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Review: Medford Knife and Tool 187 DP

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“I want it to be a catastrophic event…”

When the owner of Medford Knife and Tool, Greg Medford, spoke these words, “I want it to be a catastrophic event…” they hit me like a ton of bricks. Not the “What a terrible thing to say,” but more of, “this man is speaking to my soul.”

The last thing anyone wants is to end up in a knife fight. But if you did find yourself in such a situation, you would probably want the Medford 187 DP in your hand.

The 187 DP is a beast of a knife. With 3/16th stock used throughout the entire knife there is no other word to describe it. With the 3/16th stock some people may find this overwhelming at first. After carrying it around, it seemed normal, and all the other knives in my rotation seemed small.

Luckily for the guys with large hands, this knife fills them up. It's balanced and feels large but not overly so. It’s like being just full enough from a good Chinese food dinner. There is ample jimping (small notches cut into the back of a blade to prevent your fingers from slipping) on the base of the knife, making the grip much more secure. So if your glove size is a medium, you can still feel confident when handling it. There are many knives in my rotation, but nothing comes close to this. It has a perfect combination of thickness, balance, and proportion.


Each piece of hardware is oversized on this knife just as it is on most all Medford knives. The beautiful pivot screw is a custom 6-hole design. It needs no adjustment as it comes perfect from the factory. Each of the standoff screws is a large 5mm beauty.

The clip is milled from titanium. If you are one of those people, like myself, that is constantly running into doorframes, wall corners, and other solid objects that “jump out” at you, be warned. Most likely you will be taking chunks out of said wall with this clip– it's that solid. There is no concern with it bending out of place. Like most knives with meaty clips, there is a worry of it tearing up your pocket or your leather car seats, you will have to use extra care.

Handles/ Frame Lock

The handles on the 187 DP are composed of rugged tumbled titanium. Medford does this for the longevity and texture of the scales. They can take a heck of a lot of scratches and dings before they even show the slightest sign of use. The frame lock on this locks up like a bank vault. The lock sits on the first quarter of the base of the blade initially. I expect this to shift slightly to the first 1/3 of the base as the knife breaks in.

Detent/ Swing/ Pivot

This is pretty stiff on the knife but not overbearing. The thumbhole makes opening the knife manageable. Having a knife that is stiff to open gives you the confidence that it will not open in your pocket and slice your fingers up with you go to grab it. The detent (an indentation of the blade that helps keep the blade closed) of the blade nicely seats the blade with only a few millimeters left to close the blade. One comment on the opening of this knife is that it takes some practice. Because of the initial stiffness of the detent, some users might find it difficult to open. This is done on purpose to prevent the knife from coming open in your pocket and sending you to the emergency room. This can be overcome with practice and learning how your knife works


There is generous jimping (small notches cut into the back of a blade to prevent your fingers from slipping) on the top of the blade and on the base of the handle. This gives the knife a secure feel in your hand.


The blade is a beautiful drop point that is PVD coated. There is also a large choil (or a large un-sharpened part of the knife blade that is located where the blade becomes part of the handle) on the underside of the blade for finer cutting work. It didn't go unnoticed that the blade comes razor sharp with a mirror polish to the cutting edge.

Fit and Finish

As expected from a custom knife manufacturer, everything is flawless. The blade is perfectly centered in the knife. The washers on opening and closing are silky smooth, and the lockup is as solid. The frame is as tough as it looks and will take a ton of abuse before showing any sign of use. Medford has a “Do not use any tools/lubrication on your knife. No exceptions” policy. If you are the type of person who likes to customize or tinker with your knives, this is not the maker for you. If you take apart your knife, try and tighten/loosen the screws, or dunk it in WD-40 the warranty is void.

This knife is meant to be used. The 187 DP is a large folder that carries large but not uncomfortable by any means. It feels similar to an Emerson Commander or like a thick version of a Spyderco Para2 in the pocket. Use it as an EDC to open letters, packages, and to shotgun beers with friends. But rest assured if the worst-case scenario comes to fruition and this tool has to be put to work doing stabby things, it will be a catastrophic event for whoever is on the receiving end.

Medford Knife and Tool 187 DP

Total length: 9 3/8 inches
Blade length: 3 3/4 inches
Blade thickness: .190 inches
Blade width: 1 1/4 inches
Scale thickness: 3/16 inches
Total thickness: 5/8 inches
Closed length: 5 1/4 inches
Weight: 7.1 ounces

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