Shirogorov just released their newest production model, a “budget” oriented version of the Quantum called the Quantum Ursus NL. The Quantum Ursus NL is spec’d to be a lower cost, hardworking version of the recurring Shiro design, with mechanical and material changes throughout.
Shirogorov representative Tom lays out the aim with the Quantum Ursus NL right at the start: “The model is called Quantum Ursus NL, and is one of our less pricey models (well, inasmuch as our knives can be budget).” Now, no Shirogorov release is anything approaching inexpensive, but the Russian shop took special care with the Quantum Ursus NL to reduce production costs where they could, creating a Shirogorov designed to please collectors while being ready to work hard. “[It] was in the first hand designed as a workhorse folder, which should cost less than its namesake in top-of-the-line configuration,” Tom states in the official Shirogorov writeup.
So what sort of changes does Shirogorov make to a knife to make it more affordable? Tom writes that getting rid of the fuller on the blade was one such change; less milling means less production cost. Furthermore, the Quantum Ursus NL’s pivot runs on the SRBS Single-Row Bearing System, rather than the more luxurious multi-row version Shirogrov is famous for. According to Tom, the action on the Quantum Ursus NL should still please fans used to the legendary performance of other Shiro knives.
These details help the price come down a bit; others ensure that the Ursus NL is ready to work. Jimping on the flipper tab helps your finger get traction, and the 3.5mm stock was chosen with performance in mind. “A subtle suggestion that this knife was made to cut, cut, cut, and then cut some more,” Tom notes. The steel is something a little bit different Shirogorov choice Cromax here, a powder metallurgy steel from Lohmann that’s a fairly uncommon sight in production and custom knife realms. “It is pretty close in its key parameters to Elmax, but surpasses the latter in most areas,” Tom explains.
Moving on to the handle, we can see that the shape hasn’t changed, but the actual look and fittings have. Gone is the futuristic milling on the Quantum Gen. 2, replaced by something a bit more restrained, even a touch traditional. “The biggest visual changes in the handle are of course the wooden inlays,” Tom’s post continues. “For the first time in a long while we are using ‘natural’ materials in the handle of one of our serial pieces. Rosewood inlays are a great match for titanium – both visually and by touch.”
Knife in Featured Image: Shirogorov Quantum Ursus NL