Whenever a new production model from Ansø is released I take notice. He has a distinct design language that balances animated, unexpected lines without compromising function. The majority of Ansø’s past collaborations are with Böker, along with a couple from Spyderco (Zulu, Rock Lobster). This knife is manufactured by Fox cutlery, headquartered in the small, but reputable cutlery town of Maniago, Italy. The FX 302 comes in three variations. One with black G10 scales and a matching PVD coated blade, Titanium scales and this model, the ‘ST’ with Palissandro Santos wood, a sustainable variety of Bolivian Rosewood. Both the Santos and Titanium scale models have a satin finished blade.
The 3.54″ blade on the FX-302 is made from a .138″ piece of Böhler N690co. This is a stainless steel that is fairly hard wearing and has excellent corrosion resistant properties. It is easy to maintain and takes a keen edge, properties making it widely used in European cutlery.
The unusual, slender pattern most closely resembles a modified drop-point. It also looks like an elongated version of Ansø’s Böker collaboration, the Whale. The primary bevel is a high flat grind that greatly reduces the stock. This is finished with a secondary bevel. The edge has a pronounced belly that leaves a slight re-curve toward the hilt and a longer, flat cutting edge on the opposite side. In use, I’ve found this to divide the blade into three distinct cutting areas. The re-curve portion tends to gather material, the protruding belly is great for shaving-like push cuts while the longer nose works well for draw cutting. Where the extended flat area meets the dropped point, a sharp tip is produced making the 302 excellent at penetrating cuts as well.
The spine of the blade is convex allowing for thumb placement giving the user excellent control while leveraging the different areas of the edge. As a nice detail, the spine’s corners are chamfered for comfort. The model number appears etched on one blade flat with Ansø’s word-mark and logo on the on grind. Fox’s info is on the opposite grind along with the steel type and place of manufacture.
For deployment the knife uses a flipper. The detent is somewhat light but effective enough for quick, reliable deployment. The action is very smooth thanks to phosphor bronze washers and the well-finished interior surfaces. When open the tang meets a liner lock. The end of the leaf is jimped for grip and feedback when disengaging. Over-all the mechanism functions well, however the blade is slightly off center when closed. On the up side this is only cosmetic as it doesn’t contact the liners when opening the knife.
The handle construction is a partial, closed-back assembly with a black G10 back spacer, polished liners and the scales. When open the handle continues the blade’s long sweeping lines giving it a cohesive appearance. The back edge is curved, nesting in the palm in a standard grip with a dip toward the pommel for your thumb in a reverse grip. The inner edge has a deep finger groove and concave profile that locks your hand in place. This is augmented by the flipper that acts as a front guard when the knife is open. For traction, the scales have a deep, corrugated texture. This alternating surfacing is often referred to as an “Ansø” pattern due to its popularization by the designer. Aside from looking good it is effective without being abrasive. For carry there is a polished, right-handed, tip down pocket clip and lanyard hole. All of the fasteners are black for a finished appearance.
With flowing, thoughtful lines, the Fox FX-302 Ansø Flipper looks resolved both open and closed. As per usual, the designer has managed to successfully combine different textures and finishes in a unique yet functional package that boasts some of the most original design in the cutlery world. Over-all the fit and finish on this knife is very good and at par with the asking price. The availability in a variety of great material choices is an added bonus and should be a selling point across different demographics. At an over-all length of 8.1″ and weighing in at 4.6 oz the FX 302 ST will also make a great, stylish mid sized edc.
Over All Length 8.1″ (206 mm)
Weight 4.6 oz (130 g)
Length : 3.54″ (90 mm)
Thickness : .138 (3.5 mm)
Steel : Böhler N690 co 57-59 Hrc
Stone-wash or Black PVD Coating
4.75″ (116 mm)
Santos Wood, Titanium or Black G10
Made in Maniago, Italy