Elijah Isham’s New Solo Project is a Twist on Traditionals

Elijah Isham is fusing together slipjoints and modern flipper knives for his new solo project, the Blackstar. The people-friendly knife aims to appeal to anybody in want of a stylish tool in an urban environment.

Targeting the backup or EDC category, the Blackstar has a 2.5-inch blade that emulates the kind of clip point you might see on traditional knives. Instead of carbon steel, however, Isham went with high-performance M390, and the rest of the Blackstar follows suit with its current-gen steel. The handle is sculpted G-10, inset with carbon fiber panels, outfitted with stainless steel liners and a sculpted, anodized titanium pocket clip. The Blackstar has an overall length of 5.6 inches and weighs just 1.34 oz. “The idea was to make a smaller gentleman style secondary carry which would fit in the watch pocket on jeans.”

Isham opted for a detent-style slipjoint mechanism on the Blackstar. “There is a spring bar cut into one of the steel liners, yet it doesn’t have a lock face,” he explains. “Just a detent ball that drops into a hole in both the closed and open positions.” Isham acknowledges that similar mechanisms have been in use for years, most famously by Serge Panchenko. He chose the setup because it allowed for the implement of a flipper deployment, which a non-locking backspring would not have accommodated “It’s basically a sort of hybridization of a slipjoint and a modern detent-driven flipper,” says Isham.

In keeping with the theme of an ultra-portable backup knife, Isham set up the Blackstar with an inline flipper tab to keep the profile slim. Building a knife like this takes serious machining skill, so Isham chose recent collaborator WE Knife Co. as OEM. He notes that the little knife was quite a feat of engineering. “Maximizing blade to handle ratio on such a small knife was pretty difficult, and so was getting the three finger grip ergos just right,” he tells us. “It’s a knife that you can have with you as an office carry and not have to worry about scaring coworkers when using it.”

The first run of Blackstars will consist of around 100 pieces and is expected to arrive with dealers in August. The run will be a 50/50 split of black and green colorations. Price for either color will be around $150.

Knife featured in image: Isham Bladeworks Blackstar