The production knife world is always evolving. I won’t call it “Keeping up with the Joneses,” but there’s always someone looking to reinvent the wheel. Right now, new knife steels are all the rage. But every once in a while, someone brings something to market that is innovative and different.
The Vision R by WE Knife is a collaborative effort with Malaysian knifemaker Snecx Tan. Snecx invented the Superlock, which you’ll find on the Vision R. This unusual blade lock joins the unique blade shape and interesting pocket clip orientation to produce a most unconventional knife.
Maybe that’s what makes the Vision R work? Maybe having all of these aspects just a little left of center, paired with premium materials, help this knife stand out in the ever-growing pile of EDC folding knives on the market today.
Either that, or the tiger stripe, flamed titanium handles. Whatever it is, the Vision R is really weird and a lot of fun.
In short: The Vision R from WE Knife Co. is a production folding knife made from 20CV super steel and flamed titanium. If that’s not enough to grab your attention, consider the Super lock mechanism and ceramic bearings that make the Vision R a joy to deploy and use. Ultimately, the Vision R is a well-thought-out knife that showcases and near-perfect balance between form and function, justifying the over-$300 price tag.
WE Knife Vision R
- OAL 7.95”
- Blade length 3.54”
- Blade steel CPM 20CV
- Blade shape Reverse Tanto
- Grind Flat
- Hardness 59-61 HRC
- Lock type Snecx Superlock
- Carry right or left hand, tip-up, deep carry
- Weight 3.63 oz.
- Superlock lock mechanism
- 20CV steel
- The little design details
- Ceramic bearings
- Not a fan of the side pocket clip
WE Knife Vision R: Review
Design and Features
The Vision R is definitely in the upper echelon of WE Knife knives. Its 20CV blade steel and 6AL4V titanium handle scales inch the Vision R into the premium category. But the Superlock lock mechanism, side pocket clip, stepped grind, and flamed handle finish lift this knife look well into the premium ranks.
The Superlock lock mechanism is essentially a spring-loaded steel bar that indexes into the back of the knife blade for both opening and closing. To operate it, push back on the front of the bar and flick your wrist, opening the blade. To lock the blade in place, simply let go of the lock bar.
Though the Superlock rivals the crossbar-style lock mechanism in terms of function, it is exposed. So, I wouldn’t recommend batoning with the Vision R.
There is a thumb hole for flicking the Vision R open, but I think a lot of folks will find it much easier to engage the lock bar and flick it open. It’s also quite satisfying.
The bead-blasted, reverse tanto CPM-20CV blade is a great shape for cutting, stabbing, and slicing. 20CV is a super steel and offers a nice mix of corrosion and abrasion resistance, as well as edge retention.
Because of its increased hardness, 20CV isn’t the easiest to sharpen. But considering how rarely that should occur, the 5-10 minutes necessary to get a factory-fresh edge seems well worth it.
The Vision R employs a side pocket clip, meaning the knife will index against the seam of whatever pocket you put it in. This makes the knife virtually unidentifiable as it slides deep down into your pocket, resting against the side of your butt cheek or hip. A key tip here would be to push up from the bottom of the clip to get it out of your pocket. Yes, it’s that deep.
The Vision R is just as fun to look at as it is to use. The first thing that piqued my interest was the Superlock mechanism, as I couldn’t figure the damn thing out just by looking at it. Next, the double grind — or stepped grind — impressed me. This is more of a visual cue than anything, but it’s an extra bit of detail that fits here nicely.
As for the pocket clip, I didn’t think I would like it, and I was right. I carry my knives in my back pocket and the side clip tucks it in a little too much for my liking. However, in a hip pocket, it’s a dream come true. It still virtually disappears, but it’s easier to grab to take out of your pocket.
I can gush all day about the flame treatment that makes the tiger stripes on the handle scales and how well it matches up with the bead blasting of the blade, but I’d rather let you fall in love with that. It’s worth admiring.
We Knife ‘Vision R’ Field Test
Out in the real world, the Vision R functions like a precision instrument. Like most WE Knife folders, it pivots on ceramic bearings, so the operation feels wicked smooth — just as fast as an automatic with less effort.
Using the Superlock and a flick of the wrist to release and engage the blade make using the Vision R a bit of a show. But it is effective and you know the blade will not disengage on you.
Some folks might see the Vision R as a little too fancy to get into the guts and glory of the outdoor world. But, being that it’s made from titanium and 20CV, I am happy to reassure you this knife can handle the mud and gunk and easily wash clean. It doesn’t need to be wrapped in a diaper and fawned over.
In fact, I ended up cutting an unusual amount of food with it, and when I was done I washed it in the sink and let it dry in the drying rack.
I also love a good reverse tanto blade because it’s made to slice through things with precision. Being that the blade is 20CV, it’s going to keep slicing nicely for a long time. I think that’s where the details really shine.
Two weeks was more than enough time for me to figure out all the nuances of this knife, but I see it making its way back into my pocket based on the fact that it is such an impressive EDC.
WE Knife Vision R: Conclusion
I’ve been doing a lot of work with WE Knife and CIVIVI lately, while also using brands like Benchmade, CRKT, SOG, and Sniper Bladeworks. So, I am in a very sweet spot to give my opinion on what’s really clicking in the knife world right now.
Folding knives like the Vision R represent the cream of the crop. The combination of premium materials, advanced functionality, and bulletproof build make this knife a major player among long-lasting EDCs.
Yes, the Vision R is more expensive than the other WE and CIVIVI knives I’ve tested. But the price is on par with Zero Tolerance knives using 20CV, and that’s not a bad thing. If you want to be considered a contender, sometimes you need to put yourself out there, increase the price tag, and see who bites.
In the case of the Vision R, WE Knife has proven it can run with the big dogs in the knife world. This knife has a cult following on the internet, and everyone seems to agree that it’s worth your money and time. I do, too.