8 New Production Knives by Custom Designers

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While carrying a high-end custom knife for day-to-day utility is certainly practical, dropping over a thousand dollars on one might not be. After all, a custom knife is like a functional piece of art, featuring rare materials, precision craftsmanship, and a level of finishing that can only be achieved by hand. Whether it’s out of your budget range, or simply long sold out, a custom knife may not be in the cards. However, there’s still a way to get all the design and functionality of a custom knife without breaking the bank: collaboration production knives.

Last year, we saw a huge increase in collaborations between production knife companies and custom knife designers. The trend continues, and the result is a bunch of affordable knives based on those unobtainable customs that we all long for.

Even though they’re not the “real” thing, production knives come darn close, with plenty of their own benefits. They’re way more affordable thanks to the more common materials they’re made from. Production knives are mass produced, so they’re much easier to get a hold of than a custom. It’s going to sting a lot less if you scratch up a $45 knife than its $1400 custom counterpart. You’re still getting a lot of the design and functionality of the custom at a more affordable price.

Here are 8 new production knives for 2017 that are based on high-end customs.

Kershaw Pub

Based on a custom carabiner knife by Dmitry Sinkevich

Kershaw’s Pub is a unique little folding knife that’s also part multitool. There’s an integrated carabiner clip that allows the knife to attach to your bag or belt loop for quick access. Even though it’s small, the knife is both capable and easy to handle. It’s a non-locking slip joint, so it’s worth looking at especially if you’re in an area with strict knife laws.

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Kershaw Fraxion

Based on the Jens Anso “Neo Flipper”

This high-tech looking knife is designed by Jens Anso, based on his popular “Neo” flipper model. For under $40, you get a knife with carbon fiber accents, G10 scales, a caged ball bearing pivot (for fast and smooth opening) and a flipper mechanism. This lightweight knife is perfect for EDC with its modest 2.75” blade and blacked-out appearance.

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CRKT Prowess

Based on the Ken Onion “Tirade”

The Prowess by CRKT is an EDC folder with a ton of useful features. This version features a combo serrated/plain edge blade with a black EDP coating for extra durability and a stealthy look. The Prowess bears close resemblance to Ken Onion’s Tirade custom, but also draws inspiration from some of his other knives. Other features include a ball bearing pivot, textured flipper button, and glass-reinforced nylon scales for a firm grip.

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Zero Tolerance ZT0801Ti

Based on the Todd Rexford “Singularity”

ZT Knives are a bump up from Kershaw, both in price and in performance. But you’re getting a lot more for your money, especially with the Todd Rexford 0801Ti. Its blade is made from ELMAX steel, a rare, super durable metal coveted for its ability to resist both corrosion as well as physical wear at the same time. You’ll also find machined titanium handles that are both lightweight and grippy. The blade deploys via a flipper tab equipped with ZT’s KVT bearing technology for rapid extension.

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Boker Plus Kihon

Based on the Lucas Burnley “Kihon”

Boker Plus’s Kihon is based on Lucas Burnley’s knife of the same name. This EDC flipper is crafted from titanium handles and features a sturdy frame lock mechanism. The wide blade shape is both well suited for both tactical and everyday use. The 3.25” blade is crafted from VG10 steel for increased durability and edge retention. The ball bearing pivot ensures a friction-free flipping action for quick and easy access to the cutting edge.

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Kizer Guru

Based on the Matt Degan “MC”

Kizer has been cranking out a bunch of really well-made collaborations. The Guru, designed by Matt Degnan is no exception. This knife features a 3” modified sheepsfoot blade that’s excellent for precision cutting tasks. The titanium scales have a deep finger choil for added control while ensuring a firm grip. The knife is available as both a flipper or standard blade opening style with two different scale designs.

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Spyderco Magitude

Based on the Peter Carey “Tremor”

Peter Carey’s Magnitude design is part of the Spyderco Rubicon family. It’s a liner lock flipper that packs in some serious custom-inspired design. To keep the knife lightweight, the handles are made from skeletonized titanium with a carbon fiber outer grip. The 3.5” blade is made from CPM-S30V stainless, and is deployed easily with one hand via the ball bearing flipper or signature Spyderco thumb hole. It’s rounded out with a scalloped G10 backspacer and a unique pocket clip.

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Giantmouse GM2

Based on the Jens Anso x Jesper Voxnaes “F9” Collaboration

Giantmouse is a compelling new company you should keep an eye on. Their knives are all design collaborations between Danish knife makers Jens Anso and Jesper Voxnaes, but organized in the USA, and manufactured in Italy. Their GM2 is a full sized EDC folder with a bowie style blade. The handles are made from CNC machined carbon fiber, and feature anodized titanium accents throughout. At first glance, it’s hard to believe that this knife isn’t a custom.



Do you have a favorite custom-based production knife? Let us know what it is in the comments below!

Header photo submitted by Jim.

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