Dicoria Folder in the style of the LionSteel T.R.E.

Hello World!

So, here comes a little knife that is about as perfect an embodiment of “the modern gentleman folder” as possible. It’s based on the celebrated and famed LionSteel TRE (for Three Rapid Exchanges, as there are three ways to open it: flipper, thumbdisc and two handed).


The first thing you’ll see is the box. A small rectangular cardboard sleeve with no markings whatsoever, which you’ll slide to reveal a nice block of highly figured wood. In this block of wood two slots are carved. One for the knife (it fits in very well but it’s not easy to get it out without turning the block upside down) and one for the key ring with the two torx bits provided to take the knife apart and reassemble it or adjust certain aspects. These two bits can unscrew all the screws of the knife.



The knife in question is 10cm long when closed, open it measures 17,25cm and it sports a 7.25cm blade. Said blade is a very nice drop point “almost full flat ground”(there is a sort of swedge on the top of it) very nicely stonewashed/polished, in the premium M390 “super-steel” that almost all knife-makers rave about. Its spine is nicely crowned (rounded like on the Sebenza). On this titanium frame-lock, the handles are 3D milled, textured and contoured and held in place by a semi-floating titanium backspacer, anodised blue, and a pivot which is a rounded triangle on the lock side to help adjustment with only one torx bit. The pocket clip is also 3D milled titanium anodised blue.


The whole affair weights a very pocket friendly 81.5 grams as the titanium scales are milled on the inside for weight reduction. The lock bar (which is 3D contoured to allow easy deployment should you be a lefty) has a hardened steel insert and has the inside part, where the thumb goes to disengage the lock, textured and rounded nicely for traction and comfort.


The high point on the knife, other than its exquisite look, fit and finish and ease of use is that you have three ways of deploying the blade, and that you can adjust your knife to match your preferred method.You might call the knife a modular piece since both flipper and thumbdisc can be detached!


Out of the box, the knife comes with a flipper and a thumbdisc. However, both can be removed using the torx bits included in the package (or better yet, a nice dedicated torx screwdriver giving you more traction). So you could easily transform the knife into a thumbdisc knife. Or a flipper, or a “two hands only” piece (that would then be legal in lots of countries, since the blade is short… if the whole thing wasn’t a frame-lock ;-)). Whatever the method you choose -I’ve decided to keep thumbdisc and flipper as I tend to prefer flipping but also enjoy the thumb-flicks, which the flipper only hinder marginally- you’ll be in for a nice deployment thanks to the caged ball bearing on the pivot.


Generally, it’s very well made, the blade centring is about perfect, the action super smooth (understand that this is a push-button flipper, and doesn’t work that well when “light switching”) and the lock an almost perfect 40%. Now, the lock was my main problem when I got the knife. Sure, it was a bit dirty, but nothing major. But the lock first was rather sticky and sometimes would not engage at all. After a few dozens flips and thumb-flicks and a bit of cleaning (without full disassembly), all is solved and the blade locks every time, at the same position, doesn’t have any sort of play in any direction and then unlocks smoothly, without sticking.


The second (very very minor) defect on my number was that the pocket clip had way too much tension. It was nigh impossible to put it in the pocket. However, I twisted it backward a little bit with a well protected pry-bar and now the tension is about perfect: goes in and out almost easily when I want it, but won’t budge involuntarily. A last detail, not really perceivable and due to the conception/geometry of the knife, the detent ball in white ceramic does not glide on a flat surface but goes down then up along its travel as the path it follows get in and out of the well rounded ricasso. You only feel that when deploying slowly the blade, though.


Sure, it’s one of the most expensive Chinese clones around, but given the amount of detail, the fit and finish, and the premium blade still, I feel like it still is very much of a steal! Insane value for anyone looking for a rather original, modern looking, flipping/flicking yet very elegant gentleman folder. It feels a bit small in my hands at first, but when cutting with it (no heavy tasks, food prep and box opening) it “vanished in the hand”. I very much enjoy it and can only recommend you get one… if you see them.




12 Comments Add yours

  1. Hans Lindgren says:

    This looks promising! It looks really great in your pictures
    Detachable flipper, I did not know that before

    The AE store is yet to ship my order from last Friday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Franz says:

      I know that… I’ve got other orders that I placed last week and no movement neither. Seems like the tail end of the infamous CNY break…


      1. Hans Lindgren says:

        Some stores looks empty, BUT one AE seller told me many are checking inventory and new range of items


  2. edrooney says:

    Nice review and very nice knife. Mine arrived three days ago. I ordered it about three weeks ago at the Dicoria Store at AliExpress. I jumped at the opportunity when they were open again – just before they closed again.

    The blade of mine is reasonably sharp, centering is good. The handles are perfectly CNCed, no scratches or other imperfections. I was anxious about the weak detent you mentioned. The TRE of a youtube reviewer suffered from the same problem (it was so weak the reviewer could open the knife with one hand – without flipper and without thump disc.). The detent on my knife is not weak. On the contrary. It’s so strong that I can not open it by using the thumb disc. It’s flipping action is very nice. The lock up is mostly fine, sometimes a little bit sticky. I have not disassembled the knife yet so I have no knowledge about the internals or possible mechanical faults.

    All in all I’m happy with this beauty of a knife. It is small and it was not cheap –for a clone at least -but I think I got my money’s worth. Even if it is possible that we did not get M390 as blade steel.

    Some words about AliExpress and knives: I’m new to knives and collecting but I I’m following some stores at AliExpress since December. I bookmarked about 27 shops and all but one or two are closed by now. Samier for instance closed for “redecoration” and announced re-opening on March 20th –we will see. Some stores even included their new dhgate store ip address on their AliExpress storefront. One mentioned that AliExpress banned outdoor products (obviously knives, especially clones I assume) and one wrote me he will re-open but will also open a new shop at dhgate.

    Since I have no knowledge about closing and re-opening cycles of knife shops over the year I can only speculate based on the current situation. And that situation seems a little bit discouraging. Most of the relevant shops closing around the same time suggests a pattern of some kind. The opening of new shops at dhgate hint, at least, in one direction: AliExpress ain’t the place anymore. For knives and/or knife clones, I mean. I don’t want to speculate on the possible reasons for that.

    Maybe you have some other news or insights into the matter. I’m very curious about it.


    1. Franz says:

      I don’t have way more information than you on the shops… Some sellers told me that AliExpress was increasing their fees and making the sells more difficult. Some mentioned “being almost totally off for the Chinese new year and then revamping the shop” (Samier, indeed). I’m not really stoked about the move to DHgate… Seems that the site is offering less security than AE (for the buyer) and for some reason the prices tend to be higher. On top of that there are a number of thieves/swindlers on this site, selling clones at almost the real thing’s price and pretending it’s the genuine article… when it’s obviously not. One small advantage, though, search seems to work better on DHgate than on AE!


    1. Franz says:

      I’m tempted to get one as well, to complement my Ti version… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. the first link shows a full wooden block replica
    I wonder if the second link – with lots more sell – have the same
    I will check before eventually ordering


    1. Franz says:

      I cannot say for sure but there were more than two or three sellers offering these and the huge majority had the wooden box in some of their pics. Including the replacement screws, which is a nice improvement over mine, which only has what screws are on the blade when you get it.


  4. I got the Ti version with a minor flaw (the flipper is not 100% in line with the blade)
    I am trying to resist the CF-Ti version B)


  5. Stallion5188 says:

    I just got the carbon fiber versuon with “D2” that has the writing on it. How was your blade grind? Mine was very thick right behind cutting edge and the pocket clip had some play. It took awhile to reprofile it so it really may be D2 I’ll keep you updated on the edge holding ability.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Franz says:

      As you can see, mine has the “m390” marking. I’m not really sure it is, but clearly it’s a bit more corrosion resistant than the usual “D2”, which is, in my experience, behaving like real D2 in most Chinese clones.
      The profile of the blade and the grinding are good on mine, giving a good slicing edge. I suppose that the newer carbon fibre version is made by a different factory. I’ll possibly buy one someday to see the differences!


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