Kopis Designs Brings Out Mid-Tech Version of Ed Calderon Elvia [UPDATED]

UPDATE 6/12/20: We knew another round of the L-Vias were on the way, and now they’re here. This afternoon a batch of the popular mid-tech (with an acid wash blade finish) will be available to order. They are going live at 4PM EST today, Friday June 12th here. In the meantime we’re boosting the original article, which includes a discussion with Kopis Designs’s Jon Bahlatzis.


Kopis Designs is making inroads into a broader market thanks to a collaboration with Ed Calderon of Ed’s Manifesto. These two outfits are joining forces to create the L-Via, a mid-tech version of Calderon’s Elvia custom knife.

The centerpiece of the Elvia, and one that was carried forward into the L-Via, is the blade: a hawkbill shape designed to maximize cutting potential while keeping the overall footprint super slim and compact. There have been different manifestations of the Elvia, but this particular iteration’s blade runs to 2.5 inches long. Its grind is a narrow sabre, and for the blade steel Calderon and Kopis opted for 154CM.

The L-Via’s handle is an inversion of its blade, curving up towards the back as the blade drops correspondingly down. The only finger groove is actually located on the back-end, spine side; otherwise the handle is seemingly unadorned: just simple curves. But according to Jon Bahlatzis of Kopis Designs, lots of thought went into that simplicity. “The handle shape combined with the texturing allows for a number of solid and ergonomic grip options, for everything from detailed carving and food prep to self defense,” he says. “Everything about this knife is focused on creating a feature packed, ergonomic knife that is meant to be used and abused while still being economic.”

While some makers and designers use mid-tech production to create super premium products, in this case Bahlatzis’s mid-tech approach was intended to emphasize accessibility. “Mid-techs are definitely a passion for us because they allow a much wider audience of users to access our designs at an affordable price without sacrificing quality,” he explains. “Aesthetics are important for sure, but our first and foremost priority is creating tools that excel in their intended use with no sacrifice of form, fit, and function.”

This is the first time a Calderon design will be reaching a wide audience at a near-production scale, and the first widely accessible Kopis Designs in some time. Bahlatzis tells us to expect more to follow. “We are also working on a number of other collaboration projects with makers like Billy Trident, and my old mentor Matt Martin at Vehement Knives that we are pretty damn excited about.” He’s even keeping his eye on the possibility of full-scale production releases. “It is for sure something we would like to do eventually, but it would have to be with the right partner willing to maintain US production and ensure that we maintain the material quality, execution, and functionality that people have grown accustomed to. “

The first run of the Kopis Designs/Ed’s Manifesto L-Via sold out very quickly, but another batch is already in production.

Knife in Featured Image: Kopis Designs/Ed’s Manifesto L-Via

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