BLADE Magazine

Design and Make a Combat Knife

Spartan Blades Difensa
Learn how to design and make a combat from Curtis Iovito and Bill Harsey at BLADE U.

Learn how to design and make a combat knife from two who have been there/done that—Curtis Iovito of Spartan Blades and award-winning custom knifemaker William W. “Bill” Harsey—at the 2nd Annual BLADE University.

Bill Harsey’s designs have won numerous BLADE Magazine Knife-Of-The-Year® Awards.

Held the day before (June 4) through show Saturday (June 6) of the 2015 BLADE Show June 5-7 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, BLADE University assembles the world’s leading knife professionals to instruct you on most anything that has to do with the subject of cut.

Along with Mark Carey co-owner and co-founder of Spartan Blades, Iovito is a retired U.S. Army Ranger who saw action during Operation Just Cause in Panama and numerous sensitive deployments and missions throughout Asia and the Middle East. It was while in 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) that Curtis got into making custom knives for his teammates. After finishing up his 20-year career he hooked up with Carey—himself a 21-year man with U.S. Army Special Forces with many deployments in Asia—to start Spartan Blades.

Harsey is well-known throughout the custom and factory knife industries for his custom knives and custom and factory knife designs. He collaborated with BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© member Col. Rex Applegate to design Gerber’s award-winning Applegate-Fairbairn line; with Chief James “Peaches” Watson to design Gerber’s Watson/Harsey Silver Trident, and with Chris Reeve and Matt Larsen to design Gerber’s LHR Combat Knife; and one of Harsey’s most significant efforts—the Yarborough Knife, aka the Green Beret Knife for Chris Reeve Knives—named after Lt. Gen. William P. Yarborough, who is credited as being the “father of modern Special Forces.”

Retired U.S. Army Special Forces and co-owner and co-founder of Spartan Blades, Curtis Iovito will help you learn how to design and make a combat knife.

A number of Harsey’s designs, including the Green Beret Knife, have won BLADE Magazine Knife-Of-The-Year® awards. Spartan Blades also has won BLADE Magazine Knife-Of-The-Year® Awards with its knives.

Today Harsey is one of several custom makers who design knives for Spartan Blades, a list that includes BLADE® Magazine field editor and retired 5th Special Forces Master Sergeant Kim Breed and also ABS master smith John Horrigan. Among Harsey’s design efforts for Spartan is the Difensa combat fixed blade.

In “Designing and Making a Combat Knife,” Iovito and Harsey will take you through the process, including:

•The terms “combat” and “tactical” as they relate to knife use;

•Understanding task-specific uses of a combat knife;

•Combat knife geometry;

•Carry options for a combat knife, vehicle and on foot;

•Design features that make up a combat knife;

•Blade geometry, and;

•Materials that lend themselves to improving a combat knife.

For more information on Iovito and Harsey’s class, BLADE University and the BLADE Show, visit BLADE Show or e-mail

Recommended for You:

Making Tactical Fixed Blades DVD

Learn both basic and advanced knife making techniques with expert instruction from Allen Alishewitz in Tactical Fixed Blades. Allen demonstrates how to craft a double-edged tactical fixed blade knife from start to finish, and creates two knives in order to fully illustrate the knife building process. You’ll learn:

– Profiling and Drilling the Knife
– Tang Tapering on a Grinder
– Tang Tapering on a Mill
– And more!

Order here


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