SOG is known for building tank-tough knives and tools for military and law enforcement personnel. In the upcoming August 2014 issue of SPECIAL WEAPONS FOR MILITARY & POLICE, author Phil Elmore gets his hands on the company’s newest collaboration, the SOG Kiku series.
Elmore writes, “The word ‘master’ is thrown around a great deal these days, associated with everything from sports tournaments to retail brands. Against a constant thrum of marketing hype, of ad and sales copy, and cynical consumer commentary on the numerous commercial offerings branded the work of so-called masters, it’s possible to forget those living masters working today. Among bladesmiths, one such master is knifemaker Kiku Matsuda, renowned in the custom knife industry for the grinding and polishing work that he does completely by hand. Matsuda’s fixed blades straddle the line between art knives and custom tacticals, and have earned him a deserved reputation among the best grinders in the world.
“According to one source, Matsuda’s father ran a small workshop in the famed cutlery production center of Seki, Japan. Matsuda began work there at just 15, giving him more than 40 years of experience designing, grinding and polishing knives. Chris Cashbaugh, marketing manager at SOG Specialty Knives & Tools, explains that this is part of what makes Kiku Matsuda’s work distinctive, setting him apart as a maker of tactical, custom blades that are also artistic.
“‘He’s always wanted to produce a folding knife,’ Cashbaugh said of Matsuda, ‘but as a custom knifemaker, you don’t necessarily have access to all the same volumes and materials and ways of manufacturing. Folding knives are infinitely more complicated than fixed blades. These are the first folding knives that Kiku Matsuda has designed.’ SOG has, in turn, worked with Matsuda to offer these as production folders, in what Cashbaugh called ‘the best spirit we can of his aesthetic.’”
To learn more, check out the August 2014 issue of SPECIAL WEAPONS FOR MILITARY & POLICE, available on newsstands and digitally July 1, 2014. To subscribe, go to Tactical-Life.com/subscribe.