Maskas Precision Takes Home Best New Maker Award at G10

Seth Turner of Maskas Precision Knives was one of the big winners at the 10th annual USN Gathering in Las Vegas, reeling in the prestigious Best New Maker award. Turner is just six months into the knife making profession but plans to capitalize on his victory with a steady, thoughtful development pace.

Right now, the Maskas brand is built around one model, the Primero. This tanky frame lock comes in flipper and thumb stud variations, with a clean, industrial-looking handle. Bold and aggressive, the 3.6-inch tanto blade has an exaggerated secondary bevel and an angled, harpoon-style spine. Turner has used both S35VN and AEB-L steel for the Primero, and often accentuates the beefy 7 oz. frame lock’s minimalist construction with Timascus clips and pivot collars. “My goal with making knives wasn’t to just make a knife.  I wanted to make knives that made people say wow!,” Turner tells us.

Visuals are important for a new maker’s work, but Turner’s also committed to the invisible details. “Super tight blade-to-frame gaps, symmetry, blade centering, the detent and drop shut action,” he explains. Working in his free time by hand in his burgeoning shop, Turner pushes himself to justify his company’s name. “Grinding blades to flat and parallel within .0002” and milling my frames flat and parallel under .0005” just to start a build. Precision is in the name for a reason, it is something I strive for on everything I do.”

An award at a prestigious community event is a great way to kick off a knife making career, however it takes shape. As a part-time maker, Turner wants to use his momentum judiciously. “My future plans are pretty simple at this time,” he says. “I plan to continue making and experimenting with different materials and refining my process.” He may start taking orders in 2019, but the immediate next step will be expanding his repertoire of locks and materials. “A liner lock is the current project, then I plan on diving into the more dressy side of things.  My experience with materials is very limited at this point.”

Turner goes on to point out the role the knife community played in his recent success, even before the G10 award. “This community is so great, there is always a helping hand available for guidance and plenty of resources.” In terms of advice for other new makers, he says originality is key. “[The] biggest challenge for me was designing a knife that wasn’t already being made.  It’s amazing how many designs are already out there and trying to be original is hard at times.”

Knife featured in image: Maskas Precision Knives Primero