The Olamic Wayfarer 247 Harpoon is not just some trivial knife. It represents the shift that Olamic has successfully achieved by creating mid-tech knives that once again can blur the lines of a brands product offering. Where once we would have looked at this time as if it must have been a custom, now we can see a productionized process at work, capable of creating top end Wayfarer 247H to the masses… well, the masses that can afford a 500 dollar (or more) folding piece of kit.
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Olamic is no stranger to the cutlery game. We have talked about them before, and reviewed the Olamic Swish several weeks back. The Company is a family operated business that has been officially building knives since about 2010 in California. Though they continue to stay true to the passions of fixed blade knife making, with one off materials, and altogether wild Damascus steel blades, they have garnered even more notoriety in late 2013 when they introduced folding knives. The Wayfarer line, the most reputed folder line continues to evolve. Once a very large 4 inch plus design by partner Michael Vagnino, the wayfarer has expanded to smaller versions, and multiple blade type offerings as we can clearly see with the Wayfarer 247 Harpoon.
Key Specs: Olamic Wayfarer 247H
Pictures can be such a cruel thing. In picture form, the 247H (as we will call it for the remainder of this article), is a nice to slightly unusual looking specimen. Truth be told, regardless of the many variations of finish that are made, they all seemed a bit odd to me.
The particular style of this knife we reviewed is called Olamic Wayfarer 247H Hybrid Molten – and we immediately fell in lust with the appearance of it. Pictures are indeed cruel trickery. I cannot explain this, but for me us, it was indeed true. What a welcome surprise to see this gorgeous folder just waiting to get some pocket time. Our version had what looked like faux-copper hammed bolsters with a stonewashed dark titanium finish for the rest of the handle scales. As this is an all titanium frame-lock folder, it did not actually have any copper, nor any real bolster. But the look, with that hammered titanium anodized to a rich copper tone looked on point.
Did we mention that our version of the 247H has a stonewashed M390 stainless steel Harpoon and compound grind blade style? It looks really good, and very complicated. As we touched the edge of the knife blade for the first time, we were easily able to tell that it was extremely sharp. To disclose even further, it took a slight bite out of us. Just from testing with our thumb, the M390 blade managed to give us a love bite. The respect we need to give the 247H blade is apparent.
Like every Olamic folder we have ever seen, our version had perfect centering, and no blade-play at all. It locked up very well. So far so very good.
The Olamic 247H is not a particularly heavy knife. With that said, in the hand it feels substantial. From the moment we touched it, we felt as if it was very well balanced, and contoured to the hand very well. An index finger relief choil and finger guard (the flipper tab) is used functionally for the knife. It allows a medium sized hand a perfect fit for a 4-finger grip.
However, what feels so right in the hand in a standard position grip, feels less comfortable when the knife is folded away. Parts of the knife felt a bit rough, and edges caught part of the skin on my hands. When the 247H is open, the frame-lock relief area seemed to be sharp, with little or no effort to chamfer to corners to relieve the edge created. These are true nitpicks of the 247H, but as we noticed them right away, and not during testing or EDC carry-time, we felt it important to mention.
As for the action, the flipper is a bit large, and very easy to use. Olamic has been using the cutout flipper tab for years, and though we have now seen several other company’s barrow from this design, Olamic still implements it best. When we pushed the flipper tab down, we feel a somewhat strong detent. This lets the blade scream right out of the handle scales. It locks up at about 30 percent, which is just fine for us.
As a righty, this knife has a well-positioned clip for us, that seems to get out of the way of the hand when held in the open position, even though the titanium clip is reasonably large for the size of the handle. Sorry lefties, no left conversion option we can see, though we are unsure if one can be ordered as a lefty model… perhaps yes, but we just don’t know.
Regardless, in our jeans pocket the knife slid right in, and the fit was tight, without any chance of getting loose and wiggling out of pocket. The ball bearing on the end of the clip helped the knife smoothly get into the pocket. Extraction was also easy and seamless. We were able to smoothly take the knife from pocket after our first effort, indicating a rather small learning curve with quick deployment from the pocket. Our first impressions were indeed favorable.
We carried the Olamic 247H for over two months on, and off. We have become rather familiar with most elements of this knife. With that said, we did not perform any crazy cutting tasks with it. Instead it was a common companion that got a bunch of pocket time and practical usage.
For instance, we used the 247H to cut rope that we needed for holding down some outdoor furniture from flying away in a particularly bad patch of weather we had a few months back. We also used it to cut up boxes… lots and lots of cardboard boxes. Using gloves, we cut what must have been 70 to 80 boxes down within the span of about 8 weeks time. The 247H was our primary box cutter. Why, you might ask? Well, the answer is because it was so damn good at it. Yup, the shape just works like the wind for cutting apart boxes. We could make minced meat out of card board in no time flat.
However, it was not all sunshine and gumdrops. As we said, we used gloves, and for our hands and thinner work gloves, it was quite comfortable to use together. But without gloves the knife was something of a hand killer for us. Hot spots plagued our standard grip to the point of either wearing gloves, or using a different tool to get the job done. Even still, on the topic of tools, with gloved we preferred to use the 247H with gloves on to cut boxes over an actual box cutter. The knife can cut, and it can hold a darn good edge.
Other workouts that the knife received were related more toward one off this or that usage, just like a pocket knife often gets used for. In this capacity, the knife works great. It is not too large, feels secure, and has a blade shape that is pretty good at doing almost anything. I would not call this a hard use tool, nor a true tactical knife for defensive carry at only about 3.44 inches, but the Olamic 247H is a very versatile knife all the same.
The cost of the Wayfarer 247H ranges from about 450 to upwards of almost 700 dollars depending on the variant purchased. Some have a great deal of hand workmanship, and others less so. Further, some have very unique materials, which makes it a bit hard to compare with other mid-techs as the price range is somewhat large. Regardless, if we were to look at alternatives to the Olamic 247H, they would be:
Reate Mini Horizon-D (BladeHQ) – Also found in several model variants, the mini Horizon-D provides a 3.44 inch blade which is just the same size as the Olamic, but with a slightly more conventional shape. It is also a ball bearing flipper and made of titanium with a frame-lock configuration. The Reate can be had for a bit less. For instance, a Damasteel version runs about 495 smackers.
Hinderer Knives XM-18 Harpoon Tanto (BladeHQ) – At about 425 dollars, Hinder’s XM-18 with Harpoon style tanto blade can make for a rather nice consideration. Though in less demand as previous years, this knife is iconic. Build tough, and with a more tactical resolve, the Hinderer sports a 3 inch blade, though after you account for the usable blade length, it may seem more like 2.7 inches. It is a knife that can be had at this price with 3D textured G10 and Titanium, and offers a similar flipper and frame-lock design. It is a classic for sure.
Viper Larius (BladeHQ) – Out of left field we feel that the Viper is a very interesting knife. If you are looking to same some bread, the Larius offers similarities to the Olamic 247H. It sports a 3.38 inch satin M390 flipper out of titanium, though it employs a liner lock, instead of a frame lock. At about 200 bucks American, this is perhaps the value option out of the bunch. Feel in hand is actually somewhat similar to the 247H, though less contoured in design. What is not less is the weight, this little guy comes in at a hefty 5.30 oz. So, if you like your Viper small and heavy, this one may just be ready to take a bite out of your wallet.
Olamic is usually a winner when it comes to knives, and by that we mean basically any knife they make. The difference with the later crop of knives is that they are mid-techs. This moves Olamic into the realm of the big boys. The design of the 247H, and all the Wayfarer models is one of our personal favorites. To see them compete against the likes of more traditional knives, and win in the marketplace must be extremely vindicating to all those who are in the Olamic camp.
Though the model variant we had was certainly hand finished with painstaking care, even the base model is attractive and extremely well built. It is also extremely functional. If you like things practical with a bit of flare, the Olamic Wayfarer 247H is certainly your cup of tea. If you can afford one, get one!
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- Beautifully made, unique blade shape, superb flipper
- Some rough edges and hot spots