Internet Fame and Show Awards Fuel CAS Knives’ Growth

Argentinean knife maker Claudio Sobral, of CAS Knives, has garnered a lot of attention in the last few years with his arresting take on fixed blade knives. Coming off of an award-winning collaboration, Sobral plans to continue to pursue new designs and future partnerships.

In the simplest terms, CAS Knives is known for making large fixed blades: “We prefer to make large Bowie and camp knives,” Sobral tells us. But a quick look at any CAS knife proves there’s more to Sobral’s work than churning out tried-and-true patterns. Sobral’s style reimagines classic fixed blade patterns like the Bowie or the chopper with radical lines and rigorous attention to finish and detail. Recent designs like the Big Black Bear (shown in the video below) exemplify the CAS Style, with big recurved blades, sinuous handles, and striking steel. They’re still tools, but tools with unmistakable attitude. “We want people to recognize a CAS knife without even seeing the maker’s mark,” Sobral asserts.

Another CAS signature is the blade material itself. You aren’t likely to see a CAS knife sporting the latest super steel. Sobral only works with san mai and Damascus steels produced in-house. “We don’t make knives in monosteel,” he explains. “Being a custom knife maker, it seems more appropriate to make our own steel.” In addition to the obvious aesthetic value, Sobral says the CAS 1095 san mai and Damascus are designed for performance, even when implemented in his most ornate knives.

Last year Sobral produced an award-winning collaboration with Javier Vogt, and this year a partnership with Sam Lurquin took home two awards at Blade Show, including Best in Show. Sobral incorporates at least one collaboration into his schedule a year and says he has a 2018 partner lined up, although he’s not ready to disclose who he’s partnering with. As for more accessible, production-style partnerships, such a project could materialize some day. “We’ve never done it. It could happen.”

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About fourteen years ago Sobral and his brother Ariel committed to knife making full time. Sales to friends and at local artisan fairs kept the lights on in the early days. The internet allowed Sobral to put his captivating knives in front of a global audience. “From here on everything was much easier. We started to become better known locally – and later internationally,” Sobral recalls.

In 2013 younger brother Marcelo joined the team and currently makes the shop’s leather sheaths. “We make everything here; nothing is outsourced. We like being self-sufficient and not relying on anyone,” Sobral says. He goes on to tells us that CAS has no plans to deviate from fixed blades. However, as they work through their backlog of orders, they will begin to put out new fixed blade designs. “We have a whole year full of orders; we’ll have time to work on some new designs in 2018.”

Prices for a CAS knife vary from model to model. The Big Black Bear in the video would set you back $1200.

Knife featured in image: CAS Knives Black Bear