Howard Viele C42

My father finally bought a spydie; at the 2005 Amsterdam preview show. Having met Sal and the forumites, has finally converted this longtime Laguiole carrier. Ofcourse I offered to give this knife a good overview, to make sure ‘everything is ok’! Notice how selflessly I offer my services ;-)!

Jur turned us onto a very nice knife. The classic Viele that is now in our family, has the VG-10 blade and eccentric pivot pin. Apparently this was a sample from one of the last production runs. The micarta handle, fastening pins and the 3-hole logo really adds a very custom feel to this folder. I once handled a real custom Viele, of this same design, and I can’t remember any differences in fit and finish.

As a lefty I did not think much of this knife, there is really no access to the thumbhole from the clipside, until I started to mindlessly play with the knife. I discovered that the little piece of tang (covered with sharp thumb grooves to enhance grip) that protrudes over the pivot end of the scales, makes a very refined ambi flipper! Not only can I flick the knife open with little ease –left-handed- I can also control the force with which the knife hits the stop pin, very gently, so as to prevent excessive wear.

Now this knife has become a true user! The handle fills the hand well, the false bolster offers a nice resting place for the index finger for precise cuts and the lock engages solidly. A nice detail is the fact that the liner is not serrated, this makes it particularly comfortable for a lefty like myself.

The edge wasn’t very well aligned to my sharpmaker. The uneven edge took about 20 minutes on the 40 degree angle, and 5 minutes on the 30 degree angle, to produce a classy scary sharp and fully polished edge. This elegant gentleman’s folder deserves some bling bling in its edge. Cutting wise, the hollow grind cuts surprisingly well. It wedged itself very nicely through some old Gouda cheese. Newspaper print, meats and fruit are just no match for the Viele. As much as I favor the full flat grind, in a gent’s folder like this I cannot feel any difference in performance.

Now I have to give this knife back one of these days, but something tells me a Viele 2 is in my future. The funny thing is that my dad queried me on the classic Viele versus the Viele 2, and when I told him that he would always have the bigger Viele, it was a done deal 😉

This one is not just a good gent’s knife, the Viele is a true joy to carry, use and play with.

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