Mad Scientist’s Knives ‘Shapeshift’ to Open

The ScorpioDesign Shapeshifter knives look and function like nothing else out there. They utilize a patented toggle lever lock that runs across a channel cut into the blade itself, allowing the handle to come apart in separate pieces and realign over the cutting edge.

Shapeshifter E.D.C.

Because these knives don’t close like traditional folders, a Shapeshifter can house a very long blade relative to the handle. The blades come in a variety of beautiful Damascus steels, a reflection of ScorpioDesign founder and designer Gunther Löbach’s scholastic background. Löbach studied Metal Design at a university level, and wrote a book about Damascus. Steel aside, all the Shapeshifters are, in Löbach’s words, “Totally mesmerizing to play with.”

The toggle lever lock is resistant to grit and dirt, totally ambidexterous, and still falls within the strict German knife law allowances. He classifies the E.D.C. and Talisman models as capable gentleman’s folders, and the BYOCK is designed to be used in the kitchen (BYOCK stands for Bring Your Own Chef’s Knife).

Shapeshifter Talisman

For all its intricacy, it only took Löbach 3 months to come up with the mechanism. In fact, the first Shapeshifter was part of his university studies. “It was a large and somewhat unwieldy model, which also had a different locking mechanism,” says Löbach. That was in 2006. By 2008 he had refined the design into the Shapeshifter E.D.C., the first of the Shapeshifter line. It was followed by the Talisman, a neck knife variant, and eventually the BYOCK. Löbach has customers who have used the knives as tools for years.

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Löbach has another experimental knife design in the works. Called the Maglock, it is a new style of automatic knife that uses magnets instead of springs. “It had a few minor flaws which I want to improve on,” Löbach told us, “so I plan to do a second version of that in the near future.”

Knife featured in image: Shapeshifter E.D.C.