Hogue Deka Wharncliffe Review: A Quality Pocket Knife

by Kyle Lamb

January 8, 2021



“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!”

This was a statement I often had to defend myself with as a young man continuing into adulthood.

Ok, ok, you got me, I made that up but it sounds like what I said to the Hogue Deka with Blue Lava G-Mascus and a Wharncliffe blade design.

I had seen the clip point of this model, it is a very nice knife and super lightweight while being stubborn when it comes to durability. I must admit I wanted one.

Fast forward to early December. I found myself walking the aisles of Hogue’s Paso Robles machine shop with Neil Hogue, one of the owners of Hogue Inc. He walked me through the process from start to finish with the knives, blades, scales, amazing to say the least. I wasn’t able to see the Deka in it’s finished configuration but when I saw the small flat ground Wharncliffe blade for the Deka I was turned off. It looked too fantasy-like for me. Maybe it was my South Dakota upbringing, just the basics. Whatever, it didn’t speak to me as I looked at idle machines and piles of blades somewhere in the manufacturing process.

Later the next day as the tour continued I walked by Gary Flynn who was working on a batch of Deka knives that had been assembled. He sat a knife on the cart beside the workstation, I was in love. The Blue Lava G-Mascus was so sexy. That along with the razor sharp CPM 20 CV stainless blade design. I was sucked into the vortex of Hogue Knives, this was a beauty. I had to have one. But could I get away with stealing one or would Gary chase me into one of the surrounding vineyards and give me a nuggie when he caught me? I wasn’t about to take the chance, so lowering my head I solemnly walked away with sadness in my soul. I wanted to feel the weightlessness of the 2.3 ounce, Cryogenically Treated, G-10 scaled, stone tumbled maiden.

Shortly after returning to Tennessee I worked some magic to get a Hogue Deka headed my way.

When it arrived I lost the feeling in my face, I was like the kid on Christmas Story as I ripped open the package. The heavenly light shined from within, I slid open the Hogue knife box exposing the hand stitched nylon Hogue knife case, a nice touch by the way, and there she laid. The blue scales were a satin finish with the CNC cut V pattern that rests nicely in your hand.

Ok, I have to stop, I am starting to sweat again. Seriously this is a work of art.

Allen Elishewitz, a former Recon Marine, is the key designer Hogue used for this and many of the other knives in Hogue’s line.  Along with Scott and Jim at Hogue the Deka came to life. If you want a custom knife from Allen you better have a sharp pencil and some time on your hands. He is a highly sought after craftsman, his works are art but useable on the battlefield.

But back to the knife I hold in my hand. The pocket knife is a personal piece to most who carry them and the Deka is now one of my favorites. I change my underwear, occasionally, but I don’t change knives very often. I must say I now carry the Deka every day.

The Deka comes standard with Hogue’s Able lock, blade lock. Similar to Benchmade’s Axis lock but smoother and I believe stronger. This coupled with the svelte look and feel are what keep me intrigued. If you like big clunky knives this won’t be your first choice but for those of us that truly carry a knife every waking hour you might just like this one. If you want a pry tool this isn’t the right knife either. Elishewitz designed his modified Wharncliffe to be two different working surfaces on the CPM-20CV steel. This steel is known for its edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness. The surface closest to the user is a steeper grind that is great as a working portion. The business end of the blade is ground flat as well but with a much finer blade edge for increased slicing ability.

I haven’t had to sharpen my Hogue Deka yet, I am sure it will be a little tricky with the two angles, but if you are careful it should clean up easily.
All kidding aside, the Hogue Deka is way cool. If you haven’t seen this knife, never fear. They are available now and I guarantee if you are looking for a smaller, daily carry it will be one of the front runners quickly.


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About Kyle Lamb

Kyle is a retired special operations Sergeant Major, nationally recognized firearms trainer, author, owner of VikingTactics.com, and host of the Team VTAC podcast.

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