Outdoor Edge Delivers The Goods On Both Slice And Price
By Pat Covert
Photos: R. Jones/The Imagesmith, LLC
Left: Conquer Folder
Right: Divide Folder
Razor-Lite EDC Folders
Over three decades ago David Bloch left college with a mechanical engineering degree in hand and never looked for a job. This might seem like a recipe for living in your mother’s basement all your life, but David’s story has a much better ring to it. You see, while he was in college Bloch created a version of the legendary Alaskan “Ulu” knife as his senior design project while attending the Colorado School of Mines. After graduation in 1986, he refined his knife and sought out a manufacturing facility in Japan to produce it. Once completed, he formed a startup and debuted the “Game Skinner” with six prototype samples at the 1988 Shot Show in Las Vegas. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Flash forward 30 years and David Bloch, owner and founder of Outdoor Edge Knives & Tools, employs 24 people and offers more than 120 products in the company’s line. Originally based in Boulder, Colorado, he moved the company to a larger facility in Denver in 2010, which currently operates at 20,000 square feet. Bloch initially focused the company’s products on the great outdoors, but in recent years has diversified and expanded their scope by developing a wider range of knives and tools for everyday carry, fishing, DIY/home improvement, survival and tactical-personal defense applications.
While the company’s line has diversified, Bloch’s never forsaken its roots. “Over our history, Outdoor Edge is best known by hunters as the ‘Field to Freezer’ knife company,” David notes.
“We offer a variety of innovative field dressing knives and complete knife sets to break down big game animals into family-sized portions.”
Outdoor Edge is also known for producing affordable offerings. “My focus has been to make our knives available to individuals who want the benefits of a high-performance blade but don’t have the disposable income to spend on an expensive knife,” states Bloch. “We began producing our products using a smaller, high quality factory in Seki City, Japan and continued to manufacture in Japan for 27 years, but due to increased costs and a decline in skilled labor the factory fell under tough times and closed their operation in 2014. We currently produce our knives and tools in several high-quality factories in China.”
Harpoon Fixed Blade, ParaClaw Knife Bracelet and ParaClaw CQD Watch
The combination of Bloch’s creative mind and mechanical engineering skills are evident in the Outdoor Edge line. One such example is their cutting-edge Razor-Safe knives. “This line of knives makes up our top sellers,” Bloch states. “These replaceable blade knives feature our patented Razor-Safe system that allows for fast, safe blade changes. They feature a sandwiched black-oxide coated blade holder that encloses around the blade to give the strength of a standard knife and the sharpness of a surgeon’s scalpel. When the blade goes dull, simply push the lock button in the handle to remove and insert a shaving-sharp new blade.
“Our most popular model for hunters is the Razor-Pro dual blade knife with our standard razor blade on one side and second gutting blade on the other. The Razor-Pro comes with a Mossy Oak nylon belt sheath and six replacement blades,” he explained. The company also offers the Razor-Lite EDC, featuring a one-piece Grivory handle with rubberized TPR inserts plus a pocket clip, making it a great utility knife for everyday carry.
The original ParaClaw knife bracelet was the brainchild of professional bounty hunter Fugi Escobido, who wanted a defensive blade he could draw quickly and easily from the wrist in case a fugitive went for his handgun. Outdoor Edge’s latest upgrade is the ParaClaw CQD Watch. “It has a quality, water-resistant timepiece with a Japanese quartz movement,” Bloch informs, “and offers quick access to a 1.5″ Hawkbill blade in the paracord wristband that serves as a small yet effective EDC knife for emergency, survival or personal defense. The knife buckle locks the knife securely and, once deployed, the bracelet forms the knife handle.”
Best Of The Best
Outdoor Edge also boasts several collaborations with some big names in custom cutlery, including a bevy of designs by noted knifemaker Jerry Hossom. These include the Brush Demon, Harpoon, Conquer and the Le Duck neck knife. “Our approach to knife design is very similar in that function always comes first,” David lends. “Jerry and I both put a lot of focus on grip ergonomics and overall balance to create tools not only dynamic in appearance, but to function as edged tools that truly perform as an extension of the hand.”
Hossom’s design flair can be seen in the Conquer series of lightweight frame-lock folders. The Conquer comes in two sizes (7.2″ with a 3″ blade and 8.5″ with a 3.5″ blade), each featuring a curvaceously sculpted orange and black G-10 top scale and a satin-stone finished semi-skinner blade. A flipper does the opening chores and there’s a pocket clip for stowing. The Divide model takes a different tack. Also available in large and small versions, the Divide models have a more aggressive, angular handle and slimmer Blackstone coated tanto-styled blades. Outdoor Edge gives users a clear, and always welcome, choice between the Divide and Conquer.
At 20″ overall, the Brush Demon machete is a beast. Designed along the lines of the Greek Kopis short sword, the 13.5″ flared blade features Hossom-esque curves and the handle has out-thrust guards at both ends for excellent finger protection. The blade is of 65 Mn carbon spring-steel with a black powder coat and the handle has a dark earth-colored Zytel core with over-molded rubberized TPR synthetic on the surface.
The Hossom-designed Harpoon Survival Tool is an 8.25″ knife with a short 3.0″ drop-point blade ideal for dressing small game, and you can remove the paracord from its slender 5.25″ handle and mount it on a shaft, converting it to a game-gathering spear or personal defense weapon. The Harpoon also comes with a blade holder attachment that screws into a standard broom handle with a compass in the cap and storage compartment in the base for emergency essentials.
David Bloch’s first 30 years of outdoor edginess have been a dream come true, but don’t expect this energetic cutlery entrepreneur to sit on his laurels. David informs us there are many more innovative knives and tools on the way!