Custom Knife Factory Launches MKAD Brand for Price Conscious Buyers

Custom Knife Factory is taking steps to expand its market share with the introduction of a lower-priced brand, called MKAD. Until now, the low end of the CKF price spectrum was $350, but with MKAD the company is shooting for prices as low as $100.

The Anton Malyshev-designed Farko, the first MKAD knife, functions as a bridge between the traditional higher-end CKF offerings and the new MKAD strategy. “People were asking for M390 for $250, so we did it,” says CKF Founder Mike Kulygin. “It’s our way of saying, ‘Hey knife world, hello from MKAD.’” The Farko features a 3.5-inch blade and a titanium frame lock. For the show side, CKF chose to use carbon fiber in three different color variations: red, blue, and black.

Alongside Malyshev, Kulygin has brought his core CKF design team – Alexy Konygin, Alex Vorobyov, and Evgeniy Muan – to bear for MKAD models, and is evaluating outside collaborators from around the world, for both new CKF and MKAD knives. “I look for new designs and collaborations every day. Right now we have over 30 new designs ready to be made,” Kulygin says. With so many new models drawn up, there are no plans to bring mainline CKF designs over into MKAD.

The next wave of MKAD models will utilize S35VN steel, and like standard CKF products, the MKADs will be produced in limited batches. Kulygin considers the MKAD line a ‘fighter brand,’ a series of offerings with lower price tags designed to put the heat on the competition. The company has also invested in a US-based warehouse for speedier shipping to North American buyers. Each MKAD knife includes a case, pouch, spare screws, and an extra clip and steel lock insert. “We are not running for super high profits,” he says. “We’re just trying to make our mark on knife history. It sounds ambitious, but it’s true.”

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According to Kulygin, he has been thinking about a more budget-friendly CKF line for the last year. The high-end knives CKF made its name on continue to perform well with loyal customers, but he is targeting a new audience to grow the company. “We’ve had tons of letters and calls saying, ‘Unfortunately I cannot afford your knives, I buy knives only at 100-250 price range’ or ‘Come on guys, make budget knives too,’” Kulygin explains. “Our goal with MKAD is to expand our presence in the knife market, to make more knives – and to gain new clients, of course.”

The first MKAD Farkos are expected to be available by the end of the month. The total run will be limited to 400 pieces.

Knife featured in image: MKAD Farko