MKM Isonzo knife, size doesn't count

If the knives in the MKM line presented in 2018 took their names from the mountains surrounding Maniago, in northern Italy, the 2019 series is inspired by the rivers of the Italian region of Friuli . We introduce here the Isonzo, or rather its different variants, because for the first time in the Maniago Knifemakers' line we find a knife available with different blade profiles .

But let's start from the beginning: the Isonzo was designed by Jesper Voxnaes (Vox), a Danish knifemaker who has made the essentiality of lines his style and who has already worked successfully with industrial manufacturers such as Viper, Fox, Boker and CRKT.

We asked Jesper a couple of questions about the difficulties involved in designing such a small knife. Here's what he answered: "Designing a compact knife is hard. I want every knife of mine to be fully functional and to be safe and solid in my hand. Any knife should give you the idea of being a strong extension of your hand or arm. The smaller the knife the harder it is to achieve this.” We also asked him what was the most difficult detail of the Isonzo to achieve in practice: "Definitely, the back of the blade with Hawkbill profile. The difficulty was to make it functional, but I also wanted it to be beautiful to see both when open and closed.”

MKM Isonzo, three blades and many colours

This is the smallest knife in the MKM line and is the first MKM model available with different blade profiles too, more specifically clip, hawkbill and cleaver blade. The Isonzo takes its name from the river that from its source in the Julian Alps flows into the Adriatic Sea through Friuli.

It is a compact everyday carry knife and is strongly characterized by the carabiner hole in the handle , which suggests you can attach it to your backpack or jacket by means of a carabiner. The carabiner hole is partly machined into the FRN handle material and partly consisting in an aluminum arch that also acts as a spacer. Thanks to its anodised coloring, this metal element helps to make this pocket knife immediately recognizable. Another beautiful detail is the ring nut around the blade pivot – in the same color of the aluminum back – that makes an interesting aesthetic reference. But it's not over: the handle gripping texture is made up by a raised motif featuring the letter M... quite an original touch.

MKM Isonzo, size doesn't count
The Isonzo features a reversible wire clip that allows for tip up carry. All screws are stainless steel Torx type.

The blade is made from N690 Boheler steel , with different sizes depending on the profile: the clip blade version is 49 mm, the cleaver and the hawkbill ones are both 50 mm long and 3.5 mm thick. They share an elongated thumb hole that helps opening with just one hand, while the hawkbill version also features a flipper system . The blade rotates on a ball bearing pivot, using the now classic stainless steel liner lock mechanism. The clip is flush, reversible and comes as standard on the right side, ready for tip-up carry. All the knife screws are stainless steel Torx type. The blade finish is stone washed or features a polymer coating called Idroglider.

A few words on the terminology used to describe the blades: the cleaver profile is in fact a slightly modified sheepsfoot profile, with the curved back, convex edge and lowered tip, while in the hawkbill the curved back and the concave edge create a sort of hook towards the tip, an effect further accentuated in the version featuring a serrated blade.

To sum up, the model with hawkbill serrated blade is available with black or green handle, the one with cleaver blade or clip with black, green or blue handle. Blades are available with a stone washed or black finish. The retail price of the Isonzo is 99 euro, regardless of the version.

The "Bad Guy" version of the Isonzo

MKM Isonzo, size doesn't count
The hawkbill blade features a flipper system for one-handed opening, while the others have just a thumb-hole.

Officially the version with black handle and hawkbill serrated blade is called MK FX03-1PBK, but in our editorial office we have renamed it "the Bad Guy". It seems odd that a knife with a 2” / 5 cm blade could strike fear, yet it does. This little pest with its glittering toothed, beaked blade makes you forget about its compact size, and to test its qualities we asked the guys of the FVLCRVM Team to make a video in which they handle it in the field. You should know that one of the first causes of accidents during special forces actions are straps and webbing entanglements when you enter or leave the vehicle or get into narrow places. Having a small knife with a hooked blade at hand is a better solution than having a knife with a 15-cm blade in an uncomfortable position. Thanks to the carabiner loop, the Isonzo can be carried directly on the backpack shoulder straps or on the flak vest, with the certainty of having it to hand when you need it. In addition, the relatively short blade of the Isonzo can be used effectively for close range defense in expert hands. The video explains the concept very well .

Wrapping up

MKM Isonzo, size doesn't count
The two "all black" versions with Idroglider blade finish. Note the anodized aluminum back, its color matching the ring nut around the blade pivot.

The combination of a fresh and original design and the construction quality demonstrated by the Maniago Knifemakers have produced an excellent result. The Isonzo has already become an "instant classic" even on social media thanks to its strong photogenicity. It may be small, but the quality of its construction and its "custom knife” details make it a really interesting tool. 

The price is absolutely commensurate with the workmanship quality.

Video: MKM Isonzo, the smallest knife with three different blade profiles

Technical specs of the MKM Isonzo, the small folding knife

MKM Maniago Knifemakers
Model:  Isonzo
everyday carry folding knife
Blade profile:
clip, cleaver, hawkbill
Blade material: N690 steel
Blade finish:
stone washed or Idroglider
Blade opening system:
thumb hole and flipper system*
Handle material:
Glass-fiber reinforced nylon, aluminum back
Blade length:  2” / 50 mm
Overall length:
5.5” / 140 mm
2.11 oz / 60 g
Clip: yes, reversible
99 euro (price may vary in your country due to VAT and import duties)

For more information about Isonzo knife please visit  Consorzio Coltellinai di Maniago website  .

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