I have been promising I would get to the write-ups for my Blade Show booth visits, but I keep testing (playing with) knives instead of sitting down and going back through my notes and photos. I can think of no better maker/company to highlight for my first post than Medford Knife and Tool.
Medford Knife and Tool was founded by Greg Medford, a Marine, a pilot/aircraft mechanic, martial art enthusiast, and Patriot. According to the company’s published literature, Greg tries to combine “Yankee ingenuity, Western freedom, and high-tech aerospace to an intersection of form and function that puts smiles on faces”. His tools seem to bear out this mission.
Greg is also somewhat of a mentor to other makers. Will Woods has long been an admirer of his work, and has sought his council on several occasions. At Blade, Will told me how he brought one of his early knives to Greg and asked him to “tell me everything that is wrong with it”. By the next time they met, Will had managed to correct 80% of the issues, and create a few new ones. But it was this give and take that shows Greg’s commitment to the art, and developing new artists.
I didn’t actually manage to meet Greg. The few times I saw him he looked to be deeply engaged in conversation. Instead it was one of his employees, DJ, who showed me the knives and answered my questions.
The SUK or “Small Utility Knife” (pictured above) is one of the few Warncliffe blades that actually looks robust enough that I would consider carrying. The ergonomics of the handle are wonderful, and I imagine this knife would do an excellent job dressing out a trout. I can also see how this knife would function well in its stated design, namely being an easily concealed blade with a length and shape that would be appropriate for causing deep puncture wounds in a defensive/tactical situation.
The EOD was designed in consultation with current USMC EOD technicians. It is one robust tool. It features a blunted, probing tip, a reinforced pommel suitable for hammering tasks, the hole on the spine can be used for pulling wire, and obviously the D2 steel takes a sharp edge and provides a great balance of toughness and corrosion resistance. While disarming bombs is not my vocation, I can think of many situations where this knife would be right at home in my Jeep’s tool kit.
The STA Sniper is an interesting knife with a host of features for a marksman, sniper, or hunter. The half-inch wrench fits most scope rings, the hilt features a screwdriver tip that can be used for sight adjustments, but the most unique feature is the LTRE – or Look Through Range Estimator. This elongated, tapering hole features graduation marks that can be used to estimate distance out to 400 yards. The robust, drop point blade would be perfectly suited a wide range of woodcraft tasks as well.
The Sawto is a burly, multi-purpose tool. In addition to its tanto blade, it has a saw spine, wrench holes in the handle, and an exposed piece of steel that is useful as a pry-bar. I can think of a plethora of uses for this versatile knife.
I am not 100% clear on my final knife. My notes are a bit confusing and it is getting late, but I believe this knife is a drop point Emperor. The Emperor in the catalog features a tanto blade, but the scales and handle shape match up. Regardless of the name, this blade would be suitable for batoning and other woodcraft tasks.
I would like to thank CJ for spending almost a half an hour of his time with me. While I was familiar with Medford before the show, getting to see a wide range of blades in person gives a much better feel for the design philosophy of Medford Knife and Tool. Specifically, Greg’s burly knives would be equally at home in a soldier’s kit of hunter’s blind.