Caswell Morphing Karambit Version 2.0 Finally Ready

UPDATE 3/20/18: The Morphing Karambit is now available for purchase on Kickstarter.

After a year of revisions and testing, Version 2.0 of Joe Caswell’s Morphing Karambit (MKV2) is finally complete. The MKV2 showcases a different deployment method and a simpler construction that will help Caswell prep the hotly-anticipated design for a production knife future.

“Really it’s a complete redesign,” Caswell tells us. “There’s not a single part other than the fasteners that are the same.” In February he promised a more streamlined design and delivered, but also completely rethought the deployment method. Instead of a squeezing motion as on V1, users actuate the MKV2 by swiping down on the lever arm with their thumb. The new technique is more intuitive than the original, without losing the central advantage of a near-instantaneous deployment from a use-ready grip. “It’s a little less whizz-bang, but more of a direct distillation of the most important aspects of the original concept,” Caswell explains.


V1 could handle plenty of abuse, but fewer parts and a more rigid construction make the MKV2 particularly well-suited for absorbing the shock of contact and compliance strikes. The lock is disengaged by pressing down on a tab just below the finger ring (see vid), and it doesn’t require a secondary lock like the original. General ergonomics also see improvement. The two moving arms that form the handle have been rounded over for increased comfort during use. The MKV2 weighs the same as the original – 6 oz. – but a 33% reduction in parts makes for a smaller footprint and carry package.

Right now Caswell is sitting on seven physical MKV2 prototypes. Two will be sold to lucky collectors at the USN Gathering next weekend. After that Caswell will shop the design around to find the best fit for full-scale production. He has considered funding it himself through Kickstarter or similar platforms but says the limited nature of such projects probably wouldn’t satiate the expressed demand. Caswell has prioritized accessibility with the Morphing Karambit since day one and has been talking with production labels big and small for possible partnerships. “There’s been interest from both areas regarding V1. So we’ll see what develops now that I have V2 protos in hand to show.”

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Coming off more than a year of work on the karambit, Caswell sees the “morphing knife” concept becoming a platform for other designs. Before he began the karambit, he considered another morphing knife concept that was a dagger. Caswell chose to start with the karambit but says the dagger could be next. He also tells us that his drive for engineering innovation will not stop with the Morphing Knife platform. “After I finish developing this, my next project will be another big step forward,” he says. “It’ll be a wild and probably pretty unexpected approach to things that will hopefully offer real benefits.”

Knife featured in image: Caswell Knives Morphing Karambit Version 2.0

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