Just a few weeks ago, Millit Knives’ Shane McGoldrick pledged that 2017 would be a big year for the company. Millit would no longer just be known as a top-flight OEM, but also a force to reckoned with on the high-end production knife scene. The company’s plan to offer collaborations with top designers is intended to extend its reputation and build the Millit brand.
The first of these knives, called the Max Evolution, is arriving well ahead of schedule. Designed in conjunction with custom knife maker Jerry Moen, Millit anticipates the knife will reset the bar for what people can expect out of a high-end production knife.
“This is a custom quality knife, with nowhere near custom knife prices,” says McGoldrick. High-end production knives can rival customs in quality, and the competition is fierce. “This is where the expectation is going to lie now,” McGoldrick reckons.
The Max Evolution is a medium-sized titanium flipper knife packed full of premium bells and whistles. Both scales are 3D-machined and will feature inlays of exotic materials like Moku-Ti, Damasteel, and mammoth ivory. The Max Evolution stands out from the high-end knife crowd with an, elongated 3.5” modified sheepsfoot blade and a liner lock instead of the more common frame lock. A blue anodized and machined back spacer, pocket clip, and titanium hardware round out the 6 oz. package in style. The standard Max Evolution will cost around $500 and sport a black-coated CTS-XHP blade. A limited run with Damasteel blades hand-ground by Moen himself will also be offered.
Millit has made a lot of high-end knives, but sees the Max Evolution as something completely unique. “[It] is new territory for us,” McGoldrick says.
The project was born when Jerry Moen approached the company with the idea of making a production version of one of his designs. But conversations with the company eventually led him to make a deal that looked less like an OEM project and more closely resembled a production knife collaboration.
Moen gave Millit a Panther custom knife to guide them towards the right look. “Moen insisted the knife had to have that WOW factor,” McGoldrick recalls. “From there he let us have as much creative freedom as we wanted.” Millit combined elements of multiple Moen knives and refinements of their own to develop the Max Evolution.
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Once the design was set, Millit pushed their shop to the limit to make it. “Even for a high-end production knife the Max Evolution is not typically-manufactured,” McGoldrick says. To achieve the knife’s unique finish Millit first Cerakoted it, then remachined it, and then anodized it again, creating contrast between the knife’s different surfaces. This is a process that was popularized by Todd Begg and until now has been reserved for high-end customs.
Millit is debuting the Max Evolution this weekend at the Knifemakers’ Guild Show in Kansas City, Missouri. The knife is slated to be available later this year.
Knife featured in image: Millit Knives Max Evolution