Shirogorov Tweaks F3 from Tip to Tail for 2020

The latest small batch custom knife to roll out of the Shirogorov workshop is the F3 NS, updated version of 2017’s F3. The F3 NS is a characteristic Shirogorov overhaul, emphasizing the cumulative effect of many small changes.

The original F3 is pure Shirogorov, embodying all the elements that distinguish their knives. It has a large, clean drop point blade, sinuous handle design, and a fast, smooth flipper opening. The F3 NS takes this reliable pattern and makes improvements to it across the board. “Overall, this is not a new model,” Shirogorov’s Tom clarifies. “The F3NS has the same dimensions as our previous generation F3, and is rather a list of improvements in a number of areas than a fully new design.”

The biggest change is in the blade itself. Although the length of the original has been retained – it’s a 3.74-inch cutting edge – Shirogorovo switched up the shape. They turned to the blade on the F7 for inspiration, which has more width than the F3’s blade and a more pronounced curve to its cutting edge. The result is more inherent slicing capability. Shirogorov also added small embellishments to the blade: a spine chamfer has been added for as a luxe premium element, and the edge geometry tightened to make long-term maintenance easier. Often proponents of S90V, for the F3 NS Shirogorov chose M390.

Shirogorov also made alterations to the handle, most apparently in the choice of scale material. The original F3 was also available in carbon fiber, but for this run Shirogorov chose CF with what they’re calling a “random” pattern. It comes across as a more chaotic marbled look; according to Shirogorov representative Tom, these scales catch and reflect light in an attractive way. The scales have also been reduced in size, so that the titanium liners stand slightly proud – a choice made to enhance the ergonomics, adding a more defined 3D feel in hand.

Lots of other small details have been altered. The lanyard hole is bigger, the backspacer raised, the pivot hardware enlarged. An element that has remains completely unchanged is the pocket clip; Shirogorov says they were happy with the original, fully sculpted clip as is.

This is the second release from Shirogorov this year, following the 110 Kickstop. Given the relative paucity of Shirogorov releases, it has been a busy time for the company. “While we certainly do not plan to release a new knife every month in 2020, we do have more releases in the pipeline,” Tom adds.

Knife in Featured Image: Shirogorov F3 NS