WESN Inspired by Sweden for First Slipjoint Design

WESN Goods is currently preparing the Henry for release, its first slipjoint model. The Henry maintains the WESN emphasis on modern materials but its primary heritage comes from a chance find in a Swedish flea market.

For the first slipjoint in the WESN catalog, company Founder Billy Chester originally intended to take a more obvious approach. “[It] was originally designed a little over a year ago based on the concept of the Microblade,” he says. However, crossing paths with a piece of knife history during a trip to Sweden altered the Henry’s course. “We stopped at a flea market in the area,” Chester explains. “It was there that I found a late 1800s Eskilstuna pocket knife that changed everything.”

Eskiltuna is a town in northern Sweden that enjoys a reputation similar to that of other international cutlery capitals. In fact in Sweden it is known as the St√•lstaden, or ‘City of Steel.’ “[The knife] was over 150 years old and it was still beautifully operational,” Chester says. Seeing the durability and utility of this traditional knife rerouted the design ethos behind the Henry. “I decided to focus on the heritage aspects of a pocket knife and compliment it with modern design characteristics.”

Chester drew up a simple drop point that hearkens to the humble, user-friendly blade shapes on other traditional knives. The blade measures 2.3 inches and, suitably, is made from a Swedish steel: 14C28N from Sandvik. The frame is made from titanium and there will be options for cherry wood or Micarta covers. Chester says the clean aesthetic of the knife was possible thanks to its slipjoint mechanism. “I was no longer limited by the action of my blade and placement of my frame lock. Now I could work with the knife like a sculpture. Its more of a piece of art than just a knife.”

The Henry is expected to launch on Kickstarter next month. Chester also hinted at a busy 2020 for his growing company. ” We have some exciting things in the works,” he tells us. “Let’s just say, we have a few non-knife products in the works.”

Knife in Featured Image: WESN Goods Henry