Designed by prolific knife designer Michele Pensato (nicknamed Molletta), the Lionsteel ROK is an Italian made knife breaking new ground in the world of folding knife technology. Lionsteel has set a strong precedent for well constructed, colorful knives, and the ROK only furthers that having won the Blade Show 2018 Manufacturing Quality Award. When examined close up it is clear that the ROK is the product of thoughtful design and intricate machine work somehow all encapsulated in a solid handle. Presented among Lionsteel’s Solid Knife Family, the ROK features a SOLID® knife technology handle milled from a single piece of 6AI4V grey titanium or aluminum, and although it isn’t their first knife to utilize a handle like this, Lionsteel claims that a new higher standard of quality was reached when developing this knife. A solid handle means more resistance to wear and an expensive weighted feel in hand, similar to the beloved Benchmade Anthem. Lionsteel offers several color variations of the ROK handle including aluminum anodized black, orange, red, or gray titanium. which are available here at knifeandcarry.com. With such a strong foundational frame the quality of the ROK build is already apparent, but the features hiding beneath the surface have much more to offer.
The ROK has been outfitted by Lionsteel with a unique pocket clip, likely very different from anything in your collection, and perhaps the solution to all those torn up pockets. Patented by Lionsteel as the H.WAYL or Hide What Annoys You technology, the pocket clip on the ROK disappears into the handle when not in use. The clip only appears at the press of a button on the opposite side of the knife, allowing for easy pocket removal with a pincer grip. This isn’t a cheap illusion either, the clip really springs to a position that is flush with the handle and facilitates unhindered contact with your palm. Using a knife without a pocket clip poking you just feels luxurious, like walking without a pebble in your shoe, smooth surfaces are the ideal ergonomic choice when considering something you use daily. If you go for the titanium model, the ROK features a light blue 6AI4V titanium clip, while the aluminum models provide an aluminum clip matching the color of the handle, either way they both implement the same innovative feature.
Housed in it’s monolithic handle, the ROK boasts 3.27 in. M390 sintered steel finished drop point blade in black or satin. The drop point blade style is the perfect match for an EDC and can tackle a wide range of cutting and slicing tasks, paired with M390’s toughness and edge retention it will undoubtedly be a useful long term companion. The blade on the ROK has a high grind and gets impressively thick at the top coming in at 0.18 in. which is even comparable to the thick blades offered on some Medford knives such as the Praetorian T. The wide spine of the blade is crowned adding an element of class to the design and smoothness to the understated jimping. This impressive blade also has a flipper which can be easily removed according to personal preference or local law, making the ROK a standout piece for users that travel.
The impressive blade of the ROK is held in place by none other than an integral frame lock, a superb use of the single piece handle construction. The strength of the frame is undeniable and the lock is secure, but Lionsteel has gone the extra mile and included a Rotoblock safety system. The Rotoblock safety allows you to lock the lockbar into place (not that it was going anywhere to begin with), essentially converting the folder into a fixed blade with minimal effort required. The solid construction of every feature of the ROK is apparent and Lionsteel should certainly be applauded for taking the design of this folding knife in a new direction. The ROK is an impressive EDC, with a color variation for almost every taste, and a build quality that will have you feeling expensive for a mid range price.