Tuesday, May 26, 2015

VESPA Shirogorov Neon style full titanium gentleman folder

Poluchetkiy & VESPA Neon

Pros:
- excellent fit and finish
- titanium frame lock with steel insert and hidden lockbar limiter
- solid early lock-up
- excellent flipping action thanks to the ball bearing pivot system
- gorgeous satin finished perfectly centered blade
- stylish titanium handle and pocket clip with very good ergonomics
- lightweight & EDC friendly size

Cons:
- the head of the screws could be nicer  

Details:
Blade length: 3.26" (83 mm)
Blade thickness: 0.137" (3.5 mm)
Blade steel: 9Cr18MoV Stainless Steel (58-60 HRC)
Open length: 7.55" (192 mm)
Closed length: 4.33" (110 mm)
Weight: 3.56 oz (101 g)
Handle: titanium
Lock: frame lock with steel insert
Carry: right hand tip up

!!Updated link!!
New Neon ultra light version in 4 colors: ***HERE***

Excellent flipper design:
Stunning satin finished blade:

More pics:

41 comments:

  1. The head of the screw looked fine until I chewed it up trying to take the knife apart! Were you able to get the pivot screw out? Apart from that issue, I think it's an outstanding knife, particularly as you call out, for a gentleman's folder.

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    1. I didn't try to take it apart. I applied some lubricant to the pivot area and the detent ball and the flipping action became perfect.

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  2. Nice review btw, great pictures as always :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! :)
      It was not easy to catch all the lines of the blade with that pretty satin finish.

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  3. These Shirogorov clones are beautiful. I'm debating between this one and the blue Titanium with carbon fiber. Nice review!

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    Replies
    1. The Neon is perfect for EDC because of its pocket friendly size.
      You have a good taste, that blue Shirogorov with the CF inserts is on my wish list too! :)

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  4. Exactly! And a little more dressy. Thank you :) well hopefully you can get it soon.

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  5. Nice review, and great little knife.
    Like Daneel, I just can't unscrew the pivot, it turns on both sides and there's nothing to block the screw on the lock-bar side.
    Well, it's not as smooth as my Mod95, but it's a great flipper nonetheless...

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    Replies
    1. Mine felt a bit gritty out of the box but after applying some lubricant (bicycle chain oil) around the pivot area and the detent ball it disappeared and the action became perfectly smooth.

      If you want to take it apart anyway you should try to press the smooth end of the pivot screw against a piece of rubber placed on a solid surface. That might help.

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    2. Thanks Isti,
      I've put some silicone grease on the detent ball and it's really improved the smoothness quite a bit (I had noticed that the pivot/ball bearing was very smooth alone and that the grittiness was coming from the detent ball).
      I had tried pressing on rubber, blocking the screw and turning the "smooth side" with a sticky ball for opening watches case backs... no success. I think a healthy dose of locktite has been applied to the pivot screw. Well, in the end, as I was saying, not as smooth as my Mod95 -but getting closer-, but the pivot of the Mod95 becomes loose from time to time and would probably benefit from a bit of locktite ;).



      Another thing I noticed with the Neon, is that the flipper tab has very sharp angles. After about one week with the knife, flipping it for the sheer joy of it, my index was showing many small cuts on its tip. I rounded the edges a bit with my dremel and it's really much nicer now !

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    3. You're welcome.
      My next tip would be heating up the pivot screw by a soldering tip to loosen up the locktite. :)

      I use some blue thread locker on the pivot screws of my folders to prevent them getting loose.

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    4. Instead of rubber, I just used a piece of tape and the pressure of my thumb against the smooth side of the pivot.

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  6. Tried with tape... and no, still nothing.
    I'll wait a bit since it's getting smoother and smoother, but I feel like the hair-dryer or hot water might be what I need, before resorting to the dire methods of glue, epoxy and whatnot...

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    Replies
    1. Another way is to wrap the blade in a towel (so you don't cut yourself and firmly push the blade to the side. This binds the screw so you can unscrew it while holding the blade to the side.

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  7. Hello Isti,

    Did you have the time to try the edge retention on the Vespa?
    I'd like to order it maybe next month but I'd like to know if the steel is anything better than 8Cr13MoV ;)

    Also I found a more expensive version in that shop:

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Free-shipping-VESPA-knife-Shirogorov-Blade-100-S35VN-Satin-Handle-Titanium-Outdoor-EDC-hand-tools/1382333_32460909406.html

    The only improvement I can find is the pivot screw and that they claim: 100% S35VN and that their pictures of the milled out handles.
    How's that on your reviewed version, are the handles milled out or solid (if you ever disassembled it)?

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  8. Hi,
    I don't have the Vespa at the moment (a friend of mine begged for it so I gave it to him) but I'm going to buy another one. Maybe that improved version you linked. :)

    Regarding the blade steel, 9Cr18MoV is not an expensive steel so it's absolutely credible.

    I didn't have to disassemble mine but according to the data sheet they weight the same so they may have the same style milled out handles.

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  9. Ok, thank you :)

    By the way, I don't know if I'll ever get it as it's a full custom and I "ordered" it in Feb, but maybe this one is interesting for you, too as it's from a fella ;)

    http://kesportal.hu/2014/07/21/robicska/

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    Replies
    1. I like that opening method that's why I keep the Böker Exskelimoor on my wish list! :)

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    2. Well, what I read about it I guess I'd prefer the Excelibur Decade Edition. That wood seems to crack easily and I often read about quality issues, then better go with better materials for around the same price (if you can find it) :)

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    3. That Decade Edition looks really neat with the CF scales!
      You're right about the wood scales because I often notice small imperfections around the screw holes in the pictures. The G10 version would be the rational choice. :)

      Delete
  10. ...but even more I'd like the Urban Trapper, someone in China should drop a version on AliExpress, it's made there anyways ;)

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    Replies
    1. That reminds me to the Kwaiken, another folder which is sitting on my wishlist for a while! :)

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  11. Yes, that one's nice, too, and usually a bit more expensive, too.
    Oh, I'd like to find a Cold Steel Lucky on AliE or for a good price on the bay, but I don't think that's gonna happen ;)

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    Replies
    1. Nice little slipjoint but it's pretty overpriced.

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  12. Well, I fon't really know why they must use S35VN on such a knife that's not meant for hard use.
    But a single bladed version with VG-10 and G10 or carbon fiber scales, of course with a clip, would be cool.

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  13. I've seen that you changed the aliexpress link to the Neon as it's not available in the other shop.
    This new shop only shows 1-2 sales for each knife, for the Neon none.
    I'd really like to get one for xmas, do you know anything about this shop?
    I'm just affraid if the knife will be the same good quality as your one, esp. because I want the satin version, with stoneashing it's much easier to hide imperfections...

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    Replies
    1. I had to update the links because AliE. started to block all of the listings which contained the "Shirogorov" name.

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    2. Anyway all of them are made in the same factory and you can ask the seller to check your folder before shipping just to be sure.

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  14. Yes, that's a good idea. Now I just have to see how the christmas season turns out financially and if I find the time to make a credit card as they don't accept paypal as an official payment method (that's why I've bought my Mnandi and Starbenza with paypal without protection).
    By the way, have you seen the new Gnome version? I like the blade grind as the original is way too thick behind the edge, that's why I try to grind it down on job. One side's done an I learned not to grind away too much of the ricasso. What a pity...
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-new-versatility-folding-knife-blade-material-S35VN-handle-material-TC4-outdoor-camping-survival-hand/32471172352.html
    And also that I couldn't find this grind for the old price, for 100 bucks the handles should be hollowed and I hope the Neon is hollowed as well.

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    1. Yes I saw that version of the Gnome. I think I will skip that because so many other new designs (Lionspy, ZT0562, ZT0808 etc.) are coming and my budget is limited too.

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  15. Yeah, I'd skip on that one, too, it's too expensive anyways.
    And for production knife clones, well, I'd maybe take a ZT0450 when available, that 0808 Redford design is looking a bit bulky to me. Na, first the Neon if possible ;)

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  16. Now that I can afford to buy the Neon the 2 offers I found are not longer available :(
    Maybe your skills in the AliSearch are better than mine and you can find the "simpler" version for me?
    The S35VN version is a bit too expensive for me...

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  17. Thank you very much, I'm well impressed with your searching ability.
    Now let's just hope my bank account says ok to this next week... ;)

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    1. You're welcome!
      By any chance you meet Santa please tell him that the Asymmetric is on my wishlist! ;))

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  18. Ok, can do.
    Now I just don't know if I want to wait till the Neon is on discount as they usually sell, 5-10% :P

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  19. Ok, finally pulled the trigger. Santa was generous, so I ordered the "better" version, now it's waiting time.
    I was chatting with the shop clerk and asked about a pivot tool, they said they'll send me the matching screwdrivers with it.
    Well, I'll see about that and if it's just some Torx tools then I'll try to make myself the matching tools with epoxy dough...

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    Replies
    1. It looks like some sort of rhombus shape tool is needed for the pivot.
      You can make such a pivot tool out of a micarta stick for example.

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  20. Good idea but then I would have to make micarta first.
    Maybe I can do that next week on job, I still have a bordeaux and an orange shirt, could look interesting in alternating layers. I could also use an old Hawaii shirt for laminating ;)

    If I have to make a pivot tool I was thinging to press a piece of expoxy dough agains the foil-covered pivot and attach the mold to some sort of handle, this way I could even make one for the other side as this knife lacks a pivot stop. But I still hope they really send something useful ;)

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    1. I suppose the knife has been delivered quite some time ago. Did it come with the pivot tool - what does it look like? I made one from the shaft of an old 5,5 mm drill bit, which works, but is eating away on the screw head ...
      (Btw. As been said earlier, stopping the pivot nut from rotating by pushing the blade sideways just a tiny little bit really works wonders on this knife (and many others))

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