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IMAGICAL DESIGN FLIP KNIVES WITH SIDE OPENING BLADE

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"The I.D. 2000 is the strongest and safest folding flip knife for it's size and weight that I have ever encountered."
           Chuck Karwan - Tactical Knives Magazine review  - July 2002 edition.
           Reproduced by kind permission from Harris Publications.
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                                               This flip knife weighs 2.8 oz ( 80 Gram )
                                     Flipknife with carbon composite handle weighs 2.7 oz ( 77 gram )

Imagical is pronounced "eye -magical." Imagical Design started as a company that designed special effects and models for the advertising industry. Eventually they evolved into designing consumer products. The I D 2000 knife was designed primarily by Steve Mearns, the Executive Director of I D.     

Folding knives date back at least to ancient Rome, if not earlier. In the vast majority of cases the blade folds into the handle on the same plane as the blade. The major problem with this old style configuration of folding knife is that the blade can accidentally fold on the user's hand, in many cases causing serious damage.Thats why there is so much emphasis on blade locking mechanisms in folders these days.
 

Side folder opening blade
Rather than folding in the conventional manner, the I.D.2000 has its blade fold sideways into its handle and thereby avoids this problem completely. The blade cannot fold in the plane of the blade. While side opening folding knives are uncommon, the I.D.2000 is by no means the first one to come along. They have been around for at least a hundred years. One of the better known, particularly in the Pacific Northwest where I live, is the "Funny Folder" offered for many years by Oregon custom knifemaker Ted Dowell. However, the I.D.2000 is a fully modern side folder with many unique features.  
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While I tend to call this knife a side folder, it seems that in England where they are made they are called "Flipknives," presumably because of the way the blade flips into and out of the handle. The Zytel and carbon fiber composite components of this knife are manufactured in Portsmouth, while the blade, locking plates, and locking bar are all made in Sheffield, England's traditional cutlery center. While most of the metal parts are stainless steel or brass, the blade is made from Sheffield Carbon 70 steel hardened to a Rockwell of 58c. Since this is not stainless steel, the user can expect some discoloration from use and must clean and oil the blade regularly to keep it from rusting. After use, I found that the knife was easy to sharpen and it held its edge quite well.    
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The rear of the blade is held in a polymer sub-tang sandwiched between two stainless steel plates held together with four brass rivets. The locking bar on the inside back of the handle is spring loaded to automatically drop into the gap between the two plates when the blade is fully closed or fully open, thereby locking the blade securely in either position. In addition there is a simple sliding safety between the locking bar and the inside back of the handle. This can slide into position so as to securely wedge the locking bar in its seat between the two plates. The handle is a one-piece injection molding made from extremely tough Zytel.

Lanyard hole
The I.D. 2000 has a lanyard hole that allows the knife to be carried on a string or chain around the user's neck, as well as with a lanyard. The net result of all this is a folding knife whose blade locks in either the closed or open positions in an extremely secure fashion. Most important, in the open position there is virtually no way that the blade can close on the user's hand in any way that could cut the user.  
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This knife has a number of other interesting features. Each side of the knife is a mirror of the other so that the blade can swing in either direction with equal facility. Consequently it is totally ambidextrous and as easily opened and handled by a lefty as a righty.

Several Opening Methods     
There are several methods for opening the knife. The easiest method for me, after disengaging the sliding safety, is to push the locking bar out of engagement with my thumb while at the same time applying pressure with my thumb to the blade to begin to swing the blade out. Then I hook my thumb over the tang of the blade and pull it all the way open to allow the locking bar to engage. Then the sliding safety can be engaged.

While the sliding manual safety is a huge asset when the blade is open and doing heavy work, I found no reason to use it when the blade was folded, since accidental opening in the pocket seemed to be virtually impossible. The open handle construction makes cleaning and maintenance of the knife a cinch. At the same time, the handle is quite comfortable and ergonomic in use.  
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The inspiration for the I.D.2000 side opening knife was a large barn door hinge that accidentally cut Steve Mearns hand while he was cleaning up his workshop. It inspired him to make a folding knife with a similar folding hinge. His experiments revealed that such a folding system has a number of advantages not found in conventionai folders, particularly with regard to strength and safety. 

Among all the writers in the cutlery magazines, I believe I am the only one with a bachelor of science degree in engineering. The I.D.2000 is the strongest and safest folding knife for its size and weight that I have ever encountered. Indeed, its strength approaches that of a fixed blade knife so closely that any difference is minor.

As a general purpose utility folder the I.D. 2000 is quite excellent.

"The open handle construction makes cleaning and maintenance of the knife a cinch."

The grip is very comfortable, the blade is a useful size and shape, the knife is extremely safe to use without fear of locking failure, and for all intents and purposes it is as strong as an equivalent size fixed blade knife.

The reason this is true is that the cutting stress on the blade is transferred directly to the handle where it is being gripped, thereby limiting the stress to the quite strong 1/6 - inch - thick steel pivot. The pivot block assembly at the tang of the blade is sandwiched between two hardened stainless steel side plates. The blade is secured to the pivot block with two brass rivets. To get this assembly to fail in the plane of the blade would quite literally require as much force as it would take to cause a fixed blade knife of the same size to fail. Similarly, if the blade of this knife is used (abused) by using it for prying, the blade itself is likely to bend before the pivoting and locking mechanism would fail.

The I.D.2000 knife has won a prominent award for innovative design and has been granted both U. S. and foreign patents. Its open design makes maintenance easy, something that should have appeal for those that work around salt water, sand, mud and the like. The I.D.2000 knife also never fails to draw attention when it is used, and is a fun conversation piece. I call it "Cutlery Curiosa." It is so different from conventional folders that most people are fascinated by it.

In a real sense, the I.D.2000, like many of the better knife designs, combines art with function to an exceptional degree.
Check it out - it's really a neat and highly functional knife.
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More reviews on their way soon.
Sorry for this - I want to see the interest in my Flip Knives
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