The Start is from Tecnocut’s Viper brand of knives and is a collaboration with designer – maker Fabrizio Silvistrelli. Coming from their Tactical line, it features a tough build quality and aggressive blade targeted toward professional use. Regardless of the intended market, a variety of material choices and detailing will make the knife appealing to a broader audience and collectors.
This is a larger folder measuring in at an over-all length of 9.25″ and weighing between 5.6 – 6.3 oz, depending on material choices.
The modified drop point blade is a capable 4.125″. This particular model is made from Bohler N690co with a satin finish. N690co is a great cutlery steel with its ability to take a keen maintainable edge. It also has excellent corrosion resistant properties. Blade variations include the same steel with a bead blasted finish or tougher, semi-stainless D2 versions. The D2 models come with a greyish-blue PVD (Physical Vapor Deposit) coating. This reduces glare while greatly improving corrosion resistance. Both models are hardened between 58-60 Rockwell.
The primary bevel is a high, flat grind. Due to the broad profile, the .145″ stock is greatly reduced before receiving the secondary, cutting edge. Opposite there is a pronounced swedge. The profile has both a fair amount of belly and a convex spine, giving the blade a spear-point like shape. The sum of the geometry makes for both an excellent slicer and thrust cutter.
Dual, ambidextrous thumb studs are used for deployment. They have a tiered conical form the terminates at a fairly fine point. The shape provides excellent traction making for a fast, reliable deployment. Traveling against phosphor-bronze washers the action is smooth yet solid. On opening, the blade is held firmly and without play by a back lock. Lock tension feels just right providing enough authority, without interfering with opening. Disengaging the lock is fluid, made easy with fine effective jimping. Viper has done an above average job with the mechanism making it both strong and a pleasure to use.
The handle has a closed back construction. Although closed the smooth interior surfaces have all been finished allowing for easy cleaning. Two hardened stainless liners and a back-spacer form the foundation while contoured scales are utilized to cover the internals and pivot, giving the knife a clean, stylish appearance. This particular model is considered the flagship of the line with its molded carbon fiber scales. Along with the blade choices, the knife is also available with black or green canvas micarta and natural Cocobolo wood scales. As with all of the Viper knives the edges of the liners, back-spacer and lock components have all been finished with a radius for comfort and aesthetic appeal.
Aside from looking good, the handle has excellent ergonomics. The spine’s curving shape nests in the palm naturally while the first finger groove and scalloped inner edge provide a confident grip without feeling restrictive. A slight flare at the pommel prevents the hand from slipping back while adding subtle sophistication to the over all shape. The surfaces of the scales are contoured adding comfort and tactile feedback while emphasizing the profile. For carry, the Start has a cleverly designed lanyard pin nested in the pommel along with and a right-handed, tip up pocket clip. Although it would be nice to have a left handed clip option to match the otherwise ambidextrous knife, it would surly interrupt the clean aesthetic.
To conclude, the Viper Start is an excellent knife. The strong build and sensitivity to detail makes this folder both aesthetic and functional. The mixture of matte to glossy finishes, material variety and thoughtful shapes make for a incredibly sleek package. The Start will naturally find its way into collections while the robust mechanical design will easily take on a variety of cutting tasks.
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For more on Viper visit www.viper.it
Overall length: 9.25 ” (235 mm)
Closed: Length: 5.125 ” (mm)
Weight: 5.6 – 6.3 oz depending on material choices (160 – 178 g)
Shape: Modified Drop Point
Material: Bohler N690co or D2
Blade Length : 4.125″
Hardness : 58-60 Rockwell
Thickness: 0.145 in (3.7 mm)
Bevel Grind: Flat
Surface Finish: Satin (Bead Blast and PVD also available)
5.125″ (130 mm)
Material: Carbon Fiber (Black or Green canvas Micarta and Cocobolo wood options available)
Lock Mechanism: Back Lock
Carry: Right hand tip up pocket clip and lanyard pin
Made in Maniago, Italy