Here’s a great way to kick off the week: a brand new Rick Hinderer Knives folder has been released. In the works for many years, the Project X looks like a Hinderer, and takes some of its cues and technical elements from its predecessors, but has a look and a feel all its own.
2022 marks 35 years in the biz for RHK, and, appropriately enough for a knife released to commemorate the anniversary, the Project X looks both backwards and forwards. Its 3.66-inch blade corresponds nicely to the length on the genre-defining XM-18. It also has the same .165″ blade stock you see on most current XMs, which walks a nice middle ground between the beefiness Hinderer models are known for, and the slicing ability that the EDC community of today generally favors. RHK chose a current gen steel for this current gen knife: S45VN. The Project X is a flipper-only knife but comes with Hinderer’s Tri-Way pivot system, which lets users swap the bushing between phosphor bronze, Teflon, and bearing washers.
The ergonomics on RHK folders are always squared away, and the Project X appears no different in that regard; however, the overall shape is something new within the Hinderer catalog. It could be the clip blade making us think this way, but the handle profile looks like what you might see on a Bowie fixed blade: a low arc between the bracket formed by the pronounced guard and mild butt end beak. The oversized front-and-back end screws punctuate the otherwise low-key front scale and give Project X a pleasing visual symmetry; the titanium locking side is textured, equipped with both a steel lock bar interface and the Hinderer overtravel stop.
As mentioned at the beginning, all these little details add up to a model that feels different from prior RHK releases. However, the pocket clip will be a familiar face indeed, as it’s the same split spoon style clip that has been riding on Hinderer knives for more than a decade. The Project X also has the Hinderer Modular Backspacer system and, like the Full Track before it, one option for the spacer is a tool for disassembling the knife on the go.
The first batch of Project Xs released over the weekend and, predictably, sold out immediately. But more are on the way, and according to Hinderer’s release vid, there could be options eventually in terms of steel, handle finishes, etc.
Knife in Featured Image: Rick Hinderer Knives Project X