FOX KNIVES

Ansø Titanium Flipper


This is one of the blades I once saw and fell in love with - and later just had to buy it to get it out of my system. The curves, lines and dimensions of this knife are particularly pleasing to the eye. The unique pregnant shape of the blade really grabbed my attention - coupled with the humpback handle and the ornate-yet-minimalist sculpted scales.

The knife is another piece designed by Jens Anso for Fox Knives in Maniago, Italy. Anso's specialty is dynamic designs that seem to freeze frame motion, waves, energy. This piece features a bold scimitar-shaped droppoint blade which is engaged by a decent sized flipper. The scales are grey titanium with black steel liners incorporating a solid linerlock.

Fox Knives is another European company that works on government contracts for military and special forces. Some of my favorite knives are produced by fox, such as the wicked Combative Edge Salus. Their catalog is extensive, stocked with many beautiful models - but the FX-302 stands out like no other. 

The FX-302 is a perfect mid-sized folder with an amazingly comfortable grip. The back is closed by a G10 backspacer, sandwiched between two black steel liners.

The knife has a solid, heavy-ish feel to it and the satin finished blade is sharp as anything.

I have a hard time figuring out the Fox brand - it seems to consist of a myriad of sub- and sister companies. It feels neither premium nor bottom basement. I think a little work on their presentation and packaging could go a long way catching up to the quality of the knives they make, with the level of high-end collaborators they work with.

There is no denying, though, that every bit of effort has gone into making this one of the most solid and visually pleasing knives on the market today. So let's take a look at it...

Fox Cutlery in Maniago, Italy was founded in 1977 by Oreste Frati and has always been known as a manufacturer of quality cutlery products for civilian, military, law enforcement, rescue, and other special forces. We use only the highest grade stainless steels, G-1O, FRN, and other high quality component materials
— foxcutlery.com
 

AESTHETICS

★★★★★

The sculpted pattern on the scales are often referred to as "Anso scales". Often custom scale designers will mimmic the popular pattern in their work. I personally find this design incredibly attractive as well as very effective in providing a good grip on the knife.

The avant garde blade shape coupled with the humpback design makes the full package very balanced and attractive.

I personally find the titanium finish a little "flat" and would prefer a light stonewash for a bit of imperfection and "grain". I might also prefer silver liners instead of black like the wood handled version has.

 

 

ERGONOMICS

★★★★★

The weight and shape of the knife really makes for an ideal grip - you feel like you are holding a really solid tool - the rounded back fits nicely in the palm of your hand while the finger choil secures your index finger and really "locks in" your grip.

Many folding knives has a hot spot problem along the opening where the scales allow for the blade to tuck in. On many knives this opening has very sharp edges which is easy to prevent -the Fox Flipper solves this issue by keeping the scales and liners relatively thick and well finished. This makes for a really pleasant grip with no discomfort during heavy work.

 

 

FIT & FINISH

★★★★★

I can't find any flaws on this knife except for a little off-centered blade wriggle in its closed state. However, the blade is rock solid once extended and locked in.

It is a beautiful knife, it really has a premium appearance and is very well put together.

It comes with a nice quality cordura zipped pouch which is also sturdy and well made. I think the only way to up the game would be to upgrade the pouch for a quality natural leather slipcase. Uhm yes, with an embossed fox logo.

The boring black, standard Fox packaging could also be stepped up a bit.

RUGGEDNESS

★★★★

The materials seem to be able to withstand some abuse, though it was never meant to be thrashed. I think the lock seems safe but I would probably trust a frame lock a bit more.

The steel is N690co which is a great all-round alloy used in many European knives. The steel is not unlike the commonly used 440C, though a little finer in grain and will take a fine edge, is easy to sharpen and an all-round great tool steel.

 

 

USEFULNESS

★★½

My only beef with this folder is the reduced versatility due to the extreme blade shape. As intriguing as it looks, it really does not add any value. I asked Ansø about the specific use case for a blade this shape, and  he explained that it is specifically useful for cutting through stuff like meat on a cutting board - the deep belly will provide a broad cutting surface without the need to move the knife around - you just cut in a single, even motion.

That is great, but I prefer to have a more straight and versatile cutting edge. My wife handled the knife and felt uncomfortable that she had to consider the bulbous curvature of the blade as she was cutting simple things, like an apple.

This, in my opinion, is a bit of a downer, especially as everything else is so perfect.

The knife is heavier than most G10 folders, which could deter some from carrying it all the time. I personally don't mind my knives, especially titanium and aluminum specimens, to be a bit on the heftier end of the spectrum.

Finally the black pocket clip is a plus - I prefer dark pocket clips as they are more discrete with jeans. The knife doesn't ride very low, though, but is slim enough that it disappears nicely in your pocket.

 

 

FONDLE FACTOR

★★★★

Flippers are always fun - the smoothness of the Fox Anso flipper I'd rate 7 /10. It is not magical like the ZT Hinderer, but it is satisfying never the less.

The linerlock is nothing special, it is a little hard to engage, but nothing terrible.

Overall, the heaviness and the finish and shape of the handles is an amazing tactile combination.

The locking sound (more or less something like "kleek") scores 6/10.


PIVOT SCORE

★★★★½

Great value for money and has all the qualities of an evergreen design. A really special and recognizable folding knife which is beautifully thought out and very, very well made.

The FX-302 also comes in black G10 and wooden scales - take a road trip over to Edge Observer to see a beautiful review of the Santos wood scale version. This means there's a little for everyone, at different price points. My favorite, though, is the Titanium version - I just wish the scales were a little less "perfect looking".

I honestly wish it came in a variation of blade shapes - I think the pregnant blade is most useful in a BBQ situation, cutting steak and sausages and looking good doing it. I'd easily top off the final score with an extra half star if the blade shape was a little less unconventional. 

According to Jens Ansø, the FX-302 is one of the best put-together collaboration production knives he's done. If the master is happy, then I am happy, too! 

At a glance:

  • Model: FX-302

  • Overall Length: 8.19"

  • Blade Length: 3.54"

  • Handle Length: 4.72"

  • Blade thickness: 0.16"

  • Blade material: N690Co at 58-60 RC

  • Blade Style: Drop point, flat grind

  • Blade Finish: Satin

  • Edge Type: Plain

  • Handle thickness: 0.59"

  • Handle: Titanium

  • Liner: Stainless steel

  • Weight: 6.50 oz.

  • Pocket Clip: Right hand, tip-down

  • Lock Type: Liner lock

  • $250.00

 

More resources:


GOES WELL WITH

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 Review by Sir Leopold Rushkin

Review by Sir Leopold Rushkin


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