- Buyer's Guide
10 EDC Knife Makers You Need to Know
When you first step into the EDC knife world, you’re met with the brand heavyweights in the industry. Household names with decades of pedigree and releases to study and collect. But now there’s rumblings beneath the surface, one-man makers and designers working under the radar to push the needle of the EDC knife category to new heights.
But with so many out there, where do you start looking? To help you slice away the confusion, we’ve tracked down a selection of EDC knife makers we think any budding (or long-term) knife enthusiast should know about…
Design is a passion for Joseph Vero, the man behind Vero Engineering. But that passion isn’t limited to just one sphere. Joseph is a mechanical engineer who works as a design engineer within the field of drones and drone security. He’s also designed and built his own electric motorcycle. But it was pursuing a personal interest in knife design that led to his first knife creation, the Vero Impulse, prototyped with Bestech Knives. Next came the Vero Synapse, Axon, and Isotope, in limited and highly sought after runs. Knives with a distinct ‘Vero’ vibe. Strong and aggressive in their lines, fantastic Tanto blade shapes, and oh-so-clean closures. So make sure you subscribe for new drops, Joseph’s knives sell out fast!
Jim Vandeveld has honed his craft as a full-time CNC hardmill machinist and injection mold maker for a decade. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, his desire to create something entirely himself from start to finish led to making custom tools in his spare time. Jim created Hellion Machine Collective as a creative outlet for making high-end fixed blade and folding knives. While Jim offers a range of base designs, a variety of upgrades allow you to really make the knives your own.
Sebastijan Berenji moved from Serbia to the United States with the goal to make a better life for himself. He developed an interest in collecting knives but it was the unexpected passing of his mother that led him to seek solace within the world of knives. The longer he spent in the knife enthusiast community, the more his desire grew to start making his own knives. So he began to sharpen his knifemaking skills, eventually creating Borka Blades, a knife design company named after his mother. Sebastijan studied under Microtech Knives founder Tony Marfione, regarded by many as one of the world’s top custom knife makers. And judging by his designs, Sebastijan has proven to be a real talent in the world of knifemaking.
Some of Sebastijan’s most popular designs include the SRambit, the Stitch, the SBD, as well as the Shylock created in collaboration with Mike Bond.
Justin Lundquist’s interest in knives started at just four years old when his mother gifted him a fixed blade to accompany his fishing setup. During his younger years he gathered a modest knife collection but his studies took him in a different direction. Justin obtained a degree in Fine Art Photography and spent the next decade working within that sphere. However, after coming across custom handmade knives, his passion was reignited and he began to teach himself how to design and make knives. Justin has been crafting knives since 2013 and focuses on a blend of classic and modern, favoring clean aesthetics and practical designs with everyday functionality and portability. Justin is also no stranger to collaborative projects, teaming up with the likes of We Knife Co., Urban EDC Supply, Kizer, and Böker on knife designs.
Matt Westberg isn’t afraid of hard graft. Based in Arizona, he works full-time as a firefighter. But he’s also a part-time knife maker, fueled by a desire to learn and to craft durable pieces that will stand the test of time. Matt’s interest in knives began at age 8 when he received his first knife, given to him by his father. He has collected knives ever since but the year 2012 marked a turning point when Matt came across a knife he wanted to buy but couldn’t afford. So instead he took the unusual step of deciding to make his own.
A great deal of research followed and while he did manage to make his first knife, he knew he wanted to commit to making better quality pieces. Gradually gathering the tools he required, not to mention knowledge and countless hours of practice, he developed his knifemaking skills. Plus an online following supportive enough to set up BergBlades as a part-time business. Each piece Matt makes is unique and designed to provide a lifetime of trusty use.
Raised in the Midwest and with a love of the outdoors, Brian Efros has always appreciated reliable tools. But in 2008, he decided to get hands-on bringing his own trusty tools to life by making his own knives. While he initially made knives for friends, his following and reputation in EDC knife makers’ circles have grown significantly over the years. He focused on learning about and crafting fixed blades for the first seven years of his knifemaking journey. But Brian was offered the chance to learn to craft folding knives with some of the industry’s finest in 2016.
Efros Knives is based in Englewood, Colorado, and offers custom pieces as well as handcrafted production knives. Brian handcrafts each knife to ensure premium, long-lasting quality. Currently, Brian is not taking orders for fixed blades. However, his fixed blades are available through a variety of dealers.
Sacha Thiel has been in the business of making knives for almost two decades. The highly experienced custom knife maker is based in Alsace, France, and has been crafting knives since 2002. Trained in automation and industrial computing, Sacha pursued knifemaking to fulfill his desire to create. His designs range from tactical and hunting styles to EDC pieces.
Sacha’s knifemaking workshop is situated in his basement, making it easy to pursue new ideas quickly at any time, day or night. He specializes in frame lock and liner lock designs, though pieces are naturally adapted to suit customers’ specific preferences.
Justin Koch is the man behind Kōch Tools Co., a one-man operation based in Pennsylvania that designs and makes a variety of EDC pocket tools. You’ll find a range of pieces on offer, from knives and prybars to keychains, multi-tools, carabiners, and more. They’re often sold out and hard to come by. Not surprising considering their deft blend of eye-catching aesthetics, functional design, and hard-wearing construction. And you’ll also find Justin’s creativity expressed through collaborative pieces too.
Ohlone Knives was founded by custom knife maker Deric Costa. The brand takes its name from the Ohlone Indians, Native Americans from the area that is now northern California. The Ohlone Indians were skilled at hunting, fishing, and trapping, as well as making their own knives and tools. Part Ohlone Indian, Deric wanted to honor his heritage while also following his knifemaking passion. Hence the name of his brand, which focuses on high-quality, handmade knives with clean and functional designs that will deliver many years of trusty service.
Even if you’re relatively new to the world of EDC knife makers, you’ve likely heard of Jesper Voxnaes. One of the most respected custom knife makers in the world, Jesper Voxnaes has been making knives for over 20 years. He founded VoxKnives in 2007 as a design studio to complement his custom knife workshop. The award-winning Danish designer is based in Denmark and creates custom knives that balance excellent functionality and elegant, pared-backed style. VoxKnives has partnered with well-known industry names including CRKT, Böker, and Spyderco to create a range of EDC, kitchen, and outdoor knives. And you’ll also find him teaming up with fellow Danish knife maker Jens Ansø on GiantMouse designs.