Custom Knife Factory Pulls in New Collaborator JonnyRotten

Custom Knife Factory‘s newest model is the Evolution, designed by new CKF partner JonnyRotten of Rotten Design. The Evolution is a ergonomics-driven folder with a big cleaver blade.

A modified cleaver shape blade shape takes center stage on the Evolution. In typical CKF fashion it’s a large blade, running to 3.74 inches in length. The profile exhibits the squarish, wide, angular traits of a cleaver, but with some tweaks: namely a pronounced belly on the edge and a twice-dropped tip that still rises to an adequate point. There is no flipper tab on the Evolution; instead it is opened via thumb cutout. The blade steel is CKF’s go-to M390 stainless.

The result is a definite visual change compared to recent CKF outings. Company Founder Mike Kulygin tells us that seeking out fresh styles is a core tenet of the CKF philosophy. “We’re always trying something new, or new styles,” he explains. “I would like to try lots of new designs from different people – who knows what will be the next.”

JonnyRotten of Rotten Design is a custom maker, and the Evolution is a true recreation of its custom predecessor. “I’ve been watching Rotten.Design for years,” says CKF’s Mike Kulygin. “I love his grinding skills, some of the best in the industry in my opinion.” He also creates fixed blades but this is his first production collaboration of any sort. The Rotten Design book is currently closed, which Kulygin notes is one of the indicators he uses when picking collaborators. “When I see that I cannot get anything from a maker fast, the books are closed, the waiting time is several years — that is a clear signal for me.”

CKF’s pace for the back end of the year has been steady. Recent releases include the DCPT Tano, a renovation of a longstanding Alexey Konygin design, and the SNAFU 2.0, the second integral from maker Peter Rassenti. Those who want to grab the CKF Evolution will need to be patient. Although it was announced this week, according to Custom Knife Factory it won’t be available until late December. Kulygin also promised tons of new models for next year, hinting at a possible collaboration with Elijah Isham among many others: “Alex Vorobyov, Tashi Bharucha, Gavko Knives, Jim Skelton, Rick Lala, Peter Rassenti, Anton Malyshev. And we’ll continue the MKAD line with several new designs.”

Knife in Featured Image: Custom Knife Factory Evolution