“A sharp edge will get someone to comply very quickly… thus the name Compliance Edge.”
Q1– I was scrolling thru your current product mix. Very cool stuff! Would you consider yourself a small batch production company or do you open your doors to guys who might want something outside of your current assortment?
A1 -I would definitely consider myself more of a small batch company. It tends to be easier to just do a run of one model at a time, however often times I just grab a handful of different blanks based off of what I feel like making at the moment.
It is good to have a variety of different things to work on at once, and that way customers have more choices as well. But I definitely do not make anything outside of my current assortment.
My design process takes up to 6 months from conception to final product, so for someone to send me a sketch, it would be very difficult to make that knife and have it turn out well without doing several prototypes, etc.
Q2– I noticed the price range on your current models. Starting a $240.00 up to $800.00 can you tell us the difference between the $240.00 and the $800.00 knives?
A2– the $240 range knives are both handle-less fixed blades. Just one solid piece of steel ground and textured into a knife, with a full flat grind. This process is a lot faster than making one with nice straight bevels and handles.
Most of my designs with handles are in the $350-$450 range, being that the grinds and handle work take a lot of extra time and materials.
Then they jump from $450-$800, because the $800 is a folder, which is crazy expensive to make, and requires VERY tedious and time consuming work.
Q3 Is there a knife or a knife smith that influenced your work or pushed you to knife making? If not, what did?
A3– I was mainly inspired by Mick Strider. I loved the overall look of his fixed blades, and decided to use similar materials, but with my own designs.
Q4– Has your experience in martial arts influenced your knife designs?
A4– Absolutely! I was lucky enough to train nearly my whole life in BJJ and Judo. Both of those arts are amazing because you can go 100% without getting hurt or hurting your opponent. They teach you how to control another human against their will.
Because of my prior training, I was luck enough to get drawn into the combative training world as well, and that’s what helped get me started with knives.
I would show some of the people we were training my designs, and they would give me feedback based off of their real world experience.
The two biggest features in all of my current designs are a round butt, and a huge finger guard. That way you can slam the knife down into a target without your hand sliding up the blade, and then use your other hand to push down on the round butt end of the knife.
Much more effective than a cool looking “skull crusher” which would just slice your assisting hand wide open if you pushed down on it. The guys that are in the know get it and love it, and the guys that watch a lot of movies say “you should add a skull crusher and lanyard hole to that one”.
Q4– What is your favorite knife you make and why?
A4– My favorite is the FBK. It is the only knife of mine that I can look at and say “it needs no improvement”. I could honestly just make only those for the next few years and be happy.
Q5– Where do you see the handmade knife market going in the next 10 years? Where does Compliance Edge fit into that market?
A5- I am a little too new to the industry to know where it is going. As an Economics grad I can look at the general market and make speculations, but it’s hard to say how much they will affect knives.
I think that even if markets in general start to tank, the supply of quality custom knives is so low compared to the current demand, if anything the two may start to equal out. And if the knife market does take a huge hit, I can strive to be the best/rise above the competition.
Q6– Knife laws too strict or not strict enough?
A6– Too strict! It’s a felony in CA to conceal a blade, but felons will still do it! If you aren’t a convict, you should be allowed to carry a concealed fixed blade. We can open carry them, but you get lots of funny looks, so being able to do so concealed for the law abiding citizens would be nice. ” note *I agree with this 100% the modern trend is to blame and punish the guy following the law , not stop the persons breaking it! ” *
Q7– Handmade knife market a saturated market and if so what do you do to set your business apart from others out there?
A7– I think there is always room for more makers, but there are a lot of people making very similar products.
I think what sets me apart is my attention to detail. The straight grinds, clean lines and blended edges. My knives are similar in style to many other makers, and in photos they can look very close, but in person the fit and finish is often times noticeably different.
Q8– How did you come up with the name Compliance Edge?
A8– A sharp edge will get someone to comply very quickly… thus the name Compliance Edge.
Q9– What is your favorite materials both handle / blade to work with and why?
A9– I love G10 for handles. It is easy to work with, looks great, and is virtually indestructible. Even Micarta will fade out over time, but G10 will remain the same for years. For blades I love CPM S35VN. It is very strong, takes and holds a great edge, and is stainless.
Q10– You spend a lot of time on each knife. Can you describe the process you use in coming up with a new design?
A10– Everything starts with a hand sketch. I usually tweak elements of the sketch multiple times so when I’m drawing, I usually set it aside and look at it several times a month.
Once I am happy with that I will either hand-cut it out, or create a CAD file and have it water jet cut. It just depends on how excited I am to work on it!
From there I will make the prototype, and see how I like the balance, ergonomics, and functionality. If it needs adjustments they are made, until I get it right.
I am constantly tweaking old designs as well. After making hundreds of Vendettas I decided to slightly change up the blade shape the other day. So the designs are constantly evolving alongside my knowledge and skills.
Q12– What are your expectations for every knife you make in terms of quality? What quality checks do you use to make sure each knife holds up to your demanding standards?
A12– Every knife should be more or less free of blemishes, and should look like the picture on the website. If they don’t look like what the customer expects, they will be disappointed right when they open the box.
My goal is to create the same knife every time. When you make them by hand, this is not an easy task, so consistency/skill are key. In terms of a function check, each knife is heat-treated the same exact way, and the Rockwell hardness is tested multiple times.
This way you only need to beat on a knife here and there, rather than smacking every single one around to ensure it won’t break, or chip.
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