I own a knife that solves a problem that probably wasn’t a problem. It’s still an awesome knife, though.
First some background: After I started renewing an odd interest in knives, I discovered cKc Knives. cKc Knives is run by Kyley Harris, a part-time knife maker in New Zealand who made videos that were one part humor, one part profanity and one part awesome. (In one great video, he proved a metal ruler could cut paper as part of a response to ludicrous claims from another YouTuber.) He also had one of the greatest sales videos I’ve ever seen when he proved his awesome sharpening skills by slicing a computer manual in half as easy as cutting warm butter.
He also approaches knife making from an attitude that’s best described as a mix of scientific curiosity and “why the hell not?”
As such, his knives don’t look like anyone else’s and have features that seem more like responses to other people’s claims. To prove that the shape of handle matters more than the handle’s material, he made a knife out of a material that’s slipperier than Teflon.
My favorite knife (although just barely) is the cKc EDC framelock. It was his first framelock and it was his attempt to make a lock that wouldn’t fail.
Note to non-knife people: One of the favorite past-times on YouTube is to take a folding knife and slam the blade spine on a table to see if the lock will fail, causing the knife to close on the user’s hand. The theory being that if it fails like that it will fail and close on your hand when you’re whittling a stick or opening a box you got in the mail. (Something like that.)
The cKc EDC, though, has a lock that’s designed to never fail. Harris designed the lock with a groove that, in theory, will act like a catcher’s mitt and catch the lock bar. He tested it by locking different knives and the EDC in a vice and hitting them with a broomstick. He sheered a piece of one knife but the EDC didn’t fail.
The problem is, though, that it’s unlikely anyone would ever hit the back of a knife like that unless I was, for some inexplicable reason, using a folding knife to hammer a nail. As such, the lock on the EDC solves a problem that’s not a huge problem on most knives.
Also, the trade-off is that the lock design leaves the knife with a slight rattle. To allow for the groove, the blade has to move a little. This goes away when you grip it and start using it, but it’s still a bit disconcerting the first time you shake the knife and it rattles. I bought it used and had to take it apart and clean and oil it a bit to make the blade open smoothly.
That said, I like everything else about the knife. The ELMAX steel holds an edge well, although, because I live in Japan, I haven’t had as much chance to test it out as I’d like, and the titanium scales and handle shape are surprisingly comfortable. It has a 3.1 inch blade (8 cm) and is 7.4 inches long (18.6 cm) it’s the prefect size to carry around the house.
Unfortunately, Harris has taken a hiatus from making knives. However, if you’re interested, check out his shop on Gearbastion, where you can also find a lot of other new knifemakers, from the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
I hope he starts making knives again soon. Until then, keep watching Gearbastion.