The Lionsteel Gitano is a slipjoint, designed after Gudy van Poppel’s custom Gitano. He is a Dutch knife maker and blacksmith, known for his extravagant designs. And, undeniably a very outgoing personality with tattoos and other body decorations. Gudy talks to everyone showing interest. So, he is often the center of large groups of knife enthusiasts during knife shows and meetings.
The bladesmith/craftsman Gudy
Gudy is a real craftsman, knows his materials and how to use and machine them. A lot of his work is inspired by influences from the Mediterranean part of Europe, like Spain and Italy. The Gitano is inspired by ancient Spanish designs. He showed the first prototype of the Gitano to a few insiders in 2017, during the Dutch weekend knife show Bladestock in The Netherlands. And there I ordered my first Gitano.
The Gitano: A real winner
Gudy made the custom Gitano in several varieties. For example a full dressed titanium framelock, linerlock with micarta, carbon fibre linerlock and others. And, as a reward, the full dressed titanium framelock version became Best Folding Knife during Dutch Knife Exhibition 2018.
Collaborating with Tools for Gents
During Bladestock 2017, Gudy met Ricci and Flo, owners of Tools for Gents. This a German reseller of special, limited series and custom knives. As a result they started a collaboration for selling Gudy’s customs in their webshop. But this collaboration would be expanded soon.
The Gitano was an inspiration for the guys from Tools for Gents. And they wanted to seal the partnership with Gudy with a production version of the Gitano. From the beginning this was meant as a limited TfG’s edition. And off they went to Maniago, the Italian knife region. There they met with the manufacturers over there. The folks of Lionsteel were very enthusiast about the design, resulting in a production version. This was introduced in November of 2019. And immediately, the Lionsteel Gitano was a great success and became a bestseller.
Where the custom Gitano is a framelock with an overall length of 26.5cm. The Lionsteel Gitano is a slipjoint (with the Cran Forcé system; this is very secure!), with an overall length of 19.2cm. So, that is quite a difference. However, size ratios and design remained perfectly intact. The Lionsteel Gitano is very suitable for every day carry because of it’s size, weight, safe slipjoint mechanism and capabillities. Because it is a two-hand-opening knife, it’s also legal in most countries.
Varieties & specials
The Gitano comes in several variations.
- Olive Wood
- Black G10
- Santos Wood
- Green Micarta
- Carbon Fiber
Two Tools for Gents Specials
- Silver Twill Carbon Fibre
- Natural Canvas Micarta
Prices for the Gitano start at € 116,00, depending on the version. All varieties are available in the webshop of Tools for Gents. And, as the project initiator, I think, Tools for Gents deserves our support. Just follow the link if you want to buy a Gitano (Lionsteel or Custom).
- Total length: 192 mm/7.56″
- Blade length: 85 mm/3.35″
- Sharpening length: 81 mm/3.19″
- Closed length: 108 mm/4.25″
- Total thickness: 12 mm/0.47″
- Blade thickness: 3 mm/0.12″
- Total weight: 91 gr/3.21 oz.
- Steel: Niolox stainless steel, 59-60 HRC
Niolox is an European blade steel. It is a very good steel, it takes a keen edge and keeps it for a long time. Because of the addition of Niobium, the carbides in the steel are better distributed. This makes it very wear resistant. So, a tough steel with excellent edge holding capabillities and relatively easy to sharpen.