After reviewing the Böker Plus Kwaiken Flipper, while at IWA 2016 I was able to speak to Lucas Burnley about the original Kwaiken folder and this new 'Mini' version of the Kwaiken Flipper. This review is of the new Kwaiken Mini Flipper, a scaled down version of the Kwaiken Flipper.

Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.

The Blade and Handle Geometry:

Most knife specifications have a basic description of the blade geometry, but in this section I will be taking a more detailed look at geometry and balance.

Using a set of gauges and precision measuring equipment including a Vernier protractor, callipers, fixed radius gauges and the unique Arc Master adjustable radius gauge (the one that looks like a crossbow).

These measurements have been tabulated and are presented along with a few reference blades (8" Chef's Knife, 5.5" Santoku and the popular Fällkniven F1).

Key aspects such as the primary bevel angle, grind type, blade depth, blade thickness, length, weight are detailed, along with balance information.

The 'Balance relative to the front of the handle' tells you if the knife will feel front heavy, or if the weight is in your hand (a positive value means the weight is forward of the front of the handle). The 'Balance relative to the centre of the handle' indicates how close to a 'neutral balance' the knife has in the hand.

In the case of full convex grinds the approximate centre of the grind is used for the primary bevel angle estimate.

The blade is made from VG-10 steel.

Explained by the Maker:
The reasons for certain design choices may not be clear when simply looking at an object, so this section is intended to give an insight into the thinking behind a design by speaking to the designer themselves.

Unfortunately I can’t always get time with the designer so will use this section to include relevant information about the knife and its designer.

While at IWA 2016 I was fortunate enough to meet Lucas Burnley and have the opportunity to talk to him about the Kwaiken Flipper and its development and design including the latest 'Mini'....
For this section, please go to the Exclusive Content at Tactical Reviews , but remember to return to this forum to discuss the review.

A few more details:

The Kwaiken Mini Flipper arrives in a presentation box.

Before opening the box, here is the full size Kwaiken Flipper next to it.

The box has a magnetic closure, and the knife arrives in a small plastic bag.

This is the G10 version of the Kwaiken Mini - there is a Ti version as well.

Though only a little shorter the scaled down Mini appears a lot smaller than the full size version.

Thanks to the fully concealed blade, the Kwaiken Mini Flipper will sit with the flipper tab upwards.

Turned the other way up you can see how the blade is fully enclosed in the handle.

The Kwaiken Mini Flipper also has a mini clip.

With careful design, the flipper tab has been kept small, and includes jimping for grip.

Top right in this photo you can see the locking surface on the blade tang and just visible in the bottom left quadrant is the concealed blade stop pin.

Blade centring is excellent and only looks slightly off here due to the uneven edge from the final sharpening.

Out of the box, lock engagement is not that deep, but is still rock solid. Also note the cutout of the liner opposite the lock to allow the lock to be released.

The lock bar is part of the liner, and here is the section that has been thinned to create the lock bar spring.

Looking deep within the knife you can see the detent ball which holds the blade in the closed position.

Classic Burnley Kwaiken lines have the straight spine and curve from plunge line to tip.

The knife's credentials are marked on one side of the blade, a Burnley design, VG-10 blade steel and using an IKBS bearing.

On the opposite side of the blade is the Böker Plus logo. The blade is stonewashed, and this photo also clearly shows the plunge line and sharpening choil.

A different view of the fully concealed blade.

Torx bolts hold the clip and scales on.

The blade has a small sharpening choil, but if you look closely, the factory edge has not quite made it all the way back to this.

With space being so limited, the actual cutting edge is quite near the surface of the liners with the blade closed.

What it is like to use?

If you start with the full size Kwaiken Flipper, the Mini can feel exactly that, Mini. Perhaps too small, but we must not stop there, as in the course of this testing, after the initial photo shoot, I made myself put away the full size version to allow myself to become accustomed to the Mini in its own right.

Taking the two versions on their own and putting them back to back, the scaling down is clear.

But put this in context with some other knives, and here it is next to the Fällkniven F1 and a Spyderco UK Pen Knife along with the full size Kwaiken Flipper. The full size Kwaiken is a large folder and only seems less so due to being slim, so the Mini is still a good sized knife.

There is plenty of handle to get a good grip. (I take XL Sized gloves)

With the Kwaiken Mini Flipper used as a regular carry, it is much more discreet being smaller and lighter. It still retains all the character of the original, and I found myself forgetting what the full size version feels like and not missing it.

We all have different knife carry laws to contend with, so size can be an important factor. It the UK, there is no difference in law between me carrying the full size or Mini, but if I have good reason to carry a locking knife or I'm simply using it on private property, the Mini is much more pocket friendly.

Having a smaller and lighter blade, the flip is not quite as reliable as the full size Kwaiken Flipper and I've had a few misfires. Any misfire can easily be fully opened with a flick of the wrist, and if you maintain good contact with the flipper tab throughout the launch it rarely happens.

For the size of blade, the spine is relatively thick so this does start to drag when cutting deeply into tougher materials. For point-work though the Kwaiken blade shape is highly effective so much so you have to be careful not to puncture too deeply.

Initially I was sceptical about the Kwaiken Mini and it seemed too small; Why would I want to bother with a scaled down version of a great knife? Well, now I've lived with it I can see exactly why. Clearly you need to like the Kwaiken design, and if you do (why wouldn't you?) then the Mini gives you all of the sleek lines and style, in perfect scaled down proportion that is far more pocket friendly.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

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Things I like What doesn't work so well for me
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Truly scaled down so faithfully keeps the character of the original. Relatively thick blade for its size.
Pocket friendly size. Flip is less reliable than the full size.
IKBS bearing. Pocket clip can be tricky to get started.
Fully enclosed blade when folded.
Sleek and distinctive style.