Thanks to the know-how and the advanced technologies used to produce their knives, today WE Knife boasts a wide range of products with designs, colours and materials fulfilling all tastes and budgets.
Inevitably Chinese products are more often than not associated with poor quality and counterfeiting. Undoubtedly the counterfeit market has damaged those honest businesses, in favor of those who enrich themselves by carrying out commercial parasitism by exploiting innovative and inventive efforts of others to gain benefit in a completely illegitimate way.
However, it is necessary to make a distinction between oriental factories that ruin the market by invading it with counterfeit products and those that produce knives with proprietary designs (sometimes also with the collaboration of famous knife makers), and with valuable workmanship and materials (often imported from USA or Europe).
WE Knife certainly falls into the roster of manufacturers who have heavily invested in quality and innovation, which have always been considered by the Chinese brand as the key to development and success.
The model at our disposal is the 701C, an eye-catching EDC folding knife that immediately enticed us with its overall quality and design, created by WE Knife team.
The blade, with an aggressive sheepsfoot modified profile and with a pronounced swedge, is about 100 mm long and 4 mm thick, and features hollow grinds and, on the spine, a nice jimping - both from an aesthetically and functional point of view - made with impeccable precision.
The steel used in the 701 series is the D2 hardened at 59-61 HRC, which in the model 701C has been superficially treated to obtain a black stonewashed finish.
The blade opening can be carried out either through the triangular thumb-hole or, more quickly, through the flipper. The 701C, although belonging to one of the economic series produced by WE Knife, has a remarkable plus, which we have not found in other products of the same price range: first of all the knife features ceramic ball bearings, which makes blade opening incredibly smooth (thanks to the lower friction coefficient of ceramic); in addition, all the hardware, spacer and primary pivot (personalized with the brand logo) are made of 6AL4V titanium anodized with brass-like color.
The screw used has a proprietary head (a kind of reverse torx) that further characterize WE Knife products. The knife is supplied with a dedicated key for disassembling and maintenance.
The liner-lock mechanism is skillfully made and consists of a flat spring 1.6 mm thick, on which a functional jimping has been practiced to facilitate blade unlocking.
The black-colored stainless steel liners are embedded in the G10 scales, making this knife even more pleasing both in terms of aesthetics and workmanship.
Another important trait is the system used in place of the most common stop pin: on the blade tang there is a pin that - during opening - moves in a semicircular recess obtained between the liners and the scales, until it stops on the liner itself when the blade is completely deployed.
All mechanical couplings are made in a workmanlike manner and the blade, once opened, is firmly locked and free of play.
The handle in the 701C model is made up of G10 coyote scales, characterized by a particular texture that reminds a bit the main rib of a leaf. In the terminal part of the handle, after the titanium backspacer, there is a pin (also made in brass-colored titanium ), for securing the lanyard. From the ergonomic point of view the handle is well designed and gives a good grip on the instrument.
The knife is equipped with a low profile pocket clip, made of brass-colored anodized titanium 6AL4V, like all the other components we mentioned earlier.
The WE Knife 701C's retail price is about $ 100 on the American market, and about € 155 on the European market. The 701 series includes other models that differ in blade finishing and handle scales color.
Usually for products in this price range less importance is given to packaging, with some exceptions, as in this case: the knife is supplied with a pretty semi-rigid case, highly cured in details, made of nylon with a zip opening. Inside, besides the knife, we found a cleaning cloth, the warranty certificate, and the proprietary key for knife maintenance.
The 701C has been tested on a qualitative basis by performing some cutting tests on a variety of materials (paper, cardboard, ropes of various diameter and material, car safety belts, and so on), proving an amazing factory sharpening and a good cutting edge retention, as we would expect from D2 steel.
Overall, the 701C produced by WE Knife proved to be an excellent EDC knife, with a truly amazing value for money. The quality of finishes, design and feeling with the product is absolutely remarkable. If we add high cutting performance and the use of state-of-the-art technologies and materials, such as ceramic ball bearings and all titanium hardware, it is impossible not to recommend this knife.
Manufacturer: WE Knife, China - www.weknife.com
Type: folding knife
Locking mechanism: liner-lock
Opening: manual, flipper on ceramic ball bearings
Blade profile: sheepsfoot modified
Steel: D2 HRC 59-61
Blade length: 101,6 mm
Blade thickness: 3.9 mm
Blade width: 34 mm
Overall length (open): 228.6 mm
Overall length (closed): 127 mm
Liner: stainless steel
handle: G10 coyote
Pocket clip, screws, pivot and back spacer: 6AL4V titanium
Weight: 160 g
Made in China
This article has been published on the magazine "Armi&Balistica" n.66