Kizer Cutlery (www.kizer-tbt.com) is one of a few Chinese companies wadding into the high-mid range knife market. I was sent a couple Kizer products to check out and I will review them in the future. As always, if you have any questions, feedback, or want to call me an idiot, feel free to comment or email me directly.
Kizer has been around for a little while now and has come to be known as a high quality maker using custom and in-house designs with high quality materials. That sounds like a canned pitch but it's true. I was first made aware of the company when they began selling titanium frame locks with S35VN for under $200, something only a few other companies were doing. I had seen some reviews and overall people seemed impressed. What they were missing, for me, was character. The knives were a little soulless to me. So even though I heard great things, I never tried them out. My opinion started changing when they began collaborating with custom knife maker Matt Cucchiara.
It's one thing for a company to produce a stellar knife, it's another to have good design made by that same producer. Design is more than half the battle in this industry. If design didn't matter and only quality of manufacturing, there would only be the Sebenza. Design matters. It's what draws you to a knife, what speaks to that primal part of our brains. It's important. Now, this is not to say I was fully on-board. Visually, I'm not a huge fan of Matt's designs, I'm just not. But there is another reason this collaboration made a difference. Matt lends credibility.
By working with Kizer Matt Cucchiara was essentially endorsing the company. He was telling the rest of the community, "Hey it's OK, these guys are legit". It helped to remove some of the stigma of buying from a foreign (both geographically and culturally) company. That is what lead me to be able to recommend their products. I know there had been a lot more planned for the relationship between Matt and Kizer but health concerns prevented that.
Fast forward to today and there are a bevy of makers teaming up with the Chinese company. This speaks to the quality of the work as well as the quality of the people. It also gives the end user a real selection, all with the same great build we have come to expect.
I have several models I will be posted reviews on so keep an eye out. Also, they just showed off their first knife with M390 at Shot Show 2017, that gives even more reason to check them out.
The future looks good for Kizer, even with stiff competition from all over the world.