November 2021 Fixed Blade of the Month

a knife on a table next to a corkscrew.

Many knifemakers attempt to build on classic designs tested thoroughly by time, but few of these updated models make a leap in quality quite like The Fighter by Medford Knife and Tool. The Fighter, also known as the USMC Fighter, is a modern take on the utility knife used by the United States Marines during the 60s and 70s. At first glance you might compare The Fighter to a KA-BAR fighting knife, the design is certainly informed by the stylings of their knives, but with closer inspection it is clear that Medford went above and beyond to create a fixed blade with an emphasis on power and strength. Weighing in at 1.3lbs, with a price tag of $525 The Fighter is not for the faint of heart, but instead for someone who needs a heavy duty tool with premium materials and manufacturing that they can trust.

Making up the majority of the weight of the knife is the CPM-S35VN drop point blade. Built from one solid piece of steel and somewhat rare at online knife stores, the full-tang construction of this knife is one of the biggest innovations it implements. Generally, fixed blades have some sort of constriction at the point where the blade meets the handle, creating a point of vulnerability in the build, but The Fighter’s blade has no such weakness. Measuring 0.25” in width, this blade is thick and built to take a beating that few fixed blades could handle. Medford opted for a modernized drop point on The Fighter instead of the classic clip point, giving it some versatility when it comes to utility in various cutting situations. Coating the blade is a sleek black PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finish that increases resistance to wear and gives The Fighter it’s classic tactical feel.

Behind the edge of the Fighter is a two piece interlocking black PVD coated titanium hilt, this two piece design allows for the unconstrained tang while still providing the necessary finger protection. Following the hilt is a 3D multicolored G-10 handle, layered with black, tan, and white creating a beautiful striped pattern and a solid scale sandwich for the tang of the blade. Stainless hardware keeps the handle secured from one side to another. The blade of this USMC Fighter is not going anywhere if the handle is in your hand. The robustness of the Fighter seems to bleed through into every detail, the solidity of the build is uncompromising.

At the end of the handle is another black PVD coated piece, the solid titanium pommel. This heavy, notched, and smooth piece adds some extra utility to the Fighter and serves as the perfect conclusion to this impressive design. From front to back the Medford Fighter improves on every aspect of the classic design while retaining the most important elements. A Medford leather sheath is included with the Fighter and provides adequate housing for your blade in the field, but if you are interested in obtaining a custom leather sheath for your knife at our knife store, that takes it to the next level, contact Grommets Leathercraft for information on how to order. If everything about this knife resonates with you except for the fixed aspect, Medford also offers the Fighter Flipper with a flipper that has many of the same winning materials and design characteristics. Either way you go, folder or fixed, the Medford Fighter lives up to its name, no question.