8 New Production Knives by Custom Designers in 2019

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If you want the very best for your EDC, you often have to go for something custom made by knife designers who take quality and craftsmanship to the next level. Many EDCers and knife enthusiasts consider high-end customs to be holy grails of collecting, as they offer unique designs, exotic materials, and premium build quality that put them a cut above what you can generally find with standard production knives. But quality doesn’t come cheap—and for many EDCers, the price of admission alone can keep these knives more aspirational than accessible. However, thanks to the trend of EDC brands teaming up with custom knifemakers to release production knives based on their high-end, custom design counterparts, you can get close to the real deal at a fraction of the cost. Luckily in 2019, more and more of these knives are coming to market, and in this guide we’ll highlight some of our favorite collaboration designs released thus far.

Benchmade 380 Aller

The Aller is unique among knives on this list because it’s the brain child of two custom French knifemakers: Patrick Famin and Eric Demongivert. Their offering features an extremely compact folding friction blade and an overall design made to accomplish utility tasks with ease. The blade is on the smaller side at 1.60“ long to make it legal to carry in more locales, but its stout wharncliffe style shape makes it good for utility cutting and slicing tasks. Because the knife features premium S30V steel, it’ll also hold an edge even if you use it to break down cardboard boxes on a regular basis. And you’ll also appreciate the combination screwdriver and prytip located at the rear of the handle. There’s also a micro bit slot and a bottle opener integrated into the knife as well.

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CRKT Seismic

The Seismic features Flavio Ikoma’s distinctive upswept thin blade design in a quick-open flipper folding knife with great ergonomics and an all-new locking mechanism. The 1.4116 stainless steel blade has enough length at 3.9“ to accomplish big tasks, and the full-size handle lets you get a firm grip on the blade during use as well. The grippy G10 scales are curved for comfort, letting the handle itself conform to your hand, and the flipper tab also acts as a guard when the blade is held in place with the super solid Deadbolt lock at the pivot point.

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CRKT Slacker

Ken Onion is a storied name in the custom knifemaking world, and his distinctive addition to the CRKT line up is his Field Strip concept: the ability to take apart your EDC knife for easy cleaning and maintenance without the use of tools. So if the 3.3“ 1.4116 stainless steel blade gets gunked up with dirt and grime over time, it’s easily handled. With the Slacker, the ever-useful Field Strip concept is married to a low profile EDC knife clad in lightweight 6061 aluminum handles, making the whole tool weigh just 2.6 ounces.

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CRKT Pilar Large G10

The Pilar, designed by Jesper Voxnaes, was one of the most popular everyday carry folding knives of the previous year, and in 2019 it’s been updated with a larger size and more utilitarian handles for improved performance in the field. The 8Cr14MoV cleaver-style blade has been given a bit more length at 2.67“ but the biggest change has been to add .2” of length to the handle, giving you more surface to hold onto the blade during use. And because this version of the knife has grippy G10 scaling, you can hold onto it more easily, even when wet, compared to its smaller cousin.

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Kershaw Turismo

Kershaw’s new Turismo knife is actually an in-house design, but it sports custom maker Gus T. Cecchini’s unique spring-loaded tab (SLT) deployment mechanism. It allows its flipper tab to ride closer to the handle, keeping a slim profile that won’t poke out in your pockets. To actuate it, you pull back on it, and it flips out with the rest of the blade, assisted by Kershaw’s SpeedSafe technology. A frame lock holds the 3.8“ 8Cr13MoV blade in place during use, and the Turismo also has a reversible tip-up deep carry pocket clip for versatile pocket placement.


Spyderco Tropen

The Tropen is a big knife, featuring a unique blade shape that’s markedly different from what you get in a standard Spyderco blade. Argentinian custom knifemaker Javier Vogt married Spyderco’s super-strong compression lock system with a large 4.02“ upswept organic blade that even features an Emerson wave-shaped opener at the top. This makes for a fast opening knife when you need it, but it also has a distinctive Spyderco thumbhole for more traditional opening as well. And with its S30V stainless steel composition, you can be sure that you can handle just about any task that comes your way with the Tropen in hand.

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Spyderco Techno 2

If you’re looking for a smaller Spyderco collaboration option, the Techno 2 by Polish knifemaker Marcin Slycz provides an altogether smaller offering for your consideration. The Techno 2’s best feature is its 2.55“ premium CTS-XHP stainless steel blade with a high saber grind that makes for an ultra-sharp cutting potential despite its compact size. The titanium handles help keep the knife lightweight at 3.4 ounces, and it also makes for a solid frame lock that’ll hold the blade open despite the roughest of use.

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Fox Knives Ziggy

With super premium 3.25“ Bohler N690 stainless steel drop point blade, the Anso Ziggy from Fox Knives is ready to take on all challengers. And with its beautiful carbon fiber handle, this knife is as good to look at as it is to use in your everyday carry. This is the knife to pick if you’re looking for a more classy option in this list.

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For more production knives by custom designers, check out our roundup from last year here.

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