For someone who takes the time to record videos and write a blog, I pay shockingly little attention to the gear industry. I have a few theories on this, and the truth is probably somewhere in between them all. But in all honesty, unless I’m going through a particularly interested phase, I really do not pay attention to the latest releases and hot button topics of the day in the knife world. So, I knew of Quiet Carry – my radar had detected some noise in the YouTube/Discord/Instagram worlds, but that’s about it. And yes, I realize I’m writing this in 2021 and the Drift gained popularity 2 years ago. I am turtle, watch me mosey.
Thanks to a very generous friend, I was able to spend some quality time with 2 very different QC Drifts – a G10 liner-lock (ORSW) and a titanium frame-lock (SWSA). The acronyms, by the way, are still incredibly confusing to me, though they make perfect sense when you break it down. The first 2 letters indicate the handle material – so “OR” for orange G10, and “SW” for stone-washed titanium. There’s also “KN” for knurled titanium and a few color designations for the other G10 versions. The second set of letters indicate the blade finish – so “SW” for stone-washed, “SA” for satin, “KN” for knurl-oh wait, just kidding. Anyway, they make sense but my brain still doesn’t process it unless I think it through.
On to things that matter. The other major selling point of the Drift – and a few other QC’s for that matter – is the steel choice. And sadly for you, reader, I know almost nothing about it. Vanax SuperClean is a steel that has started to gain popularity recently for its extreme corrosion resistance, combined with excellent edge retention. Vanax compares favorably with LC200N, which may be my absolute favorite steel, and if the rumors are true (and I did not put these loaners through anything substantial), it boasts a longer edge retention. That would be truly significant, as the LC200N on my SpydieChef has absolutely blown me away. Without extensive use, I think it’s safe to say Vanax is a high quality steel that is perfectly suited for an EDC/boat knife like this.
It is an interesting concept to have a single knife model that is so fundamentally different depending on which options you select. The G10 versions of these are liner-locks, the titanium versions frame-locks. With the Drift, that gap between the two is pretty large, though I don’t think it needed to be. The frame-lock version is an all around easier knife to operate and a bit smoother. The liner-lock is harder to access and seems a bit flimsier. However, the stone-washed titanium is super slick, and the G10 really does add some nice grip to the handle. So, I truly prefer the frame-lock, but the slickness of the Ti drives me nuts. The two models even each other out, but not in a good way.
I find the blade to be near perfection on the Drift. It hits that sweet spot of form and function – a fantastic all around pocket knife blade. I found the grind to be very thin and cut nicely, though still “stout” for such a small knife. It looks excellent, too.
In the pocket, the Drift is a beast. Well, actually, quite the opposite – it goes mostly unnoticed, which is, in my opinion, the most beastly thing a pocket knife can do. It carries beautifully, with a short fold-over deep carry clip that rides on the edge of the pocket without movement.
I think that overall, the Drift works well in the hand for actual cutting tasks. As time progresses, I find myself gravitating towards smaller knives – the Chaparral, the small Sebenza, Brouwer, etc. The Drift is very much in the same vein as these knives, with an overall length of 7″. From an overall utility standpoint I found that the size worked very well – the blade was plenty large (3″) and the knife felt good in my hands…at least when fully open.
Unfortunately, the most frustrating thing about this knife for me was getting it to “fully open”. It’s not difficult, and in a lot of ways it reminds me of my frustration with the designation acronyms I described before. Opening the knife is not necessarily a challenge – in fact, the thumbstuds are remarkably comfortable and easy to deploy. For me, the issue has something to do with the dimensioning of the knife. The level of “fumble around” I have with this knife is on par with the difficulty I had in high school trying to accomplish any menial task after finding out “that girl” said something remotely complementary about me. I couldn’t explain it then, I can’t really explain it now, but when I pull this knife out of my pocket to do something, I feel like I’ve lost all motor skills. There’s just something about the placement of the thumb stud in conjunction with the shape and size of the handle that makes it messy for me to deploy. Chalk this up to another “you just have to try it” to know what I mean. Or maybe it’s just me.
This is a very good knife, but it’s a cut for me. I think the two versions each have pros and cons, and the best knife is probably somewhere in between both. Perhaps a one-sided G10 framelock? Or maybe the knurled titanium version solves these problems. But the “fumbliness” is my main issue – and that’s probably just a “me” thing. On the positive side, this leaves an overall positive taste in my mouth when it comes to Quiet Carry. Perhaps I should start actually paying attention to the industry I review.