I was happy to be contacted by the company known as WESN as I’ve neem determined to try out some of their products. They sent over various knives, but I wanted to start by looking at their Henry Titanium Pocket knife. This review was written after a few weeks of use around the home and outdoors for various tasks. I will certainly revisit my thoughts on this knife after a few months of use, especially as I put it through more rigorous paces during the camping and hiking season as both me and the knife defrost ourselves from the harsh winter climate I live in.
I actually don’t know that much about the company except that it successfully launched its knives as Kickstarter projects through thousands of backers. The company currently sells three knives, including the MicroBlade, the Henry, and the Allman. But with the company growing, WESN is presently planning the release of a new blade and has already amassed a small collection of accessories such as key rings, leather knife holders, and a pocket sharpener.
In case you were curious, WESN stands for West, East, South, and North – perhaps a shoutout to the company’s philosophy of creating products for everyone in any place.
Oddly enough, the company is relatively short on details about both its products and the company’s history on its website. Still, you probably didn’t land on this page for a history of the company; rather, you want to know about whether it’s worth buying the Henry Titanium pocket knife.
This elegant knife from WESN is what is called a Slipjoint knife. That means that the knife has no locking mechanism and relies on a series of 3 positions for safe use. Slipjoint pocket knives are often described as more deliberate knives. They are meant for cutting and not meant to ward off immediate dangers. So don’t go trying to fight off a bear or cougar with this thing. Though I suppose in such a situation, any blade is better than no blade.
Slipjoint knives, like the Henry Titanium, are more refined than many modern EDC pocket knives and reminiscent of a traditional pocket knife your father or grandfather carried around in his pocket. The Henry is a traditional knife, and yet it exudes elegance and utility in equal measure.
I should, of course, also mention that the Henry is available in a stunningly beautiful Cherrywood inlay version which, frankly, in my opinion, is heads and shoulders above the Titanium version as far as aesthetics go.
Retailing for $135, it’s not the cheapest small pocket knife you’ll get your hands on, but the cost here is definitely worth the price. It also comes with the ability to return it for up to 60 days and is accompanied by a lifetime warranty.
Overall, the packaging on the WESN products I’ve been sent, along with the Henry Titanium pocket knife, is quite nice. I’d give it a very good rating compared to the packaging of similar products I’ve seen amongst other direct-to-consumer companies. The sturdy, slide-out cardboard-coloured box is extremely well made and much stronger than I initially expected it to be. I tried to bend it and twist it, but it simply wouldn’t budge. The entire packaging set is 100% plastic-free and presumably recyclable. Additionally, the leather pull-tabs on the slide-out box are more sustainable than rubber and make for a nice touch.
I noticed only two small defects amidst the packaging: it comes with an “inspected and approved” card with a stamped seal. I understand the impulse here. WESN is attempting to convey a sense of quality and product inspection to the buyer, but the stamped seal ruins that thought.
Suppose the company wants to convey a true sense of authenticity amidst its knife quality inspection process. In that case, they should ditch the stamp and have the inspector autograph the “inspected and approved” card. And finally, I detected a spelling mistake in the Use & Care manual, which is not ideal for conveying attention to detail and quality. And while that has nothing to do with the product itself, it is worth a mention.
DESIGN & AESTHETICS
Without a doubt, the Henry Titanium pocket knife is a gorgeous, subtle and conservatively classic-looking knife. Every material feels premium, and it’s no wonder. Titanium generally handles nicely, but the finish on this particular knife feels extra luxurious. Additionally, the Swedish-born Sandvik 14C28N knife blade is what I would consider being one of the more remarkable blade materials on the market.
With a combination of superior corrosion resistance, high hardness, and top-grade edge performance, the Sandvik 14C28N alloy is perfect for an EDC pocket knife of this compact size.
The knife blade shape is best described as a middle ground between a drop-point and a Sheepsfoot blade, which can perhaps be described as a spear point design. Overall the shape is quite pleasant for both use and simply admiring.
And while I’m focusing on the Titanium version here, there is no doubt that the Cherrywood inlay version of this knife is astoundingly pretty. And as a bonus, it retails for $20 less than the Titanium version. I suppose Titanium is an expensive material.
IN PRACTICAL USE
The Henry Titanium pocket knife is not large. With a blade length of 2.35″ and an open length of 5.35″, it will feel relatively small in your hand, especially if you have giant meat paws. But where it lacks in size, it more than makes up for sharpness. Straight out of the box, the knife arrives very sharp. Sharper than I was expecting. Thus far, it’s been sharper than any of my kitchen knives which I keep quite sharp as I tend to cook every night.
The titanium version of the Henry is a little slippery, and I could see it falling out of your pocket relatively easily. I would suggest picking up the optional leather case, both to give it some additional grip while in your pocket, and of course, to protect that gorgeous exterior from scratches or unwanted damage.
So does the Henry’s size and low weight make it an EDC knife? Definitely. This is a knife that you may not even realize you’re lugging around, which is a great everyday carry feature.
As previously mentioned, this is a non-locking slip-joint knife, so remember to always keep your fingers out of the path of the blade. This is especially true if you’re planning on exerting any level of significant force on the knife and blade as you’re using it for any prying or wedging activities. The blade is held in place via a back spring mechanism which biases the blade to be in either the fully open or fully closed position. Like many classic pocket knives, the Henry is opened via the nail nick located on one side of the blade.
Like many useful EDC pocket knives, the Henry also features a handy lanyard hole that can be used for various purposes. You’d be surprised how many uses there are for this small cutout:
- Reduces the weight of the knife
- You can hang it from your neck
- You can hang it in a tree
- You can add it to your keychain
I think one of the less appreciated features of a well-crafted pocket knife is how it feels both in your hand and in your pocket. The nice soft round shape around the Henry’s corners makes handling it a nice experience, and you never have to worry about any pokey parts bothering you in your pocket.
Of course, a product like this is designed to last a lifetime, but part of that experience is the ability to maintain it properly. Occasionally pocket knives like this need some cleaning. And this is the part that’s a touch annoying. The Henry utilizes tiny stainless steel Torx (also called Star) head screws to secure its frame together. While Torx drivers are not particularly easy to find, they are available. If you had to disassemble the Henry Titanium pocket knife, it could probably be done relatively easily with the correct driver tip.
As I’ve mentioned before, this is one ferociously sharp knife. I tried it out on all manner of materials and items, and it had no issues going through each of them with relative ease. Here’s what I tested the Henry Titanium Pocket Knife on thus with above-satisfactory results:
- Plastic rope (took a bit of work)
- Blade length: 2.35″ (6 cm)
- Closed length: 3″ (7.6 cm)
- Open length: 5.35″ (13.6 cm)
- Handle: Titanium
- Weight: 1.6 oz.
- Designed in Detroit, MI
- Manufactured in China
- Overall thickness: 1 cm
- Handle material: Grade 5 Titanium Scales
- Blade material: Sandvik 14c28n