A THING OF BEAUTY

The ed­i­tor looks at some stun­ning knives made as only the Ital­ians can

Air Gunner - - Contents -

The ed­i­tor shows us some true works of art in the form of some stun­ning, Ital­ian-made knives from Viper

It seems to me that all coun­try peo­ple value a good knife, but most of­ten it will be a sim­ple de­sign that’s built to work hard and get the job done. The crude, but very ef­fec­tive, Opinel ones are the first that come to mind. There’s noth­ing fancy about them and they take a keen edge and cost as much as a round of drinks, but what about some­thing that of­fers some style and flare? Some­thing you could trea­sure for its own sake?

When I first saw the Viper Slim range of fold­ing knives I as­sumed they were of the kind that you’d put in a dis­play case, or on a shelf in your study. How­ever, I then learned that the blade steel is the su­perb Sand­vik 12C27 that is used in some of my hardest work­ing knives, and that the frame is AISI 420 tem­pered stain­less steel. They also fea­ture a liner lock­ing frame, which is far and away my favourite. The blade has a cut- out near the spine to of­fer one-handed open­ing, which al­lied to the liner lock, makes this a true one-handed knife. The beau­ti­ful dec­o­ra­tive fea­tures are cast metal, bolted to the frame, so there are no wor­ries about them be­com­ing de­tached. On the back is a pocket clip, which gives a clue to the de­signer’s think­ing, which I be­lieve was to make a proper ‘gen­tle­man’s pocket knife’. To me, th­ese knives are some­thing spe­cial. They ex­ist above be­ing a sim­ple tool, yet can be pressed into se­ri­ous cut­ting du­ties if nec­es­sary. A very clever piece of de­sign swaps one side plate for the dec­o­ra­tive cast­ing, and this keeps the knife slim, elim­i­nat­ing un­nec­es­sary bulk in your pocket. Of course, it must re­mem­bered that this blade locks so you must be mind­ful of car­ry­ing it in a public place, but on the farm and on pri­vate land it could quickly be­come your ‘daily carry’ when you want some­thing spe­cial. Each knife comes in a pre­sen­ta­tion case, which is the ic­ing on the cake if you buy it as a gift. De­spite its ob­vi­ous cut­ting per­for­mance, I can’t see any­body us­ing one to gut rab­bits, but it is an ob­ject of beauty, a fine ex­am­ple of Ital­ian crafts­man­ship, and good value when you look at all the work that goes into mak­ing it. How long is it un­til Christ­mas?

Th­ese are real world work­ing tools as well as things of beauty

The pre­sen­ta­tion box makes this a won­der­ful gift

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