Demko Knives AD20.5 Voted Best New Folder 2021

Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners

The Demko Knives AD 20.5 is the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice for Best New Folder 2021! Demko’s dynamite design dominated the discussion this year, drawing in droves in a dense docket that also included the Benchmade Claymore, Böker Kwaiken OTF, Buck Knives Onset, W.R. Case Marilla, Fox Knives Italico, SOG Terminus XR LTE, Tactile Knife Co. Rockwall, and We Knife Co. Eidolon.

When we asked our readers to tell us about their favorite knives of the year, there was one model that seemed to come up more than any other: the Demko Knives AD20.5. Andrew Demko’s work has been a mainstay in the custom and production worlds for years, the latter under the aegis of Cold Steel – at least until last year. In 2021 Demko struck off on his own, establishing his own production line. The AD20.5 was the debut knife for that line, and it made an incredible first impression.

You might think that the guy who designed the Tri-Ad Lock, Ram Safe Lock, and the Scorpion Lock could rest on his engineering laurels for a bit, but Demko found another innovative way to keep a folding blade fixed in position. But the Shark Lock isn’t just a novelty. “Designing a lock is not that hard,” Demko told us last year. “What is hard, is designing a lock that will have the following : lock up securely, be easy to unlock, be impact resistant, be strong, and be manufacturing friendly.” He managed to check each and every one of these boxes with the Shark Lock.

With a locking arm that moves in two different directions, the Shark Lock allows for a larger, stronger blade tang. That arm also houses the spring, protecting it from dirt or other material that could impede its action. The Shark Lock is also completely ambidextrous and deeply fun to operate. But a cool lock wouldn’t mean much without a great knife design to house it, and the AD20.5 would be a memorable knife no matter it had under the hood. It hits the sweet spot in terms of EDC blade length, giving the impression that it could do just about anything any user would ask of it. And then there’s the ergonomics: Demko excels at handle design just as much as he does lock engineering, and here he offered a roomy, versatile grip fit for any size hand or task.

“I am so honored to be considered, let alone to win this, it is so amazing,” Demko told us upon receiving the award. He says that he has no inclination to slow down either, with lots of good stuff on the way for both his production and custom work. “You will see some amazing variations of the AD20.5 this year, as well as more availability. We plan to grow our AD20.5 line and our AD20 models as well.” And of course Demko also took a moment to thank the people who made this award possible: “I thank all my customers and fans for their support.”

Which knife upgrade made the grade? Check in with us tomorrow for the announcement of the Best New Knife Upgrade 2021!


Monday, January 3rdBest New Tactical Fixed Blade (WINNER: Benchmade 375 Adamas)

Tuesday, January 4thBest New EDC Fixed Blade (WINNER: LionSteel H2)

Wednesday, January 5thBest New Outdoors Fixed Blade (WINNER: TOPS Bestia)

Thursday, January 6thBest New Kitchen/Culinary Knife (WINNER: Benchmade Station Knife)

Friday, January 7th: Best New Slipjoint/Non-Locking Knife (WINNER: Tactile Knife Co. Bexar)

Monday, January 10thBest New High-End Knife (MSRP of $300 or more) (WINNER: Monterey Bay Knives Sea Otter)

Tuesday, January 11thBest New Value Folder (MSRP of $100 or less) (WINNER: Civivi Lumi)

Wednesday, January 12thBest New Folder (WINNER: Demko Knives AD20.5)

Thursday, January 13th: Best Knife Upgrade (WINNER: Benchmade 275 Adamas)

Friday, January 14thBest Overall Lineup (WINNER: We Knife Co. + Civivi)

Knife in Featured Image: Demko Knives AD20.5