I pulled up to a 15,000 square foot manufacturing facility on the North West side of Phoenix just off the interstate after having called ahead. I had a customer who wanted the top of the line MKT Praetorian Ti knife.
I had to order one so why not take a trip across town and do it in person.
Walking into the place I was greeted by Greg’s two children who were very friendly and then his wife Amy. She asked me to wait a moment and disappeared down to hall to return a few minutes later and issued me into Greg’s office where I got to meet the man himself. Not the first time, as I had met him three years ago at the Atlanta Blade Show. Like there, Greg greeted me with a powerful handshake as if I was a long unseen friend.
After pleasantries, Greg took time out from his busy schedule to tour his plant and explain each step of the process on how his knives are made. Greg said it simply, “He uses modern technology to make hand made knives.” With 20 employees working for him, his knives are made by hand. Each and every one. He looks at his manufacturing of his knives as a modern day Henry Ford building the Model T.
They use only US made steel for all of his knives. They make all the screws, hardware and clips in house. The only machining done on his knives are the drilling of the holes. The most impressive part of the his knives is that each one is totally ground by hand, free style. Put together by hand. A Kydex sheath is made for the fixed blade knives, (Soon they will be going to all leather sheaths), and then they are given a final detailed inspection before being shipped out in their own pelican case.
He showed me how not only are his knives are extremely sharp for cutting, but they will also take punishment of being used as a pry-bar. Something I hardly recommend using a knife for.
Besides knives, we talked about other interest we have in common. Namely, Massachusetts, Martial Arts and Military Service. Both our families have ties to Mass. Greg’s from Western Mass and mine from Boston proper. Greg had studied and taught martial arts for years in Arizona before turning to manufacturing earning several black belts. Also he served his county in Kuwait with the 5th Marines during Desert Storm. The hall of his offices are lined with photos and memorabilia of all the American wars from the Revolution through Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over all, the president / owner took time out of his day for me a regular guy. Turning me back over to Amy, he went back to work and I got my customer’s knife ordered and headed home. Thank you Greg!
Medford Knives at SDK