Behind the Blade: Interviews with 4 Knife Designers

Editor’s Notice: The next write-ups had been submitted by knife designers who work full-time within the self-defense and survival business. Fairly than merely explaining the bodily traits of their blades, we requested every of them to provide some background on why they devised them within the first place, in addition to how they’ve modified over time.

Black Triangle

URL: / Instagram: @BlackTriangleGroup

Above: The MK1 Mod2 and its sheath are each absolutely nonmetallic for enhanced concealability.

Inform us a little bit about your background and curiosity in survival abilities.

My curiosity in survival abilities peaked whereas working shut safety. Many of the work was accomplished in main metropolitan areas and due to lots of the places, I discovered myself poorly armed because of native legislation or firm coverage. Being driver and having mushy abilities equivalent to interpersonal communication ended up being extra useful than the gear I used to be carrying. I did, nevertheless, spend a lot of my downtime scheming the way to carry gadgets to avoid wasting myself or the shopper whereas not drawing undesirable consideration. These concepts ended up changing into the muse for my model, Black Triangle.

What’s your knife of selection?

5 years and a number of modifications later, and we’ve got the Black Triangle Midnight Creeper MK1 Mod2, my favourite knife to hold. It’s a 7-inch-long mounted nonmetallic knife comprised of G-10. The deal with is wrapped in gutted, epoxied paracord for a assured grip. The knife, sheath, and {hardware} are all 100-percent metal-free. G-10 knives do have their limitations in comparison with metal, however this can be a preventing knife that has been confirmed in each managed testing and out in the true world. It will possibly merely go lots of locations the place metal knives can’t.

What led you to decide on this knife?

I selected the MK1 Mod2 for each practicality and mawkish causes. This was our first knife so it holds a particular place among the many different fashions. It’s additionally the knife that has been examined probably the most. It has withstood excessive low temperatures (-44 levels F), been submerged in seawater with no hostile outcomes, and carried out exceptionally when examined on natural mediums. It will possibly go many extra locations than simply previous a metallic detector. You may take this knife into nearly any surroundings, and it’ll carry out its duties as a defensive instrument.

Is there something you’d change about it?

One factor I want to change concerning the MK1M2 is one thing that we are literally within the means of creating — including an index level to the pommel. That variant is coming quickly. For these finish customers who really feel the MK1 is simply too giant, or those that need additional discount in signature, MK2M2 and MK2M3 are the smaller siblings to the MK1M2.

Corvus Survival (Jerry Saunders)

URL: / Instagram: @corvus_survival

Above: The Corvus Carrion is a compact blade that caters to a wide range of on a regular basis and survival duties.

Inform us a little bit about your background and curiosity in survival abilities.

I’m a Marine Corps veteran, Scout Sniper, and former chief teacher of survival for america Marine Corps, Mountain Warfare Coaching Heart. I’m an internationally acknowledged survival teacher for work in chilly climate survival, and likewise a former Park Ranger, federal LEO, firefighter, EMT, and SAR Tech. I presently hunt, fish, farm, and forage whereas working a small homestead within the higher peninsula of Michigan, and I make knives in my dwelling workshop. (Editor’s Notice: If you have not already, take a look at our full Survivalist Highlight interview with Jerry Saunders.)

What’s your knife of selection?

I name it the Corvus Carrion. It’s a instrument I carry every single day no matter no matter else I’m carrying. For instance, proper now, I’m operating a extremely cool prototype Sgian Dubh I’ve been engaged on, and my Carrion continues to be clipped down on the suitable leg pocket of my pants. I nonetheless seize it first. It not solely performs nice, it has a primitive feel and appear that undeniably hardwires you to the previous. The Carrion is a 6-inch knife with a 2.6-inch Scandi grind edge and 90-degree backbone. The supplies are 80CrV2, generally nicknamed “Swedish noticed metal,” and skinny hemp wire coated in a customized epoxy mix that gives a dry texture. Each Carrion comes with an ambidextrous deep-carry Kydex sheath.

What led you to decide on this knife?

“Make a knife that enhances a primitive scavenger mindset” — that was the thought that began the journey that’s now the Carrion. I’ve at all times lived in very rural areas, about an hour from any city, and it’s not unusual to succeed in for a knife 10 to twenty occasions a day for numerous duties and chores. These embody making hearth, foraging, and chopping meat. I needed a knife that wasn’t so massive that it will get left on the nightstand however was sturdy sufficient that it might not break a sweat if requested to punch outdoors its weight class.

Is there something you’d change about it?

Since its conception, there have really been seven structural modifications. Many are proof of my progress as a knife maker, however others are simply refinements from my very own use and suggestions from prospects. One prime instance: The unique intent with Mod 0 was to have the ability to unravel a paracord-wrapped deal with and style a spear out of it. I did it as soon as, simply to say I did it, after which I axed that concept. At the moment, my signature model Carrion now sports activities the enduring burnt hemp wrap, giving the knife a primitive feel and appear. Over the previous couple of years, there have been totally different one-off variations — double edge, customized handles, trainers, hammered finishes, and even just a few flat floor Carrions. After the most recent addition of the ambi Kydex sheath, I don’t foresee any modifications within the instant future, nevertheless I’m at all times looking out for alternatives.


URL: / Instagram: @delta2alphadesign

Inform us a little bit about your background and curiosity in survival abilities.

I’ve at all times loved the outside. From enjoying down on the creek as a child — constructing traps, forts/shelters, and makeshift instruments — to spending a weekend outdoor with solely what I can match right into a 30L bag for gear testing. Getting out into nature and away from civilization makes me really feel at peace.

What’s your knife of selection?

I selected the Bravo 1 discipline knife, which I name “one thing your granddad would’ve guess his life on.” It has that timeless really feel, with 12-inch full-tang development from 1095 carbon metal, a hardwood deal with, sturdy metallic guards (your selection of brass or metal), and a well-thought-out leather-based sheath. I’m particularly pleased with how the deal with ergonomics turned out, since I imagine a fantastic knife ought to really feel like an ideal extension of the wielder’s hand. You must be capable of focus absolutely on the duty at hand, slightly than the instrument you’re utilizing to perform it.

Above: With a leather-based sheath, hardwood deal with, and durable carbon metal blade, the Bravo 1 is meant to be a timeless design.

What led you to decide on this knife?

The 1095 metal is a traditional selection; it’s very sturdy and simple to sharpen within the discipline. This blade design is nice for normal use in a wide range of conditions — sufficiently big for actual work, however mild sufficient to hold on a belt all day. The deal with is thick and simple to hold onto, decreasing the prospect for damage throughout chopping and different hard-use duties. There’s additionally a lanyard gap, as a result of dropping your knife into water (or worse but, onto your foot) may be disastrous.

Is there something you’d change about it?

Sooner or later, we could supply a unique deal with materials, equivalent to Micarta or stacked leather-based, in addition to a unique blade end. Admittedly, these modifications could be extra about style than perform, however I do assume it’s good to have instruments that look good.

FLDWRX (Ryan Atkinson)

Instagram: @fldwrx

The Variant One Wraith (pictured above) and MF Bladeworks Vandal (pictured under) bear some clear similarities to one another, since each are meant for use in a Pikal grip.

Inform us a little bit about your background and curiosity in survival abilities.

Raised in Los Angeles County, I performed sports activities from age 5 to 22. Highschool coaches seen me for my measurement and energy. I ended up incomes a soccer scholarship to the College of Kansas. After enjoying faculty ball and graduating in 2002, I began working for a safety agency out of Kansas Metropolis at age 22. Rock bands and pop stars on world excursions had been the specialties. After some brief work publicity with The Eagles, Blink-182, and Korn, my first full-time gig was venue safety director for the band Pearl Jam on their 2003 Riot Act tour. I realized the job from the within out and had no prior related expertise to drag from. Since then, I’ve labored for purchasers equivalent to Good Charlotte, Linkin Park, Dashboard Confessional, Hilary Duff, Pink Scorching Chili Peppers, Motley Crüe, Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, and KISS. (Editor’s Notice: For extra on Ryan’s background and classes realized whereas defending celebrities, consult with our Highlight interview in Problem 48.)

Survival is relative to a person’s surroundings. My workspace is worldwide, city, fast-paced, chaotic, and nearly totally beneath the highlight. An excellent safety individual learns to guard themselves first. Interpersonal and organizational abilities, plus being relatable, hold us afloat.

What’s your knife of selection?

Selecting only one is not possible, so I’ll decide two designs I’ve lately put out in collaboration with nice makers. First is the MF Bladeworks Vandal, a 6.5-inch stonewashed S35VN metal knife with 2.5-inch blade. Second is the Variant One Wraith, comprised of 3V metal, with a 6.5-inch OAL and 3-inch blade. It has a black Cerakote end by @candbqualitycoatings. Each blades are “backward knives,” aka Pikal-style — they’re meant for tip-down, edge-in use, they usually’re purpose-driven.

The deal with of every knife matches totally in my hand, with the angled punyo resting comfortably on the thumb for added grip energy. I like a 2.5- to 3-inch blade size, following “the rule of thumb;” if it’s so long as an outstretched thumb, it’s lengthy sufficient to dig right into a chest and contact the guts. Each knives have a darkish end to chop down visibility and are utterly sterile with no maker’s markings. Knives are supposed to be felt, not seen.

What led you to decide on these knives?

Once I say they’re “my design,” I imply “constructed on the shoulders of giants.” There’s nothing new beneath the solar — I didn’t give you the concepts, I simply put the issues I’ve realized to be true right into a cohesive package deal. I’ve accomplished some intense coaching with Scott Babb of Libre Combating, Ed Calderon of Ed’s Manifesto, Doc Callidus of Callidus Collective, Johnny Primo of Programs of Motion, and Invoice Rapier of Amtac Blades. These males confirmed me their tackle blade work, and I pulled from their information and expertise, in addition to what makes probably the most sense to me.

Is there something you’d change about them?

I like scales comprised of Positive Contact, a rubberized G-10 materials that’s not too sticky. I need to supply these on the Wraith sooner or later, and chamfer them a bit. I additionally prefer to have enjoyable with colours and create a unique narrative. So possibly sooner or later, I’ll add some deceptive goofy phrases like “for kitchen use” or “fruits and veggies solely!”

One main factor I’ve seen about knife design is that I at all times need to scale down a proportion. If it feels glorious in hand, I make it barely smaller. Be sure the deal with feels nice in all grip angles. You by no means know the way the knife will find yourself in your hand throughout a dynamic scenario.

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