Kizer and Damned Designs Team up for Tanto

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The first batch of new for 2023 Kizer models is arriving this week – later today, in fact. And among the fresh faces is the Mad Tanto, first collaboration between Kizer and Adrian D’Souza of Damned Designs.

The Mad Tanto collab is interesting because, really, it’s a partnership between two different production outfits. Damned Designs is a label run by D’Souza; beginning a few years ago he started rolling his knife designs out, including the Oni and the Wraith. As is often the case with young, solo brands, the first few knives came out slowly, but in the years between D’Souza picked up speed, and now the Damned Designs catalogue includes quite a few different blades.

The Mad Tanto is nice and clean in the closed position

The Mad Tanto is not a direct adaptation of any of those models, of course, but it does bear a strong family resemblance to Damned Design knives. D’Souza likes big angular blades and that’s absolutely what’s on offer here, a 3.31-inch American tanto, with a compound grind to beef up the secondary edge and tip. It should be a robust piercer and cutter, and comes made from 154CM, a favorite at Kizer for these mid-range pieces; you can expect solid edge retention, good rust resistance, and painless maintenance from this elder stainless steel.

Opening with the tried-and-true flipper tab, the Mad Tanto is the latest Kizer knife to be graced with a button lock. Button locks are a growing mechanical interest for the company; they’re rigid and reliable, of course, but also deliver that all-important fidget factor. The scales come in two flavors, black or green Micarta, and are laid over an unassuming, utility-driven handle design. The Mad Tanto comes with a deep carry pocket clip and weighs 4.08 oz.

The Mad Tanto is going up for sale later today, Thursday February 2nd, at 9pm EST, alongside the rest of the January Kizer releases – of which, more anon. Stay tuned.

Knife in Featured Image: Kizer Cutlery Mad Tanto


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