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Mitchell Nero |

I’ve never really understood the appeal of traditional slipjoint pocketknives. I guess if you’re all about tradition for the sake of it, and you’re willing to forego a pocket clip in order to gain a certain aesthetic, then that’s your choice. Yet even beyond the strictly traditional realm, it seems that relatively few brands are willing to break the rules in slipjoint design and give their knives a pocket clip, premium blade steel and screwed-together construction. You know, the sort of space-age stuff that raises the hackles of the GEC hardliners.

For these reasons and more besides, I’ve eschewed slipjoints until now. So when I recently acquired a GiantMouse Farley, it was more a case of buying the knife despite it being a slipjoint than because it is. Having lived with it for awhile now, I’m very pleased that I picked it up, to the point where I’m willing to forgive the two-handed opening regime. So whether you’re a hardcore slipjoint devotee or you’re yet to rock a knife that doesn’t lock, here are half a dozen of the features I love about the fine little Farley.

Farley Factor 1 – the lines

Okay, looks might be a subjective thing but there aren’t too many knife nuts who’d shrug off the Farley. It has ‘sports car’ lines – all smooth curves and arcs. It’s not traditional and it’s sure not tactical, but there’s a sleek beauty about it, and that’s the first thing that drew me to it.

Farley Slip Joint Green Micarta Pocket Knife

Farley Factor 2 – choice of scale materials

GiantMouse does great micarta and the green (grey?) canvas micarta on the Farley is some of the best I’ve seen on a knife in its price range. It’s textured like soft cloth and subtly contoured. If micarta is not your thing, there’s also a dusk blue G10 version, and a brass variant as well. That’s a lot of variety in scale materials and a great choice within one design. Can I stop at just the micarta model? Maybe. Do I also like the dusk blue G10? Yes, very much so…

GiantMouse Farley Slip Joint Dusk Blue G10

Farley Factor 3 – the pocket clip

Not just a pocket clip, but a wire clip that hints at a design used by a certain other popular knife brand. Regardless, it looks right at home on the Farley and it works. It’s even reversible for lefties! While there are traditionalists out there who will gladly endure clip slips, lanyards or water torture before they’d consider a pocket clip on their slipjoint, for me it’s a game-changing feature that means the Farley gets carried, while the few clipless designs I’ve owned in the past have languished in a drawer before being sold.

Farley Factor 4 – better blade steel

I like pretty knives, but I also use them. Not for hammering through logs or prying open cans, just for everyday stuff around the yard. So the Elmax blade on the Farley is a refreshing change from the basic carbon steel that’s found on many slipjoints, and in particular traditionals. What’s more, it comes very sharp from brand new, and it holds its edge for ages. It might not be Maxamet, but for me Elmax beats the hell out of plain old carbon steel.

Farley Factor 5 – details

I own plenty of pocketknives in a similar price range as the Farley but few hold up to close inspection as well, or delight with details and touches that add to the pleasure of ownership and use. I’ve already mentioned the contoured micarta scales – the polished liners pop beautifully against these. Both the blade and the back spring are elegantly rounded at the spine. The stonewashed finish is perfect, and for those who value these things, the spring tension is strong, the ‘walk and talk’ crisp, with a well-defined half stop. A stop pin removes any chance of the blade kissing the back spring on closing.

Farley Factor 6 – value

Great design, lovely micarta, decent steel, awesome build quality and attention to detail. Yet the micarta version of the Farley is not too far north of $200. Am I the only one that thinks GiantMouse is a ‘best kept secret’ knife brand?

Farley Brass Australia Slipjoint traditional knife

Summing up – more mice to come?

So I own a slipjoint now. The little Farley gets carried regularly and I’m not bothered too much that it takes two hands to open it. Maybe that just gives me more time to admire it. It still walks the fine line between a knife I’m happy to use and one that I don’t want to mess up through just throwing it into every task that pops up. It’s far too nice for prying staples out of timber or cutting irrigation hose covered in garden soil, so it leads a pampered life by my standards, opening packages, stripping wire and carving up the occasional apple.

The Farley has been a ‘gateway knife’ for me in more ways than one. It’s opened my door to slipjoints – although I swear I could still never own one without a pocket clip. More importantly, it’s opened my eyes to the GiantMouse brand. You don’t have to dig too deep to find that the Farley is made for GiantMouse by Bestech. So, if this is the quality the brand can achieve when they subcontract to a third party maker, what are they capable of when they keep things at home and manufacture in Italy? Even better? It’s thoughts like these that have me staring wistfully at other GiantMouse designs like the Reo and the Grand.

Meanwhile, whether or not you normally lean towards slipjoints, the Farley is a sweet little knife I feel would find an easy niche in most collections. If you appreciate attention to detail and elegant design in a knife that’s handy and functional, chances are you’d find yourself giving the Farley plenty of pocket time.

Find out more about the GiantMouse range at Adventure Carry here.


A massive thank you to Kym from Copyriot for this insightful write up on the Farley slipjoint knife.

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