There’s a part of me that will always be something of a traditionalist when it comes to knives and other gear. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the modern stuff that’s available. But, there’s something just plain cool about a jackknife, for example. It isn’t tactical, or tacticool for that matter. You aren’t going to skin a buck and build a radio from the carcass with it. But, you get a sense of tradition from using one to make a feather stick or just plain whittle for that matter.
Uncle Henry is one of those names from back in the day when every guy carried a pocket knife and no one thought twice about it. Many of us had grandpas who maybe gave us our first folding knife and, quite often, the knife bore the Uncle Henry name. For 100 years, Uncle Henry manufactured and sold great quality knives. Then, in 2004, they closed the doors.
Fortunately, Taylor Brands, LLC, bought the rights to the name and began traditions anew. I recently acquired an Uncle Henry folding knife and, thus far, I’m pretty impressed with it. I have the Rancher, model number 834UH. I’d been looking for a smaller folding knife I could keep either in my pocket or slip into a small survival kit and the Rancher fits the bill rather well.
The Uncle Henry Rancher has three blades. The main blade is a clip point that runs 2.5”.
Next is a 2” sheepsfoot blade.
Then we have a 1.75” pen blade.
All three are high carbon stainless steel and each has a nail pull to make it easy to swing the blade out for use. Closed, the knife is 3.3” long. It is 0.5” thick and when closed it is about 0.75” high.
The handles are faux stag horn with brass pins.
The knife arrives with all three blades hair popping sharp. I’ve played around with the Uncle Henry Rancher for a few weeks now. This is a small, thin folding knife and obviously isn’t suited for processing firewood and such nonsense. This is a knife you’d carry for opening boxes and packages, whittling, and other similar tasks.
I like the Uncle Henry Rancher quite a bit. It has held an edge very well after cutting through a pile of cardboard and whittling a few feather sticks. It even held a sharp enough edge to feather some paper after whittling on wood and opening boxes and such.
The Rancher is small and light, making it easy to carry even when wearing running shorts or suit pants. It has the bonus of not freaking people out when you use it to open mail or packages at the office. While there is something to be said for making people gasp when you pull a folding sword from your belt or pocket, the reality is such behavior could get you in trouble, or at the least it may be remembered which goes against that whole “Gray Man” concept.
I’ve found the Rancher to be a great option for a blade in an Altoids survival kit, too. I like this a lot better than just a single edge razor blade or something along those lines. Even as small as it is, the Rancher is comfortable to use and far more nimble than trying to hold a razor blade.
The best part is the Rancher sells for just a hair over twenty bucks. Highly recommended.