Ironside Edge Works has since 2017 produced knives for discerning defensive EDC users all over the world.
Combining our depth of experience in combatives with our ceaseless quest for perfection, our knives have developed a reputation for being high quality, innovative, designed for function and with an unmistakable Japanese aesthetic that stands out as unique among others.
By combining the latest technology with our traditional hand made methods, Ironside Edge Works knives have become not only a dependable tool for civilians and professionals alike, but also heirlooms that are passed down as new generations come of age.

Our History

Ironside Edge Works was started in 2017 by Gavin Coleman in response to demand for his first knife design, The Shrike. From a humble garage in Cape Town, South Africa, Gavin refined his work and honed his skills while building a small business.

In 2019 Gavin was joined by Elijah Wessels, who quickly became an integral part of the workshop. Bringing his eye for detail and an eagerness to perfect his craft to the table, by 2021 Elijah had surpassed the level of “Apprentice” and was officially inducted as fully fledged partner. 

Ironside Edge Works is unique in its origins in that it was never started to be a business and simply became one through demand. Gavin created the Shrike out of his own personal necessity during his tenure as a combatives instructor at Kangal Defensive Systems in Cape Town.

Through social media connections, the Shrike became known to other practitioners all over the world, and soon enough others were asking if they could get one of their own. By 2018 Gavin was working day and night in a make-shift workshop, using basic tools, and shipping knives all over the world. As the demand grew the business transformed into a full time profession. We now ship our knives primarily to users in the USA, but also all over Europe, and a far a field as Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico and Chile.  


Defensive EDC Knife

In January of 2023 Ironside Edge Works suffered the same fate as many other knife and firearm related businesses, and had our revenue stream shut down by PayPal. With our fledgeling business being cut off at the knee’s we had no choice but to take drastic steps to keep doing not only what we believe to be the necessary work of making tools to help protect the lives of good people, but also to keep our livelihoods. We do not give up so easily.  

On May 4th, 2023, with the help of a US-based partner, Ironside Edge Works LLC was officially incorporated as a US business and official distributor for Ironside Edge Works knives in the USA and international community. Having an American business as our e-commerce channel means we have greater access to first world amenities, as well as allowing us to better serve the majority of our customers by shipping our knives from a US based hub. This paves the way for us to improve our shipping time, after sale servicing and be better represented at events like BladeShow.

While we are still a small outfit, only producing around 350 knives per year, Ironside Edge Works is now considered to be among the higher echelons of defensive EDC knives in the world. We are very proud of the knives we now produce, having received accolades from respected experts in this particular niche, including Craig Douglas (SouthNarc), Terry Trahan, Wim Demere and Thomas Holtmann.

Our Backgrounds

Both Gavin and Elijah come from backgrounds in the combative and martial arts. 

Gavin has over a decade of experience in two Krav Maga systems and Combative Training, including having been a full time instructor at Kangal Defensive Systems in Cape Town, South Africa where he helped to train civilians in self defence, as well as Law Enforcement and National Parks Rangers to do their work more effectively. 

In 2019 Gavin co-authored and published The Maul, with mentor and then chief instructor of Kangal Defensive Systems, Schalk Holloway. The Maul Book as its now commonly known is widely considered to be an extremely thorough and seminal work which has received praise from many highly regarded individuals in the industry. 

While Gavin no longer teaches, he still practices Combatives regularly with a private study group, and has also begun studying Kenjutsu in 2023.

Elijah has been involved in Karate (JKA) most of his life and is currently a 3rd Dan Black Belt despite his young age. He has also represented South Africa at international level competing in both Kumite and Kata. 

Since joining Gavin in the workshop, Elijah has also become a practitioner of more Self Defence based combative training, including becoming proficient in edge and point usage.