Artist Paul Munko Completes 3rd Kizer Project with Harpoon-Inspired Mystic

Paul Munko is back with his third knife design for Kizer. This one is called the Mystic, the biggest folder we’ve seen from Munko yet.

Munko named this knife after the town of Mystic, Connecticut, home to the largest maritime museum in the United States. And if you know your whaling history, you’ll recognize that the Mystic’s 3.74-inch blade echoes the angular look of the traditional whaling harpoon. Munko notes that the style here isn’t just a historical nod, but one that brings tangible benefits to this large working knife. “With a blade this big, sometimes choking up and having a place for your thumb that offers a decent amount of leverage can be difficult to achieve on a perfectly straight blade,” he explains. “By having the ‘hump’ of the harpoon, it allows you to have a bit more support for your thumb (or your index finger when pinch gripping).”

Similarly, the choice of steel on the Mystic finds an interesting intersection between performance and historical referent. “We had thought about a few exotic steels for this project, but ultimately the benefits of REX45 along with its availability made it the optimal choice to do something outside of the box,” Munko tells us. REX45 earned its stripes in the upper tier of high speed tool steels, but Munko discovered some of its unique aesthetic qualities as well. “One of my favorite parts about this steel is how it patinas over time – really giving that old maritime feel and drawing even more from the ‘old harpoon’ aesthetic.”

The REX45 tool steel will patina over time

Moving onto the handle Munko drew up a chamfered, arcing shape with a frame lock on the off-side. In overall lines it brings to mind Munko’s Clairvoyant knife, and like both that knife and Munko’s first Kizer collab, the Comet, the Mystic comes with a titanium bolster over a synthetic scale – Micarta, in this case. At 4.43 oz. the Mystic doesn’t go crazy in the weight department for a knife of its size; it carries with a sculpted titanium pocket clip.

Munko broke into the knife scene just last summer with the release of the Comet. The Clairvoyant followed in the fall, and between then and the release of the Mystic, Munko’s been busy with other collaborative knife projects. He says that he intends to pick up speed and do even more in the coming months and years. “I’ve got a few things in the works! More projects with Kizer as well as a few other companies, along with a handful of new art knife projects planned with Northern Knives.”

Knife in Featured Image: Kizer Mystic

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