Bradford Guardian Family Grows Yet Again

The fixed blade gurus over at Bradford USA recently dropped the Guardian 4.2, the newest version of their flagship knife. The Guardian 4.2 falls right between Guardians 4 and 4.5 in terms of size, and comes with the usual, extensive suite of customization options.

The Guardian is the core model in Bradford’s lineup, sitting on the coveted flagship knife throne over there for many years. We last wrote about the Guardian in 2017, when the sheepsfoot variation released; but the intervening years have seen the Guardian family grow and grow, and now there are more than a dozen models available – and that’s before you take into account the customization options for buyers, with options for handle scales, steel, grind, and materials to consider.

A size comparison between the 4.2 and the 4

As you may have guessed, the 4.2 is a size adjustment, with a 4.125-inch cutting edge that puts it between the 4-inch Guardian 4 and the larger, 4.5-inch Guardian 4.5. In that sense, it fills a similar place in the Bradford lineup that the Endela does in Spyderco’s, allowing users to really fine-tune the length of the cutting edge to suite their tastes, without fundamentally altering the positive qualities of the underlying design. Yes, for us, it does seem to be a matter of taste more than anything: the larger Guardian 4.5 may have a slightly expanded cutting repertoire, but all three of these knives straddle the same divide, workable as either EDC or outdoors blades.

Other than its size, this is pure canonical Guardian, from the clean drop point with its generous forward choil, to the rugged, full tang handle. You can get the scales (available in several materials, of course) with a frag pattern grip cut into them, or contoured and round. By the way, the steel on these knives is MagnaCut, so if you’re looking for a chance to try out Larrin Thomas’s steel on a fixed blade, this is a great one to look at.

The Guardian 4.2 is available now.

Knife in Featured Image: Bradford Knives Guardian 4.2

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