Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Switchblade or Automatic

Do you say ‘switchblade’ or ‘automatic knife’?

Sounds like a George Carlin question.  Switchblade is warm and fuzzy.  Automatic is hard and cold.

To me, this is what I consider a switchblade.  It’s a classic Italian stiletto.  It clicks open with a menacing double click.

A classic switchblade what would be carried by the Jets or the Sharks.

This is not an expensive one; I couldn’t find a maker’s mark.  The blade is stamped “rust free” so I assume it’s stainless steel and is too dull to even cleanly open envelopes.  I remember when knives came relatively dull and you put the kind of edge you wanted.  But I don’t want to sharpen it and alter the ‘factory edge’.  It has the classic release button which allows a leaf spring to fire the knife open, a slide safety and a horn handle.  I got it as part of an estate I purchased and kept it because the knife was unlocked by depressing a tab on the knife’s butt. 

But say automatic to me and I got to go with Pro-Tech knives. 

Pro-Tech Knives, LLC is a family knife company owned and founded by Dave Wattenberg.  They have been building high quality American Made knives since 1998.

Pro-Tech produces about 12,000 knives per year and its most famous models are the Godfather, Godson, and the Runt J4.  You’ll see Pro-Techs in the hands of the U.S. Military and law enforcement including the Secret Service and US Marshall's Service.  You’ll also see them in the hands of collectors and anyone demanding high performance from an automatic knife.

(Hint:  Get yourself a collaboration between Pro-Tech and Boker.  It’s a sweet little auto. You will not be disappointed!)

I’ve always wanted a Godfather.  Not any of the variations.  I wanted the Tuxedo.  For years I watched the one with an actual Ivory insert.  But then, when we were still relatively ivory friendly, it was out of my price range.  But the ivory micarta, that was just too powerful of a call.  I went with the black blade to compliment the black and white motif.  I can’t help but think of Dino, Sammy, Frankie and the rest of the Las Vegas rat pack when I see it open.

Pro Tech 's Godfather It's pissy eligant!

It’s a big knife.  Take it down a step and you’ll see the Godson and I found one I liked. Same good lines but I went with Bruce Shaw’s Steampunk copper insert. 

Steampunk?  It is a visited reality in which Jules Verne’s world still exists.  It just matured a little and discovered sexy.

If you needed to cut the mooring line a dirigible and escape in your velociped, this is the knife you need 

Shaw received his art training at Cal-State University at Los Angeles and graduated as a mechanical engineer, and what could be a better background for Steampunk?  He started engraving in 1978 and has been engraving full time since 1984.  The copper plate features engravings of gears and mechanisms of a mechanical watch some of which drive one of his classic skulls.  It was a limited edition and I was just lucky enough to be in the right place.

If you think of the Godfather and Godson as part of a family of knives, then the limited production of their Rockeye Auto PK custom has to be the hippy uncle from the LSD 70s.

Dude, it's time for the Airplane on next!  They follow Cream.

The Rockeye line was designed by Les George.  Les started making knives in 1992 and found a kindred soul in master builder Stan Fujisaka of Kaneohe, Hawaii to show him the ropes.  Sadly, Stan passed away on New Year’s Eve just a few hours before the arrival of the new 2014.  One has to wonder what kind of knife shows they must have in the afterlife. 

Having served in the Marines with a wide variety of jobs, Les has developed well-defined ideas about what how knives and tools should be made for use.  You can see this in the strong blade and handle of the Rockeye line.

The handle was anodized by Peter Kellett, who may be best known for his unique, one of a kind art of amazing designs of metal guitars and Pro-Tech knives.  I was told, but can’t confirm, that only four, maybe eight of these knives were made and again I was at the right place.

If you had a cousin knife from the Deep South, maybe New Orleans or the swamps of Florida, it would be the TR-3 Alligator.  The Tactical Response 3 is a favorite with law enforcement and military.  They are hardworking knives with a 3.5 inch blade, an automatic knife that is slender and fits nicely in the pocket.  But I can almost guarantee none of them are carrying the TR-3 purple alligator.  Artist Peter Kellett returns to marry a purple alligator and a mother of pearl release button to a tactical knife. 

I hear to tell chicken taste like gator.  Where can I get me some?  

I like the style of Pro-Tech knives.  I especially like their custom or ‘arty knives’.  You can go to their website ( and find some amazing knives.  How about a left-handled Godson in basic black?


Anonymous said...

My friend Dale suggest my little horn handled auto is a Puma medici style automatic. Dale know knives. But I jumped into the rabbit hole we call Google and when I crawled out, I'm more convinced it was made in Maniago, Italy and sold by the Jndiana (Indiana) Cutlery company. I just don't see Puma quality in this knife. It's also lacking any identification outer than Rostfrei or German for rust free.

In any case Thanks Dale!

It's still in the hunt and if you have any information, i like to hear it.

Avenge said...

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