- Buyer's Guide
GiantMouse ACE Riv | EDC Knife Review
Knives, and more specifically EDC knives, have become ubiquitous in the world of carry. With good reason too, they are functional, beautiful, and fun to play with (stay safe, kids!). These days, there are many boutique knife makers on the scene, catering to all tastes, from heavy-duty tactical knives to stylish urban pieces and handmade masterpieces.
GiantMouse, although only a young company (founded in 2015), are known for their expertise in the knife game, with fan favorites such as the Grand and the Biblio garnering rave reviews amongst the outdoor and EDC crowd. Their newest offering, the ACE Riv, is a little smaller but no less fierce than its larger siblings. We even featured it in our Best New Gear 2020 at the end of last year. So naturally, we were excited to get our hands on it when we had the chance!
Blade Steel: Elmax
Blade Length: 2.44″
Handle: Green Canvas Micarta
Handle Length: 3.375″
Lock: Titanium Frame Lock
They say the best knife is the one you have with you. Well, that’s not always strictly true. Conversely, the worst is when a knife is not the right fit for the job. Maybe it’s too aggressive, or maybe it’s too dainty and unreliable. When it comes to EDC, you need your knife to work as both a beauty and a beast. GiantMouse have found the perfect fit for that gap with the ACE Riv.
At a passing glance, you might think that the ACE Riv is just a shrunken version of GiantMouse’s ever-popular Biblio model. This is not the case. The team have created this knife from the ground up with inspiration coming from two senior designers, Jens and Jesper. Drawing from their experiences as young adventurers, they are keenly aware that the best way to be prepared in the wild is to have a fixed blade for heavy-duty tasks, and a flipper as backup or for the smaller tasks when agility is king! It’s also worth noting the Riv is named after a bar that GiantMouse CEO Jim Wirth used to water at!
Function should always be the primary focus when choosing a knife, what you’re using it for, where you’re going to use it, how regularly, etc. However, we’d all be lying if we said appearances don’t come into it! The GiantMouse ACE Riv is a looker. Its Green Canvas Micarta gains more character with each use, and a really nice patina has started to form on mine, particularly around the edges where I hold it closest.
Not only is the Micarta side of the handle attractive, but it is also a thoughtfully designed knife, and everything that you can see was intentional. The teardrop dimple on the blade is aligned with the top edge in a pleasing fashion. And while it has a practical purpose for opening and closing, I really like the chosen shape. The blade is finished with a small, simple logo, which happily is the only branding on the knife.
The exterior rivets and bolts, along with the wire clip give it a utilitarian feel that means it will be at home in most situations. As I write this article, I am realizing that is one of my favorite features of this knife. It really does fit anywhere and everywhere. There is a small lanyard hole on the rear of the handle if you want to personalize the knife or attach it to a bag.
The GiantMouse ACE Riv is a delight to handle. It is nimble, balanced, and lightweight. At 2.4oz, this slips into a pocket, a glovebox, or a bag without any hesitation. The titanium frame lock mechanism obviously helps with the weight savings, but maintains the robustness one hopes for in a knife.
The handle’s 3.3″ length brings your fingers rather close to the blade. But I personally don’t find that to be much of an issue with EDC knives, because I’m rarely putting the type of extreme force through them that would make me nervous about slipping off grip and losing a digit. The scoop hold on the bottom portion of the blade gives you extra security too! One-handed opening is a breeze and makes it a joy to use in quick situations, whether that is opening a box, cutting yarn, or divvying up a sandwich. The ¼” ribbed grip on the top edge of the blade also aids stability when you need to extend that index finger for the more forceful moments.
The blade has a good width of just over one inch at its widest point, which makes it a really useful pint-sized powerhouse. This thickness increases the knife’s versatility and makes me more comfortable using it in heavier-duty situations. As I mentioned earlier, there is the dimple that aids in quick opening. But there is also a flipper on the rear side, if that is your preferred deployment method. Both options are easy to use and lock into place quickly. The opening is smooth and thanks to its ball-bearing pivot mechanism, it doesn’t “spring” out on you too quickly, something that is often a bugbear of mine on smaller knives.
In the wild
The GiantMouse ACE Riv was designed with the intention of deployment as a backup knife for the outdoors, kept sharp and safe in the event of a lost knife or dulled edge. However, I’ve found myself reaching for it more often than not. The ACE Riv is sharp, sharp, sharp. I’ve used it for cooking a few dinners, and the blade slid through salmon, steak, and root vegetables with consummate ease. This knife can be used on a branch to shave off some tinder, make a spear, and I have no doubt that in a pinch, this will help you create any other tool you might find yourself needing to whittle up.
When I started reviewing this knife, I had placed it in my hiking pack. And it served me admirably on those occasions on the trail. However, after four months with this, it has continuously crept into my daily carry. It is convenient, stylish, and most importantly, useful. GiantMouse have created a knife that pulls double duty without hesitation. With knives, at least for me, there are always a couple that will be the first choice to come with you on your escapades, whether into town or into the wild. I don’t say this lightly, but thanks to its small form factor, high-quality materials, character, and versatility, the ACE Riv has found its way to the top of my list.