THESE TWO GIANTMOUSE BLADES ARE EXCELLENT EVERYDAY CARRY OPTIONS
Some knife companies develop loyal groups of devotees. Maybe it starts with one or two knives that, through their form or function, simply suit the users’ needs more closely. Maybe it’s a particular style that catches the eye. No doubt consistent quality plays a big role, and word of mouth is perhaps the best reputation enhancer as everyone wants to play with the “cool kids.”
I’ve become a dedicated follower of GiantMouse knives over the last couple of years. It started with the small company’s GMF1-P fixed blade and continued with the Nimbus V2 folder. Now I’m working with two more: the GMF3 fixed blade and the ACE Corta folder. That’s four out of four so far that I’m going to hold onto with a vengeance, lest family and friends try to talk me out of them with a smile, a pat on the back, or a promise of cash.
The Corta has most everything I look for in an EDC folder. This addition to GiantMouse’s regular production ACE line shares many of the design elements of the slightly smaller GM6, a limited edition folder with titanium scales that is sold out. That GM6 is gone forever in keeping with the company’s policy on limited-run blades.
The ACE Corta features a 3.1-inch blade of excellent Böhler M390 Microclean steel with a flat saber grind. The one I tested had a satin finish. A model with PVD finish is available too. The blade is configured with a nearly straight back and comes to a very fine point. The blade is 0.138-inch thick, so it’s pretty sturdy for its size.
“…the Corta’s blade flies open with such speed and authority that a casual observer might think it’s an assisted opener.”
The Corta opens smoothly with a flipper and a ball-bearing pivot. That flipper is just the right size. It doesn’t stick out too far, but it’s still easy to access. There’s a small nub on the liner lock that fits into a detent in the blade tang when the blade is closed. This prevents the knife blade from partially opening accidently in your pocket should something bump the flipper. I like that feature. As a result, you need some intentional pressure on the flipper to open the blade. Once that pressure is exerted, the Corta’s blade flies open with such speed and authority that a casual observer might think it’s an assisted opener.
There is jimping on the flipper and about a third of the way out on the blade spine. The spine has rounded edges, very nice for a knife to be carried daily in a pocket.
The handle scales on my test knife were natural (brownish) canvas Micarta. Micarta provides for a secure grip without being too abrasive. The Corta is available with green canvas Micarta or black G10 scales, too. There’s a pronounced groove for the index finger and a shallow one for the middle finger. Together with the tapered back end of the handle that fits well into the palm, this knife locks into your hand.
The Corta comes with a wire pocket clip positioned for tip-up carry and is reversible. I can get a better initial grip with most knives by not using the pocket clip at all. Maybe it’s just me, but I always have to readjust my grip on a knife that’s clipped to a pocket and am more apt to fumble it that way.
Another nice touch is the brass backspacer that looks good with the natural Micarta handle scales and should be able to endure harsh environments very well.
GiantMouse ACE Corta
Blade Steel: Böhler M390 MICROCLEAN
Overall Length: 7.3 inches (185mm)
Blade Length: 3.1 inches (78mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.138 inches (3.5mm)
Handle: Natural Canvas Micarta
Handle Length: 4.18 inches (106mm)
Weight: 3.8 ounces (107.8g)
Pocket Clip: Wire, reversible
Liner: AISI 420 hardened stainless steel
Pivot Mechanism: Ball bearings
Locking Mechanism: Liner lock manufactured by Reate Knives
I’m a big fan of small fixed blades and I have more than a couple of them. They can be carried on the belt, in a pocket or from a cord around the neck. The first thing you’ll notice about the GiantMouse GMF3 is the unusual handle configuration. GiantMouse designers Jesper Voxnaes and Jens Ansø styled it after the handle of the legendary Khanjali dagger.
Obviously, the GMF3 is a much smaller knife than a dagger designed primarily for combat. But in using GMF3 for everyday cutting chores, I found the handle shape allowed for more gripping options than most other short-handled fixed blades. There is jimping on the straight-back spine if you want to take a grip out over the top of the blade.
“…in using GMF3…I found the handle shape allowed for more gripping options than most other short-handled fixed blades.”
More often, however, I found myself placing my thumb just behind the blade where the handle starts to narrow, with the index and middle fingers locked in along the narrow section underneath. The rear of the handle nestled securely in the middle of my palm. There is jimping top and bottom at the end of the tang too.
My test knife came with green canvas Micarta scales that feature grooved texturing along the sides. I took advantage of that texturing when taking a less conventional pinch grip with thumb and index finger on the sides of the scales when making certain delicate cuts. The knife weighs just 2.9 ounces, but you could lighten it a bit more by removing the scales.
The straight-back blade is made of N690 Cobalt steel with a full, flat grind, and it comes to a good point. The blade is 3.25 inches long—a lot of blade for such a small knife that measures just 6.5 inches overall.
While the designers of all the GiantMouse knives are Danish, this knife was made in Italy, as are many of the company’s designs. The GMF3 comes with a very nice leather sheath that’s also made in Italy. It features a belt loop configured for vertical carry.
Optional Kydex sheaths are available for all three of the GiantMouse fixed-blade models. The one for the GMF3 is priced at $40 and can be mounted either in a vertical or horizontal (scout) position.
Demands on an everyday carry knife can vary greatly according to your lifestyle. I spend lots of time in the woods, so my knives tend to see lots more work chipping away at wood than they do opening the daily mail.
I took the GMF3 on an overnight camping trip with one of my sons and my three-year-old grandson. We backpacked in to where a lean-to was situated along a trail on state land. The knife proved easy to carry both on my belt and in my pocket. You don’t want to carry heavy loads when backpacking, so the little fixed blade was a good choice.
On that outing, it served multiple roles for fire-starting and food prep. Those jobs included using the knife to whittle down the ends of three long sticks to use with a Qvien bracket to make a tripod for hanging a cook pot over the fire.
Blade Steel: N690 Cobalt high performance steel
Blade Length: 3.25 inches (82.55mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.157 inches (4mm)
Handle Scales: Green Canvas Micarta
Handle Thickness: 0.4 inches (10.16mm)
Overall Length: 6.5 inches (165.1mm)
Weight: 2.9 ounces (82.2g)
BOTH ARE KEEPERS
As I mentioned earlier, I’m holding on to both of these knives. They’re good designs, constructed of good materials and they came very sharp and ready to use. I don’t know what other knives Voxnaes and Ansø have in mind for GiantMouse, but I’m betting I’m going to want them too. KI
“I’m holding on to both of these knives. They’re good designs, constructed of good materials and they came very sharp and ready to use.”
GIANTMOUSE: SMALL RUNS, TOP QUALITY
The story goes that noted Danish knife designers Jens Ansø and Jesper Voxnaes got together with American entrepreneur Jim Wirth one night back in 2015 during a knife show in the U.S. From those informal discussions around the table, GiantMouse Knives was born.
Ansø and Voxnaes design every knife in the GiantMouse lineup. The two work closely with their production partners from development to prototype testing and all the way through to the finished product. Knives in the company’s GiantMouse line are produced in limited runs of 400 units. One hundred of those are special versions marked with the company’s Pirate Mouse logo. When the 400 knives are gone, the company discontinues the design.
Those limited GiantMouse knives become highly sought collector’s items as soon as they’re announced. For those of us who aren’t quick enough on the keyboard to grab one from the GiantMouse website, there’s the company’s ACE line. Knives in this line, such as the Corta, still offer top quality, but at more attractive prices and the designs aren’t discontinued after limited runs.
A version of this article first appeared in the November 2022 print issue of Knives Illustrated.