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Two Knife Comparison Review of Colonial Military E2 Elecrical Knife and Rough Rider RR1140 Electrician Knife

This is a comparison review of the Colonial Military E2 Electrical Knife Type TL29 and the Rough Rider RR1140 Electrician Knife.

Description

Knife blade:  Colonial - 2 5/8" drop point,  RR - 2 3/4" spear

Screwdriver blade:  Colonial - 2 9/16",  RR - 2 3/4"

Blade steel:  Colonial - 440C,  RR - 440A

Scales:  Colonial - Black sawcut Zytel,  RR - Red jigged bone

Shield:  Colonial - None,  RR - Bowtie "Be Prepared"

Weight:  Colonial - 4.1 oz.,  RR - 3.6 oz.

The knife blade on both knives sliced paper and shaved hair out of the box.  The blades on the Colonial are hardened to Rockwell 58-60.  Both blades on the RR have a half stop and the knife blade is etched with a two inch ruler.

The blades and springs on the Colonial are significantly thicker than those on the RR.  As best as I can measure they are 1/8" on the Colonial and just over 1/16" on the RR. 

The bail on the Colonial is larger and sturdier than on the RR.  I like the fact that the Colonial bail is not loose and will stay where you position it.  The RR bail is loose and you have to watch that it isn't under the blades when you close them.

The Colonial is a huskier, beefier knife than the RR.  It was obviously designed and built to provide long lasting dependable service as a user.  The RR is a prettier knife with its highly polished blades and bolsters and red jigged bone scales and brass liners.  It will definitely look nice in my collection.

But if you go by pretty is as pretty does, then the Colonial is also very pretty.  The extra weight, the more hand filling grip, and the better steel would make it better as a user than the RR.  It meets GSA specifications and is listed as NSN 5110-00-240-5943.

Both knives give good value for the money.  SMKW sells the RR for $8.  I paid $25 for the Colonial direct from Colonial.  I believe both knives are well worth what they cost.

Both are going unused into my collection.

Tags: Colonial, E2, Elecrical, Electrician, Knife, Military, RR1140, Rider, Rough

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Replies to This Discussion

Sweet .. thanks for the review !!

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I certainly agree .. the Colonial is simply all around the better beefier knife.

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The typical TL29 model could expect to see some hard use & even abuse in the real world & it appears Colonial designed their version w/ that in mind.

......... and .........

$25 is a very fair price for the additional robustness of their design.

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The RR may "look" nicer .. however .. the Colonial can be passed on even after yrs of hard use.

That is a great comparison Charles. I believe you are correct in both being good values for the money. Very nice knives to have in your collection.

I agree with all of the above.  A knife does not have to be expensive to be worth the investment, it just has to be a value

That Colonial looks fantastic for the modest price !

Thanks for the review, Charles.  You've peaked my interest in the Colonial electrical knife.  From the pictures, it appears that the liner lock for the Colonial is thinner that the one on the Rough Rider.  Is that the case or is the picture deceiving?  Also how well does the screwdriver lock and is a portion of the driver blade sharpened?  I've owned a few electrical knives where part of the screwdriver was sharpened. 

I have the Rough Rider in the Coal Miner series.   The blades are 440A and are hardened to 55-57 HRC or they are  comparable.  I haven't used it much as I tend to grab an old Klein Tool Electrical knife when I need an electrical knife.

The old Klein just screams reliability.  The Colonial looks more like the ones made by Klein!    Colonial knives continue to impress me.  And those who know me, know I have high regard for Rough Riders.  They are a good buy for the price.

Thanks for the review/comparison, Charles.

Tobias, I will answer your questions in the order asked.

"From the pictures, it appears that the liner lock for the Colonial is thinner that the one on the Rough Rider.  Is that the case or is the picture deceiving?"

Yes, the liner lock on the Colonial is slightly thinner than the one on the RR.

"Also how well does the screwdriver lock"

The screwdriver locks very well.  In this picture you can see that the liner lock on the Colonial fully engages the blade and moves well into the blade.  On the RR only about half the liner lock engages the edge of the blade.

"and is a portion of the driver blade sharpened?"

On the Colonial nearly the whole length of the screwdriver blade is sharpened.  About half of the screwdriver blade is sharpened on the RR.  It will slice paper but not shave hair on both knives.

The screwdriver tip on the Colonial is thicker than on the RR and is cut square while the RR tip is somewhat rounded.  Thus the Colonial would be the more effective screwdriver.

I agree with you Tobias.  Both knives are a good buy for the price.

Thanks for the info Charles.  I'm fairly certain that Colonial currently has a government contract for their Electrical knife, as in the supply these for the Military.   I could be wrong, perhaps Steve can verify.

Nice write up Charles. Everything I need to make an educated purchase. Thanks for the review.

Good review Charles, I've been wondering how the RR version compares to an original, (at least a Colonial original). I've looked at the RR's a few times wondering if I should pull the trigger or not, (haven't yet, probably will). I have four TL29-type electrician's knives, a Colonial like yours, (certainly not as pristine as yours though), a Camillus, an Imperial, and a more recent Klein from the mid 70's with plastic handles, not Delrin or anything like that, pure-dee soft plastic that you can stick your fingernail into it is so soft. I guess that makes the handle a good insulator, but it sure isn't any kind of attractive.

All of the older knives have what I would consider to be rather weak springs on the blades, (the screwdriver's spring seems much stiffer; same on all three knives). They all just kinda snap closed with a weak "tap", (despite being derusted and cleaned). The Klein has decent blades and springs, but those cheapie plastic handles feel chincey and "plasticky" in the hand to me, which is kind of a buzz kill. I did use that knife for years however and didn't break it; but I wasn't worried if I did break it. Thought of that knife more like a use & abuse "throw away" tool I could toss across the room into a bucket of nails and not worry about it..

Hi Syd,   I'm curious about the Klein Electrician knife you're talking about.  The one's I have from the 70s are Delrin handled.   Can you tell me what the tang stamp on your Klein reads?

Also my older electricians have nail breaker springs on them!  I only have older ones from Camillus and Klein.  I think you could run a truck over them with no damage!

That said, I have an old Klein hawk that was very much abused to the point that it was junk. It appeared that the handles had been clean with some type of solvent which made them soft.  Vinegar, Ammonia, and Chlorine bleach can all soften Delrin.  Chances are someone cleaned the handle of your Klein knife with the wrong cleaner!

Camillus Electrician.

Hi Tobias. As a tool box/bucket knife, that Klein is in one of my tool boxes that is in my storage unit. When I find it I'll take some photos.

Tobias Gibson said:

Hi Syd,   I'm curious about the Klein Electrician knife you're talking about.  The one's I have from the 70s are Delrin handled.   Can you tell me what the tang stamp on your Klein reads?

Also my older electricians have nail breaker springs on them!  I only have older ones from Camillus and Klein.  I think you could run a truck over them with no damage!

That said, I have an old Klein hawk that was very much abused to the point that it was junk. It appeared that the handles had been clean with some type of solvent which made them soft.  Vinegar, Ammonia, and Chlorine bleach can all soften Delrin.  Chances are someone cleaned the handle of your Klein knife with the wrong cleaner!

Camillus Electrician.

Thank you for the review.

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