Since our very beginning in 2017 we have been in a constant state of evolution. We have learned over time what our capabilities are, what we are good at doing in-house, and have settled on a way of doing things that works for us. The culmination of all this trial and error is the launch in 2024 of our custom knife lines. These lines easily categorise the different types of knives we make. While all knives are made to be functional first, the different lines offer increasingly higher levels of finishing and options, eventually ending in full bespoke customised builds.
Tier 1 Series
No fuss Defensive Knives for EDC or Operations
The Tier 1 Series is where it all began. Simple Defensive Knives that are moderately appointed with durable, low maintenance materials.
Although simple in comparison to our more high end series’, the Tier 1 Series still comprises of knives that are mostly hand made. We do make use of modern technology to help speed up some of the less creative processes like profile cutting the steel blades, drilling the required holes or rough shaping handle materials. However, all the blades are free-hand ground by one of us, ensuring that each blade is unique and has been made by the touch of a human hand, and scrutinised by our eyes.
Likewise, the handle materials, although very utilitarian in the form of G10 or solid Carbon Fiber, are given their texture patterns by hand, and finished by hand. This means time has been taken to ensure the handle is ergonomically sound, without any sharp points or hot spots to cause discomfort.
The Tier 1 Series consists of 5 models which should suit most user’s requirements, covering Pikal style blades, short multi-grip knives and a forward grip Wharnecliffe fighter.
Our Tier 1 Series is the foundation in functionality for all our subsequent lines, being over engineered for robustness, ground from thick stock steel with robust edge geometry. Our knives are designed to drive through whatever may stand in your path.
The Tier 1 Series is designed for practical EDC and Operational use and come with a bespoke hand made index sheath which facilitates concealed carry IWB or OWB, or can be mounted on a tactical vest.
These knives have made it all over the world and seen use with many civilians, but also operational use with elite counter Organised Crime units in South Africa, as well as military, LE and security professionals in the USA, Europe and Israel.
Tier 1 Knives are produced in small batches and not made to order. Our Tier 1 Stock is shipped to our USA Warehouse and from there sent to its final destination once purchased.
Minor Modifications can be accommodated as a “Semi Custom” build on Tier 1 Knives provided we know about it in advance of our batch production cycle.
– Archangel – Shrike
– Ratón – Sin Eater
A Range of EDC Edged Tools from simply finished, to entry-level Tsukamaki…
The Shinobi Series encompasses both conventional and unconventional EDC Knives and Tools that range from very simply appointed to our entry-level Tsukamaki handled knives.
Like all our Knives, the Shinobi Series is focussed first on function and practicality, then aesthetics and considered and brought into harmony with the tool. The Shinobi series is where you can find our most cost effective tools, as well as some of our most minimalist. In keeping with the philosophy of the Shinobi, the famed “Ninja” of feudal Japan, this range aims to make use of minimalism and discretion.
Starting with models like the Obscura which is a completely non-magnetic blade made from G10 and modelled off of the Shrike, to small steel blades that are weaponised versions of traditional craftsman’s tools like the Kiridashi and Tengu. These comparatively inexpensive offerings give you a tool that can be both functional and very discreet.
Then moving into our more “Minimalist Tsukamaki” knives, which are simple single edged blades that are Matte Black Cerakote finished for low maintenance, with Silk Tsukamaki wrapped simply over a micro cord base. The handles are resin coated for durability and offer a great middle range option for a medium and small sized Pikal in our Yoke and Sakura respectively, and a neutral handled Hawksbill in our Diavel model.
Finally we have a selection of entry level Tsukamaki Handle variants in the Shinobi Series offering. These are our most economical full Tsukamaki handles to date, using machinable synthetic materials for the handle base and fittings, paired with traditionally wrapped Tsukamaki.
The finishes and colour options are limited and are themed toward the Shinobi style of darker colours and non-reflective finishes. The blades are Satin Blued wihile fittings are crafted from Black G10 or Carbon Fiber and satin finished, with Black lacquered Samegawa (sting ray skin) panels and Silk Tsukaito for the wrap in either Black, Brown or Azuki (dark red). The Tsukamaki is wrapped in the traditional way using washi paper (hishigami) underneath the knots which help create a very tight wrap but also keep the Ito aesthetically pleasing.
While these Tsukamaki handles are not resin sealed, we have full faith in the tightness of the wrap, as it is done correctly as on a traditional sword handle. Although resin could be applied we leave this decision up to the user since resin can discolour the silk ito and make it look weathered.
We feel character is an important element missing in many Defensive Knives, the more you can bond with your weapon and see it as an extension of yourself, the more confidence you can have in it. It is the path to creating a true Divine Companion.
All Shinobi Knives are made in small batch productions, and shipped from our USA Warehouse.
– Obscura – Diavel (minimalist). – Tsukamaki Shrike
– Kiridashi – Yokai (minimalist) – Tsukamaki Sin Eater
– Tengu – Sakura (minimalist) – Tsukamaki Ratón
Defensive Knives with Traditional Tsukamaki and tons of character…
The Ronin Series is our mid-tier Tsukamaki range. This is where our unique take on the traditional Tsukamaki handle begins to really flourish.
The Ronin Series knives are still wholly practical and fully functional Defensive EDC Knives, fully capable of the job they are designed for, with the added touch of aesthetics that elevate them to becoming something special.
These are knives truly worthy of the Divine Companion moniker, finished to a high degree, using some more exotic materials and a full spectrum of colours and finishes. Ronin Series knives have the beauty to become very special to their owners. These are knives that not only fulfil the practical need, but also the spiritual need.
When the weapon becomes an extension of your personality, pride and confidence begin to play a role. It feels a part of you, and something you are happy to show to trusted friends and companions. This is where the Ronin Series really shines.
The Ronin Series introduces W2 steel into the mix, allowing us to create traditional clay hamon on the blades, adding an extra element of unique character. Blades using our regular steel, 80Crv2 are finished in Satin Blued as well as Mirror Blued finishes for another layer of flair. These deep, dark blued finishes are easy to get lost in.
Each of these knives is fully hand made, taking anywhere from 8 to 16 man hours to complete.
The handle is where alot of this time is spent. These Tsukamaki handles are composites of a variety of materials and finishes. The base liner can be made of G10, Brass, Copper or Titanium, usually polished or antiqued. The fittings which book-end the handle are crafted from Carbon Fiber, Buffalo Horn, Bone, Copper or Titanium and finished in a variety of ways.
Large node Samegawa (sting ray skin) is painstakingly applied, polished and lacquered in either Black, Crimson, Antique or clear coated to preserve its natural white colour. Lastly, a the full array of our Tsukaito materials and colours is used. including silk ito in Azuki (Dark Red), Black, Brown, Burgundy, Nando (Blue), Tetsu (Dark Green), Midori (light Green) and Ivory. With leather ito options in Black or Brown.
Ronin Series knives are sheathed in Kydex for practical EDC, with the optional use of specialised soft lined Kydex which provides a layer of protection within the sheath for the polished blade and handle serfaces. These sheaths are still perfect for EDC and allow you to carry your knife for its intended purpose.
Ronin Series Knives are made and sold as individual pieces, identified by their Serial Numbers. We try to keep a selection of 4-6 Ronin Knives on hand at any given time, but they are usually all a bit different from one another. Let your knife choose you, or have one Custom Commissioned.
– Archangel. – Shrike
– Ratón – Sin Eater
– Chimera – Wolfsbane
Unashamedly exquisite handle scale materials elevate these knives to a high level…
Our Exotic Series elevates knives with Scale Handles to new heights, remaining both functional and usable Defensive EDC Knives, or exquisite collectors pieces.
These knives can make use of W2 blade steel, allowing us to create clayed hamon in the blade for an added unique element. Our regular 80Crv2 blade steel allows Satin Blued, Antiqued or Mirror Blued finishes for some variety.
The handle materials themselves are where the Exotic Series really shines, and as the name would suggest there is no real limitation on what materials can be used in this series. Handles can be crafted from reasonably common Carbon Fiber variants, to ancient 10 000 hear old mammoth ivory.
It all starts with the base. Liner’s may be used to add a bit of flair and serve as a base for composite handle scales. That is, a scale made up of multiple different materials. Liners can be made of G10, Copper, Brass, Bronze and Titanium and are either satin, or bright polished, antiqued or anodised depending on the desired aesthetic.
Handle Scales are fixed to the knife by means of our standard Bolt-On hardware, or by traditional pinning. Pins offer a wider selection of materials including Carbon Fiber, Copper, Brass or Titanium, as well as highly decorative Mosaic pins for something special.
While synthetics like Carbon Fiber are used, by far the majority of Exotic Series knives are pointed with natural materials. Stabilized Wood Burls are one of the most common and give us as makers the chance to showcase some of the highest quality wood available for knife handles. Burls are incredibly figured and ooze detail. Some of our favourites to work with are Turkish Walnut Burl, Japanese Maple Burl, Elm Burl, Amboyna Burl and Karelian Birch Burl. We almost always use natural colours, but occasionally use a burl which has been dyed for some added interesting colour.
We also frequently make use of Bone and Horn as they are great materials to carve and texture, and polish up well. And as mentioned already, ancient Woolly Mammoth Ivory dug up from the permafrost is a material that simply has no equal. For age, character and charm.
Exotic Series Knives are made as unique individual pieces and are identified by their Serial Number. We typically keep stock of around 2-3 Exotic Series pieces, but they are always different and there is no guarantee what will be available in future. You can buy one of the available pieces if it speaks to you, or Custom Commission exactly what you want.
Exotic Series Models:
– Archangel. – Sever. – Makara
– Bishop – Shrike. – Sicarii
– Chimera – Sin Eater – Neco
– Diavel. – Sakura – Wolfsbane
Limited Edition Knives often involving notable Collaborators…
Every year we try to release a handfull of different Special Editions. Some of these knives are regular, annual releases while some are once-off projects. These are knives which are made in small amounts, usually no more than 10, but may be as limited as a single example.
A notable annual release is our Ibara model, which was originally a commissioned design by Craig Douglas (SouthNarc), once he approved his original custom knife, we were given permission to reproduce it as an annual, limited run of 10 units. Another such case is the Requiem, which is no longer produced.
In these annual releases, we will produce the required number of blades and make them available for purchase one at a time. Buyers may then customise the blade within a given set of parameters. For example, the Ibara is exclusively made with Tsukamaki handles, so the potential buyer may choose their desired handle component materials and colours. Once we have completed it, the next blade is made available and the process is repeated until all blades are sold.
Limited Editions can vary in price substantially, depending on the complexity and rarity of the project.
In some cases where once-off builds are done, such as the Katsumata Series-A, or the Dissident, these are usually pre-built and sold as is with no customisation.
Once-off Annual Special Editions are also produced, in the case of our yearly Anniversary Shrike which we produce for our Birthday every July. We also like to celebrate the 100th version of popular models such as the Shrike or Sin Eater by producing a once-off special build.
From 2024 we plan to begin collaborating with various well known names in the industry, such as our Brand Ambassador Terry Trahan to produce Special Editions with their design input.
These knives may or may not be annual releases, and may also be single once-off builds, but what we can say is they will be special.
Our Special Editions typically make use of new materials which we have never used before such as our first use of Aogami steel or Damascus, Mammoth Ivory, Ultem-1000 and so on. These materials may well end up becoming regular features in our stable of offerings, or may be beautiful artistic expressions which come and go.
An Ironside Edge Works Special Edition is a unique opportunity to own a highly collectable knife that is also perfectly capable as an EDC Defensive Knife. Like all of our work, our Special Editions are still first and foremost tools designed to do a specific job. They are produced to be fully functional and made to be carried.
Notable Special Editions:
– Ibara (Annual) – Annual Anniversary Special Edition
– Requiem (Discontinued) – 100th Edition of specific models
The pinnacle of Tsukamaki knives, exhibition grade materials and heirloom quality build…
The Hanzo Series is the pinnacle of our ability in crafting modern Tsukamaki handled knives. A Hanzo knife is more than just the sum of its parts. It is true dedication to our craft.
Hanzo Knives are rare and exquisite. We not only try to use the best and most exotic materials for the handle construction. We also give these knives the time they require. We rarely make more than one of these knives every few months for our shelf, and typically Hanzo Series knives are commissioned as custom works. When we begin a Hanzo project, we undertake to achieve perfection even if it means starting all over again. We make no compromises, and every Hanzo knife is a knife that we can confidently say is the best we can do at that time.
Hanzo Series knives also make use of the best materials that we can get our hands on. This includes our highest grade, large node Samegawa, imported from Japan, and typically used for antique sword restorations. We also source materials like Mammoth Ivory, Stag Horn, Damascus, Titanium, Mokume, Super Conductor for our fittings.
We also introduce traditional Japanese Metal Working into fittings with textured Copper, Shibuichi and Shakudo. Mimicking the intricate work often done by Japanese artisans on Tsuba, Fuchi and Kashira.
Hanzo knives are crafted from both our “house” steel of 80Crv2, and much more exotic steels. We employ W2 steel, Aogami and Damascus to craft blades that are both aesthetically suited to the project with a variety of finishing options, but are also functional. It is still our perogative that our knives should first always be functional and tasked for the job they are designed to do, with aesthetics in harmony with that task. Our handle materials and finishes are what provide the detail and beauty.
Hanzo Knives are typically limited to a handful of our standard models, and custom commissioned designs.
Acquiring a Hanzo knife requires waiting until we have one for sale, or commissioning one from us. We do however only produce a maximum of 2 Custom Commissions per month, and in reality is quite often less.
– Shrike – Chimera
– Sin Eater – Gaijin
– Raton – Covenant