A.G. Russell Acies Folder Knife

Reviewed by corwin99 on April 8th, 2011

Yet another contender for the crown of “sebenza-killer”, the A.G. Russell Acies certainly impresses with its myriad of features and solid build quality. Manufactured by Kershaw and designed by A.G. Russell, the Acies has all the makings of a super-folder, but does this folder live up to its claims? Read more to see what I think!

Upon first handling the Acies, I noticed that the build quality was extremely good. I’ve handled some of Kershaw’s higher end pieces, and while they might not have the pedigree of the CRK products, Kershaw is no slouch. The A.G. Russell Acies features state-of-the-art ZDP-189 Super Steel hardened to an incredible 64-66HRC, Titanium framelock construction, Hinderer Lock Bar Stabilizer and phosphor bronze washers.

The blade steel is Stainless ZDP-189, a powder metal steel designed by Hitachi that has an incredibly high Carbon Content, allowing the steel to be hardened to 64+ HRC. This creates a super hard steel that comes sharper than nearly any other steel out there. Unfortunately one of the trade-offs of having a super hard steel is chipping. ZDP-189 steels get brittle and tend to “micro-chip” along the edges creating microserrations making them harder to touch up when it needs sharpening. While this may not be desirable to some, it does hold a hell of an edge and can be taken to a very fine edge.

The blade is a drop point style with a VERY slight recuve in it. Full flat grind is a nice choice for a slicer like the Acies as it allows the knife to take a thinner edge with a nicer blade profile that excels at slicing tasks.

Great ergos on this handle. The knife feels much more comfortable in the hand than the Sebenza and the Bradley Alias, partly due to the way the handle is finished. Its a shinier, smoother blasted finish that shows scuffing a bit less and sacrifices a bit of grip for a higher level of finish.

Lock and Action:
This folder has the biggest stop pin that I have ever seen! I’m not sure what the thinking behind the oversized stop pin is, but it sure does look robust and also make me feel more comfotable about flicking the knife open. The action is very smooth so its quite possible that it would lend itself to being flicked more often, putting more stress on the stop pin.

The blade glides quite easily unlike a Sebenza. The action feels very nice and is closer to most high-end custom folders that I’ve handled rather than a Sebenza. There is no blade play in the open or closed positions, which is much appreciated by me.

The A.G. Russell Acies is the first of the so-called Sebenza-Killers that I actually think I might prefer over the Sebenza. Not because its made better, but because its more practical in design for my personal purposes. Exceptional craftmanship and a unique and effective combination of features and materials make the Acies a first-rate producion folding knife.

Closed Length: 4 1/2″
Blade Length: 3 5/8″
Blade Steel: ZDP-189
Rockwell Hardness: 64-66
Handle: 6A14V Titanium


3 Responses to “A.G. Russell Acies Folder Knife”

  1. pecheurbar Says:

    I have this knife and i like it. Very smart design and top materials. ZDP 189 blade is impressive in edge retention, but you’re right when you warn it must be used with care as it can chip easily (really not for chopping). To sharpen it, I use diamond deluxe lansky kit, finishing with white and then blue sapphire stone: it does well the job, even on ZDP. BTW, The knife is perfectly thought and built. The same knife with a CPM-M4 blade would be the absolute perfection (and the first real sebbie killer!).

  2. corwin99 Says:

    Definately would be interesting with a CPM-M4 blade, but I can see many people actually prefering S30V over it. I think some people still prefer S30V over ZDP189 too.

  3. c.s.lin Says:

    A.G. Russell Acies Folder Knife is perfect.
    looking for have a litter small one.

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