Since I acquired the DPX HEST it has quickly become a permanent EDC resident and has been riding in style in my right hand front pants pocket ever since. My front right pants pocket is a coveted piece of real estate that was previously occupied by a very fine knife that I am not going to name. I will mention however that it was a knife almost three times the price point of the DPX HEST. Rest assured the previous occupant will find a new home at some juncture, perhaps in the pocket of someone else.
The HEST is a most impressive, midsized and robust folding knife. Its construction is impeccable and the materials are complimentary with a touch of class and style in an all around package that delivers a surprisingly refreshing balance of durability, versatility and utility. I might say that there is a reflection of dualism of sorts in its mixture. The rather classic shade of OD green G10 complimented by the black blade, in turn, complimented by the stone washed titanium. It is as sharp appearance as it is practical in design.
On that note, the HEST is loaded with practical functionality, durability and safety. One of the first things that you will surely note is the incredibly positive lock up as it snaps into place. The locking mechanism of the HEST includes a disc stop that prevents over extension of the frame lock. In addition the disc can be rotated locking the knife open. These features are not often found on a knife of this price point, but typically found on high end folders such as Hinderer or Strider.
Oddly, I have owed two Striders in my day. One real Strider that I ended up trading for a gun and later Buck Strider that was thrown in with a gun on a different trade. How the world turns… To the point, I might go as far as to say that I believe the DPX HEST to be one of the finest production knives available at its price point.
So, what is it about that the HEST that makes it really truly a knife with “the right stuff”?
For starters, the HEST is designed by Robert Young Pelton. One need not follow the career or work of Pelton to, at the very least, know of him, he’s been around. In short, Pelton is most widely known for his exploits in high risk independent journalism and he has gained tremendous notoriety in doing so. The HEST was designed by Pelton (originally in the configuration of a fixed blade) as a Hostile Environment Survival Tool (HEST). The HEST is, without a doubt, precisely that; the embodiment of durability, versatility and utility; in the configuration of a folder, adding to the element of portability.
The DXP HEST is designed for a, go places and do some potentially heavy shit, variety of people. HEST being and acronym for Hostile Environment Survival Tool; Some seem to think that as a Tool it must poses a variety of specific extra ordinary capabilities such as a pliers or a screw driver, a tweezers and such. This is a misconception. I don’t want to sound as if I am looking down at the Swiss Army Knife (SAK) community. I have a SAK in my go bag and it goes where ever the bag happens to be going with me. In my view, a versatile tool must be non-specific in nature and broad in functionality. To over specialize is it bread in limitations and weakness. So can be seen by the many fantastic specialized creatures that once walked this earth, and so went the dinosaurs.
A mission specific load out is typically designed for on the fly reduction. As a traveler in a Hostile Environment, you may not always have your ruck strapped to your back as it may be necessary to ride in a vehicle or to move about more freely at times. In other instances it may be necessary to move with little more than whatever items you happen have on your person. In this case whatever items that you have had better damn be able to cut the mustard should push come to shove or should it become necessary to haul ass like you want to live. I am very glad to have the DPX HEST 2.0 at my side and if it happened to be the only knife that I have on my person (however unlikely that may be in my case) I would be very glad that knife was the HEST.
To draw a true bottom line the HEST/F 2.0 has every element that I would need to take care of a tremendous variety of Survival based business. The HEST is not designed to take on every task that is possible to imagine. The design and construction has more raw and rugged functionality than most would require in a multitude of situations; and that is what Survival is really all about.
There may not be an abundance of individuals who purchase the HEST with the soul intention of utilizing it as a primary fighting knife. However, I have found the configuration of the HEST to be tremendously favorable for the execution of numerous defense based actions. These elements, to name a few, start with the HEST in its closed, pocket carry position. The orientation of the blade, handle and palm swell make for an inviting grip to utilize the integrated glass breaker as a blunt force trauma impact weapon.
Also, the beer bottle opener cut out in the spine of the blade (as seen in the original HEST fixed blade) also serves the purpose of fast action deployment on the draw. I have owned switch blades, assisted openers and the like and nothing is faster; as many owners of knives with the Emerson wave feature have come to know. This feature is not however an Emerson wave. It is not a protrusion, but a recessed cut out that both opens the knife on the draw and opens bottles of beer. To that I say “Brilliant”, in the tone of the popular Guinness commercials. Cheers to that!
Blade, and then some
Three point one inches of D2 tool steel in a black non reflective coated blade. This is one of the many HEST features that I really like. Three point one inches is legal carry length in most states, but it is also ample length to throw the odds more than a few clicks in your favor if utilized for the purpose of self defense in a deadly force encounter. There are many knives that seem to pack three inches (or slightly less) into a rather less than effective handle. Both substantial and ergonomic, this is a problem that the HEST does not have.
I recall a near nightmarish scenario when speaking with a friend who had disclosed that he had recently picked up a knife for the purpose of self defense. When we met he produced the knife, manufactured by a respected name, with a blade just under three inches in length; “to be on the legal safe side” he explained. My head sunk to the table for a moment, and I lifted it to look at him. “There is legal and not legal” I said, “You haven’t got enough knife there to hold on to”… This was a plain, simple and very sad fact. “It’s better than nothing though right?” he asked. Yes, it was better than nothing. However, there are plenty of knives out there that even with a smaller blade, given their configuration, are substantially better than, “better than nothing” in a self defense scenario.
With an effectively designed handle (such as the HEST), even a moderate length blade can be wielded to cause substantial lethal effect. Although the DPX HEST may not self promote under the “tactical” moniker. It is my humble opinion that the HEST does tactical far better than many, without breaking a sweat.
I look forward to putting some serious mileage on this knife and for this knife to go some serious mileage with me. That is after all what it is designed and built for, going the distance, no doubt it will.
Let me put the wraps on this overview with some manufacturer specs, check them on out and then, go out and Get Yours Today!
DPX HEST/F 2.0
Features: Titanium alloy frame lock -Patented Lion Steel Rotoblock -Green G10 handle scale -Removable glass breaker (comes with replacement smooth head screw) -Hex-bit driver in handle -“Mr. DP” Skull Tool adjustment wrench / multi-tool for adjusting RotoBlock, pivot and glass breaker removal
- OAL- 7.63″
- Blade -3.19″
- Cutting Edge – 3.10″
- Blade Thickness: .187″
- Closed Length: 4.38″ (without glass breaker)
- Handle Thickness (without clip): .541″
- Handle Grip Area: 3.80″
- Titanium Frame Thickness: .140″
- G10 Thickness: .140″
- Weight: 5 oz.
The DPX HEST is now available from a multitude of DXP GEAR dealers. Look forward to a list of dealers coming soon to www.DPXGear.com