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Review Winkler Knives II Spike (Sculpted WASP Micarta)

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by The Warmonger, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. The Warmonger

    The Warmonger

    Feb 18, 2018
    Winkler Knives II Spike (Sculpted WASP Micarta)

    I'm posting this review simply to help inform others that may be considering purchasing this knife. While I was researching to find a fixed blade knife for my upcoming deployment, I became very interested in Daniel Winkler and his semi-production company, Winkler Knives II. I eventually decided on purchasing the Spike model. I scoured the internet searching for a good, comprehensive review of the model, but the closest I got was a YouTube video in another language. I am not a collector, aficionado, expert, or any sort of authority whatsoever when it comes to knives. However, I do appreciate quality and I am a very utilitarian man that uses his equipment very hard in the harshest environments on Earth. This review will be written as a complete layman and, as such, will not contain terms such as "ricasso" or discuss the nuances of particle metallurgy as they relate to heat treating ease and uniformity. That being said, I ask the experts to forgive me and other laymen to rest easy in knowing that you don't need to be a master smith to follow along.

    I will first discuss why I chose this blade and describe my customer service experience. I will then present pictures of my unboxing the blade the day I took delivery and give my first impressions. I will then, periodically, post updates. I would also be happy to answer questions about this blade and provide additional pictures to aid others considering the same purchase. I hope you enjoy!

    Why Winkler Knives II? Why the Spike?

    I've carried several knives during my many deployments but have never given a great deal of thought as to what sort of edged tool would serve me best. Often, I'd only have a blade folded within a multi-tool on my hip. I've gone through a traditional Kabar fighting knife, an unknown model fixed blade Gerber, a RAT 3, and many others. Heck, I even hinted enough that my wife got me a Benchmade Infidel as a welcome home present once. All of these knives have come and gone, the rusty remnants of some remaining in my garage for sharpening practice. I never took very good care of my blades, and so never experienced the pleasure that owning a high quality cutting tool brings. Well, I guess I got wise and, while prepping my equipment for deployment, decided it was time to carry the best blade for me.
    On my last deployment, I was in an environment that switched from city life to rugged mountain wilderness from week to week. I wanted a good pocket knife, so I ordered a Zero Tolerance 0801 in Blackwash; Titanium scales, silky smooth ceramic bearing pivot, CPM S35VN blade steel. I fell in love with it. As rough as I am, I of course broke the carry clip and ordered a custom titanium clip to replace it. No issues since. While prepping for my next deployment, I realized that the environment I was getting into required something a little more.....serious.
    After a month or so of research, I kept coming back to Winkler Knives II. It was the philosophy behind the design and production process that got me hooked. These are high performance tools that are made to be used hard. I like to think the same of myself...
    I won't get too deep into Daniel Winkler's history or the use of his blade designs because there is plenty of information available on the Winkler Knives website and elsewhere. I will say that my initial impressions of him and his company were of respect and confidence.
    I chose the Spike in particular because of, well... the spike. I like the idea of being able to bust a car window quickly if needed. Or perhaps what more vividly came to my mind were the skulls of my nation's enemies. It also met my basic requirements of not being a gaudy Rambo Bowie with dragon flame paint and needles coming from the spine.
    I chose Micarta for the handle because I hear it'll last forever. I chose the sculpted WASP pattern because it looks amazing. Apparently, Winkler Knives has this two-tone, black and tan layered Micarta made special for them. I've not personally seen it elsewhere.

    Customer Service Experience

    Yup. It was good. I first emailed to ask if I'd be able to order the Spike with sculpted WASP Micarta and have it come with a dark brown sheath. Normally, only walnut and maple handled knives come with a brown sheath, the walnut getting the light brown and the maple getting the dark. Every other handle option came with a black sheath. They said that they would see what they could do for me. Spoiler: They did for me. I then placed my order and found to my surprise that they offer a GREAT discount for active duty military. The best standard military discount I've ever received. I almost felt bad taking it. Almost.
    After I had placed my order, I felt a violent pang of aggressive patriotism and quickly emailed to request a custom engraving. They of course obliged as you will see in the photographs and the cost was very reasonable.
    I have to give a shout out to Kaela, who managed my order and all subsequent correspondence. She did a great job and made everything very easy. She even made sure I'd have my order in time for my deployment.
    Now the fun part...

    Delivery and Unboxing

    I received an email from Kaela telling me what day it would ship, and then received an email from UPS when it did, along with package progress updates. It arrived next day, and in good fashion.


    I like America.

    I mentioned my box opener earlier...

    My first glimpse inside the magical box of Winkler wonders.

    Inspection Card.

    Information Card.

    Guess what lies beneath the second sheet of packing paper! A sheet of volatile corrosion inhibitor paper!

    And finally, let knife glory shine unto thine eyes. Behold!

    The magnificent smell of quality leather fills the nostrils. The belt clip attachment straddles the beautiful sheath during shipping. So would I.

    Like an OBGYN I birth the blade unto its owner.

    The intensity of my emotion is reflected in the mirror finish of the blade's edge.

    A blade with a purpose.

    Thank you for being alive Mr. Winkler. Thank you.

    Fantastic Micarta sculpting.


    Beefy, but not like a sloppy power lifter.


    Jcsixx01, Boggs, d762nato and 3 others like this.
  2. The Warmonger

    The Warmonger

    Feb 18, 2018
    First Impressions

    I would like to repeat the disclaimer that I'm a layman.
    This is the best knife ever made on earth or in heaven, at least as it concerns me at the moment. I won't list the quantified specs. Go to the Winkler Knives website for that. I will say that when I first held this knife I felt something for the first time. I don't know what it was exactly, but there is a very good possibility that it was the feeling of perfect union between tool and man.
    It feels fantastic in hand. The weight is distributed such that the utility of the tool is inherently understood by the body. I didn't know that a knife could do this. I think I have to give her a name...
    Obviously, it looks amazing. The black and tan layered and sculpted Micarta looks very much like the name; WASP. What a potent stinger. The point is centralized and feels very easy to pierce with. I love the blade shape and definitely appreciate the full grind for its slicing ability. The Micarta is very dense and stone like, with a good grip while forming to my meaty paw nicely. I also love the way the rivets in the handle are sculpted with the Micarta itself. Very cool.
    Pushing the striker into my thumb tells me how effective it will be. A gnarly point of steel with which to cause devastation. The blade separates the subatomic particles of tissue paper right out of the box. This is the kind of sharp that commands respect from you; out of fear.
    The sheath alone is an incredible thing, and takes this knife to an entirely different level. Felt-lined, leather-covered Kydex. It's like putting an atomic bomb on a B2. It'd be useless if it couldn't be employed effectively, and that is one of the reasons I love Daniel Winkler's design philosophy. I will be posting a further review of the sheath to give it the respect it deserves. Together, the knife and sheath are a system that provides a great capability.
    There really is nothing else a layman could say about this knife. I'm not gonna stick it in a tree and jump on it to make a YouTube video, but I will post updates as to its wear and appearance throughout its use. I use my equipment hard, so it won't be babied.

    If you have any questions about this knife, please feel free to ask! I want to help those like myself who like to do as much research as possible before making a purchase. I hope you enjoyed the review!
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  3. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    Well written and heartfelt! Thanks for the first impressions review. I look forward to hearing more.

  4. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I don't think you will be disappointed at all with your Winkler ... I have two with a third on the way now ... and I would have to agree they are some of the finest knives made.

    And the story behind Daniels knives is one that is worth reading more to anyone curious about his work.

    I will follow this thread ... curious about this model as it's one I considered buying a few years back before changing my occupation.

    Thank you for your service and may the knife serve you as well as I believe it will.

  5. Cryptyc

    Cryptyc Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2013
    Badass knife brother. I love all the commentary with the pics lol.
  6. Mikel_24


    Sep 19, 2007
    Well written and beautiful knife. However I wonder how such a heavily sculpted handle treats you in the long run. It is going to be grippy, that's for sure. But if you lean heavily on the knife cutting something hard, it may dig into your hand.

    JJ_Colt45 likes this.
  7. dogrunner

    dogrunner Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    I worried about the sculpting too on my standard duty (a smaller blade), but it sure helps grip, particularly with sweaty or wet or otherwise not clean and dry hands, and works great with gloves. I've been attracted to the spike model for a long time (for the blade shape, not so much the spike), but do not have one. Thanks for the review that is a really good story, and for your service.
  8. Riz!

    Riz! Gold Member Gold Member

    May 5, 2014
    @The Warmonger

    Nice review! If you have read my review of my belt knife, you will see that they get better with use! Dont baby it, let it do what it was made to do, which is work.
    JJ_Colt45 likes this.
  9. The Warmonger

    The Warmonger

    Feb 18, 2018
    Your review was one of the reasons I decided to buy a Winkler. I'm not sure if I'm gonna buff off the coating to force a patina. It may not age evenly, but we'll see!
    Riz! and JJ_Colt45 like this.
  10. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I think Winkler knives might be some of the most under rated knives I know of.

    And I understand for many the steel type isn't in the new "super steels" but it's very good however Daniel gets the HT ...

    And I know for many the blade stock is too thick and it's not a "slicey" knife ... but thinning it out a little behind the edge and putting a good edge on it and these knives just flat out perform ... as Doug says "it will cut" ...

    I'm looking forward to the Jager model I have on order now and am looking at the Woodsman and Pathfinder models ... if I were still working for a private security contrator I think I would have a Spike or a Striker in my gear ... I have used my Hunting knife and BlueRide Hunter for whitetails... elk and ... wild hogs and they just ask for more ... and the blades are easy to get back to shaving sharp.

    I'm enjoy others threads about their experiences with them ...and I will be interested in your feelings about the sculpted handles once you've a chance to use it more. :thumbsup:
    Riz! likes this.
  11. DPC


    Dec 28, 2013
    Glad to hear that. I got a hold of a Recon and fulfilled one of my dreams in life, owning a Winkler. I was impressed by how comfortable it is, how well it cuts (comparably better than my ESEE CM6, while having a thicker edge) and honestly how durable it is. Cutting sandy wood the edge showed no damage, something I'd expect normally. No other knife I have other than my INFI Busses hold up as well. It's also surprisingly light, something that I adore as an outdoorsman, and the tacticool performance + traditional looks are a definitive seller to me. So very tired of skulls and high speed low drag wall hangers.

    I also really like the Caswell finish. I think it's very smart. Non-toxic, ages and prevents all shine. The KG coating is pretty smart as well, as I consider GunKote to be the absolute best sprayed coating in the market.

    Needless to say I'm currently scouting for three more.

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