Primiliarily Review WE 819 Drakon

Wave Man

Pyromaniac
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
126
Location
Brisbane, QLD
This is my preliminary review of the WE 819 Drakon, which I recently bought. I have not done a lot of cutting with this knife as I don't see it as an "regular EDC" knife, rather it is an occasional, special event carry type knife. The WE Drakon is for me WE showing off and showcasing what they can do with a CNC milling machine and produce a stunning integral folding knife.

What the company says
The new flagship among our integrals is the WE 819 Drakon. This hard to produce integral combines several properties our customers valued in previous designs like our best seller the 604, the 606 and 702. Though full sized, not so long as the 702, the blade is only 3.45" long. Surprisingly light weight for an integral with only 3.8oz. The absolute highlight is of course the milling on the frame.
The WE Knife Drakon is a rock solid integral folding knife design. The Drakon model is built with either a bronze or gray titanium handle and a stonewashed blade.
The blade glides open on a ceramic ball bearing and locks up solid with a titanium frame lock. Milled dragon scale texturing on the handle provides a secure grip in slippery conditions. A titanium pocket clip rounds out the impressive Drakon design.
Flipper action, ceramic bearings, steel lock insert.

SPECIFICATIONS
Knife Name: Drakon
Item #:819
Overall Length:8”(202mm)
Blade Length:3.45”(88mm)
Blade Thickness:0.13”(3.2mm)
Blade Material: Bohler M390
Blade Hardness: HRC59-61
Blade Grind: Flat
Handle Length:4.55”(114mm)
Handle Overall Thickness:0.6”(15.2mm)
Handle Material: 6AL4V Titanium
Clip Material: 6AL4V Titanium
Screws Material: 6AL4V Titanium
Pivot Cap: 6AL4V Titanium
Washers Material: Ceramic Ball Bearing
Weight: 108g /3.8oz
Lock Type: Frame Lock
Designed By WE KNIFE TEAM
Pricing, bought from my prefered WE retailer, True Talon at $450

The WE Drakon was shipped to me in a box containing a propitiatory WE zippered plush lined case, with the knife encased in a plastic sleeve and microfiber cleaning cloth.

I will say straight up, I had high expectations for this knife, it was the second Integral I had bought from WE and I was interested in seeing the intricate milling of the dragon scale that this knife is known for. As most will know Integrals have their handles milled from a single billet of metal (titanium in this case) and it is a difficult and expensive process and manufacturers do this style to showcase their expertise at knife making. I was pleasantly surprised, the WE Drakon did not fail to impress.

Fit and finish is first rate, everything screams class when you handle the knife and I particularly like the bronzed dragon scale milling that covers the handle. It is stylish and sophisticated and pleasing to my eye. I have to comment on the tolerances achieved on the 819, they are very tight with the blade just clearing the handle and showcases WE's ability to achieve excellent fit, finish and tight tolerances. The integral handle features milled texturing over the entire exterior, all edges are chamfered and there is a lot of milling/shaping of the handle. Lastly a lanyard hole is included at the rear of the knife.
The hardware (what there is of it, so pocket clip, lock bar insert screw and pivot) is anodized a stylish bronze colour. The lockbar insert is a silver colour, being the only different colour on the frame. The pivot has the WE logo emblazoned on one side of it. The blade is sterile, and the M390 stamp is almost hidden on blade just above the pivot section.

The firing action on this knife is very good and the blade deploys with a 'snap'. The blade will not fall shut under its own weight, as it is quite light, but will wiggle shut with a bit of effort. The knife fires as good as any of my other 'fidget flippers' I own and is easily on par with the best ZT's, Real Steel "S" class and is very, very close to the Reate's I have.

The blade is perfectly centered and features a high flat grind and a stonewash finish that is quite pleasing. A small amount of jimping has been added to the thumb ramp that is made due to the hole-in-the-blade. The blade also has a full length fuller. There is also a choil added to the blade, though I have found that it cannot be used as a finger choil, as my finger risks going onto the edge. Nor have I found I can use the hole-in-the-blade deployment reliable, I can deploy the blade using the hole-in-the-blade IF I concentrate and use it deliberately but I would not use it under pressure, I always simply use the flipper. There is no blade play or lock rock. Lock up is at around 30%, almost the entire lock bar insert which gives plenty of lock confidence.

The knife arrived shaving sharp and I have stropped it and it is now quite sharp and slices paper efficiently. The thin stock and flat grind makes this knife an efficient slicer, and it cuts cardboard very well.
The knife's pocket clip has great retention and it carries well in pocket, and is reasonably deep carry, with only a small amount of the knife poking out of your pocket when carrying it. The knife goes in and out OK, except for the three slots cut into the lock bar. These slots do catch on the pocket lip going into the pocket. This is really my only complaint with the knife, I wish WE had chamfered these slots. The 819 is a reasonably small knife and it doesn't take up that much pocket real estate and it carries very well.

The Drakon is right on the threshold of not giving my my XXL hands a full four finger hold, but thankfully the knife does fit my hand and with all the texturing on the handle grip is very good. I felt no 'hot spots' when using the knife in any of the cutting test I performed.


















Conclusion
The Drakon is close perfect, beautiful fit and finish, a snappy, smooth action, great ergonomics and built using top of the line materials. It is a beautiful, classy piece that showcases WE's ability to produce a unusually striking folding knife. Its intricate milled dragon scales adds classiness as well as practicality and is the most alluring aspect of the knife. I view the Drakon as a classy gentleman's knife designed for occasional, special event carry.

For full disclosure I would also add I have XXL hands, and that must play in to my review process, and the readers should keep that in mind when reading my reviews and recommendations.
Lastly I ONLY use folding knives for light cutting duties, so I will not do 'hard use' cutting tasks with any folder, that's what I have fixed blades for, so cutting tests consisted of cutting paper, cardboard, packaging, paracord, some food prep (again, not a task I use folders for for the most part) and other duties a stay-at-home-dad would use a cutting tool for around the house.

1-5 star system 1 star poor/fail 2 star below average 3 star average 4 above average 5 star excellent
-Hands on/Ergos 5 stars
- Materials/Features 5 stars
- Build Quality/Fit and Finish 5 stars
- Value/Price point 4 stars
- Aesthetics 5 stars

Overall rating (average of all above) 4.8 stars
 

Randall

Mors Kochanski
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
386
Reaction score
216
Beautiful looking knife waveman. Perhaps it is "game of thrones" inspired? Is the bevel angle consistent? I'm guessing it is, which means the machining or molding of the blade or both is remarkable. I have never seen such a bevel before. It puts more meat at the pointy end which is an awesome design - greater strength where needed, like our bones.
 

Wave Man

Pyromaniac
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
126
Location
Brisbane, QLD
the bevel is unique from what I have seen, as I have never seen such a bevel applied on any other knife before. It goes from a 'normal' angle at the heel of the knife and flattens out as it goes towards the tip. It is very thin at the tip. It is hard to explain in writing.
 

odgens

Lofty Wiseman
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
101
Reaction score
37
Nice review as always Wave Man, WE knives have some amazing blades. My EDC is a Massdrop/Ferrum Forge Gent made by WE and i can't fault it
 

Wave Man

Pyromaniac
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
126
Location
Brisbane, QLD
WE is quickly becoming my favorite folding knife company, kicking Reate from that spot for me. They seem to be killing it lately and bring out some fantastic designs.
 
Top