Custom Knife Factory (CKF) has just introduced a new version of its flagship Decepticon model, the DCPT-4. With a 3-inch blade, versus 4-inches or more of its predecessors, the Decepticon 4 caters to users who prefer smaller blades and CKF buyers coping with stricter knife laws outside of the company’s native Russia.
North American knife users often assume that countries in the rest of the world are saddled with even more restrictive knife laws. But the Russian market is a surprising exception. Rather than placing hard-line restrictions on blade length, locking mechanisms, or one-handed deployment, Russian laws categorize knives as either weapons or tools. Most Russian manufacturers obtain certificates designating their wares as tools, and package that certificate with each knife. In practice, the Russian bureaucratic process is a low bar to clear and the laws are lenient.
The relaxed conditions account for the long blades CKF and compatriots like Shirogorov and Cheburkov have been putting out. “When we started, I thought we would make knives only for the Russian market,” CKF owner Mike Kulygin recalls. “But things changed a lot.” As Russian knives grew in reputation, collectors all over the world began to seek out CKF products. Today, 80% of CKF’s customers are located in the United States. Since many states continue to enforce blade length limitations, the company believes there’s a market here for a smaller Decepticon. “They have strange laws about carrying knives with long blades, so why not?” says Kulygin.
It may be scaled down, but the DCPT-4 shares its predecessors’ exaggerated, mechanical styling. A compound-ground blade complements the complex lines of the titanium frame lock flipper. The package includes premium M390 blade steel and, except for a band of satin titanium running across the handle, a black stonewash PVD finish.
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The Decepticon has become a mainstay of the CKF’s lineup, and Kulygin says the next version is already in the works. It will also take the Decepticon into interesting new markets, but Kulygin says the blade length will be cranked back up again to around 4”. “We’re thinking about a ‘decepticonish’ karambit, but normal size.”
Knife featured in image: Custom Knife Factory DCPT-4