Peter Rassenti Carves Out Open Back Integral

Peter Rassenti is introducing the Satori, a custom knife with an open-backed integral handle. The new knife has a prehistoric, geological finish that can only be done by hand.

A standard knife handle consists of two separate slabs, but integral knives are made from a single, continuous piece of material, usually titanium. Lionsteel pioneered this process in production knives, but Rassenti has been making custom integrals since 2010. “I was always obsessed with integrals because I thought it was the ultimate,” he recalls. A Rassenti production collaboration, the Spyderco Nirvana, was released last year and Rassenti says he already has manufacturers interested in producing the Satori.

Integrals are stronger and require fewer parts than conventional folders. They also provide the opportunity to maximize blade-to-handle ratio. “I can go right to both ends. It’s maximum usage of space, which is one of my key design goals,” Rassenti says. The Satori has a 3.9-inch blade made of a stainless Damascus and Stellite 6K laminate. Its open frame is also easier to clean. Although the owners of custom Satoris aren’t likely to put the knife to hard use, this benefit would be a key selling point in a production version.


Most of the work on the Satori, including the “canyon” that runs along the spine of the handle, was carved by hand. “I like very angular lines on my knives, but I also like organic and natural things,” Rassenti says. “I’m not a CNC fanatic.” Going back and forth on the titanium to achieve all of the Satori’s detailing was a meticulous, painstaking process. Rassenti tells us this carving process almost tripled the time it took to make this knife.

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The open backed integral is possible in the production world, but Rassenti says the level of decorative detail on the knife will be relegated to the custom versions. “I could see a rudimentary style of it being done, but the handwork couldn’t be done.” Rassenti plans on auctioning off the first Satori at Blade Show in June.

Knife featured in image: Rassenti Satori