“I was going to make the knife of my dreams, without compromise,” says David Polczynski, founder of the Ultimate Survival Tips. Polczynski is one half of the team behind the MSK-1, or Multi-Scenario Knife, a cutting edge fixed blade that is being launched via a Kickstarter crowd-sourcing campaign that is proving to be a huge success.
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Polczynski has been chewing on the MSK-1 concept for years. Reviewing hundreds of knives helped Polczynski realize what he liked in blade design, and what he thought was lacking from even his favorite knives. So, he began to sketch out an all-purpose outdoors fixed blade of his own. He drew particular inspiration from the Ka-Bar Becker BK-2 and the Gerber LMF 2 ASEK. The latter was designed by Jeff Freeman, who also happens to be the other half of the MSK-1 team.
As a former Senior Knife Designer at Gerber, Freeman’s name is well known in the knife world. He now runs his own company, Freeman Outdoor Gear. “He understands manufacturing, sourcing, costing, and the bidding process,” says Polczynski. Freeman leveraged his relationship with US manufacturers and his knowledge of CAD and 3-D modeling to advance the MSK-1 design and bring a final prototype to life.
Freeman credits Polczynski for having a clear vision of what he wanted the MSK-1 to become. “I don’t mean the artwork was perfect or even attractive,” says Freeman. “What I mean is that he had thought long and hard about what he wanted the knife to do and all the features he wanted it to have.” Starting with that sketch, Freeman and Polczynski spent two years working on refining the MSK-1 design.
Like all knife companies, Polczynski was faced with the choice of using overseas production or producing a knife with a higher price tag. He remembers the day he resolved to keep production in the USA, despite the increase in cost. “This is my knife. It’s a legacy knife,” he says, “Making the MSK-1 in the USA was part of the core value statement from the onset of this project.”
The MSK-1 Kickstarter launched on May 16. It has been a huge success. Freeman and Polczynski had the goal or raising $15,000. But with 17 days to go they have already surpassed $100,000 in pledges. Polczynski reckons an Ultimate Survival Tips Gear brand isn’t out of the question and Freeman says he is open to future collaborations: “There is so much opportunity in the knife and tool industry and the more you innovate and work within it, the more ideas you get. So the future is looking pretty bright and very busy.”
Knife featured in image: MSK-1 Survival Knife