This a Mail Call/ Show and Tell. The in-use deeper review will unfold in the coming weeks but as a knife’s fan, this City is just stunning.
Yes, Manly has done it again !
After the Peak, the Comrade, the Wasp… All great knives made in Sofia !
Yes, the knifemakers of Bulgaria have done it again: another wonderful knife !
What is the Manly’s game level in cutlery:
A solid backlock with zero play.
A wonderful geometry totally focused on performance: they are really sharp !
CPM S90V heat treat in the rules of the art.
Clever ergonomy and deep carry clip.
Smooth action and drop chute…
All of that at a great bargain ! My S90V City cost me 63 euros with their 20% winter discount. By the way their shipping cost is still at 5 euros and in less than a week it has gone from Bulgaria to France with DHL.
In a time when S90V sprint runs can be found around 250 euros or more.
This is not only a bargain: this is a must have.
When the Peak has been released, I have started to ask a shorter version to Manly people. Cleverly they have first been focused in proposing a 3 inches not locking knife: the mighty Wasp.
All of those stories can be found in my reviews about that company of perfectionists:
The handle: this is a four fingers handle even when not using the ricasso. It is confortable, filling my palm, the jimpering on the back of the blade is not too aggressive. It is a pleasure to hold the City in your hand.
It is not a light knife (93 grammes), there is a little of heft which is also really pleasant even if the nested liners (a tour de force which is not only reserved to Spyderco) are skeletonized. A steel spacer makes the handle totally flex free. The blade is perfectly centered. Just handling the Manly City and my mind goes: wow !
Yes, they are perfectionists because the city is not a shrung Peak it a whole new knife. Making a short folder asks for a lot of thinking and a tabula rasa state of mind.
A great proof of clever engineering is the placement of the thumb stud.
It is completely out of the way when cutting.
Also the City can easily be opened two hands and that stud removed if your juridiction banned one hand opening knives.
The City is also proposed in 3D G10 like mine and the ergos are just stunning. It fits my hand like a glove.
For the Southpaw, two little wrenches are provided in the box.
You can also reverse the thumb stub for the other side of the blade.
So you are not forgotten: the City is totally ambidextrious !
The action is smooth. Not Spyderco Lightweight Native smooth though but the blade once unlock drop chutes gently on the ricasso. Zero risk to get cut. When the knife is unlock the blade movement is silky but there are a little gritty feel when the lock push on the pivot. It is easy to cure: a little oil and moving/wanking the blade back and forth for ten minutes. It wears the parts just enough to get it to a much smoother action. No big deal.
Not the same story with the Spyderco Siren which has cut my finger at first try, huh ?
No vertical or lateral blade play. Knowing the backlock system is the most tried and true reliable and solid of all the lock: this is a hard working knife deep in its DNA.
Oh and for compulsive sharpeners, like myself, there is a nice sharpening choil !
Mine is in CPMS90V but there is also a version for 50 euros in 14C28N (a great razor stainless steel equivalent of AEB-L which should be also a pleasure to strop on leather)…
Manly also propose multicolored G10 variation and 3D shape. You got the choice !
The Blade is a drop point with a very powerful feel: it is wide full flat ground on a 2,7mm stock. This is pure performance oriented ! The thin geometry makes it easy on any job: cardboard, wood, plastic. I have tested on hard dry chestnut wood and it went deep and steady, making nice chips. Knowing how great the heat treatment was on all my previous Manly, there is not reason to get concerned: they know to do it.
S90V is a uncanny alloy which stays sharp for a very very very long time.
It is Sal Glesser’s favorite hightech steel and I think it is still.
For more info:
As you can notice the bottle’s butt test was passed with flying colors because of the Manly infamous thin geometry. The edge out of the box was razor level.
Lets copy the specs from Manly:
- Model Name: CITY CPM S90V Black 3D Handle
- Type: Pocket Knife
- Overall Length: 17.7 cm
- Blade Length: 7.0 cm
- Folded Length: 10.5 cm
- Blade Thickness: 2.7 mm
- Weight: 95 g
- Blade Material: CPM S90V
- Handle Material: 3D G10
- Opener: Thumb Stud
- Opening: one hand
- Lock Type: Lockback
- Color: Black
- Blade Color: Uncoated
The G10 is grippy but on the smooth side: zero risk for the pocket to be destroyed. No need to send it. Keeping looking at it in details: Manly has really made an eye candy.
There is no hotspot. Also when closed the talon of the blade flushes with the handle. No hard angles when closed (looking at you Cold Steel’s folders…). Again this is Manly’s attention to details !
I love the big bead blasted pivot and hardware.
The bead blasted deep carry pocket clip is also beautifully designed it is the same as the clip introduced on the Wasp and the Peak. I would have preferred a flat screw but this is really nitpicking.
Let’s picture the City with some of his brothers and cousins as you can notice Manly made in apparence simple tools like our grandfathers would have loved: they are made to cut and be reliable.
“I like performance for money. Like the Manly knives, but also the Urban. Not bling-bling but real cutting power!”
The City is providing the same blade length as the excellent Para3.
All in all, the City is an all terrain folding knife. There is even a lanyard hole, go figure ! 😉 It would be a great hunting knife: a drop point skinner. It would be also great for bushcrafters: Ray Mears is known to use those kind of short folders (made by Fallkniven). For my Italian hunters in Tuscany: the City is perfect for hare’s hunting. It can be an urban friendly solution but the powerful thin blade is afraid of nothing, you feel it asks to be a workhorse not a church’s knife.
So really, kuddos to Manly for this little big knife !! It took me by surprise !
In a time when S90V sprint runs can be found around 250 euros or even more.
This is not only a bargain: this is a must have if you really love knives.
So clearly, yes, I got a huge crush on this excellently designed pocket knife !
The City will get a lot of pocket time until the chapter II of this review in some weeks.
Since then updates and photos will be done on the Facebook Group.
Edited the 24th of March 2021:
Since Manly Knives do not answer to any messages and emails and was not respecting their customer’s requests, Si I had really recommended caution when ordering from their site.
(See the comments and Knife Lover issue with them. I have tried to help him with no success.)
I will edit that review again when I will have a positive contact from Manly.
Is it the Covid crisis ? I don’t know, but for now, without any answer from Bulgaria, you are warned to order knives from Manly’s site with caution.
Edited the 25th of March 2021.
Manly has answered to Knife Lover.
“Thank you for contacting us.
First and foremost, we sincerely apologize for any inconveniences caused due to the delay.We would like to inform you that we are working in reduced capacity due to Covid 19.
Today your order has been provided to our forwarder A1post.Here is a link to follow the shipment… “
So, case closed. Manly is alive and kicking, still providing excellent knives at very fair price. (Even their shipping cost is fair) but are they are running on skeleton crew, it could be a little longer than before in the ordering process, so don’t worry.