Oct 12, 20182795 views

TwoSun knives

They've been brought up in a few threads here and there, and at the prompting of @Maugust09 I picked up a couple off "the Bay"
Word of advice, be patient and play the bidding game and if you don't mind waiting for China post you'll get them for like half the asking price.

Anyway, my first one just arrived today, so thought I'd start a discussion and share my impressions.

The TS35 FireAnt. 1.65" of (supposedly, i can't confirm, but *shrugs*) M390 in a titanium handle with a carbon fiber accent
Bought and shipped for $46.55

Flipped it about half a dozen times before tearing into it.... I gotta say, between the machining of the titanium, the finish on the blade, the design choices, the shape of the backspacer, and the tight tolerances....this seriously feels like Bestech all over. I know someone here was saying they believe Bestech makes them, and i pointed out that the US distributor for these knives claims they only make their own knives now....but damn if I wouldn't be convinced if you showed me this without a logo.

Size comparison next to the Rike Hummingbird

search
Has all the bells and whistles expected in a titanium frame lock : ceramic bearings (in nylon cages), bearing races, ceramic detent, steel lockbar insert with overtravel stop

search
The hardware feels seriously high quality

The machining of the titanium is flawless
Handles are skeletonized (as if weight is a problem in this size lol)

However, this blade is severely thick for something this size. 4mm thick on a grind that's roughly half an inch tall... I expect this won't be much of a slicer 🙄
Only a couple minor complaints on quality, materials and build :

-The detent hole it's a little larger than the ball, so there some in/out blade play when closed, but not terrible
-the washers under the bearings are too soft and cheap metal. Polishing the surface made a difference, but it's disapointing to see they cheaped out there after seeing such quality screws

-on the tail end of the knife, the body screws thread straight into the titanium backspacer, and are threaded in the body holes too instead of a clean pass through, so not only do you have to be careful not to overtighten, you also have to line up perfectly and squeeze tight together while screwing to avoid a gap there. Would've rather seen the usual threaded tube insert
-last, and most troublesome on a knife this small, the pocket clip sits over the lockbar, making it hard to find the right grip to flip it

All that said, for the price you can get these at, I'm extremely impressed.
Looking forward to trying some of their full size knives to see how they compare, or if they have the same quirks
And, you'll have to go to the titanium anodizing discussion thread to see what else I did while I had it apart ;)
thumb_up
T.willy, reswright, and 9 others
thumb_up11
55
remove_red_eye2.7K
bookmark_borderSave


TwoSun Aranea , D2 and G-10
search
The Aranea is designed by Caleb Fechner -- although I did read in one place that Michael Etorma of Storm Knives, and lately of Tuyaknife, also worked on this knife. Caleb Fechner has been mentioned in Blades before -- someone brought over a thread from Blade Forums where he went in looking for Kickstart support and the Blade Forum baby boomers decided to take out all their angst about the younger generation on him, told him to sit down suck up listen and maybe in ten years he'd be worth working with and someone would work to build a knife with him. And then maybe he'd be a knifemaker, but he needed to change his whole attitude and yadda yadda. Seriously it was like listening to a bunch of guys unload all the things they wanted to say to their teenage stepsons, but dare not because their wives would beat their ass. That kinda angst. He took it probably a little better than I would have at his age. More to the point, dude went ahead with his plans and now he's got a couple of knives out on the market.
search
Broken down it's standard TwoSun for their D2 and G10 builds. KVT ceramic bearings, so basically what you'd find in a Kershaw if it had bearings. A beautifully milled backspacer -- if you wanna know if a knife maker gives a damn about their products, look at how well they machine all their surfaces and not just the ones you can see on the outside of the knife. TwoSun does a good job on the whole knife, and that's one reason they're as good as they are. The Aranea flips pretty well and is a wicked design. If I had one ding I would say that especially on the CF version, the detent ball rides awfully heavy on the tang of the knife -- it flips open fine, but it's doing so in spite of that drag. On the G10 model the ball rides a little lighter. The ergonomics are okay -- in fact they're a little better than they look, given the angularity of the design. But the Aranea excites me a little less than a lot of other TwoSuns do overall, including the Shinobi, another Fechner design which resembles a very long kwaiken flipper. So the reason I broke this knife apart in the first place -- really, the reason I picked it up at all -- was that I've been learning how to dye knife scales and I wanted to see how the orange handles dyed. Generally speaking, curved surface G10 handles like you see on the Bestech Scimitar or the Zinker Dogtooth are easier to dye nicely than ones that are relatively flat. Rounded handles show an even grain, but flat ones often don't show a grain at all. Instead they can look blotchy, especially if the G10 is cheap and was unevenly assembled -- G10 is only as even as it is made, if you're throwing in different thicknesses of fabric layers and you aren't carefully evening out the stack, it can get quite haphazard in a way that you won't notice -- because the surface texture disguises the grain and its flatness hides most of it. So how'd this do?
search
It isn't horrible, but the effect of the exposed fiber and the dyed resin is much more of a mottling and less of a grain. It's a lot harder to get likable results when dyeing flat handles, which is something I've figured out just by screwing around and trying stuff out like the happy ass amateur I am. But TwoSuns are shipped via China Post and I'd already ordered this one before I figured out that flat handles don't always dye as nicely as round ones. I almost didn't bother trying this out as result, but the Harnds knives and the Dogtooth took the cherry dye so well that I figured 'what the hell' and gave it a try.
Latest example of a TwoSun titanium knife with premium steel and works: the TS-134 Shockwave.
search
The Shockwave is the second TwoSun knife designed by Shan Hassan, aka Tepe Designs, which is I believe based in the San Francisco area. He's posted elsewhere on Drop about his work. Here's the first TwoSun he did, the Dynamo, pictured next to the Shockwave:
search
As you can see, the Shockwave's anodized (it also comes in green and bronze anodized Ti), bigger than the Dynamo, with a bit more commercially familiar style of blade and flipper. Also a bit more aggressively lined, with a pronounced choil. It appears to have a very similar clip but there's one major difference aside from size -- this clip is actually fused to the frame, where the Dynamo's can be removed normally. I'm fairly neutral on titanium clips -- I like the material strength but I think a lot of titanium clips are way too stiff and rigid to be good clips. Of the two, I chose to pick up the Dynamo first, because I loved the flipper design and also the steel (seems like everyone works in M390 these days, and I still like S90V and S110V a little more), even though it was smaller, more expensive, not anodized, and didn't look like it had a terribly refined pivot works. I figured if I liked the Dynamo then I'd give the more conventional looking Shockwave a try. And I ended up liking the Dynamo a lot, so I pulled one of these off the bay from the TwoSun store. First things first? $86 for a mid sized knife with a US designer made out of 6-4 Ti and Bohler M390? That's kind of a steal even if it's just an OK knife, and I gotta tell you: i expected to open this package and still like my Dynamo more by the time i was done looking at this, and now I'm not so sure I do. At first it kind of looked like a much less meaningful design, sort of like after the Dynamo TwoSun said 'ok that's nice, now make us a regular flip knife' . But I'm seeing things I like better. The Shockwave shows some iterative design improvements and has a lot more refined of a feel compared to the Dynamo. The Dynamo blade fires with a decided snikt and it takes very little force to fire it. It feels like it means business. You can deploy the Shockwave a lot more slowly, though, without it hanging up. Feels a lot more polished and handfit. Grip is great. The curve on the handle is deceptive, you gotta look at it for a minute before you see how fat the pommel is and how aggressive the lines are -- like a Strider folder that someone rounded off a bit. I generally like handles with a bit of chamfer work but the rounding of this titanium will suffice, I don't have a problem gripping it. Something it has in common with the Dynamo -- both have a fat ass on them, as far as the knife balance goes. And that's a good thing, and not just because I'm down with old school Mixalot -- I find that with knives this size, a bit of weight distributed toward the back helps keep the handle square and centered in your palm, gives you some strategic counterweight as you move the knife about. The Dynamo needs the backspacer to bring that weight, the Shockwave has a fatter pommel and so a slightly lighter backspacer relative to the size of the knife. Either way both knives feel nimble in my hand. So why's this thing flip nicer than the Dynamo, even though the Dynamo has that cool little turbine wheel flipper on it?
search
There's your answer. Where the Dynamo had a thin pivot, simple nylon caged bearings and a set of small raceways for the bearings with use, this one comes with a slightly thicker pivot, a slightly bigger bearing cage with more bearings, and proper, fully formed steel racers for those bearings to run in. That's why the flip's got less rub to it even though it's fresh out of the box and I've probably flipped the Dynamo a few thousand times already, just playing around with it. But it's all super simple, as a matter of fact the Shockwave is a little bit easier to take apart and reassemble than the Dynamo. Like so:
search
Most knife makers will insist on making you use at least two, sometimes three different size Torx heads to disassemble their stuff. Shan was nice enough to make it a single tool job. Not bad work at all.
search

(Edited)
This should make many people chuckle: there are now clones of TwoSuns available. I guess that means they've officially made the bigtime. https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-CNC-Fast-Open-Full-TC4-titanium-Handle-D2-Blade-Folding-Pocket-Knife-TS-83/223476307522 Ah, the great circle of knife.
In the short time I've been actively collecting these I've seen the bidding prices go up substantially, especially on the better models. That said if you're patient you can still scope out and snipe a good deal eventually. I just picked up one in M390 and titanium for a little over $80.
Seriously crazy specs for such a low price point. I wonder how they are doing it? These type of prices for these specs, fit and finish and functionality can perhaps have an effect upon the entire market? So far I don't see any ripple effects though.
GeorgeMX
So far the only effect I've seen is that the bidding prices are raising as they gain popularity lol Their buy it now prices are closer in line to some of the other Chinese brands out there. They must be making enough off those to cover the ones that go lower in auction. Kinda makes you cringe to think how much some of these other guys must be inflating their prices, huh? 🤔
The TwoSun TS80, by Vitesse Design. Titanium, carbon fiber, D2. can recommend :)
search
search

I have two, a M390 titanium, no screws, mortice and tenon, and a very similar one but with screws and D2. Folks have tested the steel on their TwoSun M390 knives and it's consistent with M390. Their titanium is TC4 usually -- ok but not bomb diggity. I'd say that material quality and build quality are good to very good, they tend toward the heavy side, especially on the D2 builds, the designs are a little busy without being captivating, maybe a little overdesigned. These cats are quite at home with CAD CDC. But they need to radius things off a bit here and there IMO, the finish sophistication just hasn't caught up to the design ambitions -- too many uncomfortable angles in the grip, the flipper isn't the most comfortable part of their knives either. But rock solid lockup and good design integrity. I find their overall design to be more stabbity than utility knife - thick blades, not slicers, but when I put mine thru daily paces they did just fine on boxes, letters, plastic bags and what have you. Can endorse :)
Load 3 more comments
Whole thing hits the scale at 137.7g. It came with a weird little tool for making adjustments to these little joints, but I haven't messed with it. Haven't needed to.
Interesting, thanks for sharing!
That happened to me with a couple of Leeks. Do you like your TwoSun knives? I might have to go fishing.
14themoney
Still waiting on this batch to arrive So far, I'm fairly impressed with their build quality for their pricing, but I only have 1 full size and a couple of the mini ones I ended up not liking the full size one's handle, so I don't use it. And the minis are, well, novelty pieces. I'll be able to say better after these 4 arrive. Be patient with the bidding and you can get some crazy good deals though 👍
Kavik
That was crazy quick. Ordered between March 21st and 23rd, all 4 arrived on April 1st, from China, MD could take a lesson lol
search
Haven't had time to tear them down or test them out yet, but initial impressions: all 4 feel all around well made. Smooth action. Very respectable factory edges. Only the second one down in the pic has way too weak of a detent, the rest are average to really good. I'm loving this little pebble of a front flipper up top! Excited to have gotten my first Integral, even if the overall look of the knife is a bit funky (third one down) And i don't know what I'll end up doing with the bottom one, it's a bit big for my tastes
So....a thing happened yesterday Bidding on 4 TwoSun knives at once... And i kinda accidentally won all of them 😳 It's a dangerous game sometimes 🤣 Integral titanium with m390 blade
search
Titanium and D2
search
Titanium and D2
search
Titanium with m390
search
Gonna have lots of fodder for my new anodizing setup 😁
(Edited)
You can check out reviews for most if not all these TwoSun Knives on YouTube by searching for Luvthemknives channel, & he also regularly sends batches of various knives to a company that tests the steel and the Rockwell hardness of all the submitted knives. So far, I believe all the TwoSun knives tested have come back genuine.
Load 2 more comments
Lol yeah, some of it gets a little silly. I've always got a couple pounds of extra crap on me. There are very few knives I own that I can even feel the weight of in my pocket, if I'm wearing jeans. I think balance is more important than overall weight, until you get into unreasonably heavy
Jarhead55
true this
Full size specimen finally arrived 😁 TS22 for $44 shipped Overall I see much hope for their full size models, the majority of my complaints on this one were with regards to design choices (parts of the handle feel way too thin in the hand, making it a bit uncomfortable, and the clip rides on the lock bar) And, of course, I'm going to complain about being able to whip it open past the detent. But it's strong enough for a good solid flip 9 time out of 10 But fit and finish of the parts was all pretty damn good again. Hardware is still very good. And my one previous complaint about the crappy bearing races was addressed with this model. Grooved races on this one are as nice as any other knife I own. Anyone have suggestions for popping an inlay though? That thing is wreaking havoc on me trying to get a smooth anodizing on this thing. They said it was CF... I don't know what it is, but I see no fiber pattern, it's definitely very conducive though!
search
To
search
Weird hot spots around the inlay and an unintentional fade where the power was drawn away 🤔
My next TwoSun mini arrived today Model ts41 (with the cross on the handle in the size comparison below)
search
I was already fairly impressed with the price:value ratio on the first one, but this one has some very important improvements, much happier with it
search

Still the standard stuff, Nylon caged ceramic bearings, ceramic detent, steel lockbar insert. Same quality feeling hardware as the last one. The differences though :
-the stop pin on this one fits the hole MUCH better and isn't deformed -the detent hole was drilled more cleanly
-the action is much smoother -the backspacer is held in place by pins and the tail screws thread into a threaded tube as they should, rather than threading into the titanium backspacer -most importantly, the pocket clip DOES NOT land on the lockbar on this one, so it's MUCH easier to use And, i don't think i mentioned it in the last one, but check out the polished detent ramp...I have knives that cost 5 times as much that don't bother with this step!
search
Only thing I'd still like to see is better quality bearing races All that said, it's still a tiny knife, with 4mm stock on a blade that's only like half an inch tall.... But it's still a neat little piece that I paid less than $40 for, so I'm okay with it being more of a novelty piece. A letter opener that I can do more anodizing on to keep myself entertained 😁
Go American.
Load 3 more comments
Blacplastic
Most of us do. But you know how it is, you also like a little variety now and then. It's worth pointing out that one reason these cats got as good as they did because they've been making 'American' knives for 'American' companies in their city for a long time now. The shareholders of those companies are the people you really want to talk to if you want folks to go American, because if they did, that'd have a lot more impact. As for me? Sheesh, telling me I can't have it just makes me want it more. :)
I'm pretty sure you can just leave it at 'titanium framelock' for $50. Ain't happening. But I'd also argue that that's not really the biggest point. the problem with American knives isn't that you can't find one with a titanium frame and ANY washers or bearings with ANY steel for $50, or for that matter the price they actually cost here. The price is what it is for custom artisanship in the first world. Nah the problem isn't what people like you and I have to pay for our sharp not-a-toys. The problem isn't those kickass knives w/ premium steel and space age alloy handles and extra cool blade locks, it's that the makers don't want to make versions with 440C blades and micarta handles and liner locks and bronze washers for $50 to people who need good knives to get by and are sick of stuff that breaks after a few months.. But these companies don't, and the reason they won't is because they're afraid they'll dilute the value of their brand in the eyes of their shareholders.
I'm still waiting for mine. Regular post takes forever to get to me. Almost makes me want to move closer to a city.
I saw these on instagram and became interested. I got a TS21 on ebay for $46. Super smooth, comfortable, solid and somewhat early lock-up. They do have competent sharpeners at the company as well, it came sharp and even.
Who knows if the steel is really D2 or heat treated correctly, which is the only thing you should really be wary about if considering purchasing one (I can't tell from my experience; it has performed fine for me so far). This is a very competitive budget knife as it does not feel budget at all.
Load 1 more comment
Dhill21
I forgot about this post from before, just happened to scroll past it. Just wanted to share that LuvThemKnives sent a few of these off to be tested. So far they all came back as being the advertised steel, and a good hrc 👍 Not that it matters, as long as they're working well for you, but a little extra peace of mind can't hurt 😊
Kavik
Cool thanks for the heads up
I got my first Twosuns last month. The quality is shockingly good. I personally feel, even better than Bestechs. Gasp! Not to knock Bestech they are stellar for the price as well.
Now the "rumors" I have heard are that Twosun is just a team of two brothers who do their own design and manufactur, but who knows. Hard to tell if any of the information we hear about Chinese knife companies is true or not. I wouldn't be shocked if most of the knives coming out of China were made by only a handful of OEMs.
I digress. Great knives from my experience! I wish they were easier to come by.
Load 1 more comment
Can't remember the model I got, but it's D2 with a green anno'd titanium handle. $40. That's a crazy good deal!
namhod
I wonder the same thing about chinese OEM. They make knives for spyderco and kershaw crkt foreign lines along with sanrenmu. Hell ferrum forge are made by WE knives. I wonder who makes the twosuns? The 4 ive owned have been exceptional value for what is recieved And i have plenty of american made knives. If you put a big name brand made in america on a twosun ti framelock it would cost $150 + easily.
Thanks for taking the time to buy and review a Two Sun. I own a lot of their knives. I agree they feel like bestech but if maybe it's the other way around. May Two Sun is making Bestech knives. I have been buying Two Sun knives for a couple of years. As far as I know, Bestech has hot been around that long. Either way, Two Sun has been the best kept secret for a long time. They make a quality product and always come wicked sharp.
Load 12 more comments
If you like Funky.. I have a "TS21 Update" they do some crazy deep acid etch or something on the handle of the TS21. I have both versions and they too are among my favorites.
search

It's like trying to name a favorite child. lol I love them all. Some Two Sun knives are just funky and just a conversation starter with a wicked edge lol Like this wild child. TS83
search
WoodyBalto
Lol i know what you mean
I do like that etched handle on the TS21 well, have looked at that one a couple times now
nice review. That bottom one definitely screams 'Bestech' lol! I'll have to grab one or three... 😊