REVIEW – Knives are one of the most common items included in EDC kit, so we’ve covered many of them here at The Gadgeteer, including several knives from WESN. I’ve been impressed with each of them, so I was very interested to review the WESN Samla, a modern take on a friction-folder pocket knife. Let’s take a look.
What is it?
The WESN Samla is a slim, compact pocket knife with friction-folding, a high-quality steel blade, a Titanium body, and two handle material options.
- Handle material options =
- Grade 5 Titanium
- Grade 5 Titanium scales with Rosewood inlays
- Blade material = Sandvik 14c28n Swedish steel
- Blade shape = Sheepsfoot
- Blade mechanics = Non-locking friction folder
- Washers = Phosphor bronze
- Weight =
- Titanium = 1.4 oz
- Wood = 1.2 oz
- Length closed = 3.25 inches (8.2 cm)
- Overall length open = 5.7 inches (14.4 cm)
- Blade length = 2.45 inches (6.2 cm)
- Width = 0.875 in (2.2 cm)
- Thickness = 0.25 inches (0.65 cm)
- Warranty = Lifetime
- Location of manufacture = China
What’s in the box?
Samla’s packaging is a WESN-branded cardboard box with top and bottom halves and some type of shredded twine or rope as its packing material. You could either use the box to store the knife or simply recycle the box.
Inside the box were the items shown above and listed below:
- WESN Samla knife
- Cloth drawstring storage pouch
- Use & Care Manual
- WESN sticker
- Inspection card
A note with regard to the location of manufacture of WESN’s products. Per WESN, while their knives are designed in Detroit, MI, USA, they are manufactured in China, which is not indicated on their products.
Design and features
I had been impressed with the previous WESN knives I’ve reviewed, the WESN Allman knife, the WESN Microblade 2.0 knife, and the WESN Henry knife, so I had similar expectations for the WESN Samla. Once again my first impressions did not disappoint.
Despite being a very slender, lightweight pocket knife, the Samla has a solid, well-made feel. The uniform gray coating of its titanium handle components are pleasant to both see and touch, and its satiny finish virtually eliminates fingerprints.
The Samla knife handles are made from Grade 5 Titanium, Ti 6Al-4V, often called the “workhorse” of Ti alloys. It is the most commonly used Ti alloy, accounting for over 50% of total Ti usage worldwide due to its high strength, low weight, useful formability, and high corrosion resistance [see supralloys.com for reference]. Its satin grey Titanium handles coupled with its stainless steel screws and blade give the Samla a modern, minimalist style and feel.
The Samla is a relatively small knife, with a closed length of 3.25 inches (8.2 cm), and a width of 0.875 in (2.2 cm). This is a good size for those of us who either don’t prefer to carry a larger knife in their EDC kit, or can’t carry one for reasons of practicality. Yet the Samla is large enough to feel comfortable in the hand, unlike many compact folding pocket knives.
The Samla is an extremely thin knife at only 0.25 inches (0.65 cm) thick, which when combined with its rounded corners and edges helps make it a great size and shape for pocket carry.
The Samla knife has a blade length of 2.45 inches (6.2 cm), with an overall open length of 5.7 inches (14.4 cm). This is a good blade length for what is otherwise a fairly small pocket knife, and this gives the Samla a bit of added practicality as a compact EDC knife.
The Samla’s blade is made from Sandvik 14C28N, the latest development in knife steels produced by Swedish maker Sandvik. This stainless steel alloy is designed to have excellent edge performance, high hardness, and good corrosion resistance.
Also, the Samla’s blade shape is a sheepsfoot design, which gives a relatively good, sharp tip that can be useful in situations that may require a bit of precision, with a good balance between piercing and slicing.
The Samla is a non-locking friction folder-style pocket knife. It utilizes a sort of flipper-style action to deploy its blade. The key to rapid deployment is the knurling on the back of the protruding part of the Samla’s blade, as seen above.
The Samla’s blade cand be quickly deployed by placing your index finger on the protruding end of the blade and flicking your finger down toward the handle, as shown above. It takes a few tries, but you’ll soon be doing all the steps above in a quick, fluid motion.
The Samla knife utilizes tiny stainless steel Torx (also called Star) head screws to secure its handles to its frame. While Torx drivers are not particularly easy to find, they are available, and if you had to disassemble the Sampla, it could probably be done relatively easily with the correct driver tip.
The Samla’s blade was quite sharp right out of the package. For relatively easy tasks, like cutting into a box, which is quite typical of my EDC tasks, the Samla was handy and quick to use.
What I like
- High-quality materials and construction in a modern, minimalist style
- Larger knife functionality in a small, thin, compact size
- Practical size for those who can’t EDC a larger knife
- Friction folder opening mechanism is simple and quick to use
What needs to be improved
As with the WESN knives that I previously reviewed, I was impressed with like the Samla knife. Despite its small, thin size, and low weight, it has a very solid look and feel, owing to its thoughtful design, high-quality materials, and careful construction. Its Sandvik 14C28 steel blade is sharp and durable, and its friction-folder opening mechanism operates simply and feels very smooth and solid when flicked open. Because of its compact size and smoothed edges, it is a great size for EDC fans like me who can’t practically carry a larger knife in their daily kit. For its price, the WESN Samla is worth a look for anyone looking for a small, very thin, light, high-quality folding knife for minimalist EDC needs.