Pros: Lock Type, Blade Material, Handle Feel, Ease of Opening, Overall Quality, Weight, Lock Ease of Use, Blade Sharpness
Great all-purpose EDC
I just received my K55 in the mail 2 days ago. I'm very happy with this knife. The design is simple and elegant, and it's a plus that the knife has such a storied history (for those who care about such things of course). A most people probably know, this knife started production in 1867 and the design has not changed very much at all. A simple piece of stamped and folded sheet metal is used for the handle, the blade (more knowledgeable knife enthusiasts can give more details about the blade - suffice it to say, it's carbon steel, and came sharp enough "out-of-the-box"), a couple of rivets, and a bail. Construction on mine is very tight. There is no discernible play in the blade. The bail is riveted very tightly as well, and for the time being anyway, doesn't move easily. Opening the knife is easy enough, even without using the nail-nick. The knife locks up nice and tight, and a fair amount of pressure is required to unlock it. It should be noted that while this knife has a bit of a an odd placement for the lock release, it does not interfere with knife operation i.e. even holding the knife in a death-grip doesn't make your hand "press" on the lock, due to hand anatomy, if that makes any sense (there's a youtube video where this is explained). The fit and finish on my knife is very nice. There are 2 (very) small flaws that I've noticed. For one, the blade seems to be fitted "lower" inside the handle, meaning that when opened, the stamping at the bottom of the blade is only half-visible. I can easily see all the letters for "Mercator" on one side of the blade, but on the other side the word "Solingen" is only half visible (with the word "Germany" above it being of course fully visible). This is not a deal-breaker by any means, but it does annoy my OCD a bit. Secondly, there is a super small blemish at the very end of one of the little "curves" of the top bolster. Almost as if the knife had been touched at that spot while the paint was drying. In effect, the spot IS black, but you can see that the paint was flattened at that spot. But it is a TINY spot. The golden cat design is very nice. I hope it doesn't rub out too quickly! The knife came well lubricated, and smells of machine oil (not much at all, just something I noticed). This knife is awesome to carry in jean pockets, as it is VERY slim. It's also very light (not too much, just the perfect weight). The lock back designs means that the knife could potentially be used as a last ditch weapon as well. The blade length is also just right in my opinion. In conclusion, while I haven't put this knife through any sort of rigorous testing process, I have no reason to believe that it wouldn't perform beautifully. It's a great design that stood the test of time (148 years by my calculation). I own a lot of knives, and I'd say that if I could only keep one, the K55K would make the short list for sure (of course, this is very much related to the kind of collection you have but that's how I feel personally ;-)). One other thing: as another reviewer pointed out, this knife was NOT issued to German soldiers (or there is no historical evidence of the knife being officially issued). The knife however was so popular that a high number of soldiers carried one. KnifeCenter's service was great as usual. I'll keep buying knifes and other articles from KC, of this there is no doubt.