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Saturday, 01 June 2024 08:58

ASK Jefferson Featured

Written by

The humble Swiss Army knife has been a staple in the multipurpose tool market since 1884. Though it's evolved over the years, it's stayed relatively the same. Victorinox has been a dominant force in the industry world wide. Others have tried to grab some of the action, yet they cannot match the quality or production. They've got over 150 years of experience, one cannot simply compete. But instead of trying to copy them, why not innovate? Create something new, and fresh, use high end materials, and give people something they'll truly want. That is what Greg Medford of Medford Knives set out to do. His answer is called ASK Knives, which is an acronym for American Service Knife.




This sister company to Medford, is Greg's attempt to offer the knife community what people have been asking for. A multipurpose Swiss style knife with modern materials, that's customizable by the user. People have been modding, and customizing their own knives for decades or more. But someone had yet created a system that was successful. Greg says that the company brings a spirit of adventure, creativity, innovation, and a clean slate to the segment. Today we're taking a look at their Jefferson model.




The Jefferson model is touted as the personification of what our country embodies. Freedom, Liberty, and American excellence. Medford is known for quality, and over-built construction. ASK Knives are exactly that, built tough, sometimes to it's detriment. Stock, the Jefferson comes with a drop point blade, bottle opener, and chisel, wrapped in what they companies calls grabber orange. I used the orange for a bit, but decided to use a more patriotic theme with camo and a warthog. The orange would be good for situations where hi-vis is necessary. Maybe I'll grab an American flag handle at some point, just seems fitting. Far as texture and shape go, it very much feels like a SAK in my pocket. There's subtle shaping on the ends, following the curve of the titanium liners below. The orange is smooth like traditional SAK's, as where the camo set is more like the Vic's eco scales. There is unfortunately no toothpick or tweezers, guess those would be a Swiss exclusive feature.




The knife on the Jefferson is a drop point in what people think is S45VN steel. The steel is known for it's enhanced edge holding ability, and corrosion resistance. Greg doesn't say which high end steel is used in the blade or tools, this is speculation based on usage. The blade came sharp but not the level of sharp that it could be. I was able to get it the way I wanted very easily using the ceramic rods on my Sharpmaker. The blade is reminiscent of others in this genre, making it great for things you'll encounter daily. The only negative I have is the thickness, compared to the competition this guy's easily twice as thick. That robustness makes for a stronger blade that can be somewhat abused, but suffers performance wise.



The onboard tools are a bottle opener, and a chisel. Both tools do more than their namesake. The opener also works as a flat and Philips driver. I'm surprised these features are not named, as they may sway potential buyers. Performance for those unmentioned features is pretty good. Though a little thick it handles a good deal of flat head screws. Phillips works really good, but would be too wide for anything other than standard size. The chisel works great for scraping, removing stickers, and other things similar. Another unmentioned feature is teeth inside of the chisel. Though mainly decorative, you can fit a quarter inch bit in there. Because the Jefferson is a slip-joint style knife, you have to turn against the spring to prevent folding. I've used this in a pinch, but it's not practical, and could constitute as misuse.




The great thing about the ASK line of tools is that ability to add, remove, or clean the knife by disassembling. The knife is held together by two T25 screws. Disassembly is easy, after removing the two screws, scale, and outer titanium liner your greeted with the inner mechanics. The Jefferson works like any other classic pocket knife, there's springs, pins, and the parts that rotate on those. Just to replace the scales I had to completely disassemble the knife. Kind of inconvenient, but it let me see what I was up against. Everything is well thought out, only thing I missed was a small pin that keeps the knife from hitting the back spring. Now why Greg didn't opt for a kick on the blade tang is unsure. This design choice gets the blade very close to the spring, it bothers me but so far no issues. I do appreciate that everything has half-stops. It makes assemble a little easier as I was able to rock the tool into place, and it would sit there in the halfway position till I was done assembling. Construction as a whole is beautiful, and I wish we would see more traditional makers take this approach.



The Jefferson, or rather ASK Knives in general are a fresh take on an age old design. Trying to fix what was perceived broken, and thus bringing a modern take on the Swiss knife. The premium materials and craftsmanship are evident when looking at it more than face value. I appreciate that Greg saw something he knew the community wanted, and met that challenge. That end product is 100% American made, which gives me a sense of pride. The cost considering these premium materials doesn't come cheap. The Jefferson, as well as it's siblings run $240 for starters. If I was to add another layer to the Jefferson, it would be around $180 more. The ASK Knives command this price because of what's put into it as well as the name attached to it. But, considering this is aimed at those who don't bat an eye at those prices, it's right in line. It's an amazing product, and I look forward to Greg keeping this alive. If you in the market for a high end customizable Swiss type knife, the ASK fits the bill.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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