Viper Turn, elegance and ruggedness in a classic-design folding knife

The collaboration between the Italian knifemaker Fabrizio "Silvester" Silvestrelli and Tecnocut/Viper of Maniago, Italy, has been successfully going on for several years and has produced interesting results. One of the most recent ones is the knife we are introducing here, the Turn.

Classic design, high quality materials and workmanship

The Böhler M390 stainless steel blade of the Viper Turn knife
The Böhler M390 stainless steel blade has a beautiful counter-bevel and an impeccably executed satin finish.

The Turn is a folding knife featuring a lockback, or “spine lock”, system with a utility type blade made from Böhler M390 sintered stainless steel that was cryogenically treated to give it the nice hardness of 59/61 HRC. At 3 ¾”/82 mm long and 0.157”/4 mm thick, it has a satin finish and is noted for the elegant effect offered by the high bevel and counter-bevel – a very "Silvester-like" detail. The cutting edge is smooth, impeccably made, with excellent factory sharpening. The blade has a double thumbstud for one-handed opening and pivots smoothly thanks to ball bearings, a quite rare detail to find on a lockback knife.

The handle is brilliantly crafted, with bolsters and liners machined from a single piece of titanium. The Turn is available with a choice of scales in a variety of materials: black G10, green Micarta, "Lava" carbon fiber, walnut, poplar and ram horn. Both lovers of modern materials and those who prefer traditional materials can be satisfied. The models with Micarta, G10 and carbon scales are fitted with a titanium clip, placed on the right side, which allows the tip up carry position. The clip can't be repositioned. The versions with wood and horn handles do not have the clip and come with a good quality suede leather sheath with belt loop.

Viper Turn: the master's touch

 Viper Turn knife folded
Once the scales are removed, the knife shows its sturdy internal structure: bolsters and liners are machined form a single piece of titanium.

Fabrizio Silvestrelli, the designer of the Turn, is a craftsman known and respected for the precision of his custom knives, and is also president of the Italilan Knifemakers Guild that brings together the best Italian and international knifemakers. During his long career he has also designed many successful commercial knives. We asked him a few questions about his latest creation.

What is the detail of the Turn knife you are most proud of?

Let's say that Tecnocut and I managed to merge the classic and the modern, creating a knife with a lockback system, a blade that pivots on ball bearings, bolsters and liners machined from a single piece of titanium: the result is a great smoothness of movement and a remarkable strength, all while limiting the thicknesses.

In short, what is the difference between designing a liner lock knife and a lockback knife?

The difference between a liner lock knife and a lockback knife is that in the latter you have the problem of holding the spring and the back spine inside the handle, sometimes conditioning the design, which in liner lock knives can be much more linear than in a lockback knife.

The back and release spine of the Viper Turn
The back and release spine are also beautifully machined. On the right side of the blade there is the logo of Fabrizio "Silvester" Silvestrelli.

Viper Turn: conclusions

Viper Turn with suede leather sheath.
Clipless models are sold with a suede leather sheath.

I've written many times that what makes a knife great are the details, and this knife is actually a wealth of little joys for the enthusiast's eyes, starting with the unique blade beveling and ending with the beautiful checkering on the release spine, through the finish of the stainless steel back spacer. We also liked the choice of the scale materials embellishing the handle, which features a very smooth profile and is pleasant to grip.

Certainly, the one-piece construction of the bolsters/liners assembly is the main quality of this knife with classic lines. But it's not just a show of technical ability, since it actually makes the knife very sturdy.

The build quality is typical of Viper – that is very high, with top materials and finishes almost like a custom knife. From this point of view, the retail price of around 240-290 euros depending on the handle material, is fully justified.

Viper Turn specs and price

Viper by Tecnocut,
Designer:Fabrizio Silvestrelli
Folding knife
Böhler M390 steel, cryogenically treated; hardness: HRC 59/61
Blade Length: 
3 ¾”/82 mm
Blade Thickness: 
0.157”/4 mm
Blade Finish: 
Rotation Mechanism: Ball bearings 
Locking System:  Advanced lockback
Bolsters and Liners: 
Titanium, machined from a single piece
Stainless steel
“Lava" carbon fiber, Micarta canvas, G10, walnut, poplar, ram horn
Titanium, on the right side (on some models only)
Comes with: Cardboard box/leather sheath (models without a clip)
About 240-290 euro (price may vary in your country)
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