As both an engineer and a knifemaker, it’s not hard for me to spot something that’s been designed in a digital 3D environment. The giveaway is that the breaks in surfaces are always perfectly parallel or perpendicular. The minute I saw Arcform’s Slimfoot, I knew someone spent hours staring at a computer screen to reach the end result, which is just as wonderful to look at as it is to use as an EDC knife.
Designed by Geoff Blauvelt, and built by Reate Knives, the Slimfoot will fit in comfortably in a machine shop, at a drafting table, or stirring your coffee in the morning by last night’s campfire embers. It’s a rugged knife that easily fits into the “premium” category, not only due to its incredible design and build, but also because of the use of peel-pry G10 and Böhler M390 steel — the cream of the crop.
Note: I did stir my coffee with it. No, it wasn’t by a campfire, but only because the weather has not been cooperative.
After 3 weeks of using and abusing the Slimfoot, overcoming one of its quirks, and generally admiring its design, I felt it was high time to share my findings. Who knows, maybe the Slimfoot will end up being your next EDC?
In short: With the Slimfoot, you’re getting an amalgamation of form and function that enhances the overall user experience. It’s modern, it’s precise, and it uses some of the best materials available in the market today.
- OAL 7.875”
- Blade length 3.5”
- Blade steel Böhler M390
- Blade shape Sheepsfoot
- Grind Hollow
- Lock Frame lock
- Hardness 60-62 HRC
- Carry Right hand
- Weight 4.63 oz.
- Price $279
- Böhler M390 steel
- Rugged build
- No lanyard hole
Arcform Slimfoot Knife Review
Design & Features
This knife is dripping with modern aesthetics. Designers toiled over every detail before anything even materialized. That’s the awesome reality about engineering and manufacturing in the 21st century — you get to work out all the kinks on your computer. It’s a wild time, as we’re seeing some of the best products, for work and play, anyone has ever experienced.
The Slimfoot is a frame-lock flipper built off the combination of 6AL4V titanium and electric blue peel-ply G10. It has a hollow ground Böhler M390 sheepsfoot blade that sports a discrete flipper tab with jimping.
The opening action is aided and enhanced by a ring of ceramic bearings. Meanwhile, peel-ply G10 texturing, and chamfering and filleting on both the G10 and titanium surfaces, elevate the knife’s overall grip and handling.
The Simfoot is a right-hand-only carry and has a standard, titanium pocket clip. Missing is the common lanyard hole, of which I am a major supporter. But based on the design of the knife, there really isn’t a good place to put one.
I admire this approach in knives. It’s just as difficult to design as something drawn up and modeled by hand, but it removes any imperfections from the start.
The use of a slab of G10 as part of the framework, instead of coring it out and inserting steel support, is a trip. But, if I’m being honest, more manufacturers should do this, because G10 is strong enough to act as an integral piece of the knife’s structure on its own.
From tip to tail, the Slimfoot reminds me a little of a traditional Japanese wakizashi. It’s generally flat with a slight swoop, starting at the junction between the front of the handle and the back of the blade. This form looks incredible in the sheepsfoot shape and is only more opulent with the addition of a full-length fuller and stonewashed finish.
At first, the flipper proved a bit of a challenge because it sits higher on the back of the blade. The key is to get your finger on top of it, instead of the back with a standard flipper, and push down. Once you figure that out, it only takes a few times before you’ve reprogrammed yourself and the issue fades away.
I didn’t know what peel-ply G10 was before I got my hands on the Slimfoot. As someone who works a lot with G10, I was surprised and happy to see the texturing left behind by peeling a top layer off of the G10.
I’ve long celebrated G10 because, wet or dry, it provides a good grip. But this textured stuff is next level.
In the Field
Right off the bat, we have to talk about the flipper. We’ve all become accustomed to a type of flipper with a large tab that sits in a standardized position on the back of the blade. In the case of the Slimfoot, the flipper tab is more subtle and placed higher on the back of the blade.
If you’re not used to a flipper-style opening mechanism, then you won’t notice this at all. However, if you’re a fan of flippers, you’re going to find yourself reaching up higher with your index finger to flick the Slimfoot open.
This is not a deal breaker by any means, but I can see where someone might find the knife a little resistant to open at first, so I couldn’t let it slide.
The peel-ply G10 is a lot of fun and really does improve the grip. When you combine that with the chamfering and filleting around the perimeter of the handle, you’re working with some very comfortable ergonomics. You’ll see this come in handy if you use the Slimfoot as a draw knife to remove materials and in slicing.
Saving the best for last, I can’t say enough good things about the Böhler M390 steel used here. It’s just an excellent, premium steel that I honestly prefer over Elmax and MagnaCut.
M390 holds an edge longer and stands as the pinnacle of wear and tear resistance. If that doesn’t excite you, consider the fact that M390 is also stainless, making it — and this knife — wicked durable, and useful in any condition.
A few years ago, I might have called the Arcform Slimfoot a niche-style knife. Truth be told, there are a lot of folks out there who talk down knives designed in a digital environment.
But it’s the sign of the times, and it’s been happening a lot longer than they know. It irons out imperfections that make the overall experience with the knife truly exceptional.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a new folder, don’t sleep on the Slimfoot. If you’re looking for a reliable knife for everyday life, look no further. And you’ll find it in a variety of colors and blade finishes. There’s also an automatic version for those of you who are speed demons. That version is made by ProTech Knives for Arcform.
The Slimfoot is pretty, but it’s rugged and I didn’t mind beating it up a little bit to see what made it tick. Some users might find it a little heavy, but it’s balanced — in my opinion, that’s a testament to the way it’s built and designed.