The BLADE Magazine 2021 American Made Knife Of The Year®, The Case Marilla More Than Pulls Its Weight.
The BLADE Magazine 2021 American Made Knife Of The Year®, the Marilla from W.R. Case & Sons is a drop-point-blade EDC folder made for slicing and fine work. Aluminum framelock construction and CPM S35VN stainless blade steel result in a lightweight folder that doesn’t weigh your pocket down.
The Marilla opens fluidly via a flipper and closes positively. I really like the fact that the knife does not interfere with your hand when you reach into your pocket. That said, the Marilla must slice and dice to be an effective EDC.
How Sharp Is The Case Marilla
First, I like to do a quick sharpness test with copy paper. In full blade-length slices, the Marilla zipped through the stationery smoothly and with nary a snag. I could have sliced faster if I could have moved my fingers faster. The edge cut in outstanding fashion!
Heavy Cutting With The Marilla
Next up: double-walled cardboard. I used a push cut for a full blade-length slice. The Marilla was very aggressive parting the medium. The handle shape was a plus in controlling cut widths. The minimum curl of the sliced pieces was great.
The Marilla bit very aggressively while skiving a scrap piece of 8-ounce leather. I could hear the crunching sound as the blade cut away. It was very controllable on the thinness of the slices and experienced no issues at all.
From there it was on to whittling firesticks. The edge made smooth cuts in the pine with a tight curl in the curly-cue. Thin curly-cues or thick, the Marilla kept the curls clean. The handle was very comfortable while making the deeper cuts, exhibiting no sharp edges in the wrong places to hurt my hand.
Marilla Edge Retention
To test edge holding, I like to use sisal rope. The Marilla crunched to 189 cuts before I felt the edge sliding a bit. Performance: excellent! The thumb notches helped in controlling the cuts. Again, the Marilla handle was comfortable even when I applied hard pressure to it.
Batonning The Marilla
To check the lock, I locked the knife open and batonned the blade into a piece of half-inch pine to make kindling. I hit the blade spine opposite the tip and middle and directly on top of the lock multiple times. The wood split with no problem and the lock stayed tight very well, maintaining 100 percent lockup throughout. There were no blade wobbles or looseness during opening, lockup or closing.
The final hurdle was the antler whack—wrist snapping the blade into an old whitetail deer horn to see if the edge would chip or roll. Thirty whacks later and the edge survived with no damage, indicating excellent heat treatment of the S35VN blade steel.
Report On The Case Marilla
The Marilla is an excellent EDC knife. It’s comfortable in the hand as well as the pocket. The blade stays sharp longer than most. It is a great choice for EDC.
I WOULD …
… prefer a hollow blade grind for keener slicing, though such a grind might compromise the blade steel.
As long as its knives are not abused, Case warrants them against defects. For more information, contact Case, attn: F. Feightner, Dept. BL2, 50 Owens Way, Bradford, PA 16701 800-523-6350 or 888-442-1932 CR@caseknives.com, www.wrcase.com.
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