Custom Knife Factory Passes 10 Year Milestone

Custom Knife Factory passed an important milestone when it turned 10 last week. The company is still going strong after a decade in the high-end folder market, and recently teased a new design from Alexey Konygin called the OK. Slated for release in late summer, the OK sees Konygin delivering another knife with an impressively distinct visual style.

Konygin is a recurring collaborator at CKF, but also an established presence in the custom knife scene. Konygin likes to elevate the aesthetic of his designs, metamorphosing both the handles and blades into unprecedented forms, always made from high end materials and meticulously put together. Much the same applies to Konygin’s CKF work; even a tamer design like the Decepticon would be the outlier in a more traditional maker’s portfolio.

The OK’s pocket clip is actually the off-side scale

That being said, the OK is pretty different from other Konygin/CKF collabs, starting with the blade. Even though the prototype displayed in the teaser images has not been sharpened yet, the shape is clearly discernible: a dramatically humped sheepsfoot. CKF usually goes large to extra large with its folders but this one looks more compact, and seems like it would be a nice fit for everyday carry.

CKF has confirmed that the blade steel will be M398, the sequel to tried and true knife steel M390. Believe it or not, M390 is more than thirty years old (although its career as a production knife steel has lasted only a fraction of that time), and evidently Bohler-Uddeholm improved upon the original in this 2019 sequel. According to Knife Steel Nerds, M398 performed better than S90V in the edge retention department.

The handle, with its dual layer titanium construction, exhibits all the mechanical complexity of Konygin’s custom work and is, like every CKF release, a showcase for the company’s attention to machining detail. In fact, the back “scale” is really the pocket clip, made from timascus and big enough to span the small knife’s entire handle.

So wish a happy birthday to Custom Knife Factory and, if the OK tickles your fancy, add it to your wishlist; the company says the ETA is August.

Knife in Featured Image: Custom Knife Factory OK

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