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Hands-on Gear Review

Old Timer 180T Mighty Mite Review

Old Timer 180T Mighty Mite
Price:   $13 List | $9.38 at Amazon
Pros:  Tiny and reliable
Cons:  Too small for most adult hands to perform major tasks
Bottom line:  Tiny knife for occasional use or very small hands.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Old Timer Knives

Our Verdict

The Old Timer Mighty Mite is well named. The design is predominantly a throwback style to knives of the early 1900s. Shrade, the manufacturer, has updated this particular old-fashioned appearing product with a modern locking mechanism. It is also very tiny. Basically, it is as small as a knife can be and still be even a little useful. For those with small hands, or those with light-duty tasks, the Mighty Mite will suffice. For day-to-day use for most adults, something larger is a better choice.


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Score Product Price Blade Style Opening Style Lock Mechanism
76
$145
Editors' Choice Award
Drop Point, Straight Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud Proprietary (Axis)
75
$80
Best Buy Award
Drop Point, Straight Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud. And back-of-knife finger tab. Frame lock
74
$120
Drop Point, Straight Ambidextrous thumb Stud Proprietary (Axis)
73
$21
Top Pick Award
Drop point, straight Fingernail None
72
$97
Top Pick Award
Clip point, straight Assisted, thumb stud Piston lock mechanism
70
$36
Drop point, straight Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud. And back-of-knife finger tab. Liner locking mechanism
60
$13
Clip point, straight Fingernail Liner locking mechanism
59
$82
Clip point, straight Fingernail Frame lock
56
$16
Drop point, straight One handed blade cutout Frame lock

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
September 20, 2016

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The Old Timer is almost the smallest knife in our test, and by far the simplest. With one, small, locking blade, this is a casual tool for casual users. It can unobtrusively jingle around with the change in your pocket until you need it to open a letter or sharpen a pencil.

Performance Comparison


Detail shot of the Old Timer. Name plate  "liner lock" labeled with the word "Press"  and the Shrade brand on the blade.
Detail shot of the Old Timer. Name plate, "liner lock" labeled with the word "Press", and the Shrade brand on the blade.

Blade and Edge Integrity


Among knife and steel aficionados the "7Cr17 High Carbon Stainless Steel" Shrade uses in the Old Timer 18OT doesn't have a very strong reputation. It is a relatively hard steel. Regular knife users dislike this because it is hard to sharpen. This also means that it holds its edge well, once sharpened. Now, those regular users of knives are repeatedly dulling and then resharpening their blades. Hard steel like 7Cr17 is difficult to sharpen. The thing is, in this tiny, occasional use knife, steel like this isn't the liability one might first assume given the poor reviews for the material alone. From the factory, in our experience, the blade is plenty sharp. The knife is so small that one cannot exert a great deal of force nor can one use it for extended tasks. This alone, the usage pattern dictated by the form-factor, prevents rapid dulling of the blade. The factory edge will last long enough and sharp enough to satisfy anyone that might choose this tiny tool. The occasional sharpening one will need to do will be tedious, but manageable. Another drawback of this hard steel is its brittleness. For chopping and prying, the blade material of the 18OT is ill suited. Again, however, the form-factor serves to protect the product. One simply isn't going to tackle heavy tasks with this knife.

Ergonomics


If you have child-sized hands, you can possibly use this knife for extensive whittling and cutting. Otherwise, it will be relegated to super-light duty tasks. Just like our Top Pick Victorinox Classic the Old Timer is simply too small for adult hands to do extended cutting.
The Mighty Mite in an average adult male hand  for size reference. This is a small knife  suitable for easy pocket carry for light duty tasks.
The Mighty Mite in an average adult male hand, for size reference. This is a small knife, suitable for easy pocket carry for light duty tasks.

Construction Quality


Often, smaller pieces of equipment are more prone to manufacturing issues and sloppy tolerances. So far, in our months of testing of the Old Timer, we've had no issues with hinges, locks, or side-plates. The "Mighty Mite" is indeed mighty. The steel, delrin, and brass construction is proven, classic, and solid. We fear that the brass "liner lock" will fatigue or bind, but that has yet to happen.
Brass liner lock on the Old Timer  engaged. To close the blade the user must press the diagonaling brass tab to the left in this photo.
Brass liner lock on the Old Timer, engaged. To close the blade the user must press the diagonaling brass tab to the left in this photo.

Portability


Portability is a function of size and carry options. A smaller knife is more portable. A knife with a pocket clip and/or keychain attachment is more portable. By size alone, only the Victorinox Classic is more portable. However, the Classic edges ahead with a simple keychain clip. The Old Timer Mighty Mite is so small that it can easily get lost in ones pockets with receipts and coins. For rapid use, a pocket clip or even keychain attachment is faster to find and grab ahold of.
The small knives we tested for 2016  with their respective blades open for comparison. From left to right  the Old Timer  Top Pick Victorinox Classic  and Gerber Fine Edge STL.
The small knives we tested for 2016, with their respective blades open for comparison. From left to right, the Old Timer, Top Pick Victorinox Classic, and Gerber Fine Edge STL.

Other Features


There are no other features on the Old Timer.

Best Application


We recommend this as a kid's first knife or for inclusion in a small emergency or first aid kit.

Value


This is the second least expensive knife we tested. Only the Top Pick Victorinox Classic is less expensive. Both are tiny and inexpensive. If one is comparing them directly, the Old Timer is a bit "classier" and has a locking blade, while the Classic has more tools and slightly better blade steel. Both are excellent products for what you pay.

Conclusion


In short, we like the miniature stature and classic lines of the Mighty Mite. There are more usable knives in our test, and there are surely more sophisticated products, but we included the Old Timer for good reason. It is tiny, reliable, and serves as a throwback to your grandfather's pocket collection. The liner lock brings a modern up date to the knife.
As a handy companion  the Old Timer is a suitable letter opener  as well as being appropriate for light duty cutting tasks like pencil sharpening and cutting string.
As a handy companion, the Old Timer is a suitable letter opener, as well as being appropriate for light duty cutting tasks like pencil sharpening and cutting string.

Other Versions and Accessories


None to note.
Jediah Porter

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 20, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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4 star: 100%  (1)
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