A few weeks back I gave away a couple of the Queen 69 Workhorse Barlow special run knives and asked that the recipients take a few minutes to write a review on them after they had a chance to use them. The first review was posted and Tori just forwarded the following to me for posting. Really appreciate the time and thoughtful review.
“Sorry for the delay in getting this to you, I wanted to make sure that I really put this little workhorse through its paces in order to give it a thorough review. This is my first official review like this so sorry if it’s a bit rough.
First things first, many thanks to Greg at TSA knives for giving me the opportunity to try this knife out, I was actually eyeing it since I had no previous experience with the barlow pattern. I can happily report that it’s now one of my favorite patterns, and combined with the sheepsfoot blade it is hard to beat!
The Queen 69 Workhorse Barlow features a sheepsfoot blade in 1095 steel with a plumb-brown delrin handle. The delrin is surprisingly comfortable and the jigging makes it decently grippy, even in damp conditions. The sheepsfoot blade is excellent for a wide variety of tasks and is perfect for such a utilitarian design. The blade is thin enough to make it an excellent slicer, and after a few swipes on a stone even I managed to get it hair-popping sharp with my less than stellar sharpening skills. The size of the knife falls in that 3-3.5″ sweet spot where it’s hefty enough to handle slightly heavier tasks in the garden but is still small enough to ride well in the pocket and not be intimidating to most folks.
The nail knick is really more of a formality since the blade can be easily pinched open, and I would rate the pull at around a 7, leaning towards a 6.5. While this Queen is no safe queen (it’s not supposed to be!) the fit and finish are solid with the blade being well centered and no gaps between the delrin and the bolsters. There is the slightest of gaps on one side of the back spring but it’s only visible if you hold it up to a light, and I’ve had worse gaps on knives 3x the price. The walk and talk are decent and it snaps open quite nicely, though there is a bit of up and down wiggle in the half stop position, but who uses their knife like that anyway? For a “user” knife Queen really outdid themselves and I would rate the overall frame at an 8 out of 10, outstanding for a knife that’s less than $40.
My one (small) gripe with the knife is that the delrin around two of the pins in the covers/scales was rough immediately around the perimeter of the pins, which was pretty noticeable when holding the knife. However, after spending some time in the pocket of my jeans the roughness is wearing away, and I can only imagine that it will continue to improve over time. Seriously though, with such a low price and excellent build quality it’s hard to complain about small cosmetic issues.
Overall, the quality of the design and build are impressive for such an inexpensive knife, and I see this little workhorse toughing it out with me for many years to come. If you want to try out a barlow pattern or want a tough knife that’s not afraid to be used, the Queen 69 Workhorse Barlow is a great, affordable option. Thanks again to Greg for giving me a taste of this pattern, and my first Queen to boot!”