Hogue’s entry to knives has been a big splash. They seem to hit the market at the perfect time with their auto openers. Automatic knives are making a comeback, and knife laws around the country are beginning to modernize. In particular today we are talking about the Hogue OTF. OTF, or out the front, knives are popular for self-defense. While a ton of places may have gun free zones rarely do they mention knives. An OTF isn’t a replacement for a gun but is a still a force multiplier when you can’t carry a smoke wagon. The Hogue OTF happens to be a well made, and affordable OTF for self-defense and EDC.
The Hogue OTF Breakdown
This OTF is a great little knife, but before we dive into the review, let’s talk specs.
Blade Length – 3.375 inches
Overall Length – 8.5 inches
Weight – 5.16 ounces
Blade Type – Clip Point (Tanto Also available)
Steel – CPM-154
This is a big knife, but it is surprisingly lightweight. At only 5.16 ounces it barely weighs anything in your pocket. It’s easy to clip it on and forget it. The pocket clip can’t be moved, so lefties should take note. The Hogue OTF’s nice 3.375-inch blade is a decent length and gives it an excellent level of penetration and slashing ability while remaining short enough to be maneuverable. The clip point blade doesn’t penetrate like a tanto but is much easier to sharpen in my experience anyway.
I want to note one thin the grip is fantastic. Hogue made their bones making gun grips, so they know how ergonomics work. The Hogue OTF features an overall outstanding little grip. The grip is curved just right to accommodate the hand and to support an aggressive forward grip. The rear is slightly curved to accommodate the double action switch. This allows your thumb to fall naturally to the blade deployment switch. A good flick of the thumb deploys or retracts the blade with ease.
The CPM-154 steel is a tough tool steel. For knives, it’s corrosion-resistant, ultra hard and very tough to break or chip. As a sturdy steel, it takes a few extra swipes to bring it to that razor blade level of sharp. Once its there though the blade stays sharp for quite some time. I’ve been chopping through just about everything that I’ve needed to cut. Cardboard, tape, plastics, zip ties, and more. I’ve only sharpened it once, and it’s held on since then.
As I mentioned before the Hogue OTF is a fantastic self-defense tool. In a fight, you can quickly deploy the knife in ultra close quarters without having to flick your wrist or rely on a folding mechanism. It’s easy to deploy regardless of the situation, and of course, its ultra fast. If you get in a pinch, a knife like this could mean the difference between a rough night and night in the morgue.
The OTF mechanism is strong, but it’s not a tool like an ordinary knife. In my review, I’ve been using it for everything, but that’s because I actively avoid trying to get into fights. The Hogue OTF is a fighting knife, a concealed, low profile knife, but its made to brawl. Don’t underestimate it, and when a gun isn’t an option, the Hogue OTF is.