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Thread: Wings SlipIt - Perfect office knife?

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Wings SlipIt - Perfect office knife?

    I have been prone to carry just as large blades at work (if permitted) as I carry in public or at home, trying to keep it legal but effective with one SE and one PE.. But I have discovered that the Wings SlipIt is just about the perfect general purpose pocketknife for jobs where the longer blades might draw unwanted attention.

    The G10/stainless bolstered handle is one of the most elegant designs I've seen in any designed blade and if the clip is off (I'm using mine for now but will likely change that) the look is nearly identical due to the symmetrical appearance for having either blade out.

    The blades are slightly different - the plain edge has a little more belly and is closer to a UKPK or Cat (just between the two) in length and a kind of stylized sheepsfoot footprint, ending in a snubby nose but with an index finger curve from the end of the flattened hump, so also a bit like a Hunter/Stretch if you ground the nose semi-stubby. The serrated edge is notably flatter and almost a Rescue profile but also with a bit of an index finger curve to it. Cutting edge is identical length despite a listing of a tiny difference in total blade length - both are listed as a 2.24 inch cutting edge. All 4 bolster surfaces are drilled for placement of the 4-way clip, and the default clip position means that the exposed tip-up hole (I am right-handed) is for the serrated blade. This works for me as I would likely want something a little bit longer for most food prep, though I cut through some thin steaks for dinner tonight (sorry, no pics - cooked in olive oil, butter and Tex-Mex seasoning for tacos )

    Two identical slabs of mildly grippy G10-type material (about the same as on the Tenacious line IMO) line the sides and are small enough that I think this knife is a good candidate for Kiwi/Kopa-style customization. As they are bolt-on, they should be easy to remove, and I plan to try a couple of techniques, likely in hardwood on one side and semiprecious gem or a composite of pieces of such on the other (I have stones that would be much prettier with skeletonized liners which I may try in the future on another knife and I'd like to add that the drilled/tapped holes for the 2 small (T6) Torx screws (may be Hex on some models, but I haven't seen them yet as mine is all Torx) go through the liners, allowing for possible tiny pins or similar for the ambitious to try (one hole is not covered by the closed tip of each blade - I would probably put a thin pin through each side with the blades removed, run them through the knife with the pivot pins for consistent straight pins, get them tight on the scales, cut them with a Dremel-style cutoff wheel and then pull the sides apart to ball-peen/grind them as flat and tight as plausible).

    To look at each end of the closed knife, they also appear identical, with the exception that the side with the plain edge tip (where the SE pivot is) looks like the blade sits higher due to its curvature, just a little bit. This is cool because it leaves the slightly different blade spines to look almost identical. With exception of rather minute differences owing to the blade shape differences, this knife appears to have near-perfect symmetry closed (rotationally, that is, staring at the knife while it sits on its back and is rotated 180 degrees from any position, without the clip it appears identical - and with the same rotational axis, it in fact looks nigh identical
    from any direction - opening both blades changes this a bit but not to any detriment as the functional advantages of this knife over other 2-bladed opposing jackknife type setups are apparent).

    The PE seems to be pretty effective - it cuts food that is not especially large or thick extremely well, and the blade is 8Cr13MoV which came sharp and sharpens up easily. i haven't really gotten it dull yet.

    The SE actually really impressed me today - i don't have a loupe to check for microchips but after putting it through heavy triple-thick corrugated cardboard (used to package and freight ship a large cooler for a bar) it required a little sawing in the thickest parts and slipped right through the thinner (from bending) corners, taking only a couple of minutes to turn pretty heavy stuff into posterboard. Most interestingly, all wear appears to have been light edge rolling as i stropped both sides of the edge on the same cardboard and the edge is almost like new (I think one serrated point is a little rolled still, but I will try to strop it out more before putting it on the SharpMaker to sharpen). A still-decent utility knife (using the trapezoidal type razor blades) stopped dead in that cardboard almost immediately - someone tried to cut the same cardboard the day before and gave up - right tool for the job and all!

    Also (and this is a big deal) the snubby points should lead to pretty safe cutting and the spring detent seems to leave good tactile response before closing even halfway, with or without finger in the 50/50 choils. This same tip design means you're gonna have to drop this knife a *long* ways to hurt it - dropped on concrete, I don't even see the mark - okay, maybe a tiny smudge on the SE tip but as it is not very pointy, no clear difference in cutting.

    In closing, I have few knives that I find rival this in sheer beauty and the functionality and safety rival locking double-bladed knives as well, in my opinion. With easy customization potential, the possibility of customizing/"pimping" is great, particularly after clip removal, or bending the clip to match new handle material. Awesome knife, thanks for making it byrd/Spyderco!
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Hi Defenestrate,

    Thanx for noticing. The design took me more than a year with numerous drawings and models. Took the maker another year to learn how to make them. It's tougher to make than it might seem. Even so, we still have problems with consistent delivery.

    The model is actually a pilot for multiblade models, which we're also working on. The core handle shape was created to refine the safety aspect of slip-joints that we've ben developing for a number of years now. We've considcered a lightweight version of the model for weight reduction. Any thoughts on that?

    sal

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User ASmitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Hi Defenestrate,

    Thanx for noticing. The design took me more than a year with numerous drawings and models. Took the maker another year to learn how to make them. It's tougher to make than it might seem. Even so, we still have problems with consistent delivery.

    The model is actually a pilot for multiblade models, which we're also working on. The core handle shape was created to refine the safety aspect of slip-joints that we've ben developing for a number of years now. We've considcered a lightweight version of the model for weight reduction. Any thoughts on that?

    sal
    I personally think a lightweight Wings slipit would be a welcome addition. Even though it has a pocket clip, I more often find mine in the bottom of my pocket when I carry it. Maybe that's just the nature of it's shorter size and more utilitarian nature. When a knife is sitting in the bottom of a pocket, weight is almost always more of a concern than when the same knife is clipped to the pocket or belt, IMO. I would definitely buy one or maybe two (never know when I'll need to gift one) lightweight Wings slipits if they were available.
    "A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a danish."

  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    As long as the ergonomics are similar aside from weight reduction, I think an FRN or other lighter model could certainly work. I very much like the Meadowlark-sized hawkbill - something akin to that with two blades would also make a fine SlipIt, IMO and actually be grippier with the bidirectional scales - obviously would require some differences, but the most important things to carry over would be the basic blade shapes and symmetry. Would keep the choils and jimping in the choil/tang and NOT on the spine unless you added a little bit toward the "nose" area a la the Jester design. further back would encourage too much pressure on the blade (not counting frame/scale serrations like on the Meadowlark which are winners in my book), as I'm guessing your design planned against, but a little toward the nose would show to less familiar users the possibility of fine/pinch grip work as well as encourage closing with fingers out of the path of the blade even more.

    I think the bolsters are lovely and would make for a potential base for more exotic scales - maybe the Micarta like the Harrier or something fancier from stateside. I would still be interested in another model in FRN with full or nested liners, or G10 slabs over skeletonized ones, or pretty much any configuration. I'm guessing between ditching the bolster and extra steel toward the ends, lightening the spring steel a bit (as long as they were still stiff), and going to a general build equivalent of an FRN Meadowlark or its locking Wings relative would be a winner if you are keeping it under the byrd/Wings line. Keeping with the closed symmetry, basic blade shape, and 4-way clip should keep all the functional and design features that I personally notice. I haven't messed with mine to see how the springs are sprung, But I'm guessing that as the mechanics are similar to a midlock without the notch to lock things up, you could shorten the fulcrum-to-blade length, share a center pin between them and either leave the back partially open (still keeping symmetry) or fill with a light backspacer or similar. I'm sure you guys have design concepts on the drawing board if not in testing, but those are just my thoughts.

    Short answer - yes to a lighter version as long as the ergos, clip and symmetry stay the same, or even wire or clipless. I am not usually bothered by a little extra weight, but could see a lighter version being less obtrusive on a light pair of dress pants' pocket and likely preferred by many. A "simplicate, and add lightness" revision, model addition, or teched-up US or Taiwan version could be pretty cool and if made more rounded and like traditional slipjoints at a glance, might draw more collectors of traditional opposing bladed Jackknives. Ti/CF/S30V or a less used/sprint steel would probably catch some interest, I think, from some of the afi crowd who are always looking for something new and may not buy byrd-marked knives even if they are killer like this model is.
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    Also agree that lighter would help with being clipless as well as being less likely to stress pocket bottoms on lighter-made pants.
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

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    The Wings Slipit is one that is on my list to get. And I have just one issue/question, how comfortable is it to use? I have used a lot of other knives with multiple blades but those are all fairly flat, with the Byrd hole making the other blade stick out, I worry about it just being totally uncomfortable...
    On the hunt for...

  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    The blade profile is such that The Wings SlipIt is excellent in use - the narrow handle and blade are less "wide" than many handles are. I've used it pretty hard without issue. The "hump" of the blades is flattened out and the hole actually goes down into the hollow grind so the profiel is rather thin. Also, the closed blade, where it gets "snubby" fits closely to the handle-side of the choil, so the three smallest fingers wrap around the spine of the closed blade in a saber-type grip. the spine fits just right under the first knuckles of the hand for me. fit is similar right or left-handed, though gripping hard pinches my left fingers under the knuckle a tiny bit. I would take this over almost any opposable jackknife type design.
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

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    Thanks for the feedback...it is definitely on my list of what to get.
    On the hunt for...

  9. #9
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Donut's Avatar
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    I saw it and it looks nice, but for some reason I hadn't put it on my list of things to get.

    Thanks to this very nice review, I will consider it.
    -Brian
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User araneae's Avatar
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    I got one almost as soon as they came out. It is a very nice knife period. F&F is excellent and it may be my favorite slipit. The backsprings are just right in terms of resistance IMO. It is definitely a great candidate for office carry and the combo of the 2 blades makes it very versatile.

    Sal, I think a lightweight version is a great idea.
    So many knives, so few pockets...
    -Nick
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    The "Spirit" of the design does not come through unless used. -Sal

  11. #11
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    When i travelled for work this is the knife I packed in luggage. Never had an issue using it and also didn't worry about losing it. Perfect for that function.

    The fit and finish on mine is exceptional and the steel is sufficient for general use.

    Never really noticed the weight or thought about the need for a lightweight model.

    This is one I gifted to my father in law to leave in his truck.

  12. #12
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    The Wings SlipIt is extremely functional. Only thing I'd likely change is to thin the PE tip a bit, closer to a splinter-picker, probably a modified Wharnie blade.
    I don't get mad. I get..Stabby.
    -Fat Tony

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    Reading your thread makes me want to make a video of the slipit and wings locking...... may be tomorrow?

  14. #14
    Spyderco Forum Registered User rwasham's Avatar
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    Never had one, but this thread is making me want one. I would be even more excited if there was a lightweight version floating around.
    Getting my on!!!!

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