DDR Knives Betting Big on Balisongs

DDR Knives is betting big on balisong knives in 2017 and beyond. The Forney, Texas-based company is rolling out three new balisong models over the next 18 months, including a revival of an old favorite, and a butterfly knife version of their Gunhammer folder.

The upcoming AA-M is based off the Gemini [shown below], a trailblazing DDR custom from the early 2000s. It will hit the market in mid-tech and custom versions. Both will have handles milled from single pieces of titanium and integrate the NLT (No Loctite) pivot, designed to resist loosening during balisong tricks and use. Darrel Ralph, Founder of DDR, says the AA-M is much more than a remake. “It’s not a re-release, like a movie. The original was fifteen years ago. This will be even bigger.”

DDR Gemini

Customers who sign up for the mid-tech can choose between 4.5-inch bowie or bullnose blades. With the custom, the options are expanded, with a recurve fighter, point-heavy tanto, or a dagger-style blade available. Instead of carbon steel as on the original, DDR chose modern stainless blade steels for both versions.

Ralph says the custom Gunhammer butterfly knife has been ten years in the making. “I’ve always wanted to make a Gunhammer bali.” While the AA-M is a symmetrical balisong made for flipping, the Gunhammer will be asymmetrical to emulate the original folder’s handle and favors ultimate strength over finesse. “More than anything, it’s a folding fixed blade,” Ralph tells us.

The balisong Gunhammer carries over the folder’s signature 4.6-inch ‘radian’ blade shape too: a forward heavy tanto-like blade with a dramatic recurve. Those interested better act fast; it may be their only chance to get this knife. “We’re going to limit this one to under 50 knives total,” Ralph says.

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Ralph continues and tells us that the Gemini pioneered custom balisongs before the community grew to its current size. “We were one of the first makers out of the chute with a large-scale custom project at that time.” Cold Steel even produced a production version, called the Archangel, which is now a collectible itself, selling for hundreds of dollars on the secondary market.

The mid-tech AA-M will sell for $520. Customers can opt for an acid wash blade and/or an anodized handle finish for $50 each. Custom AA-Ms start at $890. Customers who purchase both custom and mid-tech AA-Ms can get matching serial numbers. Prices for the Gunhammer Bali are still being worked out at this time, but the books are now open for the first 25 orders.

Knife featured in image: DDR Gunhammer Bali