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Torn between two lovers... when you could go with either one, but something--

Discussion in 'Knives' started by xevious, Oct 30, 2021.

  1. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Over the past couple of years I'd been keeping a list of knives that caught my eye, with the intention of a possible future acquisition. Every so often I revisit it, remove old ones, add new ones, adjust ranking... Presently there are 2 that have floated up towards the top end in my "up to $120" range (either lightly used or on sale, from original retail price).

    One of them is the Kizer Wanderer. It's a knife that generally reviewed well from all I could find and while a bit plain, is lauded for its quality and "Spydiechef" inspired design while costing a good bit less. The other is a QSP Puffin. It's on the small side, but so much of the design elements really speak to me. I'd carry it as a more "formal" EDC.

    Which one would you choose if pricing was comparable?
    [​IMG]
    Both feature S35VN steel and titanium frames. The Puffin is 3" while the Wanderer is 3.5".

    Feel free to suggest others in about the same category at a similar price. Thanks!
     
  2. A.B.

    A.B. Loaded Pockets

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    Is the steel type really important to you? If not, there are a lot more options. But you probably already knew that...

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G973F met Tapatalk
     
  3. ThaMac

    ThaMac Loaded Pockets

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    Puffin


    Austria est imperare orbi universo
     
  4. A.B.

    A.B. Loaded Pockets

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    Nooo...

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  5. TheGremlin

    TheGremlin Loaded Pockets

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    I would not go with either as I am left handed and it doesn't look like either one of those can be flipped. But that's a pretty specific requirement for me that probably doesn't apply here. So barring that, for a formal wear carry I would totally go with the Puffin. It just has a slightly "classier" look to me.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
     
  6. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Actually, I already have S35VN and it seems to perform very well on edge retention. Also have M390, S30V, VG-10, ATS-34, D2, 440C, Sandvik, and 8Cr13Mov. That said, not super concerned about steel grade, although would prefer something in the upper tier heading up above $100.

    I prefer the Puffin's design a bit more and that it's exactly at 3", which makes for legal carry in a lot more places. I'd just found the Wanderer on closeout for about $30 less than the Puffin also discounted, so thinking about going for that to try out my first KIZER, and then it would go well to funding something more to my liking if I don't get on with it.

    Austria to rule the world? Didn't they already try that out? Seem to recall it didn't work out so well. ;)
     
    #6 xevious, Oct 30, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
  7. A.B.

    A.B. Loaded Pockets

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    What is your intended use? A slicer, a hard use knife, a cool piece? Or just something you want? I know the feeling

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  8. rodia77

    rodia77 Loaded Pockets

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    I would keep looking with the following in mind (based solely on the OP pics):
    - I prefer the higher grind on the Kizer
    - I prefer the size of the Puffin
    - not a fan of the finger choil on the Puffin (kind of forcing a 'default' grip)
     
  9. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    More of a slicer... something I'm thinking of making use of in the kitchen, as I've not as yet invested in a high end set of dedicated fixed blade cutlery. I'd seen someone some years back demonstrate a Spyderco Spydiechef as a chef's knife and it worked extremely well. And rather than using a knife guard, you just fold it up after cleaning and good to go. I was feeling like the Wanderer would fit the bill on that.

    As for a cool piece, I think the Puffin has a bit more cool factor. Speaking of which... I just about drooled on myself seeing the Midnight Cat Studio Zircon with copper marble carbon fiber inlay... PIC. That one is double the budget I'd allocated for myself... sadly.
     
  10. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]

    One of these days I'll own a Spydiechef but after looking over the Kizer Wanderer I've decided to give it a go. Chicago Knife Works has a killer sale on them.
     
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  11. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    The Kizer Wanderer arrived.
    [​IMG]

    Upshot: I'm wowed. Seriously. What a great knife! This is so underrated. I think maybe because of the flickability. That cutout in the blade makes it really challenging to flick open from the fully closed position. However, if you pinch the blade from over the scales with your holding hand and nudge the blade up out of the closed detent, it's then primed for easy flicking. I really don't mind that. Just a different character. Fit and finish are terrific. Chamfering all around to make for zero hotspots. I love how the blade spine is nicely rounded off. I feel lucky having spotted the deal link over on Reddit's knifedeals sub. Chicago Knife Works had this down to $86. I picked up a few extra things to round up to $100 for free shipping. Reasonably quick fulfillment and very good packing. :D
     
    #11 xevious, Nov 6, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
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  12. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    I like the looks and specs of the Wanderer. I nearly pulled the trigger on one after reading this thread, but thought the deal they have going might be too good to be true. Congrats on a nice score! Let us know how it performs, especially in the kitchen/food prep role.
     
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  13. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Chicago Knife Company generally has good reviews. Not many complaints. The shopping experience was pretty good. Totally genuine Kizer.
    As for food prep... the blade is a bit on the thick side for that kind of duty. It doesn't have a hollow grind. You either have to have hollow or a very thin blade stock edge to spine for effortless cutting. It certainly does have a nicely sharp edge and cuts well... But I also picked up a Victorinox 4" paring knife on sale there (I have 2 others of the same design, and still going strong since 1999). The Victorinox is wicked sharp and very thin, so it's like a freaking scalpel. It was $5... now back up to $8. Phenomenal value, considering how long the other two have lasted me 20 years doing light cutting duty on a fairly regular basis with only a 4 year hiatus (was in storage). I don't know what steel is the blade but it's super strong with good edge retention. The plastic handles look cheap, but it's a very good grade Fibrox (plastic/rubber polymer) and holds up extremely well to heat. I wish I'd picked up a few more.
     
    #13 xevious, Nov 8, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
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  14. A.B.

    A.B. Loaded Pockets

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    If you want a slicer, check out opinel. They are really good value.

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G973F met Tapatalk
     
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  15. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks. I'd seen Opinel and considered their designs rather dated. But I see they've branched out into providing different colored handles now. The red is really striking. Reviews on Amazon are terrific. I didn't realize the locking mechanism is a simple rotating metal collar. Rather ingenious! For $19, seems you can't really go wrong.
     
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  16. A.B.

    A.B. Loaded Pockets

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    No, you really can't go wrong with them. Both the carbon and stainless get wicked sharp. Plus, the wooden handle is great for carving. Check out some of the opinel handle carving art. If you are in to that kind of thing.

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G973F met Tapatalk
     
    #16 A.B., Nov 8, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
  17. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I gave the Wanderer a little more cutting time. And I like it. It's really more like a "lean cleaver." A really nice cutting edge that can handle most tasks. Small detailed paring? No. The right tool for the right job. I'm still planning to pick up an Opinel, as I'm so curious about this knife now.

    The Victorinox knife I mentioned earlier is an absolute super deal. With very fine cutting it's terrific. For the heck of it, I just used it last night to cut a steak into 3/4" slices for prep as the Vic was in my hand. Sliced right through the meat like mozzarella. Seriously can't go wrong having a few of these lying around for impromptu jobs.
     
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  18. A.B.

    A.B. Loaded Pockets

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    Just keep in mind, the opinel knives have a wooden handle (some don't). They swell when they get wet. Part of the old way charm, I guess. If you don't want the hassle, get one with a plastic handle. Both will do fine and be a joy to use. Trust me.

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  19. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    I’m glad the Wanderer is working out. It really is a nice looking knife. As for kitchen duty, I agree that it’s hard to beat Victorinox. I have the 5” and 8” Chef’s knives and a few paring knives. Great performance and low maintenance at bargain prices.

    I also agree with @A.B. on the Opinels. I was in an apartment for a while and had most of my gear in storage. The Opinel no. 8 was my vegetable prep knife. Fantastic slicer. I keep a no. 6 in my EDC bag for those work dinners when nothing’s available except plastic utensils.
     
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  20. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, I tend to hand wash my slicers. And only occasionally toss the plastic handled ones into the dishwasher. But hand washing is so easy and of course, you don't subject the hardware to extreme heat (prolonging life).
    They really are super values. Always nice to have a few good low end cutters so they can be abused without worry. I'm definitely convinced to get an Opinel. I've got a price watch on one over at Amazon which I'll snap up for a future cart.

    Do you find you get by easily just honing your Opinel? All I've ever done with my Victorinox knives is honing. Still great cutting action.