either. It’s gear like this that offers usable quality at affordable prices.