I got the Mini Persian to round out my gent’s knife collection. Sure I got plenty of Kopas, but sometimes you want something slightly bigger. I was already familiar with the full sized Persian and it is a wonderfully designed knife and folding fighter with excellent fit and finish. If there’s one downside to the (larger) Persian, it is its weight. Other than that, it is a wonderful combination of ergonomics, fit and finish, cutting efficiency and good looks. The larger Persian is also a little too large for non-knife people. I hoped that the Mini Persian would be easier on the pocket and eyes of non-knife people.
I expected the Mini Persian to simply be a shortened Persian. Mr. Schemp not only shortened the knife, he also made it thinner, lighter, and generally improved the design from there. The Mini Persian is not just a shorter and lighter Persian; I consider it a truly new design. There is a similarity in looks, but the Mini Persian is quite different in how it handles and cuts.
The generous curve is excellent for kitchen duty. It’s the classiest paring knife I own. Still, with the angled handle, you can use the tip for finer work. The blade is thin with a relatively high hollow grind; it cuts like the proverbial laser. With the curving edge I’ve noticed that the tip doesn’t get as much wear and tear like with straighter blades. Rather than starting the cut with the tip, the curving edge invites you to start cutting with the edge. I noticed this mostly with opening bags and when using my Mini Persian as a little helper in the Kitchen. When the Mini Persian had to be introduced to Mr. Sharpmaker, it struck me that the tip hardly needed work since it was still relatively sharp.
With the large Persian you could somewhat use its weight when the edge got dull. A heavier knife can be forced into a cut. Not so with a lighter knife. The Mini Persian is much lighter, easily comparable to a FRN Delica. But it’s also thinner. The thinner blade cuts better, especially when the edge begins to dull. I would love to try out this blade in ZDP-189, perhaps with some Azurite for the handle?
The tip is very thin, which is nice for the mundane cutting chores this urbanite subjects his knives to. The tip is not only thin but also rather narrow, true to the Persian-esque design. The pointy blade worked better than most, from opening envelopes to getting the strings off my rolled meat at dinner. The spine of the Mini Persian tapers only at the end, so it’s easier to put your index finger along the spine. So not only do you get a very fine tip, it’s also controllable.
I will admit that I like bolsters purely for their good looks. It’s what drew me to the large Persian and also what made me get the Mini Persian. The Mini Persian’s bolster also has a more practical function; it forms a very effective stop to protect your fingers from sliding onto the blade. The bolster alone makes the Mini Persian ‘MBC worthy’ in my book. The smooth opening action and tip-up clip add to its MBC capabilities. I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the opening action was smooth right from the box. The Persian was a lot less smooth out of the box.
The choil on the full size Persian didn’t work for me; it was hard for my hands to reach it and the choil was too straight so my finger wouldn’t stay put. On the Mini Persian the choil is much more useful. Because the overall package is smaller, the choil is easy within reach. Furthermore, you need the choil for a full grip on the Mini Persian. Apart from its practical uses the bolster is stunning. There are no gaps whatsoever in any direction. Like the Navigator II, the fit and finish on this Mini Persian is easily on par with the Kopa.
The handle design is very handsome. The grain of the micarta is barely visible up close. From a slight distance it’s a solid black. All edges on the handle are comfortably rounded. This was a pleasant surprise, since the bolster and tail of the handle do look a bit pointy on pictures. The tail is rounded and less like a ‘hook’, compared to the large Persian. This way, I can rest my pinky on the handle rather than having to curl it behind the grip entirely. Mind you, this is a grip without using the choil. When my index finger is on the choil, my hand can completely settle on the handle. The smooth lines and finish on the handle make grip changes very easy. The handle even works well when cutting edge-up with my thumb resting in the choil.
The clip is curved and rounded to match the handle. However, the shorter than usual clip is pretty tight. Compared to the Delica 4 for example, it’s harder to clip on the knife. Retrieval is fast and fluent though. I expect the clip to loosen up a bit with carry and use. Other than that, carry of the Mini Persian is a breeze. It’s very thin and light.
However, the smooth surface of the micarta and steel bolster add greatly to carry comfort. The knife is free to shift around a bit when sitting and moving in a pocket or waistband. It doesn’t stick to your shirt or skin like some new G10 handles can. The smooth surface also makes the Mini Persian rather quick on the draw.
Performance is nice and all, but you just can’t escape the pretty lines in the Mini Persian. It’s just a pretty knife. The black of the handle slabs contrasts beautifully with the bright stainless steel bolsters. The Schemp logo is elegant. And the gold accents on the blade and clip are a very cool touch. The lines of the handle, blade, grinds and clip all complement each other. Some purists will point out that the Boy dent ruins the lines a bit, but it doesn’t bother me. The Mini Persian is a very complete and ‘rounded’ design.
Another aspect of the knife’s looks is that it’s decidedly sheeple friendly. On a recent birthday (not mine) the consensus was that the Mini Persian was a pretty pocket knife. Still, I like to carry it along with a micarta Kopa. The Kopa can test the waters and after that the Mini Persian can come out. The longer blade makes the Mini Persian a very nice after-dinner fruit knife.
The Mini Persian should be a nice choice for anyone who wants or needs a good looking folder that is a dandy utility cutter and fair MBC player. It’s also a very pretty gentleman’s knife. The main virtues of the Mini Persian are its lightweight, edge geometry, needle tip, good looks, functional bolster, secure grip, thin profile and good looks ;-). On the downside is a clip that’s a little too tight and I guess I’d like the opening hole to be a bit bigger. Although a larger hole, would mean either a lower grind or a bigger knife. Still, the Mini Persian is my main larger gent’s knife.