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Gear we Like

Here at Wndsn we have been kicking around for a long time an idea of showcasing gear we like. This idea has picked up considerable steam since the advent of the Wndsn Expedition Team Telegram. Members are frequently sharing their favorite pieces of gear and it has become a valuable resource for crowd sourced information from people who actually use the products on a daily basis. We are not sure what format this feature will take in the future but we are bringing it here first.

Have a beloved item that is crucial to your kit that you think the world needs to know? Submit your review to info@wndsn.com, subject line: Gear we Like, following the format linked here.

Gear we Like: 25 Years of Fred Perrin's LaGriffe in my Pocket


Today I want to talk about one of my favorite knifemakers, Fred Perrin, and his iconic design, the LaGriffe.

Custom LaGriffe on a Fred Perrin bracelet

Custom LaGriffe on a Fred Perrin bracelet.

Fred Perrin is a well-known knife maker from France who has a lot of experience in combat and martial arts. He used to be a commando and a close combat instructor for the military and the police, so he knows what works and what doesn't. Fred is an expert in the balisong (or butterfly knife) and has written several books and articles. He started making knives in the 1990s and has been creating sucessful designs ever since, including collaborations with other makers like Michael Janich and Laci Szabo. His knives are tactical and self-defense oriented, but also beautiful and elegant. He makes custom pieces that are inspired by OSS weapons from World War 2, like daggers, stilettos, and spikes. (There is even a Perrin x Wndsn Collaboration, if you can find it...) He also makes unique jewelry out of metal and leather, like bracelets, necklaces, rings, and even wallets. Fred Perrin is a legend in the knife world.

One way to identify his knives is by looking at the maker's marks, which have changed over time. Here are the three main types of marks he has used:

Perrin maker's marks over time

Perrin maker's marks over time.

  • The old butterfly stamp: This was his first mark, which he used on some of his early models. It consists of a stylized butterfly logo with the letters "FP" around it. The mark is usually stamped on the blade near the handle.
  • The later "F.PERRIN" stamp: This is a more common mark, which he started using in the late 1990s or early 2000s. It consists of his name in uppercase letters, "F.PERRIN", stamped on the blade near the handle.
  • The newer "F.PERRIN" engraving: This is his latest mark, which he began using in the 2010s. It consists of his name in cursive uppercase letters, "F.PERRIN", hand-engraved on the blade near the handle or on the spine.

His knife designs are simple and minimalist, focusing on functionality and ergonomics. Many of his models are worn by professional users as backup knives and are praised for their reliability. He makes both production and custom knives, using various materials and finishes.

Custom LaGriffes, some semi-productions, and the Emerson LaGriffe

Custom LaGriffes, some semi-productions, and the Emerson LaGriffe.

One of his most popular and recognizable designs is the LaGriffe, which means "the claw" in French. The LaGriffe is a small fixed blade knife with a finger hole behind the blade, which allows for a secure grip and quick deployment and it prevents the knife from being dropped or disarmed. The blade is usually around 1.5 inches long, and can be made of stainless steel or carbon steel. The handles are either skeletonized or have scales made of G10, micarta, bone, horn, or other materials.

More custom and semi-custom LaGriffes

More custom and semi-custom LaGriffes.

The LaGriffe is a multipurpose knife that can be worn as a neck knife, concealed under clothing or in a pocket. It can be used for self-defense, utility tasks, or everyday carry. The LaGriffe is a versatile and elegant knife that showcases Fred Perrin's philosophy of simplicity and efficiency -- and his legendary ergonomics. It comes in different versions, such as the LaGriffe Pliante (a folding version), the Mini LaGriffe (a smaller version), or the GriffeShark (a version with a straight-razor shaped blade), among others.

I own several LaGriffes and carry one almost daily for 25 years now. They are easy to carry, comfortable to use, and very effective. They are also beautiful pieces of craftsmanship that demonstrate Fred Perrin's skill and creativity. If you are looking for a small but powerful knife that can handle any situation, you should look at the LaGriffe by Fred Perrin.

If you are interested in getting a LaGriffe for yourself, you can check out his production versions, or look for his customs online or at knife shows.

Fred Perrin morale patch

Fred Perrin morale patch.

Saying it with Fred: Faire et laisser braire -- something like, just do and don't care what others say.

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