Custom maker Glenn Waters is releasing his Viper and Hayabusa designs as mid-techs knives under a new brand called Glenn-Tech Knives. An Australian living in Japan, Waters has spent the last 25 years creating sought-after, ornate custom knives. Glenn-Tech Knives is a major change of pace that will introduce Waters’ work to an entirely new market of buyers at a much lower price point.
The Hayabusa’s 2.95-inch tanto blade has a long recurve and a pronounced secondary edge. “Hayabusa is a Peregrine Falcon,” Waters tells us. “Small, but fast and deadly.” The front-flipper has a swooping, continuous curve from blade to handle, reminiscent of a falcon’s dive. The Hayabusa’s blade is built for combat, but Waters says it lends itself to EDC as well as other tasks. “While [it’s] at home as a fighter, it also makes a good steak knife, and my doctor friend says it would be a good emergency surgery knife.”
The Viper is a small but unapologetically tactical flipper with an acutely pointed 2.6″ blade. The blade shape and size are a far cry from most fighting knives, but there’s a reason for its unusual looks and compact size. “It’s designed to be held point down with the edge facing away from you,” Waters says.
Both knives feature all the trappings of premium titanium framelock flippers. Hardened stainless steel lock faces, ceramic detent balls, and ceramic ball bearing pivots are all included. As a resident, Waters is able to source high end Japanese materials for his customers. Most Glenn-Tech knives will feature Takefu Super Gold, a rarely-seen, high-performance steel that may be heat treated to 64 HRC.
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The first Glenn-Tech knives are expected to be available in the United States and Waters’ native Australia as early as the end of this year. Waters is outsourcing the CNC work, but taking care of assembly, finishing, and blade grinding himself. “I still haven’t worked out pricing as yet but it will be much less than my custom knives,” he says.
A lifetime of practicing Jujutsu informs almost all of Waters’ knife designs. “Jujutsu employs the use of knives, swords, axes, guns, and many other weapons,” he says. “Most of my knives are designed with practical fighting use in mind.” Jujutsu was also a major impetus for Waters’ 1986 move to the Aomori prefecture in Japan. Waters caught the knifemaking bug on a trip to a knife show in Tokyo in 1993. Unable to afford the high-end blades on display, Waters decided to make one himself. “My first knife won best new maker award at the Tokyo JKG [Japanese Knife Guild] guild show. That is how my knife obsession got started.”
Knife featured in image: Glenn-Tech Knives Hayabusa