Urban Tactical Leans into Custom Features for Echo-1

One of the standout knives on display at the USN Gathering was Mikkel Willumsen of Urban Tactical’s Echo-1. This new and funky folder aims for the high end, with premium materials, design, and features.

The Echo-1 comes in on the smaller side for Willumsen design, with a 3-inch Damasteel RWL-34 blade. Willumsen ground out a broad spear point blade shape, with a sturdy tip and a massive fuller-combination-swedge along the top. The Echo-1 is primarily a flipper knife; the oversized barrels on the blade function as blade stops. In addition to their strength, Willumsen chose the massive, external stop pin construction to help the Echo-1 make a statement. “I wanted it to stick out, that’s why I used the big stop pin in the blade and the technical elements.”

Unconstrained by price considerations, Willumsen went all out on the handle too. The anodized titanium frame is offset by a large carbon fiber inlay on the show side. On the reverse side, a smaller, angled inlay crosses the frame lock arm and functions as a lock bar stabilizer. Willumsen added muscle to the frame lock with a sizable steel block insert that functions as the actual interface between locking bar and blade tang.  Many makers go for thinner, less noticeable inserts but Willumsen takes the bigger is better approach. “I think it’s better than a thin lock insert that’s milled into a pocket in the liner,” he explains.

There’s a lot of whizzbang elements to be found in the Echo-1, but Willumsen notes that the overall profile is actually a little more tame than some might expect. Knives like the Tyran go for sweeping lines and offset blades and handles, merging the organic and tactical looks. The Echo-1 represents a shift in visual design language, and it’s a shift Willumsen anticipated ahead of the knife’s genesis. “The lines are pretty straight on this model compared to most of my designs, which is something I been wanting to do for some time.”

Willumsen has been diversifying at a rapid pace. Beyond his custom work he has collaborated with SOG, WE, Kizer, Fox, and more – not to mention opening up his own production series, the FABRIK line. But despite all these tempting outlets for the Echo-1, Willumsen wants it to stay special, limited, and very premium. “This will be a permanent model, but only as a custom version, no production,” he says. “But I am thinking of making an automatic version of it.”

Knife featured in image: Willumsen Urban Tactical Echo-1