SRM Knives 255L-GP, the folding knife with a smart clip

SRM 255 L- GP viewed from the back. Note the metal Mono-Chassis Liner containing the axis lock system.

At the last edition of IWA Outdoor, the Nuremberg target sports and hunting gun trade fair, we stumbled upon the small stand of the Chinese SRM Metal Technology Company, which was displaying a handful of original knives, but up to a point at first glance. It was only when we paused to take a good look at the folders on display that we noticed a detail that makes them truly unique: the carry clip is not screwed or (even worse) fixed but is attached to the handle simply thanks to the elasticity of metal. Removing the clip and swapping it from one side of the handle to the other is therefore a simple operation, which does not require any key or screwdriver and which, above all, avoids having holes in the scales in positions where the clip itself could be placed. But that's not all: the model we are presenting here, which belongs to the 255 series, has a so-called "Mono-Chassis Liner" design, which features a steel chassis at the front of the handle instead of the two classic metal inserts, which would be superfluous on an axis lock knife. The Ambi-Lock blade locking system is contained in this truly independent chassis, which provides greater stability to the opening/closing mechanism. This also contributes to making the knife lighter without compromising its robustness. The visible side of the frame is engraved with the inscription "stay ready for more", which says a lot about the company's ambitions when it comes to innovation.

SRM 255L, an original and well-made EDC knife

The SRM 255 L closed, seen from the clip side. This is easily reversible without the use of any tools.

Let us briefly review the history of SRM Metal Technology. Founded in December 1998, the Chinese company spent the first twenty years of its existence developing and consolidating with companies around the world for whom it made knives, scissors and other tools as a subcontractor. Like many  China-based companies, it is now time for SRM to walk by itself by offering its own line of folding knives, fixed blade knives and outdoor tools.

For our first contact with an SRM knife we had a sample of the 255L series sent to us, more precisely the GP version which has a green G10 handle and a black semi-matte PDW coated blade. The blade is opened by means of the classic ambidextrous thumb studs, a tried and tested system, while so-called Ambi-Lock is an axis lock system, and it is perfectly ambidextrous too. To unlock the blade, simply retract the two studs (slightly) protruding from the handle with your thumb and forefinger, and you're done, regardless of whether the knife is closed or open.

The blade of our 255L is made of 10Cr15CoMoV stainless steel, 82 millimetres long and 3.2 millimetres thick. The blade profile is of drop point with flat grind and high bevel. Our version has the blade with a black PDW finish, but a variant with a satin stainless steel blade and grey G10 handle is also available. The marking on the blade is rather discreet and is limited to the manufacturer's logo on the left side, while on the right side we find the model indication and, rather unusually, the serial number. The blade pivot rotates on ball bearings, and opening or closing operations present no difficulty: the blade can be deployed by simply pulling back the Ambi-Lock studs and letting gravity do the rest. The factory sharpening is very good and the PDW finish of the blade does not show any uncertainty or unevenness.

Here is the clip completely removed from the handle. Retention relies on metal elasticity.

The ambidextrous and especially screwless clip of the SRM 255L

The package of the SRM 255L-GP includes a microfiber bag case and a small catalogue.

The most interesting feature of the SRM 255L, also found on other models from the manufacturer, is the ingenious screwless "Ambi-Clip". In practice, the clip is fixed to the grip thanks to the steel elasticity and the length of the clip that rests in a milling cut into the grip. In fact, it is a V-shaped spring that can be removed effortlessly by pressing inwards on the two prongs protruding from the scales and pulling it upwards. There are no screws to loosen and especially no holes or slots on the outside of the handle, which are unsightly as well as a collection point for dust and dirt. The clip requires just the right amount of force to be removed, and once in place it does not move or disengage. this is a clever and very well implemented solution that effectively solves a not negligible problem. Otherwise, the handle is well-shaped and pleasant to the touch, with a very fine checkering that makes it grippy without annoying and a streaking in the material that produces a pleasant camo effect. The level of workmanship is excellent, without any burrs.

Now to the presentation: lately Chinese manufacturers have accustomed us rather well and in this case, too, the packaging is of a good standard, though without exaggerating: a cardboard box with an inner tray contains the knife, wrapped in a plastic pouch, which in turn is in a microfiber bag with the company's logo. In the box we also find a small catalogue illustrating the new models and giving us information on the guarantee terms.

We conclude by talking, as usual, about money. The 255L is sold at around 70 euros, a figure perfectly in tune with the knife's quality and entry level philosophy. The company's motto is "be ready for more", and we certainly are and will certainly return to offer our readers products with a quality/price ratio like this one.

SRM Knives 255L-GP specs and price

ManufacturerSRM Knives
Model:255 L-GP
Type:Folding knife
Blade Material:Stainless steel 10Cr15CoMoV
Finish:Semi-matte black PDW
Blade Length:82 mm
Overall Length:191 mm
Weight:70 g
Price:70 euro approx.

To find out more please visit the SRM knives website.

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