Pros: Lock Type, Handle Material, Blade Sharpness, Pocket Clip, Ease of Opening, Handle Feel, Weight, Lock Ease of Use, Blade Material
Cons: Overall Quality, None
Shirogorov inspired, with production minded innovations/adaptations.
A clear nod to Shirogorov's Model 95 Flipper and Tabargan designs, the sharp lines of the blade shape combine well with an ergonomic handle. As Realsteel's flagship EDC class knife, they put some thought into making it their own, as well as efficient for production. As such, the line between efficient and cheap production can be blurry, and I hope to describe my experience with this knife as objectively as possible so you can decide for yourself. Now for the relevant details. Lots of high points, a couple mids, and a low.High points:The knife came with a good sharp toothy edge able to shave arm hair, but not push cut receipt paper. Pivot is very smooth and flips fast with the right touch. Lockup is solid at about 65% with no blade play. Lockface angle is good to prevent it from walking further or wedging out. Plunge grind is a good short slope and symmetrical. Choil adequately covers plunge grind to prevent the secondary bevel from heel flair. Base of blade spine is radiused to match the stop pin for solid engagement. Steel liners are aggressively milled out for weight, but the liners themselves still have good thickness for a solid liner lock. Lock disengagement is comfortable thanks to scalloped chamfer and spacing. Ergos are excellent thanks to handle shape, grippy but not hyperaggressive G-10, chamfers, index finger groove and guard, and fantastic thumb ramp with positive jimping. Nice coarse stonewash on blade and frame. Swedish made Sandvik 14C28N is great quality steel that can be tempered to high edge retaining hardness while also providing excellent corrosion resistance thanks to Nitrogen content. One of my favorite affordable steels, and a great choice by Realsteel in my opinion.Mid points:Blade centering is good, with just a slight favor to the lock side. Retention is mild for a flipper, but still flips great without any wrist action after you get used to how she likes it. Can be light-switched or push-button deployed (actually a high point for me, but goes with the note on the detent). Low points:The pin securing the pommel end of the back spacer is loose on mine and rattles around inside when I shake the knife. If I press in on the end of the backspacer with my finger, it stabilizes the pin and stops the rattle until I deploy the blade again. The shock of the blade flipping open knocks the pin loose inside every time, and the rattle returns. Nothing else is loose, but the sound is annoying and makes an otherwise great knife feel cheap. Hopefully, mine just slipped past QC, and most of them are better, but I cannot say. Conclusion:I would recommend this knife if you can get it in hand, flip open and close the blade, and give it a good shake, or have someone do it for you over the phone, before purchasing. The high points of this knife are well thought out and often overlooked by other knife manufacturers. If they can get on the QC and customer service, I think they have real promise.