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Front Flippers - pictures and discussion

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by josh yu, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. josh yu

    josh yu

    Jun 14, 2017
    front flippers have slowly become my favorite folding knife configuration, and while i know i'm not in the majority, i know there are others out there.

    So why not a thread for pictures and discussion of front flippers

    here's a little list of all custom, mid-tech, and production front flippers i've heard of. feel free to add on to the list! Also, for those of you who have handled multiple front flippers, which is your favorite? why? any general discussion welcome!

    boker (a2, exkelibur, lancer)
    boos blades (smoke)
    kizer (feist)
    real steel (g3 pukko)
    Olamic (busker, not released yet)
    Maserin (392)
    Trevor Burger
    Gareth Bull
    Andre Thorburn
    John Arnold
    Charl Pienaar
    Michael Zieba
    Clyde Challenor
    Kosie Steenkamp
    Jason Guthrie
    JD Van Deventer
    Anthony Griffin
    Des Horn
    Lourens Prinsloo
    Brian Germishuys
    Francois Massyn
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
    Mo2 likes this.
  2. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Front flipper is my favorite opening mechanism, too.
    I have only Boker Exskelibur and a custom front flipper by MacWasil knives, and can say MacWasil is a great craftsman without a reservation.
    There are a few more makers who make front flipper knives and whom I am interested in hearing about.

    Clyde Challenor Custom
    Kosie Steenkamp
    Jason Guthrie (only limited models)
    John Arnold
    BTGuy and Mo2 like this.
  3. ATJ999

    ATJ999 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    I always wanted to try one, but don't want to spend a lot and find out it is tricky for my hand to use.
    And yes, I have 4 Mac Wasil knives, awesome guy that makes great knives!
  4. Riz!


    May 5, 2014
    The boker exskelibur is a good starter Seem nice and many folks like em
    OddBlade and Lapedog like this.
  5. josh yu

    josh yu

    Jun 14, 2017
    i personally fell in love with the design of the feist when i first saw it. S35VN on smooth titanium handles, an overall gentleman design, relatively thin blade that slices, checked so many boxes on paper. Just got word from Lundquist that a second sample is on the way and when he approves, the second run will go on sale.

    Really curious how some of the customs i listed above compare to a Feist or a smoke. Anyone who's had them able to compare to a feist (without qc issues) or smoke?
    mrknife likes this.
  6. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Boker makes an A2 based on Thorburn's A2 but they failed terribly. Very low quality knife.

    Crkt has a front flipper for really really cheap and they are very low quality. The Jernigan V. A. S. P. Comes serrated or not. Worth way less than the $30 they cost buy if you want a cheap one, check it out.

    Keizer has two front flippers one as mentioned in the above posts and the Jernigan Wakulla... Same maker as the VASP. I think its big and ugly but you decide for yourself.

    I have both exskellaburs from boker plus. The frame lock and liner lock. Both in carbon fiber. I like the blade profile but everything on them is low quality. Gotta say the s35vn blade is great on the frame lock version and the size and fit in hand and pocket is nice on both. They are literally $50 knives up charged to $100+.

    Since those two are based off the Burger and son's exk my grail to get was a Trevor Burger custom. And I saved up and got one from the exchange here! I have to say it was worth every penny and the rest pail in comparison.

    Since getting the Burger custom I got the Smoke TS1 from BoosBlades. Amazed at its price point, quality and action. Only issue was it didn't come with a decent cutting edge. Nothing I couldnt fix, and the next batch should be better. It's not anywhere near as good as the Burger, but it's the next best one.

    Would love to get
    Garth Bull
    Clyde Challenor
    Kosie Steenkamp
    Jason Guthrie
    John Arnold
    Front flippers too. But I'd need to win the lottery first.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  7. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    They both don't compare to any of the customs I've seen at knife shows. But they are both good knives for the price point (fiest and smoke). Obviously the smoke is a bit better between the two, but... Despite the qc issues with the fiest its still a great knife and others like its size and look better (I don't but some do).
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    lieferung likes this.
  8. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    I've got a Shamwari 3.25 that I carry a lot. Lovely action.

    French maker Sacha Thiel used to make front flippers, custom and midtech. I emailed him once and he said he would still make a custom but currently has no more plans for the midtech.
  9. josh yu

    josh yu

    Jun 14, 2017
    the updated version of the kizer feist was just Oked by Justin Lundquist. the action video looks promising! if anyone finds out if there's a way to distinguish the old vs new version, or if there's a way for owners of the old flawed version to trade in for a new good version, let us know
    mrknife likes this.
  10. josh yu

    josh yu

    Jun 14, 2017
    has anyone had any experience with Zieba G1 or G2? i kind of like this design

    Getting older, Pomsbz and mrknife like this.
  11. BK14


    Sep 13, 2016
    I have been dying to try out a front flipper. I really like the look of the Feist, but just as a personal preference, at that price point, I usually would rather have my money go towards an American company. That all being said, if the updated version is as promising as I hope, I may be tempted! I would love love love to see a ZT collaboration front flipper. Perhaps with Gareth Bull? A 3.25 inch blade, CF front scale, blue anodized lock side and barrel spacers, a spear point or wharnie in CTS 204P, and a stonewashed and unmarked clip, perhaps sculpted. I would pay way too much money for that.
    mrknife and lieferung like this.
  12. BTGuy

    BTGuy Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Front flippers are an intriguing type of blade deployment. The most unobtrusive in the pocket and fun to open in my opinion. Once I tried out the Boker Exskelibur I knew I wanted another front flipper at some point. The Shamwari and Feist are on my wishlist.

    P.S. @miso your custom MacWasil "Miso" knife looks great!
    Amurr, miso2 and farnorthdan like this.
  13. ExtremAddiction

    ExtremAddiction KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 12, 2013
    I have been skeptical about front flippers until I made it , actually they are fun and you dont have flipper tab on the bottom of the blade ,
    But it may take some time to get used to it .

    Definitely gonna make more .
    Edgeoflife, Armadew, vbjoe7 and 6 others like this.
  14. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Front flippers are certainly becoming more popular and better known these days. Some company should have the good sense to make a production Shamwari. Gareth Bull's knives seem to be some of the most desireable. Check out Bester knives for good priced front flipper customs.

    Incidentally I can front flip my large Inkosi.
  15. Rival1314

    Rival1314 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 17, 2012
    I have bad a Boos Blades Smoke, and a Thorburn L36 front flipper. IMHO the Smoke is a bit too compact for my taste, took a few days to train my fingers to be able to open it easily. The tab was a bit too far forward IMHO.

    The Thorburn's action was amazing...like all Thorburns I have handled. They mirror polish the bearing race, so its incredibly smooth. Flipper tab was easily accessible, and perfect detent.

    The new Hawk Knives Orbit is a front flipper too, and that knife is also pretty awesome.
  16. barmettlerjosh


    Jun 16, 2016
    I’m not usually a fan of front flippers but I do like the boos blades smoke I got to handle one of the first batch and it was great but I still prefer no flipper just good old thumb studs
    josh yu likes this.
  17. josh yu

    josh yu

    Jun 14, 2017
    that's one thing i've been wondering! how consistently can you flip it with the front tab?
  18. josh yu

    josh yu

    Jun 14, 2017
    the boos is awesome, even though i've moved on from tacticool designs, it's just designed so well, and the action is the best front flipper i've experienced so far.

    my gravitation towards front flippers actually stems from both an aesthetic and practical factors. i use my knives to peel fruit often, and not having a flipper tab or a thumb stud that obstructing my peeling path has slowly become a priority.
    mrknife likes this.
  19. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Once you get used to it, each and every time. CRKs are built to very tight specs so I assume if mine can do it then they all can.

    Actually to be honest though I am boosting. I can't thumb flick it, rather only slow thumb roll it open. I assume a more talented flipper might be able to flick it as I can hardly flick my Ti Exskelibur.

    It only works on my large Inkosi. It doesn't on my other two CRKs a small and large 21. Too bad, they could use it more since they have that dumb single thumb stud.
  20. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    One thing to consider is the type of front flipper mechanism. Some are “push button” flippers, and others are “bottle opening” flipper, if it makes sense.

    Thorburns are push button flippers, of which flipper tabs do not protrude very much, such that one has to push it to open the blade with speed.

    Burger knives are bottle opening flippers. They have the tabs extending vertically. These tabs do not disappear in the handle while in the opening action, and thus allow users to hold it to control the speed.

    The main difference to me is whether a user can open the blade slowly or not. Walkingreviews has a video comparing a Thorburn and a Burger knife.

    I like those which give me an option of slow opening.
    ruiker, Dadpool and BTGuy like this.

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