Otter-Messer Mercator K55K "Kat" Knife w/ Lanyard


This simple but extremely rugged pocket knife has been used and manufactured in Solingen, Germany for over 100 years and are virtually unchanged from their original design. The "Mercator" blades were first forged in 1867 by Heinrich Kaufmann & Sohne, Indiawerk. Their reliability made them popular with Kaiser Wilhelm's Army in WWI. Eventually they garnered acclaim from civilians as well. They are virtually indestructible and have been passed down from generation to generation.

Otter-Messer, who has been manufacturing blades in Solingen since 1840, revived the manufacture of the Mercator pocket knife in 1995 when Heinrich Kaufmann & Sohne, Indiawerk went bankrupt.

  • Mercator's "Kat" Pocket Knife
  • *Exclusive 17" Clip-on Nylon Lanyard*
  • Hand Made in Solingen Germany
  • Lockable
  • C75 Carbon Steel Blade
  • Black Painted Iron Casing
  • Hand Embossed Kat K55K (The Heinrich Kaufmann & Sohne, Indiawerk Logo)
  • Mounting Ring

The smoothness of the opening action, no grittiness, the extremely positive snap of the lock-back engaging. No fiddling. No "needs a bit of break in time" apologies. This is like an artifact from the past. Ever wondered how they did things 100 years ago? Hold this in your hands. Turn it over and look at the details. The angles. The proportions? They got this one right. The milling/finish work is startlingly uniform and the handle is the optimal thickness for the weight of the knife. It's a very thin profile and yet seemingly unbendable. It sits well in the front pocket of a pair of jeans and is a heck of a lot more of a "real knife" than some dinky multi tool thing. The mercator also has a durable riveted lanyard that wont make you cry out in anguish after it breaks and falls off your belt at the top of the ladder on a job site. I’d use it for slicing food on a camping trip, or trimming carpet. As long as you keep the blade sharp this knife should keep going and ask for more

This knife is a weird mix of "if Porsche made disposable things". Meaning it is sort of meant to be humdrum and purely functional but the quality standard is shocking. Perhaps like silk napkins at an outdoor picnic. Like a painting that is pontillized so well you think its a photograph, a first glance might not even register, but then you notice the details. The rivets are perfect. The finish is 100% with not a single blemish. Cutting edge angle is startlingly uniform with no evidence of shoddy workmanship or rushing.

Even the utility grade finish on the blade has a startling uniformity to it. No fancy-pants mirror finish, just get in and get things done. No flex, with excellent sharpening work from the factory, and sooo slender. No fancy hardwood panels, no engraving, rather a vaguely brutish dose of german industrial minimalism. A folding knife reduced to its barest functional essentials. The pure shot of espresso after a lifetime of vanilla-with-whipped-cream-and-sprinkles-nonfat-lattes!

This knife is priced cheaper than a pair of new jeans, but I’d reckon the mercator K55 “Kat" will be perfectly sound after your 10th pair of jeans has hit the trash. And, it will probably work better and look better than you will as the years go by.