After a long absence, I’m back. Not that I didn’t purchase and receive knives of late but I’ve been through a period of intense teaching, revising papers and preparing for conferences, not to mention the arrival of a new daughter!
So we’ll get back on track with yet another clone of one of my favourite knife, the Shirogorov model 95 flipper. After my Pictorial of a happy Shirogorov f95 clones family, here come another member. Green Thorn, a relatively new maker has released recently a batch of improved versions of the f95. Among them I could have gone for either the plain titanium scales one or the one with G10 (or carbon fibre) inserts. The plain titanium version had inside milling to reduce the weight, the G10 inserts version had… well G10 inserts! Having a sweet spot for orange handled knives (a number of Ganzo’s of that colour grace my pockets regularly) I decided to go for the version with orange G10 inserts.
After all, it only weights 147.2g (officially 146g) which for it size is very decent. Maybe the milling on the outside of the scales, to fit the inserts allows to keep the weight down. And G10 is clearly lighter than titanium. The dimensions are standard and not much need to be said of this knife that hasn’t been said already.
The size, as with all the f95 is about perfect for me, large enough that I can wrap my hand on the handle comfortably, but small enough that it isn’t massively threatening (the orange helps) and that it doesn’t fills totally your pocket.
The improvements are in the details… The invisible detail of the dual row ceramic ball bearing pivot that makes this knife super smooth out of the box. The almost invisible detail of the hardened steel insert in the lock bar that is so perfectly set in the titanium that you’d first think it’s not there. The fit and finish and tolerances that are really up there… putting to shame a fair number of customs or midtechs.
The blade is the traditional full flat ground affair that you find in the original f95. However, here it’s in D2 and bead blasted or sand blasted or micro stonewashed, whatever you want to call that finish, but it really looks dang good! Very sharp, too.
Another added benefit of those Green Thorn produced clones, they come with a nice pouch, of really fine quality that protect them well and takes less place than the boxes.
The specifics of this model rely mostly on the G10 inserts. They are really superb, with a little bit of transparency in the material, very very well machined details, and a perfect inclusion in the scales (all is level). They have, on top of the looks, the advantage of granting a very very aggressive traction (without being hurtful) thus making this knife perfect to handle even with wet hands and while having to push strongly to cut.
All in all, a very impressive piece for the price, and now one my preferred Shiro clones… Up there with my Carbon fibre Hati, to be sure…