Kunwu Knives Enters Crowded Knife Market Fray

Kunwu Knives is a brand new knife company operating out of Yangjiang, China. The company is currently seeking funding for its first production knife, the Orion, with plans to create more in the future.

For inspiration on the Orion, the Kunwu team looked outside of the knife realm. Members of their crew are cyclists by hobby and took the Shimano XTR rear derailleur as a starting point for their knife concept. This is a gear-shifting device that can be added to a bicycle and, like many elements of cycling gear, emphasizes a stringent performance to weight ratio. So from that starting point Kunwu wanted to create a titanium frame lock flipper that maximized performance while keeping the weight as low as possible relative to its size.

According to Kunwu’s Sergio Badric, he kept asking himself an important question about the new company: “How can we make a knife that is simple and utilitarian as can be, but still have the ability of standing out from all the models popping out every 45 seconds from guys that are practically our next door neighbors?” The crew resolved to keep something simple, but with every single detail dialed in. “Instead of going crazy with design choices, anodizing everything but our tooth fillings, quirkiness and a plethora of outlandish material possibilities, we just went for utilitarian simplicity in design and absolute dedication to heat treatment and fit and finish.”

The core of the 3.88 oz. Orion is its 3.43-inch drop point blade, opened exclusively via flipper tab and riding on ceramic ball bearings. Kunwu chose S35VN for their blade steel, but are also running it fairly hard at 62HRC, and say that the 17 degree edge grind has been done not only to perform well, but also to hold up to multiple sharpenings without need for reprofiling. The machined titanium scales are accented with a carbon fiber pivot collar, and the clip is a separate, sculpted piece of titanium.

Kunwu is keeping the pricing for the Orion competitive, with an early bird price of $110 currently available and a standard price set at $130. “Our prices will always be more realistic and less than our competition, while the quality will only go up,” Badric explains. “But I doubt that we will ever make a budget line with D2 and 9cr18mov. S35vn is our compromise so there you go.”

The team of four behind Kunwu all have experience in the knife world – up to 25 years of it, in fact. Badric sees the potential for a bright future for Kunwu. “We plan on growing if the knife community accepts us with the embracing arms that only knife nutters have. So we’ll see what’s ahead, we have been working on couple of other designs.” He teases a design called the Hyperion, tentatively planned for Kickstarter in February.

The Kunwu Orion has already been successfully funded. The campaign runs through January 15th.

Knife in Featured Image: Kunwu Knives Orion