1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Review Kizer Feist

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by miso2, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I got a front flipper knife from Kizer!


    The specs
      Overall length:              165 mm (6.5”)
      Closed length:               94 mm (3.7”)
      Blade Length:                73 mm (2.875”)
      Blade thickness:             2.75 mm (0.108”)
      Edge thickness:              0.5 mm (0.019”)
      Edge angle:                  20 DPS
      Blade material:              S35VN
      Blade grind:                 Flat grind
      Handle thickness:            10 mm (0.39”)
      Handle material:             Titanium (bead-blasted?)
      Weight:                      75g (2.65 oz)
      Lock type:                   Frame lock
      Deployment method:           Front flipper
      Pivot type:                  Ball bearings (caged)

    Excellent fit and finish.
    Smooth action.
    Overall design.
    Weight balance.
    Ease of maintenance.

    Not so good:
    Blade grind.
    Thick edge.
    Lock bar insert.
    Short pocket clip.
    Poor access to the lock bar.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  2. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014

    This small knife is surprisingly well-made.
    The contoured handle, rounded blade spine, finishes on the blade and the handle, and jimpings, they are all well done.

    The fit and finish are great as well.


    Particularly, the lock bar tension, lock engagement, and the detent ball placement are really perfect.
    Also, you can tighten down the pivot and still get the perfect centering and smooth action. I like it!

    Mine might be the first generation Feist, judging from the interior, especially the rough stop-pin tracts.
    But it operates very smoothly, and I don't have any problem with it so far.


    I am glad that Kizer does not do any weight reducing milling to the handle slabs.
    Even though it is very light at only 2.65 oz, the Ti slabs give a good weight balance and nice heftiness.

    I feel that this is a front flipper version of small Sebenza.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  3. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014

    The front flipper design suits well with the small size.
    I have a difficulty opening small Sebenza with the thumb rug, presumably due to the small handle size because I have no problem opening other larger thumb stud knives.

    It is so easy and natural to open Feist with the front tab.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  4. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Now, there are a few things I don't like with Feist.

    First, the blade.
    The blade stock is relatively thin at 0.108".
    However, the primary grind is not that tall, and it is not ground thin, leaving the 0.02" edge (the edge bevel was also uneven and asymmetric).


    It would be better if the blade stock is thinner or the primary grind is much deeper.
    Or, even better with hollow grind like Sebenza.....

    Second is the lock bar insert.


    I understand the benefit of having it for makers and users.
    But for a small knife like this, I don't think it is necessary.
    What I don't like about it the most is that it degrades the bank vault feel of the frame lock......

    Also, it would be nicer if there is a cutout on the front scale to make the access to the lock bar better.

    The last gripe is about the pocket clip.
    It is very short.
    But it actually seems to work well.

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  5. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    With my other front flippers.


    Overall, Feist is a stout small folding knife with exceptionally good fit and finish for the price.
    I would fall in love with it, if the blade is better ground, and if there is better access to the lock bar for disengagement.
    But I have to admit that fidgeting Feist is really addictive.......
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    Twindog, Boggs, Lapedog and 2 others like this.
  6. J D Wijbenga

    J D Wijbenga

    Oct 17, 1998
    Thanks for posting your insightfull review!
  7. fishface5

    fishface5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    wow you answered a lot of questions in my mind about the Feist thanks!
  8. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Glad that my review served the community well so far.
  9. QAJAQ


    May 27, 2017
    A terrific review. I really like your cross-sectional representations of the blades. I'm going to look at them some more right after I post this!
  10. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I love my feist. It is surprisingly well built. Mine was one of the first gen ones with a bunch of metal flakes in the stop pin track as well. I cleaned them out and used a stone to polish out the tracks. The action is actually very good.

    The knife feels surprisingly good in hand despite being such a little knife. It was my second front flipper after the Exskelibur and of all my flippers has the best action due ti bearings. (Eskelibur is a close second, but I gave it to a good friend) I find the knife flips readily and doesn’t have that nail file like jimping that some other front flippers seem to have. Of the Kizer line up this a the only one I HAD to have. I love the little knife. The size is great for carrying and somehow it is just the right size for me to get a 4 finger grip on it.


    Still I think the Gareth Bull shamwari is more the sebenza front flipper.
    Btw, how is that Macwaisil front flipper? It sure is pretty!
  11. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Nice anodization on Feist!
    And that plain Shamwari!
    Yeah, Shamwari is more of the front flipper Sebenza in design and quality.

    I think Feist could be a small flipper Insingo, if the blade is hollow ground or ground deeper......


    MacWasil front flipper is fantastic.
    It's been over half a year since I got it, and the knife is nicely broken in.
    It is so smooth and pretty.
    The blade grind is really great, too.
    I think am spoiled by it badly.
  12. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I should add one thing.
    Although Feist does not have a finger groove or choil, Kizer added a front jimping to help holding the knife.

  13. wayoftread


    Aug 22, 2014
    Tons knife makers using lock bar inserts on titanium knives because easy way to prevent lock stickI guess it's hard to carbonize right, Sebenza does it right.
  14. Victorian Squid

    Victorian Squid Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2017
    The Feist is a really decent decent little knife TBH. I can flip my Shamwari's and go to the Feist without recoiling in disgust. The action is really quite good, the lock bar could use a little more attention, a bit sharp and stiff, but I'm a southpaw so I'm a lot more particular in this area. I'm not sure why the Feist gets so little love, perhaps because of the crazy hype before it came out, and then the first run being deeply flawed. For me it's a keeper. Yeah, the blade could have been done better (a lot better) then again, for its size and purpose, this really is a moot point IMO. I sold my Boos Smoke, it was a great little (big) knife, but had to liquidate a bunch of my collection because of some emergency out-of-pocket expenses for my mom. So, I sold the most in-demand and newest I had. Except the Shamwari's of course. I'd sell my kidney first. Luckily we've got 3, right? ;)

    Anyway, really good review and comparison especially. I'm handicapped with southpawitis, and plain up can't use most CRK's. Additionally, too many years of muscle memory to overcome with a left handed version. I tried. It's very sad to keep trying to unlock the knife on the wrong side, even though I'm telling myself to go the other direction.

    I so hate the pinwheel pivot Kizer is in love with, it just mucks up every knife it's on, save for some of the simpler knives it originally appeared on, such as the Ursa Minor or Gemini. They've really got to ditch this eyesore.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
    blade man and miso2 like this.
  15. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Nice write-up!
    Three Shamwaris and that Feist!!!

    I also dislike the pinwheel pivot mostly because it has sharp edges.
    Simple polished pivot would be better, too.

    I don't own Shamwari but know that it has a sink-in type front tab and cannot be opened slowly.
    Feist's tab stays exposed from the handle all the time and can be opened slowly.
    I am curious which you find you prefer.
    Victorian Squid likes this.
  16. blade man

    blade man

    Jan 8, 2001
    I dropped the edge back on a Fiest to 20*. Wide bevel but it cut SO much better.
    miso2 and Victorian Squid like this.
  17. Victorian Squid

    Victorian Squid Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2017
    I don't know about older versions, but with mine the tab stays well exposed the entire rotation, a bit better than the Feist as the bolster is rounder than the Feist.
    The action is incredibly smooth, I might prefer the CF liner lock most of all but we're really splitting hairs at this point. The big 3.5" acts just like the little ones.

    The Shamwari is superior to the Feist every way, but the fact the Feist doesn't really pale that much in comparison speaks volumes for a less expensive knife. If they improve the lock as you mentioned, better exposure, a bit less sharp, it would be a 5 star knife.


    I sold my Boos Smoke recently - do miss it and can certainly recommend it as a front flipper, if slightly flawed.
  18. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Thanks for the info, @Victorian Squid
    I did not know that the front tab on Shamwari is not the Thurborn type tab.
    Victorian Squid likes this.
  19. Victorian Squid

    Victorian Squid Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2017
    That doesn't mean earlier versions didn't have that type of tab, I never laid hands on one. I just remember older models used proprietary hardware, which was a complaint by many. But it's certainly no longer a concern if anybody is worried about that!

    I love it when a maker keeps refining a good design rather than moving on to the next thing.
  20. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    They have a Shamwari now that comes with an Insingo like blade. I can slow roll my Shamwari open no problem.

    @Victorian Squid Is that anodization on that Feist? I see you bought a few Shamwaris. Mine is suuuupppeeerr tight to take apart. I bought mine used and somehow the pivot was rusted shut. The pivot collar got scratches while trying to get the pivot apart, so it was sanded to the bare Ti. That is why I had to reanodize the pivot collar blue. (To match the standoff) I like he Gareth Bull Warlock too, it seems very similar to the Shamwari.

    @miso2 Check this out. I recently sold my Boker Exskelibur framelock to a good friend so I needed a new knife to replace it as my larger front flipper. I got this Katsu Titanium framelock to take over this role. Check it out, I cannot believe how cheap it is for what you get.

    Gary W. Graley likes this.

Share This Page