HomeTactical & SurvivalBlue-Collar Blade With Hipster Appeal: WESN Allman Pocket Knife Review

Blue-Collar Blade With Hipster Appeal: WESN Allman Pocket Knife Review

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Full disclosure: when I first saw this knife, the only thing that jumped out at me was its name: The Allman. I’m a huge Allman Brothers fan and have been since I was a kid. Their music continues to carry me through my daily life.

And when it comes to knives, I’m just as fanatic about Micarta. So when I first saw the Allman from WESN had titanium handle scales, it wasn’t my jam. The fact that I chose to review the Allman, and that it has been a little bit of everything that I want in a pocket knife, really says something.

Considering all choices for shape, size, weight, materials, and price, and with so many brands out there, finding the right pocket knife for you is no easy task. Within the madness, however, there are brands trying to make a knife that will appeal to everyone.

I’m confident Detroit-based WESN has done that with the Allman. In its aim to “hit the perfect balance between size, weight, and usefulness,” WESN created an EDC knife that works well for a wide swath of people, thanks to the Allman’s winning combination and materials.

In short: With the Allman, WESN created a knife for everyone who needs a knife. Well suited for a campsite on the weekend, it’ll also fit right at home in your workshop, or riding high in the pocket of your Carhartts as you navigate through your busy day. We just need to talk about the pocket clip situation.

  • OAL
    6.65”
  • Blade length
    2.8”
  • Blade steel
    S35VN
  • Blade shape
    Drop point
  • Grind
    Flat
  • Hardness
    58-60 HRC
  • Lock Type
    Frame lock
  • Carry
    Right hand, tip-up
  • Weight
    3.65 oz.
  • Price
    $155

  • Bro, check out that fat-bellied blade

  • S35VN steel

  • Titanium + frame lock collab


  • The pocket clip

  • Dickey Betts just died

WESN Allman Knife Review

Design & Features

With a whole-bellied S35VN drop-point blade and titanium handle scales, the version of the Allman that I had the pleasure of testing is built like a tank. S35VN has become popular enough over the years to be used on a variety of knives by a variety of knife makers. That popularity owes to the steel’s incredible toughness and corrosion resistance. It also holds a great edge and is fairly easy to sharpen.

The Allman is a flipper knife that utilizes a frame lock mechanism. This combination of titanium and frame lock is also common because it remains effective in the long run. Notched the right way, and heated properly, titanium has the ability to retain its shape, making it a great choice for a frame lock.

Though the blade shape falls into the category of drop point, that’s a generous classification here. I would refer to it as a modified drop point. Not only does it have a big, fat belly for slicing, digging, and scooping, but it also has a functional swedge (false edge) that improves the knife’s piercing and plunging capabilities.

First Impressions

This Allman is stout — short and stubby. And there’s a lot of appeal to that.

This knife has a closed length of 3.8 inches and a blade length of 2.8 inches. In my book, and judging by how the knife teeters across the top of my finger, this is well-balanced. You always want a little more meat in the handle so that you get a good grip.

And for a short knife, the Allman tucks into your palm nicely. I have a pretty wide and meaty paw, and the knife fills it.

Additionally, the Allman looks balanced. You have a fat handle and a fat-bellied blade. Visually, the two pair really well. But there’s no doubt in my mind that this will play out very well in the field.

The one gripe I do have in the design is the pocket clip. At almost an inch down from the tip of the butt of the handle, it leaves too much knife sticking up out of your pocket. I recognize that I, like most folks, have been spoiled by the deep pocket clip trend we’re living through.

But, just taking some random measurements from the pile of standard pocket-clipped folding knives around me, the Allman sits almost half an inch higher. That said, WESN does include a leather slip sheath for the knife, so you can tuck it into your pocket, eliminating the use of the pocket clip altogether.

Additionally, if you generally carry your knife in a side or fifth pocket, this may not be a huge deal. But, back-pocket carry runs the risk of you losing this knife.

In the Field

Folks who subscribe to the ethos of “leave no trace” might love the fact that you can use the Allman in a jam as a shovel (“dig, squat, and bury”). I’m not kidding. I didn’t have the honor of having to use it in this capacity, but as the knife proved great for piercing and prying in tinder harvesting, digging a hole in the ground will be a breeze.

So, what did I actually do with the Allman?

Well, it’s become my new shop knife. It’s the knife I wear when I tinker around my workshop. I keep it in my apron or my overalls, and it’s there when I need to cut and slice.

It’s also my go-to pencil sharpener, which my kids think is crazy. I initially took it on a variety of hikes and it performed really well. I pried out some punky wood for a future fire and spread a decent amount of fig jam on crackers with it. But, one afternoon, I found myself in need of scoring some leather, and the rounded front edge of the Allman’s blade was ripe for the task.

The knife also has an enhanced fidget factor. Most flipper knives do, but in the case of the Allman, there’s a real ASMR edge to it that I absolutely adore when I open and close the blade.

In Conclusion

Circling back to the difficulty of finding a knife that works for a bunch of people in this saturated market, WESN understood the assignment. In the Allman, it developed a well-balanced and effective utility tool. Due to its size and shape, it can perform a variety of tasks meant for larger knives — even garden spades — but in a smaller form factor.

Considering the S35VN blade steel and titanium body, you should expect to use and abuse the Allman with ease and at will. This is the kind of knife you can push to the limits without worry. Aside from the occasional blade rehoning and pivot lubrication, it’ll never need a lot of maintenance.

Overall, aside from what I have identified with the pocket clip, everything about this knife makes it easy to carry, deploy, and use. I can see it occasionally on a campsite, and more often in a coffee house or workshop. With WESN being based in Detroit, this vibe tracks. All you need is some broken-in Carhartts and Blunnies, and you can have the whole Allman flair.



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