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Discussion in 'Knives' started by coprtoppe, Jan 31, 2015.
(Yes, her name sounds like an adult film star but she is not...afaik)
Rick Hinderer for general aesthetics but also tough (all I have right now are a couple of his ZT collabs, but great blades).
Ethan Becker for function and utility.
The Glessers for the variety.
Semper Praesidio - "Always On Guard"
Grant & Gavin Hawk
and of course BOB LOVELESS!
There are many more but those are the ones that come to mind now. I really admire a maker/ designer that is not afraid to make something that completely goes against the trends of the time just because that is what they feel is the right knife for them to make at the time.
I am not familiar with fixed blade knives; I do not follow their history or their makers. For folding knives, it would have to be these two:
Anthony Marfione - Say what you will about the man but take a look at the knives he has designed which are only his design (Whaleshark, L-UDT, C.F.O, Select Fire, Matrix, DOC are all examples of collaborations or knives made by the company with designs that were heavily influenced by other knives). You'll see that he has a very good instinct for proportions, for clean, sleek lines, for making sure that the aesthetic is not too "busy". The Scarab, Halo III, and Troodon are excellent designs, but the original Ultratech (not so much the current production ones) is his greatest design achievement. It's an an excellent knife for use, with stronger stainless internals, Sebenza style clip, and a titanium switch. It achieved a high level of reliability and precise function - most of these 2001 Ultratechs are still going strong today after 14 years of use - no small feat for a D/A front opening knife. Its aesthetic was clean and simple, but was not blocky or sterile - a design achievement made possible by the fact that the knife's lines are not actually perfectly straight, but gently sloped. In fact, on these early Ultratechs, there is only one straight line - the butt end. In terms of having it all - visual aesthetic, functional design, and technical achievement - the Ultratech is his magnum opus. And although Marfione's current custom knives have gone along with certain annoying trends that have taken a foothold in the 2010s, these first handmade Ultratechs demonstrate a great deal of technical and artistic skill, as well as good taste.
Ernest Emerson - This man has a permanent place in history for supplying knives to such organizations as the U.S. Navy, the British SAS, the G.S.G-9, and NASA, among others. It was he and Robert Terzuola who were responsible for tactical folders making their way into the mainstream. Emerson often stirs up controversy due to his production knives, which some perceive to be of lower quality than other modern production knives. But the reason I respect him over many other makers/designers is due to his custom knives. For over 20 years Emerson has produced custom knives by hand with stock removal. In terms of pure functionality I would say these custom folders are the best in the world. They may not have the best finish in the world - you can find small imperfections in Emerson's customs from the very first all the way to 2015. However, every single blade shape he designs gives an ideal balance between strength and cutting performance. His blades are utilitarian - no fancy compound grinds or decorative blade shapes. They are designed for a balance of strength and performance with specific tasks in mind. In addition, amazing ergonomics and balance has been achieved on each of these custom knives. They were built for performance from the very beginning and still are.
The knives pictured below belong to EDC forum member tensixteen. As he has posted his full dress CQC-6 and CQC-9 in many places, and because these are a shining example of Emerson's work, I felt that it was an appropriate picture for the topic of design.
I have yet to encounter another custom folding knife maker that can compare to these two. Yes, many makers can wow us with exotic materials and glass smooth actions, or with curious shapes. But many of these makers indulge in the superfluous and in material combinations, shapes, and designs that are frankly not in good taste and not very functional. Most of them do not demonstrate a mastery of craftsmanship, innovation, artistic skill, and functional design the way these two makers do.
I think those are all actual people.
John Grimsmo with the Norseman
Thank you, I was wondering how long until someone mentioned him.
And am surprised no one else has mentioned some of the other 'greats' like Randall, Goddard, and Bill Moran amongst others of similar notoriety.
great thread. im going to check out as many of the recommended designers as possible.
so many great designers out there, its hard remembering all their names.
Phil Wilson, above all. I own two of his customs and I swear he must be a sith lord, because they are freaking light sabers.
Guy Sieferd (Survive Knives)
Of the ones I have personally owned, the Strider PT knives made by MSC and the knives made by Kingdom Armory are among my favorites. Also like the simplicity of the Sebenza and in particular, the Insingo blade style.
I've also had an eye for Ban Tangs' knives and Bob Lum as well. Other fixed blade knives are Wilder Forge and Fiddleback Forge knives too.
I'm not particularly fond of Emerson knives, but that's not because he doesn't make a product that works, it's just because I'm not in his target market, and that works for me. The lone exception is the Mini A100. I like the overall look of that one knife and I would own one of those, in plain edge, someday.
I almost always buy Kershaws, and I really do enjoy the designers they bring in for a more budget price. I like Hinderer for the Cryo, but when I received the 0560, it further added to my joy of Hinderer designs. They are very similar in design, but it's a design I like. I like Ken Onion designed knives for that wicked recurve. I have the Kershaw Storm and it's ridiculous. I want a Speed Bump to pair with it. Not practical as the blade is this, but really nice to look at! I also dig the Emerson wave.
I also can't believe no one's mentioned Victorinox! Especially those with the pox Vesp Joost Heijnen to name a few
I did. Previous page.
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In no specific order:
Dave Rydbom (Kingdom Armory)
Warren Osbourne's Benchmade Collaborations
Jim Allen (Three Sisters Forge)
The little Boker Gnome in Micarta Olive Drab is the one I just got that I about killed myself on taking it out of the sheath! ha! Still love it though. "ONE" of my favorites!
-Frank and Todd Fischer
Boker and their kydex sheaths