It’s mid-March, which means it’s time to start scouting out this year’s potential Father’s Day tool releases. I came across a video for a new Wiss folding pocket knife.
I’m [almost] at a loss for words. This does not look anything like what I would expect from a brand like Wiss. Crescent? Maybe. But Wiss? I would have expected something a lot more… professional looking.
Not to mince words, this looks like a tacticool mall ninja type of knife. It doesn’t look like the kind of knife a tradesmen might use on a jobsite, or DIYer in the workshop.
But, maybe I’ve become a little strong in my knife tastes. I like functional flash, but not flash for the sake of it. Maybe I would have oohed and aahed over this knife when I was younger.
Let’s take a look at the features:
It’s got a “titanium coating on stainless steel blade” that Wiss says is 3 times harder than stainless steel, for longer life and “a high end look.”
Titanium, eh? I guess it’s TiN or TiCN, whichever is cheaper. I hate it when brands use “titanium coated” instead of more accurate descriptors.
What kind of stainless steel is it made from? They were going for a “high end look?” That’s not how I would describe what I see.
Moving on… the knife has a Tanto-style blade, with a piercing tip and a partially serrated cutting edge. Wiss says that this provides maximum utility.
It features dual thumb studs and spring-assisted blade opening mechanism. And an integrated frame lock holds it solidly in position. Umm… that’s not a frame lock. (At least not compared to knives with integral frame lock designs.)
This Wiss knife has a liner lock, not an integral frame lock. (There’s a debate about this in the comments.)
Here are some more transcript quotes from Wiss’ promo video. I found myself almost screaming at the screen.
Precision-machined openings in the spine retain blade strength while reducing weight for a faster action.
I guess I could understand the need to shed a few fractions of an ounce of weight, but lightening a blade doesn’t usually give it faster action. More blade weight often gives it more momentum to open quicker.*
*I said this because of all the accounts I’ve read and heard about modified blades resulting in a slower knife. See comments for the discussion about why I’m likely wrong about this. Still, there are other factors that could/should be taken into consideration if a faster deployment speed is desired, such as slightly increasing the spring force of the detent that holds the blade closed.)
Besides, if it has a spring-assisted opening mechanism, how much faster can a slightly lighter blade be?
To close the knife, press the frame lock to one side, out of its neutral locked position allowing the blade to release and smoothly fold into the handle.
Again, this knife has a liner lock, not an integral frame lock. Home Depot’s product description has it described as a liner lock.
The slim, ergonomic handle is designed for maximum comfort and includes a reversible pocket clip.
Okay, the handle does look like it might be comfortable. It’s good that the pocket clip is reversible. From the product images, it shows the clip installed in a tip-down position, which is usually less preferred than tip-up.
And the full metal frame provides increased rigidity and features a built-in lanyard ring.
Lanyard holes are good. You can see the metal frame through the handle cut-out.
Milwaukee did something similar with their heavy duty scissors. The ends of the handles are uncovered, to remind you that they’re all metal.
The Folding Pocket Knife … Quality and Style from Wiss, the most trusted brand in cutting tools.
Quality? Maybe, I can’t tell either way from product images. A knife needs to be handled and used before the quality (or lack thereof) becomes apparent.
But the style? To me it looks like there were 3 or 4 prototypes, but instead of going in one direction, Wiss combined different design styles into a single knife.
ETA: Probably before Father’s Day 2016
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Maybe I’ll give it a try, just to see if my initial hands-off take is completely wrong. Given my first impression based on their promo video (shown below), my opinion of the new Wiss folding pocket knife could only get better.
What do you think?
I’m having trouble looking past the style and at the potential functionality.