Well, let’s start with the good news: “A new HK product is available on the civilian market!” and… it’s a knife. Or maybe, more correctly, 3/4 of a knife, as it appears to be lacking proper handle scales… however, we’ve seen worse in terms of product releases from the brand.
We’re kidding, of course, as this model follows a trend which was most likely started, or at least made famous, by Strider Knives. Paracord wrapped handles were the coolest choice for “tactical” fixed blade knives in the early 2000s. From the beginning they were quite divisive, considered by some (and you can list yours truly in the group) as rather cheap and uncomfortable and by others as a versatile option, allowing a thin handle plus the storage of several feet of paracord. Apparently the latter group is still strong enough to convince HK Knives to release a model with this feature in 2019.
Here below the full press release:
Heckler & Koch® Knives is thrilled to reveal the paracord wrapped Fray® to fixed blade enthusiasts. Comprised of 154CM steel, the Fray is intended for strenuous outdoor cutting activities. Lead engineer Brian Zelus elaborated, “Our goal was to create a useable, no-nonsense cutting tool. Knife ergonomics, along with a quality retention sheath, were the most deliberate engineering aspects of the Fray. Balancing appearance, function, and precision machining were critical to the design process. Perfection does not happen without extensive research and development.”
The Fray offers a lifetime of use with supreme comfort to boost cutting power and reduce fatigue. Both tanto and clip point styles come with thumb ramp jimping and an integral finger indent. The tail end of the grip also features added jimping for traction when used in an ice pick hold. A 1/8” thick paracord wrap weaves through tactically placed slots in the knife frame. Paracord can be used for lashing and has a multitude of survival uses varying from hunting to first aid. An auto retention sheath delivers graceful ambidextrous carry and release. Rapid deployment requires minimal thumb pressure and the knife easily snaps into place when not in use. To increase functionality, the sheath can be horizontally or vertically carried on waist belts and harnesses. For those desiring additional security, the retention sheath is also Tek-Lok™ compatible.
HK Knives are manufactured by Hogue Knives using the finest materials and strictest industry standards. Every Hogue knife is made in the USA and is backed by three generations of engineering expertise.
The Fray Specifications:
• Blade Length: 4.2”
• Overall Length: 9.1”
• Weight: 5.4 oz
• Style: Clip Point / Tanto
• Thickness: 0.1875”
• Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
• Hardness: 57-59 HRC
• Treatment: Cryogenically Heat Treated
• Finish: Black / Flat Dark Earth / Olive Drab Green Cerakote®
• Flat Grind – Hand Honed Edge
• Frame: Black 1/8″ Diameter Paracord Wrapped
• Tail Jimping: Provides for better traction in reverse grip
• Includes Automatic Retention Sheath (1.7 oz weight)
This Fray may indeed be a nice choice for whoever wants to carry a slim fixed blade as part of their kit, but they’re not expecting to make intense use of it… unless they like blistering, strenuous outdoor cutting activities, of course. Or simply for the hardcore Heckler & Koch fan.
The steel used seems a valid choice for the type of blade, and the manufacturer is top notch (nice of HK Knives to explicitly reveal this detail).
Photos from www.hkknives.com.