I lost my beloved Lionsteel knife of 22 years – and need advice on the new one

Discussion in 'LionSteel knives' started by Aubenaubiak, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Aubenaubiak


    Jul 25, 2020
    My story
    22 years ago, my father bought my teenage self an incredible knife to play in the woods and do lots of (stupid) stuff with it. And so I did while having the fun of my life. I even used it to cut a (small) tree in my neighbour’s garden. Oh boy…. Fast forward a few years, I went to study and ended up in an office job. I kept my knife with me, using it from time to time whenever needed, which was less and less often, because using my childhood knife to cut some cheese in a French TGV right after some terror attacks yielded uncomfortable looks (I guess what saved me was my expensive suit and sitting in 1st class….). I complemented it with a little Opinel brother for these occasions on the same trip (good buy). Nevertheless, I kept it and used it when going hiking. It was still a gorgeous knife, santos wooden handle with a leather sheath, but clearly used. The blade had an almost invisible “molletta” still imprinted on the side, but the manufacturer was all bot gone. However, not being a knife guy, I did not care. Until January, when I went on holiday in Vietnam. My knife was with me. Still after I checked my gear. And I still had it in my bag when I entered the security lane… I am an idiot! May the Vietnamese security guard have as much fun with it as I had over the last 22 years.

    How to overcome the loss
    I miss my knife. I don’t really need it anymore to be honest. But it lasted 22 years! What still lasts that long? So I googled for “molletta”, being all I could remember from it. To my surprise, this was not the manufacturer, but the designer Mr Pensato. Italian, of course! Who else could have designed such a beauty?!? I googled further and found it must have been a “Lionsteel”. They still have these lovely sheaths and knifes. It was clear: I needed a new one!!!

    Which one?
    I read a lot here and looked at Lionsteel’s website. I found the M4 and B35 would probably be the right size for me, and both are gorgeous with an olive wood hilt. But I only need one, so I would like to use your group mind to which one I should get:
    - The M4
    - The B35
    - A completely different one…

    Honestly, I will mostly use it to cut some cheese, bread and sausages with it while hiking. I might use it to also do some carving, use it when fishing (not too often), but I doubt I will ever cut down a tree again with it. ;-) I saw that both blades have different steels and geometries, thus I would love to get Lionsteel’s / Mr Pensato’s / your views on this. I read everyone ravishing the M390 steel of the M4 (seems to be some high-tech stuff). On the other hand, the B35 looks more like it could cut food, and I do not mind if the Schleipner steel needs a bit more care when it comes to possible rust (my Opinel is also carbon steel, no problem thus far). I guess both will last a lifetime.

    Mr Pensato, which one is better for my usage? Lionsteel, what do you think? All others, what are your views?

    Mille grazie!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  2. Joe58

    Joe58 Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    Sorry about the loss of your knife. It’s hard for non-knife people to understand how attached one gets to an inanimate object which is easily replaced with another knife to accomplish the task at hand. It’s just not the same. Every time you look at your old knife, it brings back fond memories of the adventures you shared. :)

    IMHO, both the models you mentioned are nice knives, but reading through your needs, I feel may be a tad overkill for the activities you mentioned. Both are intended for more heavy bushcraft type jobs. Many reviews can be found on YouTube.

    I’d suggest looking at the M1. A lighter built knife to be sure, but quite capable. And it’s in M390. It’s a great steel. I’d pair it with a BestMan 2 blade folder. Or the WarHorse if they are still available. I have both. Great knives and lightweight in the pocket due to construction material used. But still giving a nice grip when in use. This gives you two blade styles in one package suited for about any daily need, and can be dropped in your pocket for quick trips when a fixed blade isn’t needed. It’d be a great combination.

    I’m looking at an M1 myself. Not that I need it, but just want it. :)

    I’ve been very happy with my Lionsteel folders.

    So, I don’t think you can go wrong with whatever you choose. If it were me, I’d stay with M390 though. ;)
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  3. molletta

    molletta Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    B35 is lighter, closer and smoller than M4. It's full flat than sabre M4. Different steel. PM stainless for M4, tool Steel for B35.
    There are many differences.
    If you want a space-saving knife go B35. If you like PM stainless go M4. If you like tool steels go B35 (B41?). B35 stright shape. M4 more ergos...
  4. Aubenaubiak


    Jul 25, 2020
    Thanks to both of you!

    @Joe58: I thought about the M1 but I have large hands. I am afraid that it might be too small (but have no way of verifying this).

    @molletta: I do not know the difference between a PM and tool steel - I trust that both of them are good, because you / Lionsteel selected them. I tend a bit towards stainless steel to be on the safe side, but again I am no expert. :) The question for me is which one would be better for my kind of usage? I do not mind a few gramms more or less, or 2cm more or less. I want another knife that lasts a lifetime and can do well all my tasks like cutting some food, cutting a small branch from a tree or killing a fish etc. I used my old knife as an "allrounder" that last forever, which for me means cutting some stuff here and there without giving it much care in-between. I doubt I will ever use it to make some firewood or start a fire.

    I hope this helps a bit. Thanks again!
  5. molletta

    molletta Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    Both steel work good for your usage. Sleipner needs more foresight because in some environments it is more subject to chemical reduction and therefore can oxidize.
  6. Aubenaubiak


    Jul 25, 2020
    Thank you! I went for the (more) stainless steel then and ordered the M4. It also looks more ergonomic with its handle, so should be fine.
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  7. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Please let us know how you like it. The Gitano is also a great folder that you might like for more suit/office carry but that can be a good companion.
  8. Aubenaubiak


    Jul 25, 2020
    Here is my mini-review after around six weeks of using it (including two weeks hiking in the Alps and one week in Portugal):
    - the design is great, and the overall look and feel is good;
    - the handle lenght is OK but should not be any shorter (even for my small hands);
    - the factory edge is not bad but also not great, I had sharper knives out-of-the-box;
    - not yet sure about the M390, so far there are no scratches or anything, but the front of the edge has already two tiny tiny chips, and for the love of god I do not know what I did to the blade to do that; and
    - the leather sheath looks nice but a bit rough.
    I overall like the knife and do not regret buying it. The chipped edge is the thing which I will monitor most, given that I used the knife thus far mostly to cut food on a soft surface, some cardoard and, for the fun of it, tryed carving some wood. I do not remember putting especially the tip of the knife to any specific stress so that the edge would chip there (looks as if I tried to cut other metal or some stone....). On the other hand, M390 is (just) stainless steel and not some superman-like indestructable substance, so maybe I had the wrong expectations. Next test will therefore be how the knife holds up to my sharpening attempts. :)

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