Kizer Aesthetics, a Breath of Fresh Air

Discussion in 'Kizer Cutlery' started by Insipid Moniker, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    From the slightly goofy, but charming footprints of the Walkabout to the almost jagged designs on the Shoal and the bubbling menace of the Zimba, is it just me or are these guys killing it? I don't like metal handles, I don't like framelocks and titanium doesn't matter to me at all, but it's nice to see a company making large modern knives that don't lean so darn heavily on a tactical motif.

    I'm all about function over form, but I get a little tired of black G10 handles dominating the modern knife world. The anodizing and splashes of color Kizer often includes are another nice touch. I didn't realize that, given the choice between plain gray titanium and a rainbow of anodized colors I'd take the rainbow, but it turns out I will, even if just to break up the visual monotony.

    Anyone else feeling me on this? I really think these guys, both in house and collaboration, are making the most visually interesting production knives on the market.
     
    NG VI likes this.
  2. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Yes - I agree. I only just purchased a Kizer, but their designs, particularly the recent designer variety, is wide-ranging and creative, while still being functional looking knives. I was looking for a 3" safe-for-work, non-tac folder and just picked up the walkabout specifically because I liked the canine motif :)
     
    NG VI likes this.
  3. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    While I appreciate variety and original design, quite s bit of Kizers catalog looks simply ridiculous to me. I dig the Splinter and Kane and a few others, but the goofy handle designs and recurved blades ruin many of the designs for me.
     
  4. augostos

    augostos

    360
    Sep 15, 2011
    Where are they made?
     
  5. Misanthropia

    Misanthropia

    Jul 10, 2011
    They're definitely going in the right direction lately with their in-house designs; the Quicksilver, Mistral, and IFT-L are all very attractive to me, although there are a few aesthetic choices I could do without. Hopefully collaborating with noted makers will inspire their in-house people to try some cleaner designs.
     
  6. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. My head is on loose but my shoes are tight Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I too dislike metal handles, though not enough to make me sell my most excellent Ki423. As much as I like the brand, most of their offerings are Ti. Then they come out with the Tomcat in colorful G-10. My wallet is burning with want.
     
    NG VI likes this.
  7. bld522

    bld522

    Feb 3, 2004
    China.
     
  8. brancron

    brancron Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    Cue the thread meltdown...
     
  9. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I definitely agree that not all their attempts are hits, but I also think that's a somewhat inevitable side effect of having a bit more artistic approach.

    I'm hoping they keep it up and start offering a broader variety of colorful G10 models. I'd absolutely love to see them license a proprietary lock as I think it would honestly push them over the top for me.
     
    NG VI likes this.
  10. bld522

    bld522

    Feb 3, 2004
    LOL. Hopefully it will take more than what I posted to kill this thread, but time will tell . . .

    I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum sizewise (<4 oz.) and Kizer is knocking it out of the park for me. I've got a 3404A3, a Splinter, a Gemini, and there are more models coming all the time. As it stands now, Kizer seems slotted to take all of my knife budget for the foreseeable future.
     
  11. bld522

    bld522

    Feb 3, 2004
    What would push them over the top for me is a Stateside service department. There's no way I'm going to pay $200+ for a knife I might have to send offshore to get serviced.
     
  12. Charr

    Charr Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    I think the fact that all of the people here have at least said they like one of the models in and of itself is enough to say that they are doing something right.

    Trying to appeal to a group as widely diverse as the knife community as a whole is never going to be easy, and the fact that they seem to be able to at least get out one design for most of everyone is by itself impressive to me.
    And, by the definition of that attempt, they are going to have some designs that just don't do it for some people at all, while they really sing to others. I don't think that's really a bad thing, and as long as they have the production capabilities to keep it up and keep as many customers happy as possible, it seems like a great business model for our extremely diverse tastes in knives.
     
  13. brancron

    brancron Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    I still absolutely love my Flashbang. The knife could honestly not be improved. The smoothness, the centering, the deployment, the lockup, the grinds, the feel in the hand, the total lack of any sharp edges (except the edge of course)--it just doesn't get any better in a production knife. Derk Razor Sharp did a rock pattern on mine but it was still great before that:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. bld522

    bld522

    Feb 3, 2004
    I feel the same way about my Gemini. IMO, Kizer couldn't have done a better job on that knife. :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  15. Ken44

    Ken44

    Jun 29, 2005
    Don't care for most of their designs myself. I prefer a very simple look, and don't care for most of their handles(shape or texture), or blade shapes.

    I do think their plain Flashbang looks pretty good, and I think the Laconico Gemini looks great.
    I don't buy China(but please don't flame me for it), but if I did the Gemini would be one that I would own. That's the style I like, and its a great looking knife, IMO.
     
  16. jasonp

    jasonp

    Oct 7, 2002
    I've bought a couple of Kizer's and ended up selling both. I think they're headed the right direction but at the most basic level I think there is a cultural difference in what they want to produce and market over here vs. what those of us in the states really look for. I've noticed that they tend to lean toward a more artistic design vs a fully functioning design. The metal handle that you guys mention comes to mind. In the review I did here it was pretty much the reason I sold it. It tended to lay some where between a tactical folder and a gentleman's folder but did neither justice. It just didn't fit a need that I needed and the F&F was off a bit. If you look at some of their designs vs. say what ZT has to offer, they rely more on aesthetics (Asian) than actual function. I think American makers do the reverse; we value a knife that just works; grippy, solid lock-up, good steel, easy deployment, and aesthetic art last. If we can manage both in a knife, they sell great. I could be wrong, but that's what I see...
     
  17. Misanthropia

    Misanthropia

    Jul 10, 2011
    Here's a picture of the new Mistral, which is an in-house design. I think it's absolutely gorgeous, unfortunately this model without the anodizing is an exclusive to an Italian retailer and thus is way too expensive for the American market:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I don't need to say anything about the brand (we've all been down that road), but I will say that that is a gorgeous knife. Is that scale a custom? All the ones I've seen have a plain stonewash scale.
     
  19. brancron

    brancron Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    Derk Razor Sharp did the rock pattern for me. He also did a rock pattern on my Slysz Bowie (which is on its way back to me): https://instagram.com/p/9QXAe0nc6Z/?taken-by=drsbladeworks
     
  20. bld522

    bld522

    Feb 3, 2004
    That's a beauty, all right. The Kizer part number for the anodized version is 3310A1. And it looks like another Kizer model that's right up my alley. :thumbup:

    The hits just keep on coming . . . :D
     
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