The success of this product, created by the Italian designer Michele Pensato (aka Molletta), led to LionSteel's numerous collaborations and contracts, particularly the one with the Spyderco which saw the creation of the LionSpy folding knife (a version of the SR-1 retouched with the typical Spyder-Hole).
The peculiarities of the SR-1 folding knives series is that of being the first to be equipped with the SOLID® technology, in which the handle is made with a monolithic single piece machined from a solid, made of titanium or aluminum (depending on the model).
The blade, with a rounded spine, is a wide drop-point of 94 mm long and 4.5 mm in thickness, and is made of satin D2 steel (60 HRC) in the SR-1A version, and Sleipner or damask in the version with a handle of titanium. This type of blade configuration makes the knife extremely practical for daily use, but is less indicated as regards the tip penetration.
The blade rotates on traditional Teflon washers and out through an adjustable pivot torx screw, but also with the proprietary wrench that LionSteel provides in the package.
The blade spine is equipped with a not very pronounced thumb ramp, on which was made practice jimpings. The ambidextrous thumb-stud is placed close to the spine, an aesthetically pleasing solution but which makes the blade opening not particularly easy because of the width of the blade (and consequently of the handle) , and it also makes it difficult to complete the opening movement without having to reposition the hand. Probably those who have long fingers will not have this slight discomfort.
The handle is definitely the most interesting feature of the product: the monolithic single piece in ERGAL (aluminum-zinc alloy), on which was made a ribbed texture, has an incredible appeal as well as transmitting a feeling of solidity and strength. On the back of the handle there are some lightening holes which, in addition, facilitate the cleaning operations of the instrument. The handle is also equipped with a lanyard hole.
The available colors for the handle, obtained by anodizing, are varied and can satisfy all tastes: black, bronze, red and green. It is also possible to choose the version with satin blade finish, or the black one.
The locking mechanism is frame-lock type, in which the flat spring - formed on the aluminum body - is provided with a steel insert (fixed via two Torx screws) that serves as an interface with the blade tang, thus avoiding the problem connected with the mechanical wear that will certainly affect the aluminum in contact with the steel (due to the considerable difference in hardness of the two materials).
The frame-lock flat spring tension is remarkable, and it snaps into place with a resonant "clack" when the lock comes into action. The blade abuts on the stop-pin fixed to the aluminum body by means of a screw, the only one present in the knife handle. All mechanical couplings are made in a workmanlike manner, as always when talking about the LionSteel products.
In addition to an already robust and reliable locking system, the knife was equipped with the RotoBlockTM security system, patented by LionSteel. This consists of a ring nut, placed more or less in the central part of the locking flat spring, which performs a dual function: turning it prevents the unlocking of the blade, thanks to the presence of the secure - a kind of pin in the ring nut - which goes to engage the locking spring; secondly it prevents hyperextension of the flat spring in the unlocking phase, limiting the yield of the material over time.
Although it is difficult to accidentally unlock the frame-lock, an additional security system never hurts: the RotoBlockTM is an intuitive, ingenious and above all effective safety system.
The knife comes with a deep carry ambidextrous pocket clip in tip-up configuration. Thanks to the clip positioning, fastened directly on the bottom of the handle, the knife disappears in the pocket. The clip is fastened with a glass-breaker pommel, and it could be removed with the same proprietary wrench used to regulate the pivot and which is supplied by LionSteel. The pocket clip, albeit of a reduced size, works well and discreetly holds the knife in position.
The SR-1A customer price, purchasable directly from the Company website, is € 180.00 for the satin blade version and handle of different colors, and € 190.00 for the one with black blade (always with colored handles).
As usual for the EDC knives, we performed qualitative cutting tests (follow us also on YouTube) on various materials (paper, cardboard, various type and diameter ropes, car safety belts, and so on) with our SR-1A, which has demonstrated excellent factory sharpening. The grip on the knife is comfortable and the large handle perfectly fills the hand; maybe for some the SR-1A can be a bit too cumbersome as an EDC, which is why the LionSteel has created a smaller version, the SR-2.
The SR-1A, as the brother SR-1 which for the choice of materials is placed a step higher, is in all respects a superb combination of style and Italian elegance with the high quality of modern manufactures signed by LionSteel . This Company, Italian excellence in the world, has managed to bring innovation to the world of cutlery with their wonderful SOLID® technology, then implemented in their subsequent models, and with the RotoBlockTM safety system.
Producer: LionSteel - Maniago (Italy) - www.lionsteel.it
Type: folding knife
Locking mechanism: frame lock, with RotoBlockTM system
Steel: D2, 60 HRC, satin finish (also available with black coating)
Blade length: 94 mm
Blade width: 32,6 mm
Blade thickness: 4,5 mm
Total length (open): 211 mm
Closed length: 118 mm
Handle: SOLID® ERGAL
Pocket clip: ambidextrous tip-up configuration, with glass-breaker
Weight: 158 g
Made in Italy
This article has been published on the magazine "Armi&Balistica"