Kirby Lambert is one of my favorite knife makers. Back in the day, before I had a knife making shop to fund, I had a Lambert Sniper, a flipper model with a hand rubbed satin blade and giraffe bone handles, probably one of the top five most beautiful knives I've ever seen. To me, I'm a minimalist. I like damascus and crazy materials... sometimes, but with this particular knife, the silhouette is what really speaks to my inner design freak.
I found one from a fellow forum member and after hashing out the details we traded. These are not cheap knives, but all good things come with a price tag. I don't believe Kirby makes the Sniper anymore so these knives are pretty hard to come by... even when Kirby did make this model, he made many less than he did Infernos (or so I can tell).
This particular example is really well done. The only small finishing flaw I can find is the bolster fit on the reverse (right handed pocket clip) side, which has a tiny (we're talking miniscule, but noticable) gap between the G10 and Micarta. The scales on this knife are OD G10 and green Micarta, which makes a really interesting contrast. The blade has an "as ground" finish on the bevels with a hand rubbed satin finish on the flats. The finish on the blade is perfect. Enough said.
The action is epic. This knife is not equiped with IKBS, but then again it doesn't need it. IKBS on a folder is overrated if you ask me, if you can make a knife this quick by just balancing it properly, using good internals and good tolerances, why do you need IKBS? The knife flicks open with only the slightest amount of thumb pressure. I would call the action smooth, but really what I'm interested in is the ease of the action (how little effort it takes to flick the knife out to get the knife into action), and in this respect the Sniper really has no equal. I've owned Snodys, Hinderers, Striders, McGinnis, ect, and never have I seen such a good action, even in knives costing twice as much. Likewise I've never seen a factory knife match this kind of awesome action either.
The ergonomics are perfect. Done. Just get one in hand and you'll know what I mean, but beyond the awesome hand feel, the Sniper seems to sit in the pocket surprisingly well. It's a thicker frame, but you could never tell, and even tho the knife has some heft, it's so spread out that the knife really feels like a feather. The balance is perfect, handle comfort is perfect, the lock isn't sticky, the blade has proper retension from the detent but it doesn't kill your thumb to deploy the knife. Just awesome.
Fit and finish is awesome, ergos are perfect, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say something about value. It's a pricey knife. Just shy of 5 bones is tough for most users to stomach, but having commited to keep this one in my possession for the long run, I don't really feel so bad about putting it into my pocket for occasional use. Afterall, it's a tool, and an extremely well made one at that. Still, I see these knives going up in value. Kirby doesn't make Snipers anymore and when he did make them he didn't make that many. Value is average because of the high cost of admission.
Overall tho, extremely impressive piece from Mr. Lambert, really just A level work. One of the best sub 500$ knives out there, no doubt about that. Def recommended.