THE LANDER 2 – BIGGER THINKING FROM KNAFS
At a glance, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s not a lot to separate the new Knafs Lander 2 pocketknife from the original Lander. It’s blue or it’s black, your choice. The handle and blade shape of the Lander 2 is pretty much identical to that of the first model. At 188mm long overall, The Lander 2 is a bit bigger than its little brother, but you’d still never call it ‘a big knife’. It shares a similar fast-swap scale design as the original Lander, with some choices arriving later this year. In short, the Lander 2 is everything that Knafs first Lander was – but thanks to a couple crucial differences, it has even more to offer.
A lock that rocks
Anyone familiar with crossbar type locks will instantly love the Clutch Lock on the Lander 2. If there’s a more satisfyingly fidgety action in the knife world, I’m yet to meet it. The Clutch Lock on the Lander 2, combined with a blade weight that seems to occupy some kind of sweet spot for balance, makes deployment a joy. What’s more, Kizer is the OEM for the Lander 2, meaning that the Knafs knife gains easily adjustable spring tension on the lock. Remove the scales, reposition the spring, voila. An action that’s easy to tune to your liking. It’s addictively smooth, and the feel is pure quality. It also means that the Lander 2 is fast to deploy and even easier to fold than the original (liner lock) Lander, because there’s no need to ever get your fingers into the path of blade travel. In a world where improvements in safety often take all the fun out of life, the Clutch Lock on the Lander 2 is a win/win.
Better blade steel
The base model of the original Lander featured D2 blade steel, and the upgraded green micarta Lander came with a blade in 14c28n. Personally, I like both of these steels, but the S35VN blade on the new Lander 2 is a solid step ahead in performance. It’s also generally accepted as being pretty easy to sharpen. In a knife community where it seems super steel fashion trends come and go by the week, S35VN is something of an evergreen. It takes an edge beautifully, holds that edge well and represents a great choice for an EDC knife that’s hauled around and used for sundry tasks day in and day out. Perfect for a knife designed as a ‘user’, which is precisely what the Lander 2 is.
Spare parts, and something to believe in.
I love a brand that stands behind what it says. Knafs have always encouraged owners to tinker with their knives. Swappable scales and open-source files with which to make your own scales are part of this. Easy availability of spare parts takes this even further. But what really makes me smile is that Knafs includes a couple of spare Clutch Lock springs with each new Lander 2, along with an assortment of screws. To me this little extra touch brings real authenticity to the Knafs brand. Beyond making components available to purchase so you can service and repair your knife, it says ‘Here, have the first few bits and pieces as part of the package.’
In 2024, there’s something pretty special about a maker that acknowledges an owner’s right to repair and maintain the product they have paid for.
Quality, fit and finish -
My Lander 2 showed up ticking all the boxes – perfect blade centering, smooth action, good fit and finish, razor sharp blade. Is all that stuff a given these days? Not necessarily. There are at least two high profile knife makers I can think of that price their designs up at the premium end of things, yet deliver hit-or-miss quality.
While Knafs are not alone in delivering solid QC, I love the fact that they are one more brand helping to demonstrate to the knife community that there is no reason at all to put up with patchy quality in pocketknives, even modestly priced designs.
Not so long ago, a knife featuring a crossbar lock and a blade with powdered steel metallurgy was a pretty big deal. And expensive. Yet the Knafs Lander 2 at Adventure Carry is just AU$225.00.
That’s great value for a nicely featured EDC knife that you can also customize with swappable scales, and maintain with any spare parts you might need.
So how’s it going?
I’ve had my Lander 2 for a few weeks now and it’s been carried every single day. It made it through the Christmas Package Tsunami, the road trips and the motorcycle adventures. It has cut cardboard, fuel hose, electrical flex (sorry, sorry…) and much more. It even saw some kitchen duty, simply because it was the knife closest to hand at the time. I’ve freshened up the edge with no fuss at all on a guided sharpening system. In use, I find the Lander 2 to be light enough, big enough and tough enough for everything I throw at it around the house, in the garage and on the road.
I have a habit of buying knives that I intend to put to work, only to set them aside to stare at from time to time, afraid that I might mark them up through regular use. What a goose.
I’m happy to say that by contrast, my Lander 2 – like my previous Landers – sees plenty of pocket time. It’s a design that’s useful, easy to carry yet not so fancy that I ever get concerned about putting marks on the blade or handle. It’s benign enough that people outside the knife community tend to ignore it. It also brings the fidget factor to the Lander family, courtesy of its Clutch Lock. Finally, a bit of extra size hasn’t gone astray. The Lander 2 will comfortably cut up this summer’s rock melons (cantaloupes, if you must) without running out of blade length.
The Lander 2 is another worthy step forward for Knafs. If what you’re after in a pocketknife is an enjoyable, quality design by a maker you can believe in, get online and grab one at Adventure Carry. There’s a lot to like in this simple yet brilliant knife.
A massive thank you to Kym from Copyriot for preparing this excellent write up on the Lander 2.