DYNAMIC EDC DUO
VETERAN-PRODUCED WILMONT KNIVES— MADE FOR DAILY WEAR
Wilmont Knives offers up a powerhouse team with its K25 belt knife and Ultralight Necker, providing flawless looks and maximum function.
There is strength in solid steel.
A good friend and fellow writer has always preferred fixed-blade knives for everyday carry as well as field use, and he describes folders as “pre-broken knives.” While I’ll admit, I do normally carry a folder and don’t feel as strongly about the issue as he does, I have to concede he has a point. A fixed blade is never going to have a lock failure and is inherently stronger than a folder.
With that said, I’m not toting a bowie with me everywhere I go, so if I do EDC a fixed blade it needs to be something manageable.
Wilmont Knives makes a couple of very nice 4-inch-bladed models, but the niche that interested me was its smaller EDC models with blades in the 2- to 3-inch range—as well as some nifty beer opening EDC gadgets. When I approached Chris Williams (owner of Wilmont Knives) with the idea of an article on some of his EDC blades, he hooked me up with two of his neck knives—the K25 and Ultralight Necker— and a variety of his EDC gadgets.
Let’s take a look at the K25 and Ultralight Necker in more detail.
The K25 is a mainstay in the Wilmont line, and for good reason. It’s a solid, well-designed blade that you can take with you anywhere. It will work as a neck knife or for carry on or inside the belt. It’d also work great strapped to a pack or EDC bag, too.
The K25 is 6 inches in overall length and has a 0.125-inch-thick, 2.75-inchlong blade of CRU-WEAR steel—which Chris describes as “D2 on steroids.” Crucible says that it “excels in applications that require higher wear resistance than D2” and has “greater toughness than M2 high speed steel.” So, let’s call it impressive, especially for a small EDC blade. It’s hardened to a 62 Rockwell and should provide an excellent balance of edge retention and durability.
The K25’s blade is a drop-point design with a tapered false swedge and a high, hollow grind, and a fine secondary bevel. CRU-WEAR is not a stainless steel and will require similar maintenance as D2, but Chris finishes his blades in a matte black finish that will help somewhat in that department.
The K25 has a three-finger handle of scalloped black G-10—also available
in other handle colors upon request— affixed by a pair of Torx screws on either handle scale. A thumb ramp on the blade helps the hand settle in comfortably on the blade and a lanyard hole, just big enough to squeeze some paracord through, is placed near the pommel.
Chris provides a well molded Kydex sheath with the knife that will work as a neck sheath or for carry on the belt or inside the waistband with the provided Spyderco G-CLIP.
The K25 is an incredibly handy blade. It’s smaller in overall length than most folders I carry, and in fact only about an inch and half longer than most of them closed. It only weighs 3.8 ounces in the sheath and 2.9 ounces on its own, so it weighs less than many folders, too. The scalloped handle is very comfortable and provides a solid grip without being rough or having sharp edges. I’m a fan of the drop-point blade style and find that it works quite well for just about anything I do. The edge on the K25 wasn’t hair-popping sharp, but it did extremely well slicing free hanging paper and worked wonders on daily tasks like cutting cardboard, packing tape, plastic strapping material and hard-shell plastic packaging.
Though it wasn’t the right time of the year to test it out, I suspect it would make a great compact hunting knife as well. It works very well in a pinch grip, and my index finger falls naturally at the tip of the knife when placed on the spine of the blade, allowing for precise controlled butting. It’s a robust little blade that performs well above its weight class and may well work its way on to my duty belt for work soon.
The Ultralight Necker
While the K25 is a light, handy design, Chris has another popular model available for folks who want to pack even less with them on an everyday basis: the Ultralight Necker.
At only 1.3 ounces in weight (2.1 ounces in the provided Kydex sheath) it weighs in at less than half the weight of the already light K25. The Necker is a skeletonized design made from 0.125-inch-thick CPM S35VN stainless steel and is devoid of handle scales—making it very thin and helping keep the weight down. The Necker has a 2.25-inchlong blade and is 5 inches in overall length, but still manages to squeak in a three-finger grip.
The Ultralight Necker is heavily skeletonized and features a welldesigned bottle opener as part of its grip. The edges of the spine and handle are all rounded for comfort and a trio of grooves is present along the spine to add some traction for your thumb. The S35VN steel blade has a flat grind with a secondary bevel and is finished with an attractive matte finish. The Necker was a little sharper than the K25 and easily popped hair off of my arm. Like the K25, the Ultralight ships with a Kydex sheath, although there is no G-CLIP with this model as it is primarily designed as a neck knife.
Chris told me that he sold one of these to a local bartender and the idea rapidly spread with bartenders
“…THE NICHE THAT INTERESTED ME WERE HIS SMALLER EDC MODELS WITH BLADES IN THE 2- TO 3-INCH RANGE…”
“[THE K25] IS A SOLID, WELL-DESIGNED BLADE THAT YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU ANYWHERE.”
in his area. I did some thorough and extensive testing of the bottle opening feature on the Necker and I can see why. It’s an efficient design and works as well as most dedicated bottle openers.
The 2.25-inch blade is plenty for most daily tasks as well. I can see it being right at home with a bartender opening boxes, cutting open packages and other daily duties. It would also do nicely with impromptu work, cutting up lemons and limes. Even if you aren’t interested in the booze related advantages of the Necker, it would make an outstanding backing fixed blade, and it can always open up craft sodas for you or the kids as well as it can beer.
Solid, Creative, and All-american EDC
Chris Williams has a great niche in practical EDC blades and tools that have a creative flair, without taking anything away from the functional aspect of his pieces. You can see the years of mechanical engineering blend
Above: The K25 is only 6 inches in overall length, from tip to tail, and weighs in at just under 3 ounces with a 2.75-inch blade of Crucible CRU-WEAR tool steel, treated to a 62 Rockwell Hardness. It has clean organic lines with all of the hard corners knocked off, to increase comfort and eliminate hot spots.
Right: The K25’s CRUWEAR blade is 0.125inch thick, and you can easily see the contours of the scalloped handle.
Right: The K25 has a high hollow grind and a secondary bevel that proved quite functional for EDC tasks.
Right: The K25’s handle scales are scalloped G-10 for a blend of comfort and textured grip and are secured to the full tang by a pair of Torx screws.
Left:the K25 provides a solid three-finger grip and has a comfortable thumb ramp for use with a saber grip.
Left: A pinch grip worked well with the petite K25.
Right: Despite its compact size and feathery weight, the Ultralight Necker is a very capable EDC blade built with precise attention to detail and top materials. While extremely light the Necker still feels solid and sturdy in the hand.
Right: The Necker uses a skeletonized S35VN blade that incorporates a handy bottle opener in the handle.
Right: The Wilmont Necker incorporates a very well-designed bottle opener into the handle which is in use with professional bartenders.