Comparisons between Rough Rider and Case pocket knives

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Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
This is one that has been talked about quite a lot, but the direct reviews side-by-side between two similar models less so.

So like many of you whom are interested in knives, you start at the bottom, with the cheaper knives and work your way up to something which is considered to be mid to high range. This is very much true when looking at Rough Rider and Case pocket knives, so for those of you which are thinking about traditional folders here is a review of my two peanut pocket knives.

First of all, these pocket knives have sentimental value to me as they are attributed each one to my two daughters, the idea is I can carry one or both of these in my pocket easily and in day-to-day use, it reminds me of my two very noisy, but very lovable daughters. So from that point of view alone I think a traditional knife are gifts that are very much cherished when they are attributed to something special in your life.

So back to the review….

Back spring strength - both have a good snap when in place, the rough rider is smooth to deploy and the blade seats its self very nicely on the back spring, but the Case has half stops at 90° and just a slightly stronger spring which means it is safer being deployed and in use – winner Case

Blade thickness and grind - Rough Rider blades, are often thinner blade stock than that of Case knives, but I must add that this is not necessarily an issue, as they slice very well. what seems to be consistent in some Case knives is I have noticed on a number of Case models viewed in the past, the tips are often rounded, while Rough Rider knives tend to have more of a needle-like point, this is most likely due to Cases polished finish, often rounding the edges, therefore you lose this acute point. As general cutters go Rough Rider's are really good.

As for the grind Case knives often come with this light hollow grind in their blades with a small secondary bevel, while rough rider knives have flat grind and have a quite high secondary bevel.

Overall both are even in relation to their strengths and weaknesses in regard of the blade thickness and grind. Even between both

Fit and finish - this is where they really stand apart, rough riders are finished sometimes quite crudely, although they are not bad and sometimes can be refined quite easily, Case on the other hand are more refined and polished throughout, sometimes there can be issues with Case knives, which have been noted by a number of reviews in the past but they are more consistent in their approach to what is a finished piece. I would like to add that in relation to blade centring both are comparable with each other as case knives often rub either the side of the handle or when you have a stockman knife, rubbing will be evident on the other blades – Winner Case

Handles - the materials utilised for handle inlays from both Rough riders and case are comparable to each other, and it is very difficult to choose one over the other, as both are consistently choosing good materials for their handles - even when between both

Edge retention - this is difficult one, as the steel is very similar, bear in mind here I am looking at the 440 stainless steel in the Rough Rider and the 420 HC steel in the Case, if you are going to look at the carbon steels the CV Case steel is brilliant at holding a scalpel -like edge, but again Rough Rider have brought out there T10 carbon steel that is amazing. There really is not anything between them steel wise, and the only difference will know if there is an issue in relation to the heat treat. Even between both

Price - the clear winner here is the rough Rider, for what you get there are very difficult to be pricewise, effectively Rough riders could be sold for more if they just ever so slightly up their game in relation to the fit and finish, however when looking at the case knives they are expensive for what you get, but as a treasured piece there is something unmistakable about a well made Case knife. Winner – Rough Rider

Just to make things a little bit more complicated, Rough Rider have in recent years upped their game in relation to the fit and finish, some of their more premium priced knives really are at Case level for fit and finish.

Happy hunting and wish all of you which are starting to get into the traditional knife ownership, a good time, we are spoilt at the moment with the choices which are given to us and only you can decide for yourselves what is right for you…. For me I will be looking at both of them, in addition to some the newer models like the Marples D2 range, which has much thicker blade stocks than either of these brands mentioned, and seems to be again at the higher end of the Case fit and finish.

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Full Member
Aug 13, 2007
great write up mate and I agree with all points, its a bonus that you have a sentimental attachment to them too

I've liked the Roughriders I've handled and If they made more of the classics I'd be interested in picking them up again

either 3" boys knife a la the gec#14 or a release of the discontinued small coke bottle would be right up my street
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Full Member
Jun 22, 2009
South Wales
This was helpful, thanks. One thing I like about the Rough rider is the design of the nail nick. I don't know if it makes it any better or worse to use but it just looks better than the standard smooth notches.


Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
This was helpful, thanks. One thing I like about the Rough rider is the design of the nail nick. I don't know if it makes it any better or worse to use but it just looks better than the standard smooth notches.
I have mixed views on the match lighting nail nicks, but I have not noticed any real difference in use.

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