Friday, August 21, 2015

New top notch titanium frame-lock folders - DDR AXD, ZT 0620CF, Shirogorov IceBreaker

Darrel Ralph AXD, ZT 0620CF, Shirogorov IceBreaker style folders

- unbelievable quality for the price
- titanium handle and frame lock
blade steel: D2 (IceBreaker), 9Cr18MoV (DDR AXD, ZT 0620CF)
- ball bearing pivot system (DDR AXD, IceBreaker)
- awesome flipping action (DDR AXD, IceBreaker)
- Emerson wave opener (ZT 0620CF)

You can buy them at reliable sellers at Aliexpress:
Darrel Ralph AXD "Expendables": ***HERE*** 
Zero Tolerance ZT 0620CF:            ***HERE*** or ***HERE***
ZT 0620 budget version (steel/G10 handle): ***HERE*** or ***HERE***
Shirogorov IceBreaker:                  ***HERE***

Detailed reviews are coming soon! :)

More pics:
Let's rock! :)


  1. Was considering the Icebreaker but bought the T50 in blue. Im the dude from blf budget knife section ;)

    Icebreaker actually has steel washers between the titanium and bearings.

    1. That's why you seemed familiar to me! ;)

      The Icebreaker is an excellent folder, it's perfect out of the box and it flips like a charm.
      It costs a little more than the standard Shirogorov F95s but - as you also said - it's an improved version.

  2. I just got the shirogorov 95 blue titanium with carbon fiber. I'm hoping it is as awesome as everyone says. I feel like I always get the dud clones :) awesome looking knives though!

    1. The blue - CF F95 is a pretty one too. I have it on my wish list for a while.
      I'm not sure which one would win a beauty contest the Icebreaker or the blue F95. :))

  3. It is close! So close I guess I'll have to get both at some point in time :)

  4. I got finally got the knife I mention It's so incredible. Smooth as silk and flips incredibly. Love the knife. I'll have to get more of the 95's

  5. And I received today the Gnome and the Shiro 110 (speak about a large size difference!!).
    Both were a bit gritty at the first but a cleaning removed the dirt and all is well. The 110 really is massive, large, heavy impressive as hell... Rather well made and all, but I did store it and I'm currently EDCing the Gnome (it's as good as you said it would be Isti, despite the small size, it's almost comfortable, and the cutting length is sufficient to make this knife an effective tool.

    1. The Gnome is a decent little folder.
      Which version of the 110 did you buy?

    2. The one with the gouges on the blade instead of the thumb-studs. Not as easy to deploy (flick) but given it is an axis lock there's still the "pull lock gravity flick" way, so no probs. The fact is that I much prefer the looks and the stone wash surface treatment on the blade increases a bit the corrosion/scratch resistance (good thing if the steel is the advertised D2 or something akin to it).

      It's very heavy (steel liners+size) and the bearings are lower quality compared to what you get on Chinese knifes and clones in the 60-120 price range -which is what I had so far. Still the quality and fit and finish are really astounding for the price.

      Really a lot of knife (literally and figuratively) for the money!

      I'll try to write a quick review on both soon enough on my blog... when I find time to take some pictures!

    3. Thanks for the feedback! I have that version of the 110 in the mail too. :)
      The other version with the thumb-studs is very similar to the Tabargan 95 so I decided to try something different (although opening with thumb-studs seems more practical).

      Have you taken it apart to clean/oil the bearings?
      I look forward to seeing your pics. :)

      Ps.: Did you buy the full titanium version of the Gnome?

    4. The pics and review of the 110 are now on line, as I had some time this afternoon:
      you'll find them here.

      I'll probably do the Gnome later this week... or even later!

    5. Thanks for the link! It sounds promising so I'm looking forward to receiving mine. :)

    6. I'm looking forward to reading what you think of it!
      By the way, I've got another knife in the mail that you will certainly be interested in, the mid level clone of the decepticon 2.

    7. I also have a Decepticon 2 in the mail! :))

  6. Yes and yes!
    I did take the 110 apart to clean/oil the bearings (before that it was gritty).
    and yes I did buy the full titanium Gnome. It's very nice having that 3D effect by the alternate sculpting/polishing/blasting of the titanium on both sides.

  7. Hi Isti,
    I know it's an old post but I browsed thru your blog and unless I missed it, you never did a review of the AXD, correct?
    What do you think of it? How's the build quality and the flipping action?
    Some stores say the blade to be 9CR18MOV, others D2, I'll assume 9CR ;)
    It looks like they run for about $60 everywhere. I'm thinking about getting one for collection purpose (too big for EDC for me) but was just wondering what you think of it.

    1. Hi Bruno,
      You're right my review about the AXD is still in the pipeline somewhere. :)
      Its build quality and the overal F&F are excellent. It flips like a charm and the action is also very smooth out of the box. It has a rock solid early lock-up and thanks to the rounded edges the unlocking is quite comfortable too. On the first days the lock was a bit sticky but after a couple of days it wore in nicely. The balde is quite big (109 mm) and it comes with a nice light stone washed finish (and it's dead centered).
      I have no idea why it isn't more popular. The only thing I would change is a tip-up carry pocket clip. It would be awesome to try whether the blade guard acts as a wave opener. :)
      Anyway thanks for reminding me to this bada$$ folder, it'll be an excellent Halloween edc! :))

    2. I finally received my AXD.
      While it's an awesome looking knife and has an excellent fit and finish, unfortunately, mine has the weakest detente I have ever seen.
      I barely touch the flipper and the blade pops out a little already.
      This makes it very hard to get it flipped properly, without either having the blade facing down, or flicking the wrist.
      Do you know if there is a way to adjust the detente so it becomes stronger?

    3. That's a pity. Is the detent ball placed properly? Isn't it pushed into the lock bar too much?

    4. Yes, that might be the problem.
      I think they pressed the detent ball too far in. Only about 30% of it sticks out of the lock bar.
      It's a shame really because the rest of the knife is really nice so I'm kind of disappointed about this as there is virtually no detent on this knife, it just barely holds the blade in place :(

    5. A good machinist might be able to fix it but I wouldn't try that at home.
      Why don't you open a dispute and send the knife back for a replacement or a full refund?

    6. Do you have experience in returning an item bought on AE or DHG?
      I never sent a knife back through DHGate but my understanding is that if I want to do that, I'll need to pay for the return shipping, correct?
      If I need to pay for return shipping, then it's not worth it as shipping with tracking will cost almost as much as the knife itself.

    7. I have experience with AE.
      It depends on the seller wether he refunds you the cost of the shipping or not.
      You should read the seller's policy at the product description.
      You should choose the cheapest trackable air mail option to send it back. That's not that expensive.

  8. Thanks for the feedback.
    Darn you are right, I naturally assumed that it would wave open simply based on the shape, I didn't realize that there was no tip up carry option :0, a real shame.
    Anyway, 11.11 sale is in a coupe of weeks and although I never took part in it (I didn't know about it until recently), my understanding is that some sellers give a higher discount on some items. I have this one and a few others on my wishlist, so it's worth to wait a couple of weeks and maybe save a few bucks, we'll see.
    Thanks again.

  9. Shipping in Canada is ridiculously expensive.
    The cheapest option to ship back to China with tracking number is $75 CAD (approx $55USD) so definitely not an option.
    Shipping without tracking is cheap but I wouldn't do that.
    Looking at the whole thing through sunlight, the ball being too far in doesn't seem to be the problem.
    In the close position, the lockbar is not touching the blade and the detent ball is not all the way in. It looks like about 15% of the ball goes in the hole. The whole does seem to be big enough though, so I don't know.
    Maybe I'll try to widen the hole in the blade a little with a dremel and a diamond bit. Maybe if the ball goes further in, the detente will be stronger.
    I've read also some people flattening the detente ball to get a stronger action. The ball seems to be ceramic so I'm not sure it can be done.

    1. That's really expensive! You should ask for a partial refund instead of sending the knife back.

      IMO widening the detent hole with a dremel is not a good idea because you'll make the edge of the hole rounded and it'll be easier for the ball to leave the hole. I hope you can get what I mean. :) Drilling a slightly bigger hole might help but you need a proper drill press and drill bit for that.

      I wouldn't flaten the detent ball either.

      In your shoes first I would disassemble the folder and I'd try to bend the lock-bar a bit inward. The higher tension of the lock-bar might help to keep the detent ball / blade in closed position.

  10. Thanks Isti, I'll give the bending of the lockbar a try.

  11. Finally got around to getting the D2 icebreaker (which I think is made by Dicoria). It's not milled out like the Kevin John model, and it has the Shirogorov logo which is tacky, but otherwise I prefer to the Kevin John model. It's just _so_ nice and smooth in the hand. Not expensive at all for how nice it is. Very impressive.

    1. The D2 Icebreaker is good deal for sure.
      Do you also have the Kevin John version?