Ultima Ratio Regis Thorn Neck Knife Review

Ultima Ratio Regis Review

I have recently bought my third knife made by Kevin Wilkins who is an American that lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

I am extremely impressed with this latest knife from him and so wanted to do a quick review to post on the forum.

The model is a Thorn Style 1 and is the A model on the web site. The web site is a split screen one and I don’t know how to grab the correct URL so if you go to http://www.wilkins-knives.com/

and look at the neck knives you will be able to see a picture of my knife.

It is, as you can see from the scan, ground out of a single piece of 4mm CPM 420V steel with the handle being drilled through with three countersunk holes which helps with grip and also lightens the knife.

The blade is 4” long, hollow ground and very sharp. All the steel, other than the hollow ground portion of the blade, has been left with the mottled slightly rough texture of the raw steel plate but polished. It is not east to describe but looks and feels really good.

The handle is very comfortable to grip even though it is slightly short for my big hands, the but comes to about half way across my little finger when held in forward grip. For this reason I would not like to attempt chopping down any trees with this knife but that was not why I bought it or what it was designed for.

Kevin made me two left handed sheaths for this knife one in kydex and one in leather, both if which can be used in the neck carry role or as IWB sheaths. The sheaths are all hand made by Kevin and are of excellent quality using top quality saddle leather and 0.06’ kydex. The fit of both the sheaths is very good with no movement of the knife even when shook violently with the knife in the upside down neck carry position. The belt loops that enable you to carry it IWB are removable via chicago screws for when carrying on a cord.

I tested the knife on some boxes at work when it arrived and it made very short work of several triple wall cardboard sheets.

I used it at the weekend to prepare a stir fry for dinner which involved thinly slicing the following: pork fillet, onion, sweet pepper, corguette, and carrot (it was delicious, even if I say so myself, and all cut up with great ease)

Including the two sheaths and shipping the whole lot came to about $150 which for a completely hand made knife and sheath is very good value. Kevin is friendly and very easy to deal with and I can recommend you have a look at his site. I think he is a graphic designer in the day and his web site shows this in the excellent scans of his knives.

Harvey Wareham

Live Long & Prosper, so you can buy more knives :)

Oct 11, 1998
Would you please stifle yourself? Nobody needs to know what cool stuff Kevin Wilkins makes. It's already enough, that you snatch up some of his products before me ;-)

More seriously, I have the B in the mail and it is my fifth knife from him. So far I’m extremely pleased with his work. Right now I’m in the office and wearing a similar Thorn knife made of D2 with an inside-the-waist-band leather sheath.

I agree with you Harvey. These little one piece tools seem to really fill a niche. They are very well designed and made of superb material. But what makes them really unique is Kevin’s sheath work. It is extremely well thought out. Besides that, Kevin is willing to make you a sheath according to your specifications.

The rest of his work is unique also. I have yet to find a knife with just one handle slab. This is actually a very cool idea. It makes for a slim handle which is easily to conceal but still gives the knife more to hold on than a skeletonized handle.

One of my favorites is the Falcon knife. It has the right size for easy carrying and the design is perfect for food preparation.

What’s amazing about Kevin is, that he is just a part time maker and doing the knife work in his spare time. If he keeps going like he did so far, he will have a good future in the knife world. At least that’s what I wish him.


[This message has been edited by Ralf (edited 25 January 1999).]
Ralf, Harvey,

I'm really coveting (in a good way) one of Kevin's Falcons for use as a small camp utility knife. Could either of you go into a little more detail on it?

Well, you can check his website where you get a nice picture and a brief description of the only Falcon he has left right now.

A nice feature is, that you can put almost the entire length of the blade on a board. This is good for kitchen work. Of course you can not do that if your fingers are wrapped around the handle. The full tang is not tapered and the knife slightly handle heavy. The handle itself fits my XL hands very well and the lower integral guard prevents even a wet hand from sliding onto the edge. The curved spine is well suited for putting your thumb on it to add pressure on the blade. No need to mention that it is very sharp.

On thing you should keep in mind with the knife he has currently available is that the D2 steel has a very high RC of 61. This is good for edgeholding but bad for toughness. That means even though the blade is fairly thick and sturdy, you should avoid any lateral stress.

Overall I think you won't be disappointed with it if you use it as a cutting tool and not a chopper.
Hey guys,

my Mom says you're all invited to Sunday dinner. :)

Thanks for the kind words, reading this thread has made my day!