“5 from the Grinder” with Jason Guthrie


For our latest 5ftG we bring you South African knifemaker Jason Guthrie.

Jason Guthrie is an up-and-coming knifemaker from South Africa and owner of JG Custom Knives. Among his influences he lists fellow South African Chris Reeve, whose clean lines and aesthetic can be seen clearly in Jason’s knives. However, Jason’s pedigree as an avid outdoorsman in the South African bush make the designs his own.

Once again I have to thank Nuge at Empire Outfitter for his putting me in touch with Jason. You can buy Jason’s knives stateside through them. So without further ado, I yield the floor to Jason for our latest installment of “5 from the Grinder”

Hi, my name is Jason Guthrie and I am a full time Custom maker from South Africa. South Africa is known for its amazing climate, nature and wildlife, which gives birth to a lot of outdoors enthusiasts such as myself. Whether it be hunting, fishing, camping or just preparing an amazing braai (barbecue) with friends and family, a knife has been critical tool for me since an early age. I have been a avid collector 9 years prior to my path change into knife making career. Knowing what the industry standards are today, I try to associate my products with the best.




Question 1: What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?

 I have two role models in the knife making kingdom, who are both South African. Chris Reeve, with his huge cult following and his ability to turn some backyard grinding into a top quality producing Factory. Secondly would be Des Horn, who been in the industry for very long time, and the nicest maker I have met so far. He represents class and style, which is what I aspire to.


IMG_20160310_180433_resizedQuestion 2: What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?

My favourite pattern of knife generally constitutes a clean flowing look with a drop point blade. A classic Sebenza come to mind.

IMG_20160301_085719_resizedQuestion 3: What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?

The next big thing in knife making will be the use of 3D printing. Full titanium sculptured handles with crazy designs. The other powerful force will be the simple, clean but well designed knives. They are timeless and the world seems to be enjoying going back to old school elegance.


IMG_20160315_225513_resizedQuestion 4: Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?

The knife that best describes who I am and what I want in a knife, is most certainly our Flagship Model, the JG Custom “Ranger”.
First and foremost, cutting ability. The Ranger has a 3.9inch full flat, almost zero grind, and M390 blade. I personally dont believe there is knife that equals the Rangers cutting performance in the classic tactical category. After cutting performance, comes the visual aesthetic. Us as collectors, want a good looking knife that inspires class and premium quality. The Ranger has been built to those guide lines. A clean elegant look, and timeless design. Innovation also has a hold in the Ranger design, with its first of its kind GTi lock, (Guthrie Tungsten Insert). Its a RIL frame lock, with a Tungsten Carbide insert fitted into the lock face. There are multiple benefits to this system which are a bit to long to be explained in this article. But further information can be seen on our You Tube channel or just google search “Jason Guthrie GTi lock”

IMG_20160225_172518_resizedQuestion 5: What is your EDC and why?

I EDC two knives, the Ranger for the above mentioned reasons, and the JG Custom Barlow. This is for when you are in one of those old school stylish moods. Its a modernized Barlow design with a clip point blade, and modern locking blade with one handed opening mechanism, the front flipper. Usually coupled with an old school steel such as D2. Timascus variants with Damasteel blades give a great sense of modern high tech materials mixed with old school design.


IMG_20160225_172635_resizedYou can find Jason at JG Custom Knives, or you can follow him on Instagram (@jg_custom) or Facebook. He will be making the long journey from South Africa to Atlanta for his first Blade Show this year. Look for him at booth 17E. I look forward to meeting him and seeing his knives in person.



  1. Brendan Malloy says:

    Gorgeous knives. I am loving the 5 from the grinder series of articles.

  2. AW1Ed says:

    All of Jason’s knives at Empire Outfitter are sold out. Too bad; they are beautiful, and I’d consider one for my collection if the price point is right.

    1. he has more coming. I have been cc’d on some back and forth between Nuge and Jason.

      1. AW1Ed says:

        Which means I’ll have to visit Empire Outfitter more often; never a good thing for my wallet.

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“5 from the Grinder” with Jason Guthrie

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