The traditional kiridashi knife is small and very portable blade from Japan, with a chisel grind and a sharp point, used as a general-purpose utility knife. These knives are carving/utility knives have their roots in woodworking. The name, kiridashi literally translates to “carve out” which would seem to support this origin. Regardless, they are found in many facets of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture being used in a variety of activities from everyday tasks like sharpening pencils to gardening.
They are often made with a handle wrap and sometimes scales and a scabbard, but are just as likely to be a single piece of steel.
This take on the classic is from my mate Spencer Alan Reiter of SAR Global Tools who works his metalworking magic from a shed in Louisiana and has brought forth such wonderful items as the Moonglow necklace signaling tool I wear 24/7, the SESS signalling dogtag I keep lashed to all my packs, and my favourite neck-knife, the OddJob.
The SAR kiridashi's are all one-offs, that Spencer builds from reclaimed stock left over from his other projects. Waste not, want not, and perfect philosophy for the creation of a kiridashi. The riddle of steel rings in his ears.
Crafted from an offcut of CPM3V and is heat treated to a hardness of "dead nuts" 60HRC according to Spencer.
Worked over in the SAR workshop, you can easily use it knowing that you are using a high quality product. You'd never know it was a one off recovered from workshop scrap. In keeping with the kiridashi's main purpose originally to be used as a craft knife, I wanted to show off it's practical application and the single, flat ground chisel edge which just works a treat as a wood whittling tool.
The blade can put it to many different uses. Here are some practical examples: general cutting, gardening, cutting zip ties, deburring and drilling holes, self defense, survival tool, the uses are almost innumerable. Anything you could want from a heavily over-engineered craft-knife.
The SAR kiridashi's are set with a cord-wrap on the handle for enhanced grip on the thin metal spine, and come with a kydex scabbard along with a bead-chain necklace for neck-knife wear.
Bear in mind that these are all hand-crafted, heat treated and sharpened in what is essentially a one-man shop, along with Spencer's philanthropic work in conjunction with the Run Rangers Run charity, in creating his Inglorious Bastards knives, re-purposed from antique files, so his time is hard to come by and the runs are small. Keep an eye out and be on the lookout for new knives such as the Kingfisher's that are coming out...