Kingdom Armory has just released the Rook, a knife that repositions Spyderco’s trademarked Round Hole to offer a new benefit. David Rydbom, founder of Kingdom Armory optimized the Rook’s Round Hole placement on the blade to make middle finger flicking (also known as Spydie Flicking) easier and more intuitive. Following a strong response on social media, Rydbom says he plans on incorporating the knife into his standard catalog going forward.
The Spydie Flick is a technique for deploying a blade with Spyderco’s Round Hole that takes some practice to master. Users pinch a knife in their hand and flick it open using their middle finger on the blind side of the blade. The method has been growing in popularity, with multiple ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube and other media. “I discovered there are tons of videos of guys opening knives this way,” says Rydbom. “I thought, ‘Why is nobody building something specifically for that?’”
The Rook makes Spydie Flicking effortless by moving the hole (which Rydbom licenses from Spyderco) closer to the middle of the handle. Rydbom tells us the hole’s new position hasn’t affected standard deployment either. “It’s not a big deal to engage with your thumb.” The setup allows for reliable, natural deployment no matter how users choose to do it. “I was attracted to the idea of not sticking to one method of using the tool,” Rydbom says.
He also tells us that although the frame lock is oriented for right-hand users, the deployment method itself should work for southpaws too. Those who want a dedicated left-hand version will have to wait, but they are likely to be made at some point down the line. The first Rook was made from CPM-D2 blade steel and had a distinct, cleaver-style 3.375” blade. Variants are already in the works including a liner lock model and the Rogue, a companion knife with a modified spear point blade.
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Rydbom started Kingdom Armory in 2008. There have been small production runs of his Samaritan and Mini Samaritan models in previous years, but currently all Kingdom Armory knives are customs made by Rydbom in his Ashland, Oregon workshop. “My plan is to bring the Rook into my regular repertoire,” he says. The knife will be available in batches that Rydbom will periodically send to his dealers this year, and next year it will be available for custom orders. A production version is not yet in the cards, but Rydbom isn’t necessarily opposed to the idea. “If it grows into something beyond [a custom knife], I’ll ride it out.”
Knife featured in image: Kingdom Armory Rook