There's no doubt that Kickstarter has helped develop some pretty goofy products, such as crystal bacon and frying pan swords. However, this platform also serves as a launchpad for some pretty interesting outdoor gear (e.g. the GRAYL water purifier), so we make a point to keep an eye out for these more practical items.
Recently, we heard about a Kickstarter for a small folding knife known as WESN. The concept of a mini folder is nothing new, but this implementation of the concept looks like it may have some promise. Other backers thought so, too — the project hit $34,000 in funding within 24 hours, far exceeding its $12,000 goal.
WESN is an acronym for the cardinal directions — West, East, South, North — and it's also the first commercial knife project by founder and designer Billy Chester. The knife is intended to be compact and light enough to fit on a keychain, while also offering full-size knife features and materials.
The WESN consists of a 1.9-inch handle made from Grade 5 titanium, and a 1.5-inch blade made from AUS8 steel. The blade features an upswept tip, swedge, and compound grind that should make it versatile enough for skinning game or opening packages. It also includes a flipper and thumb stud.
The knife's satin titanium frame features a bronze washer pivot, as well as an integral frame lock with ball detent — something usually not seen on knives this size. There's also a key ring hole and a small stainless pocket clip.
For those who want another carry option, WESN has partnered with American leather goods company Stock & Barrel to create a sheath that's wearable around the neck.
The Kickstarter campaign states that production of the WESN will be handled by “a top knife manufacturer overseas” to keep costs down. Expected retail price for the WESN is $50, but the knife is currently available to Kickstarter backers for $40. You can read more about this item on the Kickstarter project page.