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TWO WINNING PAIRS

KOPIS DESIGNS AND VEHEMENT KNIVES TEAM UP TO CREATE THE MARLIN SPIKE AND OXUS SUB-HILT KNIFE

It started when Jon Bahlatzis moved to Colorado.

A budding knifemaker, he sought out local custom knife shops. He came across Vehement Knives online and, after looking at some of its work, he reached out to owner Matt Martin, offering to sweep floors in exchange for being allowed to hang around and learn the processes behind the knives. Matt had already begun building a tremendous reputation and loyal following as a custom knifemaker. His wife, Jenna Martin, was well on her way to establishing her own solid footprint in the leatherworking business, designing sheaths and other accoutrements.

Jon apprenticed under Matt for about a year, then spent another two years working as part of the Vehement team. When Matt and his family pulled up stakes to head east to the knifemaking hotbed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Jon struck out on his own and started Kopis Designs. Since then, both shops have seen substantial growth.

Despite being separated by about 1,200 miles, Jon Bahlatzis and Matt Martin have worked together on a number of projects. Two of those are the Marlin Spike and the Oxus.

VEHEMENT/KOPIS MARLIN

SPIKE

Originally called a “marlinspike,” this tool harkens back to the days when sailing vessels were among the fastest transport available. Back then, as well as today, the spike was an incredibly useful tool when working with rope or other cordage. One of the most common tasks for which the marlinspike comes into play is with knot-busting. Case in point: Every parent has had the experience of their young child coming to them with shoelaces on which they have somehow managed to tie a knot of Gordian proportions. Picking at a knot like that with fingernails can work, but it takes time and patience—neither of which are in ample supply when everyone should have been in the car 15 minutes ago and this is the third trip back to the house to grab something that had been forgotten.

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About American Survival Guide

April 2020