I decided to check out QSP and see if they're worth their salt. What a better way than to test out their latest offering, the Penguin. There seems to be a lot of knives with animal names, this penguin doesn't wear a tuxedo but it's definitely classy.
The Penguin's overall size is 7.125 inches with a 3.125 inch blade and 4 inch handle. There seems to be a magical formula for pocket knives, 3 inch blade with a 4 inch handle. It's been the staple for many a design and it just flat out works. The Penguin comes in a huge variety of blade and handle configurations, which is awesome because there's a little something for everyone. I chose to give the brass handled model a try, brass is classy and honestly I don't see it offered very much. Plus I thought it would take a nice patina and would look amazing.
The handle is very comfortable and feels like an old friend. There's no weird angles or spots that make it uncomfortable to hold. The design looks classic and the brass makes it looks like something you'd see from the turn of the century. The handle is put together with black hardware, which is nice because it accents the patina nicely. There's a good sized lanyard hole in the handle, but it doesn't detract from the overall design. It gives me an excused to find a nice brass lanyard bead for it. I'm able to fit a good 3 1/2 fingers on the handle. I can get all my fingers on the handle but it's a bit of a squeeze.
The pocket clip is a serious deep riding clip. A lot of manufacturers affix their clip to the handle, most having the forethought to mill the handles and make them flush. QSP took a different route and the clip is attached between the handle scale and the liner. The clip flares just the right amount at the end, so attaching and removing from the pocket is super smooth. The clip is also so deep that it's literally all you see in the pocket. Great design and really well executed.
The blade is a sheepsfoot style made of D2 steel. I love this style of blade because it's very utilitarian. Other styles of blades put the tip towards the center of the profile and give you more belly. With a sheepsfoot I tend to use the front of the blade more often that than the whole length. Having the spine come down to meet the edge makes for a very robust tip. Some blade tips can almost be needle like and great for piercing and precise work. I'm not afraid to really work the tip and have fear of breaking it. The steel is a good choice for this blade style, it's strong, holds and edge well and easy to sharpen. D2 is no super steel, but it's been the go to steel for a long time for a reason.
Popping the blade open is super quick and effortless. The thumb studs are just the right distance from the handle and a thumb flick diagonally will launch the blade open. I've seen so many new knives with caged bearings that I would have said this has them as well. Instead, with this particular flavor QSP went with copper washers instead. Copper? Really? I'm so used to people using phosphor-bronze, nylon or one of many other types, but this is my first with washers made of copper. Aside from being thicker than traditional washers there doesn't appear to be any negatives to using them. Operation is silky smooth and really impressive. The blade's locking mechanism is a liner lock. Very simplistic, no frills and does the job well. Due to the copper washers, there appears to be a little more open space between the liner and the blade than what I would expect. Even though this knife has extremely good tolerances the extra space just feels odd.
The Penguin is an awesome blade and has been an great EDC carry. It's just the right size for most hands and is quite the looker to boot. In spite of it's classy look it's a work horse and doesn't shy away from whatever odd job you may put it through.