Thursday, February 4, 2016

Art and Traditional Knifemakers Transitioning to the Tactical Genre

There has been an interesting phenomenon over the last year or two, makers of traditional pattern knives and also art knives have been transitioning into Tactical Knives.

For the traditional makers I believe the main impetus is financial as the market for traditional patterns has slowed.  Primary examples would be Joel Chamblin, Mike Zscherney, Richard Rogers and Enrique Pena.  They are among the elite, top tier fit and finish, when it comes to traditional style/pattern knives.  Due to demand, at one time, they sold their traditional style/pattern knives by lottery at the shows they attended or they would sell out very quickly on a first come first served basis.  That changed.

For the Art Knife makers I think the transition is more experimental or exploratory as they seem to continue to do well with and focus mainly on their high end pieces.  Examples are Michael Walker, Emmanuel Esposito and Matt Lerch.  I believe that they see the trend toward Tactical and are fascinated by it so they are "dipping their toes in the water" to see what it is all about.

Below is an example of a new tactical model from Matt Lerch, the Mako.  Fit, finish and innovation all continue at a high level but at a lower price point to be consistent with the market, though, a number of the tactical pieces command prices consistent with more refined art knives.

Here is the Mako.  A point about innovation, this knife has an adjustable detent!

Anyway, to me an interesting observation and an excuse to show off a great knife by Matt Lerch.