Curtiss Knives Kicks Off Ramp-Up with a Tiny Tank

Dave Curtiss has spent 2016 restructuring Curtiss Knives, and with 2017 in view he is planning on downsizing his waterjet cutting business to focus on making his own knives. This change in direction means that new models are on the horizon, and Curtiss’ brand new ODT dog tag flipper is leading the charge.

The ODT sports a 1″ square chisel blade and is one of the smallest genuine frame lock flippers around. With an overall length of just 3” and a weight of 2.2 oz. it may be small, but Curtiss built it tough. The ODT actually has the same thickness as the rest of his lineup. Curtiss has been tweaking this design since 2011, and the result is one of the tankiest dog tag knives around. “I work on designs for a long time before I turn them loose,” he tells us. “I wanted to make sure it was as good as it was ever going to get.” Curtiss also insists that while the knife is the smallest he’s ever made, it’s also one of the costliest. As it turns out it takes much more time to produce and finish smaller parts within the tight tolerances Curtiss is known for.

Curtiss Knives ODT

The ODT is just the beginning for the new Curtiss Knives. “I’ve got a ton of designs in my files,” Curtiss promises. He is particularly excited about a fixed blade version of his popular F3 folding knife. Some old favorites from the Curtiss catalog are coming back into production too. The entire F3 family, which consists of a large, medium, and compact model, will be available again by the end of 2016, and Curtiss says fans can also expect to see more of his stubby yet popular Nano knife. To promote his current and upcoming models, Curtiss will be doing the rounds and attending many knife shows in 2017.

Hundreds of makers all over the country have turned to Curtiss with waterjet cutting jobs, but they may have to look elsewhere in the near future. “I’ve scaled that side of my operations back,” says Curtiss. “90% of the cutting I do now is for my own stuff.” Curtiss has spent much of 2016 making parts for all the models he will be offering in 2017. “I’ve spent the past year making parts at a high-speed pace,” Curtiss tells us with a laugh. “I was building an inventory of knives.”

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A new workspace is the next big goal for Granger, Indiana-based Curtiss Knives. Curtiss operates out of a three-car garage crammed with a whole workshop’s worth of knife making equipment. But with his plans for the new year and beyond, Curtiss figures it’s time to upgrade. He is currently in the process of finding the right space. “We want to grow at our own pace. That’s been a long process,” Curtiss says. “But it’s been an amazing journey.”

Knife featured in image: Curtiss Knives ODT