Today, we’re headed back into the realm of Every Day Carry, or EDC. For me, a pocket knife is a tool that I carry with me regularly, putting it to use with opening boxes, cutting strings, or maybe just shaving bark off of a stick. It’s utilitarian, but that doesn’t mean there can be some fun stuff to be had with a knife. When I first learned of the Winterblade Mirage over a year ago, I was immediately interested.
What caught my eye?
I don’t recall how I first ran across Bryan Winters and what he’s creating, but as soon as I saw that there were magnets getting used to help deploy and lock the blade in place? I was hooked. You might ask, well, why mess around with the tried-and-true locking-blade pocket knife design? I say why not? There are a few different locking methods that you’ll find out there, and in my opinion, using magnets here is great.
What do the magnets do?
They’re used to do a few different things on the Winterblade Mirage. To be specific, there are two – one is in the blade itself, and the other is in the sliding lock nub. When the blade is closed, those magnets help to keep the blade from opening up. Next, you can use it to help deploy the blade. When you pull the nub back, the magnets poles oppose each other, pushing the blade out. Depending on how you’re holding the knife, it means you can have the blade deploy completely on it’s own, or with a gentle flick of the wrist. You can also just deploy the blade with your finger using the notch cut into the blade if you want, and ignore the magnet.
Finally, then, the magnets help lock the blade in place. I didn’t do any extreme testing of this, but in what I did do, that locking mechanism (partially magnetic, and partially mechanical, which you can see if you disassemble the knife) felt really solid. The great thing is that when it’s time to fold the knife back up, you’re not finding a lever to move or anything that puts your fingers in the path of the blade closure. You’re just sliding that nub back, and then the blade can be folded in, either with two hands, or a flashier wrist flip once you’re used to it.
What about maintenance?
The good news here is that the magnets don’t really make maintenance any more difficult on the Winterblade Mirage than another knife. You’ve got a few fasteners to undo, and then you can fully disassemble the knife to lubricate the pivots and clean things out. I’ve had mine apart some (it got a bunch of sand in it after some volleyball), and the only tricky part is ensuring you put the magnets back in the correct direction, so they’ll interact with each other as designed.
While the pivot was pretty smooth out of the box, I did also end up putting some extra lubricant onto the bearings when I had things apart to just help it be all the smoother. Since then, it’s basically been my daily driver, and it’s been working like a champ. The blade is still just as sharp as when I first got it in, so that’s a credit to the steel used for the blade (details on that are down below). Guessing I might hit it with the stones sometime this winter, but so far, I’ve not really needed to.
How’s the carry?
I will admit, the Winterblade Mirage is not an unobtrusive knife. Yes, the lime green liners make the one I purchased stand out, but it’s beefier look as well. There are a lot of angles in the design as well, and I think those trick the eye into seeing the handle as being larger than it actually is. In terms of the weight, it’s right at 100g, so you know it’s there in your pocket, but you won’t feel weighed down. And in terms of the actual carry, the titanium clip allows for a fairly deep carry in your pocket, so it will disappear into the pocket quite nicely. Maybe not the knife you carry if you’re dressed up, but for anything else, it’s solid.
What’s the final verdict?
I am quite, quite pleased that I put my pre-order in for the Winterblade Mirage last fall. It’s a knife I carry just about every day, and it’s easily handled everything I’ve thrown at it. The titanium scales and clip should be in it for the long haul, and as I mentioned, the blade steel has held up and maintained it’s edge quite nicely. Additionally, the company has been super-responsive when I’ve talked to them on Instagram, and they’ve produced a helpful video for showing you just how to work on the knife. All of this adds up – in my book – to a tool that will last for years, and should have some robust support behind it if something should go awry down the road. If you want to pick one up, it looks like there are still some available for $360 directly from winterblade.com
- First-ever magnet-assisted folding knife!
- Four colors / finishes to choose from!
- Winterblade M-LOCK (magnet driven lock – fully locking)!
- New, ultra–smooth M-LOCK detent!
- TRIPLE shouldered blade stop pins!
- Ultra beefy ¼ pivot barrel!
- Stylish deep-carry milled titanium pocket clip!
- Full titanium scales with carbon fiber or G10 liners!
- Premium M390 or 20CV blade steel (M390 and 20CV are the same steel, but different brands, so we’ll be using the steel that is in ready supply at the time of production)
- Masterfully done carbon fiber or G10 inlays on the pivot and lock button!
- Chamfered edges, including the blade window, for maximum comfort!
- Comfortable, ergo-friendly handle contouring
- Ambidextrous lock (the M-LOCK works well for righties and lefties alike)
- Captured “D” pivot with oversized thrust bearings for extra blade stability!
- Overall blade length: 2.9”
- Blade edge length: 2.75”
- Handle length: 4.1”
- Overall knife length: 7”
- Max width when open: 1.2”
- Max width when closed: 1.5”
- Thickness: .45”
- Weight: 3.3 oz.