Glenn-Tech Tests the Waters with the Kiba

Japan’s Glenn Waters just delivered the first batch of Glenn-Tech semi-production knives ahead of schedule. We didn’t expect Glenn-Tech knives before the end of the year, but the veteran maker hopes to test the waters with the Glenn-Tech Kiba before moving forward with his other planned designs.

When Waters announced his plans to enter the mid-tech market back in April, he debuted two models, the Hayabusa and the Viper. Both were small knives with unusual styling. As the forerunner to that duo, the Kiba is slightly larger and sports a more familiar look – but not too familiar. Its 3-inch Elmax blade adheres to a general drop point shape with a hint of added styling. “Kiba” means “Fang” in Japanese, and this blade definitely has an aggressive, pointed look. The jimped ridge and coffin-shaped opening hole are also unique touches. Compact dimensions and a weight of 5.5 oz. put the frame lock flipper Kiba into “tiny tank” territory.

“[It] is a very solid utility knife,” Waters says. Food prep is a cutting chore he likes to emphasize and says the Kiba can slice steak and vegetables with ease. But the knife isn’t totally domesticated. In keeping with his penchant for small, potent fighting knives, Waters designed the Kiba to flex into a tactical role as well.

The first run of Kiba knives is limited to 50 numbered pieces. If they sell quickly, the Kiba will join the Hayabusa and the Viper as standard models in the Glenn-Tech lineup. As Glenn-Tech evolves, Waters plans to draw a clear line between his custom and production models with little crossover. “I don’t want to produce all of my custom models as Glenn-Tech knives,” he explains. “I’m working on a new design now that I might only produce as a Glenn-Tech knife.”

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Custom knives continue to be a central element of Waters’ work. His new Kaiken art knife took home the Best Custom Folder award at Blade Show in June. Right now he’s pressing forward with work on a more utility-oriented version of that knife, the Kaiken EDC. He plans to bring it with him to the SICAC in Paris later this month. His next show in the United States will be the New York Custom Knife Show in November.

You can buy a Glenn-Tech Kiba now. Current price is $650.

Knife featured in image: Glenn-Tech Kiba

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