EverydayCommentary: Big I Design Ti Pocket Knife

I have cultivated (read: earned) a reputation as a reviewer of Hipster Knives. I was the first review of a knife from The James Brand. I took Quiet Carry seriously. And now, here I am, reviewing the current Flavor of the Week Hipster Knife. Unfortunately, unlike those two previous Hipster Knives, the Ti Pocket Knife is not just flawed, but pretty darn bad. There are a few highlights here, but for the most part this a tour of design mistakes. Perhaps that is what you get when you prioritize having the same handle as your other tools as opposed to fully designing a purpose-built object. Hey, there is a sauce pan, let me attach the handle from a beer mug to it. That will work, right? Here is the thing though—some of the more difficult parts of knife design—flipper tab geometry and pocket clip design—they nail. This gives me hope that Big I Designs will make a good knife. This just isn’t it.

I really believe that making a truly superior knife is incredibly difficult. The difference between good and great is slight, but reaching that uppermost plateau is really, really hard. So failing to make something great on your first try isn’t a bad portent, its actually the most likely outcome. I love the innovation seen in the C01 Worker, but I don’t think it is a great knife. It is rare that the first effort in any field is great. We got spoiled by Tactile Knife Co. and the Rockwall. That’s not the norm, its the exception. This knife or The James Brand’s first gen Chapter is the norm.

Here is the product page. There is a variant of this knife that eschews the thumb hole. It is marketed by Pete’s Pirate Life and sells for significantly more money on the secondary. I contacted Big I Designs and they confirmed that the knives are, in fact, the same. The Big I Design Ti Pocket Knife costs $220 and has the same materials as PPL’s folder, which sells for, I think $300. On the secondary market Pete’s Midas touch has driven his folder to very high prices on eBay, which is a commentary on just how powerful a brand PPL is.

Interesting to see such a negative review make it to press. I have quietly passed on a few knives I thought didn’t pass muster. It is not easy to write a negative review that is critical yet not a hit piece.

Read the whole thing at EverydayCommentary.com