Hard Ready HR-1 Knife

Imagine for a minute that you’ve designed a line of self-defense knives that you are proud of and your design lands at a high-end knife manufacturer. Things are looking up. Then imagine that the manufacturer folds up shop. Now you have a choice to make. You can give up or… grab your own bootstraps and start your own company. Ryan Hoover and the Hard Ready Crew chose the latter.

Hard Ready Brand’s HR-1 is a knife with a mission – to make straight-forward, functional self-defense knives available to everyone. This is accomplished by offering everything the end-user needs to start carrying and training with the HR-1 at a price that is impressively affordable compared to other knives in this space. At just $80 for the Full Blade Kit (HR-1 Blade, sheath, and training knife), the price looks great on paper.

However, a low price doesn’t matter if there isn’t some value and functionality behind it. The HR-1 sheath has a centrally mounted clip with a tab to grab the belt, features that are de rigueur on the best sheaths today. The aluminum training knife is included and replicates the live blade in all dimensions. These two features alone make this budget-priced package stand out.

Smart, value-minded choices have been made with the HR-1 Blade itself as well, like the selection of German X30Cr12 Steel which is basically a 420 series steel. Steel snobs have already tuned out but 420 is actually tough steel with very good corrosion resistance making it an excellent choice for a knife that will be carried directly against the body of the wearer. Granted, this is a steel choice that hits a price point but it is still a smart choice.

At first glance, this appears to be the highest value offering in the defensive knife space. I have one coming for review, so stay tuned.

There is a lot more to learn about the HR-1 and there is more to come from Hard Ready Brand in the next few months. You can learn more including reading additional product details and even viewing training materials at HardReadyBrand.com.


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