Kunwu Rolls out First Front Flipper in Two Sizes

When we last spoke to newcomer Kunwu Knives in 2020, they had already teased a forthcoming front flipper model. This year, they’re making it a reality, in the form of the Tao, an EDC-style knife seeking crowdfunding right now.

The Orion and the Ronin, Kunwu’s first two releases, toed the mid-to-large-size line, with blade lengths significantly above the 3-inch mark. The Tao follows suite with a 3.54-inch blade, a clean, simple drop point made from M390 steel. But instead of this standard model, backers can opt for the Mini Tao, a compact reiteration with a blade length of 2.36 inches. Apart from the obvious difference in size, the Mini Tao keeps the same profile, materials, and features as its big brother.

This is the first front flipper from Kunwu, and they kept their interpretation of the format straightforward and intuitive: users roll their thumb back over the extended tang to fire the blade. However, Kunwu also incorporated the option of traditional rearward flipper deployment. Crucially, they created space for this flipper by “cutting away” a portion of the pivot area, which means that in both the open and closed positions it doesn’t protrude outward; thus the streamlined profile, one of the advantages of a front flipper, is preserved.

As evidenced by the straightforward blade shape, reasonable price, and size options, Kunwu’s tried to create something useful for as many folks as possible. The handle design plays into this remit as well. One large finger groove keeps the hand correctly situated, while a stylized chamfer adds a little character and helps make the titanium handle scales comfortable to hold. Both knives knives are frame locks, and have the same loop-over pocket clip; the full-sized Tao weighs 4.51 oz., while the Mini is a scant 1.51 oz.

The Kickstarter project for the Tao is live now, and runs through March 10th, 2021. The Tao has already surpassed its asking amount, and the knives are expected to be delivered in April 2021.

Knife in Featured Image: Kunwu Knives Tao and Mini Tao