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Thursday, 21 March 2019 13:38

Roxon KS S501 Review

Written by Reamerpunch

Roxon01

Despite being a recent entry in our world, the Roxon KS may seem familiar to some. It should. We've seen the crisp design elements, tanto blade, and monster scissors before. Bearing an undeniable resemblance to its chubbier sibling, let's take a closer look at the S501.

Dimensions and other info

Length: 4.1" (10.4cm)

Width: 1" (25mm)

Thickness: 0.47" (12mm) or 0.71" (18mm) if we count the screw and pocket-clip

Tool weight: 5oz (142g).

Materials: 2cr13, 3cr13

Handle fasteners: Torx 8

Pocket-clip fasteners: Torx 6

Blade

Material: 5cr15 (56-58HRC)

Cutting edge: 2.97" (2.24" + 0.73") or 75.5mm (57mm + 18.5mm)

One-handed operation; thumb-stud (non-removable)

Drop point tanto

Plain edge, saber-grind

Locking; liner-lock

Bronze washers

Scissors

Material: 5cr15

Cutting edge: 1.73" (44mm)

Spring-loaded (hidden spring)

Adjustable pivot: no

Rounded tips

Price at time of review: 20$

Warranty: 10 Years

Roxon is an own branding team under Chamfun Industrial Co. Ltd.

Roxon02The tool comes in a cardboard box with a presentation window.Roxon03

The tool features a folding blade, shears, and a pocket-clip.

Blade

The blade operates with just one hand and deploys smoothly, thanks to the bronze washers.

The lock-up is rock solid. The liner-lock engages firmly with room to wear.

The tool is surprisingly ergonomic, given how angular the handle looks when using the knife. The edges are rounded-off, and the addition of the scissors increases the thickness of the tool, making the handle fit well in my large hands. The pocket-clip's ramp ends parallel to the handle, making it protrude very slightly, and is not a hotspot.

The blade does not sit in the middle of the handle, but at one side, as the other side houses the shears. Still, this did not interfere with cutting.

Ergonomically, the worse culprit is one pivot of the scissors, as the thin edge, though rounded, still digs into my pinky a little. Adjusting your grip, placing your pinky below the scissor shoulders will eliminate the problem. Medium and smaller hands might fair better.

Roxon04

The tanto blade was sharpened precisely, making cutting easy. The thumb-stud might cause some annoyance, as it rides a little too high above the shoulder, finding itself in the slicing path.

There is some mild jimping on the spine, for your thumb. Pressing against it, it offers traction, but it is not aggressive enough to claim any skin.

5cr15 will not hold an edge for an impressive period of time, but it will perform adequately, and the tanto profile is arguably easier to sharpen than others.

The blade closes as easily as it opens, and retention when closed is excellent.

Roxon05Scissors

On the other side, we find the scissors, handily marked on the handle. While closed, they tuck well in the handle, despite their size.

The handles pivot around smoothly, and snap in place very positively.

We are greeted by a pair of scissors as large as they are precise. The action, the sharpening, the tips, the spring return; everything exhibits a high level of quality and attention. Thank you, Computer Numerical Control.

The scissors open with a nail-slit, which is mirrored on the other side of the handle, blending in the slits and holes of the design.

Performance was just as expected. The scissors cut precisely and cleanly, on the first cut, without the slightest hint of jamming. Nice, robust blades, long cutting edges and handles, this goes toe-to-toe with dedicated scissors.

Paper, cardstock, cardboard, zip-ties, plastic packaging, seat-belts, parachute cord, denim, foam, even small cables, everything just surrenders to the omnivorous blades.

Apart from trash that remains to be cleaned, there is little evidence of all the cutting. The scissor blades are still nice and tight, the edges have held up, and the action was unaffected.

Ergonomics are great too, thanks to the full-length handles, rounded edges, great spring return, non-slippery surfaces, and negligible handle splay. It also helps that the cutting edges are unusually long for multi-tool scissors, which allows for fewer cuts.

Roxon06Pocket-clip

The pocket-clip sits on one side, and cannot go on any other position, other than being removed altogether. As it is, you will have the blade tip-down.

It has enough height to fit over pockets or straps, and it does not protrude enough to cause discomfort. Of course, it is detachable, to slim down the tool even more.

The retention bend rests on a smooth surface, making it easy to slide over a pocket seam, but it is tight enough to stay in place.

It is not a deep-carry one, leaving 1.5cm of the tool exposed. The step in the scissors' backsprings (the blade's finger "guard", if we can call it that) provides a natural spot for the thumb to rest behind when pulling the tool out of a pocket.

 

ConstructionRoxon07

The tool is held together with Torx 8 screws (post and screw, or Chicago screws). The pocket-clip uses two Torx 6 screws.

The blade is made of 5cr15 and uses bronze washers. It locks with a liner-lock.

The scissors are CNC machined out of 5cr15 and they use backsprings for one handle, and a cut-out leaf-spring for the other. The scissor blades' pivot is not adjustable. They are spring-loaded, with a hidden spring.

The handles are sandblasted and one part is blackened. The surface is not slippery and somewhat wear resistant, although some tiny scratches will develop with use overtime. Also, although the sandblasted part does not collect fingerprints, it does show signs of finger moisture. A quick wipe will take care of that.

 

Roxon08Construction quality

True to their promise, the Roxon S501 is comfortable, sturdy, and with great tolerances. Nothing rattles, nothing grinds against anything else, nothing is grimy. The pivots are smooth and everything deploys beautifully. The blade locks securely, and remained firm through-out. The grinding is precise. No missed plunge grinds, no uneven sharpening. High marks for using bronze washers.

The scissors snap into place very satisfyingly, inspiring confidence. When closed, they tuck into place, flush with the body of the tool, leaving no gaps or any protruding points.

The tool feels very well made. With the implements closed, nothing flexes on either side. It is nice and tight, a solid piece of steel.

The tools stay open when you open them, and stay closed when you close them, with no play or even wobbling.

The screws are brand new. No stripped-out embarrassments we've seen elsewhere.

All over, there are no unfinished edges, no machining imperfections, no dirt, no stains or remnants of oil.

Construction quality is very high.

Design

The tool is compact, with no wasted space. The blade and scissors mated wonderfully into one, with very little -if any- compromise.

The handles are clean, with only the Roxon logo on one side. The blade and pocket-clip are unbranded. A few decorative holes and slits populate the surfaces, adding some visual interest, and the black accent of one handle contrasts well with the rest of it.

Having one handle tip marked with the word 'scissors' is arguably unnecessary, but it is quite unobtrusive, in lowercase, in a nice font, and in rather small writing.

As mentioned before, the fingernail slit for deploying the scissors is mirrored on the other side of the handle, as are the holes. The slits also match the slit of the pocket-clip. The handle is slightly cambered, and the ends curve gently, with rounded-off edges. The visual traits come together to make the S501 quite a modest but very elegant piece, without sacrificing performance.

Performance

The tool performed admirably. It is comfortable to hold, and the blade and scissors cut very effectively.

Using the blade in different grips, the handle was always quite comfortable to hold and squeeze. One pivot of the scissors may dig into your pinky, but it requires a very tight and prolonged grip to really feel it dig in.

The blade was sharpened properly out of the box, ready to take on a vast array of materials. Given the tanto profile, some specific tasks may prove challenging, but in all, the blade just works. 5cr15 is an adequate steel that will sharpen easily and take a nice edge.

The scissors are a cut above common multi-tool scissors, and with so little weight and bulk behind them, they are truly a joy to use. The luxury of two full-length handles is undeniably helpful, and in conjunction with a proper pair of tight, precise scissors, cutting was about as easy as using dedicated scissors.

Removing the tool from a pocket and tucking it back in again was very easy and natural. The pocket clip has the right balance between height, tightness, and ramp.

The weight is more of a reassurance of quality than a hinderance. Using the blade, the tool is undoubtedly a little bottom-heavy, but the weight never worked against me. While using the scissors, the weight all but disappeared in my hand.

Conclusion

The S501 is a high-quality tool, put together with care. For the size of a folding knife, you get a great folding blade, with a positive lock, and a pair of scissors that will outclass most. Using the tool, the construction quality became unmissable. The smoothness of the pivots and handles, the precision of the cutting edges, the solid feeling of retention, everything combined to make it disappear from my mind. The tool comes out of the pocket, cuts, slices, peels, trims, and snips with confidence, puts a smile on my face, and goes back in the pocket.

If you are familiar at all with the Roxon Storm, you might assume that the S501 is just the blade and shears of that. A second look (and perhaps going through the specs of each) will make clear that the blade and shears of the S501 are larger. Cutting edges are longer, blades are thicker, wider, the liner lock is more robust, the blade is now a saber grind with a thumb-stud, shapes are different. Even the screws are now Torx instead of Allen. The implements of the S501 bear a family resemblance to the Storm's, but they have been re-designed. They are not the same as in the Storm, which is something that needs to be acknowledged and praised. They could have used the same exact parts of the Storm to make the S501, and I would have been happy with it. Instead, they decided to keep the looks, while making everything larger and stronger.

It is rare that a tool performs as well as you think it will, when looking at pictures of it. I am always hesitant to try out new tools, having been disappointed by many, which were only good for pictures and keeping papers from being blown by the wind. In this instance, the design was executed astoundingly well. It should be quite clear that a lot of thought and care went into this tool. From design to assembly and leaving the factory, it is very promising to see such attention to detail. The nice looks are matched by a high quality of construction, which itself provides excellent performance.

Of course, there are some kinks that could be addressed, but nothing too significant to take away from the quality, elegance, and efficiency of the S501.

5/5 stars, two thumbs up, and hats off. This thing is amazing and great value for money.

Pros

-Quality construction and feel.

-Outstanding scissors.

-Inexpensive.

Cons

-Single position pocket-clip (tip-down).

-Thumb-stud is in slicing path and not removable.

-Scissors shoulder is hotspot when using blade.