Outdoors

Morphing Karambit utility knife keeps your fingers out of harm's way

Morphing Karambit utility knif...
The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
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The inventor plans to sell the Morphing Karambit for US$650, but first off he's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production
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The inventor plans to sell the Morphing Karambit for US$650, but first off he's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production
The inventor plans to sell the Morphing Karambit for US$650, but first off he's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production
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The inventor plans to sell the Morphing Karambit for US$650, but first off he's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production
The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
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The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
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The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
The roots of the karambit knife can be traced back to agricultural practices in Indonesia during the 11th century
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The roots of the karambit knife can be traced back to agricultural practices in Indonesia during the 11th century
Knife-maker Joel Caswell's Morphing Karambit knife
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Knife-maker Joel Caswell's Morphing Karambit knife
The inventor plans to sell the Morphing Karambit for US$650, but first off he's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production
7/8
The inventor plans to sell the Morphing Karambit for US$650, but first off he's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production
The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
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The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts

That's not a knife. That's an expensive, claw inspired-utility knife that might just save some damage to your digits. Because you know what else is expensive? A trip to the doctor's office.

The roots of the karambit knife can be traced back to agricultural practices in Indonesia during the 11th century, where the curved blade of the karambit was said to be inspired by the claw of a tiger. The nature of that arched blade has seen the iconic karambit take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, and close-quarter combat and martial arts.

One thing karambit pocket knives have in common with most of their straight-bladed brethren is that fingers need to be removed from the handle before the blade is deployed or retracted (well, it's advisable as least). But California-based knife-maker Joe Caswell has found a way around this.

With his Morphing Karambit in hand, users can deploy the blade without needing to lift a finger. Rather than having the blade swing outwards on a single axis, it instead relies on a set of hinges that slide the blade tip downwards and safely out beyond the handle, keeping the sharp edge's path away from your fingers.

The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts
The nature of its arched blade has seen the iconic karambit knife take on all kinds of uses, including hunting, cutting ropes and vines, along with close-quarter combat and martial arts

This is actually Caswell's second prototype. The original Morphing Karambit deployed its blade by way a of a squeezing mechanism, which was also impressive. This time around, the blade snaps into action with a quick downward swipe of the thumb on a release lever on top.

The upgraded version also features fewer parts – just five plus fasteners and a titanium pocket clip – making it mechanically simpler and more durable. The steel blade itself measures 2.5 in long and 0.21 in thick (6.35 x 0.53 cm), while the knife overall has a total weight of 6 oz (170 g).

Caswell plans to sell the Morphing Karambit for US$650, but first off he's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production, where they are available for pledges of $450. If everything runs as planned, he expects to start shipping globally in October 2018. You can check out the pitch video below.

Source: Caswell Knives

CASWELL "MORPHING KARAMBIT" Premium Utility Knife

7 comments
Brian M
Clever design, although not sure if totally original (is anything?). There is also the issue of legality, carrying a knife these days in many jurisdictions is full of legal issues. Adding the criteria of it being equivalent to the flick knife of old (1950's) makes it even more risky legaly. However as a sailing/diving person can seen the benefits of always having an easily deployable blade for when you get trapped by ropes (especially under water after a capsize), yes you can use a fixed blade knife - but that carries its own issues of safety, this seems perfect for the job (accept for the price!)
Roger Aikins
At the end of the day,its still just a knife..450.00 to 650.00????
JeffK
Living in the mountains and using knives every day, a quality blade is something I have a great appreciation for. Two of my favorites are the issue knife my dad carried while serving in the Pacific with the Navy Seabees in WWII and my father-in-law's hunting knife, both made in the 1940's and both of which will take and hold a shaving keen edge. I'm all for innovation and this appears to be a clever design, but there are high quality blades available for under $100 and I can't imagine parting with more than $200 for any utilitarian knife. At 67 I have enough knife scars, most self inflicted, to have developed a healthy respect for cutlery, so $450 to $650 for an extra safety feature is far beyond consideration. I wouldn't even want to carry it for fear of losing it while clearing brush in the creek bottom and leaving it for a future archaeologist to unearth.
PaleDale
I like it, I am a big fan of knives and swords or all shapes and sizes but... that will be illegal in most countries. Any concealable knife that can be opened with 1 hand is illegal in Australia. That's not the exact wording but that's pretty much what it means: "a knife which has a sheath which withdraws into its handle by gravity or centrifugal force or if pressure is applied to a button, spring or device attached to or forming part of the sheath, handle or blade of the knife." :(
MD
Pretty sure it is the finger ring in this case which will most likely get you in trouble with Australian Border Security... It makes this type of knife a knuckle duster when opened or closed.. Though for strike 2 yes it could be regarded as an "assisted opening" folding knife - that click on opening indicates spring loading... If you really want one, make one, or have a skilful friend make you one..
ljaques
I wanted something simple and inexpensive for self defense at rest stops in the middle of the night while traveling. The Mtech neck knife is what filled the bill for me, and it was $8, not $650. It's a one piece with sheath, and it's a lot thinner/smaller (1-3/4" blade) than this style, which I like. Kudos on the safer knife (what percentage safer?), but it seems bulkier and perhaps heaver than a more simplistic style. Is that a realistic price? Good luck on sales.
Nik
Interesting, and intricate design. More parts,=more things to go wrong=more places to trap crap, and jamb up, usually just when its most inconvenient. I can buy a very effective spring assisted opening, pocket knife for less than $10, so no chance of me spending even a tenth of the price(s) of this knife. One would need a very good reason to justify purchasing this, and I dont have it.