Knives Illustrated - - Contents - BY TIM STETZER

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

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



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.

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