Crusader forge is known for producing heavy-duty folders. The VF flipper is no exception. Every aspect of this knife is large and thick favoring power above grace. There is simply nothing subtle about its form, one that is designed for cutting, prying and crushing with ease.
The drop point blade is made from CMP S30V and has a black duracoat. It boasts a 3/16″ (almost 5mm) thickness and maintains a good amount of stock to the point. To help with the cutting edge the knife has a hollow grind that reduces the steel to about .08″ (2mm) before the edge bevel. The spine has a small swedge and there is a groove above the “cap bolt” thumb-stud to help with grip. A large flipper on the tang allows the blade to be quickly deployed and prevents your hand from slipping forward.
The handle of the VF is constructed using two large 3/16″ titanium slabs. On one side, deeply milled grooves provide both decoration and grip. The other side comprises the frame-lock and has a titanium clip attached to it. The butt of the handle comes to a point and is a weapon in its own right. As with the blade, all of the handle components such as the standoffs, pivot pin, stop pin and fasteners are massive. The over all ergonomics are descent and seem well suited to gloved hands.
The scale of the materials used provide enough stock to over-build the knife components, however, with this comes a couple of quirks. Firstly the hard lock up may be reliable but it is also difficult to disengage when the flipper is used. Secondly The clip is very stiff and also tight to the frame making it hard to clip onto and pull off of clothing or gear, a springy steel might have been better used here. Lastly, the robust materials create weight, this knife weighs in at about 8.8 oz (250g).
The particular model that is being reviewed has a custom lanyard hole drilled into it that makes a good alternative to the clip. Many Crusader Forge knives do not have this feature so if you would want one it would have to be requested.
The overall fit and finish of this knife is fairly good. When examining a knife like the VF it is important to keep in mind that these are individually hand crafted without the use of CNC (computer numerical controlled machinery), by one guy, Maciej Szczerbiak . As a result you can expect to see the marks of the maker. Chamfering for example will not be exact on all edges nor will the blade be perfectly symmetrical. The blade centering on this particular knife is off as well, a detail which might annoy consumers at this price point. If you are expecting to find perfect symmetry it is better to stick with mainstream manufacturers. In my opinion, these types of small quirks make the knives more interesting as each Crusader Forge is unique to the next, even within the same series.
With the generous use of S30v and Titanium along side the fact that the VF Flipper is handmade you can expect a high premium. Crusader Forge knives range from around $600-$800 USD, a fair price considering the reliability that this hard use tool can provide. You can also expect to wait about 12 months before delivery if ordered direct.
Over-all the VF flipper is an extreme knife. Its form follows the intended use very well and is most suited for professionals. It is by no means a pocket or gentlemanly knife and would best find its way into the hand of someone who expects real reliability in hard use scenarios.
True hard use design
Excellent material choices
One of a kind
Total Dimensions and weight :
length open 8 1/2 in. (216 mm)
length closed 5.25 in. (133 mm)
weight 8.8 oz. (250 g)
steel CMP S30V
length 3.6 in. (91 mm)
thickness 3/16 in. (3 mm)
max width 1 3/5″ (41 mm)
thumb stud 8 mm (uses torx barrel head cap bolt)
3/16″ Titanium (both sides)
Titanium pocket clip
Made in the USA