Insane Custom Grinds


From a Jim Burke knife. Photo cred to Jim Skelton.

As you guys have been able to see, I’ve developed a taste for the finer edged things in life. Like Gollum and his Precious, high-end productions, mid-techs, and customs are what I’m after now. The grinds that custom makers have the liberty of doing are mind-blowing. Caution: knife porn ahead.
(Editor’s Note: I get an ulcer just thinking about sharpening some of these)

A Jeff Vandermeulen Homicide with a great hamon finish. Photo cred to Jim Skelton.

Eric Kramer Reaper. Fantastic blade. Green anodizing accents the dark blade and carbon fiber. Photo cred to Jim Skelton.

A Frank Fischer Battle.

Frank Fischer learned from Stan Wilson and his father, Todd Fischer.

Some Titans from our very own Will Woods, next to some custom Striders. Photo cred to Vance Rhodes.

A Will Moon Mk6 with an insane wharncliff grind.

More custom Striders from Vance’s collection.

A Strider RC and Borka Blades FatBelly Persian. Photo Cred to Alyson Greer, Vance's girlfriend.

A Strider RC and Borka Blades FatBelly Persian. Photo Cred to Alyson Greer, Vance’s girlfriend.

More of Alyson’s Striders.

The Legion from Munroe Knives.

Edison Barajas has been making knives for about a year. Despite this he is able to achieve this grind on a very small blade. (@sharknivco on Instagram)

The Sinbad, a design by Alphahunter Tactical Design and brought to life by Christensen Knifeworks.

There’s 6 different grinds on this unfinished Jon Graham Razel.

My apologies for the screenshots from Instagram. I can’t save them to my phone. With that being said, Instagram has a fantastic knife community. I urge you all to join it if you have a smartphone.

(Editor’s note: I added the photo below as an illustration of a point of discussion in the comments. It is not from Nathan’s article)


“The Patriot”. A riff off of a classic salmon fly pattern that is more an art piece than a fly you would use. But you could use it, and many do use flies that are as intricate as this.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    Some fascinating blades you’ve featured here. I’m pretty practical when it comes to knives. I don’t collect them, I buy them to carry, and carry means use. Part of use is keeping them sharp. I’m no master knife sharpener, but I can put and keep a decent edge on blades with conventional configurations. However, I know my limits, and that means that multifaceted blades are about worthless to me, no matter how cool they look. I’ll admit, though, that the Fischer Battle turned my head for a minute.

    1. I can’t comment directly on knives, maybe Will can chime in, but I have achieved a level of proficiency in 20 years of tying flies (creating my own fishing flies) that makes me somewhat of an expert (but I do not claim the skill and beauty of those who I consider true artists).

      It is fun to push the boundaries of tying, even if you realize that there is no chance that the fly you are tying would ever catch a fish. Sometimes it is fun to experiment with materials and techniques in new and novel ways. For the craftsman, it keeps things fresh.

      Just my .02. I know that it doesn’t translate perfectly to the knife world, but I can appreciate what went into these knives even if it is unlikely I would carry one even if I had the money to buy one.

    2. Nathan says:

      All of my knives get used. Even my $700 customs. I’m not a master sharpener either, but I’m able to do just fine

  2. Don says:

    That’s pretty cool stuff!

  3. KAP says:

    My opinion only! a Knife is a tool, tools should be functional, a dull knife is marginally functional, time is precious in a Survival mode, sharpening a knife that takes over 5 Minutes too sharpen is a waste of time!
    If you want too look at it, or impress people with how cool it looks, while pretending you are Billy Bad Ass that’s OK as long as you stay away from the Zombies {they have a tendency towards dulling a knife quickly, in which case a ball bat might be better}

  4. Spencer says:

    Often it seems that knife-making today is all about form instead of function–and the form appears to reflect a type of fantasy world of demons, monsters and ancient warriors. While the knives pictured in this article may have great steel, they are, in my opinion, dreadfully ugly and probably very difficult to sharpen and use for everyday tasks. They’re not knives I would ever own.

  5. Nathan says:

    You guys should know that I’ve been using a custom knife for about 6 months without sharpening it. I use my stuff, no matter how expensive it is. And yes I can sharpen them when I need to

  6. It is all about variety. Going back to my fly tying bit…I added a picture to the bottom of the post. It is of a fly that is purely an art piece, based on classic salmon fly patterns of old. One could certainly fish it, and if used properly, it would likely produce fish. But it is the pushing of the envelope that is where the fun lies to a craftsman.

    1. Nathan says:

      I wouldn’t even classify the knives I posted as art knives. Sure, they’re more pretty than productions, but the makers want you to use them. And when they get used a lot they love it when you send them back in to get refurbished

      1. Matt in FL says:

        Thanks for the info on refurbishing. I didn’t realize the makers would do that, though it makes sense.

        1. I forgot about that. I have been sharpening my own stuff for so long that I forgot that many makers offer that service.

        2. Nathan says:

          Most of the time it’s just cost of shipping. I know Chris Reeve does a full refurbish and sharpening for $30 with a quick turnaround time. Custom makers might take a little longer

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Insane Custom Grinds

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