Sometimes, you need to stare your prejudices in the face to overcome them. And thanks to Urban EDC Supply and its upcoming, front-flipping LC pocket knife ($289), I did just that.
Beyond the titanium, M390 steel, and attractive lines of its “classic drop point shape,” the LC is one of those rare breeds of knife known as a “front-flipper.” Now, I’ve generally considered front-flippers, which are manual folders with a tab protruding from the blade that the user flicks to open, to be a solution in search of a problem.
What was the point of this newfangled mechanism, other than looking fancy when you opened your blade?
Thankfully, I know some folks who were only too happy to point out my ignorance. It turns out that front-flippers have been popular for a while now, especially in the region of South Africa. And this just happens to be where the LC’s designer, Trevor Burger, is based.
With the impending release of this new model, Urban EDC supply reached out to see if I’d be interested in testing one of the prototypes. So, I put on my “Grandpa Simpson” hat and waited by the mailbox, eager to scowl at this fancified upstart. Boy, was I wrong.
In short: Available now for preorder, the Urban EDC Supply LC is one of the most interesting pocket knives under $300. Its high-end fit and finish live up to the pedigree of its famous designer, and the mechanism is a reliable blast, once you get past the learning curve.
Urban EDC Supply LC Knife: Review
LC Knife: Specs
- Blade length: 2.8″ (7.112 cm)
- Black thickness: 0.127″ (3.25mm)
- Overall length: 6.6″ (16.764 cm)
- Width: 1.125″ (2.857 cm)
- Thickness: 0.45″ (1.143 cm)
- Weight: 2.8oz: Full Ti, Micarta Inlay Ti, 2.3oz: Green Micarta
As you can see from the photos and numbers, the LC is on the smaller end of the midrange. The full weight of my green micarta tester was just 2.3 ounces, spread across an overall length of 6.6 inches. The two-toned handle is comfortable and grippy, though perhaps a bit busy with the contrasting grains of its patterns.
The blade, however, is all cleanliness — 2.8 inches of stonewashed M390, with nary a stamp or branding mark on its surface. Instead, Burger and Urban EDC Supply have hidden their special “compass collaboration logo” at the very back of the lock bar.
Titanium is the material of choice on the clip side of my tester, though full-ti models are available. All versions come with washers and ceramic pivot, plus an overtravel stop built into the thick bar of its framelock.
Actions and Consequences
According to the marketing info, the LC’s “perfectly tuned detent” allows it to be “deployed with a beautiful thwack.” (Their words, not mine.)
But for the first day or so I spent with the knife, I fumbled the opening more often than not. Once you get it, though, the LC’s action isn’t just great, it’s positively thwack-tacular.
By placing the side of your thumb against the jimping and pushing upward, the blade rockets into place with one of the most satisfying sounds I’ve heard on an unassisted pocket knife.
The framelock, too, is wonderfully solid. Just look at the engagement of its bar.
That’s some security right there.
Still don’t like the idea of the front-flipper? Fine, because you don’t have to use it. The blade offers enough exposed real estate for you to simply pinch and pull the blade into the locked position.
It’ll also do the drop-open thing, where you wave your hand down and quickly yank up. But don’t do this — it’s bad for your arm, and you’ll only look silly.
Speaking of looking silly, you should probably take care to avoid cutting yourself. While you can disengage the lock and let the heel of the blade fall against your thumbnail, I wouldn’t generally recommend it.
Instead, you’d be better off closing it just past the point of the lock and moving your thumb out of its path before tucking the edge away.
When the blade is out, the knife is a competent cutter.
Its wide stock keeps this from being much of a slicer, and I abandoned the kitchen test after a middling attempt with a parsnip. But for cardboard, rope, and chores such as unboxing a new washing machine, it proved to be a strong and reliable tool.
The biggest issue with LC had nothing to do with its edge. The clip was incredibly tight, making it difficult to stow and withdraw from the pocket.
I’ve been informed by Urban EDC Supply that this is an issue with my particular tester, and not the general rule. But keep this in mind when placing an order.
Should you place an order? If you love pocket knives and have about $300, absolutely.
There are a lot of interesting little touches that I don’t have space to cover here, down to the perfect blade centering and the beautiful design of the lanyard hole. Even more so than the CRKT Attaboy, this is a tool for knife nerds.
But while that piece focused mostly on an enjoyable mechanism, the LC is a dual showcase. It features the grace and thoughtfulness of Burger’s design, along with the shining execution of Urban EDC Supply’s manufacturing.
There’s this wonderful marriage of function and form, spiced up with the uniqueness of the front-flipping mechanism.
What started as a troubled stay turned into one of my favorite gear experiences of 2022. And with preorders expected to ship between the end of this year and the beginning of the next, the LC could be the highlight of your 2023.