The Genesis is a flat ground bush knife that really likes to work. With features such as Micarta or Ironwood scales, a bead blasted finish, and heavy duty hardware, it'll get the job done for you no matter what the circumstances. L.T. Wright Knives takes the time to do the little things: making sure the epoxy isn't just on the scales, but around every bit of the hardware, including the threads of the brass nut, to ensure a completely sealed scale set.
The Flat ground is polish on the whole surface to make sure there is no drag when cutting. This is a great finish to the 1/8" A2 tool steel, it makes for a superior edge. The thumb scallops on each side allowing more comfortable control doing close up work. Whether you're getting a tinder bundle scraped off a branch or striking a ferro rod off there, the 90° spine will allow you to save the blade for fine cutting tasks.
The Genesis also includes a premium American made leather dangler sheath with a slot for a 3/8" fire steel.
- Overall Length: 9"
- Sharpened Edge: 4.25"
- Steel: 1/8" A2
- Grind: Flat Ground
- Other Features: Thumb scallops, 90° Spine
So far, there have been three Genesis’s on Alone. Carleigh Fairchild’s Genesis looks like it is a flat ground A2 blade. One was carried by a Chris Weatherman in Season 1, as well as by last season’s runner-up, Larry Roberts.
For nearly 20 years, my Cold Steel SRK did most of my hunting/bushcrafting work. An inexpensive, quality fixed blade, it fit my budget and knife needs for backcountry big game hunting.
But knife people never cease looking for that perfect, do-it-all blade. Along the way, I read books by Horace Kephart, and liked his go-to knife. And that is what first attracted me to the L.T. Wright Genesis. The Genesis is a Kephart-design workhorse.
Kephart was a prolific writer and one of the pioneers of camping/outdoor skills. His outdoor writings were published regularly in national publications such as Field and Stream. Kephart’s first edition of Camping and Woodcraft was published in 1906. In it, Kephart described his EDC knife:
“Its blade and handle are each 4-1/4 inches long, the blade being 1 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick on the back, broad pointed, and continued through the handle as a hasp and riveted to it. It is tempered hard enough to cut green hardwood sticks, but soft enough so that when it strikes a knot or bone it will, if anything, turn rather than nick; then a whetstone soon puts it in order.”
“The handle of this knife is of oval cross-section, long enough to give a good grip for the whole hand, and with no sharp edges to blister one’s hand. The handle is of light but hard wood, 3/4 inch thick at the butt and tapering to 1/2 inch forward, so as to enter the sheath easily and grip it tightly.”
Here are the Genesis specs:
Overall Length: 9″
Sharpened Edge: 4.25″
Steel: 1/8″ A2
Grind: Flat Ground
Other Features: Thumb scallops, 90° Spine
I got a Genesis about two years ago and put it to work. It has received constant use, doing everything from wood carving to cleaning fish, to cutting sod and sprinkler irrigation PVC pipe to slicing up an apple pie and shredding tinder.
Here’s my thoughts.
Handle: The Genesis has a generous, oval cross section handle, that a working tool should have.
My 22-ounce framing hammer, hatchet, shovel, machete and axe all have similar handle designs, and that is proven to be the best for hard work. Slim, ergonomically-designed handles are all well and good on some blades. And they look nice.
But a handle that fills your hand won’t give you blisters. It’s also easier to grip, meaning it takes less effort. This reduces fatigue while using. (Here’s another excellent Kephart Knife.)
Handle length is 4.75 inches. This is big enough for those of us with working man hands to use comfortably and safely. If you have to wear gloves while using the knife, you’ll appreciate the length.
The handle features thumb scallops on each side, providing more more comfortable control during close up work. I got my Genesis handle in green, blasted micarta, because the material resembles the weathered wooden pilings on the Mississippi River. The handle is also available in ironwood.
The epoxy isn’t just on the scales, but around every bit of the hardware, according to the KSF catalogue, including the threads of the brass nut, to ensure a completely sealed scale set.
Point: My favorite point depends on the job the knife will be used for. On an all-around knife, a spear point may be the best choice.
The spear point works well for drilling in wood, and the belly makes it useful for gutting big game or cleaning fish.
In fact, the first job I used my Genesis for was gutting a bass that had swallowed a hook and couldn’t be released. The Genesis would not be my first choice for a specialty fishing or hunting knife, but it can certainly do the job.
Grind: The Genesis comes with a scandi or flat grind. I opted for the flat grind, because I like the increased slicing ability. This becomes important if you’re looking for a blade that might end up doing big game processing.
My GNS is in scandi grind, because I anticipated using it mainly for bushcrafting. As a bushcraft knife, it would be hard to improve on the GNS.
Spine: A bushcraft knife, or one that may end up being used for one should have a 90-degree spine. This becomes very useful for shredding tinder and scraping a ferro rod, and saves the sharp edge. I’ve done extensive wood carving, using my thumb on the spine, and didn’t find the edge to be uncomfortable.
Sheath: The Genesis comes with an excellent leather dangler sheath. I have several, use them frequently and really like them. But I decided to convert one of my Bark River sheaths into a dangler, so one-handed use would be easier. I wet-formed the sheath and added a D ring, and now I have a dangler that more closely resembles the original Kephart sheath.
Lanyard hole: Use a lanyard to attach your knife to your belt, button hole or pack.
Drop a knife in deep snow or water, and chances are it’s gone. The Genesis has a lanyard hole, and mine has a piece of fluorescent orange paracord in it.
Steel: My Genesis is in A2. This tool steel is easy to sharpen and maintain the edge of. It is also reasonably priced. Recent additions to the L.T. Wright line include a Genesis in CPM 3V.
A2 will develop a patina after extended use, and that’s fine with me. I like seeing a knife that shows some honest wear and use. After noticing some uneven staining on my Genesis and GNS, I used a vinegar and lemon mixture to force a patina. It worked just fine.
The most recent patina on my Genesis came from when I was moving a few weeks back. The blade was being used for everything from breaking down boxes to cutting rope to whatever else was needed. My wife borrowed it to cut an apple pie for lunch, and the knife was left in the sink while we hauled another load. Several hours later, it had a new pattern.
Blade length: A four-to-five-inch blade is perfect for a working knife. Given my druthers, I’ll take a five-inch blade for just about everything. At 4.25-inches, the blade length is just about right for this design.
Made in the USA: All L.T. Wright knives are made in Ohio. Call the factory, and you can talk to a Midwesterner. The craftspeople make a living wage, pay local, state and federal taxes, and contribute to the local economy. Buy local, buy American!
Do you need a Genesis?
I have a lot of knives, and several in my collection could do the same jobs that a Genesis does. But if you’re starting out and want a user, the Genesis would be a solid choice.
A couple years ago, I was teaching firemaking to a group of ladies participating the “Women in the Outdoors” program in Redmond, Oregon. Several of my knives were available to use for processing tinder, whittling etc. (Part of the seminar was to help ladies choose their hunting/survival knife.) The Genesis proved to be one of the most popular tools, even for women with small hands.
My Genesis gets regular use, despite the plethora and variety of knives I own, test and review.
So do you need a Genesis? Well, I think so.
There’s a reason some knife designs become classics and never die out. The L.T. Wright Genesis is patterned on one of those knives, and I predict it is going to be very popular.
The Buck 110, the Nessmuk humpback, the Canadian “Crooked Knife” and the Mora Classic – all these proven designs show no signs of being replaced by newcomers. One of the most useful classic designs is the Kephart.
The L.T. Wright Genesis is based on a design popularized by Horace Kephart. Kephart authored the classic two-volume set “Camping and Woodcraft” in the early 1900s. But Kepart may be best remembered for a sheath knife design he popularized and used for many years.
Kephart recommended a blade no longer than five inches. The personal knife he used for many years had a blade that was 4- 1/4-inches long, 1-inch wide and 1/8-inch thick. The handle was 4 1/4-inches long, and 3/4 inch thick, tapering to ½ inch at the front. Kephart wrote that the Marbles “expert” pattern knife was a good representation of what a knife should look like.
Enter L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives. L.T. Wright and a friend of his started Blind Horse Knives a few years back. Then, in 2014, Wright and his partner decided they each wanted to make custom knives and L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives was born.
I ordered the Genesis Bead Blasted Green Micarta, with a flat ground blade of A2 steel. The Genesis includes a premium American-made leather dangler sheath with a slot for a 3/8″ fire steel.
Unboxing the knife showed a hard-working, plain-looking tool. My first impression was “solid.” In the hand, the Genesis feels sturdy, tough and almost bullet-proof.
Here are the specifications:
Overall Length: 9″
Sharpened Edge: 4.25″
Steel: 1/8″-inch thick, A2
Grind: Flat Ground
Other Features: Thumb scallops, 90° Spine
After using the knife for several weeks, here are some impressions.
Handle: I got the blasted green micarta because it reminds me of the weathered wood on pilings on the Mississippi River. The handle fits my (glove-size) large hands like it was designed for me. Micarta seems to get “grippier” when damp, and the handle should prove to be very secure when covered with fish scales, messy body fluids, blood etc. Extended whittling sessions didn’t reveal any hot spots developing.
The thumb scallops are perfect for placing your thumb when using the spine of the blade. A lanyard hole allows easy attachment of a piece of paracord to secure the knife. I will use this feature a lot when out in deep snow.
Point: The Genesis has a spear point, which puts the tip at the center of the blade. This is the best overall design for a bushcraft knife, IMHO. A spear point allows effective drilling in wood. (I used it while whittling out a firebow setup. The point was perfect for drilling the initial holes in the wood of the hearth.)
This point is also useful for various fish and game preparations. I gutted a fish with the blade, and it worked great. For hunting, I prefer a drop point because of the greater curve of the belly makes a better skinner.
Steel: A2 is a tool steel, and it holds an edge really well. The knife came out of the box shaving-sharp, and it maintained that edge through various uses. A2 is harder to sharpen than high carbon steel, though, and if this is your first A2 blade, you may need need to do some homework.
Grind: I like Scandi grinds on bushcraft knives, because they are easier to sharpen in the field, and the wedge created by the grind makes a better whittler/splitter if you’re working wood. But I ordered the flat grind because is it polished on the whole surface and this reduces drag when cutting. This is a great finish to the 1/8″ A2 tool steel, it makes for a superior edge.
Spine: The spine is ground like an ice skate with 90 degree angles. This, in effect, creates another edge. Whether you’re getting a tinder bundle scraped off a branch or striking a ferro rod off there, the 90-degree spine lets you save the blade for fine cutting tasks.
Sheath: The Genesis comes with a premium American made leather dangler sheath with a slot for a 3/8″ fire steel. I prefer a dangler on most of my rigid blade knives. I think they are safer, more comfortable to carry and easy to access. I also like a square-ended sheath. When someone sees it protruding from underneath your shirt tail or coat, they may assume it is a pliers sheath. Good urban camo.
Blade thickness: The 1/8-inch thickness is a good choice. Any thicker and the blade starts to get too fat, and it won’t slice well. The 1/8-inch is thin enough to be a useable slicer, and thick enough to take the pounding and wrenching a bushcraft knife might be subjected to. With quality, tough steel like A2, there shouldn’t be any breakage problems with normal, hard use.
Made in the U.S.A: All L.T. Wright knives are made in Wintersville, Ohio.
Warranty: Each knife is backed by a lifetime warranty.
I’m hard pressed to come up with something I don’t like about the knife. It retails for $180 at KnivesShipFree. A variety of different handle options are available.
There is something appealing to me about efficient designs. I own, appreciate and use beautiful cutlery. But I see a practical beauty in a solid tool that can do the job. The Genesis is one of those tools, and I predict I will be using this one a lot.