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Review Two Modern Slip Joint Knives

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by miso2, Nov 8, 2019 at 11:49 PM.

  1. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hi all,

    I recently acquired a couple of modern slip joint knives.
    Manly Wasp and Benchmade Proper 319 Krein regrind


    My intension was to find a good modern slip joint knife ground thin with a premium stainless steel.
    I had a nice custom slip joint knife fulfilling this.
    But the spring broke, and I had to send it back to the maker abroad for repair.
    That was a bit annoying and made me think that I need something more easily replaceable for EDC.

    So, I went in to search production pieces, which would check all the boxes.
    Unfortunately, most of modern variety seem to come with thick edges, and in many cases thick blade, too, as compare to traditional knives like GECs.

    Then, I learned here that Manly Wasp is thinly ground to a relatively thin edge from its rather thick blade stock (0.11").
    With S90V blade, it felt a real bargain.
    I went with the orange G10 version.


    Benchmade Proper has been ticking me a while, but the thick edge has repelled me.
    I knew the Krein reground variants and pressed "order" immediately when I found that DLT was (and still is) offering them again.
    Replaceability may not be good, as it is not certain whether they will be offered by Krein in the future.
    Still, I can get a factory Proper to have spare parts in case something goes wrong, like the spring.


    They are both great knives and worth every penny at different price points.
    I am going to compare these two modern slip joint knives below.
    Llasi and J D Wijbenga like this.
  2. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014

    The specs
                                  Wasp                          Proper
      Overall length:             176 mm (6.93”)                170 mm (6.69")
      Closed length:              101 mm (3.98”)                97.8 mm (3.85")
      Blade Length:               75 mm (2.95”)                 72 mm (2.83")
      Blade thickness:            2.3 mm (0.09”)                2.04 mm (0.08")
      BTE at 15 DPS:              0.23 mm (0.009”)              0.23 mm (0.009"): from the original 0.64mm (0.025")
      Edge angle:                 15 DPS                        20 DPS
      Blade material:             S90V                          S30V
      Blade grind:                Flat                          Flat
      Handle thickness:           16 mm with clip (0.63”)       11 mm (0.43")
      Handle material:            Orange G10                    Canvas Micarta
      Weight:                     78 g (2.75 oz)                57 g (2 oz)
      Nail nick:                  Single                        Single
      Stops:                      Three                         One
      Pull (5 for SAK):           6~7                           5~6
      Pinchable:                  Yes                           Yes
      Pocket clip:                Yes                           No
      Internal stop pin:          Yes                           No

    They are pretty comparable size-wise, except for the handle thickness.
    Proper is quite thin, as thin as GEC #15.
    Wasp is a lot thicker, especially with the pocket clip.
    But the handle itself is slightly thinner than Bullnose.


    Although the blade heights and stock thicknesses are quite different, their behind the edge thicknesses are virtually identical.
    Also, the blade profiles are quite similar, making them comparable in cutting performance.



    Other common features:
    Screw construction. Both can be completely disassembled.
    Unique pivot. They both have sorts of flat-cam hybrid tang with ramps, and the pull becomes heavier from the half-stop to the full open position.
    Internal stop pin. This prevents the blade from hitting the back spring.
    Washers. So the liners do not scratch the blade.
    Milled liners.
    Short travel distance of spring. I don't see the spring protrude much. It is very subtle as compared to GEC and Case. Less chance of breaking?

    So they are filled with nice modern features, and yet as slicey as traditional knives.
    I can highly recommend them for someone who wants sub 3" slip joint with a modern stainless steel and the traditional cutting capability instead of a pocket pry bar.

    Now I am going to review individual knives briefly below.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019 at 6:04 AM
    J D Wijbenga likes this.
  3. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    The Wasp.
    I got it at about $50.
    With S90V?
    Just wow.....

    But the knife is not cheap.
    Nice CNCed blade with a thin edge at 15 DPS (Their factory tour video is fun to watch).
    Nice deep carry pocket clip.


    The action was a bit stiff at the beginning.
    I did my regular flushing cycles, and it became pretty smooth.
    I was not sure about the 4 stop pivot but surprisingly got used to it quickly.

    The handle feels very sturdy.
    The orange G10 scales are pretty and enough grippy.
    I do not find the nail nick really useful.
    Since the blade is well proud of the handle, you can easily pinch it open even with your left hand.

    Some may not like the exposed blade tang.

    There were few issues with the knife.
    The spine of the blade was very sharp.
    Because of this, it was painful to close the blade.
    I had to sand it with #2,000 paper.

    The tip is about to come out from the handles.
    I will need to grind it down soon.


    The blade shape is unique.
    I take it as a variant of sod buster.
    It would be nicer if the point is dropped a bit.

    You can see how narrow the edge bevel is for Wasp as compared to Bullnose at same 15 DPS.

    Overall, it is a really solid slip joint knife with a nice blade.
    The steel feels quite similar to S110V in sharpening and edge retention.
    With the low price point and good availability, I do not hesitate to use hell out of it (for a non-locking knife).
    This is going to be my travel companion.

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 6:38 AM
    J D Wijbenga likes this.
  4. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    What a handsome knife!

    First of all, the spring on my sample is good.
    It is not strong as Bullnose, but comparable to GEC #15.

    I love the canvas micarta.
    It feels fluffy and warm in hand.


    It should pair very nicely with jeans.


    No pocket clip.
    You can just drop this light weight knife into a pocket and forget about it.
    Or you can put it into a pocket slip.
    Mine is a medium sized slip (5" x 2"), big enough to swallow this thin knife.


    The blade is very utilitarian.
    It has a nice pointy tip to penetrate plastic package.
    I think the edge line is similar to my favorite Zulu spear pattern.
    Very easy to maintain the edge from the heel to the tip consistently on Edge Pro.


    Some issues.
    First, the centering was bit off.
    I was able to fix it to some extent by tweaking the pivot and scales.


    The spring on the back is not perfectly flush.
    It does not bother be very much, but some may not like it for a $200 knife.
    There are gaps between the liners, which can only be detected under light.


    Lastly, the regrind is not consistent and even.
    Not too bad.
    But it would be a lot nicer if I can get even edge bevels on both sides.

    Overall, I really love the knife.
    This is my second encounter with S30V.
    I thought it should be quite similar to S35VN.
    But the steel seems to take a keener edge, and deburring was easier than S35VN.
    I don't know if it is the steel or heat-treatment.
    Anyway, I love the steel, too.
    With the pretty and comfortable micarta handle, slicey blade, good stainless steel, easy deployment, and light weight, I think it would be a great EDC companion.
    I plan to rotate this with a custom slip joint, which should be coming back from repair soon, and reground Lionsteel Otnat, which is coming in several months.

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 2:34 AM
    J D Wijbenga likes this.
  5. popedandy

    popedandy Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Excellent job on the comparison and review!
    miso2 likes this.
  6. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Thank you for the review. As between the two, if you had to pick one, which would it be and why?
  7. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    They are at very different price points, $50 vs $200.

    With that said, I would choose Proper regrind because it feels like a high-end modern slip joint knife or an upgraded GEC to me, and that is what I have wanted.
    The design is well thought out.
    Ergonomic contoured handle, utilitarian blade shape, materials, the flat-cam hybrid tang, and so on.
    And it is the better slicer of the two, probably due to the smaller blade height than Wasp.

    Wasp feels more rugged and like a Case Sod Buster on heavy steroid.
    You can definitely put it to work without hesitation.

    The other considerations are pocket clip and warranty.
    Proper regrind is out of Benchmade warranty.
    I did not care about it because I live outside of the US anyway.
    But that may matter to you.
    If you must need a pocket clip, then Wasp.

    Hope this helps.
    khopesh, on_the_edge and mycough like this.
  8. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I ground the tip of Wasp a bit.
    It is more safer in pocket.

    J D Wijbenga likes this.
  9. J D Wijbenga

    J D Wijbenga Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 17, 1998
    Excellent review of two interesting knives! Thanks!
    miso2 likes this.
  10. mycough

    mycough Basic Member Basic Member

    May 20, 2007
    This is fantastic write up. I have ordered a wasp already, Miso, pm me about your signature, maybe I can help...

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