A.G. Russell Knives Releases New Design from Late Master

A.G. Russell was an industry legend in every sense of the word. Among his many contributions to the knife world are important, genre-defining designs. Now, A.G. Russell Knives is releasing the Sandbox Dagger, a fixed blade knife designed for optimum toughness by Russell himself before his passing in 2018. The knife incorporates a thoughtful design geared towards toughness and a special steel optimized for resiliency.

The Sandbox Dagger’s blade is the star of the show in every respect. Russell’s concept when defining this knife was to create something that embodied all the characteristics of historically significant dagger designs, but that maximized the toughness all the way out to the tip. Thus the 6 inch, dagger ground blade’s stock is a little over 1/8″ thick.

In order to keep this toughness where it counts without impacting the blade’s performance, each Sandbox Dagger is sharpened with what Russell called the varied edge angle method. A trained sharpener works the blade to 30 degrees inclusive for the main run of the edge; toward the tip, however, the angle is expanded to 45 degrees inclusive: a time-consuming and intensive process that allows the Sandbox Dagger to be resistant to tip breakage or other accidents while still maintaining its cutting power.

“A.G.’s ‘varied edge angle’ method of sharpening takes a highly skilled person to accomplish,” says A.G. Russell’s Phil Gibbs. “To my knowledge no company has ever attempted such a thing. Maybe a custom maker has done it, but I’ve never seen one.”

The unconventional grind is accompanied by a unique steel choice. The Sandbox Dagger is made from DM1 steel, a carbon formulation created by Dan Maragni, a metallurgist who also personally supervises the heat treating process for the steel. DM1 first came into the A.G. Russell lineup at the onset of the Sandbox series; Russell himself acquired the steel from Camillus after being impressed by its hard use-friendly blend of characteristics. A DLC blade coating has been applied to the Sandbox Dagger to ward off possible corrosion and rust.

Ergonomically, the 5.7 oz. Sandbox Dagger is as simple as its forebears, with an hourglass handle shape complimented by grippy Rucarta scales. It comes with a nylon sheath that includes a kydex insert for the blade itself, and a forward pocket for stowing a folder or whetstone.

The Sandbox Dagger is the fourth knife in the Sandbox Series, after the Bowie, Utility, and Camp knives. It is available for preorder now and set to release between September and October.

Knife in Featured Image: A.G. Russell Sandbox Dagger