No Doubt About It: New DDR AOD is Pure Machining Muscle

It’s taken five years, but DDR Knives has finally released the Absense of Doubt (AOD). Darrel Ralph, the owner of DDR, put the new knife through an exhaustive design process to make sure his customers would be delighted. “We wanted the AOD to have everything,” says Ralph. “With the majority of the feedback we’ve ever got and everything any customer ever wanted addressed.”

The AOD features some incredible machining which may seem at odds with traditional perceptions of custom knife making, but Ralph is adamant about the role high quality machines have in making his knives feel the way they do. “I think of them as cutting edge customs,” he says. With the AOD in particular, no expense was spared to create the absolute best knife that he could. “The quality and the feel and the experience of this knife is what we were after.”


Internal tolerances, an important, but often overlooked element of knife design, are dialed in to within half a thousandth of an inch. Stainless steel lockbar interfaces are nothing new, but Ralph went the extra mile and made the AOD’s out of CPM-S35VN. To ensure effortless retrieval and stowage, the clip features a machined ball tip and is meticulously designed to make three points of contact.

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Ralph also emphasizes the importance of the human touch, particularly when it comes to blade and edge grinding. Ralph prides himself on the exceptional cutting ability of his knives, and the AOD’s very thin grind would be impossible for a machine to accomplish without ruining the heat treat.

Golden Damascus AOD

Right now DDR Knives has opened its books for orders on the AOD and prices start at $1100. In return you get what Ralph believes is the total package: quality, durability, and reliability. It took five years to get the AOD right, but now Ralph wants them in customers’ hands: “I pray they get used,” he says. “They’re very beautiful, functional pieces of machinery.”

Knife featured in image: DDR Knives AOD