Medford Knife and Tool: Quality knives made in America—SHOT Show 2014

Medford's most popular knife, the Praetorian Ti

Medford’s most popular knife, the Praetorian Ti

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.

The Emperor

The Emperor

Medford ships their knives in a hard case for protection

Medford ships their knives in a hard case for protection

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.

Three of the more exotic designs

Three of the more exotic designs

TFF-1 with stone washed blade and bright orange Hi Vis scales

TFF-1 with stone washed blade and bright orange Hi Vis scales


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.

Folding Karambit

Folding Karambit

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

FUK Model

FUK Model


{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Knife Maker December 2, 2016, 12:24 pm

    $400.00 for this??…. I’m gonna start making knives again. After all, according to the genius that authored this tripe, “Anybody can make a knife”…. Interesting statement from someone that’s never made one…

  • RetNavet October 28, 2016, 6:54 am

    I only wish I could afford a Medford knife… I will be able to buy a Medford knife just as soon as I find a suitable traffic island to relocate my new home/cardboard box….hats off to you that can without any change to your lifestyle.

  • charles blaine June 8, 2015, 12:04 pm

    If money is no object, spend it as that is good for the economy. If you live on a budget like most Americans then save your money and buy a Buck knife.

  • Dejan February 24, 2015, 8:48 pm

    I believe that every custom knife made in America is starting around $400. It’s like all the knife makers all seem to agree with this for some odd reason. And yes we know that it is at least a 600%mark up. But go ahead and buy the fake or cheaper knives on the market and that might be good enough for you. But just remember there is a real good chance that the knife might fail.when it matters most . And maybe it’s not a life or death situation. But you see I never want that to ever happen to me. It’s like my old man said to me there is a right tool for the right job……and these knives are that and then some. So it justifies that price to me. So just ask yourself this….do you want the right tool in your hand when the time comes when it matters most??????

  • T Hopkins February 10, 2014, 8:45 am

    Mine are both D2

  • Victor January 31, 2014, 12:47 pm

    The most important is the quality of the steel than the size, shape, handle, et. What kind of blade steel it has?

  • T. Hopkins January 22, 2014, 5:41 pm

    I own two of Greg’s knifes and can tell you they are worth every penny! He doesn’t market them based soley on them being made in the U.S. They are marketed as being the absolute best made made knives from the best material by the best craftsmen. Who the majority of his workforce also happens to be veterans. I too was sticker shocked when I first checked them out but not for one nano second even do I regret paying the money I did. Mine were both one off customs. And the level of customer service you get from Greg cannot be beat! How many heads of businesses give out their personal cell phone number and are will to talk to you about knives whether you have purchased one if his or not. I was curious about the praetorian and called him up and talked for quite a while on many topics other than knives even. Can cheaper knifes be found? Sure. Are they the same quality if a Medford backed by the best of everything including service? Doubt it! If the price shocks you, that’s fine. I’m a firm believer that I got my money’s worth and my son someday will be getting my money’s worth too! Heck I’d say generations if my family will get use from these fine tools!

  • Nader January 22, 2014, 5:16 pm

    Well, I personally feel the MEDFORDS are f$ckin awesome one of a kind “Tank-Solid” knives and actually feel that they could sell their products for more…. This is my opinion on the prices of custom knives these days.
    This company brings the notariety of “Quality” back into “American Made Products” and if other business’s would be half as passionate about their goods then we would probably bring our economy back from shit level it is currently…

    • T. Hopkins January 22, 2014, 5:45 pm

      I totally agree Nader! His pride in our country is awesome. His patriotism reflects in his lives as well as his personal life! He contributes substantially to charities and the veteran community.

  • Rafael A. Gutierrez January 21, 2014, 6:46 pm

    Here we go. using “made in america” to try to sell a product at a premium. Don’t get me wrong, I support it and will buy American over anything else. But I’m no fool. Made in America does not justify the price. You must be a fool to buy something that expensive just because it’s made in America.

  • Alan Craft January 21, 2014, 3:29 pm

    There’s a sucker born every minute !!!

    • Scott Wilson January 21, 2014, 6:38 pm

      Alan, I agree! There is no way a pocket knife is worth $400.00 dollars!

      • JR January 22, 2014, 12:15 am

        There are French knife manufacturers who command, and get, thousands of dollars for what most would consider a simple everyday small folder. If Milford knives are everything they are touted to be then $400.00 if probably a reasonable price. Personally I’m into Case, Buck and CRKT they do the job and are good quality knifes in a price range I am willing to pay. However if I had to own one to use in a professional capacity I would not hesitate to pay for the best knife available. An analogy that has stuck with me for a long time is when I was shopping for a motorcycle helmet. The salesman told me I can sale you a $60.00 helmet, or I can sell you a $300.00 helmet. You may never put your bike down, but if you do which helmet do you think will protect you the best, what value do you put on your head? That thought crossed my mind when two weeks later a softball sized chunk of asphalt bounded off a dump truck and slammed into the side of my helmet going 70mph. Best $300.00 I’ve ever spent, and if you have a need for a $400.00 knife then it will probably be the best $400.00 you’ve ever spent.

        • Lou March 2, 2015, 11:16 pm

          Great comment. As with most things common sense isn’t always common but in that case it was worth the $$$. As far as the knife goes if you can afford it, enjoy ….

  • Dan January 21, 2014, 2:28 pm

    To those who think that these knives are overpriced, that’s cool. Don’t buy them. To each their own. Why bitch about it though? Greg is an American trying to bring back manufacturing to the USA. And trust me he has NO problem selling his knives at their current price point. There is a waiting list to get one……

    • Rafael A. Gutierrez January 21, 2014, 6:46 pm

      Never knew that exercising the right to comment was considered bitchin. Very American

  • Mike January 21, 2014, 1:29 pm

    I own a medford knife, paid well over 400 and it’s worth every penny. I use it daily and am confident it will not fail. Some people expect more from their tools and will pay for quality. If a lesser tool does the trick for you…that’s great but I like quality tools that I don’t need to worry about.

  • BRASS January 21, 2014, 12:25 pm

    In my opinion, one of the downsides of the explosion in awareness and popularity of personal defense and tactical items since 9/11 aside from the obvious is the proliferation of gun/knife writers who tout unnecessarily expensive items and accessories justified by some version of — when you life depends on it or worth it. I certainly don’t object to any item I’m not forced to buy but I do object to writers many whom I’m sure wouldn’t pay retail or street price out of their own pocket for most of the high priced items they claim we all should have.

    In defense of mine and my families lives I’m positive I can find any number of solutions without spending hundreds for knives that can be replaced for a fraction of the price without sacrificing reliability and function. This old Marine has practiced function first – form second and form follows function through two wars and I’m still here. Guns and knives are tools first and items of art second.

    I’m sure these are fine products and if they can sell them more power to them, but I give little credence to endorsements that use the words if your life or worth it.

  • bob white January 21, 2014, 10:43 am

    So we are going to reward american manufacturing by paying $400-$1200 a knife??

    • stu January 21, 2014, 12:50 pm

      Reward ? The way I see it you’re paying for something that is made by others ; whether it be knives, trucks, or diapers. If the company puts a price that high, then he must of investigated the market on custom knives and put a price on his knives that competes with other knife makers. If he is the highest priced knives out there, his competitors are going to sell a bunch of their knives. Do you honestly think that Chevy Trucks cost $70,000 to make and Cheverlot ain’t going to make any money on them? Just enjoy looking at Medford Knives with open eyes and see what Greg see’s in his knives, practicality and beauty!

    • Dan September 12, 2015, 2:15 pm

      What an ignorant question!
      Are you going to reward China’s manufacture’s but paying over and over and freaking over when there cheap garbage breaks?

      You deserve what you get, what a stupid question.
      Ill pay everyday for quality and first rate products. People like you and our government keep up where we are selling our jobs to the pacific rim so they will keep buying our debt.

      I own at least 4-5 Medford blades if I wanted a butter knife I would have bought a cheap $1 Chinese vs.
      Why because I don’t care how well if butters my bread just spread it on.
      But a work of art made by craftsman,…you don’t get that from China. (Japan yes but it cost you there as well)

      My 5 cents, sorry guys that was needed.

  • Brenboy January 21, 2014, 7:44 am

    Nice finish, unique designs AND made here! Worth supporting a US company…

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