Ostap Hel and Bestech have returned to the first knife in Hel’s Bouquet trilogy, the Tulip. This time their aim was to create a budget version of the botanical knife, with changes to the materials but not to its design, even down to the visual flourishes.
Each of Hel’s Bouquet knives was inspired by a flower, but despite this shared heritage the three knives in the trilogy – the Tulip, Ivy, and Strelit – differed hugely in their visual and utilitarian characteristics. The Tulip, obviously, was inspired by good ol’ tulipa gesneriana, with a compact, rounded frame that echoed the closepetaled elegance of its floral forbearer. But Hel turned elsewhere for the blade shape, creating a modern, but non-locking version of the Japanese kiridashi, a chisel-style blade ideal precise utility tasks. A front flipper deployment rounded out the list of features.
None of the visual and mechanical elements have been altered for the budget Tulip; the only changes are the expected material ones. The premium Tulip gave users a blade made from either M390 or damasteel; the budget Tulip comes in only one flavor, and that’s 14C28N. While not on the cutting edge of budget-conscious steels, 14C28N performs more than solidly enough, particularly for a knife of the Tulip’s size and use category.
Gone, of course, are the titanium handle scales. G-10 scales (available in a variety of colors) take their place, although they do have the same curving, tuliplike sculpting as their premium predecessors. Also carried over is the shape of the pocket clip. However, it is made from stamped stainless steel, not sculpted from titanium.
The Tulip is the first of the Bouquet knives to receive a budget variation. Although neither Hel nor Bestech have adverted that the Ivy or Strelit will follow suit, it does make sense that, if they were doing the entire series, they would begin at the beginning.
It seems likely that the budget Tulip will be one of, if not the, last knife to come from Bestech in 2021. It is en route to dealers now, with an MSRP just south of $50.
Knife in Featured Image: Bestech Tulip in G-10