So, following the “almost integral” LionSpy, here comes a totally integral knife. It’s a Chinese clone of the Microtech Marfione Custom Anax, in the present case the aluminium version.
So the body/handle of the knife is a single machined piece of aluminium, painted/anodized/coated a nice mat black. The lock bar however, is in titanium and not really part of the body, so from a purist’s standpoint, the knife isn’t an actual integral, but that is a good point since titanium has more resistance than aluminium and it includes a hardened steel interface to prevent lock stick and premature wear.
Also in titanium, the pocket clip is very nice and uses the Todd Begg style ceramic retention ball, which makes for a rather easy insertion/removing of the knife in/from the pocket. The aluminium body integrates a lanyard hole instead of the (far less practical) pointed cable that screws in for the titanium versions. The blade is mounted on double-row caged ball bearings that ride on steel washers (not to dig into the softer aluminium body). The only weakness I see in this knife conception is here: the washers do not have a carved place into the handle but float freely around the pivot. That makes putting the knife back together harder than necessary (and leaves more space between blade and body that could have been achieved otherwise).
Out of the box, that knife was dirty like nothing I’ve ever seen, and covered in sticky grease. After thoroughly taking it apart and cleaning it with WD40, it’s both light and very smooth. However, it had perfect blade centring initially but that’s no longer the case. Nothing catastrophic but I feel that a nice knife like this one should sport a perfectly centred blade, so that irks me a bit.
On the other hand the lockup is about perfect, 40% or so, solid with no blade play in any direction… That, in addition to the very sleek and modernistic black-grey look and the “custom” hardware with the three holes gives a real taste of quality. By the way, the multiple screws you won’t need to access, and the only one you’ll need, the pivot, can be rather simply be opened with needle pliers. Or two nails and a wood (or plastic) piece.
The blade is in D2, with a nice shape, a perfect grind (almost 100% symmetrical) with a nice hollow grind, a large gouge and a crowned spine. The surface treatment is a light stone-wash, again well executed, and the deployment is very smooth… The way I’ve found to be the most effective for deploying the blade was using my thumb on the top corner of the blade, and using that as a sort of “top flipper”. It does function much better than flicking with the gouge, as your thumb will most often not have enough purchase and just slip…
Overall, a very nice piece, which is balanced in a rather unusual way (the blade weights more than the handle) but very light, rather compact, easy to deploy, fun to play with and a great EDC.