EverydayCommentary: Knafs Lander Review

What do you really need in a pocket knife? I mean, REALLY need? Do you need a super steel? No. Do you need a flipper? Nah. What about MokuTi, Zircuti (which I have recently heard pronounced as zir coo tee, a hilarious example of how written language fumbles when converted to spoken language)? No, no, no. What about a harpoon tip? No. Over and over again as I think through what is absolutely necessary, it becomes clear that we are so incredibly pampered these days. We are so pampered that we actually forget what is essential and accept garbage in the place of essential. A folding knife with a 1/4” blade stock is just a bad knife. Its not that it is robust or overbuilt, it is just bad. But because we have so little true need for a folder these days, people delude themselves into thinking that overbuilt knives are somehow BETTER when, in fact, they are verifiably worse.

This exercise about essential leads me to two things: good blade geometry and a comfortable handle. That’s it. If you have those two things, you can get by quite well. Our grandparents did. Their parents did. Go back to the original folder, something like the English Barlow and you see thin blade stock and a comfortable handle (the English Barlow had one other feature that modern machining makes unnecessary—a reinforced bolster designed to give the pivot extra strength because mass production didn’t quite make things that fit together).

The Lander has more than the bare essentials, but it does include those two critical things—thin blade stock and a comfy handle. After processing perhaps 200 pounds of cardboard with a variety of knives (see here and here), I have come to the conclusion that the Lander even in its cheapest, most basic form is an excellent knife. If I were advising the Wirecutter on the “Best Knife for Most People” again, the Lander would be at the top of the list. It is a remarkably well designed, broadly useful knife for a reasonable amount of money. But how well does it score?

I concur entirely. Ben sent me one when it first came out. I passed it along to my daughter after carrying it for a couple of days. Good value knife.

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