|Ernest Emerson, Founder & President|
Number of employees
Emerson Knives, Inc. is an American company that produces knives and related products. It was founded in 1996 by custom knifemaker Ernest Emerson in an effort to mass-produce his folding knife designs for the U.S. Military and collector markets.
In February 1996, custom Knifemaker Ernest Emerson and his wife, Mary, founded Emerson Knives, Inc. (also referred to as EKI) in Torrance, California to manufacture knives on a larger scale than a custom knifemaker was capable. This new company would be a distinct entity from his Specwar lineup of custom knives, although several of Emerson's custom designs have made their way into production. Four years after starting this venture, Emerson sold an entire year's worth of production in four hours at the SHOT (Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show in January 2000.
Emerson Knives primarily manufactures tactical folding knives utilizing the Walker linerlock. EKI most commonly machines blades of Crucible's 154CM steel by using the stock-removal method. Small runs of knives have been produced utilizing steels such as CPM S30V steel, CPM S35VN, and Titanium with a carbide edge. The handles are constructed with titanium liners, G10 fiberglass scales, and a G10 backspacer. Since 2009 EKI has been using a stainless steel liner on the non-locking side in order to keep costs down.
The most common models are the CQC-7, Commander, SARK, Karambit, Raven, and the SPECWAR. The majority of Emerson's folding knives are equipped with the Wave: a hook on the spine of the blade (originally designed as a blade catcher) which, when snagged on the edge of the pocket or sheath causes the knife blade to open as it is drawn. Emerson called this innovation the Wave and secured a patent for it in March 1999.
Production knives made by the company differ from Emerson's custom knives by the logo on the blade which reads "Emerson Knives, Inc." Sometimes the model number is found on the blade with a date and a serial number. Additionally, custom knives made by Emerson have dual titanium liners and handles made from linen micarta with titanium bolsters. Emerson Knives Inc.'s primary focus is on the military and police markets. There is a large secondary market of collectors as there is with most knife companies.
In May 2013, a non-custom factory-made Emerson CQC-7 knife carried by the Navy SEAL who served as point man on the mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden was auctioned off for charity, netting over $35,000.
List of knife models
|Model||Description||Blade length||Blade Profile||Handle Material||Overall length||Year introduced|
|SPECWAR||The first model debuted by the company, a linerlock folding version of the SPECWAR Knife designed by Emerson in collaboration with Timberline Knives.||3.5"||Tanto or spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7.5"||1996|
|Raven||The second model made by Emerson Knives, made with Kraydon handles (fiberglass) and a recessed linerlock.||3.5"||Tanto or spearpoint||Kraydon scales, Titanium liners||7.5"||1997|
|CQC-7||Emerson's first "Custom Design" to enter the Production lineup.||3.5"||Tanto or spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7.5"||1997|
|Commander||Designed as a SERE knife based on the ES1-M, the first model to feature Emerson's Wave shaped opening device.||3.75"||Recurve||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.8"||1998|
|SARK||A Search and Rescue Knife with a blunt tip, designed for the US Navy.||3.5"||Wharncliffe with blunt tip||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.2"||1998|
|PSARK||A version of the SARK with a pointed tip, designed for Law Enforcement Use.||3.5"||Wharncliffe||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.2"||1998|
|Blackbird||A standard linerlock and G10 handle version of the Raven.||3.5"||Tanto or spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7.5"||1999|
|Mach 1, MAX-1||Originally called the Mach 1, it was renamed the MAX-1 in 2004.||3.5"||Spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.2"||1999|
|PUK||Police Utility Knife, a fixed-blade designed for Law Enforcement.||3.5"||Spearpoint or tanto||Kraydon handles replaced by G10 slabs on 2007 and later models||8.2"||1999|
|La Griffe||A fixed-blade designed for Law Enforcement, based on a Fred Perrin design.||1.75"||claw shape||bare metal||4.9"||1999|
|La Griffe WWR||A fixed-blade designed for White Water Rafting, based on a Fred Perrin design.||1.75"||claw shape, blunt tip, fully serrated blade||bare metal||4.9"||1999|
|NASA Knife||A version of the SPECWAR with a guthook, designed for NASA for use on Shuttle Missions and the ISS.||3.5"||Tanto||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7.5"||2000|
|I&I Tanto||A folding Tanto designed for Martial Arts Company I & I Sports.||4"||Tanto||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.2"||2000|
|SOCFK||A version of the SPECWAR with the Wave shaped opening device, designed for Extreme Outfitters.||3.5"||Tanto or Spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7.5"||2001|
|Mini Commander||A scaled-down version of the Commander Folding Knife.||3.4"||Recurve||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8"||2001|
|Mini CQC-7||A scaled-down version of the CQC-7 Folding Knife.||3"||Tanto or Spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7"||2001|
|Super CQC-7||A scaled-up version of the CQC-7 Folding Knife.||3.78"||Tanto||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9.15"||2002|
|Combat Karambit||A folding version of the Indonesian Karambit Knife||2.6"||Curved||G10 scales, Titanium liners||6.8"||2002|
|Super Commander||A scaled-up version of the Commander Folding Knife, originally a TAD Gear Exclusive.||4"||Recurve||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9.5"||2003|
|CQC-8||A knife based on Bob Taylor's Warrior knife and Bill Moran's ST-23 designed in 1994 for Navy SEALs. The first production version, made in 2002, was part of a collaboration with SureFire Flashlights.||3.8"||sabre profile||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9.3"||2003|
|CQC-10||A bull-nosed folding knife. The first version was part of a collaboration with Heckler & Koch.||3.6"||bull nose||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.5"||2003|
|CQC-11 a.k.a. UTCOM, a.k.a. Blackhawk||A kukri-shaped blade. The first version was part of a collaboration with Blackhawk Tactical.||4.1"||kukri recurve||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9.275"||2003|
|Persian||Based on an earlier Fixed-blade custom knife, the first version of this folder was an exclusive to Emerson Collectors.||4.1"||Upswept||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9.6"||2003|
|CQC-12||Originally designated the "Comrade Military Folder", Emerson's first Framelock design based on the AK-47 pattern bayonet.||3.9"||Clip point||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.85"||2004|
|CQC-13||A folding Bowie Knife.||3.85"||Clip point||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9"||2004|
|CQC-14||A full sized handle with a shorter blade designed for jurisdictions with prohibitions on knife blades greater than 3".||2.7"||Spearpoint, tanto, and recurve||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7.6"||2004|
|NSAR||A version of the SARK with a linecutter, designed for Naval Air Rescue Units.||3.5"||Wharncliffe||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.2"||2006|
|CQC-15||A recurved tanto blade folding knife.||3.9"||recurved tanto||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.9"||2007|
|EDC Tanto||A folding Tanto designed for EDC Knives.||4"||Tanto||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.2"||2007|
|CQC-16||A non-recurved Clip point Commander designed as a hunting/skinning knife.||4"||Clip point||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.2"||2007|
|Horseman||A scaled-down version of the CQC-8.||3.4"||sabre profile||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.35"||2007|
|Mini CQC-15||A recurved tanto blade folding knife.||3.5"||recurved tanto||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8"||2008|
|A-100||A spearpoint folding knife based on an early Custom Design.||3.6"||Spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.4"||2008|
|Super CQC-8||A scaled-up version of the CQC-8.||4.3"||G10 scales, Titanium liners||10.2"||2009|
|Mini A-100||A downsized version of the A-100.||3"||spearpoint||G10 scales, Titanium liners||7.2"||2009|
|Super Raven||A scaled-up version of the Raven.||3.9"||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9.3"||2009|
|Gentleman Jim||A folding clip-point named for Boxing Champion Jim Corbett.||3.75"||clip-point||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.55"||2010|
|Roadhouse||A folding Tanto based on the earlier custom Warrior Fixed Blade.||3.8"||Tanto||G10 scales, Titanium liners||8.9"||2010|
|UBR Commander||A scaled-up version of the Super Commander.||4.4"||Recurve||G10 scales, Titanium liners||9.35"||2010|
Emerson Knives has collaborated with other companies on knife-related projects. In 2002 Emerson Knives collaborated with Gerber Knives to create both companies' first automatic opening knife, the Gerber-Emerson Alliance. In that same year, Emerson Knives collaborated with SureFire Flashlights by making an exclusive CQC8 (Banana Knife) numbered and marked with the SureFire logo and sold with an identically numbered Emerson-marked Centurion C2 CombatLight. In 2005 Emerson Knives collaborated with Andy Prisco, the CEO of the American Tomahawk Company, to produce the CQC-T Tomahawk. This tomahawk features a curved head machined from 4140 steel with a rear spike and a lightweight fiberglass handle. Although not made by Emerson, the tomahawk was designed by him. In September 2010, Emerson Knives announced a collaboration with Pro-Tech Knives to produce an automatic opening version of the CQC-7. In November 2010, Emerson's Roadhouse Knife won Knives Illustrated's American Made Knife of 2010-2011 Award at the Spirit of Steel Show in Knoxville, TN. According to Emerson, the knife will be used as a prop on the Sons of Anarchy Television Show.
- Dick, Steven (1997), The Working Folding Knife, Stoeger Publishing Company, pp. 154–159, ISBN 978-0-88317-210-0
- Hopkins, Cameron (2000), "The Worse it Gets, the Better We Like It", American Handgunner Magazine, 25 (157): 92–93
- Shackleford, Steve (1997). "Cutler of Fortune". Blade Magazine. 27 (10).
- Emerson, Ernest R. "Self Opening Folding Knife". US Patent. Retrieved December 31, 2006.
- Piccione, Mike. "Navy SEAL auctions knife from bin Laden raid". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Karwan, Chuck (2003), "Automatic Success", Tactical Knives, 9 (6): 50–54
- Steele, David E. (2005), "Wedged Edges at War", Blade Magazine, 32 (9): 12–18
- Searson, Mike (2011-04-01). "The Best Knives of G2". Blade. FW Media Inc. 37 (5): 80–84.