Happy new year to you! To me it started rather well… I’ve received my ZT 0562CF clone on Tuesday and today it was the turn of the TiSpine “clone” to show up at my door (and I’m still waiting for: a TwoSuns “kwaiken”, a T50, a Piston flipper and a Anax clone. The first two should be there this week or next, the last two a while later).
Anyway, this review got me over the fence (where I was ever since they got released first) for a TiSpine inspired gentleman folder. I say “inspired” because there are some very noticeable differences. First and foremost, the handle is made two slabs of titanium with a small backspacer instead of being an integral (a single block of titanium CNC carved to shape… requires super tight tolerances). A second difference is that on the original Lion Steel model the cut-out for the lock bar is rather wide whereas the Chinese have (probably with water jet) cut a very thin path. Lastly the Chinese version has a glass breaker/pointy thing to hold the clip, where the original Italian piece has a rounded screw…
My version is the older version as it’s got no steel insert on the lockbar and comes in a green (with subtle hints of purple) anodized titanium colour that really sings to me. Deployment of the D2 blade, with a very nice satin finish on the grind, in smooth, fit and finish very good. Having the piece in hand makes me regret the new version with its steel insert even less than initially since the purchase on the twisted rectangle hole in the blade is rather tenuous, making for a rather difficult flick-opening. So the classy, pocket-jewellery, small size of the gentleman folder style is not belied by a tactical deployment, and two hands will be used more often than not.
The detent however, is not super strong and once the finger has gotten in place, deployment doesn’t require much force. The square butt of the blade also allows for the one hand opening technique that you have on friction folders, pressing the angle of the blade with the thumb until it comes out of the handles.
Once out, the blade glides very smoothly, despite being on bronze washers, and it’s perfectly centred, too, with a crowned blade (rounded top, like on the Sebenzas).
All in all, a very good by to start the year, that I got at a very good price too (probably as it’s one of the last remaining example of the first series with green anodization and without lockbar insert).