By Nick Italiano
Today we are looking at the Knives by Nuge Wicket, that rumor has it, I may have named. For those who are not total nerds, Wicket is a small furry teddy bear-looking thing that dwells on a certain forest moon in a far far away galaxy. Despite Wickets’ small stature, he had a big attitude and really helped his friends achieve their goals. Just like its’ namesake, the Knives by Nuge Wicket is small but incredibly capable. I spent a week with mine and put it through the paces, so let’s get into the details and the performance.
For starters, there are currently two different versions of this knife; one with a jute-wrapped handle and one with handle scales, for the purposes of this review I will be discussing a prototype of the model with handle scales and 1084 high carbon steel. The Wicket sports a two-inch scandi ground blade and is just a bit over 4.5 inches overall. The weight comes in at 1.45 ounces for just the knife and about 2.36 ounces with the kydex sheath, lanyard, and fero rod dongle attached.
The Wicket has a great 90-degree spine that is well suited for scraping tasks and striking a fero rod. The scales are green micarta with orange G10 liners and orange tubes. The handle has one finger groove towards the blade adding more comfort and grip. The final versions of this knife will be available in 1095 high carbon steel or Nitro-V stainless steel.
Neck knives can be tricky, as they are designed to be worn around your neck they can’t be big and heavy, but need to be big enough to do the job. The wicket hits a sweet spot between comfortable carry and ergonomic performance. The weight and length are fantastic for wearing around your neck; it is not cumbersome and doesn’t feel like it gets in the way. The sheath retention is excellent so there is no rattle, but not too stiff where you can get the knife out easily. After near constant wear for a week, there were not any instances of accidental deployment.
In hand, this has a solid three-finger grip and plenty of room on the spine to place my thumb when bearing down on the blade for push cuts. The Knife is comfortable with some prolonged use, but keep in mind it is a neck knife and will definitely produce more hand fatigue than something with a larger handle.
The primary points I tested with the Wicket were everyday cutting tasks and outdoor tasks. In terms of EDC tasks, the Wicket is an unassuming rock star, easily taking care of cardboard, opening packages, and some light prying tasks thanks to the tough high-carbon steel. This is a space I really like neck knives for, it is no secret that I prefer the simplicity of fixed blades over a folding knife. Despite this, you may not always want a knife on your belt, especially in certain social situations so neck knives like the Wicket are ideal for a non-intimidating carry option.
Now when it comes to hard use outdoor tasks, you may be surprised that this little guy did a fine job. Despite the small size, The Wicket was able to process through some thick branches with relative ease, as well as process fatwood well. I was able to shave off some fine fatwood shaving and dust as well as spark a fero rod to get the fire started. I was even able to do some light batoning to split some larger branches for the fire.
In foraging tasks I found the Wicket to be especially useful with mushroom harvesting due to its small size and ability to do detailed cuts. It was also more than capable of cutting through stems and stalks as well as some fine chopping of plant materials. I would not recommend using a knife this sized for thick and woody roots, although it could certainly handle it if that was all you had.
A final, and unexpected, test came from my user error. When carving into a thick branch I slipped and bounced the blade pretty hard against a rock. Upon inspection, I found absolutely no damage to the edge and continued along my way of processing the wood. I attribute this to the toughness of the tool steel and a well-done heat treat.
The Wicket is an excellent choice for an everyday carry fixed blade and is very well suited for a backup fixed blade for bushcraft and camping or even as a primary for hiking and other activities that you don’t plan on doing a tremendous amount of heavy work. The small size makes it incredibly versatile in how you choose to carry it; around your neck, in your pocket, or even as part of a small emergency survival kit. Even though the Wicket is small, it is well crafted and built for putting in work. The jute-wrapped versions are just $100 USD which is an incredible value for a handmade knife, and the micarta handle scaled versions are currently $165 USD.