A first draft of what would become the Dan. The initial project was born at the instigation of my friend Valerio Vertua, that one day listed to me the characteristics of his ideal folder, complaining about the difficulty to find something similar on the market.

Dan 2, which is the original design, was thought to be the perfect E.D.C. : small, practical, and legal in many more countries than the locking folders.
(Photo courtesy of Knives International Review)

Danilo Liboi, dear friend and colleague who died shortly before the debut of Dan, named in his honor.
(Photo courtesy of the family)

Both blades can be matched to one of the four materials available for the handle. From left: Burgundy canvas micarta, silver twill / G10, carbon fiber, green G10. All are indifferent to environmental conditions and easy to clean.
(Photo courtesy of Viper)

One of the latest designs, very close to what would go into production, with the exception of the clip. It is possible to observe the design of the steel liners in which the two counter springs are cut, one on each side.

Dan 1, presented simultaneously to Dan 2, differs for the drop point blade, designed to meet the taste of customers linked to more traditional forms.
(Photo courtesy of Knives International Review)

In the rear, the two halves of the handle are separated by a titanium spacer, on which the ambidextrous clip is screwed. Much of the back is empty, so as to avoid the accumulation of dirt during daily use.
(Photo courtesy of Knives International Review)

When closed Dan are extremely compact, so to be carried comfortably. The weight is reduced, so as to never be a problem.
(Photo courtesy of Knives International Review)

The clip is designed to make the knife in disappear in the pocket, for maximum privacy. If you prefer it to be more accessible, just pass a lanyard in the hole through clip and handle, so as to limit the sinking.
(Photo courtesy of Knives International Review)

Part of the family

Designing a new model for a knife brand, creating a good product isn’t enough. I also had to consider the catalog, customer types, trends of the moment, and many other elements that make the difference between a consistently successful “out of stock”, and a fiasco condemned to stay on shelves.

The right moment

I meditated for a long time on a small folder for daily use, practical and small, without lock to minimize the risk of legal disputes. Every Swiss army knife owner knows that as long as we talk about the daily tasks, a lock is not necessary: just be careful and you won’t cut your fingers.

I was hesitant to propose such a thing because, until that time, the friction and slip-joint remained niche objects, unable to make significant numbers. The success of the Spyderco Pingo, designed by Vox and Ansø, showed that the public was finally receptive to similar products, if designed properly.

An unusual mechanical system

Now that the fans were ready to accept the lack of lock even on something other than a Victorinox, I had to choose the right architecture: slip-joint? Friction folder? Both were common, and the new knife would have to impose itself only for design, not relying on any special technical content. Then there was the security issue: I wanted to avoid the possibility of accidental opening in the pocket, and a friction folder would not permit it.

The Action Stopper® Viper system was born back in 2006, but until Dan was only used for their “Regionali” line and the folding Britola, aimed at the gentleman’s fan.
Based on two flat springs each with a ball detent, the Action Stopper® offers only a partial resistance, similar to the one applied to a closed liner lock blade. It is not a lock, but is much more secure than a friction folder, and can be clipped to the pocket for tip-up carry, without fear that can open by gravity.
Furthermore, the Dan also have an intermediate lock position, when the blade forms a right angle with respect to the handle, so as to slow down the closure.

Two blades, two souls

The Dan Series offers two blades with very different designs: Dan 1 has a classic drop point, while the 2 Dan has some kind of modified Wharncliffe, with a raised tip.
Both have high bevels, satin finish, and are sharpened by hand as tradition of Viper.
The original design is the Dan 2: Dan 1 has been added to meet the tastes of customers linked to more traditional shapes.

The devil is in the details

Viper is known for its attention to details, which comes from a long experience in traditional cutlery. Dan could not be an exception.
On a knife so small, the presence of metal liners would certainly weighted aesthetics, also leaving little space for scales, unless not to increase the thickness. For this the scales have milled inner faces to accommodate two metal liners, and the two halves are separated by an anodised titanium spacer, elegantly rounded, which leaves most of the back open to prevent the accumulation of dirt.

The blade opens with one hand, pressing the thumb lever, perfectly integrated into the design of the closed knife. The system is completely ambidextrous. Once the blade is open, just firmly place your thumb on the knurled portion of the lever to prevent it from closing.

Eight versions

Both blades are in Böhler N690Co steel, vacuum hardened and then refined with a cryogenic treatment, up to a hardness of 58-59 HRC. This steel provides excellent cutting qualities, particularly with this thickness, along with a strong rust resistance, useful on a knife to be used every day, which will be often in contact with sweat and other aggressive substances.

Both blades can be combined with four different shells: G-10 green, carbon fiber, silver twill / G-10, or Burgundy canvas micarta.

Easy to carry

Thanks to the presence of the Action Stopper®, Dan can be brought safely secured to the pocket by means of the robust clip AISI 420, fixed to the rear spacer and reversible for left-handers.

Normally, the knife completely disappears in the pocket, keeping a low profile suitable for any situation. If you prefer that it is faster to pull out, just pass a lanyard in the holes present on handle and clip, so as to limit the sinking.

The truth about the name

Originally, the name of the folder should have been E.D.C., the acronym for Every Day Carry. Unfortunately, just before 2015 IWA Show, my dear friend and colleague Danilo Liboi suddenly died.

Since the first samples had not been laser marked, I asked to change the name. The new one, Dan, officially is the acronym for “Daily Assorted Needs”, while for me it’s a way to honor a man whom I admired very much.


Manifacturer: Viper Tecnocut
Web: www.viper.it
Models: DAN 1 – DAN 2
Blade material: Böhler N690Co
Handle material:carbon fiber, green G10, silver twill/G10, Burgundy canvas micarta
Total lenght: 182 mm – 178 mm
Blade lenght: 73 mm – 69 mm
Blade thickness: 3 mm
Weight: 93 g
Mechanism: Action Stopper®



Blade HQ

Blade Reviews

Blade Show 2015