Review: Vosteed Ankylo with New Vanchor Lock

The Vosteed Ankylo has a lot of momentum right now. It’s a new knife with a promising new lock, its all over my feeds, and it met its funding goal on Kickstarter in 30 minutes. That’s hype and all signs point to the Ankylo living up to it.


Blade Length: 3.18″ | 80.90 mm
Overall Length: 7.75″ | 196.90 mm
Blade Width: 1.22″ | 31.00 mm
Blade Thickness: 0.134″ | 3.40 mm
Blade Material: Elmax
Blade Grind: Flat
Blade Style: Reverse Tanto
Blade Finish: Black Stonewash / Satin / Stonewash
Hardness: HRC 60±2
Handle Length: 4.57″ | 116.00 mm
Handle Width: 1.06″ | 27.00 mm
Handle Thickness: 0.563″ | 14.30 mm
Handle Material: 6061 Aluminum
Color: Black / Green / Gray / Orange / Blue
Weight: 4.76 oz | 135.00 g
Opener: Front Flipper | Back Flipper | Thumb Hole
Lock Type: V-anchor Lock
Pivot Assembly: Caged Ceramic Ball Bearing
Pocket Clip:  Non-reversible | Stainless Steel
Carry Position: Tip-up
Knife Type: Manual Folding
Designer: Yue

Observations from Use

The Vanchor lock that is debuted on this knife is the recipient of most of the hype but, first, I want to talk about the Ankylo as a knife. It has dominated my pocket since I received a prototype for evaluation. Vosteed’s take on the reverse tanto blade shape has everything you want for an EDC knife – a strong and useable point, plenty of sweeping belly, a tall flat grind, and a reasonably thin edge.

The choice of Elmax steel made my day. Elmax is underappreciated and underused as a blade steel. It has very well-rounded characteristics with solid edge holding, toughness, and corrosion resistance while being easier to sharpen than many other super steels which I appreciate.

Accessing the blade is easy thanks to the multiple deployment options baked into this knife. It has a front and back flipper, neither of which add any width to the knife which I love. They also both have great jimping. The large thumb hole works like a champ for any deployment method you would want – slow rolling, thumb flicking, or reverse flicking. The Vanchor lock provides a very well tuned detent to support all these opening methods and the action is kind of unique. It’s very smooth and moves freely with somewhat of a buffered feel that is hard to describe – you need to try it. I think that feel might come from the magnet in the lock.

This knife fills and melts into the hand in multiple grips. The handle is long enough that average hands will be able to hold it with the index finger in the finger groove or choke up to the flat ahead of the finger groove… or choke up even further to place the index finger on the large comfortable finger choil. None of the opening methods get in the way of your grip because they all tuck cleanly into the handle when the blade is deployed (this is one of my most appreciated design elements that Vosteed incorporates into several of their knives).

Finally, we can talk about the Vanchor lock. This lock does exactly what you want a knife lock to do – lock up like a vault. The Ankylo with its Vanchor lock seems to have no play at all, in any direction. Not only does the Vanchor lock provide a lot of lock surface area but the large pivot assembly requires larger diameter caged ball bearings which coupled with the all metal construction make this knife feel like a fixed blade when it is deployed. Most knives on bearings can be flexed at least a little bit… not the Ankylo.

The heart of the Vanchor lock is a steel bar with a large lock plate on one end (all one piece). The steel bar is mounted inside the knife scale much like a nested liner lock so the lock plate can flex toward the blade. However, instead of locking against the tang, the lock plate mates into a groove at the base of the blade. When locked, this solid steel bar would need to break or deform for the lock to fail.

This design provides a few interesting benefits for end users and even knife designers. First, it is button-actuated which brings with it a lot of ease of use /fidget-factor for left and right handed users. Second, its detent geometry is very much like that of a liner lock which makes it easy to achieve a strong, crisp detent to support all fidgety-goodness that can be designed into a button lock knife.

When it comes to new knife locks, only time can tell the whole story. We can’t know yet how this lock will fair over the long term, exposure to pocket lint, sand, etc. but it certainly seems like a promising mix of strong, reliable lock-up with the user-friendliness of a button lock.

No knife is perfect and there are a few changes I would like to see made that are really just my preferences. First, it would be nice to have milled pocket clip on a chunky knife like this. I like Vosteed’s stamped clips but a milled clip would suit this knife. Second, I would like to see the large lock button recessed a bit more. It is large enough that you will always be able to find it so making it even more resistant to inadvertent contact seems like a win-win.

Wrap Up

The Ankylo is a knife worthy of an exciting new lock. It would be easy to loose sight of the fact that this is just a great knife in all the hype around the Vanchor lock. That said, the Vanchor lock does deliver. It has strong lock up, a great detent, and is as easy to use as any button lock. It will be very, very interesting to see where this lock turns upon next.

You can learn more about the Ankylo on Kickstarter. Learn more about Vosteed at

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