For the last 2+ weeks I’ve been carrying one of the Artisan Classic Folder pocket knives. This is the model 1802P with the Curved Handle and D2 blade. It was a bit of a change after carrying a Trestle Pine Topper for a long time. Based on size alone, there’s no comparison to really be made between the two knives. The Artisan Classic Folder stands by itself.
With an overall length of nearly 5″ closed, I was curious to see just how uncomfortable it might be to carry the big folder in my pocket. With the Trestle Pine Topper coming in at roughly 3.5″, this is a lot more knife to carry around.
The curved handle also gives the knife a very comfortable feel. Artisan gently curved the edges of the handle. If you’ve handled a 1911 45ACP that’s exactly what this handle reminds me of. The curving is subtle but noticeable. In my hand the checkering in the G2 gives a really secure texture to hold onto. Even in cold weather with wet hands fishing it was a great material to handle.
With the deep carry pocket clip it shifts the weight from the bottom of your pocket to the top and actually, I didn’t really notice the additional weight at all. It did take a little getting used to having the knife along my pocket when I reached in for change or keys but it didn’t take long to get used to it. A really nice feature is the high mounted pocket clip results in a really low carry profile. It almost disappears to the casual observer which isn’t a bad thing sometimes. And of course for the lefties out there the pocket clip is reversible for left hand (pocket) carry.
In use, I really grew to love it. It’s a big knife. A lot bigger then I’m used to carrying as an EDC knife. Never did I find it to be ‘too big’ for whatever I was using it for. That includes taking it out ice fishing and using it for cutting 4# line on some pretty small jigs. It was easy to access from my pocket and opening is almost as simple as an automatic. Very smooth opening with the ceramic bearings. For most tasks I don’t mind a bigger knife and would definitely rather have too much knife then not enough.
I really appreciated the easy operating flipper for one handed opening and easy one hand closing. A high percentage of my knife usage is out doors and it seems like I usually have one hand holding something to cut while I fumble with opening my knife. There was an occasion in the past when I might try opening a blade with my teeth if there was a good deep nail nick. But after my last set of stitches in my finger, the Doc kind of discouraged it. No doubt he would endorse the easy open one hand flipper.
Over the course of time I used the Artisan Classic Folder for every task I normally used my Trestle Pine Topper for. Opening mail, cutting down cardboard boxes, cutting fiber tape, fishing line, fruit, shaving kindling for a fire, split a nylon tarp and on and on. In short, it got a good work out. The D2 edge is still in great shape with no touchups to date. Normally I’d hit the leather strop a couple of strokes after cutting up cardboard regardless of the steel but I wanted to keep this one working as is.
The blade is still making clean cuts on typing paper. For normal use I’d prefer to have it cutting thinner slices but I have no complaints. It performed as well or better than any of the other D2 knives I’ve used. Plus, the blade shows no signs of staining after cutting apples, beef jerky and the like without an immediate wipe down. D2 has always been a favorite non- stainless steel for it’s high stain resistance and the Artisan Classic Folder performed with the best of them
Honestly, I can’t find anything to complain about this knife. It’s made in China but my feelings about that have changed in the last year. The quality of the build is up their with the best of them and at a price of $59.95 kicks the hell out of some of the competition with much higher price points. Based on it’s size it would make a terrific companion knife for an outdoor trip. If you didn’t want to carry a smaller fixed blade this would definitely be a great consideration. Slip it in a backpack or your pocket. Short of clearing brush or splitting kindling, I don’t think anyone would be disappointed. At the very least for the price it would be a great knife to store in your bug out bag.