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Viper Free - week-end hike

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Herlock, May 18, 2015.

  1. Herlock

    Herlock

    841
    May 13, 2015
    Hi there! This week-end I took out with me again the Viper Free. I own this knife since one year or so now. Just sharing some personal impressions and few pics, I am no knives expert, just a hobbyist and week-end hiker, so be patient :). The Free has a folding blade which allows the opening with one hand, thanks to a hole for the thumb. The opening is rather easy, even if I cannot define it smooth. The blade has a characteristic design, in my opinion nice and original. It’s basically a drop point that winks at sheepfoot or Wharncliffe shapes. The blade is about 3.5 mm thick. A not too aggressive jimping, on the upper part of the blade, close to the pivot, guides the placing of the thumb and improves blade control when carving/whittling.

    The blade is made out of tool steel D2. Although I don’t consider this a stainless steel, I would consider the stone washed finish of the blade corrosion resistant for everyday use, with a minimum of care and maintenance. I use this knife as a utility, workhorse hiking folding knife; these days again I cut food such as salami, ham, cheese, bread, fruit, tomatoes and cucumbers and various materials such as wood of various species, ropes, clothes, etc. During this year, I always cleaned the knife with plain water and soap and tried to put it away dry with a drop of oil but no freaking out about it. Not a single spot of rust so far.

    The handle material is G10. Handle is sizeable, comfortable and provides a good grip. This G10 is solid and impact resistant (cannot say the same for all G10s). The knife fell a couple of times on rocks and pebbles - closed - with no visible damage. The clip is not intrusive and does not disturb during the use.

    Fit and finish is good, as most of Maniago productions :). The lock system is called “smart-lock”, a kind of improved, patented version of the liner-lock. For a normal use the liner-lock of the Free is already very good and I have rarely engaged the smart-lock that would totally block the blade. The spine is rounded, with no sharp corners.

    I used the knife extensively but exclusively for cutting and carving. I never use folders for chopping or batoning (I carry a Felco folding saw instead :)), however I can say that is solid and efficient in, for example, limbing branches to make a walking stick, an activity which may fall into the category of “light chopping”. Thanks to a good blade geometry and a long lasting edge, is very easy to make feather-sticks with different types of wood ( tested on fir, pine, larch, birch).

    All in all, I consider the Free a good mid-size folder, meeting expectations when it comes to the tasks required to a folder, with pleasant design and great portability in easy levels hiking/camping scenarios. For me it’s a bit too big for urban scenarios EDC, even if it was legal to carry, which is not ‘round here, unfortunately. Also I consider this knife having a good value for money.


    Dimensions and weight
    210 mm
    123 g

    Blade
    Drop point shape
    Lenght: 86 mm
    Thickness: 3.6 mm
    Steel: D2 (58-60 HRC)

    Handle
    Lenght: 121 mm
    Material: G10 (olive green – in my version. Also available in black, brown)

    Lock
    Smart-Lock


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  2. J D Wijbenga

    J D Wijbenga

    935
    Oct 17, 1998
    Thank you for the extensive review and nice pictures!
     
  3. bruno_go

    bruno_go

    109
    May 19, 2015
    Nice review and pictures. Congrats.
     

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