The Shrike is the quintessential Ironside Edge Works knife. It is the first ever Ironside Edge Works knife and can arguably be said that our business wouldn’t exist without it.
Work on the Shrike begun in early 2017 when Gavin Coleman was working full time as an Instructor at Kangal Defensive Systems. At this time he was involved in the development of The Maul, which would later become a book co-authored by Gavin and mentor Schalk Holloway. The story goes that Gavin required a Pikal knife and trainer during the development of the combative principals the two were developing. Unable to afford having a custom knife made for him, Gavin went into his father’s garage and with borrowed hand tools created the first Shrike.
The Shrike went through many design iterations in its early life with much input from Schalk. The overall idea was to create a Pikal knife that fitted the methodology they were developing, but within some specific parameters. The knife had to be small enough to comfortably EDC and conceal carry, it needed to have a blade around 3″ which was deemed ideal. The handle needed to have no snag points and fit almost entirely in the closed fist without much protrusions to help facilitate stripping actions.
The knife also needed to be robust and able to withstand punishment. This lead to the knife being constructed from thick steel stock with a robust grind to ensure the point integrity could withstand being stabbed into harder materials. It was also deemed advantageous to have a knife that was weighted toward the handle, to give it a sense of solidity in the hand.
This became the framework by which most Ironside Edge Works knives are developed, and while the Shrike has been heavily refined since then, over 5 design generations, it remains true to its original brief.