Jonathan McNees Founds New Performance Machined Line

Jonathan McNees is the latest custom maker to incorporate a mid-tech component into his output. With his new Performance Machined line, McNees hopes to offer users a more affordable option that still maintains the high quality bar set by his customs.

“Mid-tech” isn’t the buzzword it used to be. More and more, we’re seeing makers partner with production companies, either for collaboration models or for full production lines under their own, independent labels. In fact, McNees is no stranger to the former course, having partnered with Spyderco to bring out the McBee, a production version of his Killer B custom.

And actually, McNees considers the PM models to be “mid-techish,” blending elements of production and custom knives. He has some parts of the knives outsourced to domestic manufacturing partners, but says he does a lot of the work himself in his shop. The processes that are done in-house will vary from model to model. “For the MAC 2 folder, we’re sizing hardware, fitting locks, setting detents, bending clips, and then of course finish work, sharpening, and assembly,” explains McNees. The idea is to create something that feels different from a full production knife, but that is more accessible than the average McNees custom piece.

There are two models in the PM line at this time, one folder and one fixed blade. The folder is the afforementioned MAC 2, a design that McNees describes as an easy-to-carry, reliable folder that can do whatever its user needs it to. The MAC 2’s blade is three inches long and opens with thumb studs; it is made from CPM-20CV blade steel and locks up with a titanium frame lock.

For the fixed blade, McNees created the Retainer, a tactically-oriented hawkbill that you hold by putting your index and ring fingers through the two loops that comprise the handle. The Retainer is also made from CPM-20CV steel, and its chisel-ground blade has an edge on both the bottom and top; it comes with a Kydex sheath that offers multiple different carry configurations. “On the Retainer fixed blades, we’re basically doing finish work and sharpening,” says McNees.

McNees says that he wants to expand the PM line even further in the future. “I definitely plan to add more models to the lineup going forward,” he tells us. “I’m already working on some ideas, including a larger MAC 2.”

Both the Retainer and the MAC 2 are available now.

Knife in Featured Image: McNees Performance Machined Retainer

Join knife companies and subscribe to the KnifeNews email.
They wouldn't subscribe
if it wasn't awesome.
(No spam, only great content)