Way back in 2017 the Ironside Edge Works Shrike was born. Most will know the story, a pikal knife designed and created out of necessity at the time which was refined year after year to become a formidable defensive EDC knife now.
We recently completed our 5th Anniversary Masterworks Shrike, in celebration of our business turning 5 years old, which is arguably one of our best yet. It also allows us to reflect on where this knife has been, what its done, and the men and women who rely on it daily.
The Shrike is by far our most successful model, having been produced in excess 250 times since the very beginning, and having been shipped to far flung corners of the world. From Finland to the Philippines, the Shrike has seen use with civilians, law enforcement and military personnel for their personal protection needs.
Closer to home here in South Africa, the Shrike has seen use with specialised police units tackling organised crime, and has been part of the tool kit used to perform some of the largest narcotics raids in SA’s history. It’s a proud feather in our cap and a big reason why we wanted to make the 5th Anniversary Shrike a special one.
This was a project that changed tack a few times. Sometimes in a build circumstances dictate what you can and can’t do and its worth keeping that in mind. You have to work with what you have and that can sometimes limit your scope. We had decided to attempt to make this Shrike special by creating a Hamon on the blade. The steel we ended up using was our regular production steel, 80Crv2, which is not the best candidate for hamon, but we gave it a go anyway. The result was, perhaps predictably so, disappointing with no real visible hamon appearing in the blade, but we proceeded on course anyway.
The original handle concept was still on track. This knife was always going to be a Tsukamaki handle, a style which has become synonymous with our work. We did however want to do something a little different with the materials. Being fans of good design in general, we were inspired by the interior styling of an Italian supercar called the Huayra made by Pagani. What caught our attention was the combination of leather and brushed metals, and the skeletal feel of many of the parts. This design aesthetic was translated to our Shrike handle in the form of brushed titanium handle fittings, and a brown leather ito wrap. Brass was chosen as a liner to give it a subtle colour injection, and the Samegawa was kept its natural white colour.
The handle is definitely one that went exactly to plan and we are extremely happy with how it turned out.
The 5th Anniversary Masterworks Shrike went on auction at the end of August 2022. We would be lying if we said we weren’t underwhelmed by its sale price, but you have to accept what the market dictates at the time. We are sure it will fetch more in the secondary market should the owner wish to sell it.
Everyone at Ironside Edge Works had a part in making this knife, and a special thanks to Rick Afonso of Afonso Knives who helped us with the Hamon attempt.
The Shrike is definitely one our favourite knives to make and we are already cooking up some new ideas for the next special version of our flagship model.