10 New Production Knives by Custom Designers

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For many, being able to carry a custom knife represents the pinnacle of what it means to EDC. That's because custom knives feature unique and innovative designs, meticulous construction, and super-premium materials that make them a cut above what you can find off the shelf. Unfortunately, the high cost of ownership and limited availability of these knives make them unattainable for most EDCers, which is why custom knives are sometimes referred to as 'grails.' But all is not lost: a number of the everyday carry knife manufacturers you already know and trust have entered into design collaborations with some of the best custom knifemakers out there. The result is a high-quality product with the custom design language you want that's more accessible in every way. In this guide, we'll round up 10 of our favorite recent custom designer collaboration knives.


CRKT HVAS

Jesper Voxnaes is known for his minimalist folding knives that feature design cues taken from traditional Nordic tools. The HVAS is his latest collaboration with CRKT, fresh off the stellar success of the Pilar. It's a slightly bigger knife, with a 3.3” 1.4116 stainless steel blade and a 4.5” handle that lets you get a full grip. It's made to take on tougher tasks in the outdoors, and with its Field Strip technology maintenance is easy thanks to its tool-free disassembly.

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Kizer Critical

Part of Kizer's success over the recent years is as a result of the collaboration designs they've engaged in, giving you custom knife performance at a fraction of the price. With the Critical, you get a Matthew Christensen design with a unique reverse tanto blade shape that makes it better at utility cutting tasks while retaining the strong piercing ability with its hard point. The blade is 3.59” long and made of premium CPM-S35VN stainless steel. Deployment with one hand is made easy with its flipper opening augmented with ceramic bearings in the handle. And the ergonomic titanium handle has holes drilled into it for weight savings and extra grip.

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Kershaw Concierge

The beauty of a Dmitry Sinkevich knife is its slim and sleek profile, with the cutting potential to match its striking looks. With the Concierge, you can get those benefits in a much more accessible package. The Concierge boasts a slender 3.25” 8Cr13MoV drop-point blade with a shape and belly that maximizes its performance despite its size. The blade also features titanium carbo-nitride coating, making it more resistant to wear and tear, and the ravages of corrosion when carried in inclement weather. And its flipper blade deployment, augmented with KVT ball bearings in the pivot, makes for a knife you can quickly get to work with when you need it.

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Zero Tolerance 0393

The ZT 0393 features a distinctive look that has all the hallmarks of a Rick Hinderer design. Most prominent is the hybrid harpoon-style blade made of premium CPM-20CV stainless steel. It has a hard 3.5” edge that comes together to an ultra-sharp point for piercing through objects with ease. But the presence of a curved belly and a long straight edge on the knife also make it suitable for cutting and slicing through things like rope. The aggressive tactical look of the blade is matched by the ergonomic handle, which features blue anodized titanium with a G10 overlay for grip. The flipper opening is easily identified when you're in a hurry, and the titanium frame lock holds everything in place.

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Benchmade 756

The Benchmade 756 is definitely the most unique knife on this list, if only because of its size. Based on Shane Siebert's original Micro Pocket Rocket, the 756 features an extremely-compact profile that can be concealed in hand, even when open. But with its premium CPM-20CV stainless steel blade, it's not a toy. For such a small knife, the easy flipper opening is almost mandatory, and the flipper tab helps act as a guard for this tiny powerhouse of a knife. The titanium handle also features a micro frame lock to give a sure hold on things during use.

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CRKT Gungho

The Gungho's ergonomics are based off Tom Krein's custom limited-run Alpha knife. But unlike its flashy cousin, this rendition pares things down to the essentials, and what you get is a worthy tactical EDC knife at an affordable price. It features a stout 2.7” 8Cr13MoV tanto blade with an ambidextrous thumbstud opening with CRKT's Outburst spring assist for easy operation with either hand. The handle features grippy G10 scaling on one side, and black stainless steel on the other, where you also find a reliable frame lock and a deep-carry pocket clip.

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Kershaw Fraxion

Designed in collaboration with Danish custom knifemaker Jens Anso, the Fraxion sports a contemporary mix of practicality and style. It has a compact 2.75” drop point blade with a distinct top swedge that aids in fine cuts. It's made of easily-maintained 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, and the BlackWash finish helps it stand up to wear and tear. At 1.9 ounces in weight, you'll barely notice the Fraxion in your pockets until you need it. The Fraxion achieves such light weight thanks to the handle being made entirely of 3D-machined grippy G10 nylon with carbon fiber inlays. Inside the handle, a stainless steel inset liner lock keeps the blade in place during use, and the KVT ball bearings in the pivot make for a smooth one-handed opening via the knife's flipper tab.

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Fox Knives Core

The Core is another recent Voxnaes collaboration design, made in Italy, featuring a stonewashed 3” Bohler N690Co flat-ground blade for superior edge retention. The high-index flipper tab and thumbholes on the blade make for easy, ambidextrous, one-handed operation. While it's not necessarily a small knife, it isn't ungainly either. The lightweight FRN handle helps keep things light at only 4.5 ounces in weight in your pockets. And with its reversible tip-up deep-carry wire pocket clip, it runs discreet enough to be your daily driver.

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Boker Plus Wasabi CF

The Boker Plus Wasabi CF is an interesting modern gent's knife design made in collaboration with custom Japanese knifemaker Kansei Matsuno. It features a 2.8” 440C stainless steel blade with a traditional Japanese shape that's ultra-thin at 0.10”. Lending to the more classy style, the Wasabi CF features a slipjoint, like other Matsuno designs. This makes it suited for smaller, delicate tasks but also allows more legal carry opportunities in restrictive jurisdictions. Unlike other gents designs, the Wasabi CF features a handy front-flipper opening for quick deployment without a conspicuous tab on the spine of the handle. This allows the streamlined look of the carbon fiber panels on the handle to shine.

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WE Knife Ferox

Take one look at the Ferox and you'll know it's a knife made to take on huge tasks. It has a beefy 3.5” stonewashed Bohler M390 stainless steel blade with an organic blade shape featuring a large slicing belly and a clip point. It's attached to an anodized titanium handle that's built to last, with a frame lock that's steel-reinforced to stand up to heavy-duty operation. The Ferox has a manual flipper opening, and the high-index tab acts as a finger choil to prevent from accidents on your own blade during rough use.

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For more production knives by custom designers, check out our guide from the archives.

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Discussion (5 total)

Absolutely love my 756.
I really like the shape of the fox
The Ferrum Forge WE Knifes Massdrop Gent. With 3 drops already done and an individual in Canada making, selling on ebay Custom wood handles can truly have a custom build quality knife that puts most on this list to also rans.... Just my opinion.
You saved the best for last imo! I saw a few designs I like but We is killing it lately and their productions for Ferrum Forge and others on MassDrop are beautiful.
Concierge with Wasabi. My choice.