Medford Knife and Tool
I stopped at Medford Knife and Tool (MKT) at the end of SHOT Show, when many exhibitors were already tearing down their booths. The Medford booth, however, was surrounded by fit young men with short haircuts, talking about and ordering knives. There are two things I have to say about Medford knives: (1) they’re expensive – in the $400 to $1,200 range, and (2) they’re worth it!
How can a knife be worth that much? That’s what I asked the owner and designer, Greg Medford. Greg is a prior US Marine, airshow pilot, airplane builder and master level Martial Arts and CQB instructor. Medford Knife is the culmination of all this experience.
Despite the nature of the crowd around his booth, Greg says that tactical operators don’t make up the majority of his customers. He sells most of his knives to civilians. However, he does sell frequently to the special warfare community. These are people for whom a knife isn’t simply a handy accessory. They bet their lives on the fact that their knives will function properly every time they’re called into action. The fact that these discerning buyers are coming to Medford Knife to meet their needs is a powerful endorsement.
MKT builds custom knives, but they’re not the shiny, pretty knives that you put on the mantle in a fancy mahogany display case. Their knives are meant to be used. Whether it’s for skinning an elk, setting up camp with your kids or for tactical/defensive carry, Greg has designed-in both utility and dependability.
Folding knives are very popular for the fact that you can slip them into a pocket without the need for a sheath to protect the edge of the blade. Greg’s designs encompass about a third of the parts-count on most folders available in the market today. Fewer parts mean greater dependability.
There are considerations when buying a knife that may never have occurred to you, like the fact that cutting knife blanks can induce heat stress in the edge of the blade. At MKT, the blanks are cut using high pressure water to eliminate that potential structural defect.
Every part of every one of Medford’s knives is made in Phoenix, including the handle components. MKT knives are100% American made to the highest standards of American craftsmanship. The blade main bevel is hand ground; the cutting edge is hand set and stropped to the ultimate sharpness. The product line includes both hollow ground edges and flat ground, or a combination. Some knives have a flat ground edge on the blade tip which needs to be more durable, with a hollow ground cutting edge for better cutting performance. Heat treating and testing is done in-house, as well as surface treatments. Ultimately, the final assembly is done completely by hand to ensure precise fit and finish.
MTK’s most popular folder is the Praetorian Ti. It’s both a rugged and beautiful knife meant for hard use. The Emperor is the Praetorian’s fixed-blade counterpart – the same design and dimensions makes it the perfect companion to the Praetorian. MKT has a good variety of folders and fixed-blade designs, or you can order a unique knife for your personal wants. Of course, that kind of special job will add to the cost.
When you buy an MKT knife, you’re making a lifetime investment that you’ll one day hand down to someone else in your family. You’re also getting a lifetime of customer service. Greg’s business philosophy is to build the best knives possible and to back them with absolutely the best customer service. He’s taken phone calls in the middle of the night, for example, from operators in foreign theaters who have said, “My knife got blown away in an engagement today. Can you overnight a replacement?” He prides himself in the fact that he made it happen, even when he had to go to the factory to make it himself.
Greg told me that the greatest compliment he ever received was from a customer who said the knife he got from MKT made him proud to be an American. Check out their exquisite line of custom knives at www.MedfordKnife.com.