Kunwu Knives Returns with Art Deco-Inspired Ronin

Kunwu Knives is cementing itself in the knife world by crowdfunding its second release, the Ronin. The new knife lands in a similar size category to the Orion, Kunwu’s first knife, but sports a different blade shape and revamped aesthetic.

The Ronin takes its name from its dramatic blade shape. While not strictly speaking a tanto, the sweeping profile does echo the shapes of traditional Japanese blades. The blade measures 3.38 inches long, about a tenth of an inch shorter compared to its predecessor. The overall size and utilitarian edge geometry place the Ronin in the EDC category. Once again, opening is achieved with a flipper tab empowered by ceramic ball bearings. A two-tiered cutout in the blade is in place mainly as an accent, but could work as a secondary opening mechanism in a pinch. Blade steel is once again S35VN as well.

Kunwu’s design team devised a tapering handle for the Ronin, which winnows down in width from pivot to tail. While the Orion relied on a carbon fiber insert for a splash of visual interest, the Ronin eschews other materials and instead commit to art deco stylings. Pseudo inlays have been cut into both the front and back scales, and embellished with elegant linework; this visual theme is even carried through the sculpted titanium pocket clip and echoed inside the blade cutout.

Beyond the visual element the titanium handle of the Ronin shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with premium modern folders: frame lock construction, titanium spacer, and a stainless steel lock bar insert. Despite the shorter blade length, the Ronin is a bit heavier than the Orion, coming it at just over 4 oz.

Kunwu first came onto the knife scene at the end of 2019 to crowdfund the Orion. That project was successful, and Kunwu promised we’d see more from them soon. The Ronin is the next step in delivering on that promise, but not the last. The company has been teasing a forthcoming OTF, recently showed off a front flipper prototype, and says we can expect multiple releases this year. Additionally, they have heard early adopters’ requests for different blade steel and do eventually intend to implement other ones; possibly even with variations on existing models like the Orion and the Ronin. Kunwu has even hinted at possible patents they’d like to get out into the knife world as they build a community around their brand.

As with the Orion, delivering a quality blade at a relatively low price was part of the goal with the Ronin. On Kickstarter now through May 8th, 2020, early bird prices start at about $110. The campaign has already almost reached its asking amount of $10,316.

Knife in Featured Image: Kunwu Knives Ronin