The Quiete is the first offering from Massimo Fantoni’s company Nilte. While Nilte is a new brand, Massimo is well versed in the industry being the son of the respected knife manufacturer Renzo Fantoni of Fantoni Knives.
This knife is a limited edition, only 199 units being produced in Maniago, Italy. It includes some interesting details and an innovative lock dubbed the “Pure Back Lock”. With a subtractive design erring on the side of simplicity, the Quiete is without many of the features found in most modern folders such as a pocket clip or thumb-studs. Instead, it moves in the opposite direction, reducing the construction to the most minimal, functional components. The result is a unique folder that bucks the trend of feature rich, and sometimes convoluted knife design.
This ideology could be summed up by a quote from French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that reads, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”.
The blade of the Quiete is a modified sheep-foot. This pattern originates from knives used for paring a sheep’s hoof to prevent disease and excess growth. It has since found a positive resurgence in rescue tools because the tip helps to prevent accidental penetrating cuts. In this case, the profile has also been chosen with safe use in mind. Likewise there is a kick at the tang’s base that prevents the blade from cutting your finger when unlocking and closing the knife.
The steel used is Sandvik’s 14C28N. This alloy was designed specifically for cutting tools, balancing corrosion resistance, easy maintenance, slow wear and the ability to reach a high hardness; the Quiete being heat treated to 60 Rockwell. Given a full flat grind, the .118″ thick stock is greatly reduced and finished with an extremely keen secondary bevel. While the edge is fairly thin, the rounded point maintains great strength and allows the tip to be manipulated precisely. Control is also aided by some rounded jimping Nilte calls “Wave Thumb Serration”. Since the jimping is at a wide interval and smooth to the touch it doesn’t add a considerable amount of traction. It does however, provide some tactile feedback which is always welcome. For additional thumb placement, there is a concave dip on the spine. Opposite a deep choil allows you to fully ‘choke up’ on the blade for refined tasks. The choil also serves its typical purpose, making sharpening much easier. This particular knife is finished with a subtle stone-wash but is also available in a mirror polish. Nilte, the knife’s name, Pure Back Lock and the place of manufacture is etched on the ricasso.
On opening the knife the blade is held securely by the Pure Back Lock system. This is essentially a modified back lock design that incorporates the spring into the locking leaver, effectively reducing the part count and weight. Nilte calls this part the “Elastic Back Lever”. It is also made from 14C28N. For a smooth action, there are wing shaped slots cut into the sides of the pivot hole that act as a grease reservoir. This area is enclosed with phosphor bronze washers that interface with the frame.
While I understand that the blade has been kept clean and minimal, I would still prefer some type of tasteful, and likely non-traditional looking nail nick. Since carrying the knife, I occasionally find it a bit tricky to open with wet or sweaty hands and find myself grabbing the edge with the base of my shirt. Perhaps a slight swell just before the spine could maintain the clean aesthetic while adding that small bit of extra purchase. That said, in most situations opening is an easy, but largely two handed operation.
The handle is an open build, pillar construction. The main body consists of two liner-less G10 scales. Each has generous slots milled out of the inside surfaces that reduce weight and balance the knife at its centre point. Aside the fastener near the pommel and large, textured pivot pin, there are three other posts. One acts as the lock’s fulcrum, the other tensions the spring and the third works as the stop pin. The handle is assembled in such a way that all the mechanical components (except the winged pivot and stop pin slot) are evident, showing off the mechanical ingenuity.
As with the mechanism, the handle ergonomics are also well though out. After the deep finger-groove/choil, there is another finger groove for a standard grip. This is followed by a slight concave curvature and sloped pommel to accommodate a 3 1/2 to 4 finger grip (depending on hand size). The back edge is slightly convex, nesting against the palm comfortably. The over-all texture of the G10 isn’t overly aggressive yet still grippy. This model is all white but the knife is also available in all black or with one white and one black scale. For carry there is a generous lanyard hole and a supplied length of yellow paracord.
When looking at the Nilte Quiete in its entirety, the design is beautifully executed. The Pure Back Lock mechanism is minimal and functions superbly. On initial inspection it is surprising to see how subtle, yet robust the pivot and lock-up are. The weight achieved by the reduction of parts and inner scale material is equally impressive. At a hair over 7″ when open, the Quiete only weighs a modest 2.12 ounces. With a closed dimension of 4.06″, height of 1.42″ and thickness of .472″ it carries very well making it a discrete every day carry. Massimo Fantoni’s first offering is a solid one that blends excellent engineering, manufacturing and style in a sophisticated, modern take on the gentleman’s knife.
Overall Length : 7.007″ (178 mm)
Weight : 2.12 oz (60 g)
Length : 2.947″
Cutting Edge 2.52″ (64 mm)
Thickness .118 (3 mm)
Steel : Sandvik 14C28N
Hardness : 60 HRC
Pure Back Lock (Modified Back Lock)
Steel : Sandvik 14C28N
Length 4.06″ (103 mm)
Width .472″ (12mm)
Made In Maniago, Italy