Krudo's Kutters!

Louis Krudo doesn’t march to
a different drum — he is the drummer!
18

Karsino10 Folders

Feroce Fixed

Louis Krudo was inspired to make knives not because he grew up hunting and camping. Nor was he inspired by the knife his Papaw gave him as a kid. Krudo took a different route, one driven by fighting to bring your opponent into submission or ultimately take him out. Krudo is a highly trained, highly motivated martial artist and trainer at his own K.U.T. (Krudo Urban Tactics) school. His motivation was to design knives fitting his discipline. In essence, Louis is a designer, not a knifemaker.

The road wasn’t easy. “In 1993 I designed a knife, my first one. A couple of my friends told me the design was too aggressive and dangerous,” Krudo tells Handgunner. “Unfortunately, I listened to those friends. Before putting the design away, I mailed it to myself and never opened it. Three-and-a-half years later, I decided I wanted to make it no matter what anyone said. I found a master knife maker and brought my sealed envelope to him. He unsealed the envelope and quietly looked over the drawings.

“The knife maker said, ‘You designed this?’ I replied, yes, not knowing why he was asking. He put the drawings down and walked away without a word. After several minutes, he came back and laid a magazine down on his workbench. There, on the cover, was my design. I was feeling so many emotions in that moment. I left that day, driving away thinking, I will never listen to anyone’s opinions again.”

It would be a pivotal moment for Louis and his wife Andrea, who takes care of the business side of the company.

“In 1997, I carved out of wood what would become my SNAG design,” Krudo told us. “Using various non-bladed versions — wood, plastic, or aluminum — in my martial arts classes to test its uses and feasibility, I realized this design was much more useful and effective than the first design. In 2005, I made my first run of handmade SNAG fixed blades and in 2008 applied for and got a patent on the SNAG design.”

Krudo Knives was born.

“My wife Andrea and I founded the company as an LLC in 2006 and then incorporated in 2013.”

KWK Wallet-Knife

Off To The Races

Louis’ original SNAG, which some have described as a "reverse Karambit," morphed into folding models with hitting points designed-in, one which actually folds out from the base. In Krudo’s K.U.T. martial arts system, hitting is as important as cutting, and the SNAG does both. “After producing SNAG I questioned if I could design other tools and knives,” Louis went on. “A one hit wonder I did not want to be.”

Other knife designs started evolving in his lineup and the line continues to grow.

“Initially, with the SNAG line as the focus of the company, the direction of KRUDO remained tactical,” notes Andrea. “As the years have progressed Louis’ designs have begun to morph away from tactical into what he calls, “pocket art.” This design path widens KRUDO beyond tactical to anyone from the executive, the hunter, the collector, and particularly to the EDC enthusiast. Louis’ current design efforts are channeled into exploring different angles, lines, materials and uses.”

Today, with over 20 designs in the Krudo stable, there’s no lack of diversity. All of Louis’ designs tend to be overbuilt, yet they all have a slick design flare. Two of his newest models, the Feroce and Karsino10, couldn’t be more different. The Feroce has dolphin-like curves into which Louis has ingeniously designed-in five different methods of opening the blade. On the opposite pole stands the Karsino10, a straightforward, all-business folder with its own classy design traits, such as a flat ground drop point blade design. Both knives have sturdy integral locks built into the backsides of their frames, and Krudo adds spice to both by adding attractive inserts of Carbon Fiber and other materials.

In yet another design take, Krudo’s Manikomio fixed-blade blends the symmetrical lines of the classic dagger with futuristic Star Wars wings and angles. Louis’ greatest design trait is perhaps the fact he never went to art school or believed things had to be done a certain way. Rather, the basis of each Krudo creation is years of experience knowing what a knife must do to be effective. “As of this writing I’m currently working on a new folder inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West property. In his private office there, where he would meet with his clients through a 6-sided door. It got me to thinking,” notes Louis.

There it is, all laid out for you. Free thinking unleashed. A Krudo trait.

Manicomio Fixed

Feroce Folder

Future Wide Open

With zero reserve, Louis states, “I love to design. It happens to be that knives are the current majority of my designs, but I enjoy designing many other things as well. With my son, Miclain, I’m also working on a guitar design. Miclain is currently in Nashville, Tennessee climbing the ladder as a sound engineer/musician and composer. Other projects I’m working on include new pen designs, a scalpel knife, cigar rests and cutters as well as a modular wallet — and yes, more knives.”

You’ll find Krudo Knives affordable, with folders like the Feroce and Karsino19 retailing at $165 and $297 respectively. The Manikomio fixed-blade, complete with Kydex sheath, goes for $147. As for us, we can’t wait to see what comes down the pike. Given Louis Krudo’s trajectory over the past few years, you know it’s going to be outa sight!

For more info: www.krudoknives.com, Ph: (602) 596-1110

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