Mercator K55K - a folder with history

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  • Mercator K55K - a folder with history

    I have recently had a look at the famous Mercator K55K lock back carbon steel folder. This knife is available from fusiongear for $35.90, $6.75 shipping. The blade is a flat ground, bevel edged drop point. The handle is folded steel, painted black.

    In comparison is a Opinel #9 and a Victorinox Officer

    For the Mercator 77grams, 110mm folded, 198mm open, 90mm of blade length. For comparison Opinel #9 59grams, Victorinox 62grams. The Mercator is skinny:

    Wikipedia suggests this knife was first manufactured around 1867 by Kaufmann contracting companies to produce this knife:

    "Mercator = Kaufmann = Businessman in english language. Kaufmann was the family that got the contract by German Defense Department in the German Empire. The K55K means nothing more, than Kaufmann, 55th street, Köln (Cologne). The streets in that time where a little strange. But they had no names, just numbers. Just think about the women´s parfum 4711 - mostly for old(er) women. This was made in a house in the 4711th street in Cologne. Back to the K55K - the company Kaufmann never made any knives themselves. They had sub-companies in Solingen like Otter and many others that made these knives for the department. So (imo), K55K Mercator is not the name of the knife itself, but the name of the pattern."

    This is a nifty little video of the making of a Mercator (apologies - just could not get it embed):

    And slightly related here is a video of the making of the opinel:

  • #2
    Had one of these as a kid on the farm - great for everything including skinning small game etc . Lost it when in the Army and was without one for a long time. Picked some up on ebay and as they say three is two.... so I have 4 of them. Despite the handle profile they are really nice handling knives.