Michal Gavac of Gavko Knives has started collaborating with an OEM to release a mid-tech version of his best-selling Mako custom knife.
Gavac has always run his knife making business differently than most. “I try to stay away from using the label ‘custom’, since I don’t take custom orders from people,” Gavac says. He makes his knives in small batches of 3-5 knives a week, instead of one at a time to the specifications of a single customer.
To further augment his production capacities, Gavac turned to Idaho based Millit Knives. The company is a rapidly growing OEM that has produced several high-profile mid-tech blades in recent years, including the Hawk Knife Designs mid-tech M.U.D.D. Mid-techs blur the line between custom and production. “Some people won’t notice the difference between them,” Gavac told us. And he actually believes the mid-tech Makos are superior to his custom original in important ways. “The reality is, [Millit] can make it better than I can, because with the help of their machining capabilities they can get the little details right a lot faster,” Gavac explains. Details like lockbar inserts are easier to accomplish accurately and quickly with machines than by hand.
The Mako was the obvious choice for a mid-tech from Gavac’s catalog, and not just because it is his best-selling model. “I’m kind of bored of making Makos,” Gavac confesses. “Making them myself doesn’t rock my boat anymore, but they are the most popular model.” There are many would-be Gavko customers who crave a Mako, but Gavac can’t imagine making the same knife every day for years on end. Gavac also hopes that Millit’s high-quality production and the mid-tech’s comparatively lower price tag will serve to bring in new fans.
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Turning the Mako into a mid-tech meant Gavac could keep fans happy with a quality version of his custom design, and focus on new knives and projects at the same time. Immediate plans include work on a new front flipper knife, but Gavac is always on the look out for new opportunities. He would love to see a Gavac-designed full-scale production knife roll out of a major company’s plant someday soon.
Knife featured in image: Gavko Mako Mid-Tech