Custom Knife Factory Offers Up Jake Hoback Kwaiback

Custom Knife Factory is kicking off a year of collaborations by teaming up with Jake Hoback Knives for the new CKF Kwaiback. This partnership, the first with an American knife designer, leads the charge for an unprecedented and busy year for the Russian knife company.

“I’ve always liked the Kwaiback, I have two custom versions in my own collection,” says CKF Founder Mike Kulygin. “I think that it’s one of the most recognizable designs in our knife world.” Kulygin and his team didn’t mess with success, choosing to retain the Kwaiback’s dimensions almost entirely. The CKF model has the recognizable 3.74-inch Kwaiback tanto, dressed up in M390 for this outing. The titanium frame lock’s ergonomics are also present and accounted for, a straightforward, streamlined handle accentuated by jimping on the back and under the finger guard.

It isn’t a one-to-one reproduction, though. Minor changes tweak subtle elements of the knife. A ceramic ball has been added to the pocket clip, and Hoback’s bearings have been replaced by CKF’s well-known two-row system. CKF embellished the pivot with a custom gear-style screw. The Kwaiback’s transition into the low-volume production methods of CKF reduces the cost, too, though with a price tag north of $600 the limited run CKF Kwaiback is still an enthusiast item through and through.


CKF helped introduce talented Russian and eastern European makers to the larger knife community. That won’t change in 2018, but Kulygin tells us he wants to expand his company with a global approach. We can expect to see partnerships with makers all over the world this year. Next up will be a collaboration with the pioneer of the integral handle, Peter Rassenti. “The Satori by Peter is in the final stage right now, it’s a nice, large integral knife with a cool design and fit and finish,” Kulygin tells us. After that, the company is setting its sights on the work of SNECX Tan and expects a mid-year announcement of that collaboration.

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International partnerships will keep bearing fruit throughout the back half of the year, too. CKF has lined up Nalu Boersma, Matthew Christensen, Tuff Knives, Serge Panchenko, Phillipe Jourget, and Tashi Bharucha as well. “And I’ve had talks with many others,” Kulygin adds. “Seems like people – and the designers – like what we do with collabs, so why stop? We’re looking for more collaborations.”

Knife featured in image: CKF/Hoback Knives Kwaiback