Small light weight folding knives

Randall

John McDouall Stuart
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I thought I'd start a new thread. The average popular folding knives are all around 3.5" - 4" blades. A generic weight guide is about an ounce for each inch of blade length. If a knife with a 3" blade weighs 4oz then it is considered on the heavy side. There are more sub 3" bladed folders in recent years because of legal restrictions in many states of the US. I've always preferred smaller bladed knives - anything from 1.5" to 3", and haven't been concerned with weight. Recently I've discovered longer bladed knives that are more lightly built. They're not as rugged, but still suit my needs. Peeling and cutting up oranges, or slicing up a tomato for lunch, trimming zip ties, cutting various types of tape, shaving an area prior to applying a dressing (usually track side), using the blade to lift the end of tape off the roll so I can unroll some, lifting stickers off apples, using the clean blade to hold the tape while I position the tape for use (fingers remove the stickiness), opening things, breaking down unwanted cardboard into more bin friendly sizes; these seem to be regular uses for me.

What is light? For me it is 70gm or less. Spyderco delica is at the limit, but really a bigger knife, hence I only use it around home. Although I have a ganzo FH51 which weighs 80gm, which is deceptive. I'd swear it is lighter and smaller than the delica, and it's a joy to carry. I'll introduce that in another post. Maybe I just don't like spyderco?

My favorite light weight to date is the Steel will mini intrigue @ 63 grams. It is longer, but generally thinner all round than what I'd normally carry. It uses phospur bronze washers, which I probably prefer over bearings. Blades running on washers have a bit more friction which means they don't fly open or fall closed as beautifully as their bearing brethren. Some, me included, see washers as handling dirt and grit better. In fact they are better at keeping dirt and grit out because there is less space for dirt and grit to get in - bearings create some space around them.

In the US, it is common for people to carry these sorts of knives for cutting steak (long, thin bladed, lightweight). I couldn't bring myself to use a nice sharp knife on a plate.

Steel:D2
Handle:FRN (fibre reinforced nylon)
Sheath material:-
Finish:Satin
Lock Type:Liner Lock
Folded length:4.21", 107mm
Full length:7.5", 190mm
Blade length:3.27", 83mm
Blade thickness:0.12", 3mm
Weight:2.19oz, 63gm

26599
 
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Le Loup

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I have owned quite a few clasp knives over the years, most purchased, some I made myself, but the best clasp knives I have ever owned are the two Opinel knives that I have at present. Two of my sons each bought me an Opinel clasp knife, a No.08, & a No.10. These knives are light, sturdy & simple with a locking ring making a double bolster.
26600
Keith.
 

Wave Man

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weight means little to me, and because of my XXL sized hands I gravitate towards large folders, though with that being said I do have some somewhat smaller (and lightish) knives. Most of my folding knives range between 3.25" minimum blade length (and corresponding handle length) and just over 4" blade length, and the lightest being 3.13oz (89g with a lanyard) to just over 6 oz.

Here's my lightest
WE 704CF-P, a beautiful little knife that carries very well, as I said 89g including the lanyard (just weighed it)


 
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Randall

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I have owned quite a few clasp knives over the years, most purchased, some I made myself, but the best clasp knives I have ever owned are the two Opinel knives that I have at present. Two of my sons each bought me an Opinel clasp knife, a No.08, & a No.10. These knives are light, sturdy & simple with a locking ring making a double bolster.
Keith.
Opinels are so popular, and have been for a long time. I've never owned or handled one. From what I understand they have a thin blade too, which is the gist of this post. I really think light weight thin blades are more useful every day knives. The emphasis is on slicing and cutting, rather than a robust wood working tool or defense. It is a design that has been around since 1890, which in itself is amazing. There has been so much technology and research into knives, yet the opinels still hold their own, and for good reason. The blade is thin and slicy and a great all round shape. The knife design is simple and robust in that it doesn't depend on tight tolerances to be functional.
 
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Randall

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weight means little to me, and because of my XXL sized hands I gravitate towards large folders, though with that being said I do have some somewhat smaller (and lightish) knives. Most of my folding knives range between 3.25" minimum blade length (and corresponding handle length) and just over 4" blade length, and the lightest being 3.13oz (89g with a lanyard) to just over 6 oz.

Here's my lightest
WE 702CF-P, a beautiful little knife that carries very well, as I said 89g including the lanyard (just weighed it)
For it's length that is very light. It is in the vein of what I was talking about, just a bigger version to suit you. A skinny light weight knife.
 

Aussie123

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Opinels are so popular, and have been for a long time. I've never owned or handled one. From what I understand they have a thin blade too, which is the gist of this post. I really think light weight thin blades are more useful every day users. The emphasis is on slicing and cutting, rather than a robust wood working tool or defense.
Hi Randall, another nice thing about the Opinels is that the handle is wooden, so its very easy if you want to customise it .... there are lots of online posts about Opinel mods. You could easily shave the handle and drill a hole to reduce it a little if you wanted ...
 

Randall

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Hi Randall, another nice thing about the Opinels is that the handle is wooden, so its very easy if you want to customise it .... there are lots of online posts about Opinel mods. You could easily shave the handle and drill a hole to reduce it a little if you wanted ...
So many knowledgeable knife enthusiasts swear by the opinels that I acknowledge they must be very good knives. They are not my thing, but they definitely belong here. Luckily we are spoiled for choice. There is also the colorama series of opinels. The choice of size is amazing too. Like SAK's, they really deserve their own post.
 
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Wave Man

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For it's length that is very light. It is in the vein of what I was talking about, just a bigger version to suit you. A skinny light weight knife.
exactly mate, and the 704-cf is thin, and lightweight, yet still big enough to allow me a full four finger grip.

Concerning the Opinels they are an inexpensive and versatile cutting tool, with a very good "slicey" blade, and 'basic' locking mechanism that will serve you well for many years. But with that being said, they are not my cup of tea, and they are personally not for me. Each to their own though and I can certain appreciate why people love them.
 

Randall

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Here's one that may have got me interested in this category. I'm a budget buyer and I'm generally willing to wait for a good buy. Truetalon had them at a great price and free shipping, but no longer in stock. The civivi McKenna. This is a thin bladed, light weight slicer. Also note that it is a front flipper. For a blade length of nearly 3", it only weighs 50gm (1.76 oz). Newbee have them at a bit more expensive, but you have to add shipping on to that. I've since found the mini intrigue (first post here). I'll keep my eyes open for the McKenna though :LOL:

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overall Length: 6.75”(171.4mm)
Blade Length:2.92”(74.1mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.1”(2.6mm)
Blade Material: Chinese D2
Blade Hardness: HRC59-61
Blade Grind: Flat
Handle Length:3.83”(97.3mm)
Handle Overall Thickness:0.39”(10mm)
Handle Material: G10
Liner Material: Stainless Steel
Back Spacer Material:G10
Washers Material: Stainless Steel Ball Bearing
Weight: 50 g / 1.76 oz
Lock Type: Liner Lock
Designed By Elijah Isham
 
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Randall

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Re opinel. Just looked up the specs for their No 8, which has a blade length of 85mm (3.35"). It weighs 1.6oz (45gms). Awesome contender for this post (y). I think it is the lightest weight for blade length yet. Good steel; 12C27 Sandvik Stainless, or xc90 for the carbon. Supposedly xc90 is similar to 1085. A low price ($22.00). Recommended here by le loup and aussie123 (along with the majority of knife enthusiasts :ROFLMAO:)
 
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Randall

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Another one I considered, but I just don't need the length, the real steel metamorph G5. A 3.5" blade @ 75gms. It's a thin, light weight slicey thing. Another front flipper. It's the sort of thing I wish they made a smaller version of. The steel used is considered similar to VG10. It has been described as a very easy to use front flipper. I learnt to front flip on a tiny misbegotten (no passthrough, shitty clip, no place for a lanyard when it really needs one) twosun knife (TS68), so I can front flip anything. Incidentally, that tiny TS68 weighs as much as the 2x larger metamorph.

Update: I have noticed that there is a Mk II G5, but couldn't see any difference. Now I know. The one in the picture below is not a Mk II. Mark II has a grippier handle - it is covered in fine lines.

Update II: hunting around for prices, and came across a very good deal, so I bought one! It's longer than I normally use or want, but....Note: gocommando have a 10% discount on Real Steel knives if you use the code PIG during checkout. So the cost of mine was $78.30 delivered (no charge for delivery) - most other places are around $115.

Update III: see my quick review down the page.

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  • Overall Length:8.125"
  • Blade Length:3.50"
  • Cutting Edge:3.375"
  • Blade Width:0.625"
  • Blade Thickness:0.12"
  • Blade Material:14C28N
  • Blade Style: drop Point
  • Blade Grind:Flat
  • Finish:Satin
  • Edge Type: plain
  • Handle Length:4.625"
  • Handle Width:0.875"
  • Handle Thickness:0.44"
  • Handle Material:Aluminum
  • Weight:2.64 oz.
  • Opener:Front Flipper
  • Lock Type:Liner Lock
 
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Hairyman

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I brought this early Gerber lst micarta in the 80's as an ultralight and salt water resistant knife for field
dressing wild goats on mountainous Islands. Together with my Brno fox .222 it helped me provide many a chevon meal for my growing family.26622
 

Randall

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Has the blade shape evolved from something else to what it is now? It looks well worn. Nice that it has a lock. I saw goats on middle molle island (or was it nth molle?) in the 80's. And wild horses. It must have been a good time - shooting for a good cause and utilising the meat!
 

Randall

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Yeah, found a photo of one that is close to your model. Gerber still makes LST, but they're a bit different design now. Your blade is very well used :)
26623
 

Hairyman

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Yes, sharpened a lot over about ten years solid use. :) They still make the lst but not in the US.
 

Randall

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My real steel g5 metamorph Mk II has arrived. I definitely can recommend this knife. It is long and skinny and beautifully made. It has the nicest lock of any knife I've handled or own. It is a nested liner lock - a joy to use. And no trouble with the pass through (access to the locking mechanism). The blade steel is 14C29N which is a good budget steel supposedly equivalent to VG10 (think spyderco). And! This thing has needle bearings (y):D. The big bonus of needle bearings is a greater load sharing area over the bearing surfaces.

Now, the front flipper! It isn't as easy as others have said in reviews. I thought I had the most awkward tiny front flipper ever designed (a twosun ts68), and that if I could flip that, I can flip anything. I don't necessarily look at opening and closing a knife as a design issue - I normally just think I need practise or I don't. I needed about 5 mins of playing to be fairly consistent with the opening of this knife - I was expecting it to be immediately intuitively easy. The youtube reviewers I've seen make it look easy. Reviewers like Birdshot IV practice opening and closing a knife prior to review. Knife reviewers are generally passionate and enthusiastic, and spend a lot of time flipping and playing. So, my only caveat! I enjoy learning new skills. I learnt to use chopsticks when I was a kid. If you haven't used a front flipper, and aren't prepared to put in some time and learn this one, then don't get this. The other reality; most of us here have something to do with outdoors, I assume. If I'm going on a bushwalk, I don't think I'd take this knife. I'd take something that opens easily under ALL conditions. What I mean is, sometimes my fingers and hands are cold or frozen or wet or if it's warmer and I've been steaming up a near vertical hill (lots of them here) my fingers are a bit swollen and sweaty. For these occasions, I'd go with something rock solid like spyderco dragonfly or delica or a favorite for adverse conditions, the cold steel mini tuff lite or mini intrigue - anything else with a good back flipper that suits (size, weight, utility, etc). Another good cold weather knife is the spyderco pingo, a little slip joint with a very useful small balde. For me the g5 is really general carry or around home; generally comfortable conditions. It is a beautiful slicer - if it had a more fool proof opening system it would make an awesome knife for meal prep on extended trips. I'd take it for car based camping etc too. See above for pictures, a good price etc.

I will say though, once you get the opening right, it really looks spring assisted. My thumb barely moves and the blade snaps out with authority.

Update: the pivot came loose - no loctite. If you get one of these I'd loctite the pivot - it would be a hastle to lose the bolt.
 
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Randall

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I've received the two artisan cutlery folding knives. I can't recommend them - they both have lock stick! I haven't experienced this before; one knife is really bad. I've tried some vaseline where to liner lock meets the knife tang - no difference. They're good looking light weight knives, but after the real steel g5 and the steel will mini intrigue, why would you bother with knives with issues? On a side note, nick shabbaz has found that electrical jointing compound solves lock stick. It isn't something that is readily available here, and pretty pricey.
 

Randall

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Yes, sharpened a lot over about ten years solid use. :) They still make the lst but not in the US.
I came across this hairyman; there is 20% off as well - $31.16 - with the code PSLEIGH (ends midnight 15th november).
 

Randall

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A new review on the real steel metamorph by Nich Shabazz. He's quite harsh :ROFLMAO:. I have no trouble flipping mine now, and I still really like it.
 
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Wave Man

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bought this a couple of days ago, right outside my wheelhouse, bought as a kit knife (to fit in a kit) Cold Steel micro Recon 1 tanto, weighs 30.21g officially the lightest folder I own

 
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