Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fantoni HB 02 Review: First Impressions

I just bought a new knife, a Fantoni HB 02.  Since these sorts of knives always seemed to be photographed with guns I pulled out my Great-great-grandfather's rifle for some of these photos.

This knife is the most expensive knife I have ever purchased, coming in north of $200, but my first impression when I got to hold it was that it is worth the money.

The knife came in a nicely designed box with a foam pad and a card with the details of the knife.  The knife is so light that when I first picked up the shipping box it felt empty.  

When I picked up the knife I was immediately struck by how different it felt from any other pocket knife I've ever owned.  The first thing I noticed (besides the weight) was how intensely grippy the G10 handle scales are.  The titanium frame feels very light, but the knife handle still feels very solid.  The blade blade has zero wiggle.  The lock has no give or wiggle when engaged.  The lock doesn't over or under engage, even when I snap the knife open.

The other thing that I notice is that the detent (the little ball on the liner-lock that engages with the tang of the blade which helps keep the blade from opening accidentally) is really firm on this knife.  So stiff that it's actually a little hard to get the blade open.  The plus side of this is that I really don't think anything is going to make this knife open accidentally.  But I am hopeful that use will make this knife a little easier to open.

The other things that feel potentially problematic on this knife are actually also kind of positives.  The fantastically grippy G10 combined with the very strong pocket clip make this knife a little difficult to get in and out of my pocket.  I'm worried about the amount of wear that this might put on my pants.  I may need to do a little light sanding of the handle scales under the clip.  We will see.

I am looking forward to seeing how this knife performs over the next month or so while I work on my final review for the knife.  I'm not planning on altering anything about the knife until after that.  I am pretty excited about this knife, it is beautiful and feels fantastic.

This knife is full of neat little touches.  If you look closely at the jimping along the handle you can notice that the grooves get deeper the closer they get to the end of the handle.

Speaking of the jimping, the jimping on the thumb ramp is fantastically grippy.  When you place your thumb on the ramp there is zero slipping.

The knife fully opened.  The ink on the pocket clip is actually slightly iridescent.  At some other angles the ink looks very dark, but I didn't like the way any of the photos that showed this turned out.

Another photo that just fits with the normal photo types.  It seems like every review of a knife has this photo.

This photo shows of the centering of the blade.  Right down the middle.

This picture shows some of the other nice subtle touches.  Firstly, the clip is titanium, which is pretty groovy.  You can see the paint on the clip showing up dark in this angle.  The holes in the clip for the screws are beveled so that the screws are countersunk flush.  And one of my favorite subtle touches, the titanium frame is slightly evenly larger than the G10 handle scales.  This provides a little extra grip, but mostly it just indicates that the scales were ground and smoothed separately from the frame, just a nice touch.

Even though this is a fairly small knife, there is enough handle even for someone with fairly large hands like myself.  This isn't the grip that I would normally use obviously, but I just wanted to show how nicely sized the handle was.   But the handle is not so large that one needs large hands for it to be comfortable.
I just love the shape of this blade, and the stonewashed finish on the blade is simply gorgeous.


  1. Put it on a belt, not in your pocket. That's what the clip is for!

  2. The clip really is for the pocket Ma, sheathes are for the belt. I'd feel pretty worried about the knife snagging on stuff if it was on my belt. Plus it might weird people out down here to see the knife hanging off my belt.

  3. This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here!