GIANTMOUSE: WHEN TWO GREAT DESIGNERS LET THEIR CREATIVITY RUN WILD
TEXT BY KI STAFF, PHOTOS BY JESPER VOXNAES
Large corporations might have the advantage of vast resources and lower production costs as the result of high volume. But sometimes they lock you in to their way of doing things, their philosophy, their policies, their rules.
Danish knife designers Jens Anso and Jesper Voxnaes got together with American entrepreneur Jim Wirth one night and discussed starting a knife company with the most amazing designs their creative minds could imagine, with top quality and fair prices. Most important, they didn’t want a vast corporate structure imposed between them and their customers. That’s how GiantMouse began.
“The name GiantMouse is a play on words that has a couple of meanings,” said Wirth. “The first is that all of our knives are designed in Denmark, a tiny country that is a giant in the world of design. (Denmark is famous for design—Danish or Scandinavian design.) Second, we launched a small boutique brand in a giant industry, competing against the likes of Kershaw, Gerber, CRKT, etc.”
Anso and Voxnaes design every knife in the GiantMouse lineup. The two work closely with their production partner from development, to prototype testing, and all the way through to the finished product.
If you see a GiantMouse knife you like, however, you have to act quickly. All designs in the GiantMouse line are limited to 400 pieces with about 100 of those special versions marked with the company’s Pirate Mouse logo. When the 400 knives are gone, the company discontinues the design. At this point they are not considering bringing any of those designs back.
The knives that are sold out—and there have been six knife lines sold out so far—stay on the GiantMouse website. That’s not just to make you feel bad for what you’ve missed or to whet your appetite for what’s next. But the photos, descriptions, and specs can provide valuable information for collectors.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on the next GiantMouse offerings, you can check for new product announcements and release dates on Instagram or sign up for the company newsletter.
ACE KNIFE LINE TOO
The company also offers the ACE line of knives. These are affordable Anso/Voxnaes designs that don’t have a limited production run. So, you’re more apt to be able to get one, even if you’re a procrastinator. The ACE Biblio folder and the GMF1 fixed blade seem to be the company’s most popular designs.
“The company also offers the ACE line of knives. These are affordable Anso/Voxnaes designs that don’t have a limited production run.”
We recently tested one of the company’s GMF1-P knives. This small, minimalist fixed blade with leather sheath is made in Italy. It packs a lot of utility into a small package. Its shape tends to facilitate taking a grip for maximum control when making detailed cuts. It has jimping in three places, but no handle scales. When handle scales are used, Voxnaes and Anso prefer canvas Micarta.
“For steels it all depends on the use,” Voxnaes said. “At the moment Böhler M390 is hard to beat in a folder but a classic steel like Elmax is just as popular among us.”
The GiantMouse line presents what we would (and do) carry,” said Voxnaes. “Different knives are for different needs. One design is great for the workshop, another for prepping game, etc. We generally design for EDC but maybe more outdoors EDC than urban. There’s not one of our knives that wouldn’t serve you well as an outdoor tool. Some might be better than others for specific tasks, but all are useful in everyday life.”
What can we expect from GiantMouse in the future?
“We have a bunch of new ACE line designs in the works and we are adding some American-made knives to our ACE line,” Voxnaes said. “We will also have more Giant Mouse line releases in 2021.” KI