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Photos Winkler II Belt Knife - Ongoing Review

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Riz!, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    My intent for this review is to add a little here and there as I use the knife, detailing positives and negative as I go. I have not really found a good review of a Winkler Belt Knife and hope to capture some pics and details that will help other to decide if this knife is for them.

    The other week I finally pulled the trigger on a Winkler Belt Knife. I had been holding off because I didn't like the 90 degree drop at the area where the index finger makes contact with the ricasso. Well recently I noticed that they changed the shape of the finger drop to a nice radius. I dont know how long ago they did this, but once I saw it I knew that the handle would be pretty comfortable. Since my interest was piqued, I started watching videos of Mr. Winkler and he seems like a great dude. I have also heard awesome things about his warranty service. The “tactical” sales pitch or intent of the belt knife doesnt effect me either way, but I do appreciate Mr. Winkler’s support of our armed forces. For me, I need a robust, general purpose knife that may handle whatever outdoor task I throw at it and that includes, kitchen duty, game cleaning and possibly firewood prep.

    I opted for the tan micarta handle and the blade steel is 80crv2. I havent had any experience with this steel before, so we will see how it holds up. My favorite fixed blade steel is CPM 3V. Obviously, 80crv2 isnt going to be as stain resistant or wear resistant, but it is supposedly quite tough.

    My first impression right out of the box is that the knife is a tool meant to be used. Its not perfect. You can tell that other than the blank being either laser or waterjet cut, the rest of the knife is completely hand made. The ergonmics are perfect. The handle is very comfortable. The sheath is well designed (not my cup of tea though). The edge is shaving sharp. The full flat grind is even and the edge is almost mirror polished. The shoulder of the edge is not too thick, from the ricasso up until the belly. Once the edge starts to curve into the belly the shoulder starts to get thicker and thicker. I wasnt sure if I was going to like this or not, but my thought is that it was designed to have a very robust tip that can handle stabbing, prying or drilling, and a thinner, slicier primary edge that will handle the usual outdoors/utility chores. The tapered tang is a nice touch. The caswell finish is a matte dark grey, almost black. I think the knife is going to look exceptional when the finish starts to wear.

    I think that the knife has a sexy look to it. The gentle curve of the handle looks nice, sweeping the opposite direction as the tip. I love long clip point bowies. Here are a few pics on the day I got the knife
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
    tueller, Daniel L, JJ_Colt45 and 2 others like this.
  2. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
  3. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    7729F79B-2DFC-4F31-AF3C-337C254DD3AF.jpeg 24959614-DCAB-4D6F-AA08-43D210444CDE.jpeg
     
  4. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    The handle is expertly designed. Its more round by the ricasso and as it approaches the pommel it flattens out and grows taller. This causes the knife to index easily and there is no question with your eyes closed where the edge and tip are. Here are bunch of in hand pics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
    JJ_Colt45 likes this.
  5. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    A5AB054E-668A-47F1-A989-D9DE99E86F49.jpeg 0282E430-0C7B-4A77-8C4F-C912702D3870.jpeg B64B55BD-7970-4C16-A7FD-3798CC297844.jpeg 0C7C4490-648C-4F56-B9F3-D94CA7E844D3.jpeg
     
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  6. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    78E958B8-670D-4191-97AB-A327033DEF0B.jpeg 2C07A047-6E2F-4890-B6C4-190EF2D07E01.jpeg CDB97B9E-AFDB-43AF-8FB6-18D41A85EE21.jpeg
     
  7. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    If you have noticed that the handle is darker in the in hand pics as compared to the fresh out of the box pic, then you would be correct. I put a very thin coat of minwax finishing paste wax on the handle. It made the tan micarta turn a nice brown. I like leather sheathes and the stock sheath is very well made, but rides high for my taste. The stock sheath is 6 layers. Outside working in its like this... Leather, kydex, felt, knife, felt, kydex, leather. It retains the knife well and looks pretty cool, but I just like a standard leather pouch sheath. I will be making one of my own this week and will add pics when it is done.

    I noticed that the Belt Knife fit perfectly in a dangler/pouch sheath that came with my LT Wright Northern Hunter. (I think it is made by JRE industries). It can definately be purchased aftermarket from a few different dealers. For now the Belt knife will be living in the dangler. MORE PICS...

    8DF0D960-3614-41DC-9A4C-107EE2E8739F.jpeg F362D1D0-3FEB-48F3-87C5-3E0E6B7781B1.jpeg 176D4A5A-B967-4620-8AC8-6126F5706EC4.jpeg 931F452B-89EA-4A7C-B67E-B92EB42774C7.jpeg
     
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  8. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    Like I said before, the edge was almost mirror polished and was shaving sharp right out of the box. The edge is a bit thick, but the knife was designed to be tough. Even with the thick edge the knife cleanly sliced paper out of the box. I tend to use ALL of my knives for kitchen work, simply because I want an excuse to use them.

    The Belt Knife surprised me a bit. Yesterday I used it to cut up an onion and it sliced with ease! Even though the edge is a bit thick, the full flat grind, combined with a razor sharp edge, allowed the knife to make easy work of the onion. The knife obviously isnt a super thin kitchen knife, but it performed beyond my expectation. I was able to slice the onion in half without having to push too hard (the spine is at least 3/16”) and the was able to slice the onion as thin as I wanted. I use onions as a standard cut test, because they have a pretty consistant feel. They can bind up when a grind is overly obtuse. The Winkler handled this task with ease. Today I cut up a kielbasa. Soft meats are nothing for the Belt knife. After the kitchen use, a quick wash of the blade with some dawn soap and a sponge and it was pretty clean.

    This caswell finish is interesting. I have noticed that it REALLY holds oils. I first noticed this after I wiped the knife down with mineral oil. Today the finished looked clean after washing it up after its sausage slicing. Then I took it outside and took pics with the sheath and you can see the oils stuck in the finish even after a good scrub with dawn soap and a sponge. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. I guess I will know after some more use. As far as the edge retention, it suffered ZERO degradation in its sharpness after cutting stuff on the cutting board. I plan on doing some whittling and firewood prep this week. Those pics will be posted after it happens. Here are some kitchen shots...

    41860E3F-445A-40AC-8AED-8B8183813FF6.jpeg D0DD5B9A-9326-42A5-AC66-D483BDD49CF7.jpeg D360A4AA-CFAE-4CD9-AEA8-9CBAA9DC6F32.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  9. Danke42

    Danke42

    Feb 10, 2015
    Nice. I really like mine; it way exceeded my expectations and led to the purchase one of his hunter's axes.
     
  10. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    More to follow...
     
  11. R.D.Hatch

    R.D.Hatch

    182
    Feb 20, 1999
    Enjoying your review, Riz. Please keep us up to date as you get to use it.
    I have the Winkler Appalachian Hunter with the Rubber grips. It is just a slightly small version of the Belt Knife. I agree with all your assessments of the knife and Mr. Winkler's work.
    I haven't had an opportunity to put mine to a field test yet but look forward to it on a camping trip this spring. Crazy Va. weather has us sure looking forward to spring. 0 degrees to 70 degrees swing in 1 week. Makes it hard to plan a trip till the weather improves.
    Keep up the good review and pictures. Thanks again.
     
    Riz! likes this.
  12. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I have a couple Winklers a Blue Ridge Hunter and the regular Hunting Knife ... the regular Hunting Knife field dressed and broke down 3 whitetails without any touch up and that evening a ceramic hone and a strop and the edge was just as good as it was to begin the day ...

    they are definately quality knives.

    and not to hijack your thread but just wanted to show you an option for the sheath if you like it like I did ... but not how it rode ... I got a dangler attachment from Sagewood and it works great ...

    2018-01-15 18.53.06.jpg
    2018-01-15 18.52.08.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  13. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    I feel ya on the weather. Im in Maryland. I almost bought the Blue Ridge Hunter, which is the newest variation of your knife. Its just a smaller version of the belt model. After watching a video of a guy handling one I opted for the larger of the two. Also I personally believe that a general use knife doesnt really need to be more than .15” thick, so when I saw that the Blue ridge was a scaled down Belt Knife but was the same stock, it pushed me towards the bigger model. Had the Blue ridge been thinner, I may have bought it instead. Truthfully, I wish the Belt Knife was thinner. But so far it cuts well and I know it will be robust
     
    rpn likes this.
  14. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I was kind of torn between the Blue Ridge and the Belt knife for the same reason you were ... and I just happened across the Hunting Knife for a bargain so it was my first ... then I picked up a Blue Ridge at a gunshow from a dealer I trade alot with ... he had bought it but thought it was too thick ...

    but like you I think for the blade thickness they are still really good slicers.

    I wonder how you like the Micarta handle? Mine both have the wood ... they are comfortable but yours probably has a better grip.

    I may try to buy one of the LT Wright sheaths ... I don't have the Northern Hunter model ... I wonder if it fits any of the LT Wrights I have I hadn't thought of trying those before I got the dangler attachment from Sagewood.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  15. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    There is a K stamped on the back of the LT Wright sheath. Might be the size
     
  16. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    @JJ_Colt45

    I like that idea and though about making my own dropper loop. And dont worry, you havent hijacked my thread. Your comments are welcome here
     
  17. jstrange

    jstrange

    Mar 31, 2012
    Love my Belt Knife, but the edge is very thick and mine wasn’t terribly sharp out of the box.
     
  18. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    @JJ_Colt45 I made the new sheath today. It turned out pretty sweet. The first couple of shots are before I treated it with Obenauffs oil.

    853AC762-AF13-45AF-89BF-59867BB375F0.jpeg AF4287E6-45DE-4E72-ACB8-04C42841B4FA.jpeg 0E288788-548F-4337-9C36-D57E1B0D8CE8.jpeg F61DE517-B30F-4B64-8CC1-A4D2F4E090A8.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
    Will C, brandonc, hugofeynman and 2 others like this.
  19. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Looks good ... and more comfortable riding there. :thumbsup:
     
    Riz! likes this.
  20. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    Definately a more comfortable sheath. I wore the knife on my 45min car ride to work today and forgot I had the knife on. The belt loop is big enough to allow the sheath to move around a little. This keeps it from poking you. The lower ride makes for much easier deployment and resheathing of the knife.
     
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