A.G. Russell Brute Returns to the Catalog with New Steel and Handle

A classic A.G. Russell design, the Brute, is back with a new look for 2023. It’s now called the Skinny Brute, with a renovated build that makes it lighter than ever and an updated blade steel.

Both the original and Skinny Brute are entries in a sub-genre that the late A.G. Russell was known for exploring: modern folders inspired by the classics but not restrained by them. The original began life in the 70s, when Russell collaborated with fellow maker W.C. Davis on the design. The duo took advantage of the fact that Micarta was increasing in availability, using the composite for linerless scales to make a knife handle that was sturdy and hard working, but lightweight.

After its debut in the 70s, the Brute vanished for a decade or so before appearing again in the 90s; it stuck around in one form or another for another ten years before phasing out of the catalog again. All in all, this means the Brute has had nearly as long a life in the production knife world as trailblazing classics like the Buck 110.

The Skinny Brute’s Coke bottle profile keeps it comfortable but not bulky

The Skinny Brute’s 3.25-inch drop point blade is a stone cold classic shape, reminiscent of the stout slicers on traditional Sodbuster knives, albeit a little bit larger and with less of a snub nose. Slicing should come naturally to this one, with its full hollow grind and S35VN blade steel, but its overall size and lock back mean that it doesn’t need to shy away from more onerous cutting chores either. The deep cut, squarish nail mark functions for both one- and two-handed opening.

There’s no clip on the Skinny Brute, but its contoured scales and compact size make it easy to slip into the pocket loose, just like the knives of yore. The linerless handle scales have a Coke bottle proportions, skinny on the ends but swelling in the middle to fill the palm; the G-10 version weighs 2.9 oz., while the carbon fiber version comes in at 2.6 oz.

Both Skinny Brute models are available now. This is the first new for 2023 release from A.G. Russell.

Knife in Featured Image: A.G. Russell Skinny Brute

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