Saturday, January 16, 2016

Shirogorov Dark style folder by Green Thorn

Welcome to the dark side :)
- perfect fit and finish in every detail 
- dead centered, attractive light stonewashed blade
- high flat ground for excellent slicing performance
- solid early lock-up without any blade play
- very smooth flipping action out of the box
- dual track ball bearing pivot system
- unique design & comfortable handle  
- titanium liners and pocket clip
- high quality carry pouch  

- none

Blade length: 3.58" (91 mm)
Blade thickness: 0.157" (4 mm)
Blade steel: D2 Stainless Steel (59-60 HRC)
Open length: 8.34" (212 mm)
Closed length: 4.76" (121 mm)
Handle thickness: 0.67" (17 mm)
Weight: 5.18 oz (147 g)
Handle: G10 with titanium liners
Lock: heavy duty titanium liner lock
Carry: right hand tip up

You can buy it at a reliable seller on Aliexpress:  
***HERE*** or ***HERE*** or ***HERE*** (black or orange)

Budget version with steel/G10 handle: ***HERE*** (black or khaki) 

Exclusive high-end version with satin S35VN blade + CF: ***HERE***

Dual track bearings + steel washers on the titanium side:

Next to my Coordinal (designed by Dimitry Sinkevich):

 You can buy the Coordinal at a reliable seller on Aliexpress: ***HERE***

More pics: 


  1. Nice pics and review, as usual... I'm more attracted by the Coordinal, though.
    Great to know that "green thorn" does a good job, they seem to be a new "up an coming" brand.

    And speaking of nice pouches, the one with the piston is also very good!

    1. Thanks! :) The Coordinal is another high-quality folder which deserves a full review. Maybe next weekend.

      It's good to hear that because I'm about to order one too (Piston).

      What do you think of the new Marfione Sigil?

    2. Well, I have the A Dai version in G10 and 9Cr18MoV, which I like very much, not really sure I need two versions of the same (apart from the F95 ;))
      I'm not totally sold on the Sigil, even the real custom Marfione. I don't know why, maybe because it's a bit too "baroque"?

      Anyway, I have my eyes on two things, now. The TRE in M390 from D1C0R1A if it re-emerges at the same price, and the LionSpy in G10 (there's also a CF version, comes with a nice pouch but it's more expensive and the original being G10... )

      I'll wait 'till I've received the Anax and the OTF and then buy the TRE if it's back, or the LionSpy... And then probably the other one a few weeks (days?) later.

    3. The full titanium Coordinal has a slightly different blade shape. It's less pointy than the ADAI ZT0999. Have a look at my photo.

      I'd try the Sigil with a satin finished less expensive blade (D2 or 9Cr18MoV).

    4. Yes, there are differences. But I'm trying to convince myself they are definitely not enough to justify getting either the full Ti or the CF/Ti version...
      I've managed to do that well enough so far, and that allows me to go for other stuff ;)

    5. Well, well, well... I stumbled upon my "wish list" again, because of one of those stupid Ali mails telling me that I could save 41cents or something. And I'm weak.

      So the LionSpy in G10 got purchased... Not by me but by my fingers?!

    6. The LionSpy is on my wish list too. :)
      I look forward to your impressions.

  2. Shirogorov Dark style folder by Green Thorn, arghhh ... will I resist the S35VN+CF version, probably not

    I received:
    * the Asymmetric a few days ago, also in a better new style pouch. That knife is a true winner
    * T50, a real tank

    No issues at all, with any of my late knives

    The piston tab has a sound when it slides in its groove, that was the only thing I noticed as an issue on that blade. I reduced it by using graphite from a pen. The knife is still one of my favorites

    I received a message from D1C0R1A that he has been banned

    New store is 1331200
    Not much there at the moment, I guess we will have to wait till after Chinese New Year settles

    1. ... also received from Samier the Sinkevich Coordinal D2+CF/Ti version, 106g (3.7oz)

    2. It's a good thing for my bank account that the TRE is not back on the new store yet... But I'll keep an eye on the new one (thanks to confirm it's 1331200, by the way) and wait tight.

      The noise of the piston tab annoyed me for a while but now I sort of dig it... I didn't add anything, I guess the titanium got a bit polished so it diminished a bit. Joined with the super smooth action it sorts of makes you feel like it's an automatic, you press, hear a small noise then see the blade jump like a crazy!!!

      I've just reviewed the T-50 and indeed, it's a tank, also very smooth. I just feel like the smoothness on it is not a the same level as the Piston... I've decided to wear the T-50 these days, but it's a difficult task: even if it is a great knife, I hear the song of the Piston calling me!!

      106g is impressive. My G10/titanium sub-framelock Coordinal weights 126g!!!I guess the G10 is much heavier AND has to be thicker for the knife to as rigid as with at CF/Ti construction.

    3. The full titanium Coordinal also has a very good weight (138 g). Samier lists the S35VN CF/TI version with 117g.

      Hans, do you agree with Nikohard about the Asymmetric? I mean its small issues (poor initial sharpness; uncomfortable handle and lock bar).

    4. I got the Samier store Sinkevich Coordinal D2+CF/Ti version with some more CF (Samier states 105g on that one)

      The Kevin John store Asymmetric S35VN+CF/Ti
      So far Samier has been a good Aliexpress experience
      Mine arrived marked with S35VN marking and sharp out of the box (lucky?)
      I did not have to touch the sharpness as it can shave hair and slice curls out of copy machine paper
      The knife is long and has a low weight, blade is rather big and a handle with a small cross-section with some edges (due to the asymmetric design)
      I don't share the experience with the detention ball sounding when deployed, and the detention is very well trimmed on this one
      I agree that the frame lock thumb recess should have been larger ... but my medium hand thumb manage well without any sour tip after my initial 150 deployments
      (150 deployments is a habit I have with just received knives, after initial cleaning)
      The handle is more like holding a stick in your hand, and the smaller size of the handle means that the edges won't hurt you that much
      Doing the Chris Tanner squeeze test, the only issue I get is that the very long clip moves around when handle is jammed

      Tomorrow I will put up some pictures of the two knives so you can compare them

    5. That sounds promising. Thanks a lot!
      Now I'm torn between the Asymmetric and the Piston! :))
      Which one do you prefer?

    6. Piston!

      It has that little wow-factor added to it

    7. Coordinal/Asymmetric lock recess

      It is also in the slideshow above now (in the same folder)

  3. I know large folders are all the rage right now, but is there anything at all in the way of small blades? I like pocket knives but feel silly carrying a big blade when all I use it for is opening packages.

    1. If you're in the market for smaller EDC knives, you can be interested in a small sebenza clone or a Gnome either in full titanium or with G-10 presentation scale.
      A slightly larger/stouter/expensive alternative would be the clone of the Direware Hyper-90.
      Another small good choice is the clone of the Spyderco Techno.

      You may also look at the Lion Steel TiSpine look-a-likes, in grey as reviewed by Isti or in anodized colours like like mine. It's small, albeit possibly not as much as a Gnome, light and elegant.

    2. ~99% of the Sanrenmu folders come with small blade (~2.75" / 70 mm). Have look at the renown Sanrenmu 710 for example.

      The Ganzo G726 and Ganzo G724 are bigger (blade legth 3.3" and 3.19").

      If you want something fancy with titanium and ball bearings have a look at the Neon or the Gnome.
      Gnome and Neon side by side.

    3. Thanks guys. I have a gnome, and would probably carry it more often but the clip is atrocious. I'll have a look at the other suggestions.

    4. If you have a file, some sandpaper and a vise or a dremel tool you can make that clip very well working but I admit it was crap as it came. Just chamfer the inner profile to give the edges a 30-45% angle and it will slide in an out very nicely if you also polish it.

      If I had another clip I would leave a little more material on the outer lines though but it's a good idea to break the edge at the clip's front as it was very sharp first.

      With it's reprofiled blade it's a heck off a slicer, my work edc, great for cutting EVA foam and even rawhide.

      This week I should get my Neon though, I hope it's as good as Isti's reviews told me before ;)

    5. Good job!
      Was it hard to achive an even satin finish on the blade?

    6. The most difficult part was to grind it on the belt grinder on job.
      First I used the wrong one with 60 grit paper for wood grinding on it and got too deep marks so I went to the other one that has 80 grit but for metal and it was working much better. I've screwed the blade on a jig, that was a good idea, but to put in a nail in the downside to act as a stop came to my mind only when I've ground away a good part of the ricasso. One reason was that I can only use the grinder from the left side and therefore have to grind the blade's showside from the spine towards the edge and that doesn't allow sharp lines where the 2 bevels meet :(

      After getting my full flat grind I've had this leaf shape without intending it. I tried filing it with a steel file, no chance on hardened steel. Next try was a diamond file, some single peaks gave me nice scratches. So I used 3M wetandry paper 180 - 600 grit and acid etched it. Some dark spots appeared, I guess at overheated areas and they also didn't fade after stonewashing. So I sanded the blade again with a scotchpad from the ricasso to the tip and sanded the ricasso from the spine to the edge with 600 grit paper laid on a glass plate.

      Oh, today I got the Neon and it's a very nice knife. A bit bigger than my TiLock, definitelly maximum size for me. The handle is great but there's a slight gap between the handle and the backspacer in the middle of the handle. Maybe one more screw instead of a hidden pin would prevent that (very minor issue).
      And I thing I will sand the blade with 600 grit paper, now it feels a bit rough, like ground with 320 grit max. How was the blade's surface of your 9Cr19MoV (right?) version?
      I still rated the seller with 100% satisfaction, he even sent me the pivot tool I was asking for :)
      (...and a CardSharp ;) )

    7. A proper belt sander could be a real treasure, that's why I admire the workshop of the American knifemakers full of fancy tools. :)

      I really liked the satin finish of my Neon. I especially enjoyed the reflection of light on the blade surface which revealed the wire drawing pattern. So if I can find the 9Cr18MoV version I'll buy it again.

    8. Same here, the blade surface is very nice on my 9Cr18MoV neon. The things that were not so great on mine are: the edges of the blade spine/grinds (a bit too sharp) and the edges of the flipper (again, too sharp, I ended up cutting finger from flipping) which combined with a detent that was a the strong side. Back-spacer and clip are absolutely perfect on mine, however.
      The hard detent makes me carry it lest often that I probably should. But at the moment I'm with the TiSpine (it's really great even if hard to flick, and good looking to boot with that green anodisation)... waiting on the Vespa OTF and the Anax.

    9. Yes, I guess that steel is easier to work with as the stated S35VN.
      My TiLock has this same nearly polished look even though it's satinized. And I think not every knifemaker has such a perfect work shop full of machines, even there that doesn't come for free.
      On the other hand you can get a decent belt sander in home depots for 2-300 Euros, sometimes less. In my last German knife book the they recommended it for starters as that's saving a lot of time. Still it's best to invest the time into making one blade at least totally by hand. That's good to gain muscle memory and to better understand the item you're making. It's like in most handicraft jobs, everyone with decent skills can do it with a machine, much fewer people can do it all by hand but they understand better what they do, even when they use a machine.

      One of the few machines that you need is a good drill press and at good drill bits, the rest you can do with files and sandpaper, maybe a dremel tool.

    10. The ANAX disappeared from all of the shops...
      We were lucky to order it in time.

    11. @Franz If I try hard I can shake the blade out of the knife but it's only working in around 1 of 5 cases ;)
      But yeah, the spine could be a bit smoother, I'll correct that soo, but the flipper is very good on mine (with a weak detent). Still I'd say it's worth the hundred bucks, but I can't really compare to non-clones in that price range and even then I'd find something to modify :P

      Maybe like on my unfinished Chill?

    12. Great that I was so weak. I would have definitely regretted not getting the Anax without that weakness of mine ;)

      @Adahn, well, then I'm lucky, I prefer stronger detents on flipper, even if they are sometimes "finger breaking" ! With those detents the flipper is lightning fast even when the action isn't as smooth as glass.

    13. Yes, I'd prefer a stronger detent, too, like on my Kershaw Chill, that $20 bugger is a perfect flipper without bearings or whatnot ;)
      And if the detent is too strong you still have a chance to sand+polish the detent ball (not recommended) or to slightly chamfer the detent hole with a rotary tool (worked for me). What I can do in the opposite way, I don't know.
      Anyways, I thought the Neon would be a tad smaller, at least this way it doesn't have to be my last folder as it's still not the perfect one :P

    14. By the way, are the "budget" Neon's scales hollowed out, too?
      I really like that feature as it greatly removes weight.
      And I think I've found a way to get a stronger detent. The ball is not totally falling into the hole and it shouldn't but I can file away a little bit at the area where it's resting at the stop pin in closed position. I just must find a way to open the pivot as even the right tool doesn't prevent it from turning freely ;)

  4. This inexpensive mini titanium flipper also looks interesting.

  5. The old (cheap) Neon didn't have milled out titanium sides. Still the weight is rather light. Mine comes out at 101.4g.

    1. I don't know how much it changes on Ti anyways, but I'll check it next week when I'm back on job with the letter scale.
      It's more interesting for steel framelocks, I was reading it made the "Real Steel 571" very light compared to it's size. I like that one a lot but €50 for a Sanrenmu knife with steel handles when I can get Ti handled ones from China for that price? Maybe later, but the design is good.

    2. Oh, and about "cheap", when I could order mine that one was $70, no discount in sight, the "expensive" one $100 with discount so I thought, screw it, it's from the gifted xmas money anyways ;)